The answer to the question of what the best places to live in Philadelphia are will depend on your needs, desires, and preferred lifestyle. This is a place that can accommodate millennials as well as career chasers and aspiring entrepreneurs, families, foodies, and those in pursuit of knowledge.
The City of Firsts, as it’s often called, is a place with a rich historical and cultural heritage, home of the first zoo, hospital, and medical school in the US. Today, it is known for its diversity, culture, acceptance, and an array of opportunities. There are many reasons why you should move here, so if you choose to relocate to Philly and make it your next home, you’d want to pick the right neighborhood that can cater to your needs and your budget. So, without further ado, let’s get down to business.
Center City Is the Main Business Hub
If you have one of those well-paid jobs that require relocation, you will probably end up living in the Center City, the beating heart of this metropolis. This is a bustling business hub where many corporations such as Comcast, Cigna, and Aramark have their headquarters. With nearly 200,000 residents, it is the second-most densely populated downtown district in the US after Midtown Manhattan.
The median rent is over $2,000, and the cost of living is relatively high, but that’s the price you have to pay for walking to work every day and enjoying a vibrant nightlife in one of the most prominent downtown areas in the whole country. If you want to stay within your moving budget, consider moving into a smaller home or finding a flatmate to reduce costs when moving.
Center City Has the Best Employment Opportunities
The latest statistics show that the recent job growth in Philadelphia is steady and robust. Center is a dense and diverse employment center, where 42% of all jobs in the metropolis are concentrated. So if you’re looking to find a job before moving to another state, start from there. With 298,000 wage and salaried workers, 41 million square feet of commercial office space, and 9,000 freelancers, this is the city’s largest business district.
Did you know that Downtown is the second-most densely populated downtown area in the US?
West Philly Is a Foodie Paradise
If you are young (or at least feel like it), consider West Philly as your next home. This area is located just across the Schuylkill River from Center City, and it has its own distinctive spirit. Many buildings and events are designed to cater to the needs of younger residents. That’s why here you can find many community gardens, offbeat performances, and diverse restaurants. Some of the best restaurants in Philadelphia are located here, as well, and visiting them will definitely help you cope with stress when moving. Depending on what you are craving at the moment, you can find not only typical American cuisine but a variety of venues serving food from all over the world.
If you are moving for a relationship, this place would be perfect for organizing a date night. Just make a reservation for two in a restaurant with the favorite type of food of your significant other, and you are all set. From Mexican, Indian, and Ethiopian food to tasty Greek and Yemeni dishes, this place has it all.
Coffee addicts will find it easy to adapt here; there are plenty of spots where they can get their daily fix of caffeine. From international coffee, tobacco, and tea joints like Avril 50, to organic coffee at Green Line Cafe, there’s a spot for everybody.
West Philadelphia is a big area consisting of a couple of smaller neighborhoods. If you are seeking a hip and youthful location to settle down, check out University City.
University City Is One of the Best Philly Neighborhoods for Millennials
In the east part of West Philly, there is a spot popular with millennials, and it’s called University City. With many bookstores, restaurants, shops, and bookstores, this is the neighborhood for early risers and night owls, so, no place for relocation depression. If you are thinking about the cost of living in Philadelphia and how much money you will need, choose University City to settle down in, because it’s a great place to have fun even on a tight budget.
According to Niche, a popular ranking and review site, 93% of people are renting their apartments here, and the median rent is around $1,200. You will get to stay in an area that is well connected with the rest of Philly through busses, trolleys, and trains.
If you are moving to another state alone in pursuit of knowledge, know that University City is the home of three major educational institutions: the University of Penn, Drexel, and the University of Sciences. With this in mind, you should know that getting a good education and making friends in a new town won’t be too difficult, especially if you check out some roommate websites. With the median age of 23 years, this is a really young community, and you can become a part of it.
Lastly, if you are relocating with your dog, know that here you can enjoy long walks along Cobbs creek parkway and play fetch with your furry friend.
Schuylkill River was originally called Tool-pay Hanna (Turtle River)
Bella Vista Is One of the Best Places to Live in Philadelphia
Bella Vista, which translates to “beautiful view,” is a place close to the center that has strong ties to the Italian community. This can be seen in the general vibe of the area, the shops, and the famous South 9th Street Market, known as “Italian Market.” It is so renowned that it even has a yearly festival. In the market, you can get all the fresh produce you need to cook when you are not in the mood for dining out.
The median monthly rent is around $1,300, while a single-family home value is $375,000. Fifty percent of Bella Vista locals own their homes, and if you decide to buy one, you can choose between spacious condos and townhomes.
With the crime rates that are 18% lower than the national average, decreasing number of crimes, and high general safety of a neighborhood, this is a good neighborhood to start a family and raise kids. Add quality educational institutions and plenty of outdoor activities, and you will see why this is a great spot to settle down if you are relocating with your family including your kids.
Family Friendly Area With Good Schools and Parks
This is one of the best cities to raise a family in the US, so when thinking about Philadelphia public schools, know that Bella Vista can offer your kids a proper education in institutions like George W. Nebinger, Andrew Jackson Elementary, and William M. Meredith School. They will also have access to the Free Library of Philadelphia. That’s why this is a great spot if you are planning to move in together with your partner and start a family soon.
