Philadelphia, by most accounts, is having a renaissance.
The nation’s fifth largest city has experienced population growth each of the last seven years. Its underrated restaurant scene lands many of its trendiest establishments on nation’s best lists. Philly has also become one of the most walkable and bikeable cities in America.
If you’re considering a move to the City of Brotherly Love, come discover which of Philadelphia’s nearly 200 distinct neighborhoods is perfect for you.
We combed through Google data using generic keyword searches and combined those results with the most searched Philadelphia neighborhoods on ApartmentGuide.com to determine the five most popular Philly neighborhoods with renters.
While the trendy neighborhoods like Northern Liberties and Fishtown garner the most press, the most popular neighborhoods in Philly for renters are a diverse group in demographics, lifestyle, geography and history. Here is a quick overview of each neighborhood and what you’d expect to pay for rent.
Home to the University of Pennsylvania, University of the Sciences and Drexel University, University City is a lively neighborhood nestled into a corner of West Philly along the Schuylkill River. It’s a growing district, quite literally, with the new FMC Tower skyscraper heralding the rise of a second downtown. The universities draw a younger crowd to the neighborhood, but University City is more than student housing. The area boasts a mix of residential towers and early-century homes settled among galleries, museums, coffee shops and farmers markets.
Expect to pony up if you’re looking for a place in University City – rent here is well above the Philadelphia average.
Affluent Chestnut Hill lies quietly at North Philly’s northernmost point. Featuring tree-canopied streets lined with historic mansions and Victorian townhomes, Chestnut Hill has only recently become a haven for renters. Many rental properties dot Germantown Avenue, the cobblestoned backbone of the neighborhood, populated with quaint boutiques, trendy restaurants, brewpubs and charming green spaces.
There’s a reason Chestnut Hill is known as Philly’s garden district. The 2,000-acre Wissahickon Valley Park – and its 50 miles of trails – forms its western edge. The historic Philadelphia Cricket Club, the oldest country club in America, sits smack in the center of Chestnut Hill. And the gorgeous Morris Arboretum features 13,000 plants and flowers.
Renters can generally find affordable homes in Chestnut Hill, with rental rates below the Philly average.
Nuzzled between Wissahickon Valley Park and Fairmount Park, East Falls is one of Philadelphia’s most overlooked neighborhoods. Thomas Jefferson University East Falls calls the region home, which also houses many off-campus residences of Temple and Saint Joseph’s students. This influx of youth has spawned a newly revitalized bar and restaurant scene.
The Schuylkill River Trail and Wissahickon Bike Trail are a hiker and biker’s paradise. And East Falls’ most unique point of interest is Laurel Hill Cemetery, which not only houses 33,000 burial spots dating to the American Revolution, but also hosts concerts, film festivals and art exhibitions right alongside the tombs and mausoleums.
While best known for being where The Fresh Prince was “born and raised,” West Philadelphia is actually a vast and diverse piece of real estate. Some of the many stylish neighborhoods that make up West Philly include Overbrook – with century-old brownstones, rowhouses and low-rise apartment buildings – and Wynnefield, brimming a myriad of chic shops and trendy restaurants along Lancaster Avenue.
The northeast quarter of West Philadelphia is occupied by the massive Fairmount Park, one of the largest urban parks in the world. On its grounds, you can find gems like the Please Touch Museum, the Philadelphia Zoo and the Mann Center for the Performing Arts.
Even if you don’t immediately recognize it, you’ve probably heard of South Philadelphia. Its Sports Complex is home base for all four of Philly’s professional teams: the Phillies, Flyers, 76ers and Eagles. And Philly’s most renowned cheesesteak joints – Pat’s and Geno’s – reside here.
Traditionally home to multiple generations of Italian, African American and Irish family rowhouses, gentrification has caused rental demand in South Philadelphia to explode. However, there are still bargains to be had – rental rates in South Philly are generally below the citywide average.
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