Winter in Pittsburgh

There are plenty of ways to enjoy Pittsburgh in the winter, no matter your interests, taste buds or even the weather.

Winter in Pittsburgh is chilly, snowy and loads of fun. With winter festivals, slopes, ice skating and plenty of indoor entertainment, it’s a great time of year for visitors. 

winter "how to pack" graphic

What to Do

One Stop Trips in Pittsburgh

Even if you are short on time during your stay in Pittsburgh, here's how to maximize your Pittsburgh experience in one trip:

  • No matter how much time you have in town, you’ll get into the spirit by visiting the People’s Gas Holiday Market in Pittsburgh’s Market Square. This German-style pop-up brings the festivity with local shops, live music and even special appearances by Santa himself!
  • Stop by the Strip District to sample international cuisine from Sunseri's pepperoni rolls to S&D Polish Deli's pierogis as you walk and shop local vendors selling all things Pittsburgh. 
  • Short on time but want the scoop on the ‘Burgh while you’re in town? The Heinz History Center is the perfect one-stop-shop for all things Pittsburgh. Explore the history, inventions, sports teams and icons that have make this city what it is today.
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How to Pack

There’s no way around it, winter in Pittsburgh is bound to be chilly and often snowy as well. The good news is that with a chill in the air comes all the fun and festivities of the winter season. When packing, there are a few things you should be sure to grab.

  • Dress in Layers! The city, especially Downtown, naturally warms up during the day. Dress in layers so that you can easily remove articles of clothing as you explore during the day, then bundle up again in the evening.
  • One of the highlights of the winter season in Pittsburgh is the UPMC Rink at PPG Place! If you are a serious skater, be sure to pack your ice skates. Don’t worry, you can always rent a pair if that’s more your style.
  • Even if you plan to keep you walking to a minimum, it’s always a good idea to have the right shoes. Boots that can handle getting wet or snowy will make exploring much easier, and more fun!

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What to Eat & Drink

Staying warm and cozy in the cold weather has a lot to do with choosing the right things to eat and drink!

Winter Beers

A deep dive into the ales, stouts, porters and more seasonal favorites at Pittsburgh breweries that pair well with the season.


Let’s face it, pierogies are delicious any time of year and Pittsburghers love them dearly. Something about the holidays makes this traditional dish (and the unique takes on it!) extra special.

New Year's Eve in the 'Burgh

  • First Night is the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s annual event on December 31st to celebrate the new year. Several events, shows, exhibitions and more take place throughout the Downtown area. And, of course, fireworks!

Celebrating Love in Pittsburgh

  • Whether you’re celebrating your sweetheart, your bestie or your furry friend, Valentine’s Day is a great time to show you care. Try something new, stay in and do something you love, or get everyone together for a big celebration! 

Winter Views

  • Make a trek across one of Pittsburgh’s pedestrian and bike-friendly bridges to see the frozen rivers as the temperatures drop. This peaceful view will give you the warm and fuzzies, even if it is chilly outside.
  • Take the Inclines up to spectacular overlooks on Mount Washington.
  • Sail the Gateway Clipper and take a sightseeing tour across Pittsburgh's iconic three rivers.
  • After you explore the Nationality Rooms in the Cathedral of Learning in Oakland, head up to the 32nd floor for a view that spans across the neighborhood and beyond.

With the right outfit and a festive attitude, there are so many ways to enjoy Pittsburgh in the winter. So bundle up and make the most of your trip to the 'Burgh in the snowy season. We'll see you there!

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