Philadelphia has something for everyone. There are national parks, waterways and forests, for those who love the great outdoors, and theatres, galleries, museums and a vibrant choice of entertainment and nightlife.
When compared with other large metropolitan areas such as New York City and Washington DC, which are just a couple of hours away, Philadelphia is also a much cheaper place to live. Property rental prices are around 30% cheaper, and public transportation costs almost 20% less than in NYC. Add to this your grocery shopping, which will cost you 11% less in Philadelphia, and you can see how much money expats could be saving when choosing to live here rather than the more expensive options not far away.
Furthermore, any expatriate that needs to see a doctor while living in Philadelphia will certainly be in one of the best places. The Greater Philadelphia area has 161 hospitals and medical facilities, four designated cancer centers, and the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania, which was named in 2012 as the ‘Best Pediatric Hospital in the World’ by Parent’s Magazine.
SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) covers all of Philadelphia and some surrounding areas. It is the 6th largest transit system in the USA, consisting of a network of subway, rail, bus and trolley commuter transport services to get you around easily and cheaply. Tickets and passes for the transport system can be bought at most stops and stations, on board, or simply online. Philadelphia also has an international airport, served by 30 airlines and with over 560 daily flights to around 130 different cities.
For those who will be traveling round Philadelphia by car but would like to avoid buying one, ‘Car Sharing’ might be an interesting alternative. PhillyCarShare has thousands of members who can use the company’s cars throughout Philadelphia. The aim is to reduce the number of cars on the road, promote the use of cars that save gas, reduce pollution and save the drivers money.
For expats with children who are planning to live in Philadelphia, education will be a top priority, so selecting areas with good schools and colleges is really important.
As in most cities, some neighborhoods have better schools than others, but there is a wide choice of both public and private schools to pick from. In total, Philadelphia County has over 300 public schools (most of which are operated by the School District of Philadelphia), more than 24048 private schools, and 60 post-secondary schools.
When it comes to making the decision which school to send their kids to, expat parents can use ratings such as the U.S. News Best High Schools rankings to get a first feel for the quality of the different schools. However, a personal visit might also be a good idea. For those attending university in Philadelphia, the following stats should be encouraging:
Thanks to all the cultural associations in Philadelphia, people don’t need to pay much to have a cultural experience here. As well as lots of art galleries and museums, there are events throughout the year that combine music, entertainment, and food from many different ethnic groups, which are enjoyed by thousands.
Philadelphia has so much to offer, including:
For expats who love their sports, Philadelphia won’t disappoint you. Nearly all of Philadelphia’s professional teams play close to Center City in top class arenas, include: