Known for cultural icons like the Liberty Bell, cheesesteak sandwiches and the Eagles football team, Philadelphia has something to offer any traveler – whether you’re into museums or movies. It’s the first city in the US to have a newspaper and a hospital, and, naturally, it should be first on your list for an urban getaway.
Wondering where to stay in Philadelphia near attractions that are surely on your bucket list? You’ve got a few neighborhoods to choose from, but fear not, this article will help you narrow down your choices. And whether you’re deciding where to stay in Philadelphia with family or where to stay in Philadelphia on a budget, Stay Alfred has a travel apartment for you.
All of our Stay Alfred travel apartments in Philadelphia are full of character and upscale amenities (can we get a “woot woot” for full kitchens?), making them perfect for short or long stays and for friends or family members. Traveling on business? Each travel apartment has productivity-enhancing features like fast WiFi, super comfortable mattresses and laptop-friendly spots to work. Speaking of productivity, let’s help you find your ideal Philadelphia neighborhood!
If there’s any neighborhood in the USA that deserves the name “Old City,” it’s this one. Move over, “Old Town” San Diego and “Old Town” Chicago! This charming Philadelphia district is home to the oldest continuously inhabited street in the country (Elfreth’s Alley) and the house where the first American flag was sewn (Betsy Ross House). Not to mention the freakin’ Liberty Bell! But its historic atmosphere certainly doesn’t mean it’s boring; Old City is where you’ll find some of the most fascinating attractions, museums and restaurants in the entire Philly metro.
Old City Neighborhood Highlights
Old City features the iconic cobblestone streets and brick houses of the early days of the United States. Feelin’ the vintage vibes? Make Old City your Philly home base and book a travel apartment at Stay Alfred at The Broderick.
Old City for Families
Deciding where to stay in Philadelphia near attractions? You’ve got a whole world of historic landmarks right here in Old City that travelers of any age will appreciate. Most notable is, of course, the Liberty Bell, and the surrounding Independence National Historical Park is jam-packed with family-friendly attractions. Don’t miss the National Constitution Center and the nearby Fireman's Hall Museum. Ready for a break from all that learning? Head to The Franklin Fountain for a frozen treat or Franklin Square to play mini-golf.
Old City for Couples
Courtship these days seems to be a matter of swiping left or right, so take things back to the good ol’ days when date nights were a real thing. Treat your special someone to an indie film at Landmark's Ritz Five or Landmark's Ritz East or catch a play at Arden Theatre Company. Although wandering the quaint cobblestone streets of Old City is totally romantic too...
Old City for Business Travelers
Let’s face it, one of the best parts of a business trip is the meals on the company card. If your business activities bring you to Old City, you’d better come hungry! Clinch that big deal or celebrate a productive partnership over a meal at Amada, Fork, Zahav, or Buddakan.
Old City for Friends
Visiting Old City’s historical sites doesn’t need to feel like a grade-school field trip. If you’re looking for things to do in Philadelphia with friends, add these more adult-friendly Old City highlights to your agenda. Go in depth on cultural history at the National Museum of American Jewish History and The African American Museum in Philadelphia, or learn all about 18th-century warfare at the Museum of the American Revolution. Looking for something slightly creepy but totally interesting? See if you can spot Benjamin Franklin’s gravesite at the Christ Church Burial Ground. Pro tip: make your museum-hopping adventure a little more fun with a stop for adult beverages at National Mechanics or Sassafras.
Do you like shopping, theatre or fantastic restaurants? Then you’ll love Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, which is known for all three. With verdant Rittenhouse Square Park in the center of this district, you’re never far from exciting activities both indoors and outside.
Rittenhouse Square Highlights
Nestled between the renowned theatres and the plethora of restaurants, you can have your own place in the city – in one of the best parts of the city. Choose from the classy Stay Alfred at Rittenhouse Square, the sleek Stay Alfred at The Point, the sophisticated Stay Alfred at The Sansom or the artsy Stay Alfred at The Republic if you’re wondering where to stay in Philadelphia downtown.
Stay Alfred at The Sansom is the latest and greatest addition to Stay Alfred’s Philly portfolio, featuring a gorgeous rooftop terrace and a gym that will actually make exercising enjoyable. When you’re not zooming around in your socks on the elegant wood floors, you might be kicking back on the sofa, whipping up a gourmet meal in your full kitchen or just admiring the urban views.
Rittenhouse Square for Couples
Searching for a fabulous restaurant for a special occasion? Look no further than the fine dining of Rittenhouse Square. You can’t go wrong with a table at Parc, one of Philly’s favorites for French cuisine that will make you wonder if you stepped through a magic door leading to a bistro in Paris. Craving something a little meatier? Pop open a bold cab sauv to accompany the cut of your choice at Barclay Prime. Or, for those cozy brownstone feels, head to Vernick Food & Drink for a romantic table for two and shareable small plates.
Rittenhouse Square for Families
Debating where to stay in Philadelphia with family? If you want to be within walking distance of Philly’s most famous viewpoint, One Liberty Observation Deck, then Rittenhouse Square is the place to be. In addition to this scenic spot, the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood is packed with things to do in Philadelphia with kids, like an problem-solving challenge at Escape the Room Philadelphia or a show at the Kimmel Center. Don’t forget to stop at the classic kid favorite, Federal Donuts, for a sugary treat! If you’re booked at Stay Alfred at The Sansom, you’re in luck; Federal Donuts is right across the street!
