I do have to admit that I haven’t been looking forward to writing this post because even I’m not convinced that Pittsburgh is the best place to visit, but perhaps it’s because I haven’t spent enough time there to find the gems. My first time in Pittsburgh, I walked around for a few hours trying to get the lay of the land, searching out what makes the city worth visiting, and the only thing I discovered is that Pittsburgh is a clone of Detroit sitting 300 miles southeast of the original. Even though I have yet to find the answer, I’m willing to believe Pittsburgh has more to offer than what meets the eye.
How do I get around?
There is a light rail system that will take you between the suburbs and downtown, but if you want the freedom to roam at your own leisure, I suggest renting a car. If you stay in a hotel downtown, it’s easy to walk everywhere, but there’s only so much to see within a confined portion of the city. Hop on a bus or a train, and see where it takes you. Nothing like a little adventure into the unknown right?
Where should I stay?
As it stands, Pittsburgh isn’t a magnet for young adults, and for that reason, hostels are seriously lacking. It won’t be that way for long if the Pittsburgh Hostel Project has anything to say about it, but until some hostels start popping up downtown, I recommend staying at the Best Western Parkway Center Inn. It’s a couple miles away from downtown, but they have a free shuttle to get you both to the airport and the city. They’re fairly affordable, even in the summer, and the rooms are actually quite nice & clean. They also have an indoor pool, the beds are uber comfortable, and some of the rooms on the first floor even have a small patio.
When is the best time to visit?
Spring and summer (May-September)
Places to Go/See
- Watch the Pittsburgh Pirates play at PNC Park or the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Park
- Visit Point State Park
- Go to a concert at The Altar Bar
- Explore the Andy Warhol museum
- Spend your evening bar hopping on the south side and listening to local bands for entertainment
Places to Eat
In a classic American city, it’s hard to avoid the chain restaurants, but if there is one place that Pittsburgh is famous for it is Primanti Bros. Who would want to eat fries on their own when you can just throw them on the sandwich itself glued together with coleslaw? You heard right, veggies, your choice of meat, fries, and coleslaw slabbed together between two slices of toasted bread. Of course, you can always opt out of the fries and coleslaw, but then you’re taking away the key elements of a Primanti Bros sandwich.
If you’re crazy for Chinese food like I am, eat at Lulu’s Noodles for good food at a decent price, and check out Pittsburgh Magazine’s list of cheap eats.
What are your impressions of Pittsburgh? What kind of argument can you give for why people should visit?
“This City” Sundays will introduce you to a new city every week, showcase what I’ve learned and love about that city, and attempt to persuade you to visit on your travels.