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The 12 Best Museums in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania [2024]

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Table of Contents

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Music, history, and science are just a few of the topics visitors can learn about when visiting Pittsburgh’s galleries and exhibits. No matter what your interests are or who you’re traveling with, there’s a Pittsburgh museum that belongs on your itinerary. Here’s a list of the best of them to kick-start your planning.

The Best Museums in Pittsburgh

1. The Andy Warhol Museum

The Andy Warhol Museum
Image Credit: Bryan Conley via The Andy Warhol Museum

First opened in 1994, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh is the continent’s largest single-artist exhibit space. The space has 17 galleries, which feature portions of the museum’s extensive collection of over 10,000 pieces.

In addition to sculptures, paintings, and sketches completed by Warhol, the museum preserves documents, photos, and films from the artist’s life and career. Some of the highlighted pieces in the museum are “Campbell’s Soup Can (Beef Noodle),” “Screen Test: Edie Sedgwick,” and “Produce Seller and Female at Front Door.”

While most of the museum is dedicated to Andy Warhol’s works, it also regularly rotates its temporary exhibitions to showcase the work of past and contemporary artists who were inspired by or worked alongside Warhol.

Educational events like workshops for aspiring young creatives, lectures, and even concerts are also hosted at the space. It’s possible to rent the museum for private events as well.

The museum is open Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is free for members and kids under 3, $13 for students, children, and seniors 65+, and $25 for adults. The nearest light rail station is North Side.

  • Address: 117 Sandusky St., Pittsburgh, PA 15212

2. Bayernhof Museum

Bayernhof Museum
Image Credit: Bayernhof Museum

Housed in a mansion inspired by German palaces, the Bayernhof Museum has one of the most important collections of automated instruments.

Touring the museum takes visitors through many of the once-lived-in spaces throughout the home, giving visitors a look into the eccentric life and personality of Charles Boyd Brown III, who commissioned its construction. Among the exhibits are the Gambling Room, Office, and the Secret Cave.

As one of Brown’s passions, musical instruments like a Hupfeld phonoliszt-violina, Regina concerto, and a Knabe Ampico reproducing piano can be seen throughout the home. All of these instruments, made between the 18th and 19th centuries, were designed to be self-playing and still work to this day.

Since a tour guide accompanies all visits, you’ll be able to get answers to any questions you might have during your visit. Tours are conducted daily at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and last 2.5 hours. Reservations must be made ahead of time. Admission is $10 per person. The nearest bus stop is Main Street and 19th Street.

  • Address: 225 St. Charles Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15215

3. Carnegie Museum of Art

Carnegie Museum of Art
Image Credit: Carnegie Museum of Art

Initially opened in 1895 as a fine arts gallery, the Carnegie Museum of Art has tripled its size in the past century. Today, the facility preserves over 35,000 works of art in its permanent collection, though less than 10% are on view at any given time. As a result, the museum’s exhibits are frequently rotated to ensure the public can admire archived pieces.

The museum tends to collect pieces that fall into 9 categories, ranging from contemporary glass sculptures to local artists. An entire portion of the collection is dedicated to the work of W. Eugene Smith.

Some pieces that have been highlighted in the past are “View of the Great Fire of Pittsburgh” by William Coventry, “Place des Lices” by Paul Signac, and a number of historical and decorative artifacts from ancient Greece, Rome, and China, like urns and idols.

Carnegie Museum of Art is open Friday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free for children 2 and under, $15 for students and children 3 to 18, $20 for seniors 65+, and $25 for adults. The nearest bus stop is Forbes Avenue and Craig Street.

  • Address: 4400 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213

4. Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Image Credit: Carnegie Museum of Natural History

With over 22 million on-site specimens, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History (CMNH) is known to have one of the best collections in the world. Despite its massive museum space, only a fraction of its collection is on view at any given time. Off-display specimens are preserved in the archives or used for research.

CMNH’s paleontological wing is one of the best in North America. Some highlighted pieces from this department are fossils from an apatosaurus and the first specimens ever found belonging to a tyrannosaurus.

Typically, 20 wings are open, ranging in topic from geology to ancient Egypt, though some exhibits close periodically for conservation purposes. Children particularly love the Bone Hunters’ Quarry, which allows kids to experience what it’s like at an actual dinosaur dig. Temporary exhibitions are also routinely hosted on the grounds to delve deeper into specific topics.

CMNH is open Wednesday and Friday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free for members and children under 3, $15 for kids 3 to 18 and students, $20 for seniors, and $25 for adults. The nearest bus stop is Forbes Avenue and Dithridge Street.

  • Address: 4400 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213

5. Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Childrens Museum of Pittsburgh
Image Credit: Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Since its opening in 1983, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh has inspired children to create and learn. Currently, 10 permanent exhibits teach kids to work together, learn cause and effect, and the basics of science and how the world works. All ages are welcome, though some of the hands-on displays are better suited for certain age groups.

