Home Hotels Mid-range Where To Stay In Philadelphia: The BEST Areas

Where To Stay In Philadelphia: The BEST Areas

Where To Stay In Philadelphia: The BEST Areas


Welcome to the vibrant and historic city of Philadelphia! Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or an extended stay, finding the perfect area to stay is essential for an unforgettable experience. With its rich history, diverse neighborhoods, and an abundance of attractions, Philadelphia has something to offer for everyone.

In this article, we’ll explore the best areas to stay in Philadelphia, each with its own unique charm and character. From the bustling streets of Center City to the charming cobblestone alleyways of Old City, there’s a neighborhood to suit every traveler’s preference.

But why should you visit Philadelphia in the first place? Well, for starters, it’s home to some of the most iconic historical landmarks in the United States. Take a stroll through the cobblestone streets of Independence National Historical Park and visit Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were signed. Don’t forget to run up the famous “Rocky Steps” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, just like Sylvester Stallone did in the movie.

But it’s not just history that Philadelphia has to offer. The city is also a vibrant cultural hub, with world-class museums, art galleries, theaters, and music venues. From the Philadelphia Museum of Art to the Barnes Foundation, the city is a haven for art enthusiasts. Foodies will be delighted by the diverse culinary scene, with everything from cheesesteaks and soft pretzels to upscale restaurants and trendy food markets.

Now that you’re excited about all the incredible things to see and do in Philadelphia, let’s dive into the best areas to stay. Whether you’re looking for a lively nightlife scene, a peaceful retreat, or a family-friendly neighborhood, Philadelphia has it all. Let’s explore!


Center City

When it comes to convenience and accessibility, Center City takes the crown. Located in the heart of Philadelphia, this bustling neighborhood is home to iconic landmarks, world-class dining, shopping, and a vibrant nightlife scene. Here, you’ll find everything you need within walking distance.

One of the main attractions in Center City is the historic district, where you can immerse yourself in the birthplace of American democracy. Take a tour of Independence Hall, visit the Liberty Bell, and explore the fascinating exhibits at the National Constitution Center. History buffs will be in paradise as they wander through the cobblestone streets and admire the beautifully preserved colonial-era buildings.

Aside from its historical significance, Center City is also known for its diverse array of dining options. From fine dining to casual eateries, the neighborhood offers a culinary adventure for every taste and budget. Indulge in a classic Philly cheesesteak at a local corner shop, savor gourmet cuisine at one of the many award-winning restaurants, or explore the vibrant Reading Terminal Market, a food lover’s paradise with a wide variety of vendors.

If shopping is your thing, Center City won’t disappoint. The stretch along Walnut Street, known as Rittenhouse Row, is lined with high-end boutiques, designer stores, and luxury brands. For a more eclectic shopping experience, head to South Street, famous for its unique shops, trendy boutiques, and vintage stores.

When it comes to accommodations, Center City has a wide range of options to suit all preferences and budgets. You’ll find luxury hotels boasting stunning views of the city skyline, boutique guesthouses with charming character, and budget-friendly accommodations for the thrifty traveler.

One of the many perks of staying in Center City is the ease of getting around. The neighborhood is well-connected with public transportation, including buses, trolleys, and the Market-Frankford subway line, making it convenient to explore other parts of the city. Plus, many of the major attractions are within walking distance, so you can easily navigate the city on foot.

With its central location, rich history, culinary delights, and vibrant atmosphere, Center City is an excellent choice for those who want to be at the heart of all the action in Philadelphia.


Old City

Step back in time and immerse yourself in the charm and history of Old City, one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in Philadelphia. Located just north of Center City, this neighborhood is known for its cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and a lively arts and culture scene.

Old City is home to some of the most significant landmarks in American history. Start your exploration at the Independence National Historical Park, where you can visit the iconic Liberty Bell and tour Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed. As you stroll through the neighborhood, you’ll come across numerous historic sites, such as the Betsy Ross House, the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site, and Elfreth’s Alley, the oldest continuously inhabited street in America.

Besides its rich historical significance, Old City is also a thriving arts district. You’ll find numerous art galleries, studios, and theaters showcasing the works of local and international artists. The First Friday Art Walk is a popular monthly event where art lovers can explore the neighborhood’s galleries and enjoy live music, food, and drinks.

