Where to Stay in Pittsburgh – 10 Best Areas

Where to stay in Pittsburgh? In this guide we will be looking at the best areas to stay In Pittsburgh for visitors, families, as well as the best hotels in Pittsburgh for all budget travelers and the safest places to stay in Pittsburgh.

Located at the meeting point of three rivers, Pittsburgh has a unique scenic quality, in addition to its many urban attractions. If you enjoy exploring the sights by day and relaxing at a riverside bar by night, Pittsburgh is the perfect city for you. 

Pittsburgh is overall safe to travel to, but as in any big city, you should be aware of surrounding and avoid walking alone in the foorly lit area at night. If you want to stay in a safe neighborhood for tourist, you can stick to Downtown Pittsburgh.

Where to stay in Pittsburgh?

The best areas to stay In Pittsburgh for tourists are Downtown, North Shore, Strip District, Squirrel Hill, Lawrenceville, South Side, Oakland, Shadyside, and East Liberty. These are popular neighborhoods that provide a wide range of amenities and attractions.

Downtown is the best overall area to stay in Pittsburgh for first-timers. It has a super central location and the widest range of accommodations, restaurants, bars, and shops. Staying here puts you in the heart of action within walking distance to major attracions.

For those visiting with children, the areas of North Shore or Squirrel Hill would be great options. North Shore has plenty of educational attractions to enjoy. Meanwhile, Squirrel Hill is surrounded by sprawling parks where kids can run off some of their energy. 

Party animals will want to look at either the Strip District or South Side. Both of these vibrant neighbourhoods are well known for their exciting nightlife. You will have plenty of bars and clubs to choose from to keep you entertained well into the night. 

If you are keeping to a tighter budget, North Shore, South Side, and Oakland are all good options to consider. They will allow you to keep close enough to Downtown Pittsburgh without having to break the bank paying city centre prices. 

💖 Best Area for first-timers:Downtown Pittsburgh
💎 Best luxury hotel:Omni William Penn Hotel
🏨 Best mid-range hotel:Hampton Inn & Suites Pittsburgh Downtown
💰 Best budget hotel:EVEN Hotels Pittsburgh Downtown, an IHG Hotel

Map of 10 Best neighborhoods to stay in Pittsburgh:

Map of 10 Best areas to stay in Pittsburgh for tourists
Map of 10 Best areas to stay in Pittsburgh for tourists

10 Best areas to stay in Pittsburgh for tourists are:

1. Downtown Pittsburgh

Downtown Pittsburgh

Downtown is the best overall area to stay in Pittsburgh for first-time travelers. Located right at the heart of the city center, you will be within walking distance of numerous popular attractions, as well as many choices in shopping, dining, and nightlife.

The downtown area is surrounded by other popular Strip and Uptown. It is a safe neighborhood, pratice common sense during your stay as you travel to any city in the world, you will be fine.

With so much to see and do in the immediate area, this is an ideal location for those planning to stay in Pittsburgh for a shorter trip. You will be able to fit in plenty of sightseeing, without having to worry about too much time traveling between attractions. 

Located right at the junction of Pittsburgh’s three rivers – the Monongahela, Allegheny and Ohio rivers – there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy riverside views downtown. 

At the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh is cozy Market Square. The little, leafy public square is a vibrant hub of street performers and various markets and stalls. With plenty of seating, as well as lots of coffee shops and small restaurants, it’s a lovely place to take in the local atmosphere. 

The west end of Downtown is taken up by the lovely Point State Park. The triangular park is surrounded on two sides by the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers, so it’s a wonderfully scenic spot, despite being right in the city center. 

Two forts once stood in the area of Point State Park; Fort Duquesne and Fort Pitt. Fort Duquesne has been demolished, but the outline of its foundations remains as a monument and the centerpiece to one of the gardens. 

The Fort Pitt Blockhouse, on the other hand, still very much exists. Although much of the larger fort has been destroyed, a portion of the structure is still preserved. In fact, it is the oldest remaining building in all of western Pennsylvania. History fans will definitely want to take a visit. 