Rittenhouse Square for Friends
Whether you’re reuniting with childhood pals or spontaneously meeting new friends, you might be searching for some of the best bars in Philadelphia. If you’re staying in Rittenhouse Square, then you, luckily, won’t need to go too far. Got a hankering for a cold one? You’ll surely find something you like on the massive beer list at Monk's Cafe. In the mood for Mad Men-style vintage vibes? Order your martini dry at 1 Tippling Place – or just let the bartender whip up something special. How about a little bit of detective work? See if you can find The Franklin Bar, a speakeasy with creative cocktails.
Rittenhouse Square for Business Travelers
Craving a delicious mid-day break? Treat your coworkers or business partners to a tasty lunch at one of Philly’s best restaurants. No need to wait until dark to enjoy a good meal! Check out Oyster House for fantastic New England-style seafood or The Dandelion for elevated, British-inspired pub fare. Can’t decide between steak and seafood? Get the best of both at Butcher and Singer, which features a top-notch raw bar and an impressive steak selection.
The Big Apple might be known as the city that never sleeps, but Philadelphia’s Midtown Village is just as much of a night owl. In this vibrant neighborhood, you’ll find theatres, restaurants and bars that keep the party going at all hours of the day and night.
Midtown Village Neighborhood Highlights
Want to be in the middle of the action but not in mediocrity? You’ve got two exceptionally wonderful choices for places to stay in Philadelphia in the heart of Midtown Village. Stay Alfred at City Center’s name says it all; sweet digs within walking distance of all the Center City favorites. Or, admire the city from above on the rooftop terrace at Stay Alfred at The Collins!
Midtown Village for Couples
Philadelphia’s food scene might be dominated by the greasy cheesesteak, but there’s a whole lot more to be discovered. Midtown Village is home to some of Philly’s favorite international restaurants, including some that are seriously date night-worthy. Splurge on a meal to remember at Morimoto, a sushi spot with an Iron Chef at the helm. Don’t know what to order? No problem! Let the sushi chefs choose for you when you opt for the omakase experience. Prefer your dinner to come cooked? The fine Italian cuisine at Vetri Cucina is truly exceptional. Prefer your dinner to be meat-free? Treat your herbivore date to a sophisticated plant-based meal at Vedge.
Midtown Village for Business Travelers
Need a little caffeine before a big day at the office? Midtown Village has your back. For all your coffee needs, head to Square One Coffee Roasters, Good Karma Cafe, or Greenstreet Coffee Co. If you’re looking for free-trade beans, specialty roasts, or obscure plant-based milks, you’ll find it all here. See, mornings aren’t so bad!
Midtown Village for Friends
Meeting friends for drinks at a bar is so ordinary; why not switch things up and have a cultural night out at one of Philadelphia’s renowned theatres? And we’re not just talking any theatre; Walnut Street Theatre is the oldest-running theatre in the entire United States, so it’s definitely worth a visit (and a photo op!). Honorable mentions include the Lantern Theater Company for locally produced plays and the Forrest Theatre for concerts.
Midtown Village for Families
Though this Center City neighborhood is well-known for its nightlife and dining scene, it’s also worth a visit with the underage crowd. If you’re visiting Philadelphia with kids, don’t miss the Reading Terminal Market, a sprawling collection of vendors selling everything from local produce to postcards. It’s a great place to find a new favorite food since dozens of cuisines are represented. If the little ones are craving sweets, pop into J'aime French Bakery or Sweet Box Bakeshop for some of the city’s best baked goods.
Located just north of Rittenhouse Square and adjacent to the Schuylkill River, Logan Square is Philadelphia’s cultural hub, with a variety of museums, parks, and restaurants, and no visit to Philly is complete without a selfie in front of the iconic LOVE sculpture at JFK Plaza.
Logan Square Neighborhood Highlights
This neighborhood features a funky mix of historic buildings and modern high-rises, and one of those modern high-rises is none other than Stay Alfred at The Granary. In contrast to the 19th-century brownstones nearby, this millennial-approved building features a swanky resident lounge, a rooftop deck and a state-of-the-art fitness center.
Logan Square for Friends
Maybe you need a little pick-me-up after last night, or maybe you’re just a genuine morning person. However you feel in the A.M., you’d better not miss out on a fabulous breakfast at Logan Square’s Sabrina's Café & Spencer's Too. In addition to this local favorite, the breakfast scene in Logan Square includes Cafe Lift and Urban Farmer – two more excellent choices.
Logan Square for Business Travelers
In town for some serious meetings or intensive training sessions? Give your mind a break and take a well-deserved wander through Logan Square’s leafy parks. Soak in the water views of the Schuylkill River from the Schuylkill River Trail or admire the cityscape from Sister Cities Park, Matthias Baldwin Park, or Love Park.
Logan Square for Couples
What’s more romantic than perusing the halls of an art gallery? Frankly, not much, so skip the Netflix and chill and take your special someone out for a stroll through the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts or the Rodin Museum. Cap off your sophisticated outing with a meal at Rose Tattoo Cafe, a Victorian townhouse converted into one of the most romantic restaurants in Philadelphia.
Logan Square for Families
Wondering where to stay in Philadelphia with family? If your fam’s agenda includes kid-friendly museums, consider Logan Square your home away from home. This neighborhood is home to the fun, fascinating and hands-on institutions of The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, The Franklin Institute, and the Barnes Foundation. Yay learning!
We’re sure you’d ace a test on Philadelphia’s best neighborhoods now, but we’re not gonna make you take one. We do, however, hope you enjoy your trip to Philly to the fullest and get your fill of cheesesteaks and historical landmarks.
You take care of the packing (need a packing list?), and if we can provide any advice on where to stay in Philadelphia, just give us a call at 1.866.232.3864. We’re always happy to help!