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

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 — 8.1/10 Rating (based on 36 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
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
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
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'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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Similar to other campus environments. There are much cooler neighborhoods in Philadelphia.
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9
/10
Neighborhood Rating
The Axis
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
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
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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
dining
Abner’s Cheesesteaks
Bobby’s Burger Palace
Hemo’s
Honeygrow
Zesto Pizza & Grill
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
6.3
management
7.0
safety
6.9

Best Apartments
in University City


Studio $1,764
1 Bed $1,726
2 Beds $2,859

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Studio $1,720
1 Bed $1,995
2 Beds $2,795

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Studio $1,200

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

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

Studio $1,560
1 Bed $1,630
2 Beds $2,235

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Nearby Neighborhoods

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