Moving to Pittsburgh

Welcome to your detailed guide on moving to the heart of Pennsylvania - Pittsburgh! This city, with its vibrant cultural scene, picturesque landscapes, and booming tech industry, is a fine blend of both rich history and promising future. Don't be fooled by its 'Steel City' nickname; Pittsburgh is more than just a sprawling metropolis. Whether you're a foodie, a history buff, an outdoorsy type, or a tech enthusiast, this place has enough enticements to make you consider calling it home. This guide aims to unravel all you need to thrive and enjoy your new life in Pittsburgh.

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What to Know Before Moving to Pittsburgh


1. Pittsburgh is the City of Bridges

Surprising fact alert: Pittsburgh, not Venice, hosts the most bridges in the world! Yes, you heard it right. With 446 bridges connecting the city's many sections and neighborhoods, Pittsburgh justifiably steals the title of "The City of Bridges." Ensure your GPS is up to date because navigating through the vast network of bridges can be a fun puzzle!

2. The "Yinzer" Slang is Real

If you've never heard terms like "yinz," "jagoff," or "gumband" before, you might feel a bit lost during your initial days. But don't worry! This unique Pittsburghese dialect, used by locals, known as 'Yinzers,' will soon make you feel part of this dynamic and warm community. Their friendly nature is hard to resist!

3. The Sports Culture is Intense

Pittsburghers are wildly passionate about their sports teams. The Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL), Pirates (MLB), and Penguins (NHL) are treated like family members, with their wins and losses affecting the mood and spirit of the city. Not being a sports fan isn't an option here - it's part of your citizenship test!

4. The Andy Warhol Museum is a Hidden Gem

Art lovers, here's a treat for you. Pittsburgh is home to the largest museum in North America dedicated to a single artist, Andy Warhol. Known for his significant contribution to the pop art movement, Warhol's Pittsburgh-based museum is an incredible blend of creativity and local culture. If you aren't an ardent art fan, there's still a good chance of you falling in love with this place.

5. Get Ready to Enjoy More Sunshine Than Seattle

Here's a fact that's not commonly known. The 'Steel City' is often considered gray due to its industrial past, but the reality is it has more sunny days per year than Seattle, Baltimore, and even Portland. However, the four distinct seasons ensure you get a taste of everything from summer sun to winter snow!

6. Pittsburgh Salutes to Its Industrial Roots and Embraces the Future

From being a steel-producing powerhouse to evolving as a hotbed for technology and healthcare innovation, Pittsburgh has successfully combined its past with a bright future. The old steel mills are now bustling with activities ranging from retail, dining, and public spaces. Old factory buildings have been transformed into modern apartments, maintaining a unique old-world charm coupled with modern amenities.

So, there you have it - a peek into what Pittsburgh offers. It's much more than steel and bridges; it's a city of passionate sports fans, warm 'yinzers,' sunnier days, and an eclectic mix of past glory with future progress. Moving here means getting ready for an enriching city-living experience like no other, where traditional industries meet innovative technology, and local dialects hold as much sway as the modern lingo. Welcome to Pittsburgh!

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Pros and Cons of Living in Pittsburgh

Pros of Living in Pittsburgh

Thriving Art and Culture Scene

Pittsburgh is known for its rich arts culture with many art galleries, museums, and live performance venues. Home to the unique Andy Warhol Museum, the culturally-rich Strip District, and a wide variety of community-focused art initiatives, the city offers numerous opportunities for cultural exploration and participation.

Affordable Cost of Living

Compared to other major American cities, Pittsburgh offers a significantly lower cost of living. This makes it an attractive place for young professionals, families, and retirees. While prices can vary, essentials like groceries, health care, and utilities tend to be reasonably priced.

Access to Quality Education

Pittsburgh boasts some top-tier educational institutions such as the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. The presence of these institutions not only means access to quality education, but also results in a steady inflow of young and diverse population, enriching the city's dynamism.

Nature and Outdoor Activities

With a plethora of parks, three rivers, and many hiking trails, Pittsburgh is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The city's commitment to maintaining these natural spaces makes it easy to enjoy activities like biking, hiking, kayaking, or simply just enjoying the greenery.

Excellent Healthcare Facilities

Home to UPMC, a top healthcare provider in the country, Pittsburgh offers residents access to quality healthcare. The presence of several other acclaimed hospitals and research facilities also makes the city a desirable place for healthcare professionals to live and work.

Cons of Living in Pittsburgh


The weather in Pittsburgh can be unpredictable and harsh at times. Winters are often cold with frequent snowfall, and the city is also known for its cloudy and overcast days which may affect the mood of those not used to such weather conditions.

