How To Not Look Like a Tourist While Being a Tourist in Pittsburgh

I have wanted to write this post for a while but just didn't know how to present it without sounding like a jerk. I personally like lists and simple tips so here you have it folks - if you're planning a trip to Pittsburgh, here's the top five things to keep in mind to avoid looking like a tourist this summer, or during your next trip to the 'burgh.


#5. Stop pointing at everything. 
Yes, I see that building. Yes, we are on Liberty Ave. You don't have to point everything out to the other people with you, just tell them. They can see it. The number one thing that gives you away is pointing. Don't do it, it drives the locals crazy. And if your arm is stretched out for no reason except to point to a lamp post, I reserve the right to run into it if it's in the way of me walking.

#4. Don't hold your mace out in the open. 
First of all, this isn't Detroit or some big bad city where you need to be concerned for your safety 24/7. Granted there is crime everywhere, but more than likely, you are fine in Pittsburgh and holding your pepper spray in your hand, ready to fire at any moment, while walking across the Clemente Bridge on a Sunday afternoon is scaring people. Stop that.

#3. Figure out public transit before using public transit. 
If you are one of those people who want to do like the locals do and ride the buses, inclines or the T, good for you and thank you for supporting Port Authority and not clogging up the roads as much. But please, please, please, please, know where you're going. Know how much you need to pay and where you need to pay before you become that person who is holding up the whole line and in turn holding up the times of when the bus, incline or T is supposed to get to the next stop. You can find out how much you have to pay here. And if you are smart, you will not try to figure out how to read a bus schedule, as a tip, just go on Google Maps and put in your start and ending locations and hit the "by public transit" button and it will tell you exactly where and when to catch the bus you need and the number that you should get on. Trust me, it's the only sane way to go.

#2. Enjoy the moment. 
This means, stop updating your Twitter and Facebook every five seconds and stop taking a picture of absolutely everything you see. Live in the moment. If you're going to do check-ins or take pictures of something that you really could not see anywhere else, then by all means. But if you are checking-in online every time you come to a new intersection, how much of your time in Pittsburgh are you really enjoying? Put the phone and camera away for a minute and experience the city through your own eyes. Seriously, if I see one more person take a picture of a downtown garbage can, I don't know what I'll do.

#1. Drive like a yinzer. 
If you are not going to use public transit or when you are coming into or heading out of the city, know how to drive. Nothing bothers a Pittsburgher more than some "jag-off" not knowing where to go or how to get there. Your GPS will be confused, know that ahead of time, it will probably point you in the wrong direction and recalculate more times than you care to count. Take a breather. Regroup. And drive. If there is one thing that defines a Pittsburgher, it's how they drive. Our roads are crazy, there are a lot of one ways and at almost every turn there is a bridge that will take you to the other side of town. Either know before your trip where you need to go to get to your destination, or at the very least, remain calm yet aggressive, because if you hesitate for a second, I and every other Pittsburgh driver, will "Pittsburgh left" you at a red light. And no one who bleeds black and gold will ever apologize or think twice about cutting you off. 

Welcome to the city of champions, try to keep up :)


  1. I run around downtown & the south side all the time with a camera! However there is normally a reason and I've never taken a pic of a trash can! lol. The people who have no idea where they are going drive me nuts too! So glad it's not just me!

    1. Haha taking pictures is okay just not of dumb things lol
      And you are CERTAINLY not alone for not liking poor drivers!
      Thanks for visiting my blog!

  2. you have to know where you're going when you are travelling. its crazy how some people think!

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    1. Agreed! There are too many resources out there to not know how to get to where you want to go. Thanks for visiting my blog!

  3. Ha Ha
    I always hate thinking I look like a tourist anywhere I go

  4. I guess I would fail! At least I'll have an excuse for taking pictures of everything! LOL! -Jess L

    1. This is true - bloggers take pictures of EVERYTHING too haha!


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