The 20 Best Neighborhoods in Pittsburgh for Renters

The 20 Best Neighborhoods in Pittsburgh for Renters

Discovering the perfect neighborhood to rent a home is an exciting endeavor, and in the vibrant city of Pittsburgh, there is a wide range of options to explore. Whether you’re a student, a young professional, or a family looking for a new place to call home, this article highlights the 20 best neighborhoods in Pittsburgh for renters. Based on a comprehensive Popularity Index that incorporates listing data, messages sent to landlords/brokers, and overall neighborhood traffic, these neighborhoods have emerged as the most sought-after in the city.

People on bicycles in Pittsburgh, PA
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1. Marshall-Shadeland

Although mainly residential, Marshall-Shadeland boasts a small but lively neighborhood business district along with its healthy stock of affordable homes. The neighborhood’s proximity to major highways and roads makes for painless commutes. Popular points of interest include the Riverview Park with its trails and playgrounds, as well as the Allegheny Observatory, where residents and tourists can explore the wonders of the night sky. The combination of cheaper, available housing with its favorable location makes this diverse community the most in-demand neighborhood in Pittsburgh.

2. Brighton Heights

Scenic and calm, Brighton Heights is a close-knit neighborhood that offers friendly local shops and community events. With hiking trails, playgrounds, and sports courts nearby, Brighton Heights is a great area for those who want to spend time outside and enjoy the sun. Nature enthusiasts can enjoy outdoor activities at nearby Riverview Park, while art lovers can explore the Gallery on Baum, featuring contemporary art exhibitions. Additionally, the neighborhood hosts the annual Brighton Heights Music Festival, a celebration of local music talent. This neighborhood is also incredibly pet-friendly so families and young couples with furry friends love this beautiful, good-natured area.

3. Central Oakland

Vibrant and energetic, Central Oakland is one of the busiest neighborhoods in Pittsburgh and is often considered to be the cultural focal point of the city. The neighborhood is home to the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, lending it a youthful and academic atmosphere. Visitors can explore the Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. For live performances, the historic Cathedral of Learning houses the Stephen Foster Memorial, featuring concerts and events throughout the year. Bustling with students on their way to school, visitors checking out museums, and hospital staff making their way to work, Central Oakland is incredibly eclectic and always lively. The residents in Central Oakland tend to be single professionals looking for a convenient home to get to their nearby work place.

4. Knoxville

Originally founded as a fruit farm in the 1870’s, Knoxville still retains its historic allure with rows of beautiful Victorian-styled homes. The neighborhood is home to the John F. Singer Memorial Shelter, a beautiful stone structure in McKinley Park, providing a picturesque setting for outdoor gatherings and events. For nature enthusiasts, nearby Emerald View Park offers scenic views of the city skyline.Many of its residents are single renters who want a quaint home in a charming and incredibly affordable area.

5. Shadyside

Situated in the heart of Pittsburgh’s East end, Shadyside is an affluent, well kept neighborhood with Victorian-styled mansions and modern luxury apartments. Vibrant trees and shrubbery line the streets of Shadyside, giving the area a picturesque charm. Walnut Street and Ellsworth Avenue are the main commercial corridors, featuring boutique shops, art galleries, and high-end restaurants. The neighborhood is also home to the beautiful Mellon Park, which hosts outdoor concerts and performances during the summer months. The neighborhood prices tend to be more expensive than the city average and the residents are a diverse blend of families, professionals, and students.

6. East Allegheny

Initially housing many immigrant German families, East Allegheny stays true to its historic roots with grand architecture and Victorian styled homes. The neighborhood is within walking distance of the North Shore, where visitors can catch a baseball or football game at PNC Park or Acrisure Stadium. The nearby Rivers Casino offers entertainment, gaming, and live performances. In recent years, this neighborhood has become very appealing to younger residents because of its waterfront location, eco-friendly community initiatives, and the development of a new stadium for the Pirates and Steelers.

