Where to Stay in Pittsburgh – 6 AMAZING Areas (+ Hotels)

Aerial view of downtown Pittsburgh with prominent skyscrapers and the Allegheny River on a sunny day

Nestled in Southwest Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh is the second-largest city in the city and has plenty to offer to visitors. However, with 90 different neighborhoods to choose from, it can be challenging to decide where to stay in Pittsburgh. 

To help you narrow down the choices, I compared the Pittsburgh neighborhoods and selected the 6 best ones. 

The top spot to stay in the city is Downtown Pittsburgh, where you’ll find the main attractions, various entertainment venues, and the finest hotels in Pittsburgh. 

I know that the choices can still feel overwhelming, so I decided to make things even easier! For each of the recommended areas, I handpicked the best hotels in each price category. Whether you’re a luxury traveler, trying to stick to a tight budget or something in between, there’s something for you on this list. 

Whatever you decide on, I want to encourage you to book your Pittsburgh hotel as soon as possible. The accommodations in the city aren’t exactly cheap, so if you want to get the best deals, book your stay in advance.

Now, let’s see what Pittsburgh has to offer! 

Quick Picks for Your Stay

Here are the top hotels in Pittsburgh, all situated in the downtown area:

Check out this map showing the 6 Pittsburgh neighborhoods featured in this post:

A colorful map highlighting the best areas to stay in Pittsburgh with numbered locations and labels for easy navigations
  1. DOWNTOWN: for first-timers
  2. NORTH SHORE & NORTH SIDE: for budget travelers
  3. STRIP DISTRICT : for foodies
  4. LAWRENCEVILLE: for cool vibes
  5. SOUTH SIDE: for nature lovers
  6. EAST LIBERTY: for a relaxing vibe

1. Downtown Pittsburgh – where to stay for the first time

Elevated view of downtown Pittsburgh showcasing the Point State Park fountain, the confluence of rivers, and multiple yellow bridges

Downtown Pittsburgh is, as you can imagine, right in the middle of the action. Occupying the iconic pointed area of land that splits the Ohio River in two, the area teems with activities and attractions and has a very vibrant atmosphere, making it the most popular place to stay for first-time visitors. 

There’s plenty to explore in the area, but I suggest you start at Market Square (map), a large downtown square that hosts farmers’ markets and food trucks. It’s a great spot to blend in with the locals and get a sense of day-to-day life. 

NOTE: the downtown area is also Pittsburgh’s Central Business District, so expect to see a lot of tall office buildings and professionals roaming the streets. 

If you’re looking for a more laid-back spot away from the city noise, then head to Point State Park (map). This gorgeous green surface is situated at the intersection of 3 rivers: the Ohio River, Monongahela River, and Allegheny River. 

The park is home to a fountain, a museum, and a historic building—Fort Pitt Block House, the oldest building in Western Pennsylvania. 

FUN FACT: Pittsburgh’s downtown area is known as the Golden Triangle. The area got this nickname because it was one of the wealthiest and most prosperous parts of the US. 

Sports fans will surely want to check out PPG Paints Arena, the home base of the ice hockey team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, as well as the site of many other events such as concerts, comedy shows, and more! 

When in Downtown Pittsburgh, one of the must-visit spots is the Cultural District, a smaller neighborhood within the Downtown area. As you can assume from the name, the area abounds with cultural attractions such as the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts and the Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts

Even if you don’t have the time to attend a performance at one of these centers, you should still pay a visit to the Cultural District. The area is full of fine dining establishments, more casual eateries, and bars, as well as many smaller theaters where you can catch a show.

And now, let’s take a look at the best hotels in central Pittsburgh.

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Pittsburgh: an elegant hotel lobby with plush seating and a grand staircase, a chic bedroom with a luxurious king-sized bed, and a stylish living area with panoramic city views.

The Renaissance Hotel is an upscale downtown hotel with 2 restaurants serving American cuisine, a gym, and a business center. All rooms feature a large flat-screen TV, an iPod docking station, air conditioning, and free Wi-Fi, and guests are free to bring their pets along for the stay.

