Are you planning on moving to the largest city in the state of Pennsylvania, and one of the largest cities in the country? Have you decided which exact area you want to move to? Picking the best neighborhoods in Philadelphia is no easy task. There are so many communities here, each with its own vibe and charm, that the task is nearly impossible.
However, to ensure that the next chapter of your life in this metropolis is as enjoyable as it can be, you’ll have to do some research and find the right area for yourself. To help you do that, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite neighborhoods in Philadelphia.
The Criteria for Choosing the Best Neighborhoods in Philadelphia
Before we move on to our top picks, we’d like to brush over the criteria that you should take into consideration when looking for the reasons to move to your future home. If you don’t know what your priorities and non-negotiables are, you could end up picking a place that doesn’t suit your needs, which might lead to relocation depression. We understand that the process of moving to Philadelphia can be quite overwhelming and that the last thing you want to do is deal with yet another checklist or more moving day tips, but your future self will thank you for it.
Entertainment, Popular Places to Eat and Drink, and Other Amenities
Now that you know what you absolutely have to get from your future neighborhood, it’s time to look at the things you’d like to have access to, but which aren’t crucial to your decision-making process. This could include, for example, the vicinity of the best restaurants in Philadelphia if you’re someone who likes to try out new food or a person moving in together with their partner and looking for date spots. On the other hand, if you like to constantly be on the go, checking out new places and learning new information, you’ll want to know where all the things to do in Philadelphia are.
What Fits Into Your Budget?
The most difficult part of setting the criteria for choosing the right address for yourself is fitting the requirements into a budget. Although the cost of living in Philadelphia is generally close to the 2019 national average, some areas are more affordable than others. Your last task will be to figure out which neighborhood, among the ones you’ve shortlisted based on the amenities they provide, fits into your budget. Speaking of which, make sure you know how to put together a moving budget, household inventory list, and learn some packing tips and tricks to avoid any unnecessary surprises, common moving mistakes, and moving stress. For example, you can find free packing materials for moving and save on your relocation expenses. Also, the best-case scenario would be to find a job before moving to another state and sell or donate unwanted items. Now that you’ve figured out what your most important criteria are, it is time to take a look at our selection of the top ten neighborhoods in Philly and finally change the address.
Create a list of priorities for your future home
#1 Old City – a View on the Delaware River
The Old City District is a historic area located near the Delaware River. Lately, it has been experiencing steady growth in residential developments, which comes as no surprise, given all the amenities that it offers. Independence National Historical Park attracts millions of tourists not only from all over the country but also from abroad. Being such a popular destination, the community is home to numerous hotels, countless restaurants, and shops. If you like always having things to do, this will surely be one of the best places to live in Philadelphia for you. The population of Old City counted around 8,000 residents in 2019.
You can enjoy a magnificent view of the Delaware River from here
#2 Northern Liberties – Commute on a Bike
Northern Liberties is located just north of Old City. It is a quirky and artsy community that is a popular destination among locals for food and drinks. It is well connected by public transport, but most of its residents choose to bike around. Although this area is generally considered good for families, it’s important to note that there aren’t many educational options for kids. The population of Northern Liberties is around 10,000.
Bicycles are the favorite mode of transport in Northern Liberties
#3 Bella Vista – Buy Fresh Produce at the Italian Market
Considered by many to be the best area to live in Philly, Bella Vista is on its way up. As its name suggests, it has been a largely Italian neighborhood, with an open-air Italian Market on 9th Street. Today, however, the population of Bella Vista is very diverse, with people from all over the world flocking here. This is one of the most walkable parts of Philly and is generally good for families. The schools located here are in high demand, which speaks volumes about the quality of education they provide.
The Italian Market is one of Bella Vista’s main selling points
#4 Washington Square West – Three for the Price of One
Midtown Village is a mecca for small businesses and a great location for young professionals and recent college graduates looking to jump-start their careers. There are a handful of good restaurants and cafes here.
The Gayborhood, as the name suggests, largely attracts the LGBTQ+ population. It’s brimming with queer-oriented restaurants and clubs and is generally considered to be a fun place to hang out, no matter if you move during holidays or in summer.
Washington Square is the location of one of the first public squares in Philly, and it offers a vast open area for those who enjoy outdoor activities, be it walks, picnics, biking, or playing sports.
The Gayborhood is one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly areas
#5 Southwest Center City – In the Works
Southwest Center is a historic-looking community that is also home to affordable housing apartments. The area is becoming more and more gentrified as families keep moving here due to the lower costs of housing. This also means that smaller businesses have been on the rise. However, this neighborhood still has a long way to go before it can offer the amenities and quality of life that some other areas do.
Southwest Center is being developed slowly but surely
#6 Fishtown – A Mix of Old and New
Fishtown is one of those neighborhoods that Millennials seem to randomly choose and improve by flocking to it. It is a pretty old community – it can be traced back through history to the 18th century. Today, however, it is a hip neighborhood with lots of things to do, see, and enjoy. Large luxurious homes keep popping up along its streets, and so do bars, restaurants, and other businesses. But it’s not so hard to find a smaller home to move into, so if you’re relocating to Philly alone, this would be one of the best places for making friends in the new city. That’s why when you unpack after the move, start exploring every nook and cranny of this area.
Fishtown is hip but still historic and scenic
#7 Fairmount – Where Parks and Art Meet
Located near downtown, Fairmount offers all the amenities that large cities have, right at your front door. This is a diverse, multiethnic community served by two public elementary schools, one catholic elementary school, and several high schools. This, along with its vicinity to green areas make it one of the favorite choices for families. Fairmount is also known as the place do be for anyone interested in fine art, meaning that if you are moving for a relationship you will have plenty of places where you can have a fun date.
Fairmount is brimming with fine art
#8 Manayunk – the Best of Both Worlds
The motto of Manayunk is “Urban experience, small-town charm,” and that is exactly what this community offers. Its central location and vicinity to all the amenities don’t come at the expense of a peaceful and leisurely lifestyle. The population of Manayunk mostly consists of the working class, although, in recent years, young professionals and middle-class families have started calling it home too.
Young professionals have been moving to Manayunk in recent years
#9 Society Hill – It’s Worth the Price
If you’re looking for an upscale area located at the very heart of Philly, Society Hill is the place for you. Kids living in Society Hill mostly attend the General George A. McCall School and the Benjamin Franklin Highschool. The Free Library of Philadelphia is also located here, and so is the Athenaeum Private Library. Due to its central location, Society Hill is very well-connected by public transport, although the biking system is quite functional, too. On top of that, the walkability of the area is pretty high.
Society Hill is highly walkable
#10 Queen Village
Last but not least, Queen Village is a community where some of the oldest residential houses and apartments in the city are located. Although Queen Village started off as a suburb, as Philly expanded, it today belongs to the city proper. This is one of the most walkable and bikeable corners of Philly, and its scenic streets will definitely make the ride even more enjoyable. The general safety of a neighborhood is high, it’s very diverse and vibrant.