The 6th most populous city in the United States (U.S.), the most populous city in Pennsylvania and the 2nd most populous city in the Northeastern US — this is the city of Philadelphia, aka the City of Brotherly Love.
(Why “City of Brotherly Love,”? Well, it is a combination of the Greek words for love (phileo) and brother (adelphos), given by William Penn!)
If you’re thinking of moving to Philadelphia, PA and looking for a “moving to Philadelphia guide”, this is it. This article will share with you the 9 golden tips and the things to know before moving to Philadelphia so that you can settle in like a true local.
Hang around to find out the amenities Philly offers its residents, from a whole range of key industries and high-ranking universities at your convenience, to beautiful parks for outdoor recreation.
Let’s get started!
1. Find Your Ideal Neighbourhood When You’re Moving To Philadelphia
Whether you’re moving to Philadelphia or any other city, where you’ll be living will be one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make. Here is several useful information regarding some of the more prominent neighbourhoods in Philadelphia to help you out.
As its name suggests, Center City is the downtown area of Philly with an ever-expanding skyline. Comprising a few neighbourhoods, including Old City, Rittenhouse Square, and Chinatown, this district boasts the most restaurants, bars, and cafes in Philly.
Thinking of buying a home here? Homes in Center City typically sell for about $348K, and it has appreciated in value by 4% over the past year.
Located near the Ben Franklin Bridge and a neighbourhood within the Center City district, Old City, as its name suggests, is packed with American history. Also known as America’s “most historic square mile”, this neighbourhood has been undergoing maintenance and revitalisation to improve the district into one where people can meet, work, shop and live.
History buffs will be in for a treat as Old City comprises world-class museums, theatres, and even streets and houses older than the nation! It is also home to music venues and restaurants.
If you’re thinking of moving into Old City, the homes here sell for about $379K, and it has appreciated in value by 6.4% over the past year.
One of Philadelphia’s most popular neighbourhoods, Rittenhouse Square is an out-of-towner that boasts vibrancy and happenings.
When you’re living in this neighbourhood, enjoy alfresco dining, high-end stores, local boutiques, small galleries, theatres, as well as a variety of cafes, bars and restaurants.
Do you intend to buy a home in Rittenhouse Square? The houses here usually sell for about $478K, and it has appreciated in value by 3% over the past year.
A relatively affluent neighbourhood, you can expect to find historic mansions, Victorian twin and row houses in Chestnut Hill. The western side of this neighbourhood meets Wissahickon Valley Park and offers residents a ton of green spaces, making it perfect for nature lovers!
Its main street is Germantown Avenue, and here, residents can find blocks of shops, galleries, boutiques, home furnishings stores and restaurants.
If that’s your cup of tea, the homes in Chestnut Hill typically sell for about $692K, and it has appreciated in value by 13.5% over the past year.
2. One Of The Most Important Things To Know Before Moving To Philadelphia: Calculate The Cost Of Living In Philadelphia Beforehand
If you’re considering between a few cities to relocate to, then comparing the cost of living could be one factor that can help you decide.
In general, the cost of living in Philadelphia is 17% higher than the national average. Expenses like housing, utilities, groceries and transportation are higher than the national average by about 15% to 30%. However, as this article will show later, transportation expenses can be reduced.
To put things into perspective, when compared to nearby cities like Baltimore and New York City, in Philadelphia, you would need $5.2K to maintain the same standard of life that you can have with
- $4.8K in Baltimore, and
- $8K in New York City.
3. Know The Key Industries To Plan Your Career Before Moving To Philadelphia PA
Relocation is a huge deal because you’re essentially changing where you live (unless, of course, you’re moving within the same city). Changing where you live not only changes your dwelling place, aka your home, but also affects your career.
As such, it is essential to know if the key industries align with your career goals before moving to Philadelphia PA. Here are the key sectors in Philly:
- higher education,
- oil refining,
- food processing,
- health care and biotechnology,
- tourism and
- financial services.
The wide variety makes Philadelphia suitable for almost everyone, don’t you think?
4. You Don’t Have To Travel Far For Quality Tertiary Education
When it comes to tertiary education, residents of Philadelphia (that includes you once you’ve moved here!) are in for a treat because the city is home to multiple high-ranking acclaimed universities, including one that is ranked #8 in National Universities!
And the 8th top-ranking university is none other than the University of Pennsylvania! Colloquially known as UPenn, the university’s most popular majors include:
- Biological and Biomedical Sciences;
- Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services;
- Health Professions and Related Programs; and
- Social Sciences.
Just 12 miles outside Philadelphia, Villanova University also deserves mention as it ranks #53 in National Universities. It may not look as impressive as UPenn, but given that there are at least 5000 colleges and universities in the U.S., ranking at #53 is pretty dang good, doesn’t it? Anyway, here are the popular majors at Villanova University:
- Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services;
- Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs.
- Health Professions and Related Programs; and
- Social Sciences.
If we were to list out the popular majors at all the notable universities in Philadelphia, this article would be way too long! So here are the other notable universities:
- The University of Delaware (#97 in National Universities)
- Temple University (#103 in National Universities)
- Drexel University (#133 in National Universities)
- Swarthmore College (#3 in National Liberal Arts Colleges)
- Haverford College (#15 in National Liberal Arts Colleges)
- Saint Joseph’s University (#8 in Regional Universities North)
These aren’t even all the higher education institutions in Philadelphia — there’s a lot more, especially in University City, including those with more niche focus.
5. Dining And Drinking: Find Your Favourite Cheesesteak Spots
If there’s one thing you know about Philadelphia before you’ve read this article, it’s probably the thriving food scene, especially cheesesteak. Just the picture of it makes you drool, doesn’t it?