Other accommodation in Downtown Pittsburgh

mid-range
Indoor swimming pool in a hotel with large windows, multiple chairs, and a blue-tiled pool

Colorful hotel with a free daily hot breakfast, indoor swimming pool, convenience store, and free parking

budget
A cozy bedroom with a dark blue accent wall, featuring a neatly made bed and minimalist decor.

Although a bit lower-rated, this aparthotel is great for budget travelers; all rooms have a kitchenette and a private bathroom

airbnb
A bright living room with modern furniture, colorful decor, and large windows offering a city view.

A bright and spacious apartment overlooking the city and providing access to a gym and free parking


Since central Pittsburgh is the most popular place to stay when visiting the city, I decided to recommend a couple more options for luxury and mid-range travelers. Unfortunately, there aren’t that many options for budget stays, so if you want to save on accommodation, check out the offer in North Shore (and North Side), featured in the next section. 

But now let’s take a look at these 2 amazing hotels: 

  • Fairmont Pittsburgh ($$$) – a 5-star hotel in the heart of Pittsburgh, offering room service, a 24-hour front desk, and concierge services. The hotel features a restaurant and a bar, as well as an on-site ATM. 
  • Drury Plaza Hotel ($$) – this comfortable hotel has an indoor pool, a fitness center, and a restaurant. Each morning, guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast buffet and benefit from private parking. 
A city street with historic buildings and a view of a distant bridge under a blue sky.

Things to do in Downtown Pittsburgh

  • Join the local crowd at Market Square
  • Have a picnic in Point State Park
  • Attend a game or a performance at PPG Paints Arena
  • Visit the Fort Pitt Museum and the Fort Pitt Block House in Point State Park 
  • Explore the Cultural District
  • Check out the event schedule for the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts 
  • Listen to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts
  • Stop by the David L. Lawrence Convention Center (map)

2. North Shore & North Side – for a budget stay

View of Heinz Field stadium in Pittsburgh featuring the stadium’s exterior and adjacent river with boats

Located just across the Allegheny River from downtown (a 15-min walk), you’ll find the North Shore neighborhood, as well as the wider area surrounding it, known as the North Side. This part of the city is more laid-back than the city center – it draws in a more local crowd (especially sports fans) and offers a good selection of affordable accommodations. 

The North Side is surrounded by both the Allegheny and Ohio rivers, so it’s a great destination for relaxing walks along the riverfront and people-watching. However, the main defining feature of this part of the city is sports! 

Within North Shore, you’ll find the city’s 2 main stadiums – Acrisure Stadium, more well-known as Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and PNC Park, which hosts the Pittsburgh Pirates. So if you’re in town for a Steelers game (football fans) or for a Pirates game (baseball buffs), the North Side is THE place to stay. 

But even if you’re not into sports, you’ll still have plenty to do. I’d recommend a visit to the Andy Warhol Museum and the Carnegie Science Center. The latter is especially attractive to families with kids, as it has a planetarium and dedicated kids’ shows. 

And if you’re visiting Pittsburgh with family, you’ll be happy to learn that there are several other kid-friendly attractions. I would single out the National Aviary, a bird zoo, and the Children’s Museum

The area also has quite an active nightlife scene, with a lot of sports bars, breweries, casual eateries, and cafes, so I’m sure you’ll find plenty of places you want to try out. 

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Pittsburgh: the modern facade of The Landing Hotel, a bright and colorful bedroom with a large bed, and a cozy living area with large windows overlooking the city.

Offering spacious rooms, a fitness room, a bar, and an on-site casino, this is one of the most attractive hotels on Pittsburgh’s North Side. Some of the perks of staying at this hotel include room service, luggage storage, free Wi-Fi, and the choice between 2 breakfast options: buffet and continental. 

Other accommodation options in North Shore & North Side

mid-range
An indoor swimming pool area with lounge chairs and a clean, inviting pool.

