Destination Guides

Guide to Philadelphia: Places to See, Area Tips & More

Whether it was the famous Philly cheesesteaks, affordable housing, or wealth of history that caught your attention, you’ve likely discovered why Philadelphia is among the nation’s most populous cities. It’s one of the best cities for young people, and there’s no shortage of good eats, great bars and great people.

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But how do you get your move to Philly started? We’ve got a few suggestions to kick start your life in the City that Loves You Back. The feeling, you’ll soon find, is mutual.

Philly Neighborhoods to Choose From

In such a large city, you might a little overwhelmed by the sheer amount of options. If you’re looking for a quiet, serene neighborhood great for families, East Falls will likely be your choice. If you’re looking for a neighborhood equally tranquil, but full of theaters and museums like the Woodmere Art Museum, look no further than Chestnut Hill.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a trendy, hip area to play, dine and do, you might try an area like Fishtown, or, the neighborhood lovingly named “the place we came to drink,” Manayunk, especially if you’re looking for live music and art. And if you’re looking for a neighborhood chock full of incredible dining, Washington Square West might be your place. But of course, for history buffs and lovers of architecture, there’s going to be no better place to settle than Philly’s historical Old City. And there’s plenty of neighborhoods still up and coming.

There’s also Logan Square, which is located just north of Market Street, south of Spring Garden Street, west of Broad Street, and east of the Schuylkill River. The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Rodin Museum, Franklin Institute and Barnes on the Parkway are all located here on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Art and art history are a strong element of the neighborhood, both in the educational institutions and public spaces. This area is thusly referred to as the ‘Art Museum District’ due to its strong art scene.

Just know that wherever you choose, rent prices can vary wildly, from affordable to slightly-less-than-affordable. Learn a bit more about the cost of living in Philly to accurately tally how much you can spend on rent and utilities. If you can, ask friends who are residents of the city their average utility bills. Visit your prospective apartment in person, and watch out for red flags. And most importantly, remember that good parking is a premium asset in the city.

Where to Have the Most Fun in Philly

Like most cities, downtown Philadelphia is the place to be for all of the best things to do. If you’re in downtown Philly and want to enjoy a relaxing meal, some great coffee, or stiff drink, you have an abundance of establishments to choose from.

In Logan Square, you are going to have the most access to nature. There’s plenty of green spaces and parks, like Aviator Park, John F. Kennedy Plaza (Love Park), and Sister Cities Park.

you have access to the Schuylkill Banks area. It’s eight miles of scenic riverfront walking and biking trails plus a multitude of activities year-round. There is kayaking, standup paddle boarding, picnic areas and yoga classes.  If you like to fish, you can totally do it with 40 species waiting to be caught. During summertime, there are outdoor movie screenings too.

Want to Move into Philly?

Done exploring the city? Might be time to settle into a neighborhood and move on. Now comes the hard part. Where you decide to live will dictate everything from your morning commute to how long it takes to head downtown. Moving into Philly can be a tricky thing, since the streets weren’t exactly built for moving cars — this old city has tightly packed buildings and notoriously bad parking. Make sure you choose a moving date either in late fall or early spring to avoid tourist seasons, and try to move midday to avoid the commuter rush. Map out your finances carefully to cushion yourself for expenses and local movers.

You might also consider getting a moving permit with the city to avoid expensive fines in case parking proves to be a bear. A permit will block off street space for your moving van and vehicle, and costs $25 per 40 square feet of road. Not bad. A small price to pay for peace of mind without fines.

Getting Comfortable

Don’t forget to explore everything once you’ve moved in! Bike, walk, or use one of Philly’s many (excellent) public transit options to take a look around. Check out local monuments (Liberty Bell, anyone?) and museums, or do a little furniture shopping at local handmade furniture shop Thos. Moser, or shop mid-century modern and vintage home goods at one of Jinxed’s four locations. Get a few recommendations from neighbors and friends for the perfect pieces for your new home–but, of course, beware of narrow halls, doors and staircases! Snag a Philly cheesecake and get started.

By MikiMo

I have spent the past 15 years in the travel industry. Today focused on promoting different ways of traveling, I'm in the process of creating few travel websites, which will be launched shortly. I have a great passion for travel and the travel industry.
My goal here atTtripOutlook is to connect to other proffessionals in the travel industry and to exchange experience.