Top 28 Free Things to Do

​Who said you have to spend money to have a good time? Not us! Here are the top 28 free things to do in Pittsburgh.

There are plenty of free activities in Pittsburgh and its Countryside from gallery crawls to movies in the park to free wifi. 

1. Downtown Walking Tours

See skyscrapers, soak up stories, scarf down a sandwich and more during this free activity! Download one or all six walking tours of downtown Pittsburgh to learn surprising tales from the past, see the best classic and modern skyscrapers, and sit down for coffee or Pittsburgh's legendary lunch. These tours, created by the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, are one of the best ways to experience Pittsburgh's rich architectural history! Download Tour Here

If you happen to be touring downtown on a Monday, stop by the Old Allegheny County Jail Museum between 11:30 am and 1 pm when a docent is available to tell the story of this historic building. 

2. Old Allegheny County Jail Museum Self-Guided Tours

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. Open Mondays (except on government holidays), Feb-Oct, 11:30 am - 1 pm.

3. McDonald's Big Mac Museum Restaurant

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.

4. Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum

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.

City skyline view from Mount Washington, Pittsburgh, PA
The view from Mount Washington.

5. View from Mt. Washington

Drive up McArdle Roadway to Mt. Washington any evening to see why USA Weekend called this vantage point "one of the Top 10 most beautiful views in the country." Daytime views are great too, and sightseeing can be paired with a visit to the Emerald View Park, a 257-acre green space.

6. Free Events & Festivals

Some of Pittsburgh's biggest annual events and festivals are completely free. View our annual events page and the city-wide events calendar to find affordable activities and events coming soon.

7. Hit The Trail for An Urban Adventure

Go on an urban adventure and get a workout, too! Pittsburgh boasts more than 700 outdoor stairways within the city limits. You can climb more than 24,000 vertical feet if you tackle them all! Learn more about all the hiking and biking trails plus waterways - all waiting to be explored.

8. The Allegheny Observatory

Take a free evening tour and see the night sky in a whole new light. The visit includes a short presentation, tour of the building, and an opportunity to look through the telescope. Reservations are required and the observatory does operate on a seasonal schedule.

Couple Enjoying The Frick Museum for free in Pittsburgh
Visit The Frick Museum for free!

9. The Frick Art & Historical Center

Take a step back in time to the gilded age in this beautifully preserved series of buildings and gardens right here in Pittsburgh. The best part? It is completely free to tour the grounds, The Frick Art Museum, Car and Carriage Museum, and Greenhouse.  

10. Nationality Rooms at University of Pittsburgh

Tour 30 classrooms designed to represent distinct nationalities and cultures. Housed in the university's beautiful Cathedral of Learning building these amazing classrooms are a must-see.

11. Farmers Markets

In the warmer months, our farmers markets are something to behold. Try local foods, meet area farmers, and mix with the locals at one of many fresh farm stands.

view of Pittsburgh from West End Overlook
See the entire city from West End Overlook.

12. Take a Sunset Selfie at Pittsburgh's Most Famous Views

We are a city of gorgeous hills and vistas. Discover our best views and scenic overlooks and see if you can grab a selfie at each one! Point State Park and West End Overlook are two of our favorites!

13. Fort Pitt Block House

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.

Free Live Music

Relax and enjoy some free music at one of Pittsburgh plazas, clubs or delicious restaurants.

14. JazzLive

Relax and enjoy a FREE weekly jazz series taking place at the Backstage Bar

and Katz Plaza in the heart of the Cultural District. This popular music series, presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, showcases some of the region’s finest jazz musicians every Tuesday.

And now, enjoy it from home! JazzLive @Home is a free online video series produced by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. 

15. Pittsburgh Banjo Club

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). Every Wednesday at 8 pm, be sure to make your reservations ahead of time! 

16. Pittsburgh Opera's Brown Bag Opera Concerts

Tune your ears to lunchtime concerts on the second Saturday of the month, September through April, from Noon to 1 pm. Bring a lunch to the free concerts or buy food on site. No reservations required.

17. Third Thursdays at WYEP

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 6:30 pm and the performance starts at 7 pm.

Free Art & Architecture

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."

18. Gallery Crawls

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.

19. Pittsburgh Art in Public Places Downtown Walking Tour

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 areas 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. Download the Free Guides

20. Pittsburgh Art in Public Places Oakland Walking Tour

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. Download the Free Guide.

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21. Pittsburgh Glass Center

Experience contemporary glass art as well as other extravagant and unique exhibitions at this center. Exhibitions change to include a number of different experiences. Open Tuesday-Thursday: 1 pm - 7 pm; Saturday: 10 am - 4 pm.

22. Society for Contemporary Craft

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. Open Wednesday - Saturday: 11 am - 4 pm.

23. Wood Street Galleries

Take some time to muse about the new multi-disciplinary media artists from all around the globe. Open Wednesday-Thursday: 11am-6pm; Friday-Saturday: 11am-8pm; and Sunday: 11am-5pm. The Wood Street Galleries are located at 601 Wood Street, above the T station at Wood Street and Sixth Avenue.


Wander into an integrated and open art ecosystem where you can explore the creation of both established and contemporary technologies, and the promotion of local artists outside of the region. Open Wednesday-Thursday: 11am-6pm; Friday-Saturday: 11am-8pm; and Sunday: 11am-5pm. 

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More Free Things to Enjoy!

25. Enter Here

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.

26. Free Wireless Internet

You won't have to pay to stay connected in the 'Burgh. For two hours, connect to the Internet anywhere Downtown for free!

27. Free Transportation

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 and Gateway.

28. Park for Free on Sunday

Downtown street parking is free on Sundays.

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This Week in Pittsburgh

For upcoming events that will pique your interests, fire up your taste buds and inspire new adventures, look no further. Check back each week for an up-to-date list of what to do in the 'Burgh.