But like any other food, not all cheesesteaks are equal in the “eyes” of our taste buds. So in the land of cheesesteaks, why not find the perfect cheesesteak for yourself?
Here are some of the best-reviewed cheesesteak places in Philly so you can get to trying them after moving to Philadelphia:
- Steve’s Prince of Steaks
- Joe’s Steaks + Soda Shop
- Max’s Steaks
- Dalessandro’s Steaks and Hoagies
I’m sure you’ll have a Philly (as in “really”, get it?) good time trying these out!
6. Get Active At Philadelphia’s Beautiful Parks
With over 300 neighbourhood parks and recreation areas, the city of Philadelphia offers a variety of outdoor recreation that residents can take part in. Listing all these locations would be almost impossible, so let me let you in on just the essentials, OK?
Covering about 9,200 acres of land, Fairmount Park is the largest park in Philadelphia. It houses designated trails and plenty of attractions you probably wouldn’t expect, such as the Philadelphia Zoo and Shofuso Japanese House and Gardens to renowned museums and 2 performing arts centres.
With so many attractions catered for various interests, it is no wonder that Fairmount Park is named as one of the most day-trip worthy parks in Philadelphia!
Wissahickon Valley Park
Have you ever craved for temporary respite after a week of work? Well, if your idea of respite is to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in the wilderness, try Wissahickon Valley Park!
Walk, cycle or ride a horse through the dozens of miles of trails across this 2,000 acre park which features a gorge, crossing forest, meadow, and the Wissahickon Creek. Sounds like the perfect weekend!
Spruce Street Harbor Park
OK, we know parks are usually where people get active but in this particular park, you can lounge all you want on their hammocks as long as you reserve beforehand!
Located in Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia, Spruce Street Harbor Park is an urban beach popular in the summertime.
In addition to colourful hammocks, Spruce Street Harbor Park also has floating gardens, trees adorned in technicoloured lights, local craft beers, and delicious dining options, making it the perfect location to hang out with family and friends!
7. Sign Up For A Free Yoga Class
If there’s one thing that caught our eye about Philadelphia, it’s the free yoga class events you can sign up for!
Usually scheduled for the weekends, though some are on weekdays, these free yoga classes are held at multiple places across Philadelphia, such as Drexel Square, Clara Muhammad Square and Rittenhouse Hill, so you won’t have to travel far!
8. Travel Smart: Make Use Of Philly’s Convenient Location
Given the city’s convenient location, we want to emphasise that Philadelphia is the most populous city in the state of Pennsylvania.
Additionally, commuting between most of these cities and Philadelphia is a breeze when you use Interstate-95 or I-95, which serves several cities starting from Miami in the south to Maine in the north.
As such, don’t waste this opportunity to go on road trips to explore nearby states and cities over the long weekends!
9. Moving To Philadelphia Guide: Save Your Transport Fares Like A True Local
Affordable Public Transport
One of the things to know before moving to Philadelphia is that it is served by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) which operates buses, trains, subways, trolleys, and electric buses that can take you to almost anywhere in the city.
Familiarise yourself with the public transport system and use the schedules and maps to plan your route, and you’re good to go!
Get An EZ Pass If You Plan To Drive
Tolls and bridges can be a headache even for locals, and especially for newcomers moving to Philadelphia. A useful tip would be to purchase an EZ Pass to get around the toll roads. These passes can be replenished so you won’t be scrambling for cash at toll stations!
Or You Could Simply Walk
Hear me out: Philadelphia is the 5th most walkable city in the U.S., with a score of 79. In fact, at least 10 neighbourhoods in the city have walkability scores of at least 94, meaning that it is possible to visit popular locations without a car.
So if you’re planning to be thrifty (or even environmentally friendly), you could walk around the city and save on transport and toll fares!
Conclusion About Moving To Philadelphia Guide: 9 Golden Tips To Live Like A Local
In a nutshell, we’ve given you 9 golden tips about moving to Philadelphia so that you can settle in like a local. From the basics like key industries, universities, transportation and cost of living, to the food scene, parks and free yoga classes, we believe you’ll have all the info you need to decide if you’re moving to Philadelphia!
When you’re sure about moving to Philly, let Sanelo do the heavy lifting for you!
Find out about other nearby cities:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Moving To Philadelphia PA
What Is The Weather Like In Philadelphia?
In general, Philadelphia experiences hot and muggy summers, mild fall and spring, as well as moderately cold winters. That being said, there are mentions of cold spells becoming increasingly common, and temperatures may dip to -10/-15 °C.
May, June and September are said to be the months with the most pleasant weather, while January and February are the least comfortable months. Take note of this when you’re planning to hang out outdoors!
What Locations Does Sanelo Covers For People Who Want To Move To Philly?
We’ve helped many clients move to Philadelphia regardless of any location that they lived in. Besides the neighbourhoods listed above, here are some other neighbourhoods that we have served before:
- Fairmount-Spring Garden
- East Falls
- Mount Airy
Whichever neighbourhood you may choose to move into, Sanelo can help you with your relocation. Speak to us today!
Why Should I Engage A Professional Mover?
Professional movers have been trained to handle all kinds of logistics and have the necessary tools and equipment to make the process of preparing, loading, transporting, and unloading your belongings safer and faster.
In fact, Sanelo will enrol you into our shipment protection so you’ll have peace of mind while moving.
As such, hiring a professional mover will give you one less thing to worry about, so that you can focus on settling in. Contact us today!
How Much Would It Cost To Engage A Professional Mover?
Here at Sanelo, we understand that clients like yourself would want and need at least a rough estimate of the cost of hiring a professional mover in order to plan your expenses. As such, to give you the best not-to-exceed estimate, we have provided some valuable resources: