Top Free Things to Do in Pittsburgh

​Who said you have to spend money to have a good time? Not us! Here are the top 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. 

Free Events & Festivals

Did you know? From Picklesburgh to Light Up Night and everything in between, many of Pittsburgh's biggest annual events and festivals are completely free. View our annual events page, summer festivals, fall festivals or city-wide events calendar to find affordable activities and events for every season.

Bicycle Heaven

The world's largest bicycle museum (and adjoining shop) are free year-round for visitors, but donations are appreciated! See a wide variety of antique and vintage bicycles, custom-built bicycles, and rare bicycles from around the world as well as a collection of bicycle-related artifacts and memorabilia, including posters, photographs and artwork.

A colorful display of a bike at Bicycle Heaven in Pittsburgh

Downtown Walking Tours

See skyscrapers, soak up stories, scarf down a sandwich and more! Download one or all six free self-guided walking tours of downtown Pittsburgh to learn surprising tales from the past and see the best classic and modern skyscrapers. 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 the first or third Mondays of the month through October, stop by the Old Allegheny County Jail Museum between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. when a docent is available to tell the story of this historic building. 

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 a.m.-1 p.m.

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.

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

Step It Up 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.

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 operates on a seasonal schedule.

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 permanent collection and Car and Carriage Museum.

A group of visitors at the Frick Art Museum in Pittsburgh, PA
Photo Credit: The Frick Pittsburgh

Nationality Rooms at University of Pittsburgh & Heinz Memorial Chapel

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. Just be aware, these are active classrooms during the semester, so specific rooms may be occupied for classes!

Farmers Markets

Starting in late spring and going all through the fall 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.

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!

A sunset and trees at the West End Overlook
Photo Credit: David DiCello at the West End Overlook

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.

PPG Place and Market Square

There's no cost to walk around beautiful Market Square and PPG Place, located next to each other in the heart of Downtown. You might see fountains going off in the summer, ice skaters and holiday lights in the winter, plus artisan markets, live music, a holiday shopping village and more in this happening area.

Dollar Bank Cinema in the Park

Bring your blanket and some snacks and enjoy free Cinema in the Park! This program takes over local parks throughout the city to show free movies. Each location offers something different, whether you want to be in the heart of the action at Schenley Plaza or just take in scenic views from the West End Elliott Overlook.

Final Fridays

Mingle with some of the top artists and entrepreneurs in the city each month at the glittering Rose Way for Final Fridays, located right by The Warhol! Rainbow walls, live music and a canopy of lights make this free event one of the best secrets in Pittsburgh. A cash bar and food truck is also available.

Trundle Manor

When I asked the ChatGPT AI the top hidden gem in Pittsburgh, Trundle Manor was the top answer! A self-styled tourist trap, take a personal tour of the bizarre collection of taxidermy, weapons, medical devices and much more. While the tour is free, donations are appreciated!

Kelso Museum

The Pittsburgh Theological Seminary has had biblical archaeology as a focus since 1908, eventually expanding into the Kelso Museum that highlights daily life in ancient times for those in modern day Israel, West Bank and Jordan. Admission and lectures are all free.

The Strip District

The smells and sights are always free in the Strip, a vibrant, walkable neighborhood full of international food, fresh markets, local beverages and tons of shopping. The Strip is a great stop any time of year even if you're just browsing.

A couple walking through the Strip District

St. Anthony's Relics

St. Anthony is the Catholic saint you pray to to find lost things, and a fitting person for St. Anthony's Chapel, which houses the largest collection of Christian relics outside of the Vatican. Remember, this is an active place of worship, so please remain silent and dress modestly as you visit the Chapel.

Rodef Shalom Biblical Botanical Garden

Visit the Biblical lands without ever leaving the city! The Biblical Botanical Garden is the largest garden of its kind in North America, and the only one with  ongoing research and publication! Waterfalls, streams and deserts adorn this garden with 100+ plants labeled with corresponding biblical verses.

Monuments and Redbuds Tours

You can see some of the best monuments in the city without ever entering a museum. Go on our North Shore walking tour to see the site of the Immaculate Reception and much more, and in the springtime walk this same route to see the redbuds in bloom. 

The blooming redbuds along the North Shore in the spring

Dog Days of Summer

Bring your pup for some four-legged fun at parks throughout Pittsburgh for a summer evening of fun and games. Giveaway bags full of treats are also passed out at this free event.

Open Streets

The last Sunday of May, June and July mean the return of Open Streets, the free community event that shuts down miles of city streets for you to enjoy via foot or bike. Activity hubs scattered throughout the route are packed with kids activities, exercise programs, live music and more.

