University City

Universities and local businesses thrive in West Philadelphia
Sitting west of the Schuylkill River, University City is the scholastic center of West Philadelphia. University City combines the diversity of a college town with the energy of a large metropolitan area. Public parks, farmers markets, restaurants, and theaters, this neighborhood has it all.
Median rents in University City
Studio
$
1,090
1 Bedroom
$
1,250
2 Bedroom
$
1,525

Living in
University City

University City — 8.3/10 Rating (based on 24 neighborhood reviews)
It is really close to campus, so the campus security is always around making the area very safe. The noise level never gets too bad, during class hours there are people everywhere. However after evening classes everything dies down as people are either going home or are inside studying. The closest grocery stores are Fresh Grocers (on 40th street and Walnut) and Trader Joe's (on 21st and Market). Because this is an area that is mostly college campus there are not a lot of social places near by, you typically have to head into center city for most of the good places to socialize.
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9
/10
Neighborhood Rating
Chestnut Square
University City can be fairly noisy due to the students and many nearby hospitals and it lacks the nicer restaurants you find elsewhere in Philadelphia. Grocery shopping is fairly convenient but if you need to buy furnishings for your apartment, you may need to make a special trip elsewhere in the city. The bookstore is convenient but is a bit overpriced and has al limited selection.
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9
/10
Neighborhood Rating
3737 Chestnut
close to work/campus, safe area, next to dog park and running trail, some cute restaurants (but not many), no nearby grocery stores (TJs at 22 and market, south square at 23 and south) but many smaller shops. Super cute houses, quieter than much of philly (although maybe not with the trains and construction)
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8
/10
Neighborhood Rating
Locust on the Park
Pros: close to school as well as all the fun stuff downtown (Schuylkill River Trail, restaurants, bars, museums, theaters, shopping, you name it!); very safe even walking alone late at night; lots of other students here
Cons: Trader Joe's is the only real grocery store here and may have limited selection for those looking for a supermarket; not as quiet or "neighborhood-y" as other areas, as it is in the heart of downtown; there is a freight train that runs along the river that can be loud, though I got used to it quickly
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10
/10
Neighborhood Rating
2400 Chestnut Apartments
The International House is close to campus (it takes me about ten minutes to get from the 13th floor of my building to my seat in my first class.) It is also about a seven minute walk from Fresh Grocer's.
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9
/10
Neighborhood Rating
International House Philadelphia
Close to work and can walk a mile in any direction and hit awesome restaurants/ museums/ grocery stores, etc. I feel safe in the building with the 24 hour doorman service. I feel neighborhood is safe. If you ever get nervous, remember to stay on big streets (Chestnut/Walnut) at odd hours and there's generally a few others out too to make you feel a little safer/ these streets are very well lit!!
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8
/10
Neighborhood Rating
2400 Chestnut Apartments
Being able to wake up 15 min before class and affordable parking options far outweighs living in the "Wharton Bubble." Ubers are $5-6 to Rittenhouse (plus you save money never taking one to class) and Wawa on 35th and Chestnut is great for late night snacks.
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9
/10
Neighborhood Rating
Domus
Good restaurants, and bars nearby. Right next to 24 hour Rite Aid (very convenient). Very safe, quiet overall. Trader Joes nearby.
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8
/10
Neighborhood Rating
2400 Chestnut Apartments
Pros:
1) Much closer to school than other apartments in Rittenhouse Sq
2) Great grocery options close by - Trader Joe's/ Rite Aid
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9
/10
Neighborhood Rating
2400 Chestnut Apartments
Good mix of social and campus proximity. Close to transit options (30th St station, etc.).
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9
/10
Neighborhood Rating
2400 Chestnut Apartments
close to campus, safe area, lots of light, high ceilings, grocery stores are a little far
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10
/10
Neighborhood Rating
The Left Bank
Lots of students and academics; good environment, though a bit rowdy on weekend nights.
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8
/10
Neighborhood Rating
The Left Bank
Very safe and close to campus.
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9
/10
Neighborhood Rating
Evo at Cira Centre South
Pros:
- Close to campus (~20 min walk, ~8 min trolley ride)
- Generally safe because University City in general has been highly gentrified.
- Charming and diverse community
- CLARK PARK! (and the Farmers' Market!!!)