A boutique hotel located in a historic building with a courtyard garden, a wood-burning fireplace, and free parking

budget
A stylish bedroom with a large bed, elegant lamps, and framed art on the wall.

An affordable hotel with a pool, a gym, laundry facilities, a free area shuttle, and a free breakfast

airbnb
Modern, compact kitchen with teal cabinetry, white appliances, and a rustic wooden floor

Modern Airbnb with bright, colorful rooms, a fully equipped kitchen, and a great location

Things to do in North Shore & North Side

  • See a game at Heinz Field or PNC Park
  • Pay a visit to the Andy Warhol Museum
  • Explore the collection at Randyland (map), an art museum
  • Learn something new at the Carnegie Science Center 
  • Take the kids to the National Aviary and the Children’s Museum
  • Grab a beer at the Southern Tier Brewery Pittsburgh (map)

3. Strip District – where to stay for foodies

Busy street scene in Pittsburgh with pedestrians, cyclists, and a variety of shops under a clear sky

The Strip District is an affluent neighborhood situated just East of the Cultural District and central Pittsburgh, on the bank of the Allegheny River. The area is very hip and hosts a variety of cool boutiques, art studios, and, most importantly, many restaurants, sandwich shops, and food markets – it’s a foodie haven! 

As with many places with an industrial past, the Strip District’s original warehouses and factories have been transformed into cool cocktail bars and hangouts, creating a vibrant new atmosphere that you need to experience for yourself.

If there’s one thing you absolutely have to try when it comes to food, it would be a sandwich from Primanti Bros. (map). If you’re looking for a good breakfast spot, I suggest Kelly O’s Diner in the Strip (map). There are plenty of spots to eat and drink around the neighborhood, so make the most of it and try as many as you can. 

Besides food-related adventures, I recommend you visit the Senator John Heinz History Center and explore the exhibitions covering different aspects of local and national history. In case you have an evening free of other activities, see a performance at the Pittsburgh Opera – check the schedule and buy tickets online! 

Here are some of the best hotels in the Strip District. 

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Pittsburgh: a spacious suite with a separate living area, an inviting indoor pool with lounge chairs, and an outdoor patio with a fire pit and comfortable seating.

With all of the homey comforts of individual luxury suites plus the added conveniences of a hotel, what more could you want from this accommodation with friendly staff? Relax around the outdoor fireplace, or hit the downtown with tips from the concierge after filling up with the continental breakfast at this deluxe, spacious hotel. 

Other accommodation options in the Strip District

mid-rage
Rooftop patio overlooking Pittsburgh with modern outdoor furniture and a view of the city skyline

Modern, spacious hotel with a business center and a bar, ideally located between the Strip District and Pittsburgh Downtown

budget
Cozy living room with a gray sofa, yellow armchair, wooden coffee table, and abstract art on the wall

This 1-bedroom loft is in the heart of the Strip District; it’s fully furnished and decorated in industrial style

airbnb
A spacious bedroom with a wooden bed frame and warm, ambient lighting.

A 1-bedroom loft that can accommodate up to 3 guests and offers guests access to various facilities in the building

Things to do in the Strip District

  • Treat yourself to a sandwich from Primanti Bros.
  • Get some breakfast at Kelly O’s Diner in the Strip
  • Snap a picture of Sixteenth Street Bridge (map)
  • Learn about history at the Senator John Heinz History Center
  • Attend a performance at the Pittsburgh Opera
  • Spend some time shopping at the Strip District Terminal mall (map)

4. Lawrenceville – the coolest Pittsburgh neighborhood

A vibrant neighborhood street lined with colorful row houses and cars parked along the road.

A 10-min drive Northeast of downtown, you’ll find one of Pittsburgh’s largest neighborhoods – Lawrenceville. A former industrial area, Lawrenceville has transformed into a fun and hip spot, grabbing the title of the coolest neighborhood in Pittsburgh. 