Once your kids are enrolled in schools, you can have a little bit of time for some family fun in the new area. Don’t leave your bikes in storage, make a day out of driving around, visiting spots like Cianfrani Park or the Palumbo Recreation Center. These parks are maintained and supported through volunteer efforts; that is why there are park-related events like summer concerts, outdoor movies, yoga, or bocce league.
Northwest Philadelphia Is for Nature Enthusiasts
If you are thinking about where should you move, and you’re considering relocating to the suburbs, if you opt for Northwest Philly, be prepared to take up an active way of life. When it comes to things to do in Philadelphia, know that this place is famous for hilly terrains that are great for biking, running, or hiking. On the weekends, when you are not working, you can check out Wissahickon Valley Park or take a walk by the river Schuylkill. Also, check out Pennypack Park and its 15-miles-long trails.
When the weather doesn’t allow you to bask in the glory of nature, enjoy golf at Burholme. You can also stop by the Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion and try not to get creeped out by tarantulas, praying mantises, and Scorpios.
This is the location with a suburban vibe to it, with large Tudor homes, big ranches with sizable properties and townhouses. According to Zillow, the median house value here is $162,600, while the rent is $1,500. Such cost is pretty affordable, especially if you’re relocating from neighborhoods in Atlanta, where the median home price is around $300,000. The location is influenced by German-American, African American, British American, and Italian-American communities, which is evident in the architecture of the place.
Since Northwest Philadelphia covers a large area, there are plenty of smaller neighborhoods that developed their own vibe, and Mount Airy is one of them.
Is Mount Airy the Next Brooklyn?
Are you relocating from New York to Philly? If you are, and you want to feel some of that Big Apple vibe, you can choose Mount Airy for your next home. This place will make you feel at home, especially if you are relocating from Brooklyn.
Mount Airy is a hot spot for all tolerant and open-minded people. Here you can meet hippies, vegans, LGBT families, and young professionals. Its modern and hip vibe is similar to the one that Brooklyn, as one of the five boroughs of New York, has. The median monthly rent is $1,349, while the single-family home values are $203,700.
With the modern vibe comes the emphasis on a healthy lifestyle and sustainable production of organic foods.
Chestnut Hill Makes Fancy Living a Reality
Another part of Northwest Philly, Chestnut Hill is famous for its well-balanced mix of urban and suburban living, high incomes of its residents, and correspondingly high real estate values. With a median household income of $99,800 and just over 12,000 residents, this is one of the best neighborhoods in Philadelphia that make a fancy, affluent living a reality.
According to data from Niche, 56% of people are renting their homes, and the median lease per month is $1,550, while a single-family house is worth $486,206. While you are house-hunting, you will encounter big estates with gardens and greenhouses and old gothic-looking buildings.
If you decide to transport your vehicle across the country, learn how car shipping works, and get an auto transport service. Know that the ride to Downtown will take less than 30 minutes. But if you are not a big fan of driving, there are buses and trains that can take you to many other neighborhoods.
If you want to explore this neighborhood when you unpack after the move, make sure to clear your schedule for a few days, as it has a higher number of parks, museums, and theaters per capita than any other Philly district. No matter if you move during the holidays or in summer, you can always check out the main street, Germantown Avenue, and see many shops, boutiques, furnishings stores, galleries, and restaurants. You should stop by half a century old Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop and stock on gourmet foods and cheeses.
There are plenty of entertainment options in this top-rated neighborhood – you just have to be willing to have some fun and go out.
Chestnut Hill Is the Home of Witches and Wizards
Did you know that up until recently, Chestnut Hill transformed into Hogwarts every October? There was a Harry Potter Festival that included quidditch tournaments, as well. Nowadays, this festival is called “Witches and Wizards Weekend,” and it provides free fun for families. Here you can participate in a straw maze and Brotherly Love Cup Quidditch Tournament, as well as watch circus acts.
The Home & Garden Festival is in May, and it gathers many gardeners and art lovers that enjoy crafting and showing their art. Here you can buy handmade designed jewelry, listen to live music and try some delicious food.
The fall brings Fall for the Arts Festival, where you can enjoy a day outside filled with art, culinary delights, music, and boutique shopping. This event transforms the streets of Chestnut Hill into one big crafts marketplace.
Warner Brothers forbade the usage of Harry Potter's name for the festival
Living in the City of Brotherly Love
Relocating to a big city such as Philly will bring you many diverse and exciting opportunities. If you’re getting a bit of anxiety about moving out, be prepared to live in a big, diverse location with a small-town vibe to it, rich history, and a vibrant cultural scene. Our moving day tips such as creating a household inventory list or a photo inventory, and finding free packing materials for moving, can help you stay organized and on schedule.
Picking the right location to settle down will depend solely on your needs and lifestyle choices. Philly has the spot for everybody, from good school districts to busy business centers, where every person can find exactly what they have been looking for all along.
Have you figured out how to tell your friends that you are moving? If so the best time of the year to move here is anytime, so to make your Philly dream come true as soon as possible, consider using professional moving services to avoid common moving mistakes or get the cheapest way to move out of state and relocate your belongings across the country. While you are figuring out how to change the address, reputable and highly recommended movers who know packing tips and tricks will pack your furniture and clothes in no time and move it to your chosen destination in an efficient and timely manner. You can also get a lower cost if you choose to relocate during the cheapest time of the year and donate unwanted items.