The best places to live in Philadelphia

The suburban nature of much of Philadelphia makes it seem smaller than it is. Very much a city of neighbourhoods, Philadelphia's available housing options can initially seem overwhelming. That said, finding a good home in the city is far from impossible. Below are just some of the most areas and suburbs in Philadelphia.


Suburban living in Philadelphia

Philly

Chestnut Hill 

Chestnut Hill used to be a popular summer getaway for Philadelphia's upper classes and is still associated with affluence. Public transport is easily accessed, the infrastructure is good, and shopping in Chestnut Hill is an experience not to be missed. For those who can afford it, Chestnut Hill is an ideal location for families, offering accommodation from modest rowhouses to expansive mansions. Known for its excellent schools, historic architecture, small-town-yet-vibrant atmosphere and proximity to the city, Chestnut Hill is a fantastic area to put down roots.

Abington

Abington's schools have a reputation for excellence, and it has been recognised as one of the best places to live in the USA. The Abington Memorial Hospital offers a high standard of care and is the area's major employer. Abington contains a wide range of housing, most built shortly after WWII, from garden-style apartments to colonial-style family homes. In short, it's the perfect area for new arrivals who want to raise their families in character homes.  

Swarthmore 

Swarthmore offers a peaceful, college-town atmosphere that prides itself on diversity and tolerance. Anchored by Swarthmore College, it boasts the Crum Woods, a 300-acre arboretum, and a downtown area with unique and independent shops. Swarthmore's older but well-maintained houses and its public and private schools come highly recommended. The only downside is the area's steep property tax. If this can be managed, staying in Swarthmore is definitely worth it.


Urban living in Philadelphia

Philly

Graduate Hospital

Extremely popular with young professionals and singles, Graduate Hospital has gained a reputation as an artistic community since the early 2000s. It is home to trendy restaurants and some of the best bars in Philadelphia. Prices are moderately high, although it is worth it for Graduate Hospital's proximity to the city's attractions and its mix of old and new single-family homes, tree-lined streets and brownstone rowhouses. Families wanting to live closer to Center City will also find this neighbourhood safe. 

Fishtown

Fishtown is a burst of colour in the middle of an industrial landscape, offering the famous Philadelphia rowhouses along narrow streets which surge with creative energy. Popular with trendy hipsters, young families and up-and-coming professionals, Fishtown makes up for its lack of retail with a bustling cultural and nightlife scene. 

Northern Liberties

Northern Liberties has traditionally been popular with artists, but increasingly, more business professionals in Philadelphia are investing in the area's apartment complexes. Even with prices rising due to demand, residents love the neighbourly atmosphere, which, in the heart of the city, can feel like it belongs in a different time. Art galleries and trendy boutiques line the streets, and foodies in Philadelphia will have a ball hopping between all the neighbourhood's restaurants. 

Fairmount

Leafy, spacious and close to cultural landmarks such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Fairmount is loved by first-time buyers and offers a variety of options, from classic Philadelphia townhouses to older single-family homes. Those who need to be close to the city but are also balancing family priorities would do well to consider Fairmount, as there are several good schools in the area, and St Joseph's Hospital is nearby. Although its prices are pretty high, Fairmount offers newcomers a piece of suburbia with the community spirit to match, a mere 10 minutes away from Center City.

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