FUN FACT: Pittsburgh is often called ‘Steel City’ because of its long history in the steel manufacturing industry. You may also hear people call Pittsburgh the “City of Bridges’ seeing as there are 446 bridges within the city limits. 

The neighborhood has plenty to offer, so you’re probably wondering where to start. Well, I advise you to begin with a visit to The Clemente Museum, then see what’s on at the Thunderbird Café & Music Hall or at Spirit – both very cool entertainment venues.

The Church Brew Works (map) is one of the most unique places in Lawrenceville – it’s essentially a restaurant, serving delicious food and craft beers on the premises of a former church. 

Then, onto Butler Street (map), a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Butler Street is one of the focal points of the neighborhood, teeming with boutiques, coffee shops, and delicious restaurants – you can easily spend a whole day exploring all the cool small businesses situated on this street. 

Finally, you can’t conclude your stay without a visit to Highland Park (map); the park has many gorgeous lawns, Victorian gardens, a pool, and the highlight – Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Pittsburgh: a contemporary hotel room with a comfortable bed, the exterior view of the TRYP by Wyndham hotel, and a trendy lobby with a reception desk and modern decor.

A 4-star hotel with modern rooms equipped with amenities such as air conditioning, Wi-Fi, and private bathrooms. During your stay, you’re welcome to use the hotel gym, dine at the restaurant, and make use of the private parking provided at the property. 

Other accommodation options in Lawrenceville

Mid-range
A modern bedroom with a patterned bedspread and minimalist design elements.

A large, fully-furnished apartment with a private entrance, a functional kitchen, a bathroom, and a bedroom with comfortable double bed

Budget
A charming living room with exposed brick, a comfy sofa, and vibrant wall art.

A 2-bedroom homestay in a convenient location near Station Square that can accommodate up to 5 people

Airbnb
A dining area with a wooden table set for four against a bold orange wall decorated with black-and-white photos.

In a central Pittsburgh location, this apartment features a private entrance and a bedroom with a comfy Queen-sized bed

Things to do in Lawrenceville

  • Visit The Clemente Museum
  • See what’s on at the Thunderbird Café & Music Hall or at Spirit 
  • Try some of the craft beers at The Church Brew Works
  • Walk around the neighborhood and admire the street art
  • Explore the stores and coffee shops along Butler Street
  • Explore the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium and Highland Park
  • Spend a night bowling at the Arsenal Bowl (map)

5. South Side – for nature lovers 

An iconic red funicular car ascending a hillside with a panoramic view of Pittsburgh's rivers and cityscape.

Pittsburgh’s South Side is situated along the bank of the Monongahela River, across from downtown—just a 10-minute drive away. The South Side area consists of two smaller neighborhoods, the South Side Flats and the South Side Slopes. It has a very relaxing and serene atmosphere, perfect for people who want to unwind and be close to nature. 

One of the main perks of staying here is that the area has great connections to the city center; you can take the Smithfield Street Bridge to downtown or use the Fort Pitt tunnel, whatever’s more convenient for you! 

However, I have to warn you that the neighborhood is on a hilltop location, so navigating it on foot can be difficult. That’s why I recommend renting a car – not only will you get to explore the South Side neighborhoods without putting too much strain on yourself but you can also hop downtown anything you feel like it. 

If you like being surrounded by nature, venture a little out of the South Side. Climb the nearby Mount Washington and hike one of the trails in Mt. Washington Park (map). For the most unbeatable views of the city, go up to the Grandview Overlook (map).

A scenic view of Pittsburgh with rivers, bridges, and various buildings.

And if you like scenic views, I have another suggestion for you – the Duquesne Incline (map), one of Pittsburgh’s 2 inclines (funicular railways). This incline will take you up the hill on the South Side, and you’ll enjoy the most stunning views over the city and its 3 rivers. 

Once you’ve done hiking and climbing, I’m sure you’ll be hungry. Lucky for you, Restaurant Row is right on the South Side. Situated around East Carson Street, Restaurant Row features everything from fine dining establishments to chain restaurants – there’s something for every taste and every budget. 

