Where To Stay In Philadelphia

- This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure.

Philadelphia is a vibrant and historic city with a diverse array of neighbourhoods. Whether you’re visiting for the first time or a long-time resident, deciding where to stay in Philadelphia can be overwhelming. Each neighbourhood and area has its own unique character and charm, offering different amenities and attractions.

Here are some of the most popular neighbourhoods to help you decide where to stay in Philadelphia. From the bustling streets of Center City to the quaint charm of Old City, you’ll find the pros and cons of each area and some of the best hotels available.

Where To Stay In Philadelphia

Planning a trip to Philadelphia?

Don’t miss out on the best deals. Here are some quick picks. 

Top Hotels

Top Tours

6 Best Neighbourhoods

1- Center City

where is the best place to stay in philadelphia
Philadelphia’s streets at night.

It’s the heart of Philadelphia and home to many of its most famous attractions and iconic sites, Center City is a logical choice for visitors.

These are the pros and cons when considering Center City as a place to stay.

Pros 

where to stay in philadelphia on a budget
Cityscape of downtown skyline Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, USA.
Convenience

Center City is home to many of Philadelphia’s most famous attractions, including Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and Rittenhouse Square.

Staying in the heart of the city means you’ll be able to easily walk to these and other popular destinations, saving you time and money on transportation.

Dining and Shopping

Center City is also home to various restaurants, cafes, and shops, so you’ll have plenty of options for meals and souvenirs.

There are options to suit all tastes and budgets – from fine dining options like Parc and Barclay Prime to simple classics like Joe’s Pizza and The Continental Diner.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Centre City is the place to be if you’re looking for a lively night out.

The area is home to many bars, clubs, and music venues, so you’ll have plenty of options for entertainment after dark.

It’s home to Philadelphia favourites like Chris’s Jazz Club, where you can get dinner and a show, and Helium comedy club, where you can laugh till you cry.

Seasonal Activities

While any time of the year is great for visiting Center City, the holidays are by far the best time to visit.

Center City is home to the iconic town hall, which has the annual Christmas Markets and their iconic ice skating rink, which turns into a roller rink in the warmer months.

It really is fun for the whole family in this part of Philadelphia.

Cons

where to stay in philadelphia with family
Most first-time visitors looking for somewhere to stay in Philadelphia end up in Center City.
It can be crowded

Because it’s so popular with tourists, Center City can get quite crowded, especially during peak travel seasons.

Be prepared to deal with people, noise, and long lines at popular attractions.

Street parking can be near impossible, and expect long traffic delays.

It can be noisy

Center City is a bustling area, and you may have trouble sleeping if your hotel is on a busy street.

Expect to hear a lot of crowd noise, traffic noise, and sirens are common in this part of the city.

High cost

Because of its popularity, hotels in Center City can be quite expensive.

If you’re on a budget, you may be better off staying in a different city area.

Because it is so central, you can expect to pay more for accommodation and food, especially during peak travel times and summer.

Ultimately, whether or not you should stay in Center City depends on whether you’re looking for convenience and easy access to the city’s top attractions.

If you’re looking for a more peaceful, budget-friendly stay, consider staying in a different city area.

Hotels in Center City

2- Fairmount / Fairmount Park

where to stay in philadelphia this weekend
Wondering where to stay in Philadelphia near the popular Boathouse Row? Look around Fairmount Park.

Fairmount is a neighbourhood in northwest Philadelphia known for its beautiful architecture and tree-lined streets.

It’s a great option for travellers who want to experience a more residential side of the city.

Here are some pros and cons when considering Fairmount as a place to stay.

Pros

Iconic Attractions

Fairmount is home to many historic homes and buildings, including the famous Eastern State Penitentiary.

The neighbourhood is also home to the Philadelphia Museum of Art (also where the iconic Rocky Steps and Rocky Statue are) and the Rodin Museum, both located on Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

where to stay in philadelphia
If you’re wondering where to stay in Philadelphia for convenient access to the historic Eastern State Penitentiary and other landmarks, try Fairmount.
Parks and green spaces

Fairmount has many lovely parks, including Fairmount Park, the largest urban park in the country.

This park has many trails for hiking, biking and running, a playground, a lake and a picnic area.

It’s dog friendly which is a bonus.

Close to the city

Although Fairmount has a more residential feel and is quiet and green, it’s still close enough to the hustle and bustle of Philadelphia city to feel part of the action.

