Whether you’re a college student on a budget or a penny-pinching parent trying to keep the kids entertained, it may seem like finding fun and affordable attractions in Pittsburgh are impossible. Sure, you can take in the city by spending hundreds on amusement park tickets or sporting events, but if you know where to look, you can participate in a variety of downtown activities and attractions for free. From historic landmarks to art crawls and self-guided walking tours, Pittsburgh offers plenty of budget-conscious entertainment. Check out these five free attractions that come highly recommended by locals.
Point State Park
101 Commonwealth Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
As the spot where the Allegheny, Ohio and Monongahela rivers meet, the sprawling Point State Park is a beautiful focal point of downtown Pittsburgh. With roughly 35 acres of land that locals know as the “Golden Triangle,” this is a favorite spot for Pittsburghers looking to spend some time outdoors without leaving the downtown region. Here you can walk or bike along paved riverside paths, fish, go boating or enjoy a picnic. You can’t forget about the stunning fountain either; it’s a prime spot for snapping the perfect Pittsburgh selfie.
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Gallery Crawls
Various locations throughout Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Pittsburgh is rich in art with inspiration deeply rooted in the region’s history. Art lovers will love the free gallery crawls offered throughout the year by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Reflect upon unique works of your favorite local artists and discover new ones at various locations throughout the city, including Shaw Galleries, Trust Arts Education Center and 709 Penn Gallery. Regularly featured are art galleries, photography and mixed media exhibits and public art displays. Keep up to date on the latest crawls by visiting the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust website.
Pittsburgh, PA 15211
When it comes to taking in the best views of downtown Pittsburgh, you can’t beat the breathtaking Mount Washington. Situated roughly 450 feet above the city, it’s easy to see why USA Weekend has named this spot among the most beautiful vistas in America. Stroll along the lovely streets of this neighborhood past award-winning restaurants and charming homes and embrace the majesty of Pittsburgh and its surrounding rivers and communities. Mount Washington is also home to the iconic Duquesne Incline; however, you will need to bring along a fare of $5 for a round trip if you wish to ride it.
Robert Morris University’s Walking Tour Of Pittsburgh
Corner of Grant St. and Sixth Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Pound the pavement throughout Pittsburgh with a free walking tour of Pittsburgh. Get fit and learn more about the Steel City as you navigate your way through downtown Pittsburgh on this one-hour tour that takes you past the city’s most impressive architectural buildings, historic landmarks and more. Downloadable audio files that play directly from your phone or MP3 player in a variety of languages and a simple map lead you from the starting point at the intersection of Grant Street and 6th Avenue. This free tour is created by Robert Morris Univeristy.
Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum
4141 Fifth Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
This beautiful treasure is a historic Pittsburgh landmark that presents a touching military memorial to its many visitors. Browse this one-of-a-kind museum and reflect upon American history, the evolution of technology and military equipment and spectacular artifacts. Admission to Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum is always free to active duty military members, visitors in the Reserve and Guard and to veterans and retired military, but if you have a family member currently deployed, you can also enjoy free admission. Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum is located on 5th Avenue on the University of Pittsburgh campus.
Jessica Wasik is a graduate of Robert Morris University with a degree in English Studies. She is also a contributing writer for Examiner.com. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.