Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, is a vibrant and historical destination known for its rich culture, art, and heritage. With a variety of neighborhoods, each offering unique experiences and accommodations, choosing where to stay in Philadelphia can be a bit overwhelming. In this article, we will explore some of the city’s best neighborhoods and hotels, making it easy for you to find the perfect place for your visit.
Delving into the heart of Philly, you’ll come across some incredible neighborhoods that cater to various interests and budgets. From the iconic Old City, where history buffs can immerse themselves in the stories of America’s founding fathers, to the bustling nightlife in Rittenhouse Square, there’s something for everyone. For visitors who prefer a more eclectic atmosphere, the trendy Fishtown and Northern Liberties offer the perfect blend of art, great food, and boutique accommodations.
No matter which neighborhood you choose, you’ll find an assortment of things to do such as exploring interesting museums, indulging in renowned Philly cheesesteaks, and even tracing the footsteps of Rocky Balboa. So grab a soft pretzel and let’s dive into the charming and diverse neighborhoods of Philadelphia, where you’ll certainly find a cozy and inviting place to rest after a day of adventure.
Where To Stay
Neighborhoods to Consider
Philadelphia offers a variety of neighborhoods with distinct characters and attractions. Here are a few to consider when planning your stay in the city.
The Old City is a historic neighborhood and a perfect choice if it’s your first time visiting Philadelphia. It’s home to famous landmarks such as:
- Independence Hall
- Liberty Bell
- Betsy Ross House
Fun Fact: Old City is home to Elfreth’s Alley, the oldest continuously inhabited residential street in the United States.
Things to do:
- Explore the numerous museums and historic sites
- Stroll through the charming streets with colonial architecture
- Enjoy dining in diverse restaurants and vibrant nightlife
Rittenhouse Square is an upscale neighborhood known for its luxury shopping, fine dining, and abundant green spaces. It’s an excellent choice for those seeking an elegant urban experience.
Interesting Story: The neighborhood is named after David Rittenhouse, a famous astronomer, and a clockmaker from Philadelphia.
Things to do:
- Relax in the pristine Rittenhouse Square Park
- Shop at high-end boutiques and stores along Walnut Street
- Indulge in gourmet dining and trendy bars
University City is located in West Philadelphia and is home to prestigious universities such as the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. This vibrant neighborhood offers a lively atmosphere with diverse students, academics, and young professionals.
Fun Fact: The University of Pennsylvania’s campus contains the nation’s first student union building and first double-decker football stadium.
Things to do:
- Visit the Penn Museum, showcasing artifacts from ancient civilizations
- Explore the stunning architecture of the university campuses
- Enjoy the various cultural events and performances held throughout the year
Fishtown is a trendy, artistic neighborhood characterized by its live music venues, creative establishments, and a flourishing food and beverage scene.
Interesting Story: The name “Fishtown” originates from the area’s historic role as the center of Philadelphia’s fishing industry.
Things to do:
- Attend live music concerts at Johnny Brenda’s or The Fillmore
- Immerse yourself in the local art scene by visiting galleries and studios
- Try unique craft beers and culinary delights at food trucks and gastropubs
Philadelphia offers various accommodation types to suit any traveler’s needs and preferences. In this section, we will explore different lodging options, such as Hotels, Bed and Breakfasts, Hostels, and Vacation Rentals.
Philadelphia is home to numerous hotels with various amenities and price ranges. There are luxury hotels like the Hilton Garden Inn Philadelphia Center City, which offers complimentary WiFi, a 24-hour business center, and its prime location near Reading Terminal Market and Independence Hall. Budget travelers can also find affordable options in the city that still provide essential facilities for a comfortable stay.
Bed and Breakfasts
For a more intimate and personalized experience, consider staying at a bed and breakfast. The Thomas Bond House is an excellent example of a charming B&B located in Philadelphia. Each stay offers air-conditioned accommodations, free WiFi, and access to a shared lounge. Staying at a bed and breakfast allows visitors to experience Philadelphia’s unique history and culture more closely.
Hostels are a great option for budget travelers and those looking for a more social atmosphere. Philadelphia has several hostels that offer both dormitory-style and private accommodations. These hostels often feature common areas, shared kitchens, and provide opportunities to connect with fellow travelers. Staying at a hostel in Philadelphia will allow you to save money and make new friends along the way.
Vacation rentals, such as those found on Airbnb, give travelers the opportunity to stay in unique and often more spacious lodgings. Philadelphia offers various rental options, from stone-front row houses to lofts in former textile mills. Staying in a vacation rental allows visitors to truly immerse themselves in the city’s atmosphere and live like a local during their stay.
