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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania city skyline.

16 Things to Know About Living in Pittsburgh

Thinking of moving to Pittsburgh? Steel City is a great place to live on the East Coast and offers affordable housing, prestigious colleges, incredible nightlife, pro sports teams, and more. Check out these 16 things to know about living in Pittsburgh!

Welcome to the City of Bridges

Located at the junction of the Allegheny River, Monongahela River, and Ohio River, Pittsburgh is a city known for its bridges. With 446 bridges, Pittsburgh outranks even Venice for having the most bridges! Want to check out some of Pittsburgh’s most famous bridges? Visit the Smithfield Street Bridge, which was opened in 1883 and is the city’s oldest in-service bridge. Make your way to the 10th Street Bridge, which honors the labor movement and serves as the longest bridge spanning the Monongahela River. Or head to the Fort Pitt Bridge, a double-decker arch bridge that leads drivers from the Fort Pitt Tunnel into the heart of the city.

A Great Place to Live & Work

blue fountain at the U.S. Steel Tower. Photo by Instagram user @malloymarianne

Photo via @malloymarianne

Pittsburgh is a convenient, affordable place to live and work—with a cost of living 7% lower than the national average, a reasonable median home price of $259,900, and median monthly rent of $1,427. The city also has a range of top-notch companies in the education, technology, healthcare, and steel industries. Get a career in the food and beverage industry at the headquarters of one of the world’s largest Fortune 500 companies, the Kraft Heinz Company. Find steel manufacturing and production jobs, as well as opportunities in engineering and research at U.S. Steel. Seek a technology and digital solutions career specializing in civil engineering and construction at RoadBotics. Join a workforce of over 92,000 medical employees with a job in nursing, physical therapy, respiratory therapy, and more at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Enter the tech field at major companies like Apple, Google, IBM, and Facebook. Or work in private banking, investment management, and trust and estate services at PNC.

Reach Your Destination in a Breeze

Photo of the T. Pittsburgh Light Rail. Photo by Instagram user @g28646

Photo via @g28646

Pittsburgh has plenty of ways to get around town! Hop on one of the city’s 700 Port Authority buses—which operate every day of the year—to reach destinations in Downtown Pittsburgh and surrounding neighborhoods. Make your daily commute on the Pittsburgh Light Rail, a 26.2-mile light rail system that has stops in the suburbs just south of the city. Travel on foot through Pittsburgh’s walkable neighborhoods—or if you’re a cyclist, take advantage of Pittsburgh’s many bike-friendly paths! Looking to travel further by air? Catch a flight at the Pittsburgh International Airport to visit nearby cities like Washington, DC, Philadelphia, New York City, Cleveland, and more.

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Find Unique Neighborhoods for Your Lifestyle

View of Walnut Street in Pittsburgh with cars parked on each side and trees line the cobblestone sidewalks. Photo by Instagram user @walnutcapital

Photo via @walnutcapital

Looking for the best Pittsburgh neighborhoods? Find safe, affordable neighborhoods in Pittsburgh like Shadyside and Squirrel Hill North. Take advantage of close proximity to nearby universities, Downtown Pittsburgh, and trendy dining and shopping options if you’re a college student or young professional moving to Pittsburgh. Raise kids in some of the best Pittsburgh neighborhoods for families like Regent Square and Point Breeze—safe, residential areas with top-notch schools and spacious homes. And neighborhoods like Morningside and Stanton Heights are excellent spots for retirees moving to Pittsburgh who want affordable homes, quiet streets, and access to green spaces like Highland Park.

Level Up Your Education

If you’re thinking about moving to Pittsburgh to pursue higher education, you’re in luck! There are several great colleges and universities in Pittsburgh, both public and private. Enroll in a top-rated medical, business, philosophy, or engineering program, or get involved with Division I athletics with the Pittsburgh Panthers at the University of Pittsburgh. Join the ranks of notable alumni such as actor Ted Danson and artist Andy Warhol when you pursue technology, science, or fine arts at Carnegie Mellon University. Find nationally renowned, faith-based education at Duquesne University—one of America’s top Catholic universities. Or get involved in green initiatives and learn about sustainability at Chatham University, an institution distinguished for its eco-friendliness.