7. Bloomfield

Very popular among students, Bloomfield is extremely flat and walkable, great for those with no cars, and is a short bus ride away from many higher education universities. Known as Pittsburgh’s Little Italy, Bloomfield is a vibrant neighborhood with a rich culinary scene. Residents and visitors can enjoy a variety of Italian restaurants, bakeries, and cafes. The Bloomfield Saturday Market, held during the summer months, offers fresh produce, local crafts, and live music. The neighborhood is also home to West Penn Park, providing green spaces for recreational activities.

8. Mount Washington

For unparalleled, panoramic views of the city, Mount Washington is the go-to spot. Located on the very top of the hills near downtown Pittsburgh, Mount Washington has observation decks, a variety of beautiful parks, and tons of hiking trails. The neighborhood’s observation decks offer breathtaking vistas of downtown Pittsburgh and its three rivers. Residents and tourists can also explore Emerald View Park, which features hiking trails and scenic overlooks. The Duquesne Incline, a historic cable car, provides a unique transportation experience and access to the neighborhood. Especially popular among professionals in their twenties and thirties, this neighborhood has a variety of housing including older, red brick houses, single family homes, and new multifamily apartment buildings.

9. East Liberty

After the redevelopment of East Liberty in the past few years, the spirit of this historic neighborhood has been rejuvenated. A culturally diverse area, East Liberty has great music and art scenes, especially for hip hop and acoustic music, and a wide array of ethnic cuisines to choose from. The neighborhood is known for its eclectic dining scene, featuring a mix of cuisines from around the world. Residents and visitors can enjoy live music at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater or explore the galleries and studios at the Pittsburgh Glass Center. With new businesses thriving, this neighborhood is bustling with new residents.

10. Friendship

Decorated with grand Edwardian and Victorian styled homes, Friendship is a beautiful, energetic neighborhood. Although mainly residential, Friendship has a handful of small art galleries, architecture firms, and design companies. Friendship Park is a local favorite, providing residents with a green oasis in the heart of the neighborhood. The park features open green spaces, walking paths, and a playground, making it ideal for outdoor activities and leisurely strolls. Friendship’s central location allows for convenient access to other parts of Pittsburgh. The neighborhood is well-connected to public transportation, making it easy to explore the city and its surrounding areas. The real estate prices tend to be higher here than the rest of the city but this neighborhood’s vibrant culture keeps it popular among families, students, and young professionals.

11. Beechview

A quiet, laid-back neighborhood, Beechview is home to many working class families and retired seniors. With beautiful parks, a large public library, and different types of community organizations to join, Beechview is an inviting place to relax or socialize. One of the notable features of Beechview is its abundance of beautiful parks and green spaces. Beechview Park, in particular, offers a serene setting for outdoor activities and leisure. It features spacious lawns, walking paths, and playgrounds, making it an ideal spot for picnics, sports, and enjoying nature. The park also hosts community events and festivals throughout the year, fostering a sense of unity and providing opportunities for residents to connect with their neighbors. The affordable prices coupled with its cozy cottage styled homes make this quaint neighborhood incredibly appealing to many types of renters.

12. Brookline

With easy access to major roads and tons of affordable housing options and community organizations, Brookline is the second largest neighborhood, and one of the most popular rental areas, in Pittsburgh. The businesses here, ranging from salons to specialty liquor stores, are always bustling with people. A great blend of a friendly residential community, a lively business area, and affordable rentals makes Brookline a very appealing neighborhood to live in. Throughout the summer months, residents can enjoy free outdoor concerts in local parks. These concerts feature local musicians and bands, providing a platform for live entertainment and a chance for the community to come together and enjoy music in a relaxed and casual setting. Held regularly during the warmer months, the Brookline Farmer’s Market brings together local vendors, artisans, and farmers, offering fresh produce, handmade crafts, and other goods. It provides an opportunity for residents to support local businesses, connect with their neighbors, and enjoy a vibrant market atmosphere.

