Looking for a place to stay in Philadelphia? I’ve been living in this city for three years, so I’m going to help you find the best places to stay in Philadelphia for tourists. There are a ton of amazing things to do in Philadelphia, but most are pretty close to each other, so if you pick a good accommodation, you can walk pretty much anywhere.
Hotels in Philadelphia, PA can be a bit pricey, like in any big city in the US. However, sometimes you can find some good deals, although be careful because there are some neighborhoods you want to avoid in Philadelphia.
Don’t worry. I have been here for 3 years and I have never felt unsafe, partly because my Philly friends have always told me where to go and where not to. You will also be able to book a hotel in a good neighborhood in Philadelphia with my help.
Throughout this article, I will tell you about the best areas of Philadelphia to stay in. My advice is, if you want to get a cheap hotel, choose
a single accommodation for your entire stay. To help you, in this guide to where to stay in Philadelphia, you will find the following information:
- Best areas to stay in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Philadelphia neighborhoods to avoid
- Best hotels in Philadelphia
- Cheap accommodations in Philadelphia
- Map of the Philly neighborhoods where to stay
Best areas to stay in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
In this section, you will find the best neighborhoods to stay in Philadelphia, and I will tell you which tourist attractions are in that area so that you can choose the one that is closest to what you want to see. Bear in mind, however, that the first four areas are very close to each other, so you can walk to all the tourist spots from any of them.
You will also find my recommended hotels in Philadelphia, which are where our friends and family usually stay when they visit us and can’t stay at our home.
1. Old City, one of the best places to stay in Philadelphia
Old City is the most historic area of the city. This is where the United States Declaration of Independence was written. The neighborhood is very beautiful and quiet, making it a great option to stay in Philadelphia for tourists.
If you decide to look for hotels in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania here, you will be right next to many of its historical heritage sights, such as Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Betsy Ross House (where the first flag of the United States was sewn), and the National Constitution Center.
Since some of the main attractions of the city are here and it’s only a 15-minute walk from the center, Old City is one of the best areas to stay in Philadelphia. Of course, the prices are usually high and the accommodations fill up quickly, so I recommend booking well in advance.
These are the hotels in Philadelphia Old City that I recommend:
- Premium option: Wyndham Philadelphia-Historic District
- Standard option: Penn’s View Hotel Philadelphia
- Low-cost option: Apple Hostels of Philadelphia
2. Center City, the best hotels in downtown Philadelphia
Center City is a good place to look for accommodations in Philadelphia for many reasons. The most important one is its perfect location for reaching the main points of interest in the city, such as the beautiful City Hall, which is where we got married.
The good thing about this area is that you can walk to almost any part of the city, and it’s also very well connected by public transport. This makes it one of the best places to stay in Philadelphia.
In Philly’s Center City, there are a lot of hotel deals but also most of the luxury hotels in Philadelphia, so the prices are quite high. You can also find cheaper accommodations, but you will have to book them well in advance because they are the ones that fill up first.
These are the hotels in Downtown Philadelphia that I recommend:
- Premium option: Hampton Inn Philadelphia Center City-Convention Center
- Standard option: The Notary Hotel Autograph Collection
- Low-cost option: Philadelphia Marriott Downtown
3. Benjamin Franklin Parkway, a great area to stay in Philly
Benjamin Franklin Parkway is a good place to stay in Philadelphia because it’s very quiet and has many green areas. In addition, it is the most popular avenue in the city, starting at the City Hall and ending at the Museum of Art, where the Rocky Stairs and his statue are.
This area is also known as the Museum District because it’s where some of the most important and visited museums in Philly are. So if you’re into museums, I recommend looking for accommodation in this area.
From Benjamin Franklin Parkway, you can walk to downtown in about 20 minutes, so it’s a good place if you’re wondering where to stay in Philadelphia.
These are the hotels that I recommend on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia:
- Premium option: Embassy Suites Philadelphia – Center City
- Standard option: Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown
- Low-cost option: The Windsor Suites Philadelphia
4. Rittenhouse Square, luxury hotels in Philadelphia
Rittenhouse Square is the most exclusive area to stay in Philadelphia. It is right where the park that bears the same name is and where the most luxurious shopping centers and boutiques in the city are. You will also find quite glamorous restaurants to eat at.
In terms of Rittenhouse Square, I can tell you that it is one of the best areas to stay if you are looking for boutique hotels in Philadelphia, but it’s also one of the most expensive neighborhoods. We visit this area a lot because it’s perfect for disconnecting and relaxing. Plus, Philadelphia Center City is two blocks away, so you can always move around if you need more to do.
Here is the list of hotels in Philadelphia, PA, located in Rittenhouse Square:
- Premium option: Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square
- Standard option: Club Quarters Hotel in Philadelphia
- Low-cost option: Sonesta Philadelphia Downtown Rittenhouse Square
5. South Philly, cheap accommodation in Philadelphia
The South Philly area is not often chosen for stays, but I recommend it because it’s a safe place and the best option if you’re looking for cheap hotels in Philadelphia.