NOTE: there are no luxury hotels in Pittsburgh’s South Side, so if you want a more upscale stay, check out the recommended hotels in the downtown area.

Other accommodation options on the South Side

Mid-range
An indoor pool with a glass roof, surrounded by seating and lush greenery.

Offering apartment rentals and access to a gym and a pool, the property also boasts a sauna

Budget
A cozy bedroom with a cityscape painting, a neatly made bed, and natural light from the window.

A boutique hotel offering contactless check-in/check-out, comfortable rooms with external private bathrooms, plus free parking

Airbnb
A cozy living room with a grey couch, patterned cushions, and eclectic decor.

Situated in a converted gas station, this place has a sleeping loft and access to a private garden

Things to do on the South Side

  • Go hiking at Mt. Washington Park
  • Enjoy the views from the Grandview Overlook
  • Sample one of the house brews at Fat Head’s Saloon (map)
  • Embark on a ride with the Duquesne Incline
  • Explore the trails in South Side Park (map)
  • Go for a walk in Emerald View Park (map)

6. East Liberty – for a relaxing vibe

The reflective glass towers of the PPG Place complex with a blue sky overhead.

East Liberty is an up-and-coming Pittsburgh neighborhood, situated on the East side of the city, a 20-min drive from the city center. The East Liberty neighborhood, also known as Pittsburgh’s East End, is a very artsy area with an easygoing vibe

Although the neighborhood is a bit far from the top attractions in the downtown area, it provides easy access to transportation – you can hop on the bus or the light rail and explore the rest of the city. You’ll find all the options, routes, and schedules here, but if you don’t want to use public transport, car rentals are always a good option. 

Some of the top attractions in the area include the Kelly Strayhorn Theater and the Pittsburgh Glass Center, but there are also numerous cool boutiques, restaurants, and coffee shops. 

East Liberty is also ideally located for exploring some other very cool East End neighborhoods, such as Shadyside and Squirrel Hill. Shadyside is situated just South of East Liberty, while Squirrel Hill is even further South. I highly recommend going on a walking tour around these vibrant neighborhoods to experience their distinct character. 

While in Squirrel Hill, stop by Schenley Park (map), and if you have the time, visit the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. From here, you’ll also have easy access to the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, both part of Carnegie Mellon University. 

Now, let’s take a look at the top hotels and apartment rentals in East Liberty: 

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Pittsburgh: a cozy bedroom with a modern design, a dining area with large windows and a view of the city, and the historic facade of The Maverick by Kasa hotel. ​​

This is a 4-star, non-smoking hotel with air-conditioned rooms. Each features a sparkling-clean private bathroom and a seating area with a flat-screen TV. All rooms are very nicely decorated, and although there’s no staff at the property, you can easily reach them via the SMS hotline provided by the hotel. 

Other accommodation options in East Liberty

Mid-range
A modern lounge area with stylish seating and a large wrap-around couch.

This 3-star hotel has modern amenities and provides free access to the gym next door and laundry facilities

Budget
A simple room with a black futon, colorful tablecloth, and framed artwork.

A lovely B&B with an outdoor fireplace, a picnic area, comfortable rooms, and super friendly staff

Airbnb
A comfortable bedroom with green walls, a large bed, and a nautical painting.

