Pittsburgh on a Budget
Discover free or cheap things to do in Pittsburgh and manage funds with mobile banking
Pittsburgh is ranked among the United States' most livable cities with a population exceeding one million. The city is a center for medical and technology, and also has unique shopping (no sales tax on clothing and shoes) and excellent dining. Each year, visitors take advantage of free activities in Pittsburgh, such as listening to jazz music in Riverview Park or taking a walking tour of public art in Downtown Pittsburgh.
If you are planning a trip to the Steel City, learn more about cheap things to do in Pittsburgh with our budget-friendly Pittsburgh guide, and discover how Citizens Bank mobile banking can help you manage balances, locate ATMs and transfer funds while on your trip.
Top 8 free (or nearly free) things to do in Pittsburgh
From downtown walking tours to beautiful local parks, you can find free things to do in Pittsburgh in any season. To get you started, we've compiled a list of the most popular activities to check out when you're there.
- Downtown Walking Tours. Walk through Pittsburgh's most historic districts such as Allegheny West, Manchester, and the Mexican War Streets, designed in 1848 by General William Robinson, Jr. Take an art walk to see Pittsburgh's most notable public art, like Magnolias for Pittsburgh and Cell Phone Disco. Make a call or send a text message to see how the electromagnetic waves of your cell phone change with each usage. If your feet get a bit tired, subway and bus rides are free within the Pittsburgh Triangle.
- Emerald View & Point State Parks. Hike, run, walk, or stroll through Emerald View Park, a 257-acre urban park, which is one of Pittsburgh's newest regional parks. It surrounds the neighborhoods of Duquesne Heights, Mount Washington and Allentown. While you're at the park, have a picnic, play a game of basketball, view art installations and more. The Fort Pitt Blockhouse at Point State Park was originally constructed as a British fort during the French and Indian War. Now, the Blockhouse is available for tours Wednesday to Sunday, and the park and connecting river walk are open every day.
- Stars at Riverview Summer Jazz Series. Spread a blanket on the grass and listen to Pittsburgh's premier jazz music at the Stars at Riverview Summer Jazz Series. Free concerts take place in Riverview Park on Saturdays, from June 7 to August 30, with concert performances from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- University of Pittsburgh. Wander around the University of Pittsburgh and soak up the collegiate atmosphere. Explore landmarks like the Gothic Revival skyscraper, commissioned in 1921 by Chancellor John G. Bowman, and the fountain outside the Frick Fine Arts Building, designed by Victor Brenner, who sculpted Abraham Lincoln's portrait on the U.S. penny.
- Weekend festivals and more. Every weekend brings something new in Pittsburgh. Check out Living Pittsburgh's list of free or cheap activities in Pittsburgh to find something to do when you visit!
Popular must-see Pittsburgh attractions
With all these fun, free or cheap activities in Pittsburgh, you'll likely have money left over to see some of the city's other popular attractions, like the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, shops in Southside or restaurants in the Strip District. With so much to see and do, you might have to make two trips!
- Duquesne Incline. The Duquesne Incline follows an early coal hoist up Mount Washington and includes the original equipment with its wooden gear teeth. A pictorial history features Pittsburgh's inclines, sports venues, natural disasters and industry. The observation deck, 400 feet above the three rivers, provides a panoramic view of Downtown Pittsburgh. The cost to ride is only $2.50.
- Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center. The 275,000-square-foot museum and research facility is devoted to the history and heritage of Pennsylvania. It's one of the largest history museums in the state and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. The museum was also named the 'Best Museum' in the city by readers of Pittsburgh Magazine.
- Andy Warhol Museum. Known for his iconic Campbell's Soup Cans and Marilyn Monroe paintings, Andy Warhol is one of America's favorite pop artists. At the museum, you can see over 8,000 pieces of Warhol's work. Exhibits also include feature films and Warhol's screen tests. Every Friday evening from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., admission is half price ($10 for adults).
- The National Aviary. The National Aviary is an independent, indoor, nonprofit zoo dedicated to birds - the only one of its kind. The collection includes more than 500 birds that represent more than 150 species from around the world; many of the birds at the Aviary are threatened or endangered in the wild.
- Carnegie Museums of Art & Natural History. Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1895, the Carnegie Museums of Art & Natural History have evolved throughout the years and beckon visitors to explore their vast art collections and history pieces. Permanent exhibits include: dinosaurs, a World War II submarine, original Monet and Degas paintings, gems and minerals, and more.
- Steelers, Pirates or Pens games. Whether it's football, baseball or hockey season, the Pittsburgh professional sports teams are sure to put on a show. Or, take in a collegiate game for the University of Pittsburgh Panthers. Won't be in town for a game? You can always go behind the scenes with a tour of the 65,050-seat, state-of-the-art facility at Heinz Field.
- Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. See the beauty and mystery of plants in a magnificent steel and glass Victorian greenhouse at the Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. It's located in one of Pittsburgh's largest green spaces, Schenley Park. The conservatory and gardens is a vibrant example of culture and architecture.
Manage your finances in Pittsburgh with mobile banking from Citizens Bank
Pittsburgh is a destination that offers fun for everyone. It has outdoor adventure, great food, vibrant cultural districts, and historical significance. But before you leave for Pittsburgh, download our mobile banking app and sign up for overdraft protection, which protects you from overdraft fees. Mobile banking allows you to monitor funds, but should you exceed your travel budget, our Savings Overdraft Protection plan transfers money from your linked savings account to your checking account. Use mobile banking's check balance, bill pay and fund-transfer features to enjoy your Pittsburgh vacation and rest easy knowing your travel costs are covered.