Visiting a museum is always a unique experience, as each one has its own distinct characteristics, style, and of course, content. Museum subjects vary greatly from city to city, and can range from firefighter's museums to fine art, to sports. If you need help making a selection, our 10Best list highlights the top spots to visit in Pittsburgh.


This fascinating museum presents informative exhibits that focus on wildlife, earth science and anthropology. Beautiful dioramas display numerous species and recreate their natural habitat. Visitors rush to the PaleoLab to see Samson, a fossilized Tyrannosaurus rex, as well as the world's largest collection of fossils. Also popular is the polar world hall, which features a walk-in replica of an igloo. Admission price includes access to the Carnegie Museum of Art.

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Pittsburgh will always be known as Steel City, but few people are aware of the city's long career as a leader in glass production. Pittsburgh Glass Center offers classes for beginners as well as for experienced glass artists. Visitors can take a tour of the studio and witness glass-blowing demonstrations, or they can just mill around and admire the beautiful handcrafted glass in the Hodge Gallery.

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One of the only museums dedicated to one artist, this institution honors Pittsburgh native Andy Warhol with the exhibition of over 500 of his works in the seven-story former warehouse. The museum store and the cafe are accessible without museum admission.

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Formerly the estate of industrialist Henry Frick, this complex features a number of attractions. Inside Clayton, the restored Victorian mansion, you'll find a plethora of original furnishings and artifacts. You may enjoy a visit to the Car and Carriage museum, which has over 20 vintage autos, including a 1914 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost. The Frick Art Museum houses Helen Clay Frick's personal collection of paintings, porcelains, and bronzes. Also of interest are 5 1/2 acres of well-manicured grounds, greenhouse, café, visitor's center, and museum shop.

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Children's Museum of Pittsburgh
Photo courtesy of Children's Museum of Pittsburgh

The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh provides a great getaway for the child and the child wannabe. The hands-on exhibits include live performances, workshops, parties, storytelling, and the two-story Kids' Climber.

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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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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, UPMC SportsWorks, 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.

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Works by artists William Anastasi, Winifred Lutz, and Bill Woodrow are featured in this space. Often, the floor is devoted to an artist-in-residence to create new works. Changing exhibits are common.

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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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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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