Cons

Need for Transportation

Fairmount is a bit further from the city centre, so you may need to take public transportation or a taxi to get to some of the city’s main attractions.

Ideally, you would want to rent a car when staying at Fairmount or if you’re on a driving trip, this could be a good choice.

Traffic Noise

While the neighbourhood is generally peaceful, some areas can be quite noisy due to the proximity to the highways, expressway and railroad tracks.

High Cost

Fairmount is a popular spot for tourists, so you may find that hotels and vacation rentals in the area can be quite expensive.

Overall, Fairmount is a great option for travellers who want to experience a more residential side of Philadelphia while still being able to enjoy the city’s main attractions.

It offers a chance to escape the busy city centre and enjoy the beautiful architecture, parks and diverse food options.

However, you’ll need to consider the cost and the inconvenience of transportation if you decide to stay in this neighbourhood.

Hotels in Fairmount

3- Old City

where to stay in philadelphia with kids
Elfreth’s Alley in the old city is the nation’s oldest residential street, dating to 1702.

Old City is a neighbourhood in the historical heart of Philadelphia, known for its charming cobblestone streets and colonial-era architecture.

It’s a popular spot for tourists as its location offers easy access to Philadelphia’s top attractions and has a certain old-world charm.

These are the pros and cons when considering Old City as a place to stay.

Pros

where to stay in philadelphia for cheap
If you’re looking for where to stay in Philadelphia near Independence Hall, choose the Old Town.
Filled with History and Cultural Attractions

Old City is home to many of Philadelphia’s most famous historical sites, including Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and Christ Church.

Staying in Old City puts you in the heart of the city’s colonial history and allows you to walk to these and other popular destinations easily.

Old City is also home to many art galleries, museums, and performance spaces, including the National Museum of American Jewish History and the Independence Seaport Museum.

Dining and nightlife

Old City offers a variety of dining options, from casual pubs to fine-dining restaurants and a thriving nightlife scene, with many bars and clubs to choose from.

Family-friendly

The neighbourhood also features many parks, playgrounds and open spaces, as well as a variety of shops, restaurants and cafes that cater to families.

Penn’s Landing is located on the Delaware River and features Summerfest in the warmer months and Winterfest with ice skating when it’s colder.

Cons

where to stay in philadelphia pa
A Cobblestone Allway in the City of Philadelphia.
Can be Crowded

The Old City is a popular spot with tourists and can get quite crowded, especially during peak travel seasons.

Be prepared to deal with large crowds and long lines at popular attractions.

Can be Noisy

Old City is a bustling area, and you may have trouble sleeping if your hotel is on a busy street.

The streets tend to be narrower than other parts of Philadelphia, creating extra traffic noise.

Old City is a great option for travellers who want to immerse themselves in the history and culture of Philadelphia.

It offers easy access to many of the city’s top historical sites and a variety of dining and nightlife options.

However, it can be crowded and noisy, and accommodation can be expensive.

If you’re looking for a more peaceful, budget-friendly stay, consider staying in a different city area.

Hotels

4- Northern Liberties / Fishtown

Northern Liberties is a neighbourhood located just north of Center City, Philadelphia, known for its trendy restaurants, bars, and boutiques, as well as its vibrant street art and public spaces.

It’s a great option for travellers who want to experience a more alternative side of the city, but is it the right choice for your trip? Here are some pros and cons to consider:

Pros

Vibrant Arts and Culture

Northern Liberties is home to many art galleries, performance spaces, and street art.

The neighbourhood is also home to the Piazza at Schmidt’s, a popular outdoor public space that hosts events, concerts and festivals throughout the year.

Dining and Nightlife

Northern Liberties offers diverse food options, from trendy restaurants to casual bars and pubs.

The area is a great spot for foodies and is frequented by partygoers and clubbers.

Ample Shopping

Northern Liberties is home to many independent boutiques, vintage shops, and record stores, perfect for those looking to shop for unique items.

Cons

Distance from the City

Northern Liberties is a bit further from the city centre, so you may need public transportation or a taxi to get to some of the city’s main attractions.

Public transportation is limited, especially at night, so this needs to be a consideration.

It is Noisy and More Dangerous

Although Northern Liberties is generally peaceful, some areas can be quite noisy due to the proximity to the highways and train tracks.

The nightlife can make it more dangerous at night than other parts of the city, so be extra aware of your surroundings when out at night.

Northern Liberties is a great option for travellers who want to experience a more alternative side of Philadelphia while still being able to enjoy the city’s main attractions.