Air Quality

Despite significant improvements over the years, Pittsburgh still struggles with air pollution. Industrial history and geographical features often lead to higher pollution levels in the city compared to national averages, which could be an issue for those with health concerns.

Rush-hour Traffic

Like many other cities, traffic congestion during peak hours can be a problem in Pittsburgh. This can add to commuting time, especially if you work in the city and live in the suburbs. Public transportation options are available but they could be limited depending upon your location.

Hilly Terrain

While the hilly landscape of Pittsburgh offers beautiful views and unique neighborhood layouts, it can be challenging for driving, especially in the winter months. This could potentially increase maintenance costs for your vehicle.

Accent and Dialect

If you're new to the area, the unique Pittsburghese dialect can take some getting used to. While this isn't a major drawback, it's something to consider as it might make it a bit tricky to understand local conversations when you first move.

Modern day picture of Pittsburgh, PA highlighting pros and cons of living in Pittsburgh, PA

Is Pittsburgh a Good Place to Live?

Pittsburgh, PA is a great place to live because of its rich history, bustling arts scene, and affordability. Its neighborhoods are vibrant and diverse, each with their own unique flavor, and the city offers a strong job market, particularly in healthcare and education. Plus, it's hard not to love a city where everyone passionately supports their sports teams.

What Is Pittsburgh Famous For?

The Birthplace of Pop-Art Icon Andy Warhol

Known for his artistic exploration of commercial culture, Andy Warhol was a legendary figure in the 20th century pop art scene. Born and bred in Pittsburgh, the city honors its iconic son with The Andy Warhol Museum, which houses an extensive collection of his art and archival materials.

Heinz Ketchup's Hometown

Did you know that Pittsburgh is home to the king of all ketchups, Heinz? The globally-loved ketchup was first concentrated here and the legacy continues with the Heinz History Center, a 370,000 square-foot museum dedicated to Pittsburgh's rich history, including the ketchup that revolutionized condiments worldwide!

Gotham City in The Dark Knight Rises

Yes, you read it correctly! Christopher Nolan chose Pittsburgh as the face of Gotham City in his blockbuster film, "The Dark Knight Rises". Exploring the city will take you straight into the heart of Gotham, from the home of the Gotham Rogues (Heinz Field) to Wayne Enterprises (Software Engineering Institute).

Innovations in Steel and Glass

Historically known as the "Steel City" for its 300+ steel-related businesses, Pittsburgh played a crucial role during the industrial revolution, shaping the steel industry as we know it today. The city is also recognized for its glass innovations, thanks to industry pioneers like PPG Industries and its dazzling glass castle-like headquarters in Downtown Pittsburgh.

Capital building of Pittsburgh, PA in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

In Pittsburgh, the property tax rate for 2023 is approximately 2.44%. Compared to the national average of 1.07%, Pittsburgh residents bear a higher burden. The tax is determined by the county, school district, and city rates.

Sales Tax

The sales tax rate in Pittsburgh is at 7% for 2023. This is slightly higher than the average US combined sales tax rate, which is approximately 6.22%. Sales taxes are imposed on the sale of goods and certain services in Pennsylvania.

Income Tax

For 2023, the income tax in Pittsburgh is levied at a rate of 3.07% on state and 2% on local level, totaling to roughly 5.07%. This is relatively low when compared to the other states with an income tax, as Pennsylvania has a flat rate income tax structure.

Housing Market

Pittsburgh's housing market offers both buyers and renters compelling value relative to the rest of the US. With a median home value of $183,000 and a median rent of $1,400 as of 2021, Pittsburgh is significantly more affordable than many other cities. It boasts a diverse housing stock that satisfies various tastes and budgets. Despite the city's affordability, its real estate market has shown strong growth, outpacing the national average in recent years. However, renters facing income instability should note that Pittsburgh's eviction rates are above average, making tenant-friendly housing policies an essential consideration.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Pittsburgh, PA is considerably lower than in many U.S cities. Favorable housing costs contribute significantly to this affordability. Compared to other metropolitan areas like New York or San Francisco, Pittsburgh's real estate is a bargain. Besides, costs for groceries, healthcare, and transportation are also quite modest. This makes it not only an attractive option for families, but also for students, seniors, and professionals. So, if you're looking for an urban lifestyle without the hefty price tag, Pittsburgh offers a viable, budget-friendly alternative.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Pittsburgh, PA is characterized by a humid continental climate, experiencing all four seasons. Summers are generally warm and humid, whereas winters are cold and can be quite harsh. The city sees an average annual precipitation of about 38 inches, distributed evenly across the year, with the slightly larger portion occurring in summer. Fall is usually the driest season, presenting a colorful canopy of changing leaves. Winters bring in moderate snowfall, with an average accumulation of 41 inches. Major natural disasters include occasionally severe thunderstorms and winter storms, along with the risk of flooding, particularly in spring and after heavy rainfall. Tornadoes, though significantly less frequent, also occur but usually are of lesser strength. Despite these, Pittsburgh's changing climate and diverse weather patterns provide its residents a unique blend of natural beauty and meteorological experiences.