A 1-bedroom apartment in a rowhouse, with 1 bedroom, a kitchen, and a dining area, plus access to a backyard

Things to do in East Liberty

  • See a performance at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater 
  • Admire the glassworks at the Pittsburgh Glass Center
  • Grab brunch at Square Cafe (map)
  • Explore the Shadyside and Squirrel Hill neighborhoods 
  • Visit the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens at Schenley Park
  • Explore the Carnegie Museums near the University 
👑 Luxury price:US$220
💵 Mid-range hotel:US$170
🛏️ Budget:US$100
📍 Best area:Downtown Pittsburgh
🛎️ Best luxury hotel:Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel
🧳 Best mid-range hotel:Hampton Inn & Suites
👛 Best budget hotel:Stay Pittsburgh

BONUS: Best hotels near Pittsburgh International Airport

The interior of an airport terminal featuring a high arched ceiling with red beams and a welcome sign

The Pittsburgh airport is an important transport link in Pennsylvania and sees a large number of passengers every day. If you’re among them, and you find yourself in Pittsburgh for a layover or want to catch a very early/late, it’s wise to stay near the airport. So, I compiled a list of the best airport hotels, arranged in price order from high to low: 

  • Hyatt Regency ($$$) – as the only hotel situated right next to the airport, the Hyatt Regency is your best choice for Pittsburgh layovers. The hotel has a free shuttle service, complimentary Wi-Fi, and business facilities. 
  • Sonesta Simply Suites ($$) – situated a short distance away from the airport, the hotel offers accommodation in spacious suites with full kitchens and offers a complimentary airport shuttle. 
  • Comfort Suites ($) – an affordable hotel located a 10-min drive away from the airport, offering a free shuttle to/from the airport, a complimentary breakfast, and access to an indoor pool. 

FAQs about where to stay in Pittsburgh

Colorful mural on the side of a building in Pittsburgh depicting various city scenes and activities

🌆 What are the best areas to stay in Pittsburgh?

Downtown Pittsburgh is the best place to stay in the city due to the number of attractions like Market Square and Point State Park, fine dining restaurants, and attractive hotels, such as the Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel and the Hampton Inn & Suites.

❌ What areas to avoid in Pittsburgh?

The areas around Homewood and The Hill District are best to avoid due to their slightly higher crime rates. This is not hard to do as there aren’t many hotels or attractions in these areas, meaning you probably won’t have a reason to go there.

🥾 Is Pittsburgh a walkable city?

Yes! Most cultural attractions are within walking distance of hotels. In fact, it is highly recommended to travel on foot due to the limited parking options. That being said, the city is still large, so it’s best to take public transportation to further locations.

🌙 Is Downtown Pittsburgh safe at night?

Yes, as this area is mainly a tourist and business district, it is relatively safe to walk around at night. Of course, you should always be wary of dark alleyways, but not more than you would in any other city.

📅 How many days should I spend in Pittsburgh?

Spend at least 3 days in Pittsburgh to see all the main attractions and experience the local atmosphere.

👨‍👩‍👧‍👧 Where to stay in Pittsburgh for families?

The best place to stay in Pittsburgh with family is the North Shore, as you’ll be a short distance away from many family-friendly attractions, and you can choose from great hotels like The Landing Hotel and The Priory Hotel.

🏈 Where to stay in Pittsburgh for a Steelers game?

If you’re in town for a Steelers game, stay in North Shore, specifically at The Landing Hotel. It is just a 5-minute walk from Heinz Field, the Steelers stadium.

Conclusion

Nighttime view of Pittsburgh skyline showing brightly lit buildings, rivers, and bridges with a scenic overlook

We’re at the end of my guide on where to stay in Pittsburgh. By now, you should’ve settled on an area and started making hotel reservations. 

However, if you’re still having trouble deciding, here are my personal top 2 hotels in Pittsburgh, both located in the downtown area: 

  • Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel – an upscale hotel offering city views and 2 on-site restaurants serving delicious American cuisine
  • Hampton Inn & Suites – in a convenient downtown location, the hotel boasts an indoor pool and offers free parking

Regardless of what you pick, book your hotel in advance to secure your stay in the top hotels at the absolute best prices. 

If you’re continuing your travels around the US, make sure to check out my posts on where to stay in Detroit and the best hotels in Washington, D.C.

I hope you found this post helpful! If you have any more questions about Pittsburgh, please leave me a comment, and I’ll get back to you!

Enjoy your trip,
Hristina


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  1. Katy 23.01.2023 at 03:49

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