What remains of the Fort Pitt Blockhouse has been converted into the Fort Pitt Museum. The Fort Pitt Museum is a fantastic attraction to visit if you are interested in learning about the founding and history of Pittsburgh.

Best places to stay in Downtown Pittsburgh:

luxury: Omni William Penn Hotel This 4-star hotel offers comfortable guest room accommodations, award-winning cuisine, and exquisite banquet space. It’s 30km from Pittsburgh International Airport and Allegheny County Airport.

mid-range: Hampton Inn & Suites Pittsburgh Downtown This 3-star hotel right in the heart of Pittsburgh, close to a variety of attractions, museums, gardens, and entertainment. It has an indoor swimming pool, free hot breakfast, and the Suite Shop convenience store.

budget: EVEN Hotels Pittsburgh Downtown, an IHG Hotel This hotel has a fitness center and shared lounge, an on-site restaurant. Located within walking distance from David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Point State Park, and PNC Park.


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2. North Shore

North Shore

North Shore runs along the north bank of the Allegheny River. Just across the Fort Duquesne Bridge from the Downtown area, this is another great place to stay in Pittsburgh if you want to keep close to the city center. 

Despite being just outside of central Pittsburgh, there are tons of tourist attractions to keep the whole family entertained here. The district has seen significant development and investment in recent years and is now one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in Pittsburgh. 

North Shore is particularly popular with sports fans. PNC Park Baseball stadium is the home of the Pirates baseball team. Meanwhile, nearby Heinz Field Stadium is the home ground of both the Steelers and the Panthers football teams. 

The area gets especially busy around game days. If you are visiting Pittsburgh to attend a game, there are several hotels within easy walking distance of both stadiums. Make sure to book well in advance though, as they sell out fast and charge premium rates around events days. 

If you are not planning to attend a game, you may still want to check if any events will be taking place during your visit. If you choose to stay in North Shore around the time of a big game, you may be hit by higher accommodation prices and heavy crowds.

Outside of events days, prices for accommodation in North Shore are actually very reasonable, particularly for central Pittsburgh. If you are hoping to stay close to the city center but without blowing the bank on your hotel, this would be a great area to consider.

North Side is also well known for its many high-profile museums. These make for particularly great educational outings for those traveling with children. There’s even a dedicated children’s museum where kids can learn through puppet shows and play areas. 

The children’s museum is right next to the National Aviary. Once the kids are done exploring the museum exhibits, they can head over to the zoo to get up close to a variety of beautiful bird species. If you’d rather get your history first-hand, head to the Deutschland Historic District to immerse them in the history of the area. 

The Carnegie Science Centre is a research center and museum host a wide range of exhibits, events, and activities to keep everyone entertained for an afternoon. 

If art is more up your alley, the Andy Warhol Museum might be of more interest to you. Dedicated to the legacy of the Pittsburgh-born artist, it hosts various exhibits.

The Mattress Factory Museum makes a perfect accompaniment to the Andy Warhol Museum. Despite the name, it is actually a popular museum of modern art. The colorful rooms host a range of installations by local artists. 

Despite being right on the junction of the three rivers, North Shore is a particularly urban neighborhood, with most of the waterfront taken up by the stadiums. If you are looking to escape the concrete jungle for a breath of fresher air, you can take a short trip north to Riverview Park. 

Riverview Park is a lovely, tree-covered hill in the midst of bustling Pittsburgh. Various scenic walking trails lead up to the top, where you can enjoy beautiful, panoramic views of the city. It’s the perfect place for the whole family to stretch their legs and unwind. 

Best places to stay in North Shore:

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Pittsburgh North Shore, an IHG Hotel This 4-star hotel features an indoor swimming pool, a 24-hour fitness center, and free wifi. Within easy walking distance from Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh Children’s Museum.

SpringHill Suites by Marriott Pittsburgh North Shore This 3-star hotel provides guestrooms with a flat-screen cable TV, an en suite bathroom with free toiletries. It has an indoor pool, a fitness center, a 24-hour market, a hot breakfast buffet, and free wifi.


3. Strip District

Strip District
Pittsburgh Market Square

The vibrant Strip District is immediately north of Downtown Pittsburgh. Once a bustling warehouse district on the southern bank of the Allegheny River, many of those warehouses has since been converted into trendy events venues. 

Despite being a hub of fashionistas and hipsters, being bordered by working-class residential areas like the Hill District keeps the Strip District grounded. The Strip District manages to maintain a more authentically edgy atmosphere than many similarly trendy neighborhoods. 

The Strip District is an area that is always bustling with life. Whether day or night, there is always plenty of fun to be had here. 

During the day, visitors can spend their time browsing the various food markets and independent boutiques. The converted warehouses host numerous art galleries and antique emporiums. If you are looking to pick up some unique souvenirs then you should definitely visit the Strip District. 

Foodies, in particular, will love this area. There are so many fabulous independent eateries to try, you’re sure to find plenty to suit your palate. You will be hard-pressed to choose between the numerous delicious restaurants.

If you are interested in the history of Pittsburgh, you should stop by the Senator John Heinz History Centre.

In the evening, the Strip District transforms into one of the top locations in Pittsburgh for nightlife. The streets are lined with quirky bars and bustling nightclubs. Old factories and warehouses come alive again as thriving party venues. 

Best places to stay in Strip District:


4. Squirrel Hill

A little way outside of Downtown Pittsburgh, Squirrel Hill is a leafy alternative to the bustling city center tourist districts. Primarily a residential area, Squirrel Hill has a more laid-back, authentic atmosphere than you might find in the overdeveloped central districts. 

Foodies will enjoy the wide array of cuisines available at the many local restaurants. Cultures from around the world are represented in the diverse smorgasbord available to residents of Squirrel Hill.

Home to Pittsburgh’s Jewish Quarter, Squirrel Hill boasts a particular abundance of kosher delis and bakeries. 

Squirrel Hill is sandwiched between two of Pittsburgh’s best and biggest parks. To the west is the lovely Schenley Park, whilst to the east is the sprawling Frick Park. 

Schenley Park is over 450 acres of leafy hiking trails, children’s playgrounds, and monuments to discover. You can take a break from the press of the city to enjoy exploring the various paths winding past lakes and up hills to lovely views. 

Visitors can also enjoy a range of recreational facilities including an open-air pool and a golf course. In the winter, the park hosts a popular ice rink, where guests can enjoy skating in beautiful surroundings. 

The north of the park is home to the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Thousands of fascinating and beautiful plant species are housed within a grand Victorian glasshouse.

Frick Park is less landscaped. Rather than developed recreation grounds, Frick Park boasts various walking trails winding through the woods. If you really want to feel like you have escaped into nature, Frick Park feels worlds away from the concrete jungle of the city.

With its quieter streets, leafy parks, and variety of cuisines on offer, Squirrel Hill is known as one of the best places to stay in Pittsburgh for families. There is plenty of space for kids to run off their energy and you will be able to find something for even the pickiest eaters to enjoy. 

An added bonus of staying outside of the city center is the reduction in prices for accommodation. Being an affluent area, you can still expect quality hotels and guesthouses, but without the downtown price tag. 

Of course, the caveat to that is that travel between sights and tourist attractions will be longer. I don’t suggest staying this far from Pittsburgh Downtown if you are planning a shorter trip. 

Best places to stay in Squirrel Hill:


5. Lawrenceville

Much like the Strip District, Lawrenceville was once a bustling industrial district, full of warehouses and factories. Those warehouses have since been closed down and converted into various trendy events and hospitality spaces. 

Many of the warehouses have been converted into chic restaurants and hip bars. In the evening, the area has a wonderfully lively atmosphere, as bands of locals and tourists mingle between the colorful venues. 

As a hub of Pittsburgh’s grassroots arts and indie scene, you can be sure to find plenty of live performances from local bands. The large warehouse buildings make for great music venues and the locals have definitely taken that to heart. 

In addition to your regular bars, Lawrenceville is also a hub of small breweries. If you enjoy sampling locally produced craft beers straight from the source, there is no better place for you to spend your stay in Pittsburgh. 

It’s not all eating and drinking though. Plenty of the warehouses has also been converted into art studios and galleries, independent boutique stores, and events spaces. If you enjoy supporting indie artists and small businesses then you will love Lawrenceville.

