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Center City West

Philadelphia, PA

Located west of City Hall, Center City West is one of Philadelphia's most desirable areas. The affluent neighborhood encompasses the city's most important areas, including the shopping, financial, and museum districts. This ever-lively section of Philadelphia’s downtown is home to some of the city's most iconic institutions, parks and structures, such as Carpenter's Hall, the Athenaeum, and the Academy of Music.

This affluent area houses most of Philly’s moneyed elite. It attracts its residents by not only hosting some of the city's leading institutions of art, science and history, but also with its upscale restaurants and a booming nightlife.

For families looking for the best possible education for their children, the Center City West neighborhood is close to great K-12 schools such as Julia R. Masterman, and Philadelphia High School for Creative Arts. The neighborhood is also located within a few miles of some of the top universities in the country, including The University of Pennsylvania, Temple University and Drexel University.

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100 Walk Score® Walker's Paradise
100 Transit Score® Rider's Paradise
94 Bike Score® Biker's Paradise

Living in Center City West

  • Restaurants

    Center City West’s food and nightlife scene are two major reasons why the young, rich, and beautiful flock to the downtown neighborhood. But the neighborhood is not exclusive in any sense, as people from all walks of life can find amazing, one-of-a-kind places to fill their bellies or drink to their heart's content. Whether you want to get dolled up and spend your evening at an ultra-ritzy cocktail bar or have a more boisterous night out at one of Center City West’s blue-collar dives, there is a place for everyone to drink, lounge, dance, and most importantly have fun.

    Rittenhouse Square is the unofficial epicenter of the food and nightlife scene in Center City West. Similar to New York City’s Central Park, the square is a green oasis in the heart of Philadelphia’s electric Center City. Surrounded by tall buildings, Rittenhouse Square is home to some of Philadelphia’s top rated restaurants and bars.

    For a true taste of the food scene in Philadelphia, head to Parc, one of the acclaimed eateries owned by notorious Philadelphia restaurateur Stephen Starr. Parc is one of a handful of restaurants lining Rittenhouse Square that offers a dining experience worth its high-priced menu. It mimics a Parisian eatery with open windows, sidewalk seating, and a classic French décor. Tempt your appetite with French classics like garlic-smothered escargot, or a crock of French onion soup overflowing with melted Gruyere cheese. Parc will transport you and your taste buds and have you believing that you are spending a delightful lunch or dinner at a charming Parisian café.

    Village Whiskey, celebrity chef Jose Garces’ Victorian- era styled bar and restaurant, entices its patrons with Philadelphia’s juiciest burgers and a fully loaded whiskey bar. Have one of the knowledgeable waiters pair one of their expertly crafted cocktails with the perfect burger, or sample a modern take on comfort food classics like their savory lobster mac and cheese. Village Whiskey is always buzzing with happy diners, and is a coveted Father's Day destination.

    Raven Lounge, a small bar just around the corner from Rittenhouse Square, offers on-table board games and serve up drinks that won't break the bank. When the sun goes down the bar transforms into a bass-thumping dance floor, with a DJ spinning until last call. The lounge gets so packed sometimes that latecomers get up and dance on the bar, because it's the only space left to party

  • History

    Center City West was primarily considered to be a residential neighborhood during the early 1800’s. Located to the east, Old City was the major business and market area until the establishment of major educational institutions like the University of Pennsylvania, which attracted more and more businesses westward.

    Center City West is home to Philadelphia’s famous museum district, which showcases a wide range of historic, scientific and artistic institutions. Some of its most notable are the Franklin Institute, the Philadelphia Art Museum, and the spectacular Barnes Museum, which houses the extravagant art collection of wealthy chemist and educator Albert C. Barnes.

    The Ben Franklin Parkway hosts hundreds of annual social, musical and artistic events, most spectacularly the Made In America Music Festival, which takes over the parkway for 2 days at the end of August each summer. The sprawling parkway is transformed into an immense multi-stage music celebration, featuring national and local musicians that have the city jamming from dusk to dawn.

  • Transportation

    SEPTA trains serve the entirety of Center City, Philadelphia at an affordable price. The subway, buses and trolleys are your best bet for getting around the city with ease. The Market-Frankford Broad Street subway lines run through Center City West, and can quickly get you to any downtown destination. Vine Street Expressway also runs through Center City West and allows easy access to the I-676 expressway and I-95, two of Philadelphia’s major highways.

    Cabs in Center City West are abundant and easy to engage, or you can pick up a phone or other device to request Uber service. You can also walk to anywhere in Center City West within ten minutes, or take your chances biking through Philly’s streets, but the majority of streets in Center City West are narrow and shared with city buses, cabs and cars, making walking or bicycling a chancy proposition. The city is slowly trying to make Philadelphia’s grid system more biker friendly by adding a Philly bike share and increasing the number of bike lanes. Parking is easy to find, as most of the streets have 2-3 hour parking available during the day. If you can't find a spot on the street or plan to be away all day, an abundant amount of parking garages are available to serve you.

  • Cost

    The cost of living in Center City West is 20 percent higher than the city average. Center City is within walking distance of most points in the neighborhood, but would still cost two to three dollars to reach by subway or bus. The median rental rate of a one-bedroom apartment in Center City West is $1094, and a pint of beer at a local pub will run you between $6-$8. The gas price in Center City West is 7 percent higher than the national average.

