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West Philly Neighborhoods 🏡 | 9 Top Neighborhoods in West Philadelphia to Live & Visit

Last Updated on: 11th January 2024, 08:25 pm

One of the most eclectic areas of Philadelphia, West Philly is a sprawling and mostly residential area known for its diversity, tree-lined streets, Victorian architecture, and UPenn.

West Philadelphia generally extends from the Schuylkill River southwest to Cobbs Creek, south to the SEPTA Media/Wawa line, and northwest to City Avenue, but it may include all Philadelphia neighborhoods west of the Schuylkill, including Southwest Philadelphia.

The eastern area, University City, is a hip, walkable area home to several major universities. Baltimore Avenue, one of the main thoroughfares of West Philly, boasts acclaimed art galleries, restaurants, cafes, and shopping. You’ll find secluded, green neighborhoods, more densely populated urban areas, and some of Philadelphia’s best parks in the area with many neighborhoods in West Philadelphia to choose from.

Moving to Philadelphia and not sure where to settle down? Here’s a look at the best West Philly neighborhoods that should be on your list to consider.

Spruce Hill – Walkable West Philly Neighborhood Known for Diversity & Large Historic Homes

  • Average rent: $2,553
  • Median home price: $599,000

One of the largest neighborhoods in West Philadelphia, Spruce Hill is also one of the most diverse. This sprawling community was once a streetcar suburb of Philadelphia which for buyers today means large homes and lots with easy access to the City Center. Spruce Hill is known for its grand, historic homes and tree-lined streets. It’s popular with young professionals and has an active community association of volunteers who organize events like the annual May Fair gathering in Clark Park.

Top Spruce Hill Philadelphia attractions:

  • Clark Park with a mature forest and farmers’ market
  • Cinemark University City Penn 6

 

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Cedar Park – One of the Most Affordable Neighborhoods in West Philadelphia for Renters

  • Average rent: $1,345
  • Median home price: $440,000

Cedar Park and Spruce Hill are closely tied, although each neighborhood has its own atmosphere. It’s a diverse neighborhood with a large community of immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean as well as Black and African American residents. Also once a streetcar suburb, Cedar Park is one of the most affordable neighborhoods in Philadelphia for renters with rent $550 below average for the city! The close-knit community has been one of the hottest West Philly neighborhoods for homebuyers, too, thanks to its large Queen Anne homes, quiet tree-lined streets, easy public transit access, and close proximity to dining and Clark Park.

Cedar Park has a fun bohemian atmosphere with many neighborhood bars and restaurants along Route 13. You’ll find amazing ethnic cuisine, particularly Eritrean, Ethiopian, and West African restaurants. Some of the most popular Cedar Park restaurants are Dahlak and Kilimandjaro/youma.

Wynnefield – Middle-Class Neighborhood Close to Amenities & Transportation

  • Average rent: $1,730
  • Median home price: $223,000

Location is everything, and it’s hard to beat Wynnefield. This middle-class neighborhood in West Philadelphia is bordered to the south by Fairmount Park, a 2,000 acre park on the Schuylkill River, and Merion Station to the north, home to Merion Botanical Park, an arboretum and excellent private schools. There are several main arteries running through Wynnefield with shopping and restaurants including City Avenue (or City Line) to the north and the Amtrak Main Line tracks just west. It’s also home to Bala Golf Club, a highly-rated private golf course.

Powelton Village – One of the Most Desirable Neighborhoods in West Philadelphia for Artists & Academics

  • Average rent: $2,720
  • Median home price: $245,000

Powelton Village has been described as one of the best-kept secrets in Philadelphia. The small community is home to tree-lined streets and Victorian twin homes with a large population of artists, families, and academics. Its counterculture movement goes back to the 1960s and it’s still a diverse neighborhood with a strong, politically active community.

Along Lancaster Avenue, you’ll find coffee shops, dance studios, and art spaces. The neighborhood’s Drexel Park is a popular hangout and usually has several food trucks. 33rd Street Armory by Drexel University is a fun weekend destination for art shows and live music.

University City – Bustling Heart of West Philadelphia and One of the Hippest Neighborhoods

  • Average rent: $2,553
  • Median home price: $475,000

University City is one of the best neighborhoods in West Philadelphia if you’re looking for a younger crowd, excitement, and lots of attractions. Home to the University of Pennsylvania, the University of the Sciences, and Drexel University, this ultra-walkable neighborhood is home to many things to do in West Philadelphia, from museums and art exhibits to street food and nightlife.