Typical weather in Pittsburgh, PA

Economy & Job Market

* Health Care and Social Assistance

* Education Services

* Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

* Manufacturing

* Retail Trade

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, also known as the city of bridges, has a colorful economic history painted with steel, rivers, and innovation. For a long time, the steel industry was the heartbeat of the city's economy, however, the city faced a drastic economic shift when the steel industry declined in the late 20th century. But, fear not friend, Pittsburgh didn't just rebuild, it reinvented itself. Like a phoenix, Pittsburgh rose from the ashes, dusted off the steel dust, and soared into a diversified economy. The city now boasts a healthy blend of services industries - health care, education, and tech leading the pack. Companies like Google, Uber, and Apple now bring a modern mix to the city's industrial vibe. Plus, Pittsburgh is also a magnet for robotics research.

If you're considering selling your wagon and moseying on down to Pittsburgh for job opportunities, you're making a wise move buckaroo! The city's job market is looking as radiant as a crisp Pennsylvania sunrise. The job growth in the last few years has been outpacing the national average. Plus, the unemployment rate has been trending below the national average too, so that's a good sign for you, pilgrim! Now, where should you hang your hat? The bustling downtown area is a hot spot, but regions like Oakland, where several hospitals and universities are located, and Shadyside, a hub for tech startups, are also excellent for job seekers in healthcare, education, and tech industries. So grab your resume, pull on your boots, and get ready to explore the 'Burgh!

Traffic and Transportation

Oh, Pittsburgh, the City of Bridges! Fun fact: with over 440 bridges, you'll cross more of them here than any other city in the world! But hey, it doesn't stop at bridges. The average commute time in Pittsburgh is about 26 minutes, not too shabby for city living. And if you want to ditch the car, no worries! Pittsburgh's got you covered with its public transit system. Play (cough, um ride) with the Port Authority transit system - our buses, light rail (we call it the "T"), and inclines provide a fun little adventure. And if your sights are set on farther horizons, Pittsburgh International Airport, rated one of the best airports in the US, serves up flights across the country and around the globe. From bridges to buses, to take-off and landing, transportation in Pittsburgh keeps things moving in this vibrant, dynamic city!

What is the traffic like in Pittsburgh, PA?

Best Neighborhoods in Pittsburgh

1. Squirrel Hill

Step into a postcard of charm, architectural beauty and tranquil parks and you've entered Squirrel Hill. This all-embracing neighborhood is home to Pittsburgh's largest Jewish community, whose influence is felt in its cluster of kosher restaurants and bakeries. The area is also a magnet for students, as it is just a quick jaunt from Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh. From bustling Murray Avenue, adorned with beloved local businesses, to the serene paths in Schenley Park, Squirrel Hill offers the perfect blend of urban excitement and suburban tranquility.

2. Lawrenceville

Considered the Brooklyn of Pittsburgh, Lawrenceville is hip personified. Think art-house movies at Row House Cinema, cutting-edge artwork adorning street walls, and an abundance of chic bistros and cocktail lounges. With its narrow streets lined with rowhouses, Lawrenceville boasts a small-town vibe with an edgy character. The neighborhood's strong sense of community is evident at its awe-striking annual Art All Night event, where artists of all abilities showcase their talents. The perfect neighborhood for those seeking an urban bohemian lifestyle.

3. Shadyside

Classic, chic and cosmopolitan, Shadyside's stylish allure is difficult to resist. Walnut Street, the bustling main drag is filled with upscale boutiques, swanky restaurants, and trendy cafes - perfect for fashionistas, foodies and everyone in between. The neighborhood is also known for its magnificent Victorian mansions and great schools, making it popular among families. Shadyside is charm-infused, tranquil, and classy but with a fresh, fun side too.

4. North Shore

For the sports lovers, North Shore can really be a dream come true. Home to Heinz Field and PNC Park, you can indulge in year-round sporting extravaganza with NFL's Steelers and MLB's Pirates in your backyard. This riverfront neighborhood is also famous for its scenic Riverwalk, a haven for bikers and walkers. Couple that with an array of breweries, restaurants and the fascinating Carnegie Science Center, and you've got a neighborhood brimming with energetic vibes.