Karpeles Manuscript Library

The former Holy Innocents Church has been wonderfully repurposed into the free Karpeles Manuscript Library. Rotating exhibitions here feature historical documents from the realms of literature, science, religion, music and art.


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


Relax and enjoy a FREE weekly jazz series taking place at the Liberty Magic Theatre 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.

Pittsburgh Banjo Club

You'll receive a friendly welcome from the loyal crowd that gathers to sing along during the club's polished Banjo Night, which typically include 20 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 p.m. at the Allegheny Elks #339 (you don't need to be a member).

A musician performing at Banjo Night at the Allegheny Elks

Pittsburgh Opera's Brown Bag Opera Concerts

Tune your ears once a month at the Bitz Opera Factory for free, intimate concerts at noon. Bring your lunch and a friend and get the opportunity to meet the performers after the performance!

Music on the Lawn

The Southside Works is rocking every Friday during summer from 6-10 p.m. with Music on the Lawn! Free live music as you enjoy this beautiful shopping and entertainment area, what else could you need?

Jam on Walnut

Shadyside also brings live music to the neighborhood throughout the summer months, with all proceeds benefitting Animal Friends! The music is free, but the tempting shops and restaurants adorning the streets here might get in the way of a truly free evening.

Summer Concert Series

Live music fills outdoor amphitheaters in South Park and Hartwood Acres with new bands each week of summer through Labor Day! Bring your folding chairs and your leashed furry friends, too!


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."

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.

Unblurred: First Fridays on Penn

Penn Avenue comes to life on #Unblurred: First Friday as local artists line the 4800-5500 blocks with photography, painting, music, dance and more as you shop local businesses.

Troy Hill Art Houses

See a full-size, working lighthouse built within an existing house as part of the Troy Hill Art Houses project. All three houses can be toured for free by appointment. A fourth house is coming to complete this project in spring 2024.

Gallery Closed

It's always free, and always open (despite being closed). That's the whole point of Gallery Closed, a unique art gallery you can only access by peering in two windows from the street at rotating exhibitions. You can't miss the gigantic historic plaque on the exterior of the building as well.

Miller ICA at CMU

The Miller Institute for Contemporary Art can be found on the campus of the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University. Free to the public, the museum produces touring exhibitions, art projects, events and publications all centered around societal issues.


Create your own walking tour of public art and check out the fantastic murals that bring color and life to our 90 neighborhoods. Follow our mural blog for some ideas to get you started, or follow the Homewood Experience and their custom mural route.

A vibrant mural in Homewood with butterflies and community symbols.

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

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.

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 Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Share Your Story On Social #LovePGH

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 Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Galleries

  • Wood Street Galleries Take some time to muse about the new multi-disciplinary media artists from all around the globe. The Wood Street Galleries are located at 601 Wood Street, above the T station at Wood Street and Sixth Avenue.
  • SPACE 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.
  • 937 Liberty Gallery This newly renovated space hosts artists from local to international around timely issues and contemporary works.
  • 707 Penn Gallery Expect an intimate viewing experience in this space highlighting solo and two-person contemporary art.
  • 820 Liberty Gallery This gallery spotlights new artistic voices in collaboration with community leaders and neighborhood organizations in the city.
The exterior of Wood Street Galleries with red lighting panels


Sites of Immaculate Reception & Forbes Field

You don't need to go to a museum for sports history. See the site of the most celebrated play in sports history, The Immaculate Reception, at the monument in the North Shore, then head to Oakland to see the historic plaque and flagpole that remains from Forbes Field, the site of four World Series wins for the Pirates.

The site of the Immaculate Reception in North Shore

Josh Gibson Heritage Park

Found in Station Square, Josh Gibson Heritage Park honors and tells the history of Pittsburgh's Negro league greats including Gibson, Satchel Paige and Cool Papa Bell and the teams they played on.


Find Famous Filming Locations

Referred to as Hollywood East, Pittsburgh has had 250+ movies and tv shows shot here since 1990. George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead showed Pittsburgh's potential as a filming location, including The Dark Knight Rises, Fences, Flashdance and the Silence of the Lambs. Follow our guide to where to find shoot locations for your favorite movie or tv show made right here:

Romero Library

Want to dive deeper into the horror legend's career? Schedule a visit to the George A. Romero Archival Collection, housed at the University of Pittsburgh, to continue your research.

More Free Things to Enjoy!

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.

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!

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 and also the two North Shore stops to explore our stadiums and businesses in that neighborhood by foot.

Park for Free on Sunday

Downtown street parking is free on Sundays and holidays!

Partner Spotlight

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.