  • Shopping

    With its venerable history and dynamic population, Center City West offers both upscale and eclectic shopping opportunities. The Shops at Liberty Place and Walnut Street are two of the major shopping hotspots, both offering premier shopping hubs with upscale clothing, appliance and boutique stores.

    The Shops at Liberty Place is an elegant shopping center featuring brand name clothing stores like J. Crew and Express. It also has an expansive food court that entices many professionals to grab a quick lunch before returning to their workday.

    Walnut Street, Philadelphia's premier shopping district, houses major names in dining, fashion and retail. Stroll down Walnut Street's busy sidewalks and window shop at high-end stores like Swavorski, Armani Exchange, Tiffany & Co. and an Apple store that attracts hundreds of eager electronics shoppers everyday. Walnut Street continues west into University City, where students appreciate more modest shopping at stores like American Apparel and Blue Mercury.

    If you're looking for a special gift, one-of-a kind fashions or specialty items, there are several boutiques that break away from the upscale retail chains of Walnut Street. Aoki Boutique is known for its unique style in clothing, books, jewelry and trinkets. Everything is modestly priced, from elegant dresses to beautifully crafted scented candles. The staff is always eager to help you navigate the tiny shop to find exactly what you're looking for.

    For a baby on the way or a special gift for a child, stop by The Children's Boutique to find beautiful high-end clothes, apparel, and bedding for babies and toddlers. Customers praise the owner's sense of fun and knowledge about every item in her shop. This is definitely the place to go to avoid buying run-of-the-mill children's items, and a trip to the Children's Boutique will have your little one styling like no other baby on the block.

    Trader Joe's and Whole Foods are the two main grocers that serve Center City West, offering local, organic foods as well as more pedestrian fare. Every other Saturday, Rittenhouse Square puts on a dazzling farmers market, lining all four sides of the square with over 50 tents showcasing the bounty of local farmers. People from all over Philadelphia flock to the market to buy fresh produce, meats and breads from local farms, including stands hosted by Amish community members from Lancaster.

  • Parks

    Center City West allows easy access to some of the best parks that Philadelphia has to offer. Fairmount Park, one of the largest park systems in the country, consists of 63 regional and neighborhood parks spread over parts of Center City as well as Western North Philadelphia. The park is free and open to the public, with a relaxed pet policy that allows dogs to run free from their leashes. Locals prefer it for barbeques and birthday parties during the weekend. Fairmount Park is an ideal place to escape the congestion of Center City and get some fresh air in your lungs and green grass under your feet.

    On the other end of the park spectrum is Fitler Square, a small park situated on the tree-lined streets of Center City West. The Square is a charming spot to wander with your kids as they climb the famous bronze turtle, bear or ram statues. The tiny park is a great place to do some quiet reading or to enjoy a nice afternoon lunch away from zooming Philly cars and buses. The grounds are always clean and the gardens are beautifully maintained. The park is free and open to the public, but is not a good place to bring your canine friend. Weather permitting, Fitler Square also hosts a small farmer's market every other Sunday during the fall and spring.


313 Apartments Available

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The Sterling Apartment Homes
1815 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19103
1 / 25
3 hrs
$1,467 - 7,667 Studio - 3 Bed Available Now
1919 Market St.
1919 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
1 / 115
4 hrs
$1,955 - 4,830 Studio - 3 Bed Available Now
1515 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19102
1 / 48
5 hrs
$1,301 - 3,011 Studio - 2 Bed Available Now
1616 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
1 / 33
5 hrs
$1,770 - 5,272 Studio - 3 Bed Available Now
The Wellington
135 S 19th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
1 / 65
1 wk
$1,250 - 10,000 Studio - 3 Bed Available Now
AQ Rittenhouse
2021 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
1 / 47
2 wks
$1,783 - 2,611 Studio - 2 Bed Available Now
1605 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
1 / 34
2 hrs
$1,596 - 5,208 Studio - 2 Bed Available Now
The Republic
1930 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
1 / 35
7 hrs
$1,580 - 4,235 Studio - 2 Bed Available Now
The Point At Rittenhouse Row
1601 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
2 hrs
$1,532 - 2,914 1-2 Bed Available Now
The Riverloft Apartment Homes
2300 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
3 hrs
$2,081 - 6,991 Studio - 3 Bed Available Now
2116 Chestnut
2116 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
4 hrs
$2,006 - 16,766 Studio - 2 Bed Available Now
2220 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
4 hrs
$1,155 - 2,095 Studio - 3 Bed Available Now
2400 Chestnut St.
2400 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
1 wk
$1,775 - 2,275 1-2 Bed Available Now
1700 Walnut Street
1700 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
1 wk
$1,625 - 2,695 1-2 Bed Available Now
The Chatham
135 S 20th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
1 wk
$1,200 Studio - 2 Bed Available Now
The Sterling Apartment Homes
2 days
1512 Walnut St Unit 201
Philadelphia, PA 19102
$1,850 1 Bed Available 01/01/18
2 days
112 S 18th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
$3,700 3 Bed Available Now
1919 Market St.

Apartments for Rent in Center City West, Philadelphia, PA

Located west of City Hall, Center City West is one of Philadelphia's most desirable areas. The affluent neighborhood encompasses the city's most important areas, including the shopping, financial, and museum districts. This ever-lively section of Philadelphia’s downtown is home to some of the city's most iconic institutions, parks and structures, such as Carpenter's Hall, the Athenaeum, and the Academy of Music.

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