5. Mount Washington

If dazzling city views are your thing then Mount Washington is hard to beat. Renowned for its stunning panoramas of Pittsburgh from the famous Grandview Avenue, a cliff-top street lined with scenic overlooks, Mt. Washington is a sight to behold. With its tight-knit community atmosphere, diverse dining options, and stunning real estate from contemporary homes to quaint cottages, this hilltop residential area offers a unique blend of city access and suburban serenity.

All these neighborhoods come with their own unique appeal and allure, offering a spectacle of Pittsburgh's diversity and vibrant culture. Truly, the city's beauty lies in its tapestry of distinctive neighborhoods, each one brimming with character and charm. So pack your bags, set out on a journey of exploration, and find the neighborhood that resonates with your spirit!

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Things to Do

Welcome to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania! Whether you're planning a visit or making a move, this rather spunky city is full of world-class culture, outdoor adventures, professional sports, and a whole lot more. Pittsburgh, coined as the "City of Bridges", has a lot to offer its newcomers no matter what you're into. So, here we've put together a list that only scratches the surface on the plethora of things you simply can't miss out on. Get ready to immerse yourself in the city of black and gold!

1. Take in the View from Mount Washington

There's no better way to kickstart your love affair with Pittsburgh than by taking a ride up the Duquesne Incline to the top of Mount Washington. The stunning panoramic view offers an unbeatable snapshot of the city's skyline, its trillions of bridges, and the winding Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers. Don't forget to bring your camera!

2. Visit the Andy Warhol Museum

Art enthusiasts or not, everyone needs to visit the largest museum in North America devoted to a single artist. Here in Pittsburgh, his birthplace, you'll find seven floors of Warhol's iconic pop art, including famed pieces such as his Campbell's Soup Cans. This immersive tour into Warhol's world will inspire your own creativity.

3. Dive into the Beauty at Phipps Conservatory

This Victorian greenhouse is anything but ordinary. Filled with vibrant displays of exotic plants, tropical flowers, and innovative sustainability concepts, Phipps Conservatory is a completely captivating experience. Their seasonal floral shows and unique glass art displays are a must-see.

4. Cheer on the Black and Gold at Heinz Field

Participating in Pittsburgh's sports culture is non-negotiable. Attend a thrilling Steelers game or get behind the University of Pittsburgh's football team, the Pitt Panthers. The electrifying atmosphere, brilliant plays, and passionate fans will gift you an experience you won't easily forget.

5. Find Something Spooky and Neat at Trundle Manor

Off the beaten path, you'll find Trundle Manor: a house-turned-curiosity museum. This is an attraction that most Pittsburgh natives don't even know about! The house is home to taxidermy, strange artifacts, bizarre art, and other unusual novelties. The museum is by appointment only but it's definitely worth a visit for something truly unique and quirky.

6. Experience the Innovation at TechShop Pittsburgh

Unique and exclusive to Steel City, TechShop is an 18,000 square foot makerspace sporting a woodshop, metalshop, textiles department, and more! Here, you can create your own 3D-printed items, laser-cut designs, screen printed t-shirts...and practically anything else you can dream up. Get your hands dirty and embark on an inspiring DIY project.

7. Enjoy Pittsburgh's Thriving Food Scene

Last but certainly not least, your move to Pittsburgh wouldn't be complete without trying out its emerging food scene. Whether it's a Primanti Brother's sandwich or pierogi from Pierogi Plus, the city's culinary delights will have you coming back for seconds. Don't forget to wash it all down with a craft beer or two!

So, cheers to your new adventure! From its unique culture, mouth-watering food scene, breathtaking views and hidden gems, Pittsburgh is poised to make you fall in love with it instantly. This city truly is full of delightful surprises around every corner, and we're sure you'll find even more than these seven to adore about it once you start exploring. Now, go out there and make Pittsburgh your new home!

Things to do in Pittsburgh, PA?

Find Movers for Your Pittsburgh Relocation

Having roamed the pages of this comprehensive guide, you're likely feeling ready to embrace all that moving to Pittsburgh, PA offers. The next crucial step in your relocation word is securing a reliable moving service, and that's where Great Guys Moving comes in. As a facilitator connecting you with top-rated, licensed, and insured movers, Great Guys ensures your transition is smooth and affordable. Don't let the move be a stressor, allow it to be an exciting prelude to your impending journey. Navigate to Great Guys Moving's website now to utilize their effective process and request a free moving quote for a hassle-free Pittsburgh relocation.

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