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
$
1,300
1 Bedroom
$
2,200
2 Bedroom
$
2,950

Living in
University City

Heart of UPenn
Cheaper than Center City
Lots of Students
Fresh Grocer
College Feel
Very Walkable
Solid Restaurants and Bars
Beware of Your Surroundings at Night
University City — 8.4/10 Rating (based on 68 neighborhood reviews)
My wife & I lived in Center City for a few years before moving across the river here. University City is a ton of fun! Definitely not as many restaurants and bars at each corner, but the ~10 minutes shaved off my commute to HUP / the VA each day makes it well worth it for anyone who works at any of the healthcare sites or at UPenn / Wharton.
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10
/10
Neighborhood Rating
AKA University City
I'm glad I live in University City because I have such a short walk to school and can go home for lunch each day. I don't have time to do many fun activities in Center City anyway, so I don't regret not living there. Having said that, Center City definitely has more of an "adult" feel. Where I live in University City doesn't really feel like a neighborhood or community.
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5
/10
Neighborhood Rating
3601 Market
A part of me would rather live in center city, but the building is a 2 minute walk to LeBow so that's a nice trade off. Not a lot of convenient stores, and the grocery store is a drive, so that stinks. But there is street parking int he area.
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9
/10
Neighborhood Rating
3601 Market
Has a down-to-earth vibe with a lot of ethnic diversity (and lots of amazing and cheap food!). Is also convenient to UPenn if you attend school there. Clark Park is also super lovely (with a great farmer's markets throughout most of the year), and there are a ton of adorable dogs around.
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7
/10
Neighborhood Rating
4213 Chester
Nice area, but there have been a fair number of robberies in the neighborhood at night. Though they never occurred in Sansom, I would not walk alone especially as a female at night West of Sansom. As long as you are careful where you are walking and going towards campus or center city you are ok.
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6
/10
Neighborhood Rating
Sansom Place East
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
Don't feel undergraduate life at all since the property is just before the bridge into Center City. Quick walk into the city makes all the bars and restaurants easily accessible.
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8
/10
Neighborhood Rating
The Left Bank
University City is full of students and provides a great opportunity to be with like minded people while in school. Plenty of social spots, restaurants, and nightlife.
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10
/10
Neighborhood Rating
Hamilton Court
Lots of young college students, but that brings with it increased presence of security and a variety of new restaurants and bars.
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8
/10
Neighborhood Rating
The Old Quaker Building
Safe, convenient neighborhood, but lacking good restaurants and not as beautiful as some other locations.
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8
/10
Neighborhood Rating
The Old Quaker Building
University City is okay. You'll get bored of the food options quickly. Fresh Grosher and its odd aisle set up will frustrate you, but otherwise UC is great because of its proximity to everything. You'll be close to campus and close enough to center city that going to social events will not be an issue.
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8
/10
Neighborhood Rating
3737 Chestnut
Never had any problems. Full of students and quite a few options to eat
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9
/10
Neighborhood Rating
Summit at University City
Close to campus, almost too close, but convenient.
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9
/10
Neighborhood Rating
The Left Bank
Seems very safe.
Pretty quiet, with no loud parties on weekends.
Police officers almost always around.
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8
/10
Neighborhood Rating
511 S 42nd Street
Although there isn't much to do, there are plenty of stores and restaurants. Plus the proximity to school is great -- just far enough that it doesn't feel like you live at school.
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8
/10
Neighborhood Rating
The Left Bank
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
It's located on campus and a short walk from the law school, so have not had problems with safety. There are a large number of restaurants, etc. within walking distance.
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10
/10
Neighborhood Rating
Sansom Place West
Very convenient and close to the law school. Ton of restaurants. However, depending on where in university city you live, you may not be close to any grocery stores.
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8
/10
Neighborhood Rating
The Left Bank
Nice to be an easy walk to center city and to campus.
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8
/10
Neighborhood Rating
Evo at Cira Centre South
I like that the apartment is really close to campus, so it's easy to get to the law school in the morning and home at night.
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8
/10
Neighborhood Rating
3737 Chestnut
It's fine. It's right between university and center city so both are accessible. But neither are very close.
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8
/10
Neighborhood Rating
The Left Bank
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
UCity is convenient, affordable and safe. Good reach to Rittenhouse without all the madness there.
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10
/10
Neighborhood Rating
The Left Bank
University City is great for 1L's. Tons of super cheap food trucks and very close to campus.
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8
/10
Neighborhood Rating
Domus
Close to Penn, a little far from Center City / MBA student social life.
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7
/10
Neighborhood Rating
The Left Bank
Clark park is cute, and he Saturday farmers market is awesome.
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5
/10
Neighborhood Rating
4213 Chester
Proximity to camps is great, short walk to Center City
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9
/10
Neighborhood Rating
The Left Bank
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
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
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
Nice neighborhood, very safe, close to campus.
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10
/10
Neighborhood Rating
The Left Bank
not much going on, but quiet
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8
/10
Neighborhood Rating
