Best Attractions & Activities

With all of the things to do and see in a city, deciding how to spend your time can be quite an agonizing decision. 10best has narrowed all of the available attractions in Pittsburgh to a list of the most appealing and reputable, to aide in your decision making. You can rest easy knowing that any choice you make from our list is sure to please.


This 40,000 square foot facility houses so much, that it's impossible to list it all. Over 250 interactive exhibits include a planetarium, miniature railroad exhibit, Omnimax Theater, the USS Requin (WWII sub), and a health-science center. General Admission includes Carnegie Science Center Exhibits, Buhl Planetarium, and USS Requin. Don't forget to check out the XPLOR Store on the first floor, and the River View Cafe on the ground floor. On Steelers home game days the center either closes for the day or closes early.

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Considered one of architect Henry Hobson Richardson's greatest works, this magnificent Romanesque-style structure occupies two square city blocks. The Bridge of Sighs, where convicts traversed from court to prison, is just part of this National Historic Landmark's rich history. Group tours provided by the History and Landmark Foundation, and a self-guided tour (visitors follow a brochure) is free.

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Mt. Washington

These cars were originally built in the late 1800s. Restored, they provide panoramic views of the city. The Duquesne has a lower station on West Carson Street near Station Square and Smithfield Street Bridge, and an upper station at 1220 Grandview Avenue. The Duquesne Incline accepts all Port Authority Transit passes, tickets, and current transfers (including free "CT" continuation transfers) as payment for a one-way Incline ride. The upper station includes an observation deck, a small museum gallery, and a gift shop.

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Fallingwater is a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece, now maintained by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. The structure of stone, concrete and glass is a staggering multi-level home cantilevered over an actual waterfall. The regular tour lasts about 45 minutes, the in-depth tour about two hours. There is also a children's tour, and a three-hour combination tour of the home and surrounding landscape. Fallingwater is closed during Jan-Feb for maintenance. Advanced reservations are required – book regular tours at least 1 week in advance, in-depth weekday tours two weeks in advance, in-depth weekend tours 4-6 weeks in advance. Children must be 6 years old to accompany an adult on a regular tour, 9 for an in-depth tour. Younger children may stay at the supervised Child Care Center for $2/hour per child.

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Mt. Washington

The observation tower and lookout points offer great views of Point Park, the three rivers and the surrounding communities. You can also ride the restored incline cars for a small fee.

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Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

Rambling over 70 acres, the natural habitats of some 6000 animals are represented in the Asian Forest, African Savanna, Cheetah Valley, and Tropical Forest. The zoo is also home to the PPG Aquarium, which boasts over 40 exhibits that include sharks, penguins, jellyfish, stingrays and an electric eel. At Kid's Kingdom, young visitors may pet many of the critters, from white-tailed deer to kangaroo, and explore the awesome animal-themed playground.

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The Nationality Rooms are housed in the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning. Twenty six rooms showcase furnishings and artifacts that represent the cultural backgrounds of various ethnic groups. The striking Gothic-style cathedral, composed of a steel frame concealed by walls made of Indiana limestone, stands 535 feet (42 stories) tall.

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More than 600 birds from all over the world are exhibited in their natural habitats at the country's only bird facility independent of a larger zoo. Residents include flamingos, penguins, macaws, hummingbirds, and owls. Bring your lunch – bags and coolers are welcome at the tent and atrium areas. And don't forget to visit the gift shop before you leave!

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Andrew Carnegie started this museum's earliest collections in 1896, with an emphasis on modern art. The galleries showcase works by artists such as Degas, Van Gogh, Durer, Cassatt and Hopper. More recent exhibits include photography and video displays, and there are also a collection of sculpture and architectural models. Be sure to see the fabulous marble hall of sculpture, modeled after the Parthenon. Admission includes access to Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

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Senator John Heinz History Center

Housed in the Chautauqua Ice Warehouse, the center preserves and displays a large collection of artifacts, archives, and photos documenting the history of the region. The headquarters of the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, a café, and children's section are also on the premises. Docent-led tours are available.

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