If there’s a city that perfectly encapsulates history, hustle and heart, it’s Philadelphia.
Moving to Philadelphia isn’t just about changing addresses; it’s about joining a community bursting with pride, culture and sports super-fandom. For apartment renters seeking a slice of the City of Brotherly Love, there’s much to uncover about moving to Philadelphia. From its scenic neighborhoods to its thriving arts scene, Philly promises more than just a place to call home; it offers a unique experience around every cobblestone corner.
Philadelphia by the numbers
- Population: 1.576 million
- Average age: 34.6
- Median household income: $52,650
- Average commute time: 34 minutes
- Walk score: 75
- Studio average rent: $1,365
- One-bedroom average rent: $1,839
- Two-bedroom average rent: $2,031
Living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
As the birthplace of freedom and cheesesteak, you’re in for a treat if you’re moving to Philadelphia. But before you make a pitstop at the Wawa or start arguing about the best cheesesteak in the city, here’s a little primer to get you settled.
First things first, Philly is rich in history. The Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the Museum of the American Revolution are just a taste of the past you can delve into. But it’s not all about the Founding Fathers here.
When it comes to public transportation, SEPTA is your go-to. The subway, buses and regional rail can get you just about anywhere in and around the city. But Philly’s also a super walkable city, especially if you’re exploring Center City.
Whether it’s the die-hard Eagles fans, the 76ers hype, the Flyers’ dedication or the Phillies’ baseball spirit, Philly bleeds its team colors. If you’re moving to Philadelphia, get ready for some passionate sports talk at every corner deli, bar and backyard barbeque.
Moving to Philadelphia is like diving into a deep pool of history, culture and good old-fashioned grit. It’s a city that wears its heart on its sleeve, from its passionate sports fans to its tight-knit communities. So, lace up your sneakers, grab a cheesesteak and dive right in. Welcome to the City of Brotherly Love!
Best neighborhoods in Philadelphia to find your Philly home
Philadelphia is not just packed with history, it’s also one of the most densely populated cities brimming with diverse neighborhoods that reflect the city’s modern pathos. Whether it’s a quiet slice of suburbia or the hustle and bustle of urban living, Philly’s got it. Let’s break down a few of the top spots in Philadelphia to call home:
You know when a place has a buzz that just can’t be denied? That’s Fishtown. Filled with indie music venues, quirky boutiques and some elevated yet casual eateries, it’s where the cool kids hang. Think artisans, musicians and an always rotating revolving door of of young professionals.
Elegance? Check. History? Double check. Rittenhouse Square is the upscale heart of Philly. This area boasts luxury apartments, tree-lined streets and a park that is nothing short of picturesque. Plus, if culinary adventures are your jam, this spot has some of the city’s best restaurants.
Northern Liberties (NoLibs)
Once an industrial hub, NoLibs has transformed into a hipster’s dream. Picture art galleries, edgy coffee shops and an array of bars and restaurants that scream innovation. It’s urban living with a dash of the avant-garde.
Deeply rooted in tradition, South Philly is the kind of place where neighbors still chat on stoops and annual block parties are a big deal. Oh, and let’s not forget the Italian Market, a must-visit for food lovers. And yes, there’s an ongoing debate about which joint serves the city center the best cheesesteak – Pat’s or Geno’s. Choose wisely.
With Penn and Drexel in its midst, University City is lively, young and vibrant. There’s an academic energy that’s hard to ignore in this city center, mixed with a touch of bohemian flair thanks to its diverse resident mix.
Beyond the campuses of University City lies the broader West Philly. It’s a patchwork of communities with tree-lined streets, green gardens and globally inspired eateries. The Baltimore Avenue strip is a particularly eclectic stretch worth exploring.
For those with a penchant for cobblestone streets, brick buildings and historical landmarks, Old City is where it’s at. Today, Old City is known for its lively nightlife, upscale art galleries and eclectic boutiques.
