Neighborhoods

Photo © Drexel University

“Walking the grid” is an inexpensive and healthy way to get around, and the perfect way to get to know our “city of neighborhoods.” Check out walkscore.com to find out how walkable your favorite Philly neighborhood is, and before you know it, you could be using “walkability scores” to decide which Philly neighborhood you want to call home.

Bella Vista/Queen Village

Two of Philly’s most-explored neighborhoods—Bella Vista and Queen Village—feature historical sites, cultural festivals, coffee shops and art galleries sprinkled among residential homes. The main attraction, South Street, is a bohemian wonderland.

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Chinatown

Sure, every major city has a Chinatown, but Philly’s is truly its own. Located between Washington Square West and Northern Liberties, the culturally rich Chinatown and its close-in-proximity shops and restaurants make for an easy, fruitful visit whenever you wish.

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Chestnut Hill

Though it’s within Philadelphia, Chestnut Hill feels more like a small town. After wandering its cobblestone streets and independent retailers, it’s easy to see why it was named a distinctive destination by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2010.

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Fairmount

Philadelphia is home to the largest urban park system in the country, and the neighborhood named after it is just as impressive. A sublime fusion of historic architecture and modern trends, Fairmount is bursting with iconic Philly townhouses with perfect stoops, music venues, coffee shops and eateries. Throw in a massive, historic prison and a museum row modeled after one of the most prestigious avenues in Paris, and you have an eclectic and intriguing Philadelphia neighborhood.

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Fishtown/Kensington

Fishtown and its neighbor Kensington are blooming into trendy, artsy enclaves, attracting recent college grads and newcomers to the city with art galleries, restaurants and new apartment buildings set in former warehouses.

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Graduate Hospital

Just outside of central Philadelphia lies a neighborhood ripe with boutiques and restaurants for the picking. Called by many names, South of South Street (SoSo)–otherwise known as Graduate Hospital (G-Ho) or Southwest Center City–is a bustling area of art and culture.

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Jersey Shore

If you’re a Philadelphian with some vacation time, there are only two ways to go: “up the mountains” or “down the shore.” The Jersey Shore is the primary vacation destination for anyone in the area, even if it’s just for a few days during the summer months.

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The Main Line

The Main Line is known everywhere for its huge mansions and high-end shopping. But dig a little further to find hidden treats and overlooked gems everywhere along Lancaster Avenue and its side streets.

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Manayunk/Roxborough

Manayunk and Roxborough are side-by-side districts, famous for hilly terrain, unique boutiques and renowned eateries. Whether you choose to bask in the artsy ambiance along Main Street or wander along vibrant Ridge Avenue, the ‘Yunk and the ‘Borough are must-visits for Philadelphians.

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Midtown Village/Gayborhood

With the aura of a small town in the heart of a big city, Midtown Village is lively and friendly, with an abundance of quirky shops, terrific food and respected theaters. It’s also home to the Gayborhood, which contains a wide range of LGBTQI friendly shops, restaurants and resources.

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Northern Liberties

Hipsters of the world unite! Just kidding. Northern Liberties is truly one of the hottest neighborhoods in Philly right now! This is a go-to spot for music, art, food, community events, fashion…just about everything that would be important to a college student. It’s also just a great place to hang out with an eclectic, interesting group of people and a great insight in the Philadelphia community in general.

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Old City

Remember when you learned about the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress and the Liberty Bell in elementary school? That all happened right in Philadelphia’s Old City section! History prevails here, but Old City isn’t just for history buffs—it boasts a lively nightlife, filled with restaurants, shops and museums.

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Rittenhouse Square

The place to see and be seen, Rittenhouse Square draws Philadelphians and out-of-towners for top-quality restaurants, off-the-beaten-path museums and great shopping on Walnut and Chestnut Streets.

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South Philly

South Philadelphia has become a local cultural phenomenon. Buzzing with family-owned restaurants and shops—not to mention the Italian Market—this primarily residential “neighborhood” (actually composed of several neighborhoods, including Queen Village and Passyunk) is a must-visit for Philadelphia’s college students.

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University City

Philly is a college town, and University City is proof—it is home to the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University and the University of the Sciences. In addition to housing some of the city’s finest educational institutions, UCity is a hotbed for the college-aged community. All work and no play—no way! UCity has fantastic dining options, renowned cultural opportunities and of course, shopping.

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Washington Square

This neighborhood takes its name from the sprawling green square of Washington Square Park. Bustling with tourists, students and business professionals, Washington Square is particularly residential. The park is a must and the historical district is something you should visit at least once. But there are also a few other great finds that we recommend you visit.

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West Philly

In West Philadelphia, born and raised… If you can’t finish that lyric, you have some serious studying up to do on the City of Brotherly Love. West Philly is the hometown of the Fresh Prince himself, Will Smith, but is also home to an amazing community with a flourishing food scene. It also sits near such schools as Drexel, Penn, USciences and SJU.

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