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Philadelphia, PA

Getting to Know Philadelphia, PA

The full name is "Philadelphia", but most everyone from the "City of Brotherly Love" just call it "Philly." It's one of the country's most walkable and bikable cities. Art and culture abound, and its job market is growing - good news for those looking to relocate. And while Philly is a central location in U.S. history (where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were written), it's a modern, vibrant city that's proud of its past but continues to evolve.  

Did You Know?

The Philadelphia Museum of Art's "Rocky Steps" were made famous by Sylvester Stallone's run to the top of the museum entrance in the movie Rocky.

Philadelphia Neighborhoods

  • Fishtown: Named after its fishing industry, Fishtown has long been a working-class neighborhood. In recent years, however, a large number of younger, more creative types have moved in, making it a center of art and music in the city. 
  • Fairmount: Called the "Art Museum Area", that's exactly what you're going to find in Fairmount. Of course, there's more to it than that. It's away from the center of the city but still has a great restaurant scene, as well as a lot of green spaces. 
  • Rittenhouse Square: If you want to be right in the middle of things, come to Rittenhouse Square. Whether you're looking for shopping, parks, festivals, or many other things you'd look for in the middle of a city, this is the place to go looking. 
  • Old City: This one is exactly what it says on the tin. While it's full of art festivals, galleries, boutiques, and restaurants, what really makes this unique is the history. Independence Hall and The Liberty Bell Center mark a neighborhood that is essentially the birthplace of America. 
  • East Passyunk: Do you have to be near the best restaurants? Then look at East Passyunk, where boutiques sit next to classical restaurants which are next to cutting edge, experimental eateries. If you're looking for something unique, this is the place you'll probably find it. 

Fun Things to Do in Philadelphia

Outdoor festivals and events abound in Philly, from the Schuylkill Regatta, one of the largest competitions in the world, to the Festival of Fountains at Longwood Gardens, featuring spring and summer performances and fountain displays set to music.

Free Things to Do in Philadelphia

With such a rich history, Philadelphia provides visitors and residents tons of free options for exploring and learning. Check out our list of free things to do:

  • Liberty Bell Center: For a great way to learn about Philly, peruse the historical documents and then get a picture with the Liberty Bell, a symbol of American independence.
  • Curtis Institute of Music: Glimpse some of the world's up-and-coming young musicians at this conservatory in the Center City area, with student recitals several nights a week.
  • Spruce Street Harbor Park: Overlooking the Delaware River, this park is the perfect place to relax while you play a game of chess or grab a hammock to watch the city pass by.
  • Once Upon a Nation: Sit with your kids and listen to professional storytellers recount our nation's history at 13 charming benches scattered throughout the Historic District.
  • Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk: Breathtaking views of the city skyline await you on this 2,000-foot-long walkway that runs partly along the Schuylkill River.

Philadelphia Sports

Satisfy your love for sports with a trip to Citizens Bank Park, home to the Phillies MLB team, or gather by gridiron to watch the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Hockey fans can support the Flyers and or basketball fans the 76ers at their shared home arena, the Wells Fargo Center.

Things to Do in Philadelphia with Kids

Treat your children to an outing at the Philadelphia Zoo, where you feel a part of the animals' habitats as they wander behind a see-through mesh trail system throughout the zoo and above pedestrian walkways. If they want something more active, take them for a round of mini golf or a carousel ride at Franklin Square.

Top-rated School Districts in Philadelphia

Several Philadelphia school districts earned top marks. Among the A-List are: Tredyffrin-Easttown, Radnor Township, Lower Merion and Unionville-Chadds Ford districts.

Day Trips from Philadelphia

Living in Philly puts you within two hours of New York City and three hours from Washington, D.C. If you're feeling lucky, you can also travel just over an hour to the exciting casinos and buzzing boardwalk in Atlantic City. Pack up the kids and your swimsuits for a family road trip to Ocean City, the closest beach to Philadelphia, with an amusement park on the boardwalk.

Frequently Asked Questions About Philadelphia

What is Philadelphia most known for?

Philadelphia is perhaps best known for its history, especially with respect to its key role in the American Revolution. It was one of the earlier major cities in the American colonies, and many key events took place in the city, including the first Continental Congress and signing of the Declaration of Independence. In fact, Philadelphia served as the U.S. capital city while Washington, D.C. was being built. Today, Philadelphia is commonly known for Philly cheesesteaks, Rocky Balboa, the Liberty Bell and some of the country's most raucous sports fans.

Is Philadelphia a growing city?

Yes, slowly. The Philadelphia metropolitan area grew by about 18,000 people, or about 0.3 percent, between 2017 and 2018, according to U.S. Census data. It's been growing slightly every year since 2006, following a nearly 30-year streak of population loss. The Philadelphia metro area currently has about six million residents.

Why is Philadelphia called the "city of brotherly love"?

Is Philadelphia a safe city to live in?

