Top 5 Neighborhoods in Philadelphia for Renters in 2023

For people looking to live the east coast lifestyle, Philadelphia is great option. It's more affordable than other major east coast cities like New York City or Washington D.C, without sacrificing that big city feel. Rent cost is the biggest indicator of Philadelphia's livability. As of 2022, apartments for rent in Philadelphia are approximately $1,800 per month. That's not a lot compared to other east coast averages.

In New York City, the current average is upwards of $3,000 per month. In Washington, the typical apartment rental price is about $2,500 per month. Not only are the average costs for an apartment for rent in Philadelphia comparatively low, but it also varies by neighborhood, so it's possible to find the city's lowest rent prices in whichever neighborhood best suits a tenant's needs.

No two renters are alike. A student in search of an apartment for rent in Philadelphia will have different needs and wants than a family. We've compiled a list of the top five neighborhoods for apartment rentals in Philadelphia overall, along with what makes them attractive to different types of renters.

ApartmentLove's top five neighborhoods when searching for apartments for rent in Philadelphia are: Northern Liberties, University City, Fairmount, Rittenhouse Square and Manayunk.

Northern Liberties – Best for Singles and Young Professionals

Northern Liberties was once its own city before it incorporated with Philadelphia. Now it's a popular neighborhood, affectionately nicknamed NoLibs. This neighborhood is especially popular among young professionals looking to rent. In fact, 60% of NoLibs' residents are renters in their late twenties to early thirties. So, why do renters love it so much? NoLibs is rich in history and effortlessly cool at the same time.

The neighborhood is very walkable with lots of trendy bars, restaurants, coffee shops and gorgeous parks. Popular spots include SET NoLibs, Silk City Diner Bar & Lounge, and Honey's Sit N' Eat. From international delights to comfort food to drinks and good vibes, the top restaurants in NoLibs have something for every mood. And if you need to walk off a good meal, Liberty Lands Park is a popular greenspace in the neighborhood.

The park also has a thriving community garden, and is a chosen meetup spot to connect with the local community. In addition to being hip and peaceful, Northern Liberties is also fairly affordable. One-bedroom apartment rentals are usually priced well below the Philadelphia average. Many of the one-bedroom apartments for rent in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia range from $1,200 to $1,600 a month, but it's possible to find units under $1000 per month too. Family homes are also popular options in this neighborhood. There are countless options for three-bedroom apartments and four-bedroom apartment rentals priced at or below Philadelphia's average rent prices. The only notable con to NoLibs is that it can get busy on weekends, something to be expected with being the trendiest spot in town!

University City – Perfect for Students

The University City neighborhood is Philadelphia's academic center. University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, Temple University, La Salle University and Thomas Jefferson University all call the neighborhood home. Hence, it comes as no surprise that students flock to this neighborhood. It's designed for the student lifestyle and offers plenty of options for studio apartments and one-bedroom apartments for rent near university campuses.

This way, students can choose between the roommate experience or independent living. Transportation is also incredibly reliable and affordable in the University City neighborhood. While it is walkable with plenty of pathways and bike lanes, the city of Philadelphia has a separate transit system dedicated to the area. The Loop Through University City shuttle, or LUCY for short, stops at every campus and major building location on its route.

LUCY is free to all university students, school employees, employees of both major hospitals and science center employees. The standard fare is $2.50 per person. LUCY is fully accessible and connects to Philadelphia's main public transit system. Student-friendly hangouts are also a big part of University City's culture. Some of the top spots include Landmark Americana, Smokey Joe's and Copacabana University City.

It is worth noting that the University City neighborhood can be a little more expensive than most other neighborhoods in Philadelphia. However, finding an apartment for rent in University City, Philadelphia is still a more cost-effective option than school dorms in most cases.

Fairmount – Young Families Love This Area

Fairmount is one of Philadelphia's most upscale neighborhoods. The area has a tight-knit community while maintaining an urban vibe. It is renowned for its arts and culture, with many shops, parks and restaurants to explore. This neighborhood is most well-suited for young families, as there are a handful of public and private elementary and high schools in the area.

Additionally, the rentals found in Fairmount are usually three-bedroom or four-bedroom apartments. They are also typically pet friendly with family-oriented amenities like a garbage disposal and full kitchen setup. Rent prices here are on par with Philadelphia averages. The Fairmount neighborhood also holds a strong commitment to learning, arts and culture.

Some of the family-friendly attractions include the Rodin Museum, the Barnes Foundation and the Franklin Institute. The historic Eastern State Penitentiary is also located in Fairmount, but whether or not it is family-friendly is up to individual discretion. The neighborhood also hosts an annual Bastille Day Festival block party, featuring games, performances and food for the whole family. Fairmount is a little further away from city center than other options on our list, so it's a little less commuter-friendly, but there are still several regular bus options for those who do not drive. The freeway connects drivers to the heart of Philadelphia within twenty minutes or less.

Rittenhouse Square – For Young Professionals and Those with a Taste for Upscale

Rittenhouse Square is Philadelphia's most historically valuable and affluent neighborhood, distinguished by its French-inspired architecture. Once home to many of America's wealthiest and influential settlers, Rittenhouse Square was a hub for pre-Stonewall movements, and has since reclaimed itself as a corporate space once again. The area is preferred by young professionals for this reason.

It is a clean and safe neighborhood with a few well-known shops and restaurants. It is most well-noted for its Starbucks and Barnes & Noble. Many high society, historical and culturally-important institutions continue to find their home base in Rittenhouse Square. Some of these organizations include the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, the Ethical Society, the Philadelphia Art Alliance, the Rosenbach Museum & Library, Plays & Players, the Wine School of Philadelphia as well as the Civil War and Underground Railroad Museums.

As a result of Rittenhouse Square's longstanding, rich history and current corporate reputation, the neighborhood's rental prices are above Philadelphia's average. A studio apartment for rent in Rittenhouse Square can go for upwards of $1,300 per month. However, the culture, history and convivence for professionals working in the area are worth the price.

Manayunk – Most Enjoyed by Families and Those Who Enjoy a Quieter Lifestyle

Perhaps the most community-centered neighborhood in Philadelphia, Manayunk has a suburban feel in an urban environment. The neighborhood is heavily influenced by its deep roots with Polish and German settler communities. Many churches, restaurants and community organizations remain in the neighborhood. Additionally, it is highly residential and there are multiple schools in the area.

It's an ideal neighborhood for families with children and the older generation that may feel out of place in the more bustling parts of Philadelphia. Rent in this area is highly affordable. Studio apartments market for under $1,000 per month. Family-sized units, such as two-bedroom, three-bedroom and four-bedroom units are typically below $2,000 per month in price. Manayunk's affordability and small-town feel makes it the perfect place for families, older people, or anyone looking for a quieter area without sacrificing city life.

No matter the neighborhood, Philadelphia is the perfect city for renters of all kinds. Start looking for apartments for rent in Philadelphia with ApartmentLove today.

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Published: January 16, 2023