Food and drink enthusiasts will find plenty to satisfy their palates in Old City. The neighborhood is home to a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and bars, offering a diverse selection of cuisines. Whether you’re in the mood for a cozy brunch spot, an upscale dinner experience, or a lively pub, Old City has something for every taste.

For those looking to indulge in some retail therapy, Old City won’t disappoint. The neighborhood is known for its unique boutiques, independent shops, and art galleries, where you can find one-of-a-kind pieces, local crafts, and souvenirs to take home.

In terms of accommodation, Old City offers a range of options, from historic bed and breakfasts to modern boutique hotels. Many of these accommodations are housed in beautifully restored buildings, adding to the neighborhood’s charm and character.

Old City is conveniently located near public transportation, making it easy to explore other parts of Philadelphia. The neighborhood is also within walking distance of attractions such as Penn’s Landing, a waterfront area that hosts concerts, festivals, and outdoor events throughout the year.

With its historical charm, vibrant arts scene, and unique dining and shopping experiences, Old City is a must-visit neighborhood for those seeking a blend of history, culture, and beauty in Philadelphia.


Rittenhouse Square

If you’re looking for a sophisticated and upscale neighborhood to stay in Philadelphia, look no further than Rittenhouse Square. Located in the heart of Center City, this charming area is known for its beautiful tree-lined streets, elegant brownstone buildings, and the iconic Rittenhouse Square Park.

Rittenhouse Square is a haven for food enthusiasts and shopaholics. The neighborhood boasts a wide array of fine dining establishments, trendy bars, and cozy cafes. From upscale steakhouses to chic sushi spots, you’ll find a restaurant to satisfy even the most discerning palate. After enjoying a delicious meal, indulge in some retail therapy at the upscale boutiques, designer stores, and luxury brands that line Walnut Street.

Living up to its reputation as a cultural hub, Rittenhouse Square is home to several world-class museums and performance venues. The Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation, and the Academy of Music are just a few of the cultural gems you’ll find in close proximity to this neighborhood. Art lovers and theater enthusiasts will never run out of things to see and do in Rittenhouse Square.

One of the highlights of Rittenhouse Square is, of course, the park itself. The verdant Rittenhouse Square Park offers a peaceful oasis in the midst of the city’s hustle and bustle. Take a leisurely stroll, have a picnic on the grass, or simply relax and people-watch in this picturesque park. During the warmer months, the park is often host to various outdoor events, including concerts and art festivals.

Accommodation options in Rittenhouse Square cater to those seeking luxury and comfort. From elegant boutique hotels to renowned chains, you can expect impeccable service and top-notch amenities. Many of the accommodations offer stunning views of the park or the city skyline, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of Philadelphia.

In terms of convenience, Rittenhouse Square is well-connected to the rest of the city. Public transportation options, including buses and the Market-Frankford subway line, make it easy to explore other neighborhoods and attractions. Plus, many of the city’s iconic landmarks, such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Liberty Bell, are within walking distance.

With its elegant atmosphere, delectable dining options, cultural offerings, and the serenity of Rittenhouse Square Park, this neighborhood is perfect for those seeking a refined and luxurious experience in Philadelphia.


University City

Located west of the Schuylkill River, University City is a vibrant and energetic neighborhood that revolves around its prestigious academic institutions. This bustling area is home to the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, and several other notable colleges and research centers.

One of the main draws of University City is its intellectual and cultural atmosphere. The neighborhood is teeming with libraries, bookstores, and art galleries that cater to the scholarly community. The University of Pennsylvania’s campus itself is a sight to behold, with its stunning architecture and beautiful green spaces. Visitors can explore the Penn Museum, where ancient artifacts from around the world are on display, or attend a lecture or performance at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

University City is not just for academics, though. The neighborhood is a melting pot of diverse cuisines, making it a foodie’s paradise. From casual food trucks to upscale restaurants, there is something to satiate every palate. International flavors are abundant, with Vietnamese, Indian, Ethiopian, and countless other options available. Don’t forget to explore the vibrant food scene at The Porch at 30th Street Station, a popular outdoor dining spot.

In addition to its intellectual and culinary offerings, University City has a thriving arts and entertainment scene. The neighborhood is home to numerous theaters, music venues, and performance spaces. The Annenberg Center, World Cafe Live, and the Walnut Street Theatre are among the venues that host a variety of concerts, plays, and other live performances throughout the year.

