Pittsburgh Travel Guide

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Pittsburgh is a major city in the southwest corner of Pennsylvania. It was founded in the 1750s at the confluence of 3 rivers (Allegheny and Monongahela which flow into the Ohio). A strategic fort was built there, Fort Pitt, that formed the foundation for the creation of a city around it. This "Golden Triangle" is now the downtown area, marked with skyscrapers, banks, large corporations and hotels.

There are many suburbs and smaller towns formerly outside Pittsburgh that have been absorbed into city regions like the North and South Side, Mt. Lebanon, Oakland, Squirrel Hill, and Shadyside. Oakland is particularly interesting, because it contains 8 large hospitals and 5 universities, including the University of Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon University, in addition to the Carnegie Library, the Carnegie Museum of Art, and Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

The Steel industry which used to poison the skies is gone, though at least 25-30 different nationalities who toiled there are still present in Pittsburgh, each one more proud of its heritage than the next. They all hold their own festivals, special holidays, etc. Some of them are somewhat localized, but most are scattered and gather mainly for these special occasions. However, it makes the city very colorful and diverse, especially in the summer!

Should you visit Pittsburgh, be sure to stop by Primanti Brothers' for their famous Pittsburgh style sandwich (fries, coleslaw and meat on freshly cut bread), or have a basket of fries in the O in Oakland (both on Forbes Avenue).

A little further East is Shadyside, marked by nice roomy houses and big lawns, where Walnut Street is a great place to shop, have a coffee and some snacks or to go bar hopping. Should you stay downtown, visit the Strip District with its fresh produce shops and great restaurants. For the freshest seafood, and a huge fish sandwich, don't miss Wholey's Fish Market in the Strip.

The Southside of Pittsburgh has many shops open during the day.  At night it turns into one of the best bar hopping areas in the country with over 100 bars in the area.  It also has the City Theatre that produces cutting edge theatre.  This paired with the Theatre district downtown (The O'Reilly, Benedum, Heniz Hall and the Byham) makes Pittsburgh one of the best cultural stops in America.  If that isn't your flavor, many small nonprofit groups produce shows all over the region, such as the Pittsburgh Savoyards, producing Gilbert and Sullivan Operettas 2 times a year.
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