13. Carrick

Nestled between two suburbs, Carrick is a quaint neighborhood with a strong sense of community. Residents mainly consist of families, some have been here for many generations, single professionals, and retirees who love the calmness. A neighborhood noted for its conservation efforts, Carrick has been applauded by the U.S. Department of Energy for its weatherized buildings and strategic planting of trees for maximum energy. A local favorite, Phillips Park offers recreational facilities including playgrounds, sports fields, and walking trails. It’s a great spot for outdoor activities and relaxation. Residents can also enjoy community events including Carrick Community Day and the Carrick Halloween Parade.

14. Perry North

Conveniently located for anyone who loves downtown nightlife without being right in the thick of it, Perry North offers a warm, friendly community minutes away from the hustle and bustle. Residents and tourists enjoy visiting the famous Allegheny Observatory, which offers tours several times a week, and Riverview Park, a large, expansive green area with hiking trails, tennis courts, and picnic areas.

15. Downtown Pittsburgh


Heart of the city, downtown Pittsburgh is full of people on the move and sky high buildings. If you want to get away from the commotion, Point State Park has stunning, scenic views of the water, since it is where the Ohio, Alleghenny, and Monogahela rivers connect. Although this area tends to have higher rental rates, the central location, great views, and modern luxuries more than makes up for it. Downtown residents enjoy the convenience of having a wide range of amenities right at their doorstep. From grocery stores and pharmacies to restaurants, cafes, and shopping centers, everything is easily accessible. Daily necessities can be fulfilled without traveling far, saving time and effort. Downtown Pittsburgh is home to numerous cultural institutions, museums, theaters, and entertainment venues. Residents have easy access to world-class performances, art exhibitions, and historical landmarks. The Benedum Center, Heinz Hall, and the Andy Warhol Museum are just a few examples of the cultural offerings in the area.

16. South Side Flats

Upcoming and trendy, Southside Flats is full of chic restaurants and bars, beautiful art galleries, and cool music venues. Although this neighborhood is recognized for its many blocks of stunning, Victorian-styled buildings, newer luxury apartments have also been developed in this area as well so there is something for everyone. The rental rates in this neighborhoods are higher than the city average but if you want a diverse community with lots to see and do, South Side Flats is the one for you.

17. Morningside

With adorable brick homes and tree-lined streets, Morningside is a picturesque neighborhood that is great for families raising children. There are parks and playgrounds peppered throughout the area for leisure time in the sun and tons of community events to participate in. The rental rates in Morningside are similar to the city median so affordability does exist in this sweet and charming neighborhood.

18. Highland Park

Encompassing an almost 400 acre park, Highland Park is a beautiful, tranquil neighborhood that is highly desired by newly weds and families with children. Though this area is mostly residential, there are a handful of delicious restaurants, with varying types of ethnic cuisines, and a few cozy coffee shops. The park itself features many options for outdoor activities including a large pool, tennis and volleyball courts, and beautiful hiking trails.

19. Squirrel Hill South

With delicious ethnic eateries and a variety of walkable shopping options, easy-going Squirrel Hill South offers the perfect lazy Sunday afternoon atmosphere. This neighborhood has both single-family houses and more affordable high-rise apartment buildings. Squirrel Hill South boasts a lively and walkable shopping district along Murray Avenue. This bustling commercial area is lined with an eclectic mix of independent shops, boutiques, bookstores, and specialty stores. Residents can enjoy leisurely strolls and explore the unique offerings, from local fashion to specialty foods and artisanal goods. Squirrel Hill South is also known for its strong sense of community and hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year. From street fairs to cultural celebrations, residents can participate in engaging activities that bring the community together. Notable events include the Squirrel Hill Night Market, which showcases local vendors, artists, and live music.