If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, University City has plenty of tranquility to offer. The neighborhood is dotted with green spaces, including Clark Park and Woodlands Cemetery, where you can enjoy peaceful walks or relax with a book. The Schuylkill River Trail, a popular waterfront path, offers stunning views of the river and opportunities for walking, jogging, or biking.

Accommodation options in University City range from modern hotels to bed and breakfasts, catering to the needs of visitors and students alike. Staying in this neighborhood provides easy access to the campuses and a convenient base to explore other parts of Philadelphia, thanks to its proximity to public transportation.

With its vibrant academic community, diverse culinary scene, cultural offerings, and serene green spaces, University City is the ideal neighborhood for those seeking a lively and intellectually stimulating experience in Philadelphia.



Nestled along the banks of the Schuylkill River, just northwest of Center City, lies the hip and trendy neighborhood of Manayunk. Known for its charming Main Street, vibrant nightlife, and outdoor recreational opportunities, Manayunk offers a unique and vibrant experience for visitors.

Main Street is the heartbeat of Manayunk, lined with quaint shops, art galleries, and a diverse range of restaurants and cafes. Explore the boutiques and vintage stores for unique finds or indulge in a delicious meal at one of the many eateries offering cuisines from around the world. On weekends, the street comes alive with the Manayunk Arts Festival and various other events that showcase local artists, musicians, and vendors.

Outdoor enthusiasts will be delighted by the abundance of recreational activities in Manayunk. The neighborhood is situated along the Schuylkill River Trail, a scenic trail that spans over 30 miles and offers beautiful views of the river. Whether you prefer walking, jogging, or biking, the trail is the perfect spot to get some exercise and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. You can also rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore the river or take a relaxing boat cruise.

In the evening, Manayunk transforms into a lively destination for nightlife. The neighborhood is home to a variety of bars, pubs, and music venues where you can enjoy live music, socialize with friends, or dance the night away. From relaxed brewpubs to energetic nightclubs, there is something for everyone’s taste.

Manayunk offers a range of accommodation options, including cozy bed and breakfasts, boutique hotels, and vacation rentals. Many of these accommodations offer scenic views of the river or easy access to Main Street and its vibrant atmosphere.

Getting to and from Manayunk is convenient, thanks to its proximity to major highways and public transportation options such as buses and regional rail. If you’re driving, there is ample street parking available as well as several parking lots in the area.

Whether you’re seeking a unique shopping experience, an active outdoor adventure, or a lively nightlife scene, Manayunk has it all. With its charming Main Street, stunning river views, and a vibrant community, this neighborhood is a must-visit destination in Philadelphia.


Northern Liberties

Just north of Center City, you’ll find the vibrant neighborhood of Northern Liberties. Known for its trendy atmosphere, artistic vibe, and diverse culinary scene, Northern Liberties offers a dynamic experience for visitors.

Once an industrial district, Northern Liberties has undergone a major transformation in recent years, becoming one of the city’s most sought-after neighborhoods. The streets are lined with converted warehouses, modern condominiums, and stylish apartments, giving it a unique and eclectic character.

The heart of the neighborhood is North 2nd Street, often referred to as “Restaurant Row.” Here, you’ll find an array of dining options, ranging from cozy cafes and casual eateries to upscale restaurants. Northern Liberties is a great place to sample international cuisines, with options including Mexican, Middle Eastern, Italian, and more. Don’t forget to check out the famous Liberties Walk, a pedestrian walkway lined with boutiques, shops, and galleries.

Art and culture play a significant role in Northern Liberties, with numerous art galleries and studios scattered throughout the neighborhood. The community supports and celebrates local artists, making it a hub for creativity. Make sure to explore the galleries and attend art events and exhibitions to immerse yourself in the vibrant artistic scene.

In addition to its artistic endeavors, Northern Liberties also offers ample opportunities for outdoor activities. Liberty Lands Park is a beloved community park where locals gather to relax, play sports, and attend events. You can also join the Northern Liberties Running Club or take a stroll along the Delaware River waterfront to enjoy scenic views and take in the fresh air.

Accommodation options in Northern Liberties are diverse, catering to various preferences and budgets. From boutique hotels to cozy guesthouses, you’ll find a range of options for a comfortable stay in the neighborhood.

Getting around Northern Liberties is easy, with its close proximity to public transportation options such as buses and the Market-Frankford subway line. The neighborhood is also pedestrian and bike-friendly, making it convenient to explore on foot or by bike.

