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Known locally as “Old City,” Center City East comprises some of Philadelphia's oldest buildings, dating back to colonial times. The area includes the Graff house, where Thomas Jefferson lived while writing the Declaration of Independence; Independence Hall, where it was signed and ratified; and numerous other legendary American artifacts and landmarks such as the Liberty Bell.

As you might expect, it’s an extremely popular tourist destination, but the vintage buildings are home to exquisite restaurants and a thriving nightlife scene that locals can’t get enough of. Philadelphia’s Chinatown takes up a significant portion of the neighborhood, injecting international flair into the all-American landscape. The tight layout gives many residents the option of walking to work, the grocery store, or out to eat, while PATCO and SEPTA service provide several convenient options for getting around the city.


Rent Trends

As of August 2017, the average apartment rent in Philadelphia, PA is $1,108 for a studio, $1,875 for one bedroom, $2,410 for two bedrooms, and $5,795 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Philadelphia has increased by 3.9% in the past year.

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99 Walk Score® Walker's Paradise
100 Transit Score® Rider's Paradise
89 Bike Score® Very Bikeable



This area boasts one of the densest locations in the city for restaurants and bars. Since 1984, the Chinatown "Friendship Arch" has welcomed visitors to the assortment of east Asian cuisine and culture in Philadelphia’s Chinatown. Here you’ll find restaurants featuring not just Chinese fare, but Japanese, Burmese, Korean and Vietnamese food. Vegetarians come from all over the region to sample the roast "duck" and other deceptively authentic mock-meat delicacies at New Harmony. For those brave enough to tackle something on the hot side, Han Dynasty is famous for its spicy dishes, particularly the fiery Dan Dan noodles.

Effie's Restaurant competes for the top Greek restaurant in the entire city. Serving up traditional Greek food, customers shouldn't expect any sort of flair or creativeness here (much like the area itself), but the traditional fare is on point and delights any palate that knows Greek cuisine.

Those who love beer will call Eulogy Belgian Tavern home. With over 400 international and domestic craft beers, thirty of which are on draft, and a Belgian brew made especially for the Tavern, this bar is a nationally recognized mecca. Their mussels and fries are great too

Digest your meal while watching a play at the Arden Theatre Company. Whether the current production is a classic by William Shakespeare or Samuel Beckett, a stage adaptation of a Dickens Masterpiece or an exciting new work by a contemporary playwright, lovers of theatre delight in the Arden’s thespian tradition.


Founded by William Penn in 1682, Philadelphia was once settled primarily in this region, expanding over the subsequent centuries to the major city it is today. Actors in colonial garb provide tours through the historic district surrounding Independence Hall. As the site of the Declaration of Independence's signing, naturally Philly hosts a gala celebration every July 4, with readings from the Declaration, music, speeches, re-enactments and a parade weaving throughout our nation's birthplace.

Tourists flock to Philadelphia’s most iconic symbol, the Liberty Bell. Once housed within Independence Hall itself, the bell now sits on display nearby in its own museum. The National Constitution Center includes permanent exhibits, such as Signer’s Hall, with 42 life-size, bronze statues of the Founding Fathers. Take a selfie with James Madison and Alexander Hamilton. Special exhibits explore fascinating elements of American history, often combined with exciting social events, bringing education and fun together.


You’ll have little trouble getting to anywhere else in the city or the surrounding metropolitan areas. The two major subway lines, the orange line, running north/south, and the blue line, running east/west, intersect beneath Philadelphia’s magnificent City Hall. The blue line can also be accessed at Jefferson Station, formerly known as Market East, which also allows access to SEPTA’s Regional Rail system, providing train transport to the many communities surrounding Philly. You can grab a New Jersey Transit bus to take trip to the garden state, or a Greyhound to just about anywhere else in the country.

Travelers can easily access Route 95, a major north/south highway running through the East Coast, connecting to New York and other points north, or Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and other southern destinations. Motorists can get on the Ben Franklin Bridge from Vine Street, crossing the mighty Delaware river for transit to New Jersey. Westbound travellers can hop on Route 76.

While Philadelphia as a whole is a bicycle-friendly town, with several bike lanes on some major streets, this part of town is less accommodating to cyclists. The city provides no bike lanes here, and police enforce restrictions against riding on the sidewalk. Some areas in the historical district have cobblestone streets, making cycling more difficult. You may be offered a cab ride without even flagging one down, as many tourists come in on the train. Pedestrians enjoy wide sidewalks, and you can easily walk to all the historical sites of interest.


Philadelphia comes in at 0.6 percent above the national average in cost of living. Center City East is comparatively more expensive than the rest of the city. One-bedroom apartments average $1,766, compared to a city average of $1,401.

