Moving to Philadelphia means having the opportunity to live in a city filled with American history. It is the place where the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were signed, so it is safe to say it is the birthplace of the United States. Also, it is where James Madison, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and many other historical figures lived.
There is a lot of history celebrated in the Old City district, which is filled with famous landmarks such as Benjamin Franklin’s grave, the Constitution Hall, the Liberty Bell, and so on. It is worth mentioning that Philadelphia is where the first library in the country was established, as well as many other important institutions. Besides cherishing its history, the place offers inspiring moments with its gastronomy, culture, sports, etc. However, it will take time to adjust to a new town, especially if you are moving from a small town to a big city. If you decided to move there, you would be living in the largest community in Pennsylvania and the sixth-largest in the USA by population.
Reasons Why Moving to Philadelphia is a Good Idea
Relocating to Philly can be an exciting change as it has its own rules and way of living. There are some things that are specific only to this place, such as the fact that liquor is only sold in state-run stores. Also, you can buy products at the farmer’s markets fresh from the Dutch Country in Pennsylvania.
Since it is an old town, most streets are narrow, some are designated as one-way streets, while many of them in the old areas are cobblestone. Entrances and hallways inside buildings are narrow, too, so keep that in mind when looking for Philadelphia movers with professional moving services. Finally, if you want to be able to park the relocation truck, you need to apply for a moving permit at least three days in advance to save yourself the trouble.
Why is Philly One of the Most Popular Cities?
With such a vivid history and a peculiar way of life, the place has been attracting people for centuries, creating a real melting pot of cultures. The cultural mix also left its mark on the city’s cuisine, which you can experience in one of the numerous restaurants. There are also amazing museums and artistic venues to visit.
You will find lots of enjoyable sites to visit, such as:
- the historic Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell,
- the Philadelphia Museum of Art which the art lovers will admire for its fine collection and the Rocky movie fans for its famous stairs
- the first zoo in the States
- the renowned former penitentiary where Al Capone was once imprisoned
Best Things About Moving to Philadelphia
If you’re a fan of simplicity, you will enjoy the layout in the form of a grid, which allows you to navigate the place easily. You will love the pop-up parks here, which are booming. The most famous one is Spruce Street Harbor Park, organized along the river every summer.
To be special, people had to call the downtown area differently – Center City. This part of the town is known for numerous restaurants and bars, but also for its gothic-style Town Hall.
Obviously, gastronomy is one of the perks, but a real Philalephian will order “one whiz with” if they want to have a simple sandwich with cheese and grilled onions. The most popular meal is the famous cheesesteak, which is basically a beefsteak with melted cheese served with onions, mushrooms, and peppers or other side servings.
The proximity to New York and the Atlantic shore is an additional benefit.
Because of the various geographical characteristics of the region, the town has a very diverse climate. It belongs to the humid subtropical climate zone that has moderately cold winters and hot summers. Both autumn and spring vary a lot, but they are mostly mild and tolerable.
The town gets approximately 47 inches of rain for one year, which is more than the US average of 38 inches per year. However, with the average 13 inches each year, it gets less snow than the US average of 28 inches.
With approximately 207 sunny days in one year and a warm climate, Philadelphia is considered a hot town. Temperatures are very high in the summer, and so is humidity. Most summer days seem muggy and uncomfortable for anyone who is not used to this kind of weather. Because of that, using sunscreen and wearing sunglasses is a must during summer. But, beware, there can be some thunderstorms and lightning storms that can cause floods and some damage towards the end of summer.
Costs of Living
Some research shows the cost of living in Philly for a family of four would amount to $3,600 a month without rent and around $1,000 for a single person.
Affordability is the word in Philly since its rent prices are lower than in other cities of the same size and prominence. Renting costs from $1,200 to $1,800, depending on the area. For example, a one-bedroom apartment costs $1,440 on average and a two-bedroom apartment around $1,700. If you add monthly expenses on utilities around $150, internet around $65 and public transportation around $95, there’s your calculation of affordable living. But according to some predictions, the real estate prices will jump in the near future.
Finding A Place to Live
As in any other scenario, when searching for a home, you have to know what you want and what you can afford. Philadelphians are very careful when it comes to choosing the right neighborhood. However, being an old town, it does not have a big real estate market, so residential construction is developing fast. If you like vintage houses, make sure to check if your potential home is free of lead paint.
The security deposit when renting usually amounts to a two-months’ rent, but it is returned after the lease expires if you have not caused any damage. Renter’s insurance policy is rather cheap, especially if you are bundling.
For people living on a tight budget, there are affordable areas such as East Passyunk and Manayunk, and for the wealthy ones, there is Society Hill or Rittenhouse. Students usually settle in University City, Graduate Hospital, or Powelton Village. If you’re relocating with kids, you can settle well in Spring Garden, Fairmount, Bella Vista, and East Passyunk, and retired people in the Old City, Chestnut Hill, Spruce Hill, Cedar Park, or Chinatown.