From the Art Studio to Waterplay, kids can spend hours exploring the facility. During the summer, the seasonal Backyard exhibit allows children to run around in the fresh air.

Additionally, the museum hosts a series of temporary exhibitions each year, as well as workshops and summer camps for kids, usually between the ages of 4 and 13. Private events can also be hosted here, and the museum can help you plan birthdays or other celebrations.

The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free for members and children under 2, $17 for children 2 to 18 and seniors, and $19 for adults. The nearest bus stop is Allegheny Square West and Stop #2.

  • Address: 10 Children’s Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

“We are a national leader in hands on learning, makerspaces, and play, with innovative and interactive exhibits that allow kids to have informal educational experiences that inspire joy, creativity, curiosity and kindness. Our diverse slate of exhibits rotate often so there’s always something new for kids and families to see and do.”

Max Pipman, senior director of communications and visitor services, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

6. Clemente Museum

The Clemente Museum
Image Credit: Clemente Museum

Baseball fans love the Clemente Museum, which is entirely dedicated to the life and career of MLB Hall-of-Famer Roberto Clemente. Since opening in 2007, the museum has amassed a collection of thousands of memorabilia items.

The facility’s pieces range from photos of Clemente to the equipment and uniforms he used while playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates. To further honor Clemente’s legacy, the museum regularly hosts charity events and fundraisers, including auctions featuring items from the collection.

Since visitors tour the museum with a knowledgeable guide, the experience can be customized to learn more about certain topics regarding Clemente’s life and years on the field. Be aware that tours can sell out, so reserving a spot is recommended. Set aside about 90 minutes for your visit.

Tours generally run daily, and hours vary. Tickets are $21 per person. The nearest bus stop is Butler Street and Penn.

  • Address: 3339 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15201

7. Contemporary Craft

Contemporary Craft
Image Credit: Contemporary Craft

Contemporary Craft (CC) aims to showcase the work of artists from around the world in traditional craftsmanship mediums. Ceramics, metal, fiber, glass, and wood are the most prominent mediums represented in the space, though mixed media, stone, and other items can also be found.

The museum rotates its exhibits 3 to 4 times per year to highlight the work of contemporary artists. As a nonprofit, the museum hosts and sponsors a number of outreach programs to teach people about art and allow up-and-coming creatives a chance to dive into a career in the arts.

The museum has 2 locations to reach a wider public. Its flagship gallery is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood, but there’s also a small gallery downtown. Both spaces notably showcase different works of art. Since CC isn’t a collecting space, most of the pieces displayed on the premises are for sale, with the proceeds supporting the arts and artists.

Contemporary Craft is open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free for everyone. The nearest bus stop is Butler Street and 57th.

  • Address: 5645 Butler St., Pittsburgh, PA 15201

8. Nationality Rooms at the Cathedral of Learning

Nationality Rooms at the Cathedral of Learning
Image Credit: Nationality Rooms

Located at the Cathedral of Learning skyscraper, the Nationality Rooms are a series of 31 classrooms showcasing the heritages and cultures that helped build the city. It’s worth noting that some of these rooms are still used for classes as part of the University of Pittsburgh, so be mindful during your visit if lectures are in session while you’re on the premises.

Each room is devoted to a different nationality, from Greek to Japanese, featuring furnishings, architectural styles, and decor that best evoke the traditions of those regions. The Early American Room is particularly interesting, as it features a hidden bedroom.

When designing the room, a few guidelines were set in place, the most important of which are:

  1. Each room must have a historical aesthetic depicting a period before 1787.
  2. The architects of each room must have been from and studied abroad to guarantee authenticity. 

These rooms are open Wednesday through Saturday and Monday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free for kids under 6, $6 for kids 6 to 18, and $10 for adults. The nearest bus stop is Fifth Avenue and Bigelow Boulevard.

  • Address: 4200 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15260

9. Pittsburgh Glass Center

Pittsburgh Glass Center
Image Credit: Nathan J Shaulis via Pittsburgh Glass Center

Though primarily a school meant to teach the craft of glass art, the Pittsburgh Glass Center is also an important gallery space dedicated to the medium.

Established in 2001, the Pittsburgh Glass Center began as a studio for glass artists. Since it still functions in much the same way, it doesn’t have a permanent collection. The space regularly rotates its temporary exhibitions to feature the work of established and up-and-coming artists in the field.

Additionally, the center hosts several events throughout the year. These include classes, panels, lectures with artists, demonstrations, and workshops. Historial glass sculptures are also routinely lent to the facility for display.

Open house visits are available to better accommodate sensory-conscious visitors. These are self-guided tours that include access to sensory kits, including headphones, fidget toys, and other items to help process stimuli.

Pittsburgh Glass Center’s gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free, but a $5 donation per person is suggested. The nearest bus stop is Penn Avenue and Fairmount Street.