The subway costs $2.25, with a free transfer between the blue, orange or green lines, serving a sizable portion of the city, or a $1.00 bus transfer, which covers most of the rest of it. Gas prices hover about 14 percent higher than the national average. Food and drink prices float a little above the rest of the city; you’ll pay about $6 for a microbrew pint.


William Penn’s vision for the city he founded included several public parks, including the bucolic block now known as Washington Square Park. Locals, tourists and dogs belonging to both groups enjoy the shady trees, grassy areas and park benches, but may not be aware of the rich history beneath their feet, including hundreds of dead bodies.

The park served as the final resting place for many soldiers who died during the revolution, and many more who perished from an epidemic of yellow fever that ravaged the city soon afterward. The park includes less macabre monuments, such as the Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier, honoring those who fell during the Revolution with an eternal flame, and the moon tree, which grew from a seed that was brought back by Apollo astronauts after travelling to the moon.


Turn any direction in Center City East and you'll discover a place to shop. Macy's, Marshalls, Old Navy, Burlington Coat Factory … this is truly a shopper's paradise. The Fashion Outlets Philadelphia, opening in 2017, will provide even more places to shop. This was once the Gallery on Market Street, a popular mall that faded over time. Soon, it will be a modern, sophisticated shopping venue sporting outlet stores and sidewalk cafes.

For fair trade and handmade crafts, go to Ten Thousand Villages. As the name implies, this specialty store offers crafts from around the world, from clothing and jewelry to furniture and home goods. The shop ensures adequate compensation for the people who make the goods so you know you are supporting artisans from every corner of the globe.

Window shoppers love Jeweler's Row, home to over 300 retailers and wholesalers specializing in precious stones and high-end jewelry such as Barsky Diamonds and Steven Singer Jewelers.

Shoppers can find amazing fashions and make-up services at Addiction on Pine Street. Those seeking designer labels, jaw-dropping handbags, accessories, and stunning makeovers should definitely stop by.

For fresh produce and a dizzying variety of foods, crafts, and other attractions, check out Reading Terminal Market. Amish farmers from neighboring Lancaster County bring fresh meat, vegetables, and baked goods straight from the farm to downtown. Funnel cake, shoo-fly pie, and homemade sarsaparilla bring the flavor of the country into the city. The Whole Foods on South Street is another well-liked shopping destination for its organic brands and free parking garage.


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Center City East Apartments for Rent

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Bridge on Race
205 Race St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
1 / 64
1 hr
$1,780 - 4,960 Studio - 2 Bed Available Now
315 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
1 / 89
3 hrs
$1,779 - 9,260 Studio - 3 Bed Available Now
The St. James - Residential
200 W Washington Sq, Philadelphia, PA 19106
1 / 26
$2,014 - 5,987 Studio - 3 Bed Available Now
1213 Walnut
1213 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
1 / 13
5 hrs
$1,819 - 5,892 Studio - 2 Bed Available Now
The Collins
1125 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
1 / 36
$2,056 - 5,881 1-2 Bed Available Now
Lyndon At The Curtis
601 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
1 / 13
$2,145 - 8,648 1-3 Bed Available 10/01/17
Griffin Center City
1338-1348 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
1 / 50
$1,480 - 5,000 Studio - 2 Bed Available Now
The Commonwealth
1201 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
6 hrs
$1,065 - 3,057 1-2 Bed Available Now
Bridge on Race
1 day
219 Vine St Unit 41
Philadelphia, PA 19106
$2,700 2 Bed Available Now
1 day
221 Vine St Unit 25
Philadelphia, PA 19106
$1,475 1 Bed Available 09/15/17
1 day
221 Vine St Unit 11
Philadelphia, PA 19106
$1,475 1 Bed Available 10/15/17
1 day
221 Vine St Unit 2
Philadelphia, PA 19106
$1,900 2 Bed Available Now
917 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
$1,800 2 Bed Available Now
The St. James - Residential
1 day
229 Arch St Unit 211
Philadelphia, PA 19106
$1,500 1 Bed Available 11/01/17
205 Vine St Unit #3
Philadelphia, PA 19106
$1,800 2 Bed Available 09/15/17
2 days
301 Race St Unit 501
Philadelphia, PA 19106
$1,695 Condo for Rent Available 09/15/17
2 days
502 Spruce St Unit 3
Philadelphia, PA 19106
$1,695 1 Bed Available Now
3 days
703 Walnut St Unit 2r
Philadelphia, PA 19106
$1,295 1 Bed Available Now

Apartments for Rent in Center City East, Philadelphia, PA

Known locally as “Old City,” Center City East comprises some of Philadelphia's oldest buildings, dating back to colonial times. The area includes the Graff house, where Thomas Jefferson lived while writing the Declaration of Independence; Independence Hall, where it was signed and ratified; and numerous other legendary American artifacts and landmarks such as the Liberty Bell.

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