By: Ceire McMullen

So, you’ve decided to move to Philadelphia? Congrats! You’ll soon be part of one of the most vibrant and historical cities in the United States. Whether it’s the steps of the art museum, the Rocky statue, the Liberty Bell, or the National Constitution Center, you will never run out of interesting things to see and do.  Another nickname for “The City of Brotherly Love” is “The City of Neighborhoods,” which can make choosing a place to put down your roots intimidating. As a Philadelphia native, I am here to help. Consider this your resource to picking the Philadelphia neighborhood that fits you best.

The first step in choosing your new Philadelphia neighborhood is to consider and then rank  the following qualities in order of importance to you:

  • Accessibility
  • Nightlife
  • History
  • Aesthetic
  • Culture

While all of Philadelphia possesses these qualities, some have more than others:

For Accessibility: Center City 

Center City is by far the most accessible neighborhood in the city, containing most public transportation stops as well as the 30th street station. It is also packed with more of the creature comforts found in the suburbs or traditional shopping malls. Beware if you’re not one for high rises and close living quarters.   

For Nightlife: Fishtown/Kensington 

Referred to by Forbes Magazine author Peter Taylor as “America’s Hottest New Neighborhood” (Taylor, 2018), Fishtown is one of the artsy neighborhoods in Philadelphia flush with bright murals and quirky local bars such as Monkey Club and El Bar as well as Punchline Comedy Club and a slew of musical venues, breweries, and odd shops. Neighboring Kensington offers decreased living expenses and quieter streets still walkable to Fishtown.

For History: Old City/ Fairmount 

If museums and historic sites with cobbled streets are more your speed, then Old City is for you. With sites like the American Liberty Museum, The Betsy Ross House, and many others in walking distance, you will never be without something to see!

 According to Mark Dent, an author for BillyPenn.com, “In terms of percentage of millennials, Old City even beats out the college areas in this category.”

For Atmosphere: West Philadelphia 

If you’re interested in a suburban feel still connected to the big city, West Philadelphia offers a quieter atmosphere with spacious and traditional homes, a wide selection of parks, activities, and restaurants. 

For Shopping and Culture: South Philadelphia 

The perfect neighborhood for a more modern experience of Philadelphia culture. Containing the vibrant South Street, an eclectic collection of shops and dining, as well as the iconic Italian Market and easy access to Eagles and Flyers games, South Philadelphia is the modern cultural hub of the city.

The Next Stage: Check it out!

Speaking from experience, you do not want to be a person who moves to a major city and rents an apartment online with the site unseen. If you live a distance away, arrange a weekend trip and visit at least one spot from each neighborhood to experience in person.

Finally: Moving Day! 

Make an effort to immerse yourself in the city you choose, as it is easy to feel isolated after a big move especially if you’re a young professional living on your own. Take precaution and social distance but be sure to familiarize yourself with your favorite spots for your hobbies, like art, thrifting, or even hiking through Wissahickon Valley Park!

Welcome to your new city!