The Pros and Cons of Living in Pittsburgh

I’m currently reading This Is Where You Belong by Melody Warnick. It’s about loving the place you live, and it got me thinking about living in Pittsburgh. I’ve been living in the ‘Burgh since I was two-years-old, so I’ve been here over 20 years.

I’m pretty sure I could write a book on what it’s like to live in Pittsburgh, but I’ll try and keep this post to a simple pro and con list.

Cons of Living in Pittsburgh

  • Traffic. We have a few tunnels in and around Pittsburgh, and there always seems to be traffic around them. Jimmy and I have been known to plan outings around the heavy traffic times in the city.
  • Winter. The winters can be quite cold and snowy. In February 2010, we were hit with over 21 inches of snow. It was kind of awesome, though, because I didn’t have school for about a week 🙂

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  • Cloudy Days. Pittsburgh has an average of 203 cloudy days per year. It definitely makes me appreciate the sun when I see it!

Pros of Living in Pittsburgh

  • Livability. Pittsburgh constantly places high on the nation’s list of most livable cities due to its low crime rate, low cost of living, cultural opportunities, outdoor activities, and low risk of natural disasters.
  • Dialect. Have you ever heard of Pittsburghese? Pittsburghers like to use words like yinz, nebby, and slippy, along with phrases such as “Kennywood’s open” and “Apost tu.”
  • Bridges. Pittsburgh has a whopping 446 bridges. Some of the well-known ones are the Fort Pitt Bridge, Smithfield Street Bridge, and Roberto Clemente Bridge. The Roberto Clemente bridge is one of my favorites during Pirates’ and Steelers’ games, because the bridge is closed off to vehicles and pedestrians get to take over and walk across it.
One of my favorite bridges, the Smithfield Street Bridge.

One of my favorite bridges, the Smithfield Street Bridge.

  • Sports. Between the Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins, Pittsburgh is a huge sports city. Heinz Field, PNC Park, and the PPG Paints Arena are all awesome venues and the teams themselves are even better. The atmosphere during baseball, football, and hockey games in Pittsburgh is unparalleled.
  • Seasons. Pittsburgh experiences all four seasons and fall is especially gorgeous.

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That time I met a bald eagle at The National Aviary!

The cons of living in Pittsburgh aren’t that uncommon for a lot of cities in the United States. The pros, though? They make living in Pittsburgh absolutely amazing. I’m proud to call this city my home!

What are the pros and cons of where you live?

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28 comments

  1. Pittsburgh sounds like a great place to live. And yes, I have heard of Pittsburghese! 🙂 I learned about it in one of my linguistics classes at university — there are quite a few linguistic papers and studies of Pittsburghese.

    There are lots of pros about the place where I live: it’s peaceful and rural, but it’s also close to a historic city which has a beautiful cathedral, a great university and a good food scene.

    The cons: the unpredictable weather is the main one I can think of. Winters are often dull and rainy, and you’re not guaranteed a nice, warm summer. I love the sun, but we don’t get enough of it here.

    It’s also a very small city, and while I love that aspect of it, it does mean that cultural activities and things to do are quite limited.

    1. I love that you learned about Pittsburghese in one of your linguistics classes! I learned about it one of my linguistics classes, too, but I thought it was just because my college was near Pittsburgh!

      Where you live sounds nice because it’s peaceful, and has a good food scene!! And the cathedral sounds beautiful! I can totally relate to wanting more sun and predictable weather!

  2. The con here is 8 months of summer. Also, cost of living in Charleston is rather expensive compared to wages here. If you’re lucky enough to work at Boeing, you’re in good hands, but for those in the service industry, or someone just starting out, I honestly don’t know how they can afford a place to live.

    I think sports would be a huge pro of Pittsburgh. Our lack of it is a con here. We have some local teams and people kind of care about baseball, but that’s it. I wish we had a pro football team closer. The Citadel and Charleston Southern University have football programs but even those aren’t huge in the community unless you graduated from one of those schools. Other cities in SC like Clemson, that is definitely a college town and all about sports even though the only teams they have are the university’s.

    1. What I would do for 8 months of summer! That sounds amazing! The cost of living doesn’t, though. I never knew about the gap between the wages and cost of living in Charleston. I also didn’t know Boeing was located there. I think I’m out of the loop, haha.

      Yeah, sports are huge in Pittsburgh. Actually, huge may be an understatement. I think it’s so interesting in the south that college and high school football is huge, but SC doesn’t have a pro football team. You would think they would, because I’m sure they’d have amazing fans!

