Philadelphia Neighborhoods

Featured Neighborhoods in Philadelphia

1 Rittenhouse Square

Upscale Rittenhouse Square is edged by the Schuylkill River Banks, and with its many elegant hotels and ample park space, it is a popular destination for visitors and residents. Visitors will find local boutiques and fashionable shopping along Walnut Street. In warm weather, al fresco dining in a favorite past time, with sidewalk tables outside restaurants with cuisine ranging from high-end sushi to Italian. Galleries, coffee cafes and bars keep this neighborhood bustling late in the evening. And then, of course, there’s Rittenhouse Square Park, which draws strollers, chess players and picnickers in warm weather. A farmers market and street musicians add to the pleasurable scene. Also nearby is Filter Square, a smaller park that hosts community events such as a holiday tree lighting and spring festival.

2 Fishtown

With a vibrant mix of art, dining and music, Fishtown is no longer known for its commercial shad fishing. Narrow streets are dotted with local businesses, clubs and studios, as well as row houses and smaller apartment complexes. Along the Delaware River banks, artists and musicians are drawn to trendy eating and drinking venues. First Friday events are a citywide draw to Frankford Avenue galleries and dining enclaves. The vibe is more moveable party than simple gallery hopping. The Frankford Hall beer garden is a modern recreation of traditional German biergartens and serves as an eclectic open-air meeting place in this neighborhood. Cedar Park is a more residential green space that also holds beloved community events such as free Friday Night Jazz. Along Baltimore Avenue, the annual June Dollar Stroll is a popular festival filled with live music and dining options for, of course, a dollar.

3 Bella Vista

There’s strong Italian heritage in Bella Vista, with its mix of urban residential streets and dining and entertainment. The iconic Ninth Street Italian Market is arguably the oldest open-air food haven in the U.S., but that is not the only place to find great produce, cheese, pasta, sandwiches and more. There are also great pho shops, taquerias and tapas restaurants that have popped up throughout the district. The Vietnamese shopping and dining destination, Wing Phat Plaza, is a big part of the dining diversity. From classic restaurants to casual take out spots, no one will go hungry on these city streets. Small to medium sized apartments and town homes are the norm here, with small green parks such as Bardascino Park and Cianfrani Park offering open space for strolling and picnicking in warm weather. The Hawthorne Cultural Center and Hawthorne Park offer community programs, and the area is well served by mass transit at the Lombard South Metro station. [Photo courtesy of Bella Vista Neighbors Association]

4 Market East

Market East is a bustling shopping and business area that is primarily composed of offices, shops, galleries and museums. This busy area is home to the always-crowded Reading Terminal Market, where diners can enjoy a variety of takes on the city’s classic Philly cheese steak sandwich, including a vegan version. There are also baked goods, produce and craft cheeses. It’s epicenter of food festivals and food tours all year long. A number of chain restaurants and several local cafes also serve the community. The elegant City Hall building here is not just a place for government, it is also an enclave for the arts. In fact, it is most notable for its sculptures that represent the seasons and the continents and its massive sculpture of historic city leader William Penn. Take in the view from the building’s observation deck for a panoramic look at the entire city. This area is easily accessible via subway and the E1 regional rail line. [Photo courtesy of Reading Terminal Market]

5 Chinatown

Busy and urban, this vibrant neighborhood begins at the brightly painted China Gate at 10th and Arch Street. The entryway recreates Qing Dynasty design. Grocers, restaurants and bars offer a range of traditional Cantonese cuisine and modern Asian-influenced delights from Thai to Sichuan. Several street festivals here highlight food, music and dance. The community art center, the Asian Arts Initiative, holds workshops and movie nights and operates a major gallery dedicated to cultural interchange. A variety of bus lines and the Race and N. 8th Street subway allow easy access throughout Philadelphia. [Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation]

6 Old City

What could be older, in American terms, than Independence Mall, the birthplace of U.S. democracy? Old City epitomizes 18th century history with cobblestone streets, the Liberty Bell, the Philadelphia History Museum and Penn’s Landing—all a part of its lively street scene. However, it’s not all about the past here; there are also trendy boutiques, many galleries, small coffee shops and charming restaurants. Arden Theater is a popular destination for theater performances and weekly art open openings are popular on eclectic 2nd Street. First Fridays is a monthly event of gallery hopping that draws residents and visitors. Spruce Street Harbor Park and the Blue Cross River Rink provide outdoor entertainment, as well.

7 Powelton Village

Tree-lined streets, Victorian architecture, and a mix of single family homes and town homes, Powelton Village is a beautiful residential community with many homes listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Along Lancaster Avenue, what were once industrial buildings have been transformed to artist and dance studios. A spirited and diverse community that draws artists and activists alike, Powelton Village is also one of the last areas in the U.S. with a fully functional streetcar system. The 33rd Street Armory on Drexel University’s campus is local spot for popular and classical music concerts, theater and art. Drexel Park isn’t just city green space —it offers grand city views, walking paths and picnic spots. At the Ellen Powell Tiberino Memorial Museum of Contemporary Art, late local artist Tiberino’s sculpture and mural work are celebrated. Second Friday events bring gallery openings and live music monthly. [Photo courtesy of universitycity.org]

8 Logan Square

Logan Square is a vibrant conglomeration of pleasant green space at Logan Square Park near the Schuykill River and a variety of important museums that border Benjamin Franklin Parkway. It is also home to the city's icon "Love" sculpture in JFK Plaza. Visitors to this area enjoy major cultural destination, such as the Franklin Institute, the impressive art collections of the Rodin Museum and the beautiful Philadelphia Museum of Art. Along with the artworks inside, the art museum is the famous location where the Sylvester Stallone’s character of Rocky Balboa ran up the stone steps Rocky film. You’ll likely find some tourists recreating the scene. There’s always something happening here. Logan Square is home to Philadelphia’s annual Fourth of July concert, the Philadelphia Marathon and its popular Thanksgiving Day parade. In the center of Logan Circle is the beautiful Swann Memorial Fountain, designed to represent the rivers of the area: the Delaware, Schuylkill and Wissahickon. [Photo credit: f11photo / Shutterstock.com]

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