4 Fun Things To Do In Downtown Pittsburgh

4 Fun Things To Do In Downtown Pittsburgh

There are a lot of things to do in downtown Pittsburgh, but here are the four uniquely Pittsburgh things you can do any time of year.

Ride an incline up Mt. Washington

While not technically in downtown Pittsburgh, right across the river is the Duquesne Incline. At 140 years old, it’s one of the oldest inclines in the United States, and has been in use for all but one of those years. It used to carry coal miners and equipment up and down “Coal Hill,” but now it’s a popular tourist attraction and method of transportation for Pittsburghers who live in Mt. Washington.

A round trip ticket costs just a few dollars. When you get off at the top, stop at the viewing platform for the best view of Pittsburgh. While you’re up there, walk around historic Mt. Washington, an old neighborhood full of cute shops and restaurants.

We recommend the Duquesne Incline because it has a small museum in the station and is tourist friendly, but if you want to see the oldest continuously operating funicular in the United States, go down the street to the Monongahela Incline. You can get to it from downtown for free by taking the “T” (our subway system) to the Station Square stop. Of all the things to do in downtown Pittsburgh, this is certainly the most unique.

Take in some culture in the Cultural District

100+ years ago, the people of Pittsburgh, as well as titans such as Heinz, Mellon and Carnegie used to come to this part of the city to enjoy the latest theater productions. The neighborhood became Pittsburgh’s red light district in the 1970’s but has been restored to its former glory and is now known as the Cultural District.

The following theaters show popular music acts, plays, and musicals every day of the week.   

Additionally, the Cultural District is home to some of Pittsburgh’s hottest restaurants, including…

Learn about Pittsburgh at the Heinz History Museum

For those who want to learn about Pittsburgh, the Heinz History Museum has something for everyone. Check out their exhibits on the French & Indian War, early Pittsburgh, the steel industry, Pittsburgh sports, the technology that’s come out of Pittsburgh, and much more.

The museum has a great gift shop and cafe, and is conveniently located close to the Strip District, which has a ton of great shops and restaurants.

Take a free walking tour of downtown Pittsburgh

A walking tour is a great way to see the sights of downtown Pittsburgh with a knowledgeable local who can tell you things you wouldn’t otherwise learn. And because you decide the price for this walking tour, it can fit into anyone’s budget.

Free Pittsburgh Walking Tours will take you by the Cultural District, show you the inclines, and you’ll get to see a lot of what’s covered at the Heinz History Museum up close and in person. Click here to learn more and reserve your spot for free.

Want more things to do in downtown Pittsburgh?

Check out Pittsburgh City Paper’s event calendar.

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My 10 year old niece and I thoroughly enjoyed our tour. Russell's knowledge and use of technology made for a well rounded experience. I've taken walking tours in Boston, NYC, and Williamsburg. My Pittsburgh tour has just topped my list.

Tracy
TracyGaithersburg, Maryland

My husband and I are recent transplants to Pittsburgh and booked this tour to take a friend on who was visiting us. We thought it would be interesting to her—which it was—but even better it GREATLY expanded our understanding of the city and deepened our appreciation for it. Even though the tour itself was just downtown, Russell told us all about the city, so we now have a picture of this area from 1000s of years ago to the present day. Russell was clear, enthusiastic, walked at the perfect pace. Whenever there was an interesting building, he had something to say. He's a great storyteller. I'm excited to bring future visitors on the tour!

Linda
LindaPittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Russel was very enthusiastic and in love with the city of Pittsburgh and had a lot of interesting facts to tell us. We learned quite a lot about the city, its founders, and its architecture that we otherwise would have not known walking about on our own. Recommend it if you enjoy walking tours!

Jasmine
JasmineToronto, Canada

Even though we are from Pittsburgh, we greatly enjoyed the tour of our beloved hometown. Russell provided a great summary of the city's history and added many fun facts. I highly recommend Free Pittsburgh Walking Tours for your next visit to the 'Burgh!

Vicki
VickiPittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Super interesting tour with an awesome tour guide! I visited a friend in Pittsburgh in February and decided to book this tour to get to know the city a bit better. It was pouring rain but that did not stop Russell from giving an awesome tour. I feel like learned a lot during this tour. Russell knows a lot about the city, not just about the history but he also gave great recommendations on where to eat typical Pittsburgh food - and even taught me how to speak with a Pittsburgh accent! Overall a very fun tour which I would definitely recommend to anyone visiting Pittsburgh.

Robin
RobinAmsterdam, The Netherlands

Went for a city tour today and it was amazing! Russel was great and gave us a detailed history of Pittsburgh! We really enjoyed the tour and learned a lot about Pittsburgh signature buildings. Would definitively recommend!

Yura
YuraToronto, Canada

Our daughter has been at Pitt for three years and we have never taken this tour—boy, we didn’t know what we were missing! It was cold out but Russel’s informative and often funny storytelling of Pittsburgh’s complex history made us focus on the stories and not the cold!

Cyndie
CyndieJersey City, New Jersey

I really enjoyed the free walking tour on a snowy January weekend. Although, the weather was not beneficial, we had such a great time. I can recommend everyone visiting or living in Pittsburgh to learn more about the SteelCity and its history at this free walking tour.

Florian
FlorianStuttgart, Germany