Things To Do in Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh offers residents great restaurants, arts and culture attractions, and professional sporting events.

Lisa Battles
On Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 12:43
Pittsburgh PA

While the population of Pittsburgh proper is just more than 300,000 residents, a greater metropolitan area population of more than 2.6 million people indicates many and varied things to do to suit so many interests.

Arts in Pittsburgh

A 14-block area in downtown Pittsburgh comprises the city's cultural district, which contains six theaters and many of the city's major arts organizations. According to the city's visitors bureau, more than 2,300 dance, music and theater performances occur annually in this district alone. Major venues include the August Wilson Center, Benedum Center, Heinz Hall, O'Reilly Theater and Cabaret at Theater Square. Numerous restaurants, galleries, and shops also have set up shop here, giving arts patrons opportunities to shop and dine between shows.

Two must-sees are the Carnegie Museum of Art, especially during its Carnegie International exhibit, an annual presentation that dates to 1896 and is the oldest exhibition of international contemporary art in North America and the second-oldest in the world. Fans of contemporary art also will enjoy The Andy Warhol Museum.

Pittsburgh Food

Pittsburgh has as many and varied restaurants one would expect for a city its size, but for a true taste of local flavor, start with one of many restaurants specializing in dishes introduced by European immigrants years ago and other hearty meals well-suited to satisfy generations of blue-collar workers. For the most authentic, go to Primanti Brothers, where all the sandwiches are topped with french fries, coleslaw and tomatoes. Or try the pierogies at Szmidt's Old World Deli, Pierogies Plus, Cop Out Pierogies or Fat Head's Saloon, which is perhaps better known for excellent wings and 42 continuously rotating craft beers on tap. Other spots for stick-to-your-ribs meals include Meat & Potatoes, Burgatory Bar for burgers, and Franktuary for hotdogs.

This is not all to detract from Pittsburgh's more refined dining options, of course. The Greater Pittsburgh Convention and Visitors Bureau has a far more comprehensive list of the city's hundreds of restaurants.

Professional Sports

If life centers on pro sports, Pittsburgh has several hometown teams to root for either at the game or at sports bars around town. The biggest name in sports here is the six-time NFL Champions Pittsburgh Steelers, while baseball fans cheer for the five-time World Series winners the Pittsburgh Pirates. Meanwhile, hockey fans can support the Pittsburg Penguins NHL franchise.


Lisa Battles, vice president/community editor for Livability Media at Journal Communications, works with community leaders nationwide to tell their cities' most interesting stories.