Moving to Philadelphia: Everything You Need to Know in 2024

Ready to call Philadelphia home? Our detailed guide walks you through the essentials: living costs, best neighborhoods, job market insights, and local highlights. Discover why Philly could be your perfect new city.

12 Best Things to do in Philadelphia

Philadelphia isn't just one of the largest cities on the East Coast; it's a city steeped in history as America's former capital and the birthplace of independence. But before you pack your bags for Philly, it's smart to weigh the pros and cons.

Yes, Philly's historic roots run deep, but did you know it’s also a buzzing, cosmopolitan hub? From diverse culinary delights to endless cultural and recreational activities, there’s a vibrant, modern life waiting here. That’s exactly why we've put together this guide to living in Philadelphia.

Dive into the fun facts, savor the essential tips, and get ready to quickly fall in love with your new city. Whether you're here to explore its rich history or enjoy its contemporary offerings, Philly promises a full, dynamic experience.

1. Cost of Living

Let's set the record straight: Philly reigns supreme in affordability among the big cities. With a cost of living index just a smidge over the national average at 104.3, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more wallet-friendly major city. Philly's the place where your dollar stretches without snapping.

2. Food

Philly might be famous for its cheesesteaks, but the culinary scene here is no one-hit wonder. Beyond the iconic sandwiches, you can grab a soft pretzel or dive into a world of flavors with Vietnamese, Chinese, Mexican, and Japanese cuisines, just to name a few. Don't miss local hotspots like Pizzeria Beddia and Suraya.

Plus, if you're into a more upscale dining experience, Philly's fine dining scene is a standout, adding a delicious cherry on top of the many perks of living in this vibrant city.

3. Housing

When it comes to renting in Philly, you're likely looking at anywhere from $1,200 to $1,800 a month—location is key, so prices can vary. 

Thinking of buying? Just a heads up: there's currently a pinch in the market for affordable and mid-range homes, so finding that perfect spot might take a bit of extra searching.

4. Scenery

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation says it best: the city offers "something for everyone" with its vast network of parks and recreational spaces. Imagine over 300 neighborhood parks, 166 miles of trails, 40 historic sites, and dozens of community gardens, farms, and orchards. Whether it's playgrounds or basketball courts, Philly has you covered.

Craving a change of scenery? Just a few hours from the city, you can find yourself hiking in the stunning Pocono Mountains, lounging on the beaches of New Jersey, or exploring the expansive farmlands of Lancaster County.

5. Education

Philly is a great catch for families thanks to its affordable living and plenty of city conveniences. However, navigating the public school system can be tricky, as it's not ranked among the top. The quality varies by neighborhood, so a little homework on schools will pay off before you settle down.

While the public schools may get mixed reviews, Philly's higher education scene shines brightly. Home to some of Pennsylvania's top universities, whether you're eyeing a career in business, tech, or the arts, you've got stellar options like the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Drexel University, Villanova University, and West Chester University of Pennsylvania. If college is on the horizon, Philly might just be your academic goldmine.

6. Job Market

Philadelphia isn't just steeped in history; it's also a powerhouse of modern industry. Home to ten of the country's largest law firms and a dozen Fortune 500 giants like Comcast and Crown Holdings, Philly means business. 

The federal government also stakes a claim, with major operations like the U.S. Mint and a branch of the Federal Reserve right in the area. Plus, it's a hub for health education and research, making it a city where history meets high-tech and healthcare.

7. Sports

Philly isn't like New York or L.A. with teams scattered across every sport; here, unity reigns with just one major team per sport, making game day a city-wide affair. That is, except for college basketball, which splits loyalties across several prominent schools.

Here's a quick guide to where Philly's heart beats throughout the sports seasons:

  • NFL and NCAA Football: Catch the Eagles and Temple University Owls at Lincoln Financial Field.
  • MLB: Root for the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
  • NBA, NHL, and NLL: Cheer on the 76ers, Flyers, and Wings at the Wells Fargo Center.
  • MLS: Support the Union at Subaru Park.
  • College Basketball: Follow the Philadelphia City 6, featuring teams like Villanova and Penn, playing at various venues around the city.

In Philly, knowing your sports is key to unlocking the heart of the city.

8. Fun Facts

  • Forget the Grocery Store, Go to the Italian Market Instead - 2nd largest Italian population in the U.S.
  • Home to the First Ever Hospital and the First Zoo
  • Mural Capital of the U.S. - Over 2,000 Murals
  • The Mummer’s Parade Welcomes the New Year - Parade with dancers, floats, entertainment

Making the Move

And there you have it. We've wrapped it up. If you're feeling a bit swamped by the thought of moving, that's totally normal. It's all part of the adventure. We hope our insights have eased some of that stress and cleared up whether Philadelphia could be your next home sweet home. 

Ready or not, Philly has a lot to offer, so take a deep breath and consider stepping into its rich history and vibrant city life.

Nik Watson

Meet Nik, a writer specializing in real estate and moving. Over the past two years, he's written for various real estate firms and e-commerce companies, gaining expertise and a solid reputation. Nik has moved several times recently, experiencing both DIY and professional moves. He recommends using professional movers to reduce stress significantly. When not writing, Nik explores other business opportunities in real estate and moving

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