Earlier this week, I shared my Philadelphia apartment hunting tips. Today, I’d like to give my response to the other question I get most frequently: where should I live? Picking your first Philly neighborhood is such a treat, because this city is known for its special, unique hoods. We truly do have a place for every human and every budget here, but when I’m recommending a place for a city newcomer, I typically stick with a select few. If you’re planning on renting an apartment, you may need an apartment credit check but it’s nothing to worry about. It just checks your credit history to get an understanding of your financial history and forecast if you’ll be able to pay rent each month. Not all apartments request a credit check but more do than not. If your neighborhood is not mentioned here, don’t worry – I’ve got another piece featuring some Philly ladies repping their hoods – all over the city!
For me, the #1 neighborhood I recommend (and my personal favorite) has always been Rittenhouse. I have aspired to live here for quite some time, and in my opinion, it truly encompasses what the city is all about – amazing streets, shopping, great restaurants, a huge park – it’s close to everything. While it does have the connotation of being a little pricey, you can find affordable gems on the outskirts of the neighborhood, so if you’re determined, be persistent! If you go a little south of Rittenhouse, you’re in Graduate Hospital, which I’d say is pretty much past its “up & coming” time and is a great area for young adults. Your walk would typically be just a few blocks further into Center City from there than Rittenhouse, and it is a bit more affordable. My rule of thumb when looking in the Grad Hospital area is to stay above Washington Avenue. If you’re 100% in deciding on somewhere in Philadelphia and you’re moving from another state, focus on where you’re going to move to and worry about the rest later, as moving possessions as well as vehicles with different moving services is fairly easy once you learn more about the different companies that can be of aid to your relocation.
If you’d like to go east, you’ll hit Old City & Queen Village. Both neighborhoods have wonderful reputations for young people and are filled with great restaurants and shopping. Old City has more of your typical Philly tourist spots, mixed in with cute shops and fun bars, and Queen Village does great festivals and farmers markets. Both of these, like most very attractive neighborhoods, do come with some parking problems, so be aware of costs of garages vs. time you’d spend circling the block for parking if you need your car every day.
If you’re thinking these four areas are a little too mainstream for you, Fairmount or East Passyunk are your best bets. To the north, Fairmount is close to the Art Museum and the Oval, a Whole Foods, and extremely easy to hop on and off 76. Over in South Philly, East Passyunk is another great “new” hood with a pretty stacked list of amazing restaurants, bars, and events.
I hope all of you future Philly ladies found this helpful! If you have any additional moving/neighborhood questions, check out this post where I interviewed 11 Philly ladies on why they love their neighborhoods. I’ll close with this: Welcome to Philly, we are so happy to have you, and you’re going to love it here!