• $550   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $847   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $1331   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  northeast US)

92% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
Some errands can be accomplished on foot. 5
hills, getting lost
public transit, live music, professional sports teams 6
punks & the elderly living in peace, finest hipsters in 412, best brews in the city, cool neighborhood, hood af, crack dealers, yes we have an observatory, confusing af ramps, hope you like TRAFFIC, all the tourists but nice view, surprisingly tall buildings, overpriced, let's go bucs, nerds, more shopping, furry convention, and we aren't Steel City anymore are the largest hoodmap tags 7

SO, roomiematch.com's Pittsburgh roommate rundown:

Pittsburgh is appropriately known as our dying Steel City . . . that pivoted into new life in tech, higher education, and health.

But its cheaper housing market has survived, still. Plus decent pizza and cheap beer are almost everywhere.

Like several other cities in the Northeast, Pittsburgh hosts a lot of institutions of higher learning that export a lot of culture . . . but they tend to be aggressively unpretentious about it?

And like elsewhere in the NE (compared to the rest of the country), Pittsburghers tend to talk louder and faster . . . but they're more neighborly too. At the same time. Like a rapid fire friendliness?

They're also into bridges, trains, transit, trails, pizza, regional comfort foods, and a wide variety of indoor and rustic outdoor sports.

And it's all better with beer. Beer is bigger than usual here. Several local breweries are found on tap all over the city, many with a German beer hall flair.

In addition to pizza and beer, regional snacks include: halushky (potato dumplings sauteed with cabbage, pork, or cheese), kolbasi (sausage), pierogies (filled dumplings), city chicken (actually pork), chipped ham (processed lunchmeat), hoagie sandwiches, and kielbasa (sausage again!).

Pittsburgh is where three rivers meet. It's seriously hilly. It also has a lot of bridges over the rivers, more bridges over 20 feet than any other metro. That's over 400 in the city, and over 1700 in the county. Plus they've been a busy freight rail corridor since the 1850s. Trains are always going around and sometimes through the city.

And roads are going every which way around all of it. Up and down the hills and valleys and across the rivers and train tracks all over their spaghetti-like streets.

Non-natives will need a GPS to navigate. But Pittsburgh is lately helping out with their Wayfinder System. That's a series of signs offering directions to destinations throughout the city. The system divides the city's approximately 80 neighborhoods into five regions assigned a color. The dark blue stripes of the three rivers are navigational landmarks. And you'll probably need it too, as you and your roommates will want to drive a lot of the time.

Pittsburgh Regional Transit also offers bus, light rail, subway, paratransit (with reservations), and charmingly rustic incline railways or funiculars. Inclines are hundreds of years old, and previously primarily transported industrial workers up and down the cliffs of their employment. Inclines scale the hills for hundreds of feet, then overlook their historic scenery.

The rest of the transit routes do cover the city, more or less, but can be confusing and run at different times on different days of the week. Before boarding a bus or trolley, reconfirm your route with the driver.

There are also number of ways to pay and different discounts are available. Some zones are occasionally free. So you can public transport Pittsburgh pretty much, but you should plan in advance to get the best fare but not get stranded.

Pittsburgh is also somewhat bike friendly, definitely for scenery. When biking Three Rivers Heritage Trail, you can connect to other trails and some of Pittsburgh's main destinations. However, streets in the city are often narrow and feature no separation for bikes. It's a mixed bag for inner urban destinations.

Also seriously, try not to drive anywhere when an important game is in progress (important = most of them). You might want to bike, depending on proximity to the game(s). Or walking! Seriously consider walking around all the game times.

Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL), Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB), Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL), Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (USL), and Steel City Yellow Jackets (ABA) are all locally loved. There are several popular college teams and even a few passionate high school football fandoms too. Pittsburgh fans are loyal. They show up a LOT.

So if you drive you should subscribe to all the sports schedules too. Then keep an eye on games, even if you're not attending. This will only feel unnecessary until the first time you're stuck in traffic with the other fans who also didn't take our advice.

In additional athletic appreciation, there are also four large parks with hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails, public swimming pools, tennis courts, bocce courts, a golf course, and an outdoor ice-skating rink. You can even kayak through some of that. Or maybe canoe.

Pittsburgh also periodically hosts world-title fishing tournaments like Fishing League Worldwide and the Bassmaster Classic!

