Philadelphia PA neighborhoods guide

Philadelphia PA Neighborhoods Guide [2022] | 🏘️ Where to Live in Philadelphia

Looking for the best neighborhoods in Philadelphia, PA? If you’re moving to Philadelphia, the “City of Brotherly Love”, you’ll soon discover it’s a city of neighborhoods Philadephia has 158 distinct neighborhoods to be exact, and each has its own appeal and personality. The largest city in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia is known for its arts, cuisine, culture, and colonial history. Philly was founded in 1682 by an English Quaker, William Penn, as the capital of the Pennsylvania Colony and went on to play an important role in the American Revolution.

If you need to narrow down where to live in Philadelphia’s 142.7 square miles, to help you find the best neighborhood in Philly to suit your needs at any stage of life, we’ve compiled a list of safe, affordable, family-friendly, and wealthy communities.

Chestnut Hill – Safest & LGBT Friendly Neighborhood in Philadelphia

Chestnut Hill is the fourth wealthiest neighborhood in Philadelphia based on median household income. Among the safest neighborhoods in Philly, Chestnut Hill is a safe place to live, with 1,563 crimes per 100,000 people, which is below the national average of 2,346 crimes per 100,000 people. The population is somewhat diverse, with about 67% white, 18% black, 6% Asian, 5.8% Hispanic, and 3% mixed-race residents.

Walking the sidewalks through the neighborhood, the first thing you’ll notice is how green and vibrant the community is – earning it the reputation of Philadelphia’s Garden District. The Morris Arboretum has created a permanent outdoor exhibition called “Tree Adventure” to highlight the importance of trees in our environment and provide family-friendly activities.

Homes in this area include a combination of rental apartments and moderate to high-end housing including Victorian Townhomes and Historic Mansions. The neighborhood gets a high walkability score, with necessities all located within walking distance and easy access to public transportation, including Chestnut Hill East Line and Chestnut Hill West Line. In fact, Chestnut Hill’s layout has been used as a model by city planners nationwide.

Chestnut Hill is part of an area fondly referred to as “The Gayborhood” because of its large concentration of gay bars and LGBT-friendly restaurants and businesses. In addition, the business and retail district is eco-friendly, with many bakeries and restaurants supporting local farmers.

Graduate Hospital – Affluent Neighborhood in Philadelphia

Graduate Hospital was named after the medical facility that was once located on the northern edge of the neighborhood in the 1980s, but today the name is only historical as the hospital closed in 2007.

Graduate Hospital also has several other names and nicknames, including Southwest Center City, G-Ho, South of South, So-So, Naval Square, and Schuylkill-Southwest. There’s even a small corner of rowhouses in the historically Irish-American neighborhood referred to as Devil’s Pocket! Legend says the area got its nickname from a priest who said the local youth of this section of Philadelphia were “rough enough to seal from the devil’s pocket.”

Much of the housing in Graduate Hospital are 19th and 20th-century rowhomes. Over the last decade, Graduate Hospital has experienced growth and gentrification with hundreds of single-family homes and condos built or refurbished. It’s now a fairly affluent neighborhood with high median home prices of $612,500, but an affordable housing complex of multi-family homes sits along the neighborhood’s eastern border.

The Philadelphia Odunde Festival, a one-day festival and street market devised from Nigerian traditions of the Yoruba people and catered to African-American interests, has been hosted at the intersection of Grays Ferry Avenue and South Street annually since 1975.

Whitman – Most Affordable Neighborhood and Ideal for Retirees

If you’re idea of the best neighborhood to live in means affordable and quiet, Whitman is your perfect spot. The Whitman neighborhood is in South Philadelphia and is known for its quiet residential vibe. There is plenty of green space and budget-friendly townhomes available, as well as modest median home prices of $243,500 for those who wish to purchase a home. The affordability and laid-back nature have made Whitman the best area in Philadelphia for retirees, but many families with school-aged children also make the neighborhood their home due to access to excellent schools like the Mastery Charter Thomas Elementary School and George Sharswood School. There are many classes and activities for the family at Whitman Public Library and a splash pad and playground in Mifflin Square Park, too.

The Whitman neighborhood is also a great place for sports enthusiasts, with the Phillies major league baseball team playing at Citizens Bank Park and the Eagles national football league team playing at Lincoln Financial Field, and the Sixers national basketball association team playing at Wells Fargo Center!

As all Philadelphians know, the cheesesteak is part of the major food groups. Living in Whitman means you can satisfy your craving for a classic Philly Cheesesteak anytime at The Original Tony Luke’s.