Domus
Location is fantastic.
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10
/10
Neighborhood Rating
3737 Chestnut
I enjoy living in University City. It is perfect if you want to live in a low key area very close to school. Most people in the area are affiliated with Penn, so the community is generally pretty young and active. You are in walking distance from everything you might need. You do not need a car to get around. Even if you plan on spending a good deal of time in Center City, you can get there easily by rail or by Uber. I wouldn't have chosen to live anywhere else during 1L.
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9
/10
Neighborhood Rating
Chestnut Hall
I have developed a sincere appreciation for the lifestyle and restaurants in University City over the last few months. UC is excellent for student budgets: for about $12 per person you get an entire feast at The Greek Lady, a giant cold-banishing soup at the Ramen Bar, or a 15-vegetable salad at Axis Pizza. There's a full grocery store (Fresh Grocer), several nice coffeehouses, and did I mention the 3 block walk to class? In terms of safety it's about the same as Rittenhouse or Center City.
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9
/10
Neighborhood Rating
3601 Market
Great for students, especially 1Ls, because it is convenient for school and is very safe since there are always students around, even at night. The only complaint is that some restaurants are a little bit of a walk and the grocery store is a little far (but many grocery stores deliver).
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10
/10
Neighborhood Rating
The Left Bank
There's definitely enough restaurants, bars, and shopping to get you through the week. On the weekends I think it's a lot more fun to head to the Rittenhouse/Center City area, but there's certainly nothing wrong with UCity.
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9
/10
Neighborhood Rating
3737 Chestnut
Great neighborhood. The area is close to Walnut Street which is full of restaurants, bars, and anything you need really. There are a lot of students in the area and I have always felt safe here.
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9
/10
Neighborhood Rating
Chestnut Hall
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
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 is the perfect neighborhood if you don't want to commute to school. The two major faults I would cite are: 1) Lack of grocery stores and 2) Too many undergraduate students.
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7
/10
Neighborhood Rating
The Left Bank
Great neighborhood very safe. 3 blocks to work, 1 block to schullykill trail and only 4 blocks to filter square and 6 blocks to rittenhouse
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9
/10
Neighborhood Rating
The Left Bank
I have always felt safe here. The build is also very close to campus, restaurants, and public transit stops.
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8
/10
Neighborhood Rating
The Old Quaker Building
The neighborhood is nice. At the same time close to center city and the law school. It's a safe place.
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8
/10
Neighborhood Rating
Chestnut Square
I like UCity, but it would be nicer to be closer to the action in Center City and closer to better restaurants. It's nice being so close to school, but sometimes it feels too close.
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6
/10
Neighborhood Rating
3737 Chestnut
Lots of college-downtown type restaurants and coffee shops.
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9
/10
Neighborhood Rating
The Left Bank
Phenomenal to live right on campus, especially during clinical years when must be at rotation site at around 5 am.
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10
/10
Neighborhood Rating
Nu Sigma Nu Medical Fraternity
Lots of undergrads. Lots of affordable eateries. Close to many of the hospital systems.
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9
/10
Neighborhood Rating
Nu Sigma Nu
It can be very unsettling to get constant campus alerts about crime in the area
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10
/10
Neighborhood Rating
Domus
If I go out for dinner and/or drinks, it's usually in Center City, but there is definitely enough around University City to keep you occupied if you want to stay closer to home.
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7
/10
Neighborhood Rating
3737 Chestnut
Very close to school, but in between Penn campus and center city.
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9
/10
Neighborhood Rating
The Left Bank
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
University City is a wonderful place to live- lots of restauarants and bars in close walking distance of wherever you are located.
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10
/10
Neighborhood Rating
3601 Market
It is can be a little rough but very close to Fresh Grocer. Being across the street from the grocery store is a huge plus.
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6
/10
Neighborhood Rating
The Hub on Chestnut
This is a great place to live for students, but it is not as interesting/ cultural as other neighborhoods
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7
/10
Neighborhood Rating
3737 Chestnut
University City is as close to the Law School as you can get. It's just a short walk from Center City.
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10
/10
Neighborhood Rating
The Left Bank
Really like it in University City! Lots of places to eat and shop that are catered to students.
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8
/10
Neighborhood Rating
Sansom Place East
Similar to other campus environments. There are much cooler neighborhoods in Philadelphia.
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9
/10
Neighborhood Rating
The Axis
pretty safe, well-lit at night, no crimes in immediate vicinity
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10
/10
Neighborhood Rating
International House Philadelphia
Main complaint: at least 15 minute walk to any grocery store.
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10
/10
Neighborhood Rating
The Left Bank
Vibrant and peaceful
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10
/10
Neighborhood Rating
Chestnut Square
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
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
Near to school, subway, train station.
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10
/10
Neighborhood Rating
The Left Bank
I've definitely been to more "fun" areas
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9
/10
Neighborhood Rating
The Left Bank
Average
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5
/10
Neighborhood Rating
Astor Apartments
Very safe and close to campus.
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9
/10
Neighborhood Rating
Evo at Cira Centre South