South Philly may not be the most popular area to stay in Philly, but it does have an artistic vibe that I love. In addition to that, the Italian Market, a must if you like pasta, is here.
Another of the places that I recommend you visit in the area is the Magic Gardens, which is one of my favorite corners of the city. Visiting them is not cheap but it’s worth it.
Check out the hotels in South Philly that I recommend (they are in the South Philly area close to downtown. I don’t recommend you stay too far south):
- Premium option: Modern Design / High-End 1BD Loft
- Standard option: Sonder – The Queen
- Low-cost option: Philadelphia Hotel Bella Vista
6. University City, a good neighborhood to stay in Philly
University City is an area where you can find good accommodation in Philadelphia, despite its being a bit isolated. It is on the other side of the Schuylkill River, which is one of my favorite walks in Philadelphia.
Two of the most distinguished universities in the US are in this area: the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. It’s a very popular area among students but not among tourists. Of course, it’s a good place to stay in Philly for nightlife.
However, it isn’t an area I usually recommend, since there are not many hotel on offer. But if you can’t find another place to stay in Philadelphia that fits your budget, University City can be a good alternative, especially for long stays. In this case, you will need to use public transport to get to the center city if you don’t want to have to walk for more than 40 minutes.
These are the hotels in Philadelphia that I recommend in University City:
- Premium option: The Inn at Penn, A Hilton Hotel
- Standard option: Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel
- Low-cost option: The Study Hotel at University City
7. Fishtown, the area with the best nightlife in Philly
Fishtown is Philadelphia’s most popular party area, plus it’s where the city’s new culinary, artistic, and musical trends are born. It’s also considered the hipster neighborhood of Philly and is where artists spend much of their hours, especially on the first Friday of the month, which is when Frankford Avenue galleries and studios open to the public.
Although it’s an area that is somewhat removed from the center, you won’t have a problem getting to any part of the city by public transport. Of course, if you are looking for tranquility, it is not the best area to stay in Philly. Instead, stay in Fishtown if you’re looking for nightlife and want to indulge in trendy bistros, beer gardens, and indie bands.
These are the hotels I recommend in the Fishtown, Philadelphia area:
- Premium option: Mulherin’s Sons Hotel
- Standard option: Lokal Hotel Fishtown
- Low-cost option: Stylish 4 Bedroom House with Jacuzzi
8. Staying at the Philadelphia International Airport
I recommend looking for hotels near the Philadelphia airport if your flight departs very early. Also, it’s a good idea to stay close to the airport if you’re attending a sporting event or big concert, as the sports complex is nearby.
Despite all this, it’s a quiet and safe area where it is possible to find some of Philly’s cheap hotels. The only drawback is that there aren’t many tourist attractions nearby, and it’s far away from downtown.
These are the best hotels to stay near the Philadelphia airport:
- Premium option: DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia Airport
- Standard option: Extended Stay America – Philadelphia – Airport – Tinicum Blvd.
- Low-cost option: Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Philadelphia Airport
Philadelphia areas to avoid
As I have said before, Philadelphia is a fairly safe city despite its somewhat bad reputation, especially the areas frequented by tourists. Like all big cities, however, there are areas that it’s better to avoid, especially if you are going back to your hotel late at night.
Next, I will tell you the areas where not to stay in Philadelphia.
The areas that are part of North Philadelphia are characterized by being quite poor, and, therefore, it is where the highest number of crimes is usually concentrated. I actually try to avoid even going through North Philly by car, so I wouldn’t walk there either.
It is a pretty run-down and abandoned area, so you really won’t miss much if you don’t visit it or if you choose a safer area to stay in Philadelphia.
The best hotels in Philadelphia
If you don’t care about specific areas or prices, because all you want is to stay in one of the best hotels in Philadelphia, then check out the best Philadelphia luxury hotels:
- The Rittenhouse Hotel, a prestigious hotel in downtown Philadelphia
- The Ritz-Carlton, one of the most spectacular hotels in Philadelphia
- The Windsor Suites Philadelphia, the best suites in Philadelphia
- Club Quarters Hotel in Philadelphia, one of the most beautiful hotels in Philadelphia
- Wyndham Philadelphia-Historic District, a stylish hotel in the heart of Philadelphia
Cheap accommodations in Philadelphia
Philadelphia is an expensive city, but if you’re traveling on a budget, you should check the best cheap hotels in Philadelphia.
These cheap accommodations in Philadelphia are in beautiful and safe neighborhoods:
- City House Hostel Philadelphia, cheap place to stay in downtown Philadelphia
- Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Philadelphia Airport, cheap accommodation in Philadelphia
- Extended Stay America, the perfect lodging for long stays in Philadelphia
- Apple Hostels of Philadelphia, a cheap and well-located accommodation in Philadelphia
Map of the best neighborhoods to stay in Philly
Now that you know all the neighborhoods in Philadelphia, you can check the following map to choose where to stay in Philadelphia. Also, you can download our tourist map of Philadelphia here.