The hip, historic heart of Philadelphia
Few places in the United States possess the historical lineage of . The Liberty Bell and Independence Hall are located here (the latter being the spot where the Declaration of Independence was signed nearly 250 years ago), but Center City is more than just a shrine to the past.
Modern times have seen Philadelphia's commercial, cultural heart evolve into a dynamic, multi-faceted community. It's a bustling hub of activity with skyscrapers, performing arts centers, vibrant dining, and retail. The diverse neighborhoods of Center City infuse the area with character and a spirited social scene. Chinatown provides an international flair, while Callowhill offers an artistic and industrial edge.
As you might expect, homes in Center City are equally as distinctive as the neighborhoods. There’s highrise condo living typical of a world-class downtown. Townhomes and row houses that offer both modern convenience and historic, old-world charm prove the city’s most prominent type of residence. Regardless of your preferred style, there’s plenty of opportunity at every price range—modern townhomes and modest condos from $350,000 to multi-million dollar highrise apartments and historic properties.
Center City is the second-most densely populated urban community in the U.S - behind only Midtown Manhattan. Although the area’s weekday population swells to over 300,000 commuters, the permanent population is roughly 190,000 (and rising).
Considering the art and culture and several very well-regarded schools, the collective neighborhoods are drawing those who crave an active urban lifestyle.
There’s no shortage of dining, retail, and entertainment across Center City’s various neighborhoods. Wherever you venture, you’re greeted with an array of choices both in what you eat and where you shop. For the best of both worlds, your first visit should be the Reading Terminal Market, one of the nation’s oldest public markets.
Of course, you’ll discover an impressive assemblage of fabulous Asian eateries in the city’s celebrated Chinatown district. But those unique flavors are also found in places such as Old City and the excellent Asian fusion of
Keeping with the international theme, Pietro’s is authentic Italian pizza and pasta with locations in the heart of downtown and Society Hill. The world renowned Zahav serves Israeli cuisine in an intimate Old City setting. For those seeking more traditional American fare, Friday Saturday Sunday in Fitler Square is the perfect goto for cocktails and dinner.
Distinctive retail—from big-name brands to boutique stores—appear at every turn throughout Center City. One of the most unique, however, is the experience at The Shops at Liberty Place. In addition to the retail, popular attractions include the domed Rotunda performance and exhibit space as well as the One Liberty Observation Deck for panoramic views of Philadelphia.
As the heart of the country’s fifth-largest city, the sights and sounds are abundant, and the social calendar remains full year-round. To immerse yourself in both Philadelphia’s and the nation’s history, a visit to Independence National Historic Park is a must. The area includes the National Constitution Center, the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and Washington Square.
One of the city’s most popular annual events is the Broad Street Run. This 10-mile road race constitutes one of the country’s largest such events, with 35,000 plus participants. The Welcome America July 4th Festival and Concert is a weeklong celebration of American Independence.
For those seeking even more outdoor pursuits, the Schuylkill River Trail is a 120-mile trail that extends from Center City up through Berks, Chester, and Montgomery counties. Ideal for walking, running, or biking, the downtown segment is particularly dramatic, as it traverses along—and out onto—the Schuylkill River.
Famous parks worthy of a trip for residents and visitors alike include LOVE Park and its iconic namesake outdoor sculpture, Dilworth Park, which converts to a winter wonderland every December, and Rittenhouse Square, which hosts numerous markets and events. The expansive green spaces surrounding the Philadelphia Museum of Art (which include the Rocky Statue and Rocky Steps) connect with the 2,000-acre Fairmount Park.
Center City is home to several excellent schools. Top educational opportunities include: