The bizarre layout of Pittsburgh – divided by the confluence of two rivers to form the Ohio River and split into a selection of neighborhoods that squash in between the water – makes for an interesting and diverse playground, with more distinct districts than you might expect to find in a typical city. The central, downtown area is known locally as ‘the golden triangle’ and hosts most of the major commercial attractions, while in the north you’ll find some impressive Mexican heritage, and to the south a selection of hills with stunning city views.
The first thing you might notice, though, is the notoriously fast-paced Pittsburgh accent. Speaking at double speed and mixing their vowels is just a part of the native dialect, and many visitors quickly get lost. Get used to it, and you could almost call yourself an honorary ‘The ‘Burgh’ native. The city is traditionally defined by industry, and best explored downtown through some of the sparkling skyscrapers that have resulted, such as the positively palatial PPG "castle". You can get a great view of all of them (and the impressive river confluence) from the top of the Duquesne Incline on the south side. Don't forget to take a stroll on Grandview Avenue - a place with many round overlooks that are popular for larger than life photos with the city.
The Carnegie Museums are genuinely international class exhibition centers, highlighting everything from paleontology to classical and contemporary art, while the Heinz Chapel is worth a drop in just to admire the stained glass windows and impressive central spire. Nearby you can take a tour of the Cathedral of Learning and it's 30 international classrooms. They are unique in that these classrooms were built by masons from the representative countries in the 20's and 30's and are active classrooms for University of Pittsburgh students. Of course, it would be wrong for any sports fan to visit Pittsburgh and not catch at least one of the city’s impressive teams, with the Penguins (ice hockey), the Steelers (American football) and the Pirates (baseball) all calling the city home.
Sure, Pittsburgh’s no New York or LA, but it has its own charms, including an interesting history to uncover and an unusually green city center. Learn to communicate with the locals and you’ll find it a friendly and sizable city with plenty of tourist attractions worthy of spending a day or two.