Three pros of living in Philadelphia
American history all around: Moving to Philadelphia is like stepping into a living history book. This isn’t just any city; it’s the birthplace of American democracy. From the echoing bell chimes of the Liberty Bell to the solemn halls of Independence Hall, history buffs can revel in the city’s past and its role in shaping the nation.
Great liveability at a relatively low cost: Compared to its East Coast siblings like New York and D.C., Philadelphia offers a more affordable living experience without compromising on urban charm. The city’s unique neighborhoods, from the edgy Fishtown to the leafy streets of Chestnut Hill, offer diverse and affordable housing options to fit varied budgets and lifestyles. It’s urban living with all the Philadelphia soul and none of the exorbitant price tag.
Strong sense of community: Philly might be a big city, but its heart lies in its communities. Each neighborhood has its own distinct flavor, and residents are fiercely loyal and passionate – whether it’s cheering for the Eagles or supporting local businesses. Moving to this vibrant city entails becoming part of a tight-knit community where traditions are cherished without compromise.
Food and drinks in Philadelphia
If there’s one thing Philly knows, it’s food. From scrumptious cheesesteaks and hoagies to more refined dishes in Rittenhouse Square, there’s something for every palate.
Also, grab a soft pretzel from a street vendor – you’ll thank us later. And if you fancy a pint? Head to one of the many local breweries. Yards, Victory and Philadelphia Brewing Co. are just the tip of the hoppy iceberg.
The arts in Philadelphia
Moving to Philadelphia is an immersion into a major city with a vibrant arts scene as rich as its history. From the iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art to the many street murals that transform urban facades into canvases, the city thrives on artistic expression.
The Kimmel Center hosts world-class performances, while intimate venues in neighborhoods like Fishtown and Northern Liberties pulse with indie music and contemporary galleries. In Philly, art isn’t just appreciated; it’s woven throughout the fabric of the city.
Things to do outside in Philadelphia
Moving to Philadelphia opens a gateway to outdoor adventures that marry urban charm with natural beauty. Along the Schuylkill River, the scenic Kelly Drive offers a haven for joggers and bikers. Meanwhile, Fairmount Park, one of the country’s largest urban park systems, beckons with hiking trails, picnics and the famed Boathouse Row.
For those looking for a very walkable city with a blend of history and leisure, Independence Mall provides green spaces amidst historic landmarks and nothing beats the view from the Rocky Steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In Philly, every outdoor moment becomes an experience.
Three cons of moving to Philadelphia
Brutal winters: There’s a lot to love about the seasons in Philly, but winters? They can be a challenge. Moving to Philadelphia means bracing and preparing oneself for the cold, snow and the occasional ice storm every year. Shoveling out cars and navigating slippery sidewalks become seasonal rituals. If tropical climates are more your speed, Philly’s winter might test your resolve.
Traffic and potholes: Ah, the infamous Philly potholes. They’re almost as legendary as the cheesesteak. The roads here can get a little… let’s call them worn. Plus, while Philly might not rival L.A. traffic, rush hour can still be a test of patience, especially on the Schuylkill Expressway.
Figuring out the Philly attitude: Philadelphia is full of heart and soul, but it’s also got a bit of grit. There’s a certain no-nonsense attitude that runs deep. Some call it brashness; others say it’s just straightforwardness. But it might take newcomers a moment to acclimate to the city’s unique blend of directness and pride.
Make the move to Philadelphia today
Moving to Philadelphia might come with its own set of challenges. But, for apartment renters ready to embrace its eclectic charm, Philly offers a dynamic blend of the past and the present.
Whether it’s the whisper of history in its streets, the rhythm of music in its parks or the sense of community in its neighborhoods, Philadelphia beckons newcomers with a promise of authenticity and adventure. Welcome to the city that’s as real as it gets! Ready to find the right place? Start your search right here.
Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.’s multifamily rental property inventory of one-bedroom apartments. Data was pulled in May 2023 and goes back for one year.
We use a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets. Population and income numbers are from the U.S. Census Bureau. Cost of living data comes from the Council for Community and Economic Research.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.