  • Address: 5472 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15206,

10. Pittsburgh Tattoo Art Museum

Pittsburgh Tattoo Art Museum
Image Credit: Pittsburgh Tattoo Art Museum

Pittsburgh Tattoo Art Museum is in equal parts a history and art space. The museum shows how tattoos have changed over time through photos, sketches, ads, antique equipment, and designs used by tattoo shops in the past.

Located in affiliation with a working tattoo shop, all the pieces in the museum were once part of a private collection. Today, it’s on display to show the history of American tattoos and how they changed with the influences of other styles and trends.

This museum is generally family-friendly. However, some of the tattoo designs may not be appropriate for particularly young guests, so keep that in mind or call ahead before visiting. Since the museum is rather small, feel free to ask questions about any particular designs or photos to learn more about how the industry has evolved.

Pittsburgh Tattoo Art Museum is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free, though a $5 donation is suggested. The nearest bus stop is Fifth Ave and Aiken.

  • Address: 5413a Walnut St., Pittsburgh, PA 15232

11. Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum

Soldiers Sailors Memorial Hall Museum
Image Credit: Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum

Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum is the largest landmark in the U.S. meant to commemorate the military as a whole. First opened in 1910, the museum later focused primarily on the Second World War and the Korean War. However, with time, the space has expanded to include exhibits for all of the country’s most significant wars, starting with the Civil War.

Military artifacts are displayed alongside the names of those honored in the hall. This collection is ever-growing, and the museum is always happy to accept donated items for preservation and display.

In addition to the exhibits, which honor hundreds of soldiers from all military branches, the museum houses a 2,500-auditorium and several event areas. In fact, each year, numerous events are hosted on the premises, which universities, businesses, and civic organizations organize.

The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free for military personnel, veterans, and children under 5, $5 for students and children 5 to 17, $10 for seniors 55+, and $15 for adults. The nearest bus stop is Fifth Avenue and University Place.

  • Address: 4141 Fifth Ave. 3rd Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

12. Senator John Heinz History Center

Senator John Heinz History Center
Image Credit: Senator John Heinz History Center

Pittsburgh’s Senator John Heinz History Center is the largest history museum in the state. Today, the center houses over 50,000 items, most of which showcase what life in Western Pennsylvania was like for residents throughout history. In fact, it’s also known as the “People Museum” since it uses 6 floors of artifacts and interactive exhibits to show how the state has changed for Pennsylvanians.

Some of the most popular pieces in the exhibits are sets from the beloved TV show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” the oldest Jeep still in existence, and 2 entire floors dedicated to Western Pennsylvania’s sports teams and history.

Visitors of all ages are welcome, and some areas are designed specifically for kids, like Discovery Place and Kidsburgh, to help facilitate learning and creativity. Though outside food isn’t allowed, refreshments can be purchased on-site. Strollers are also available, though in limited supply.

This facility is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free for kids under 6 and members, $11 for students and children 6 to 17, $18 for seniors 65+, and $20 for adults. The nearest bus stop is Liberty Avenue and 12th Street.

  • Address: 1212 Smallman St., Pittsburgh, PA 15222

How To Get Free or Reduced Admission to Pittsburgh Museums

We’ve indicated with each museum whether or not children, students, or seniors receive free or reduced admission. Several other programs offer similar concessions.

The Museums for All program offers free or reduced admission to museums through the U.S. for those receiving food assistance (SNAP benefits). Participating attractions in the greater Pittsburgh area include the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, the Mattress Factory, the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, and more.

Bank of America’s Museums on Us program offers cardholders free general admission to the Carnegie Museum of Art and The Andy Warhol Museum on the first full weekend of every month.

Participation is subject to change; please verify participating museums and entry conditions before your visit.

Final Thoughts

There’s no shortage of museums worth seeing while visiting the Steel City, whether you’re a history fan or a tattoo aficionado. We hope this list has helped you see just how diverse Pittsburgh’s exhibits are so you can pick the ones that best suit your interests.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Pittsburgh have good museums?

Pittsburgh is a great city for museum lovers. The city hosts galleries on a wide array of topics, from art and culture to history and politics. The city is especially well-suited for families who enjoy museums, as most of these spaces are family-friendly.

Is Pittsburgh good for tourists?

Pittsburgh has plenty of sites that are extremely popular among tourists. In addition to the festivals, sports events, and landmarks that draw people from around the country to the city, Pittsburgh is home to some of the best museums on the East Coast.

How many museums are in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania?

There are over 30 different museums open in the Pittsburgh area. Most are family-friendly, so they’re perfect for groups traveling with kids. However, make sure to check for any age requirements before your visit. This number may also change as facilities open or close.

What is the most visited museum in Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh’s science center is one of the city’s most famous museums. The Carnegie Museum complex’s facilities are also extremely popular among tourists, and hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world visit each year.

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About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

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