It offers a chance to explore the vibrant art, culture and trendy food scene and shop for unique items.

However, you’ll need to consider the cost and the inconvenience of transportation if you decide to stay in this neighbourhood.

Hotels

5- University City

where to stay in philadelphia for a weekend
The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia draws visitors to the area around it.

If you’re planning a trip to Philadelphia, the University City neighbourhood is worth considering as a place to stay.

Known for its vibrant atmosphere, cultural attractions and easy access to public transportation, this area has a lot to offer visitors.

Like any location, it also has its pros and cons.

Here’s a closer look at what you can expect when staying in University City during your Philadelphia trip.

Pros

Proximity to Universities

One of the biggest draws of the University City neighbourhood is its proximity to several major universities, including the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University.

This means that there are plenty of academic and cultural events happening all the time, from lectures and exhibitions to performances and films.

Ample Dining and Nightlife

University City is home to a diverse array of restaurants and bars catering to a variety of tastes and budgets.

You can find everything from casual coffee shops to trendy gastropubs to global cuisine.
Great Access to Public Transportation

University City is well-connected to the rest of Philadelphia city via public transportation, with several major subway and bus lines running through the area.

This makes it easy to get around and explore other parts of the city.

Cons

Can be Noisy and Crowded

The proximity to the universities can be both a pro and a con – it can be quite lively, especially during peak times such as weekends and during major events like sports games or graduation.

This may not be ideal for travellers seeking a more peaceful or quiet experience.

Limited Hotel Options

Unlike other areas of the city, University City doesn’t have many big chain hotels available.

You may have to rely on smaller boutique hotels or vacation rentals which could be more expensive.

Limited Parking

Finding a parking spot in the University City neighbourhood can be challenging if you’re travelling by car.

Many streets have permit parking only, and you may have to look for paid parking garages or lots, which can get expensive.

Overall, the University City neighbourhood is an excellent option for travellers looking for a unique and dynamic experience during their trip to Philadelphia.

The proximity to universities, diverse dining options and easy access to public transportation make it a perfect spot for those who want to experience the city’s cultural and academic side.

However, it’s essential to keep in mind that it can be noisy and crowded and parking could be a challenge.

Hotels

6- King of Prussia

King of Prussia is a suburban area about 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Philadelphia, known for its large mall, the King of Prussia Mall, and as a hub for business and industry.

It’s a great option for travellers who are looking for a more suburban experience while still being able to visit the city, but is it the right choice for your trip?

Here are some pros and cons to consider:

Pros

Great Shopping Options

King of Prussia is home to the largest shopping mall on the East Coast, the King of Prussia Mall, with over 400 stores, making it a paradise for shoppers.

The mall offers shopping, dining, and entertainment options, such as a cinema and bowling alley.

Ideal for Business and Industry

King of Prussia is home to many business and industrial headquarters, making it an excellent option for business travellers.

Easy to get Around

The roads in and around King of Prussia are well-designed, and it is easy to navigate, even for those unfamiliar with the area.

Parking is also not going to be an issue.

Cons

Far from the city

King of Prussia is about 20 miles (32 km) northwest of the city, so you may need a car or public transportation to get to the city’s main attractions.

Traffic between King of Prussia and Philadelphia can be very heavy during peak times.

It can be too quiet 

As a suburban area, King of Prussia can be quite quiet, so it may not be the best option for travellers looking for a more bustling and lively experience.

The nightlife is limited compared to other areas.

King of Prussia is an excellent option for travellers looking for a more suburban experience while still being able to visit the city.

It offers a chance to enjoy shopping, business and industrial opportunities, and restaurants and entertainment.

However, you’ll need to consider the cost, the inconvenience of transportation and the lack of city buzz if you decide to stay in this area.

Hotels in King of Prussia

Previous article20 Best Museums in Boston
Next article20 Things To Do In Antalya
emma denning
Emma is an Aussie writer and travel enthusiast. Born and raised in Adelaide, South Australia, she has lived in Philadelphia, USA for the past three years and is preparing for her next big move to The UK in 2023. A University graduate in Supply Chain Management, she decided to break away from the corporate 9-5 after only a couple of years to pursue freelance writing. Emma has travelled to over 30 countries and hopes to visit at least 30 more in the next 10 years. Her favourite travel destination is Southeast Asia (Thailand in particular), and hopes to live there one day near an elephant sanctuary.