Best Philadelphia Neighborhoods to Live In

Living in Philly Philadelphia Neighborhoods

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Philly’s importance in the history of the entire country cannot be overstated. Besides being the birthplace of the whole nation, many Philadelphia neighborhoods represent what living in the perfect American dream looks and feels like. Whether you’re looking to be close to the action, somewhere more suburban, or anywhere in between, you’ll undoubtedly find a place you’ve always wanted in one of the following thirteen communities. While you won’t make a mistake by moving to any of the places in this guide, they offer various amenities that may differ from one another. Focus on making a decision based on your budget and preferences, and start looking for movers in Philadelphia, PA, to assist you with the relocation.

What Is the Best Neighborhood to Live in Philadelphia? Old City and Chestnut Hill Are Both Good Candidates

With so many excellent places to choose from, we had a hard time focusing on just one, so either one of the following two locations could be considered Philly’s best neighborhood. The Old City is one of Philadelphia’s oldest communities. Appropriately named, the historic district is best known as the signing place of the Declaration of Independence. You’ll find plenty of famous tourist attractions, including the Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and Benjamin Franklin Court, the founding father’s original residence. Besides being a popular spot for tourists, the charming community represents a perfect mix of old and new, making it an attractive option for anyone looking to move to one of Philly’s central districts. If you’re interested in buying, the median price of homes is about $474,000, while rentals go for $1,600 a month.

On the other hand, Chestnut Hill is an affluent neighborhood known for its private schools and high real estate prices. Located in the city’s Northwest section, this picturesque community has an abundance of parks and greenery, lots of eateries, shops, and interesting sights on its historic Main Street. Although the median home value of $541,000 is one of the city’s highest, there are plenty of housing options across all price points. If renting is more your thing, the monthly rent of $1,550 is also relatively affordable. Since both of these communities are some of the city’s most desirable locations, remember to book one of the Philadelphia moving companies as soon as you start looking for a place.

If You’re Looking to Buy an Apartment in the City, You’ll Find Many Affordable Places in Manayunk

Manayunk’s affordability makes it one of the most desirable places in this section of the city. With a median home value of $241,000, real estate is over 50% cheaper than in the nearby Chestnut Hill, despite them being separated only by the Wissahickon Valley Park. The urban-suburban community has gone through significant gentrification in recent years, making it especially popular among younger professionals and families. Adults aged 25-34 represent about 40% of the local population, many of whom regularly commute to the Center. Although it’s only about 20-30 minutes away when driving, you’ll have a somewhat higher chance of running into traffic congestions. Thankfully, the closest SEPTA train takes you to the Center in just 32 minutes.

Independence National Historical Park
The east-central part of the city holds several historically important buildings

What’s the Best South Philly Neighborhood?

South Philly neighborhoods are filled with working-class residential areas that are also very diverse, containing large Italian, Irish, and African American communities. The section features all kinds of housing options, catering to its diverse and multicultural residents. If you’re looking to move here, check out Bella Vista. The neighborhood is known for being the first home of the city’s Italian immigrants. Although located in a quiet residential area, it’s only a short walk away from Philly’s core. It’s also known for housing the oldest outdoor market in the country.

The historic “Italian Market” features over 200 businesses, where you can find fresh produce like meat and fruit at any given time. With very low crime rates, Bella Vista is also especially attractive for families. Just don’t be surprised by the median home value of $435,500, as almost half of homes cost between $400k and $749k. You can always choose to rent, as the median rent of $1,450 is undoubtedly affordable for what you’ll be getting.

East Passyunk Crossing Is Also One of the Top South Philly Neighborhoods

East Passyunk is also one of the better neighborhoods in South Philly. With a median house price of $244,000, it’s almost twice as cheap as Bella Vista, despite being located just southwest of it. Rent is also affordable, going for less than $1,200 a month. Its public areas are filled with pedestrian paths, cafes, restaurants, shops, or anything you can think of. Last but not least, you’ll have easy access to all of the central communities, just like the previous entry.

Philadelphia neighborhoods - buildings and flowers
The city’s southern section is becoming more and more popular with homebuyers

Which Northern Philadelphia Neighborhoods Are Good to Live In?

While the locals would advise you to avoid a majority of North Philly’s areas, there are still a few gems in this section, especially in the Lower North. Since these communities are very close to the Center, they are basically a continuation of it. One such neighborhood is the Northern Liberties, located right above the Old City’s territory. It experienced a wave of new developments in the early 2000s, making it one of Philly’s fastest-growing areas.

If you’re interested in buying, you’ll have the best chance of finding new real estate here. Just don’t be surprised by the median housing price of $402,500. The median rent of $2,000 is another proof that the community is becoming popular, as it rivals some of the Center’s more expensive rentals. The neighborhood’s public transit will get you anywhere in a matter of minutes, but you still have a lot of local amenities to explore, including diverse dining options and a vibrant art scene.

Fishtown Is Another Great Place in the Lower North

Continuing the trend of the previous entry, Fishtown is right above Northern Liberties. Although it started as a working-class community, new construction brought in many artists and professionals with diverse backgrounds, filling each street with all kinds of independent businesses. While its median real estate price of $281,000 is above Philly’s average, it’s still a lot cheaper than similar communities from the same sector. You can always choose to rent, as rentals go for about $1,600.

