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Pittsburgh

Travel Guide North America USA Northeastern United States Pennsylvania Pittsburgh

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Introduction

Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh

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Pittsburgh is the second largest city in Pennsylvania. The city itself has just over 300,000 inhabitants though the total urban county has around 2.4 million people living there.

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Weather

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max0.9 °C2.7 °C9.4 °C15.7 °C21.4 °C26.1 °C28.1 °C27.1 °C23.5 °C16.9 °C10.2 °C3.7 °C
Avg Min-7.5 °C-6.5 °C-1.2 °C3.8 °C9.1 °C13.8 °C16.4 °C15.7 °C11.9 °C5.7 °C1.2 °C-4.2 °C
Rainfall64.5 mm60.7 mm86.6 mm80 mm91.2 mm94.2 mm95.3 mm81.5 mm75.4 mm59.9 mm72.4 mm74.2 mm
Rain Days10.49.511.810.810.39.68.57.87.87.910.111.3

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Getting There

By Plane

Pittsburgh International Airport (IATA: PIT, ICAO: KPIT) receives many domestic flights and is located about 20 miles (32 kilometres) from downtown Pittsburgh. It has a few international connections, including flights to, Paris and Toronto and seasonal flights to Cancun and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

To/from the airport:

  • Car: PIT is located at Exit 53 of Interstate 376 and the Western Terminus Pennsylvania Route 576 (future I-576), and within 10 miles (16 kilometres) of Interstate 79 and 15 miles (24 kilometres) of Interstate 76, the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
  • Bus: Buses go from downtown Pittsburgh and the city's University District (Oakland) via the Port Authority of Allegheny County's 28X Route as well as from the suburban BCTA Transit to locations north and westbound. Mountain Line Transit's Grey Line also has service to areas south of Pittsburgh including Waynesburg, Pennsylvania; Morgantown, Fairmont, and Clarksburg, West Virginia.

By Train

Trains operated by Amtrak which serve Pittsburgh include:

  • Capitol Limited (Washington, D.C. – Pittsburgh – Cleveland – Chicago)
  • Pennsylvanian (New York – Philadelphia - Harrisburg - Pittsburgh)

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Getting Around

By Car

Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

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Sleep

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Motel 6 Pittsburgh211 Beecham Drive, I-79 At Steubenville Pike, Exit Pittsburgh, PA, 15205Hotel-
Not Another HostelPenn AvenueHOSTEL-

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

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This is version 9. Last edited at 19:00 on Jul 11, 13 by Utrecht. 20 articles link to this page.

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