Steel City Has Its Own Language

People on bridge celebrating local Pittsburgh Festival. Photo by Instagram user @downtownpitt

Photo via @downtownpitt

The East Coast is known for its unique dialects, and you’ll find people living in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania speaking Pittsburghese. You may hear the term “yinzer” thrown around in Pittsburgh, which is the equivalent to the word “y’all” and used to address two or more people as a second-person plural pronoun. When people talk in Pittsburghese, they often mention words like “slippy” (slippery), and “nebby” (nosy)—and pronounce unique vowel sounds in words like “Stillers” (Steelers) or “dahntahn” (downtown). Other words like “spicket,” “gumbands,” “jaggers,” and “chipped ham” are all part of the unique Pittsburgh dialect. If you’re moving to the ‘Burgh, learning Pittsburghese will help!

Get Lost in The Strip District

Once an industrial warehouse district, The Strip District is now home to a variety of Pittsburgh restaurants, bars, boutiques, markets, and festivals. Snag a spot on the patio and enjoy dishes like Rosemary Braised Beef or Paella at Gaucho Parrilla Argentina. Take a tour and sample the Pennsylvania Straight Rye or Honey Bourbon at Wigle Whiskey Distillery. See unique art installations from local artists or attend an art workshop at Contemporary Craft. Reserve the ten-seat communal table in Bar Marco‘s wine cellar for a five-course meal with friends. Catch a Steelers (NFL) game while sampling ice-cold IPAs like the Weekend Vibes IPA at The BeerHive. If you’re looking for a fun night out on the town while living in Pittsburgh, The Strip is where you should be!

Escape to the Outdoors

Trail photo at Emerald View Park. Photo by Instagram user @pghparkrangers

Photo via @pghparkrangers

What better way to explore the city than to do it while experiencing the great outdoors? There are plenty of outdoor activities in Pittsburgh! Play a game of basketball, walk your dog, or go for a jog at Emerald View Park. Go horseback riding in the woods or swim in the pool in the Allegheny Observatory at Riverview Park. Challenge yourself to a game of tennis, go for a bike ride, or embark on a family hike on the trails at 644-acre Frick Park—the largest park in Pittsburgh. Spend the day paddleboarding, whitewater rafting, or participating in on-the-water yoga with SurfSUP Adventures. Or visit Point State Park in Pittsburgh’s “Golden Triangle” to see the Allegheny River, Monongahela River, and Ohio River converge!

Take In the Views at Mount Washington

Mount Washington is a Pittsburgh neighborhood known for having its own “Restaurant Row,” which is full of upscale restaurants, bakeries, and ice cream shops. This area is located on a hilltop on the south side of Pittsburgh. To get up and down the mountain, ride the Duquesne Incline or the Monongahela Incline—cable cars that showcase the best views of Downtown Pittsburgh. The top of Mount Washington offers one of the most stunning views in the U.S. Take a trip to the Grandview Bakery for delicious breads, gourmet desserts, and pastries. Have a meal of premier seafood dishes with the stunning view of the Pittsburgh skyline as your view at Monterey Bay Fish Grotto. Or catch your breath and look at the Point of View Statue, which depicts George Washington and Seneca leader Guyasuta during one of their meetings in 1770.

Explore the Carnegie Museums…

Sculptures at the Hall of Architecture at the Carnegie Museums. Photo by Instagram user @hayley.watters

Photo via @hayley.watters

The Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh include four diverse museums: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and the Andy Warhol Museum. Stroll through the Carnegie Museum of Art to find popular exhibitions like Extraordinary Ordinary Things or The Fabricated Landscape. Join scientists, students, and families who are interested in the natural world and explore the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. See the Buhl Planetarium or learn more about scientific topics from a Science Stage live show at the Carnegie Science Center. Or make your way to the largest collection of Warhol’s artwork or attend an artist talk at the Andy Warhol Museum.

…And Visit the ‘Burgh’s Other Unique Museums, Too!

Outside of the Bicycle Museum in Pittsburgh. Photo by Instagram user @nelson_walters

Photo via @nelson_walters

See vintage bicycles, get a tune-up for your own bike, and purchase unique memorabilia at the world’s largest bicycle museum and bike shop, Bicycle Heaven. See archaeological evidence from the early signs of human habitation that goes back 19,000 years at the Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village. Learn more Pennsylvania history and see temporary exhibits covering a range of historical topics at Smithsonian affiliate, Heinz History Center. Or stroll through the Mattress Factory, a Contemporary museum in Pittsburgh that highlights experimental artwork from around the world.

