Welcome to Pittsburgh! What do you want to do first? Not sure yet? Well what about plans for tomorrow? …Well you still have time to decide… Where are you staying? You haven't booked a hotel yet?!?!
Eight stops. Two Hours. A Whole Lotta Pittsburgh.
We've all been there. The conference, meeting or big sporting event just ended, and it's still too early to head to the airport. Avoid the FOMO of visiting a city with limited free time!
This two-hour itinerary will take you past some of our biggest highlights in views, sports, food and more as quickly as possible for this guide to seeing Pittsburgh in Two Hours:
Time Elapsed: 1 second
In order to make this itinerary work as I've designed it, you can save time by showing up prepared and not having to pause to get out cash or try to figure out an App. Your homework is to have cash ready for the Incline ($1.25 one way for kids, $2.50 one way for adults) to skip the queue, and have the POGOH App downloaded and ready for use if you're biking, or the PRT App ready if you're using the rail and bus system instead. Place your order in advance at Primanti's so it's ready for takeout and you avoid the busy lunch and dinner rushes.
Your goal is to keep moving and save your stopped time for photos, food and drinks. I've even made a handy Map for you to bring up and follow to keep you on course.
Time Elapsed: 5 minutes
The clock officially starts as you enter the lower station of the Monongahela Incline. Using the tips from above, enter the exact cash into the machine so you can board immediately. Make sure to sit as close to the front (towards the road, not the hill) of the car to get the best shots as the city slowly reveals itself during your ascent.
Time Elapsed: 25 minutes (15 for photos, 5 for ride back down)
High atop Mount Washington, you're now at the ideal vantage point for those iconic Pittsburgh skyline shots. Head out onto the observation decks for the panoramic views. See that huge fountain to your left? You'll be there shortly!
Once your Cloud is full, head back down the Incline. As you descend, imagine what it was like to see two dozen of these going up and down daily to take workers to and from home and be glad you're here for the sightseeing and not the heavy industrial work.
Time Elapsed: 35 minutes
The next leg of our journey is going to require just that - your pedal power. Rent your bikes from the POGOH racks at the Fountain at Bessemer Court (a five minute walk from the Lower Incline station) and keep the river to your right as you bike past Station Square, Highmark Stadium, the Gateway Clipper Fleet and hang a U-ey around the Duquesne Incline. After a short climb, the Fort Pitt Bridge will allow a one-of-a-kind descent into our next stop.
Alternate Route: Not a biker? Not a problem. Instead of heading to the bike racks, head to the T station right beside you instead. Our light rail will take you right into the heart of Downtown. Simply get off at the Gateway station and you're a <5 minute walk from the Point.
Time Elapsed: 50 minutes
Pittsburgh's stunning three rivers converge here at Point State Park. Here you'll find four seasons of distinct photo opportunities with redbuds blooming in the spring, a giant fountain going all summer long and iconic fall colors. You can also peek into Fort Pitt Museum, see historic markers for Fort Duquesne and the Great Allegheny Passage (that trail we're on will take you all the way to D.C.!) or just watch the boats and bikers go by.
When you're set, jump back on those bikes and head across the Fort Duquesne Bridge to our next stop. Alternatively, get back on the T and ride it to the North Side station to end up in the same place.
Time Elapsed: 1 hour, 5 minutes
See how compact a lot of our city is? You're now in our sports stadium area and have effectively went from southern to northern neighborhoods. Coming off the switchback from the bridge, head right towards PNC Park, the baseball stadium, and pick up the trail right along the water as you pass iconic monuments and baseball history.
From here, you'll bike along the water for about 10 more minutes before crossing your final bridge, the Sixteenth Street Bridge, depositing you in the Strip District. Non-bikers, don't worry. The 86, 87 and 88 busses leave from Downtown to the Strip every 10 minutes, keeping you on time for this segment.
Time Elapsed: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Deposit your bike at the 21st St & Penn Ave POGOH station, and we're hoofing it the rest of the trip. Ta-dah! You're now in the Strip District, the home of food from across the globe, souvenir shopping and an entertainment hotbed. Take a few minutes to walk the streets and shop right from the sidewalks. Perfect gifts here include a Steelers Terrible Towel, a locally made spirit from PA Libations and a local souvenir from the Love, Pittsburgh shop.
Time Elapsed: 1 hour, 45 minutes
By now, you're probably starving, so eat as you walk the streets! Pop into Enrico Biscotti for some delectable Italian cookies, enjoy street food from Lucy's Banh Mi, get macarons at My Sweet Lily, try regional favorites like Sunseri's atomic pepperoni rolls or S&D Polish Deli's pierogis. It's all delicious and ready to go, so you can enjoy quite a feast in 20 minutes time as you walk and snack.
Time Elapsed: 1 hour, 59 minutes
In my opinion, you can't leave the city without tasting something local brewed right here. La Prima Espresso and De Fer Coffee & Tea are great stops any time of day, and craft breweries Bonafide Beer Co. and Helltown are right here to sip at their taprooms along with bars and restaurants all through this area serving local favorites.
Pay your tab, and make your way to your final stop in the Strip and on this tour.
Stop the Clock
Brooklyn has Mario and Luigi, Pittsburgh has the Primanti Brothers. Here, the fries go on the sandwich along with their secret recipe coleslaw for a unique Pittsburgh dish that started right at this location and has now spread throughout the city, region and even country.
If you've timed this right, your Uber back to Pittsburgh International should be picking you up just as you get your to-go order from Primanti Bros. Ran out of time? No worries, there's a Primantis location in the airport as well for the best, most portable meal you're going to find while traveling.
No matter what you choose to do with your two hours in Pittsburgh, we want to see it! Tag your photos on social with #LovePGH so that we can find them and share your adventure!