Pittsburgh, known as both the ‘Steel City’ and ‘City of Bridges,’ happens to be one of the most walkable cities around. With a strong university presence, Pittsburgh has over a dozen colleges and campuses in and around the city, allowing plenty of pedestrian-friendly areas. Pittsburgh, a lively city with no shortage of culture, has endless of things to discover. Don’t miss out on these seven spots to explore on foot in the beautiful city of Pittsburgh.
Explore the Views from the Duquesne Incline
One of the first things to do in Pittsburgh is to go up and see the spectacular views from the Duquesne Incline, one of the best attractions in the city. Open every day, the Duquesne Incline first opened on May 20, 1877, and after being restored in 1963, visitors can still enjoy the wooden cable cars. At the upper station, stroll through a museum of Pittsburgh history with information from other inclines around the world, and stock up on souvenirs and maps at the gift shop. Finally, enjoy the view from 400 feet above, and be sure to take in that panoramic view of Downtown Pittsburgh and the three rivers from the observation deck.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
The Cathedral of Learning
Situated in the Oakland neighborhood, the beautiful Cathedral of Learning, or ‘the Cathy,’ is one of the most iconic spots in the city. It was commissioned in 1921 by Bowman who served as the University of Pittsburgh’s chancellor from 1921 to 1945. The beautiful interior of this Gothic Revival skyscraper cathedral will truly blow your mind. The outside was completely cleaned and restored in 2007, and the interior has also since been updated. Among other things, the Cathedral of Learning includes a magnificent four-story commons room, the popular Nationality Rooms, a theater, libraries, computer labs and a food court. This historic landmark is 535 feet tall, with 42 stories in total, and it just happens to be the second tallest Gothic-styled building in the world.
The Commons Room was a gift from Andrew Mellon and is a Gothic-style, four-story room from the 15th century that is almost 52 feet tall.
The 30 Nationality Rooms were designed to celebrate each culture in Pittsburgh at the time of their design in 1962 as a thank you for their contributions to the city and the Allegheny County’s growth. A 90-minute tour is available for those who want to find out more.
The Neighborhood of Shadyside
One of Pittsburgh’s most beautiful neighborhoods, Shadyside’s appeal speaks for itself, starting with the combination of restored Victorian mansions and student apartments in historic buildings. The trendiest neighborhood in Pittsburgh also happens to be one of the most beautiful walking areas.
Regardless of the path you take, be sure to venture to Walnut Street. Nicely situated in Shadyside, Walnut Street offers a nice stroll around the trendiest cafés, bars and restaurants, yoga and spa centers, boutiques, bookstores, food stores, local galleries, and many events. It’s everything you need within walking distance.
The Strip District
If you want to taste the real Pittsburgh flavor, this is the place! The Strip District is Pittsburgh’s historic market district – a quirky, fun, and vibrant place to be. The Strip is Pittsburgh’s hip hub featuring local and international products, meat and fish markets and sidewalk vendors.
You’ll also find nightclubs, dining favorites plus both local and international shops. Try Wholey’s Fish Market, Pennsylvania Macaroni Co., DeLuca’s Restaurant or Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor for dessert, among an endless list of other great places to check out. Do not forget to take yourself to the most iconic Pittsburgh diner, the Primanti Bros. It’s tradition.
Nature and Exploration at Schenley Park
Situated in the heart of the Oakland neighborhood, Schenley Park was created in 1889 with land donated by heiress Mary Schenley. The park, which now contains 456 acres of trails, woods, a lake, a golf course, and the must-see Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, is the perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon. All kinds of activities and events are celebrated here throughout the year, including the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix and other seasonal activities such as outdoor theater or the swimming pool in the summer and the ice rink in the winter.
A Walk for Inspiration: Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1900, is not only world renowned for its academics, particularly in Engineering and Robotics, but also its campus, which combines green spaces, tennis courts, stunning architecture, and the perfect mix of old and modern buildings.
The former stomping grounds of Nobel Prize-winning economist and mathematician John Forbes Nash, Jr., from the book and movie A Beautiful Mind, the CMU campus is one of the most interesting and inspiring walks to take in the city. Especially beautiful are the Carnegie Music Hall Oakland and the College of Fine Arts.
A Pre-Symphony Stroll at Heinz Hall
Enjoy an evening with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at the Heinz Hall, one of the best options to explore the city. Built in 1927, this magnificent construction was originally named Loew’s Penn Theater and is usually compared to the New York and Chicago theaters for its stunning beauty. John Heinz II and the Pittsburgh Symphony saved the building that it was going to be demolished soon after 1964. In 1971, it reopened its doors after a three-year reconstruction, costing more than $10 million. Now known as the Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts, there are endless details to explore both outside and inside the building, from the chandeliers made by local artisans to the balconies, the ceiling, and the magnificent entrance hall. Find tickets here.
By Sandra Sánchez
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
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