Philadelphia came in 171 out of 182 cities in WalletHub's report on Safest Cities in America. It scored very well with regards to natural disasters, but low financial safety, as well as home and community safety, knock it down a bit on the list.

Does Philadelphia have good schools?

Philadelphia's school system isn't as strong as many in similar-sized cities, but if you're careful you can still find great public schools. It has 59 high schools that ranked on U.S. News & World Report's Best High School rankings and seven colleges and universities that made their Best Colleges rankings.

What is Philadelphia like for families?

Philadelphia has many great family-friendly neighborhoods with great access to culture, history, good schools and parks to play in. While it was rated as somewhat worse than average according to WalletHub's ranking of best cities for families in the U.S., that list gave the city high marks for health, safety and education. The downside is that it's not a very affordable place to live.

What are some fun things to do in Philadelphia?

The Constitutional Walking Tour and museums like the Philadelphia Museum of Art (also known as the stairs from Rocky) are a must-see. The Reading Terminal Market is a great farmers' market, or if you'd prefer something more outdoors, the Schuylkill River trail gives you 10 miles' worth of walking and other random activities in the city. Catching a Phillies, '76ers, Eagles or Flyers game has to rank highly on any list of things to do in Philly. Though it's touristy and locals will tell you overrated, testing who makes the better cheesesteak, Geno's or Pat's, is a time-honored tradition.

How expensive is it in Philadelphia?

Philadelphia is a bit more expensive than average. According to the Council of Community and Economic Research , the average cost of living here is 13 percent higher than the national average.

What is the average cost of rent in Philadelphia?

The average studio apartment in Philadelphia costs $1,426 a month, the average one-bedroom is $1,968 a month and the average two-bedroom is $2,616 a month.

How much do utilities cost in Philadelphia?

The average monthly energy cost in Philadelphia, electric, gas and other sources combined, is about $184 a month according to the Council for Community and Economic Research , which is much higher than the national average.

What are the most affordable neighborhoods in Philadelphia?

A: Torresdale , Haddington-Carroll Park , Manayunk , Fishtown , Logan-Forn Rock , Rhawnhurst , Olney , Chestnut Hill and Fox Chase are some of the most affordable neighborhoods in the city, according to Apartment Guide.

Where are the best places to live in Philadelphia?

As the name indicates, University City is home to the University of Pennsylvania and is one of the more popular areas for younger renters. Chestnut Hill is an affluent, quiet neighborhood to the north of the city with a number of trendy restaurants. South Philadelphia is the home to some of the most recognizably "Philly" places, from the sports teams to the most renowned cheesesteak joints, and West Philadelphia is a large, diverse neighborhood with just about any type of home, shop or restaurant you'd want to go looking for.

What do I need to know about moving to Philadelphia?

History is all around you in Philadelphia in a way that many U.S. cities don't have, so get used to running across important historical landmarks and a great number of museums documenting that history. Philly also has the feel of being a large college town, with its "Big 5" universities (Temple, Villanova, St. Joseph's, Penn and La Salle) located in and around the city. There's also a city income tax, which can be a burden, and buying alcohol is a bit of an issue, since beer and liquor are only sold in dedicated stores, which might come as a shock to out-of-state transplants. Also, it's not "Downtown," it's "Center City." You'll thank us later for that.

Do I need a car to live in Philadelphia?

You might not, depending on where you live and work. The primary public transit agency, SEPTA, provides a pretty good bus and train network that covers a lot of the city. PATCO runs trains from several stations along Locust and Market Streets to Camden and the suburbs across the river in New Jersey. And much of Philadelphia is walkable or bikeable to begin with. You can also take commuter train trips up and down the Atlantic seaboard to the other big cities of the region such as New York, D.C. and Boston without needing to drive. New Jersey Transit offers train service from Philadelphia to Atlantic City, which is an easy way to go down the shore to enjoy the ocean, boardwalk and casinos.

What's the weather like in Philadelphia?

Philadelphia has a temperate climate. Spring and fall are mild, winter is moderately cold and summer is hot and humid. Snowfall varies greatly, with major storms some years and little snowfall in others.

Average Rent in Philadelphia

Studio1 Bed2 Bed3 Bed
Dec 19$1,387$1,695$2,157$2,558
Oct 191,3971,8372,1682,936
Sep 191,4221,8952,2622,875
Aug 191,4201,9452,3202,678
Jul 191,3971,9072,2112,475
Jun 191,4021,8882,2072,575
May 191,4201,9072,1502,717
Apr 191,4101,9092,1062,575
Mar 191,4221,9202,1502,960
Feb 191,4721,8872,1843,262
*The rent information included in this summary is based on a median calculation of multifamily rental property inventory on Apartment Guide and Rent.com over the past 12-months and is for illustrative purposes only. This information does not constitute a pricing guarantee or financial advice related to the rental market.

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Information is copyrighted and school data provided by GreatSchools.org. Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Schools listed above are based on distance from the selected location and are just a sampling of the schools in the area. To find a particular school district, and how it relates to a specific apartment, please contact the apartment manager.

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