Fun Fact: Philadelphia is home to the country’s oldest residential street – Elfreth’s Alley. This charming cobblestone street features 32 historic houses dating back to the early 18th century.
Interesting Story: In 1976, Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute Science Museum acquired a giant replica of the human heart, which visitors can walk through, learning about its function and structure.
Things to do: While in Philadelphia, don’t miss out on visiting popular attractions like the Liberty Bell, exploring the Reading Terminal Market, or reliving history through a tour of Independence Hall.
Tips for Choosing Accommodation
When planning a trip to Philadelphia, it’s crucial to pick the right accommodation to maximize your experience in the city. In this guide, we’ll explore some key factors to consider when choosing where to stay: budget, transportation, amenities, and safety.
Accommodation in Philadelphia is available in a wide range of prices, suiting every traveler’s budget. You can choose from luxury hotels, mid-range inns, and budget-friendly hostels. It’s important to have a clear budget in mind to make an informed decision.
Here are some options to consider based on your budget:
- For a budget-friendly stay, consider options in Center City, such as The Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District.
- If you’re looking for a more luxurious experience, check out the upscale hotels in Rittenhouse Square.
An essential factor to consider is the proximity of your accommodation to public transportation options. Philadelphia is well-connected with buses, trains, and trolleys, making it easy to explore the city.
- Old City is a great option for first-time visitors due to its walkability and proximity to many of the city’s attractions.
- Bella Vista and Queen Village in South Philly are also worth considering, as they are residential neighborhoods with easy access to the city’s destinations.
Depending on your preferences and needs, you may want to choose accommodation that offers specific amenities, such as a rooftop swimming pool, fitness center, or free breakfast.
- Make a list of must-have amenities and use this as a reference when researching potential accommodations.
- Consider your accommodation’s proximity to restaurants, shopping centers, and other attractions that are important to you.
It’s important to stay in a safe neighborhood when visiting Philadelphia. Researching online reviews and local crime statistics can help guide your decision.
Here are a couple of suggestions:
- Old City and Rittenhouse Square are known for being safe neighborhoods with a great atmosphere for tourists.
Fun Fact or Interesting Story
Did you know that Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, located in the Bella Vista and Queen Village neighborhoods, are an artistic wonderland spanning half a city block? This unique destination is created by mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar and consists of a maze-like outdoor gallery featuring intricate, hand-made tile mosaics.
Things to Do
Once you’ve chosen the perfect accommodation, don’t forget to plan some fun activities! You may want to explore the historic district, visit museums, or simply enjoy Philadelphia’s vibrant nightlife. No matter your interests, there’s something for everyone in this bustling city.
When it comes to finding a place to stay in Philadelphia, there’s a broad range of options to suit different budget levels and preferences. In this section, we’ll explore some of the top luxury, mid-range, and budget accommodations available in the city.
For those looking for an indulgent experience, Philadelphia has a diverse selection of high-end hotels to choose from. Some of the best options include:
- The Rittenhouse: Often compared to New York City’s Plaza Hotel, this prestigious property offers luxurious rooms and suites, an impressive array of amenities such as a spa, and an excellent location near Rittenhouse Square.
- The Logan Philadelphia, Curio Collection by Hilton: With a prime position in the heart of the city, this hotel exudes a modern, sophisticated ambiance, and its rooftop bar provides stunning views over the cityscape.
If you prefer a more affordable yet still comfortable stay, Philadelphia has a wide selection of mid-range hotels to meet your needs. Some popular options include:
- Roost East Market: This property is ideal for long-term stays, as it features fully-equipped kitchens and spacious living areas. Its convenient location in the vibrant East Market district makes it an excellent choice for both business and leisure travelers.
- Marriott Hotels: With locations across the city, including City Center West, and City Center East, these hotels offer a consistent level of quality, comfortable rooms, and a wide range of amenities.
For travelers seeking budget-friendly accommodations, Philadelphia still has plenty of options to choose from. Some of the most popular budget hotels include:
- Old City: As the historical heart of Philadelphia, this neighborhood offers numerous budget-friendly options such as small boutique hotels and guesthouses.
- University City: Located near prestigious institutions such as the University of Pennsylvania, this area boasts a variety of budget hotels catering to students, families, and other travelers.
Fun Fact / Interesting Story
Philadelphia is home to the famous Rocky Steps, a set of stairs featured in the iconic movie “Rocky.” Visitors can reenact the film’s memorable scene by running up the steps and enjoying a breathtaking view of the city skyline from the top!
Things to do
- Exploring the Philadelphia Museum of Art and its diverse collection of works, including pieces by renowned artists such as Rodin and Monet.
- Visiting historic sites like Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were signed.
- Strolling through the picturesque Rittenhouse Square, sampling delicious cuisine at the many nearby restaurants and cafés.