Who said you have to spend money to have a good time? Not us! There are plenty of free activities in Pittsburgh and Its Countryside from gallery crawls to movies in the park to free wifi! Check out our list of free things to do ANYTIME or seasonally. So what are you waiting for?! Get out and experience all there is to do in Pittsburgh...for FREE!
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If you wonder what the New York Times meant by calling Pittsburgh the "only city with an entrance," simply drive from the Parkway West (I-376) into Downtown via the Fort Pitt Tunnel and Bridge (the main route from the airport). Watch for it: You won’t want to miss a detail of the spectacular skyline and sparkling rivers as they appear suddenly before you.
You won't have to pay to stay connected in the 'Burgh. For two hours, connect to the Internet anywhere downtown for free! More Information
Go underground in Pittsburgh's subway, called the "T," which you can ride for free within the Golden Triangle. Downtown stops include Wood Street Station, US Steel Tower, First Avenue Garage and Gateway Center. More Information
See skyscrapers. Soak up stories. Scarf down a sandwich. Download a one-hour MP3 walking tour of downtown Pittsburgh to hear surprising tales from the past, see the best classic and modern skyscrapers, and sit down for coffee or Pittsburgh's legendary lunch. These tours were created and recorded by Robert Morris University students and are available in 10 languages!
Drive up McArdle Roadway to Mt. Washington any evening to see why USA Weekend called this vantage point "the second most beautiful view in America." Daytime views are great too, and sightseeing can be paired with a visit to the Emerald View Park, a 280-acre green space. More Information
Downtown street parking is free on Sundays.
412.471.5808, ext 527
See why The New Yorker magazine said: "If Pittsburgh were situated somewhere in the heart of Europe, tourists would eagerly journey hundreds of miles out of their way to visit it." Courtesy of the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, take a stroll and learn more about historic buildings on Grant Street and Fourth Avenue, in Market Square and the Cultural District, as well as the city’s bridges and river shores.
Friday guided tours: Every Friday from May to October, from Noon to 1pm, you can explore local landmarks and neighborhoods with an expert tour guide. A different neighborhood is featured each month. Reservations required.
Self-guided tours: Take the tours at your own leisure! You can download just one or all of the Self-Guided Walking Tours of Downtown Pittsburgh from the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation website.
Frick Art & Historical Center
7227 Reynolds St., Pittsburgh, PA 15208
Settle in for Art at Noon, a series of free, informal and informative talks in The Frick Art Museum auditorium. Speakers discuss music, literature and anthropology in relation to current Frick exhibitions.
2013 dates: July 12; Sept 27; all start at 5:30pm
The Pittsburgh Cultural District
Come "crawl" the galleries during these free quarterly showcases of art and entertainment in the heart of Downtown's Cultural District. Get started at any gallery.
Take a walking tour of Pittsburgh's public art and see why Pittsburgh consistently ranks among the best arts destinations in the country. Tour four different downtown neighborhoods to learn more about public art, such as the sculpture in Mellon Square, the eyeball-shaped benches in Katz Plaza and the blue text on the convention center.
Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood, conceived in the 1890s as a cultural center with grand buildings and broad avenues, remains a hub for culture as well as education and medicine. Explore 26 works of public art in this historic neighborhood, which features interesting architecture as well.
T-Th: 10am-7pm; F-Su: 10am-4pm
5472 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Experience contemporary glass art as well as other extravagant and unique exhibitions at this center. Exhibitions change to include a number of different experiences. For example, in one exhibit, visitors entered the Hodge Gallery through a replica of the Fort Pitt Tunnel and emerged to see a kaleidoscope view the city. Note: The center's website features information about happenings at other local glass galleries as well.
2100 Smallman St.,Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Drop in for exhibitions and family-friendly hands-on art activities that are free to the public, and don't miss browsing in the tantalizing store. Located in the Strip District, the SCC offers cutting-edge exhibitions and has presented contemporary art in craft media by international, national and regional artists since 1971.
