You could be forgiven if you haven’t really considered Pittsburgh for your next vacation. Located in western Pennsylvania, it has long been overlooked as a transatlantic city, but that is about to change.

Decades ago, Pittsburgh was best known as a soot-stained industrial center that mined the coal and steel needed to build a growing nation. Now, after its industry has largely closed, it has a new multi-faceted identity as a student town with stunning architecture, world-class galleries and fine dining – all served with a down-to-earth attitude that’s warm and welcoming. It’s Pittsburgh’s time to shine and it’s a very cool city to visit.

Museums of Pittsburgh

He once said that everyone gets their 15 minutes of fame, but Pittsburgh native Andy Warhol has long surpassed those expectations. At st Andy Warhol Museumwhich is the largest gallery dedicated to a single artist in America, you can learn about his life and here are some of his most famous works.

At st Carnegie Museum of Artyou can see more traditional masters like Claude Monet or Edgar Degas, as well as scientific discoveries like the first Tyrannosaurus Rex discovered.

One of the newest attractions in Pittsburgh, opened on October 15, is Moonshot Museum, which is affiliated with local aerospace technology firm Astrobotics. Here, visitors can watch real scientists and engineers work on the technology that is about to travel 400,000 miles to the moon.

Rent a bike and ride the Great Allegheny Pass

What to do

If you think the best way to get to know a city is through your stomach, then look no further than “Berg’s Bites and Bites food tours. You can explore areas all over the city, but a tour of the Strip District will give you a sense of how immigration has shaped Pittsburgh’s food scene, with tastings as diverse as Italian delis and Mexican tamales.

One thing you can’t avoid when visiting Pittsburgh is the passion for sports. All the major teams wear black and gold, and when there’s a big game on, the whole town stops. The greatest spectacle is reserved for Pittsburgh Steelers NFL team, and if you get a chance to attend a game, it’s worth watching. If you want to fit in, buy t-shirts, caps and other goods from the kiosks that pop up around the Strip.

Bicycle rental from Golden Triangle Bike Rental and ride on Great Allegheny Passage, a 150-mile trail that ends in downtown Pittsburgh. You can walk all or just a small part, stopping at breweries along the way.

Get out of the city and head to the Laurel Mountains for some fresh air and beautiful views. You can also visit some of the most famous sites of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright, including Kentucky Knob and his masterpiece Falling water. Learn more about how he used the countryside around him to create modernist pieces that have stood the test of time.

Rooms at Tryp by Wyndham Pittsburgh feature stylish décor

Where to stay

Cozy Lawrenceville is one of the coolest neighborhoods to stay in, with plenty of independent boutiques, trendy restaurants and bars. Rest your head Tryp by Wyndham Pittsburgh, which offers free breakfast pastries, a rooftop bar and stylish decor. Rooms start at $159 (£141) per night.

The sandwich at Primanti Bros should be on your Pittsburgh foodie list

Where to eat and drink

The best views can be found at Monterey Bay Fish Grotto atop Mount Washington, which you can reach via the 19th-century Duquesne incline. It has 360-degree views of the Pittsburgh skyline and some of the best seafood in the city. Don’t miss the whimsical and award-winning Angel Food Grilled Cheese Sandwich.

Local institution Primanti Bros should be on your Pittsburgh foodie list. It’s a simple concept: choose a topping like pastrami, and each sandwich comes with the same extras – sweet and sour lettuce, tomato, provolone cheese and fries on house bread. Wonderful.

Pamela’s P&G Diner this is the place to have breakfast, especially before the game. Her specialty is thin pancake-style crepes, which President Barack Obama liked so much during his visit that he sent chefs to Washington to make them for himself and his guests. If that’s not an endorsement, what is?

Head there for the best BBQ and Southern food in town Walter’s Southern Cuisine. Come and sit outside in their garden for a true American experience.

Dave Dichelo

How to get there

In June, Pittsburgh became more accessible to the UK with the recovery British Airwaysdirect flight from London Heathrow to Pittsburgh International Airport. Open all year round on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, fares start from £505 return.

For more information on things to do in Pittsburgh, see