Rent Apartments When Looking Through Homes
Before packing your items, you need to do a lot of research if you want to find your future home. The real estate market is very expensive here, and it may be hard to find your own place. Because of that, many choose to rent instead of buying. At first, it might be a good idea to rent a place and see if you like it here before spending your money.
Renting a home and the living expenses here will cost you half as much as in New York. The home market is not very big, though, mostly offering row homes with their simple layouts and some modern apartments in condo complexes emerging around the town. Some have rooftops displaying beautiful views of the skyline that everyone will like. However, it is easier nowadays to rent an apartment than to rent a house.
Getting Around the City And Shipping Your Car
One of the best things about Philly is its simple grid layout, which enables people to navigate with no trouble. There are five public squares, and the streets are named after trees and numbers.
As one of the best walking cities in the country, the town’s streets are packed with parks, a lot of restaurants, many fun and diverse shops, museums, and, of course, people.
A lot of bike lanes and bikes for rent enable the locals to ride around the town, avoiding traffic jams and live a healthier life. For those who prefer public transportation, there’s a subway, buses, and a railway. It has an excellent transit system that you can use to get around town easily.
If you plan on living in the suburbs and your job is located in the center, it would be a smart idea to have a car with you. You can get auto transport services and have your vehicle delivered to your new home.
Best Philly Neighborhoods to Live In
For history lovers, the old downtown is the most attractive part due to a number of historic sites, such as the Liberty Bell, the Franklin Institute, the Museum of American Revolution, the National Constitution Center, the Free Library, but also due to the beautiful architecture. Like other downtown areas, it is full of shops and restaurants.
The Bella Vista neighborhood deserves its name, which means “beautiful view,” but it is also known as “Little Italy” after the Italian settlers who preserved the Italian spirit. This neighborhood is very charming, especially its oldest outdoor attraction, the 9th Street Italian Market. With a lot of parks and playgrounds, it is a family-friendly area.
Northeast of the center is the Northern Liberties area, once known as a manufacturing community, but now a developing area with restaurants, bars, and boutiques. It is very attractive for the younger population because of its hipster music scene and elevated train line, which makes getting downtown or elsewhere very comfortable and quick.
Fishtown got its name from its commercial fish industry but evolved to a vibrant place full of restaurants, bars, art galleries, and music sites.
Originating from the Native American word which means “place we go drink,” the name Manayunk perfectly suits this neighborhood close to the river even today because of its numerous bars. It features Victorian-style houses lined along the steep streets.
Given that Philadelphia is known as “the City of Brotherly Love,” it comes as no surprise that it has a neighborhood named the Gayborhood, featuring LGBT nightlife venues. To match its name, the crosswalks here are rainbow-colored. It is situated in the heart of the town.
Another neighborhood close to the center is Graduate Hospital, which owes its name to a hospital no longer in operation. It has become a residential district very attractive for families.
South Philly is known for its sports stadiums but also for its Italian Market, while the West is famous for its universities and various services for students along with a lot of green spaces. The Northeast part is mostly a residential area with a suburban spirit, therefore suitable for raising families, and Northwest has a lot of alleys lined with trees and a charm of its own.
The Job Market with Local and International Companies
If you’re moving for a job, you’re settled. If not, you don’t have to be intimidated. Philly is home to ten law firms ranking among the largest in the country and twelve companies from the prestigious Fortune Global 500 list. There are also federal government institutions present, including the Federal Reserve Bank and US Mint as major employers.
It is also a hub for health education and research, so there are job vacancies you can apply to in this field, as well as in education and accounting due to the growing population. In that respect, other big employers are the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital. Being a multilingual environment, it also employs professionals to cover these needs. The overall average salary is around $3,200, so you won’t have any trouble getting a job.
Philadelphia’s Museum Scene
Since it is a historic town, it has a lot of famous sites such as Independence National Historical Park featuring institutions considered to be crucial for America’s birth, but it also has enormous museum potential. The Museum of the American Revolution and the Philadelphia History Museum are great places to learn about history.
When it comes to art, the Barnes Foundation has an exquisite collection of impressionists and modern art painters. Other museums to visit are the Rodin Museum, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The Museum of Art is also known for the famous stairs from the movie Rocky, as well as for the works of Warhol, Van Gogh, Picasso, and other painters.
For those inclined to science, there’s also quite a choice, from the Franklin Institute to the Academy of Natural Sciences.
If this is not enough to give you an idea about the place, perhaps the following nicknames it got from its citizens will be enlightening: The City of Neighborhoods, The Cradle of Liberty, The Town That Loves You Back, The Workshop of the World, and The Athens of America. And there is no need to fear the relocation process. You will surely enjoy living here.