Take some time to muse about the fresh artistic offerings you'll find in these galleries, where rotating exhibitions feature art from all over.
Katz Plaza in the Cultural District
Relax and enjoy smooth jazz music played year-round at The Cabaret at Theater Square, Backstage Bar and Agnes R. Katz Plaza. Open to the public, this popular Pittsburgh Cultural Trust music series showcases some of the region's finest jazz musicians.
Allegheny Elks Club, 400 Cedar Ave., North Side, PA 15212
You'll receive a friendly welcome from the loyal crowd that gathers to sing along during the club's polished practice sessions, which typically include 40 or more banjo players with a little brass backing from a tuba and horns. The mood is lively, the beer is cheap and the entry at the door is free (just ring the buzzer).
2425 Liberty Ave., in the Strip District
Tune your ears to lunchtime concerts on the second Saturday of the month, September through April, from Noon to 1pm. Bring a lunch to the free concerts or buy food on site. No reservations required.
WYEP Community Broadcast Center, 67 Bedford Square, Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Enjoy great local live music with 91.3 FM for this free monthly happy hour, which is offered on a first-come, first-served basis on the third Thursday of the month. Doors open at 6:30pm and the performance starts at 7pm.
Thursday nights, May through Aug, 8-10pm
Friday nights, April through Oct, 8-10pm
Riverview Park, North Side
Call 412.321.2400 for reservations between 1 and 5pm, Monday through Friday
Turn your attention to the sky during a free tour at the historic observatory. Enjoy a short slide or film presentation followed by a walking tour of the building, which ends at the Fitz-Clark refractor. On clear nights, view celestial objects within the telescope’s range. Reservations required.
Point State Park, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Built in 1764 it is the only surviving structure of the original Fort Pitt and is the oldest building in Pittsburgh. It tells the story of western Pennsylvania’s role during the French & Indian War and the American Revolution. Musket balls and rifle locks are two of the featured artifacts on display.
7227 Reynolds St., Pittsburgh, PA 15208
You’ll get free admission to the Frick Art Museum, Car and Carriage Museum, and the lovely grounds surrounding them. Take in the Frick family’s art collection and traveling exhibits, or transport yourself back through time while admiring the extensive vehicle collection. Tours of Clayton, the house museum, are available for a fee.
Mondays (except on government holidays), Feb-Oct, 11:30am-1pm
Court of Common Pleas, Family Division, 440 Ross St., Pittsburgh, PA 15219
412.471.5808, ext. 527
The Old Allegheny County Jail, as seen in the film "Mrs. Soffel," was completed in 1886 to the designs of Boston architect H. H. Richardson and in use until July 27, 1995. A portion of one of the cell blocks has been preserved as the "Old Allegheny County Jail Museum." Enter the facility through the main Ross Street entrance (between 5th and Forbes avenues behind the Courthouse) or through the courtyard arch on Fifth Avenue. At either entrance, you will have to go through security.
9061 Route 30, North Huntingdon, PA 15642
Your mouth may water in this museum-and-restaurant combination that features the world’s largest Big Mac statue. You’ll also find hundreds of artifacts and high-tech exhibits that celebrate this popular sandwich, which was invented 40 years ago in nearby Uniontown by Jim Delligatti.
4141 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213
In Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood, pause at Soldiers & Sailors for a unique look into American history. The museum explores the evolution of equipment and technology as well as the effects that military conflicts have had on society. Collections span art from the mid-1900s to cultural artifacts of today. The museum does not idealize war but honors and educates about the sacrifices.
Free admission is offered to military members serving on active duty, and in the Guard and Reserve; to those veterans who have served and retired military; to families and their guests if the family has an immediate family member serving in our current conflicts.
1000 Village Dr., Greensburg, PA 15601
Westmoreland @rt 30, the temporary location of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art until Spring 2015, showcases works by American artists and artwork concentrating on the beauty and history of southwestern Pennsylvania. Pop-Up exhibitions by regional artists change monthly.
Both admission and parking are free at Westmoreland @rt 30.