Fairmount Has Some of the Best Museums in the Country

On the opposite side of lower Northern Liberties, we have Fairmont, another popular Lower North community. It’s known as an “Art Museum Area” due to its association with the Philadelphia Museum of Art. There’s also the Eastern State Penitentiary, a gothic-styled prison turned museum known for holding notorious criminals like Al Capone. It’s within walking distance from several points of interest, including Fairmount Park, Franklin Institute, and the Center in general. With all these amenities in mind, it’s not surprising that homes go for about $326,000 around here. On the other hand, the median rent of $1,400 makes renting a somewhat cheaper option.

Museum of Art, Philadelphia, USA
Located on top of a hill, Fairmount is home to some of the city’s most important museums

Where Do Hipsters Live in Philadelphia? Check Out These Communities in the West, South, and Central Sections

While most of the neighborhoods we mentioned already offer a perfect combination of amenities that would attract anyone, some people prefer to be in the midst of things surrounded by all the action. The good news is that you can easily find a place like that even outside Philly’s central section. With that being said, move to one of the following locations, and you’ll always have something fun and exciting to do:

  • West – University City – As the name would suggest, most of the people living here are college students. Besides having a very young and diverse population, there are tons of new restaurants, coffee shops, and entertainment options. Despite being a West Philadelphia neighborhood, the community is very accessible since you only have to cross the South Street Bridge to reach the central section. While its median rent of about $1,500 may not be Philly’s cheapest, it’s still a lot more affordable to other places with similar amenities.
  • Center – Rittenhouse Square – This densely packed upscale community features all sorts of incredible galleries, theaters, bars, and dining venues, meaning you’ll rarely have a dull moment here. Considering the number of things to do in the community, it’s not surprising that it has a median home value of $594,000. Thankfully, you can rent a place for about $1,700 a month, just like two-thirds of locals do.
  • South – Queen Village – Before becoming a hip place, the location used to be a part of Philadelphia’s first suburb. After extensive redevelopment, there are now over 300 cafes, restaurants, and venues in the area, with new ones regularly popping up. The historical aspect, chic galleries, and proximity to the Center all make Queens Village one of the top places for hipsters. Local real estate is not cheap, and homes sell for about $471,500. Thankfully, the median rent cost of $1,300 is very affordable for the location.

If you’re the type of person who’s interested in relocating to one of these places, we’re guessing you’d likely prefer to organize a going away party than a moving to-list. In that case, remember that hiring a Philadelphia moving company is the only thing that will allow you to move efficiently.

Washington Square West Houses the Largest Gayborhood in the City

Besides being one of the hottest spots in the central section, Washington Square West is crucial for the local LGBTQ+ community, so much so that it’s often referred to as “The Gayborhood.” Whether you’re looking for a restaurant, a coffee shop, or a bar, you’ll find lots of LGBTQ-owned businesses in any street you take. Even Philadelphia’s officials recognized the area, naming it Midtown Village and adding dozens of rainbow flag symbols on everything from street signs to crosswalks. Considering it’s right next to the City Hall, it’s not surprising that the location has some of Philly’s most expensive housing. As the median home price of $510,000 is pretty high, and with a monthly renting cost of $1,350, about 80% of all residents choose to rent.

Philadelphia street
Rittenhouse Square has plenty of interesting public locations

What Is the Safest Area in Philadelphia? Fitler Square in Center City Has Almost No Crime

Looking at the local crime rates, you’ll quickly see why this is Philadelphia’s safest neighborhood. It experiences about 320 crimes per 100,000 residents, but since only about 6,700 people live in the area, the actual number of reported felonies is about 15 times lower. There have been no murders and rapes, and violent crimes almost never occur in general, making it an excellent place for raising a family.

This might be one of the city’s most residential districts, mainly consisting of historic homes and great restaurants. There’s also the beautiful public park after which the neighborhood was named and the larger Schuylkill River Park with a big dog run, excellent for those moving with pets. Although it’s not as expensive as some other entries in this guide, living here isn’t cheap. The median real estate value of $565,000 and rent cost of about $1,900 is far above Philadelphia’s median prices.

What Are Bad Neighborhoods in Philadelphia?

While you’ll find many great areas with low crime rates, some of the city’s sections are nowhere near as safe as the ones we mentioned earlier. Excluding Fishtown, most of the places around Kensington should be avoided. After most industries pulled out, many locals lost their primary source of income, which led to significant spikes in crime. Unless you’re planning your moving expenses checklist with a very limited budget, save yourself a lot of relocation stress by avoiding all the places mentioned in the video below.

Once You Find Where You’ll Be Relocating to, Hire One of the Top Moving Companies in Philadelphia to Assist You

Now that you know everything about Philly’s best communities, finding the place that’s perfect for you shouldn’t be a problem. Once you start to finalize all the paperwork, you should also consider getting some professional moving services in Philadelphia. Whether you’re planning a household move or you need help with a commercial relocation, Philadelphia Movers are always ready to assist you. While a few moving hacks can help you learn how to pack dishes, our convenient packing service will make the entire process a lot less time-consuming. If you need anything regarding moving, feel free to contact our customer support team and request a free quote.