Philadelphia, fondly known as 'Philly', is Pennsylvania's largest city, just a few hours’ drive from New York City and Washington DC. While it might not have the same reputation as its illustrious neighbours, those moving to Philadelphia will find themselves in a cosmopolitan city full of opportunities.
Living in Philadelphia as an expat
The economic hub of Pennsylvania and the headquarters of hundreds of corporations, Philadelphia can potentially provide thousands of employment opportunities for new arrivals wanting to work here. It's also an intrinsically creative and cultural city with a thriving music industry and delicious cuisine.
Besides the excellent rail system connecting the city to its neighbours, there's a well-developed local network of public transport in Philadelphia, consisting of buses, trolleys and trains. That said, it also has a reputation for being one of the most walkable cities in the USA, as well as being incredibly bike friendly. Those living in the city centre will rarely need to use public transport, let alone a car.
Neighbourhoods close to Center City and in the northwestern suburbs are so well located that new residents won't need to venture further than a few miles in any direction to find everything they need in terms of restaurants, shops and entertainment. They will also have plenty of choice when it comes to accommodation in Philadelphia, from townhouses and apartments to old style family homes in the suburbs.
Cost of living in Philadelphia
Although the cost of living in Philadelphia is higher than the national average, it is cheaper than it neighbouring East Coast cities, such as New York and Boston. Many people choose to live in Philly for this exact reason.
That said, Philadelphia is not necessarily an inexpensive place to live. Accommodation is generally affordable, although prices have increased with demand, and salaries are relatively high, but new arrivals will need the extra income to cover their other living costs and their lifestyle in Philadelphia.
Expat families and children
Philadelphia boasts a state-of-the-art children’s hospital and many excellent schools. Although new inhabitants will be able to attend public schools for free, there are also plenty of private schools that offer a high standard of education in the city. Many of these schools offer the International Baccalaureate, which could be a preferable curriculum for expat children.
Outside of school, children will have plenty to keep them busy in Philadelphia. The abundant sunshine allows families to take full advantage of Philadelphia’s many sprawling parks and playgrounds. Alternatively, the city is home to many cultural attractions and annual events for children to enjoy.
Climate in Philadelphia
The weather in Philadelphia varies greatly between hot, muggy summers and cold, snow-covered winters. That said, the climate is mild for the most part, making it great for expats living in Philadelphia with children.
New arrivals in Philadelphia will discover a bustling urban environment where residents are extremely proud of their city. It offers a wonderful balance of urban and suburban life and is a great destination for those looking for a busy, diverse and ever-expanding place to call home.
►For more about the ups and downs of life in the city, see Pros and Cons of Moving to Philadelphia
Are you an expat living in Philadelphia?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Philadelphia. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
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