20. Central Lawrenceville

Having undergone a major transformation in recent years, Central Lawrenceville is now incredibly popular. This neighborhood is peppered with a quirky mix of stores, from aromatic tea shops to a kitschy zombie store, and laid-back dive bars. This neighborhood mostly consists of singles and the proportion of people who rent or own their homes is equal. Central Lawrenceville has experienced significant revitalization in recent years, with many older buildings being restored and repurposed. The neighborhood strikes a balance between preserving its historic charm and embracing new developments, resulting in a mix of traditional and modern architecture.

Final thoughts

Whether you’re seeking a family-friendly environment, a lively cultural scene, or a tranquil residential area, Pittsburgh has something to suit every lifestyle and preference. From the picturesque streets of Shadyside to the trendy bars of South Side Flats, and from the community-oriented Friendship to the artistic hub of Central Lawrenceville, there is a neighborhood for everyone to call home. With their rich history, thriving local businesses, and strong sense of community, these neighborhoods exemplify the spirit and character of Pittsburgh. Explore the city’s diverse neighborhoods, immerse yourself in their distinct atmospheres, and discover the hidden gems that make Pittsburgh such a wonderful place to live and explore.

Our methodology: To find the best neighborhoods in Pittsburgh, we created a Popularity Index that covers city listing data from the past quarter. The Popularity Index was calculated by incorporating the number of listings in a neighborhood, the number of unique messages sent to landlords/brokers within a neighborhood, and the portion of traffic captured in a neighborhood in correspondence to total city traffic. All data taken from Zumper’s database, which in aggregate covers over 1 million rental listings across the United States.

Frequently asked quesetions

Which neighborhoods are popular among young professionals?

Neighborhoods like Central Lawrenceville, South Side Flats, and Downtown Pittsburgh tend to be popular among young professionals due to their proximity to employment opportunities, vibrant nightlife, and cultural attractions. These areas offer a bustling atmosphere and a wide range of amenities that cater to the needs of young professionals.

What makes Pittsburgh a desirable place to live?

Pittsburgh is known for its vibrant culture, friendly communities, and affordable cost of living. The city offers a diverse range of recreational activities, world-class sports teams, thriving arts and music scenes, and a rich industrial history. With its beautiful parks, scenic landscapes, and numerous employment opportunities, Pittsburgh has become an attractive destination for people of all ages.

What is the cost of living like in Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh has a relatively affordable cost of living compared to many other major cities in the United States. Housing costs, including rental prices and home prices, are generally lower than the national average. The city also offers reasonable transportation, healthcare, and grocery costs, making it an affordable place to live overall.

How is the job market in Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh has a diverse and growing job market, with opportunities in various industries such as healthcare, technology, education, finance, and manufacturing. The city is home to several major corporations, universities, and medical centers that provide employment options. Additionally, Pittsburgh has seen a surge in entrepreneurship and innovation, making it an attractive place for startup ventures.

What are the transportation options in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh offers a range of transportation options to navigate the city. The Port Authority of Allegheny County operates a comprehensive bus and light rail system that serves various neighborhoods. Biking is also popular, with numerous bike lanes and trails available. Additionally, Pittsburgh has major highways for commuting by car and is serviced by Pittsburgh International Airport for air travel.

Is Pittsburgh a family-friendly city?

Yes, Pittsburgh is considered a family-friendly city with numerous attractions and activities suitable for all ages. The city has a variety of parks, playgrounds, and family-oriented events. There are also excellent museums, science centers, and zoos that offer educational and entertaining experiences for children. Pittsburgh’s safe neighborhoods and strong sense of community contribute to its family-friendly reputation.

What are some popular cultural and entertainment attractions in Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh is rich in cultural and entertainment offerings. The city boasts world-class museums such as the Carnegie Museum of Art and Natural History, the Andy Warhol Museum, and the Heinz History Center. It is also known for its thriving theater and performing arts scene, including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and various theater companies. Sports enthusiasts can enjoy cheering for the Steelers (NFL), Pirates (MLB), and Penguins (NHL).

The post The 20 Best Neighborhoods in Pittsburgh for Renters appeared first on The Zumper Blog.

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