University City is adjacent to Center City and a short walk across South Street Bridge. SEPTA’s Market-Frankford Line takes you along Market Street, one of the University City’s densest corridors with plenty to do.

Fun things to do in University City include:

Parkside – Affordable West Philly Community with Picturesque Victorian Twin Houses

  • Average rent: $2,720 (East Parkside); $1,730 (West Parkside)
  • Median home price: $279,000 (East Parkside); $284,000 (West Parkside)

Parkside is one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in West Philadelphia. This interesting neighborhood arose from the 1876 Centennial Exposition fair along Parkside Avenue with a small and temporary city growing up outside the fair’s gates. During the early years, this temporary city had ice cream parlors, hotels, restaurants, beer gardens, and dancing shows packed into flimsy buildings, providing entertainment considered inappropriate for the fairgrounds.

By 1895, the area was cleared and was one of the last undeveloped areas of the city. Center City had become polluted and congested, but the region around the protected green space of the fairground was a desirable alternative to Fairmount and Rittenhouse Square. It was developed with elegant Victorian-style twin houses along Parkside Ave, many of which remain today.

The affluent business owners who lived in the community lost interest in the neighborhood within a few decades and the community’s demographics changed dramatically over the next 50 years, first with a large Russian-Jewish population and then as an African American community.

Today, Parkside is a diverse neighborhood. Parkside Avenue and Girard are the most desirable and expensive areas to live with grand homes in various states of renovation. Overall, many view Parkside as an up-and-coming West Philly neighborhood that may be rougher than some but offers a close-knit community, historic architecture, and affordability.

Belmont Village – Beautiful Neighborhood for Outdoor Enthusiasts

  • Average rent: $2,722
  • Median home price: $109,000

Adjacent to Bala Golf Club and Fairmount Park, Belmont Village is one of the most affordable neighborhoods to buy a house in Philadelphia with a median price about $135,000 below the city median, although rent is on the high end for West Philly. Known for its eclectic architecture and streets lined with cherry blossom trees, Belmont Village boasts a fun variety of home styles from stone-faced midcentury homes to Spanish Revival-style homes with terracotta tile roofs.

Residents enjoy easy access to City Center from the Bala SEPTA station and nearby shopping at Bala Cynwyd Shopping Center at the northern border. It’s also easy to access the forests of Fairmount Park from this secluded, green neighborhood. You’ll find several apartments in this small neighborhood to choose from as a renter.

Cobbs Creek – One of the Most Affordable West Philly Neighborhoods for Buyers & Renters

  • Average rent: $1,245
  • Median home price: $165,000

Cobbs Creek is a paradise for affordable living and recreation. The community boasts home prices $80,000 below the city median and rent about $650 below the Philadelphia average. It’s also home to some of the best things to do in West Philly outdoors.

The wooded Cobbs Creek Park is a peaceful retreat from busy city life with miles of walking paths and a playground. Families appreciate local amenities like the Johnny Sample or Cobbs Creek Recreation Center, A. W. Christy Rec Center with a pool, playground, and sports fields, and the popular West Philadelphia YMCA. In the center of the neighborhood is the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the picturesque Malcolm X Park.

Cobbs Creek is served by several major roads including Route 13 and Route 3 with dozens of nearby shops, restaurants, and hangout spots.

Overbrook – Sprawling West Philly Neighborhood for Families

  • Average rent: $1,700
  • Median home price: $210,000

Overbrook is a large area in northwestern West Philadelphia that’s made up of four smaller neighborhoods: Overbrook Park, Overbrook Farms, Overbrook, and Morris Park. One of the most popular West Philly neighborhoods for families, Overbrook is a middle-class neighborhood dominated by row houses and twin houses. It’s also the childhood home of actor Will Smith who attended Overbrook High School.

Overbrook offers easy transportation at the intersection of Route 1 and Route 30 and it’s surrounded by green space including Haddington Woods and Cobbs Creek.

West Philadelphia Neighborhoods Map

Ready to make living in West Philly a reality? Whether you’re moving within Philadelphia or from outside the city, Suburban Solutions is ready to help with affordable, personalized moving help. Give our Philadelphia movers a call today for a free moving quote to get started.

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