There is a lot to love about the City of Brotherly Love. Philadelphia’s incredible range of quality cuisine, its burgeoning art scene, and its historical significance are just a few highlights. While often overlooked for other east coast cities like Boston or Washington, D.C., Philadelphia is unique as it offers its residents sought-after city amenities while maintaining a small-town charm and copious green space. Read on to discover the top 10 reasons to move to Philadelphia in 2022.
1) City Amenities with a Small-Town Feel
Despite being the second largest city on the east coast and the fifth largest city in the US, Philadelphia has a certain small-town charm to it. Philly boasts amenities like trendy bars and restaurants, art and cultural institutions, sports stadiums, and a great public transportation network. However, its residents can enjoy these amenities without the hustle and bustle of larger cities like New York. Philadelphians describe the city as manageable and more slow paced with tight-knit communities and quaint, charming neighborhoods like Chestnut Hill. So if you are in search of a city lifestyle that won’t leave you feeling burnt out and overwhelmed, then Philadelphia may be the right fit for you.
2) Philadelphia Neighborhoods for all Stages of Life
Philadelphia has many neighborhoods to suit people at all stages of life. Whether you are a twenty year old college student looking for a fun area at an affordable price, or a seventy year old retiree in search of a quiet neighborhood with plenty of outdoor space, Philly has fantastic options.
As its name indicates, University City is a popular option for students, specifically those in third-level education. Both Drexel and the University of Pennsylvania are located here and the area is filled with lively bars, restaurants, and cafes. You will find University City residents lounging in the sun at Drexel Park or enjoying a tasty bowl of ramen at the affordable Terakawa Ramen restaurant.
Rittenhouse is one of the five original public spaces designated by William Penn and features walking paths, picnic spots, and a stunning reflective pool. The square is located in downtown Philly so residents have a walkable commute to work in the city center. It is also a very public transit-friendly and cyclist-friendly neighborhood. Given its close proximity to downtown and the plethora of restaurants, bars, and retail stores on Rittenhouse Row, the square is ideal for the young professional who wants to be located in the middle of the action.
This upscale northwest Philadelphia neighborhood is about a 25 minute drive from downtown Philly. Known as the ‘garden district’ Chestnut Hill has beautiful tree-lined streets, parks, and botanical gardens like the Morris Arboretum. Young families will appreciate its network of top-quality schools including the public Central High School and the private Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. Additionally, its range of after-school activities like art classes at the Woodmere Art Museum or horse riding at Wissahickon Valley Park make Chestnut Hill an attractive option for those with young children.
Media is a Philadelphia neighborhood affectionately referred to as ‘Everybody’s Hometown’ thanks to its tight-knit yet warm and welcoming communities. A 2021 SmartAsset report ranked it as the sixth-best retiree city in Philly based on factors including access to healthcare and outdoor recreational space. Media residents can enjoy a day out in one of the area’s many parks including Ridley Creek State Park and East Lake Park. They also have a plethora of options in terms of top-quality healthcare facilities like primary care physicians’ offices and hospitals.
3) A Wide Range of Exceptional Cuisines
Philadelphians can enjoy a wide range of culinary delights at all price points throughout the city. The neighborhood of Fishtown is home to Joe Beddia’s Pizzeria Beddia where you will find the tastiest pizza pie in Philly. Also in Fishtown is Suraya, an award-winning specialty market, restaurant, and garden perfect for a spot of shopping, a five-star meal, and the opportunity to quite literally stop and smell the roses. Midtown Village attracts vegetarians with its popular fine dining restaurant Vedge. Meanwhile, Pennsport residents can enjoy the perfect cup of coffee and nibbles in Herman’s Coffee cafe. The cafe is located in an old auto shop turned into a small-batch coffee roaster and boutique market. During a Covid lockdown, Herman’s created a vibrant outdoor patio with various food trucks and pop-ups, from gourmet pop tarts to tacos and rice bowls.
Philadelphia also has numerous breweries and distilleries for locals to savor a beverage. Cannstatter Volksfest-Verein Biergarten is situated on a five-acre park and opens between April and October. The Biergarten hosts live music events, and boasts a menu of classic German eats. Its taps include both German and domestic beers so visitors can experience a wide variety of drinks.
4) Festivals and Entertainment
There is no shortage of fun-filled events for everyone to enjoy throughout Philadelphia. The South 9th Street Italian Market Festival is Philly’s largest block party full of family-fun including live music, arts and crafts, a grease pole contest, and delicious food options. The Rittenhouse Row Spring Stroll is a one-day mini-festival celebrating the dining, shopping, and culture in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Row neighborhood. Attendees can stroll through the neighborhood, listen to live music, and taste dishes from the various ‘streeteries.’
