There’s more to Philly than just rich history and delicious cheesesteaks — the city also offers a booming cultural scene, a charming small-town vibe and all the amenities of New York City without the intensity or exorbitant cost of living. Those looking for a home are also drawn to the city for its relatively affordable housing market.
If you’re thinking of moving to Philadelphia, read on to learn about the city’s beautiful neighborhoods, tasty eateries, fun attractions and much more.
Top Things to Know:
Philadelphia goes by many names. While the most common nicknames for the city are “Philly” and “The City of Brotherly Love,” it also inspired names such as The City of Neighborhoods, The Workshop of the World, The Cradle of Liberty, The Quaker City, The City That Loves You Back and The Athens of America.
Don’t say “downtown.” While we’re on the topic of names, you should know that locals refer to downtown Philadelphia as “Center City.”
The liquor laws are a little different. If you’re moving to Philly from out of state, it may take some time to adjust to the local liquor laws. Only distributors or dedicated beer stores can sell beer, and you can only buy liquor in liquor stores run by the state. If you have plans to go to a BYOB, keep this in mind.
Neighborhoods to Live In
Philadelphia is made up of many distinct neighborhoods, and each one offers something different in terms of culture and amenities. Here are some neighborhoods we recommend for those considering a move to the city:
Northern Liberties: This once bustling manufacturing district has been converted into a hip area full of restaurants, boutiques, bars and mixed-use complexes. Called “No Libs” by Philadelphians, this trendy neighborhood is home to many artists and young professionals. The area boasts a pedestrian-friendly layout, popular bars and a great variety of international food options. Some of the most popular bars include Standard Tap and The Yards Brewing Company, and PYI and Blind Pig are great eateries.
Fishtown: Once a commercial fishing hub for the city, today this neighborhood draws visitors for its row homes, bars, restaurants, art galleries and music venues. Modern, sleek lofts have been built out of old factories, and luxurious homes have been made from tiny row homes. Although heavily gentrified, the district respects its history and still alludes to its past as a fishing hub through its many images of fish on residential number plates and alleyway murals.
Graduate Hospital: Named for a hospital no longer in operation, the Graduate Hospital neighborhood is known today for its proximity to City Center, its clean streets and walkable layout. If you’re moving to Philadelphia with family, this is a neighborhood to consider. In recent years, it has undergone rapid commercial and residential development, with South Street being the center of activity.
Brewerytown: Located just to the north of the artsy Fairmount district,Brewerytown has also experienced rapid development in the past decade, with many great stores, museums and eateries located in the neighborhood. Due to its affordable real estate and great access to public transportation, it is also thought to be an ideal place to buy a new house. There are also great options for grocery stores in the area, with an Aldi located in the center of the neighborhood and a Whole Foods just a few minutes away by bus.
Bella Vista: This neighborhood, which appropriately translates to “beautiful view,” is one of the most attractive areas of the city. Also called “Little Italy” by the locals, this area was originally settled by Italian immigrants who came here in the late 1800s, and its Italian character is still apparent today. Perhaps its most popular attraction is the 9th Street Italian market, which has the distinction of being the country’s oldest outdoor market. This neighborhood is also great for families, as it has many parks, playgrounds and excellent schools, including the Carver High School, the Science Leadership Academy and the Christopher Columbus Charter School.
Best Places to Eat
Philly’s culinary scene offers an incredible number of great restaurants for a wide range of budgets. The city punches well above its weight in high-end, chef-driven restaurants, and there are constantly new spots opening up. Foodies who decide to move here won’t be disappointed.
Mike’s BBQ: If planning to eat at Mike’s BBQ, we recommend calling and reserving your meat ahead of time. This casual South Philly barbecue joint is open from noon Wednesdays to Sundays and doesn’t close until all meals sell out — which happens every day.The most popular item is the ribs, but any lover of smoked meat will also enjoy the brisket, which can be ordered by itself, as a cheesesteak or on a sandwich.
Devon Seafood Grill: A mainstay of the Rittenhouse neighborhood, this small chain attracts customers with its luxurious atmosphere, fresh ingredients, sumptuous dessert menu and beautiful view of the park from across the street.
Fogo De Chao Brazilian Steakhouse: This authentic Brazilian steakhouse, which began in Brazil over 35 years ago, features mouth-watering meats roasted by the fire and carved by gaucho chefs. It’s also known for its gourmet sides and award-winning wines.
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House: This former-bank-turned-restaurant is beloved by locals for its premium steaks and delicious sides. Private parties are held in the vault.
Giuseppe & Sons: This popular old-school Italian restaurant offers different dining experiences on each of its floors. On the ground floor, you can enjoy a less formal luncheonette with counter and table seating, and in the basement, you can have a more formal dining experience in one of its nooks, sunken corners or booths.
The Dandelion: Designed to resemble one of Britain’s modern gastropubs, this cozy restaurant attracts Anglophiles with its British menu, which includes cask-stored pints, sticky toffee pudding and delicious Welsh rarebit. And as you might expect of a British-inspired eatery, afternoon tea is also served daily.