Cons:
- No nearby grocery stores (except Fresh Grocer which is gross)
- Can be sketchy after dark
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6
/10
Neighborhood Rating
4213 Chester
Pros:
- Close to campus - closest out of all Center City apartments
- Right by the river (which is gorgeous)
- Super close to 30St Station and megabus / boltbus busstops
- Quiet residential area
- Yet, only a 5-10mins walk to Rittenthouse and popular bars and restaurants
- SWEAT gym is a minute walk away
- busstop for busses 21 and 42 is a minute walk away (right by SWEAT)
- Good karma cafe for your daily coffee fix is just 2 mins away :)

Cons:
- No close by grocery stores. We manage fine with a weekly visit to the South St. Supermarket (15 min walk away). Riteaid is just 2 mins away for more urgent needs.
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8
/10
Neighborhood Rating
Locust on the Park
I like that we are in the middle between campus and Rittenhouse Square though sometimes it might be nice if we were closer to Rittenhouse Square as there are not many good restaurants in this area. My fiance works in Delaware and it is very convenient for him to get on/off the highway. Noise is good. Biggest grocery store in area is Trader Joe's. I also like that we are next to the Schuylkill.
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8
/10
Neighborhood Rating
2400 Chestnut Apartments
It's hard to pinpoint exactly where University City is right now as a neighborhood, because it's changing so rapidly. It's gone from one of the most dangerous campuses in the country ~5 years ago to incredibly safe. With the new FMC Tower going up at 30th/Walnut, it's hard to say exactly what this area will be like next year... but it's only getting better. It's a nice way to avoid Rittenhouse prices while still being only a stone's throw away from Rittenhouse (and yet at the same time not sacrifice on proximity to campus).
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9
/10
Neighborhood Rating
Evo at Cira Centre South
This neighborhood seems to be quite safe, and the apartment complex is easily accessed via any type of transportation within the city. The neighborhood offers whatever is necessary for day to day living.
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8
/10
Neighborhood Rating
The Courts
A large majority of people choose to live in UC because they either are a student or work in a school affiliated building. Depending on what you want out of your housing community this can either be a negative or a positive. Personally, I like it because it feels less isolating.
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9
/10
Neighborhood Rating
The Left Bank
Close to school, close to Fresh Grocer, decent restaurants and shopping. Feels pretty safe. Not a bad walk to Center City.
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7
/10
Neighborhood Rating
3939 Chestnut Street
Good location for accessing school, groceries, midtown, etc, but most social gatherings happen down in grad hospital.
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8
/10
Neighborhood Rating
2400 Chestnut Apartments
Close to the law school, nearby grocery store (but only 1), not close to much nightlife, safe in the immediate area but can't stray too far.
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6
/10
Neighborhood Rating
Chestnut Hall
The location is really nice! It is close to schools and downtown. Also, nearby Schuylkill river is wonderful. Also close to Trader Joe's! Bad thing is noise from the train.
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9
/10
Neighborhood Rating
2400 Chestnut Apartments
Close to campus so you can walk and that is definitely a plus. the 30th street station is also close by which can be helpful if you travel a lot. The are
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7
/10
Neighborhood Rating
Evo at Cira Centre South
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Getting to Know
University City

Neighborhood Boundaries
East to West Boundary: Schuylkill River to S 40th St
North to South Boundary: Powelton Ave to Gray's Ferry Ave
grocery
CVS Pharmacy
Wawa
transit
34 (light rail)
40 (bus)
42 (bus)
MFL (metro)
University City Station
shopping
Faber Bookstore
Gap
Philadelphia Runner
Piper Boutique
Urban Outfitters
entertainment
Franklin Field
International House Philadelphia
Penn Museum
World Cafe Live
dining
Abner’s Cheesesteaks
Bobby’s Burger Palace
Hemo’s
Honeygrow
Zesto Pizza & Grill
gyms / rec
Clark Park
Class of 1923 Ice Rink
David Pottruck Health and Fitness Center
James G. Kaskey Memorial Garden
About your Neighbors
Data from the 2013 American Community Survey
• University City contains the 5 digit ZIP code of 19104. Over half of residents are renters, and the rental vacancy rate is typically 20%, which is higher than the national average.

• One quarter of units are in 20+ unit buildings, with 8% having being built in the past 15 years. 2BR+ properties make up roughly a quarter of the market, with the balance in 1BR and studios.

25% of residents in Old City drive to work.

• 25% of University City residents are 22-34, over a third are below 21, 10% are 35-49, and 15% are older than 50.

More than half of University City residents are students (for the most part undergrad), and 7% are unemployed or retired.

• Most units are heated by gas, and about 80% of ACS survey respondents said that they pay extra for one or more utilities.
What University City Residents Think About Their Apartments
overall
7.5
value
7.0
amenities
7.0
social
6.0
management
7.0
safety
7.1

Best Apartments
in University City


Studio $1,720
1 Bed $1,919
2 Beds $2,789

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1 Bed $1,910

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1 Bed $2,285
2 Beds $2,825

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1 Bed $1,100
2 Beds $2,200

Studio $1,200

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Studio $1,450
1 Bed $1,550
2 Beds $2,035

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Nearby Neighborhoods

Neighborhood Guide
Graduate Hospital
Cool cafes, bars and restaurants just south of Center City