For warmer summer days there are plenty of waterfront attractions to keep you entertained. The Blue Cross RiverRink is transformed into a roller skating rink in the summer season for its annual Summerfest. Meanwhile in winter, visitors are invited to lace up their skates for a trip to the ice rink. Philadelphia sporting events include the Broad Street Run, the largest ten mile race in the country, and the Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta, the world’s largest collegiate regatta.
5) Parks and Recreation
The Philadelphia Parks & Recreation’s website lists over 300 neighborhood parks, 166 miles of trails, 40 historic sites, 60 community gardens, and playgrounds. This means that although you may live in or around the city you can easily escape to nature. Dilworth Park is one of many beautiful parks available to Philadelphians for a moment of respite. It is lined with tree groves and has a large water fountain that transforms into an ice skating rink in winter and a roller skating rink in summer. Fairmount Park offers visitors more than 2,000 acres of green space with walking trails, two performing arts centers, the Philadelphia Zoo, and the Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse. For those in search of a place to relax along the Delaware river waterfront the Pleasant Hill Park has numerous riverside trails and prime picnic spots.
6) Historical American Landmarks
Philadelphia is a modern city steeped in history. The City of Brotherly Love has been home to many momentous events like George Washington crossing the Delaware River and Ben Franklin’s kite experiment. Residents and visitors alike can tour historical sites including Independence Hall, the location of the signing of the Declaration of Independence by the Founding Fathers, the Liberty Bell, an iconic symbol of American Independence, and the Museum of the American Revolution. You will also find America’s oldest residential street, Elfreth’s Alley, which dates back to 1703. The alley is located in the Old City neighborhood and has been declared a national historic landmark.
7) Affordable Cost of Living
The cost of living in Philadelphia is slightly higher than the national average, as with most major US cities. However, it is substantially lower than neighboring cities like Washington, D.C., Boston, and New York. Philly’s overall cost of living index is estimated at 101.2, slightly above the national average of 100. This is lower than cities like Seattle at 172.3, San Diego at 160.1, and Boston at 162.4. At a cost index of 102.5, grocery shopping in Philly won’t leave you out of pocket. However, healthcare costs are estimated at 98.4 which is higher than Seattle, San Diego, and Boston, among other cities.
For Philadelphians, the average monthly utility bill is approximately $210 which includes electricity, heating/cooling, water, garbage disposal, and internet. This is comparable to the utilities costs in Chicago and slightly lower than the national average of $230. Additionally, while Philadelphia is known for its culinary culture, dining out in the city can be less expensive than other east coast cities like New York.
8) Budget-Friendly Housing
A 2022 report from Realtor.com named Philadelphia the ‘third trendiest and most affordable city’ in the country. For young professionals who are seeking the excitement of city life but cannot afford to pay the intimidating rent rates of NYC or Boston, then Philly is a great alternative. This also holds true for home buyers who are interested in purchasing their first home or expanding their real estate portfolio. Areas including Southwest Philly and Mayfair offer a lot of affordable housing options. The median listing price of a home in Philadelphia is $312,450, below the current national median list price of $379,000. According to Zumper.com the average rent rate for a one bedroom apartment currently sits at $1,446. This is compared to $2,500 in Boston, $2,295 in D.C., and $3,650 in NYC.
9) Quality Higher Education
The greater Philadelphia area is home to dozens of top-quality institutions of higher education. You will find several popular universities in Southern Pennsylvania including; University of Pennsylvania and its prestigious Wharton School of Business, Drexel University, Temple University, and Villanova University. Penn University invites students to flourish beyond campus by immersing yourself in the City of Brotherly Love which is brimming with history, arts, and culture. Meanwhile, Drexel University is located in the heart of Philly and offers students highly rated engineering and computer science programs. The nearby Drexel Park, a large public green space, offers busy Drexel students the perfect escape from assignments and deadlines.
10) A Booming Healthcare Sector
Philadelphia’s healthcare industry is very important for the city and surrounding area’s economy and workforce. As of 2018 the healthcare sector accounted for about 20% of total employment in Philly. The sector includes key industries like physicians’ offices, hospitals, nursing care facilities, medical equipment wholesalers, and so on. A 2020 U.S. News and World report ranked Penn Medicine among the top hospitals in the nation and #1 in Pennsylvania. This was the 14th consecutive year that Penn Medicine was named to the magazine’s renowned honor roll. Penn Medicine is a combined enterprise of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center which are both located in Philadelphia.
Once you’ve decided on whether Philadelphia is right for you, reach out to a reputable Philadelphia moving company to get even more key information about life in the City of Brotherly Love. If you are planning a move to Philadelphia, you can use our free move estimate tool, moving tips, and other valuable resources.