Check Out Pittsburgh Events

Vintage Race Cars at Pittsburgh International Race Complex. Photo by Instagram user @kurtkphoto

Photo via @kurtkphoto

When you live in Pittsburgh, you’ll find a variety of community events to attend! Enjoy world-class visual and performing arts attractions in the Cultural District of Downtown Pittsburgh at the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival. Catch live entertainment from musicians in the soul, jazz, and blues genres at Pittsburgh Black Music Fest. Get in the zone and watch a vintage street race or a car show at the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. Listen to jazz music from world-renowned musicians like Ledisi or Ron Carter at the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival. Go to the Pittsburgh Irish Festival to find authentic Irish food and live music from Irish entertainers. Or sample over 150 different craft and local beers during Pittsburgh Beerfest.

Enjoy Kid-Friendly Activities

Leopard looking out into distance. Photo by Instagram user @pghzoo

Photo via @pghzoo

There are plenty of fun things to do with kids in Pittsburgh! Take the family to see cheetahs, polar bears, and gorillas, or sign them up for a class at the Wildlife Academy at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. Find hands-on exhibits like Makeshop to let the kiddos play and design using real materials and tools from artists and builders at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. Explore seasonal flower and plant displays or enroll the little ones in a plant club at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Head to the National Aviary to see birds, sloths, and flamingos up close. Experience the thrill of rollercoasters and rides at Kennywood amusement park. Or let the kids meet their favorite TV characters on the Trolls & Pup Patrol Cruise & Tour from the Gateway Clipper Fleet.

Cheer On Pittsburgh Sports Teams

Football player Antonio Brown stands tall and smiles after a touchdown. Photo by Instagram user @steelers

Photo via @steelers

Living in the ‘Burgh means you have several options to watch pro sports games! Tailgate and cheer on the six-time Super Bowl champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL)—or “Sixburgh Steelers” as they’re sometimes called—at Acrisure Stadium. Are you more interested in baseball? Watch the Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB) play rivals like the St. Louis Cardinals (MLB) and the Philadelphia Phillies (MLB) at PNC Park. Is hockey more your speed? Spend an evening at PPG Paints Arena watching five-time Stanley Cup winners, the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL).

Indulge Your Taste Buds

Pastrami sandwhich on white bread with french fries and tomatoes in the middle. Photo by Instagram user @primantibros

Photo via @primantibros

If there’s one thing you can count on with the ‘Burgh, it’s awesome food! Find traditional American fare like the Eleven Burger or Beef Tenderloin at Eleven—a stylish Pittsburgh restaurant located alongside the old Pennsylvania rail lines. Try one of the “Almost Famous” sandwiches at Primanti Brothers, a Pittsburgh restaurant that’s been a local favorite since 1933. Experience a one-of-a-kind culinary experience with plates like Hanger Steak and Double Cut Pork Chop, made with ingredients sourced from local farmers, at Fig & Ash. Sample eclectic items like Coconut Curry Mussels and Rigatoni alla Vodka in a modern gastropub setting at Meat & Potatoes. Head to Downtown Pittsburgh and savor farm-to-table dishes, craft beer, and cocktails at The Commoner. Dig in to hand-tossed pizzas, including options like Buffalo Chicken Pizza and Steak Ranch Pizza at the unique Fazio’s Pizza. Or satisfy your Japanese food craving with sashimi and sushi dishes from Ginza Japanese Restaurant.

Experience the Burgh’s Nightlife

Two craft cocktails on an otudoor table. Photo by Instagram user @biergartenpgh

Photo via @biergartenpgh

The City of Champions has no shortage of nightlife options—in fact, Pittsburgh has the most bars per capita of any city in the United States! Head to Hotel Monaco to play pub games like Giant Jenga, order a Bavarian pretzel with your favorite German beer, and enjoy rooftop views at Biergarten. Feeling lucky? Hit up the slot machines or play a game of poker at Rivers Casino. Attend karaoke night or take in live music at The Smiling Moose. Dance the night away while listening to live music and performances at Cavo. Order drinks like a Fred’s Old Fashioned, Red Sangria, or Prickly Lady at The Warren Bar & Burrow. Or sip on wines like Cabernet, Pinot Grigio, or Chardonnay at SPiLL – The Wine Bar.


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Pittsburgh, PA - 16 Things to Know

About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.