Should I Move to Philadelphia, PA? 11 Pros and Cons to Consider (2024)

Have you ever wondered, “Should I move to Philadelphia, PA?” Living in Philly is like being in a giant history book but with a modern twist. This city is famous for its cheesesteaks, passionate sports fans, and the Liberty Bell, showing off its rich history and spirited culture. Philadelphia is unique because it blends old-world charm with bustling city life, where historic sites like Independence Hall stand alongside trendy restaurants and shops. Whether you’re exploring the cobblestone streets of Old City or enjoying a picnic in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia offers a special experience that’s hard to find anywhere else.

Before packing your bags, it’s a good idea to know the city’s strengths and weaknesses to make sure it’s the right fit for you. In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of living in Philadelphia that may help you make your decision. Let’s get started.

Should I Move to Philadelphia, PA? 11 Pros and Cons to Consider (1)

Philadelphia at a Glance

Walk Score: 75 | Bike Score: 67 | Transit Score: 67

Median Sale Price: $243,000 | Average Rent for 1-Bedroom Apartment: $1,722

Houses for rent in Philadelphia | Apartments for rent in Philadelphia | Homes for sale in Philadelphia

Pro: Strong historical heritage

Philadelphia, often dubbed the “Birthplace of America,” is steeped in rich historical significance, offering residents and visitors a unique glimpse into the nation’s past. From the iconic Liberty Bell to Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were debated and adopted, the city is a living museum. Living in Philadelphia means having unparalleled access to these historic sites, along with numerous museums and educational opportunities that celebrate America’s journey to independence.

Con: Challenging winter conditions

One of the cons of living in Philadelphia is the harsh winters. During the winter months, it’s common to experience freezing temperatures, heavy snowfall, and icy conditions. Locals must contend with bitter cold temperatures, which can make daily activities such as commuting or running errands a daunting task. Snowstorms frequently blanket the city, causing disruptions to transportation networks and posing safety hazards for pedestrians and motorists alike. Despite the city’s efforts to maintain roadways and clear snow, the severity of winter weather in Philadelphia remains a significant inconvenience for residents.

Pro: Beautiful green spaces

Philadelphia is home to an abundance of green spaces and parks, offering residents a peaceful escape from the urban environment. Fairmount Park, one of the largest urban parks in the country, provides miles of trails for hiking, biking, and outdoor activities. The city’s commitment to maintaining and expanding its green spaces means that locals can easily find a natural retreat within the city limits, promoting a healthy and active lifestyle.

Should I Move to Philadelphia, PA? 11 Pros and Cons to Consider (2)

Con: Limited biking infrastructure

One notable drawback of living in Philadelphia is its lower bike score of 67. Despite efforts to improve bike infrastructure, such as dedicated lanes and bike-sharing programs, many areas still lack adequate facilities for safe and convenient cycling. The city’s narrow and congested roads can make cycling intimidating and hazardous. As a result, residents who rely on bikes as a primary mode of transportation may find their options limited and may need to exercise extra caution when riding in the city.

Pro: Dynamic culture

Philadelphia’s arts and culture scene is a significant pro for residents. The city is home to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, famous not only for its vast collection but also for the iconic “Rocky Steps.” Beyond this, there are countless galleries, theaters, and live music venues across the city, catering to a wide range of artistic tastes. The annual Fringe Festival showcases avant-garde theater and performance art, highlighting the city’s diverse and vibrant cultural landscape.

Con: High cost of living

Despite its many attractions, Philadelphia’s cost of living can be a big con for some. The cost of living in Philadelphia is 2% higher than the national average. While it is more affordable than cities like New York or San Francisco, rent prices and daily expenses can be high, especially in more desirable neighborhoods. For those with modest incomes or fixed budgets, the elevated cost of living can limit opportunities for savings, investments, and overall financial stability. As a result, many residents must carefully budget and prioritize expenses, sacrificing certain luxuries or experiences to make ends meet.

Pro: Exceptional culinary scene

Philadelphia boasts an exceptional culinary scene that goes far beyond its famous cheesesteaks. The city is a melting pot of cultures, reflected in its diverse food offerings. From high-end dining experiences like Hiroki or Fork, to local food trucks, there’s something for every palate. The Italian Market, one of the oldest and largest open-air markets in the country, offers fresh produce, meats, and specialty foods, showcasing the city’s rich culinary heritage.

Con: Public transportation challenges

With a Transit Score of 67, many people find public transportation lacking in Philly. While Philadelphia does have a public transportation system, including buses, subways, and trolleys, residents often face challenges with reliability and coverage. Some areas of the city are not well-served by public transit, making it difficult for those without cars to navigate. Additionally, delays and infrequent service can be frustrating for daily commuters.

Pro: Sports fan’s paradise

“Should I move to Philadelphia if I’m a sports fan?” Absolutely. Living in Philly is a dream for sports fans, offering professional teams across various leagues. The Philadelphia 76ers dominate basketball courts, while the Philadelphia Flyers electrify ice hockey enthusiasts. At Citizens Bank Park, the Philadelphia Phillies draw crowds with their passionate baseball games, and the Philadelphia Eagles ignite fervor in football fans at Lincoln Financial Field. Additionally, the city’s collegiate sports scene, led by universities like Temple and Villanova, adds further excitement to Philadelphia’s sports culture, making it a true paradise for those who live and breathe athletics.

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Con: Minimal green building initiatives

While Philadelphia has made strides in sustainability, the city still has limited green building initiatives compared to others. This can be a con for environmentally conscious residents who prioritize living in a city that embraces sustainable development practices. Efforts to increase green buildings and eco-friendly infrastructure are ongoing, but progress has been slower than in some other major cities.

Pro: Proximity to other major cities

A significant pro of living this city is its strategic location on the East Coast, offering easy access to other major cities like New York City, Washington D.C., and Baltimore. This proximity makes it convenient for residents to explore these cities for business or leisure, without the need to relocate.

Should I Move to Philadelphia, PA? 11 Pros and Cons to Consider (2024)
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