Bustleton – Best Philly Neighborhood for Families and Renters

Families wanting to be close to the city but not physically in the city will love the Bustleton neighborhood. Located in Northeast Philadelphia, south of Somerton, Bustleton is a quiet middle-class neighborhood ideal for families and individuals planning to rent instead of buy as the median rent prices are 19% lower than the national average. There are no rowhomes in Bustleton, but there are “twins” – side-by-side duplexes, and several dozen condominiums and apartment complexes.

The residential neighborhood is home to an increasingly ethnically and racially diverse population, with many immigrant groups living in Bustleton. Bustleton Avenue even has storefronts and newspapers in Russian and nearly one-third of the population speaks a foreign language at home compared to 18% nationwide.

Children living in Bustleton attend the highly-rated Philadelphia School District, where test scores are 18% above the national average. Baldi Playground is right in the neighborhood on Veree Road and Pennypack Park, with a creek, multi-use trails, and an outdoor bandstand.

East Falls – Best for Young Professionals, College Students, and Recent Graduates

Probably among the best neighborhoods in Philadelphia for college students and young professionals, East Falls is home to many students attending Thomas Jefferson University and the Drexel University College of Medicine. Recent graduates, families, and retirees also call East Falls home when they’re looking for an affordable neighborhood close to the city, but outside the noise and hustle of Philadelphia. East Falls is ranked in the top four quietest neighborhoods in Philly based on street noise.

Being a college town, East Falls has a hip bar scene and a surge of growth for trendy new shops and dining destinations. A unique coffee and garden experience at Vault & Vine lets you enjoy a steaming cup of hot coffee while browsing floral arrangements and greenery in the shop. Or, bring your dog to dinner on the patio at In-Riva (Pizza ‘n’ Puppies) Italian restaurant and bar. The Philadelphia Rock Climbing Gym is located in the neighborhood for a little more excitement.

Centrally located in the Northwest section of Philadelphia, East Falls is next to Roxborough and Germantown, overlooking the Fairmount Park multi-use recreational path. Public transportation, major roadways, and commuting to Center City are all within easy access from East Falls.

The residents of East Falls enjoy many community activities organized by the robust Community Association, including volunteering events, street fairs, and community clean-up days. The racial makeup of East Falls population is about 72% white, 20% African American, 5% Asian, and 3% other races.

Roxborough – Dog-friendly Neighborhood for Millenials

If you’re moving to Philadelphia with your dog, you’ll definitely want to check out Roxborough for its dog-friendly neighborhood amenities. Roxobourgh is close to the city, about 11 miles, but most homes have ample yard space to give Fido some room to run around and play.

Getting around the city is easy for Roxborough residents, thanks to access to good bus routes and quick service to Center City and Philadelphia via the SEPTA Manayunk/Norristown Regional Rail. While millennials tend to be gravitating away from Philadelphia in general, Roxborough is an exception to the rule and it seems many are settling in the residential neighborhood. About 60% of Philadelphia area college students decide to remain in the area after graduation, with many choosing Roxborough as their home town.

There is a wide variety of homes in Roxborough, from dense rowhomes in Manayunk and Lower Roxborough, to Victorian twins and manors, and large airlites built in the 1940s and 50s.

If you’re looking for things to do without leaving the neighborhood, head down Ridge Avenue and Henry Avenue, That’s where you’ll find the gym, restaurants, and shops. For outdoor activities, the Wissahickon Valley Park has over 50 miles of trails for horseback riding, biking, and hiking. Bring your fishing pole and enjoy some trout fishing in the creek! The park is also home to the 18-hole golf course of Walnut Lane Golf Club.

Bella Vista – Affordable Neighborhood for Renters

Bella Vista is an affordable neighborhood in South Philadelphia best for renters due to the budget-friendly apartments and townhomes. It offers a nice blend of suburban and urban living, being close to Center City and offering a variety of amenities that make it convenient to stay local for your shopping and entertainment. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic places with more than a dozen historical markers along the streets highlighting the neighborhood’s history.

The neighborhood is walkable, but easy access to the SEPTA Broad Street line is just a few blocks away. What’s the population of Bella Vista like? Over 63% of residents have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher and the community is somewhat diverse, with 68% white, 11% Hispanic 9% black, 9% Asian, and about 2% other races. Only about 15% of residents in Bella Vista have school-aged children, but for those who do, there is access to your choice of several great schools including Andrew Jackson Elementary, William M. Meredith School, and George W. Nebinger School.

Living in Bella Vista gives you quick access to the well-known 9th Street Italian market, a large outdoor Italian-style market year-round, which gives them access to fresh, local ingredients. Bella Vista is also home to the unique Philadelphia Magic Gardens, an indoor-outdoor art gallery.

Philadelphia Neighborhoods Map


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