And is heavy metal a sport? Pittsburgh is also known for their passionate heavy metal music community. Kinda poetic, right? Dying Steel industrial energy had to pivot into . . . Heavy Metal?

The most Pittsburgh thing you could do might be ride an incline up its very steep hill. Perform a feat of athletic prowess at the top. (Amateur to pro to whatever works, all good.)

And now, your blistering guitar solo!

The rest of the Pittsburgh roommate lowdown:

  • Pittsburgh is in west central Pennsylvania, in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains, where the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers meet as the Ohio River. This is called "The Point," which is also a large fountain downtown in Point State Park.
  • second most populated city in Pennsylvania, with 300,000 in the city and about 2.4 million in the greater metro
  • summers are warm and sunny, winters are cool and variable, with intermittent freezing and thawing
  • 50% chance of precipitation any given day, many days are cloudy
  • home to Penn State University Beaver, Penn State University Fayette, Penn State University McKeesport, Penn State University Kensington, Saint Vincent College, University of Pittsburgh Greensburg, California University, Carlow College, Chatham College, Geneva College, La Roche College, Point Park College, Robert Morris College, Seton Hill College, Washington and Jefferson College, Carnegie Mellon University, Duquesne University, Slippery Rock University, and the University of Pittsburgh
  • Education is a major economic driver. The largest single employer is the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, with almost 50,000 employees.
  • Locals refer to the Interstates radiating outward from downtown as the parkways.

After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience Pittsburgh's:

  • Carnegie Museum of Natural History: 22 million specimens. That doesn't even really seem possible, but they have been collecting and conserving for over 50 years. Timed tickets are recommended.
  • Carnegie Museum of Art: About 35,000 works in the permanent collection. Ongoing, traveling, and special "in our collection" gallery exhibitions, docent-guided tours available. The "Carnegie Lab" is an ongoing class in art-making, free with museum admission.
  • Frick Park: Pittsburgh's largest park, about 664 acres of hiking, biking, and birdwatching.
  • Phipps Conservatory: So many beautiful flowers on 15 acres, a City of Pittsburgh and National Register Historic Place - Palm Court, Serpentine Room, Fern Room, Orchid Room, Desert Room, and a Tropical Fruit Room. There's also a rooftop garden focusing on rooftop-able yet still very edible fruits and vegetables.
  • Squirrel Hill: Home to about 21 synagogues.
  • Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium: Zoo and aquarium combo! Over 77 acres, more than 4000 animals representing 475 species. There's a Gorilla Trek Virtual Reality Theater.
  • Andy Warhol Museum: More Andy Warhol than anywhere else, including recreations of "The Factory" and an exploration of the ever-changing chemistry of this Pittsburgh-born artist's "oxidation paintings"
  • National Aviary: The country's largest aviary, home to more than 500 birds representing 150 species. So many immersive habitats to visit along with outdoor birdwatching classes and conservation.
  • Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra: From the Pops to the classics to family-friendly concerts at discount rates. Several conductors!
  • Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Motorsport Festival: Wide variety of car shows including a vintage parade, usually in July.
  • Picklesburgh: Voted #1 Best Specialty Food Festival in America - There's a pickle juice drinking contest, pickle cotton candy, and live music on multiple stages.

Here's the city of Pittsburgh's official .gov for parks, pools, and other public recreation centers, some of which should interest you and your roommates.


1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.

2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.

3.   From zumper.com.

4.   Directly quoted from the Trust for Public Land's parkland rating system.

"The ParkScore index awards each city up to 100 points for acreage based on the average of two equally weighted measures: median park size and parkland as a percentage of city area. Factoring park acreage into each city’s ParkScore rating helps account for the importance of larger “destination parks” that serve many users who live farther than ten minutes’ walking distance."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual ParkScore, nature lovers might like to see all roommate cities ranked for parkland.

5.   Directly quoted from Walk Score's Cities and Neighborhoods Ranking. They've ranked "more than 2,800 cities and over 10,000 neighborhoods so you can find a walkable home or apartment."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual Walk Score, dedicated pedestrians might like to see all roommate cities ranked for walkability.

6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.

7.   From hoodmaps.com: a collaborative map where residents use tags describing social situations you're likely to find. Other users can thumb up or down, so the largest tags have been thumbed up the most.