If you’re concerned that you will be sacrificing the opportunity to visit Pittsburgh’s more conventional attractions by staying in this quirky district outside of the city center, you needn’t be. Downtown is just a comfortable walk – or bus ride – down the riverside.


6. South Side

The South Side is a large area stretching along the south bank of the Monongahela River. The area encompasses the South Side Flats, the South Side Slopes, and the South Shore. 

One of Pittsburgh’s most vibrant neighborhoods, South Side has everything from scenic views, to chic shopping and thrilling nightlife. Although it’s just a little bit outside of the city center, there is no shortage of things to do in the South Side. 

The South Side Flats area is one of the liveliest neighborhoods in Pittsburgh. By day a hub of shopping and dining, by night a bustling party district. The majority of the action takes place around East Carson Street.

Carson Street stretches throughout the length of the South Side. East Carson Street in the South Side Flats is lined with incredible restaurants. From fine dining to quirky local eateries, foodies won’t be able to get enough of this area. 

The South Side is another fantastic neighborhood to consider if you are looking for a thriving nightlife scene. Well known for having a huge selection of bars and clubs, the area turns into one big party after sundown. 

Located right along the south bank of the river, there is no shortage of riverside bar or restaurant. If you want to get some even more spectacular views, you can visit the South Side Slopes or Mount Washington.

The South Side Slopes are ideal for more energetic travelers. A series of public stairways lead up through the residential neighborhoods. You will be taking over 5000 stairs if you choose to walk all the way up. It’s up to you to decide if the views are worth the exertion.

Mount Washington can be reached via the incline railways. Aside from being much easier on your legs, it’s a unique form of public transport that you might not have experienced before. 


7. Oakland

Sandwiched between Downtown and Squirrel Hill, Oakland offers a compromise between city-center convenience and family-friendly open space. West Oakland is just a short walk away from the cultural attractions of downtown and the vibrant hub of South Side is right across the river.

Even though Oakland is outside of the city center, there are plenty of nearby attractions for visitors to enjoy. Carnegie Museum is one of the top tourist attractions in Pittsburgh.

Located in central Oakland, Carnegie Museum is comprised of several distinct institutions. The Carnegie Museum of Art is ideal for lovers of contemporary and modern art. Visitors can while away hours exploring the exhibits of sculptures, paintings, and various mixed medium pieces. 

If music is more your preference, Carnegie Music Hall is housed within the same building. Or if you prefer more contemporary music, the courtyard between the music hall and the art museum often hosts live music events and small festivals. 

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History is an excellent attraction for the whole family to enjoy. Who doesn’t love sprawling exhibits of full-scale dinosaur skeletons? The Natural History Museum pairs perfectly with the nearby Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

The centerpiece of the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is the opulent Victorian Glasshouse that dominates the site. 

As a hub of Pittsburgh’s universities, the hospitality in Oakland primarily caters to the thriving student population. This means a variety of more affordable cafes and restaurants.

Between the affordable hotels and student-targeted dining options, Oakland is a good district to consider for those trying to stick to a tighter budget.


8. Shadyside


Shadyside is a trendy residential neighborhood, home to a thriving student population due to the many nearby universities. A little removed from the city center, Shadyside is located between Downtown Pittsburgh and leafy Squirrel Hill, making it popular with upper-class families. 

The mix of students and affluent families has developed into a unique atmosphere that makes Shadyside one of the most fashionable communities in Pittsburgh. The beautiful Victorian mansions that line the streets here only add to the quaint charm.

If you enjoy spending your vacation indulging in some retail therapy, Shadyside has plenty to offer you. The area is known for its streets packed with upscale boutiques and high-end brands. Shadyside is the place to shop in Pittsburgh if you appreciate the finer things in life. 

Meanwhile, the student population has left its mark on the local hospitality industry. Trendy bistros and hip cafes have sprung up all over the district. If you enjoy cutting-edge cuisine, and super stylish surroundings, Shadyside is the neighborhood for you. 

The nightlife of the area competes for its own merit.The ever-growing craft beer scene has fuelled a boom in lively bars opening up across the area. It might be a good place to consider if LGBTQ-friendly nightlife is important to you. 