With its lively dining scene, artistic charm, and abundant outdoor opportunities, Northern Liberties is a neighborhood that exudes energy and creativity. Whether you’re a food lover, art enthusiast, or simply looking for an exciting atmosphere, Northern Liberties is a must-visit destination in Philadelphia.



Located just northeast of Center City, Fishtown has emerged as one of Philadelphia’s trendiest neighborhoods, known for its hip atmosphere, lively music scene, and thriving arts community. With its unique blend of old and new, Fishtown offers a vibrant and eclectic experience for visitors.

Fishtown’s charm lies in its mix of industrial history and modern innovation. Formerly a hub for manufacturing and fishing, the neighborhood has transformed over the years into a haven for artists, musicians, and creatives. The streets are dotted with converted warehouses, art galleries, and studios, showcasing the vibrant artistic spirit of Fishtown.

One of the highlights of Fishtown is its incredible dining scene. The neighborhood is a food lover’s paradise, offering a diverse range of culinary options that cater to every taste and budget. From trendy gastropubs and farm-to-table eateries to ethnic cuisine and street food vendors, Fishtown has it all.

Fishtown is also known for its thriving music scene. The neighborhood is home to several music venues, where you can catch live performances by local and touring bands. Whether you’re into rock, indie, jazz, or hip-hop, there’s always a concert or gig happening in Fishtown to satisfy your musical cravings.

Art enthusiasts will appreciate the numerous art galleries and street murals that adorn the walls of Fishtown. Take a stroll down Frankford Avenue and explore the vibrant art scene, or visit one of the neighborhood’s many galleries to admire the works of local artists.

For those looking to relax and soak in the neighborhood’s ambiance, Fishtown offers several parks and green spaces. Penn Treaty Park, located along the Delaware River, is a popular spot for picnics, taking in picturesque views, and enjoying outdoor activities.

In terms of accommodation, Fishtown offers a range of options, including boutique hotels and cozy guesthouses. Staying in the neighborhood allows you to fully immerse yourself in the vibrant energy and creative spirit of Fishtown.

Getting around Fishtown is convenient, with various public transportation options available. The Market-Frankford subway line and several bus routes connect the neighborhood to other parts of the city, making it easy to explore beyond Fishtown’s boundaries.

If you’re looking for a neighborhood that combines artistic flair, culinary delights, and a trendy atmosphere, Fishtown is the place to be. With its vibrant arts scene, diverse dining options, and unique ambiance, Fishtown is a must-visit destination in Philadelphia.


Society Hill

Nestled in the southeastern part of Center City, Society Hill is a picturesque neighborhood renowned for its historic charm, beautiful architecture, and tranquil ambiance. Steeped in history, Society Hill takes visitors on a journey back in time with its well-preserved Georgian and Federal-style homes, cobblestone streets, and tree-lined sidewalks.

One of the main attractions of Society Hill is its rich history. The neighborhood is home to the largest concentration of original colonial buildings in the country. Take a leisurely walk through the streets and you’ll discover landmarks such as the Powel House, the Physick House, and the historic Headhouse Square. Stroll down Elfreth’s Alley, the oldest continuously inhabited residential street in America, and soak in the atmosphere of a bygone era.

In addition to its historical significance, Society Hill exudes an upscale and refined atmosphere. The neighborhood is dotted with boutique shops, quaint cafes, and upscale restaurants. Explore the charming shops along Pine Street or savor a gourmet meal at one of the many acclaimed dining establishments. From French bistros to modern American cuisine, Society Hill offers a culinary experience to satisfy even the most discerning palates.

Society Hill is not just about history and gastronomy; it also offers a peaceful retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle. The neighborhood is dotted with green spaces and parks where you can take a leisurely stroll or relax with a book. Washington Square and Three Bears Park are both peaceful oases where you can escape the urban noise and enjoy some tranquility in the heart of the city.

For those seeking accommodations in Society Hill, the neighborhood offers a range of options. Elegant boutique hotels and cozy bed and breakfasts provide visitors with a chance to experience the neighborhood’s charm and hospitality. Many of these accommodations are housed in historic buildings, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the neighborhood’s timeless beauty.