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
dining
Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza
Copabanana
Cozara
Magic Carpet Foods
grocery
The Fresh Grocer
Trader Joe’s
convenience
CVS Pharmacy
Old Nelson Food Company
Wawa
fitness
Class of 1923 Ice Rink
Hotbox Yoga West Philly
Penn Campus Recreation
Studio 34
parks
Clark Park
James G. Kaskey Memorial Park
Penn Park
Schuylkill Banks
coffee
Federal Donuts
Four Worlds Bakery
Saxbys Coffee
Winterfell Dessert
bus
11/36B (bus)
30 (bus)
40 (bus)
40 (bus)
rail
10 (light rail)
30th Street Station
MFL (metro)
University City Station
parking
Laz 39th & Market Lot
Park America 3101 Market Street
About your Neighbors
Data from the 2013 American Community Survey

Zip Codes
University City includes zip codes 19104 and 19143
Rent vs Own
62
%
of University City residents are renters
Driving to Work
28
%
of University City residents drive to work
New Construction
8
%
of housing units in University City have been built in the last 15 years
Building Types
78
%
<20 units
5
%
20-49 units
18
%
50+ units
Demographics
Children (under 18)
14
%
18 - 34
59
%
35 - 54
14
%
55+
13
%
Unit Mix
11
%
Studio
29
%
1 Bed
22
%
2 Bed
38
%
3+ Bed
Occupation or Education
Working Professional
36
%
Undergrad Student
45
%
Grad Student
9
%
Unemployed
5
%
Retired
4
%
What University City Residents Think About Their Apartments
overall
7.7
value
7.1
amenities
7.0
social
6.3
management
7.0
safety
7.5

Best Apartments
in University City


Studio $1,945
1 Bed $1,800
2 Beds $2,909

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Studio $1,200

Studio $1,751
1 Bed $2,438
2 Beds $2,959

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Studio $1,510
1 Bed $1,700
2 Beds $2,120

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

Studio $2,027
1 Bed $1,935
2 Beds $2,000

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Nearby Neighborhoods

Neighborhood Guide
Fitler Square
Old-School Philly Charm
Neighborhood Guide
Graduate Hospital
Cool cafes, bars and restaurants just south of Center City