Aside from the shopping and hospitality, the top attraction in Shadyside is the Pittsburgh Centre For Arts & Media. The center hosts a range of courses and art camps and regularly exhibits works created by their students. 

Best places to stay in Shadyside:


9. Green Tree

Green Tree is a leafy suburb in the southwest of the city. A largely residential neighborhood, there is little in the way of tourist amenities here. Green Tree is ideal for those who don’t want to stay in the noisy and crowded city center. 

One of the perks of a quiet, residential suburb like Green Tree is the price of accommodation. If you are hoping to avoid the steeper prices for hotels that you would find in the downtown area, Green Tree has that in its favor. 

Whilst the neighborhood might not be the most exciting, it’s close enough to the city center that you won’t be sacrificing too much convenience for affordability. A quick bus or taxi journey will have you at the top tourist attractions in no time. 

In fact, it’s just across Mount Washington from the bustling South Side. If you like to party hard and then escape to a quieter neighborhood to sleep it off, Green Tree could be perfect for you. 


10. East Liberty

East Liberty

Far to the east of downtown Pittsburgh is the trendy, residential suburb of East Liberty. Bursting with fancy restaurants, chic bars, and fashionable boutiques, East Liberty is a neighborhood that defines itself by being consistently on-trend. 

East Liberty oozes manicured style. New bistros and cafes are constantly popping up to keep up with current styles. If you prefer chic and fashionable over indie and hip then East Liberty will definitely be more to your tastes. 

As such an ever-developing neighborhood, it’s little wonder that it is a popular hub for tech start-ups and entrepreneurs. If you are hoping to squeeze in some networking on your vacation, you might want to spend an evening or two at the bars in East Liberty.

The downside to a neighborhood that is constantly chasing trends is that it lacks the authentically vibrant atmosphere of Lawrenceville or Shadyside. You may find that many stores, bars, and restaurants value style over substance. It pays to check reviews in advance.


Where should I stay in Pittsburgh for the first time?

Downtown is the best place to stay in Pittsburgh for first-timers due to its prime location. If you stay here, you will be located within easy access to attractions, as well as restaurants, bars, and shops.

What are the best areas to stay in Pittsburgh?

Downtown, North Shore, Strip District, Squirrel Hill, Lawrenceville, South Side, Oakland, and Shadyside are the best areas to stay in Pittsburgh because they are the most popular areas for tourists that offer many things to do and see.

Where to stay in Pittsburgh without a car?

Downtown is the best area to stay in Pittsburgh without a car because it is the public transportation hub of the city. You can easily get around on foot, or by public transport system.

Where to stay in Pittsburgh with a car?

Most hotels in Downtown Pittsburgh offer paid parking. If you are looking for a hotel with free car parking in Pittsburgh, look into Hampton Inn & Suites Pittsburgh Downtown and Drury Inn & Suites Pittsburgh Airport Settlers Ridge.

What is the safest area to stay in Pittsburgh?

Downtown, Squirrel Hill, Shadyside are the safest places to stay in Pittsburgh for tourists with plenty of things to do and see. It is recommended to always practice common sense as you travel to any big city. 

Where not to stay in Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh is one of the safest cities in the US, but you should avoid Northview Heights, Middle hill, Allentown, Troy Hill, East Hills, and Strip District. You should also always stay alert, and pay attention to your surroundings.

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In conclusion, Downtown, North Shore, Strip District, Squirrel Hill, Lawrenceville, South Side, Oakland, Shadyside, and East Liberty are some of the best places to stay in Pittsburgh. They provide a wide range of accommodation options for all budget visitors.

Overall, Downtown is the best area to stay in Pittsburgh for first-timers due to its central locatiom. If you stay here, you will be located in the heart of the city, within walking distance to Pittsburgh’s most famous sights as well as many restaurants, bars, and shops.

About Author: Linda Smith

I'm Linda Smith, the Hotel Expert, an experienced travel blogger who passionate about traveling. I'm here to share with you all my travel experiences and tips. I cover a wide range of travel topics, specializing in sharing information about the best areas, neighborhoods, and hotels in each city. I hope all these things will make your travel easier.

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