Those moving to the City of Bridges will have plenty to keep themselves busy during their downtime. Pittsburgh has something for everyone, whether new arrivals prefer retail therapy, partying the night away or dining out at excellent eateries.
Shopping in Pittsburgh
The downtown area is the shopping hub in Pittsburgh and is home to the city's 'diamond district', a collection of high-end jewellery stores. The area has a range of well-known department stores as well as boutique clothing stores.
For expats on a budget, outlet shopping is a great way to spruce up one's wardrobe at a fraction of the usual price. Grove City Premium Outlets is less than an hour outside Pittsburgh and has more than 130 outlet stores for the ultimate shopping experience. There's also Tanger Outlets in Washington County, south of the city, which has over 80 outlet stores.
Eating out and groceries in Pittsburgh
From local legends to elite fine-dining restaurants, foodies are sure to find something to tickle their taste buds. Foodies can weigh in on a decades-old debate by trying the pizza at both Mineo's and Aiello's, two legendary pizzerias located just a few doors down from each other in Squirrel Hill. Throughout Pittsburgh, there are also plenty of excellent upscale eateries to be explored.
When shopping for groceries, Pittsburgh has all the nationwide chains that one would expect, but expats looking for a taste of home should head to The Strip, which is well known for its selection of speciality and international grocery stores.
Nightlife in Pittsburgh
With a wide variety of local wineries, breweries and distilleries, Pittsburgh is a great city for those who enjoy a drink. There are also cocktail bars, rooftop lounges and beer gardens scattered throughout the city. Top areas for a fun night out include trendy Lawrenceville, student-friendly Oakland and local favourite Bloomfield.
Arts and culture in Pittsburgh
Culture enthusiasts will be in seventh heaven with all that the Steel City has to offer. The Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh are a must-see and are comprised of an art museum, a natural history museum, a science museum and the famed Andy Warhol Museum. Dedicated to the renowned pop culture artist from Pittsburgh, the museum showcases his legacy and influence on modern culture.
Those interested in theatre will be pleased to know that Pittsburgh is a regular stop for touring Broadway productions. In addition, the city has its own thriving theatre scene, where theatre buffs can enjoy high-quality productions of plays, musicals, ballets and operas.
Outdoor activities and sport in Pittsburgh
There's plenty to keep nature-loving residents occupied in Pittsburgh. The city has several breathtaking parks and trails that lend themselves to excellent hiking and cycling. For those who prefer to exercise indoors, Pittsburgh has a wide selection of gyms offering all sorts of equipment and classes, ranging from boxing to aerial yoga and more.
With a number of stadiums in Pittsburgh, sport fans moving to the city will be in a prime spot for taking in some world-class sporting games. Locals love to support the city's three major teams – the Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL), the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL), and the Pittsburgh Pirates (Major League Baseball). Joining Pittsburghers in cheering on their teams is a great way to make some friends.
See and do in Pittsburgh
New arrivals to Pittsburgh will discover a wealth of things to see and do in this buzzing Pennsylvania metro. We have listed a few favourites below.
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Enjoyed by both young and old, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History educates and entertains in equal measure. The museum explores our planet’s natural and cultural past and features exhibits ranging from dinosaurs, geology and wildlife to Ancient Egyptian and Native American history. The little ones will love the interactive Discovery Basecamp exhibit and the Bone Hunter's Quarry, where they can dig up their own replica fossils.
Carnegie Science Center
A winner with the kids, the Science Center offers more than 250 hands-on exhibits that explore everything science and tech, from cars, planes and energy to the solar system and space exploration. There’s also plenty to do here, and visitors will need an entire day to take full advantage of attractions such as the indoor climbing and zipline courses, the four-storey Omnimax Theater, and the Henry Buhl Jr Planetarium and Observatory. Don’t miss out on the Miniature Railroad and Village, which exhibits Pennsylvania’s history with animated miniature horse-drawn carriages, cars, trucks and aeroplanes. Visitors can also marvel at the USS Requin, a World War II submarine, with guided tours by former submariners.
Situated in Schenley Park, the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a popular family outing that boasts gorgeous gardens and a 13-room Victorian glasshouse with seasonal exhibits such as orchids, bonsai trees and other intricate flora. The kids will enjoy the Discovery Garden, which offers children's activities, and the Garden Railroad, where they can explore the tropical Treasure Island.
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium make up five animal habitats that include everything from marine and coastal wildlife to forest dwellers, island animals and plains game of the African savannah. Kids adore interacting with the animals, and environmentally concerned parents can rest assured that it is a responsible zoo that greatly focuses on the rescue, rehabilitation and conservation of animals.
A fun activity for the whole family, this funicular is also a working museum that has been running since 1877. It takes passengers to the affluent Mount Washington neighbourhood atop the hill, and the cars offer spectacular views over the city on the way up. Once arrived at the upper section, riders can look at photos and displays on the history of the incline, as well as the inner workings of it.
What's on in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh's calendar is chock-full of events, and new arrivals will have no shortage of festivities to pick and choose from. They're also a great way to meet people and make friends, and newcomers to the city should take full advantage.
Below are some of the more prominent events on Pittsburgh's calendar.
Pittsburgh Restaurant Week's Winter Celebration (January)
Pittsburgh Restaurant Week is a great time for new arrivals to discover all the eateries in their new city. Discounted prices, special offers and a festive atmosphere make this a week not to miss out on.
St. Patrick's Day Parade (March)
Like many cities across America, Pittsburgh rises to the occasion when it comes to St Paddy’s Day, complete with a parade, marching bands, floats and a Miss Irish Eyes crowning luncheon.
Pittsburgh Earth Day Festival (April)
Newcomers to Pittsburgh will enjoy the citywide celebration of sustainability, which toasts the city’s evolution from its Steel City past to its green future. Attendees shouldn’t miss out on events such as the Eco Short Film Showcase and the Growing Up Green Festival.
Pittsburgh Pride (June)
One of the biggest parties of the year, Pittsburgh Pride should definitely not be missed. The festival celebrates the city’s LGBTQIA+ community, and with more than 30,000 attendees last time round, it keeps getting bigger and better.
Rock, Reggae & Relief (August)
Visitors sway to the sweet rhythms of reggae and rock at this Caribbean-inspired benefit festival, which seeks to promote the city’s culture scene while also giving back to the needy.
A Fair in the Park (September)
One for the art lovers, A Fair in the Park is held at Mellon Park and celebrates art in a variety of forms, including clay, fibre, wood, jewellery, glass, metal and mixed media, and features the work of more than 100 local and national artists.
Light Up Night (November)
Newcomers to Pittsburgh will know the holiday season has officially kicked off when the Christmas tree is lit up in Downtown Pittsburgh. A beautiful, family-friendly spectacle that also gives new arrivals the chance to mingle with locals.