  3. Great post sweetie!! You know how I feel about the Pittsburgh language barrier 😂 But I will agree, it has been a great place to live and raise 3 beautiful, perfect, amazing children. I love you so much and I’m so proud of you and all the hard work and dedication you put toward your blog ❤
    Mama

  4. Pros of Syracuse: people, food, stuff to do
    Cons: I’m new and so running is harder as I don’t know where to go, I don’t know people, I feel lost sometimes, I miss the trails in Ithaca
    (I’m having a hard adjustment day haha)

  5. The only place in PA I’ve been was Langhorne. When I visited we did take a trip to Philadelphia too. I’ve not been to Pittsburgh, but if the fall season is anything like it is in Washington I’d be sold! One of my favorite things about living in Washington.

  6. I’ve never been to Pittsburgh or Pennsylvania for that matter! I love bridges so it would be awesome to check out all of them if I ever visit, haha!

    1. What is the closest you’ve been to PA?! The closest I’ve been to Cali is Texas, lol. I would love to get out to the West Coast some time! You would be in heaven with all the bridges here! Literally everywhere you look there’s a bridge 🙂

  7. I always appreciate posts like these, I’m such a lover of traveling so knowing these fine details about your city is awesome to take note of. I’ve never been to Pittsburgh, but I have been to the Hershey Factory in Pennsylvania…not sure how close that is to Pittsburgh? But 446 bridges?!? YIKES! So basically every road must be a bridge lol That’s such a cool fun fact nevertheless. Hopefully one day I’ll get around to visiting the city, after all its not THAT far from Boston….we’re at least on the same coast 🙂

    xo, JJ

    1. I thought you might like this Miss Traveler! I think Hershey is about four hours from Pittsburgh. I am ashamed to say I’ve never been there. I want to go so badly!

      And yes, bridges all day every day! Seriously… they’re everywhere!! Yay for being on the same coast! I want to visit Boston! Do you have a Boston accent?!

      1. The Hershey Factory is cool, not as WOW as I thought esp since I was younger when going I thought I was going to be blown away by all the chocolate stuff but still a definite must-see place! And yess come to Boston! I don’t think I have an accent, but weirdly enough, people I do meet mistake me with being from California?! Apparently I have a Cali accent- whatever that even is hahah

  8. What a cool post idea! Pittsburg sounds like a really livable place! I would LOVE to experience the seasons! Buttttt maybe not that much snow 🙂 LOL

    The pros of living in Orlando are the weather, the diversity, and that there’s ALWAYS something to do. The biggest con would probably be that we don’t really experience seasons (it’ll get to the 40’s MAYBE)– but considering I grew up in Miami which is even warmer than it is here, I don’t have anything to compare it to!

    1. Thanks, Brittany! Oh man, how crazy that it barely dips to 40 in Orlando! We sometimes have 40 degree weather in May, though it’s rare (thankfully!). I would love to live somewhere as warm as Miami or Orlando 🙂 Orlando sounds like a lot of fun!

  9. Love this post! I have a friend who lives in Pittsburgh and she has echoed the same sentiment as you about the city! I love it there- I’ve only been a couple times, but have some great memories! I particularly loved going to a Pirates game! Cons of living in the Silicon Valley: Traffic, crowded population, EXPENSE (So stinking expensive to live here), and people don’t really have that midwest friendly vibe I grew up with. Pros: Weather (usually), FOOD (so many options!), there is always something going on, and the church we go to we just love!

    Thanks for sharing this, girlfriend! xo

    1. I’m so happy to hear you love Pittsburgh!! You definitely did things right by going to a Pirates game! The stadium is so nice, and the views are amazing!! What area of the ‘Burgh does your friend live in?! I wonder if I know her?!

      Also, where in the midwest did you grow up? I’m sure it was a huge change to go from the friendliness there to Silicon Valley. Thought Cali seems amazing with the weather and everything there is to do!

      1. YESSS! Love the Pirates Stadium! She lives in Sewickley right now but is moving to Highland Park after she gets married. And I lived in Cleveland/ Akron, OH most of my life and went to college in Indiana! The culture is SOOO different out here. It’s awesome for the time being, but when it comes to raising kids I think we would like to move somewhere more with that midwest vibe 😉 But who knows!!! The weather is a BIG bonus (except this winter has been extra rough!). Hope you are having a great week, dear!

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