Parc: This Parisian-inspired bistro, which overlooks the beautiful Rittenhouse Square, offers onion soup, fresh crusty breads and mussels cooked in a dijon broth.
Suraya:This massive Lebanese market, which also includes a café, bar and restaurant, offers a family-friendly environment and delicious menu, including salads, sandwiches, manoushe and homemade pastries. During the warmer months, guests can enjoy their meal out on the garden patio.
Fun Things to Do
Philadelphia offers a wealth of diversions, including:
Historical attractions: For many outsiders, Philadelphia is synonymous with American history. You can learn about Philadelphia’s role in the birth of the nation at the Independence National Historical Park, which is home to the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, where the signing of the Declaration of Independence took place. The Museum of the American Revolution, the Philadelphia History Museum and First and Second Banks of the United States are also popular historical attractions.
Artistic attractions: Art aficionados come from far and wide to admire timeless works at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rodin Museum, the Barnes Foundation and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
Scientific attractions: There’s no shortage of scientific attractions, either, with the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Franklin Institute and Mütter Museum being some of the most popular destinations for visitors interested in science.
Music and theatre: You can enjoy the performing arts at the Academy of Music, the Kimmel Center, the Philadelphia Theatre Company and the Wilma Theatre.
The city is particularly generous when it comes to free attractions, so if you’d like to have some fun without pulling out your wallet, consider the following free activities:
The Liberty Bell Center
Independence Visitor Center
The Rocky Statue and Steps
Independence Hall and Congress Hall
The Love Sculpture
What Does the Job Market Look Like?
Jobs are one of the top reasons people move to move to Philadelphia. Government, construction and manufacturing are the biggest employers, and the town is home to many prominent law firms and a dozen Fortune 500 companies. The U.S Mint’s East Coast operations and a Federal Reserve Bank division are also located in the area. Philadelphia is also a major health education and research center.
When moving to Philly for a job, keep in mind that the salaries here are high, although not as high as those in New York. After taxes, the city’s average monthly salary is approximately $3,081.88.
Getting Around the City
Philadelphia is laid out on a simple grid system, making it very easy to get around. Five public squares — Washington, Franklin, Rittenhouse, Logan and City Hall — are spread throughout the city to provide calming places to take a break. The north-south streets are numbered, making navigation even easier.
Philadelphia is known to be particularly bike-friendly, boasting over 440 miles of dedicated bike paths and over 1,300 bikes you can rent from 140 stations located throughout the city.
If you’d prefer to move around the city without exerting yourself as much, you can take the city’s subway, the bus system that boasts 70 different routes or the SEPTA Regional Rail, which goes as far as New Jersey to the west and Chestnut Hill to the east. You can also catch an Amtrak train at 30th Street Station.
Why Philly Is a Great Place to Live
If you’re wondering if moving to Philadelphia is right for you, consider the many things that make Philly an appealing place to call home:
Rich history: Ever since its founding by William Penn in 1682, this magnificent city has played an important role in various historical events, including the Revolutionary War, the second Continental Congress, industrialization, the Great Migration and hip hop.
Relatively affordable real estate: Most people associate East Coast cities with expensive housing, but Philadelphia’s real estate prices are much more reasonable than those of New York or Boston, which means that the city’s general cost of living is also lower.However, prices are rising, so if you’re considering a move to Philly, we recommend that you act sooner rather than later.
Abundance of markets: If you’ve grown tired of going to nondescript supermarkets, a move to Philly will be exciting for you. You can buy groceries and foodstuffs at markets like the South 9th Street Italian Market or Reading Terminal Market. The city also has plenty of farmer’s markets, which often sell products from Pennsylvania’s Dutch Country.
World-class museums: This city is a paradise for art lovers and includes must-see museums such as the massive Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation, the Rodin Museum and the Institute of Contemporary Art. If you’re in the mood for a more off-beat attraction, check out the Mütter Museum, which features medical oddities.
Proximity to other amazing places: The surrounding countryside offers fascinating attractions, including the Gettysburg Battlefield and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. You can also easily reach other East Coast cities for a weekend trip — you can get to New York City or Baltimore in around two hours by car or bus, and Washington, D.C. in about three. If you want a seaside retreat, Asbury Park, Rehoboth and various Chesapeake Bay cities are within easy access.
No need for a car: Although not quite as walkable as New York, you can still get around without a car here. Depending on where you work, live and play, you can get around by foot, bike or public transit, meaning that you can put the money you would be spending on car insurance and gas into something else, like retirement savings.
Contact Streamline to Find the Home of Your Dreams
Streamline is a real estate development and construction company based in Philadelphia. We are at the forefront of urban and residential development and strive to bring communities together through the use of technology. If you’re looking to buy new construction, we can provide you with an experience that lets you customize every aspect of your future house from our quality selected finishes.
At Streamline, part of our mission is to provide excellent customer service, and one way we do this is through the Streamline Experience, a virtual reality technology we’ve developed that enables our customers to virtually walk through their future homes and make changes to their design.
Whether you want to build new construction, buy property or sell it, Streamline will make this process faster and easier for you. Reach out to us by calling 267-785-0021 or filling out our form.