Society Hill’s central location makes it easy to explore other parts of Philadelphia. Several SEPTA bus routes and the nearby Market-Frankford subway line provide convenient transportation options. Additionally, Society Hill’s proximity to other Center City neighborhoods allows visitors to easily access popular attractions, shopping districts, and cultural landmarks.

If you’re seeking a neighborhood that seamlessly blends history, elegance, and tranquility, Society Hill is the perfect destination. With its stunning architecture, rich cultural heritage, and serene ambiance, Society Hill offers a truly unique experience in the heart of Philadelphia.


Chestnut Hill

Tucked away in the northwestern part of Philadelphia, you’ll find the charming neighborhood of Chestnut Hill. Known for its picturesque streets, historic homes, and small-town feel, Chestnut Hill offers a peaceful and welcoming atmosphere that feels worlds away from the bustling city.

Chestnut Hill is renowned for its stunning architecture, with a mix of Victorian, Colonial Revival, and Georgian-style homes adorning the tree-lined streets. Take a leisurely walk through the neighborhood and admire the meticulously maintained gardens, elegant mansions, and beautiful facades that showcase the neighborhood’s timeless charm.

One of the highlights of Chestnut Hill is its vibrant and lively shopping district along Germantown Avenue. Here, you’ll find a delightful collection of independent boutiques, gourmet food shops, art galleries, and antique stores. Explore the unique offerings and discover hidden treasures as you stroll through this welcoming commercial corridor.

Chestnut Hill is not just a shopping destination – it also boasts an impressive array of dining options. From cozy cafes and family-friendly eateries to upscale restaurants, the neighborhood caters to a variety of tastes and preferences. Enjoy a leisurely brunch, savor farm-to-table cuisine, or indulge in delectable desserts at one of the neighborhood’s many eateries.

Nature lovers will find solace in the green spaces that Chestnut Hill has to offer. Wissahickon Valley Park, with its 1,800 acres of wooded trails and scenic beauty, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Take a hike, go for a bike ride, or simply relax and bask in the tranquility of this natural oasis.

Accommodation options in Chestnut Hill range from quaint bed and breakfasts to charming inns. Whether you choose to stay in a historic mansion or a contemporary guesthouse, you’ll be welcomed with warm hospitality and a cozy ambiance that reflects the neighborhood’s character.

Chestnut Hill is well-connected to the rest of Philadelphia via public transportation. The Chestnut Hill West regional rail line provides easy access to Center City and nearby neighborhoods, allowing visitors to explore the city’s attractions and cultural landmarks.

For those seeking a peaceful and idyllic retreat in Philadelphia, Chestnut Hill is the perfect destination. With its inviting streets, historic charm, excellent shopping and dining options, and natural beauty, Chestnut Hill offers a delightful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.



Philadelphia is a city of diverse neighborhoods, each offering its own unique character and attractions. Whether you’re a history buff, a food lover, an art enthusiast, or simply seeking a vibrant atmosphere, the city has something to offer for everyone. From the bustling streets of Center City to the historic cobblestone alleys of Old City, the charming elegance of Society Hill to the artistic vibe of Fishtown, and the upscale allure of Rittenhouse Square to the tranquility of Chestnut Hill, each neighborhood has its own charm and allure.

Choosing the best area to stay in Philadelphia depends on your preferences and the experiences you seek. If you want convenience and accessibility, Center City is the perfect choice, with its proximity to major attractions, dining options, and shopping. If you’re a history lover, Old City will transport you back to the birthplace of American democracy. Seeking a refined and upscale experience? Rittenhouse Square offers a sophisticated ambiance and luxurious accommodations. For a vibrant and artsy atmosphere, Northern Liberties and Fishtown are the go-to neighborhoods, with their thriving cultural scenes and trendy vibes. For a peaceful retreat with a small-town feel, Society Hill and Chestnut Hill provide an escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Whether you’re exploring historical landmarks, indulging in diverse cuisines, or immersing yourself in the vibrant arts scene, Philadelphia’s neighborhoods offer a wealth of experiences. With their unique offerings, these neighborhoods ensure that visitors have a truly memorable and enriching stay.

So, plan your trip to Philadelphia, choose your preferred neighborhood, and get ready to immerse yourself in the rich history, vibrant culture, and mouthwatering cuisine that the city has to offer. Whether you’re exploring iconic landmarks, indulging in diverse cuisines, or immersing yourself in the vibrant arts scene, Philadelphia’s neighborhoods promise an unforgettable experience that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.


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