In 2017, Philadelphia was ranked the second best place to visit in the United States. Among those visited were the young and thirsty generation that we call the millennials, and many of those people have since moved here.
According to a recent study, the millennial population in Philadelphia increased by about 100,000 from the years from 2006 through 2012. This rose faster than any other city in the nation at the time.
So, why has Philly become a millennial magnet? Affordability, with a mix of a lively nightlife, diversity, and career viability are big contributions to this rise in numbers.
Millennials are here to stay, and we want to make sure they’re getting full use out of this city.
So, here’s a guide for Philly millennials by a Philly millennial.
Check out these essential tips for all you need to know about Philadelphia. You’re bound to have some laughs, eat some good food, and explore the unknown, all while making Philadelphia feel like home, if it doesn’t already.
Whether you are an out-of-towner or a Philly local, these are important things to keep in mind as a millennial in Philly.
Where Millennials Work in Philly
People often write off Philadelphia when it comes to job opportunities, comparing it to cities like New York or Los Angeles.
We may not be the concrete jungle of America, but Philly has a lot to offer for millennial jobseekers. This is because, although NYC and LA have more opportunities when it comes down to the nitty gritty numbers, there are more people fighting for those positions. Philly has been continuously ranked as the best city for job opportunities for millennials in recent years.
So which industries are taking off in Philly?
According to a recent study on the best cities for jobseekers, the fastest-growing occupations are in the tech and mathematical fields, which has grown over 20% in the past few years. Shocker. This is followed by community and social occupations, business and financial operations, construction and extraction occupations, and health care and technical occupations.
What a better place to be for these booming industries than a city that thrives off of them? Philadelphia provides about 1.4 times more jobs than the national average for community and social occupations with only a 5.6% overall unemployment rate.
It truly is a city where your future lies in the palms of your hands.
Where Young People Live in Philly
There are many great areas for you to live when moving to Philadelphia, or moving out from your family’s house, or moving on from your dingy college house.
The only real downside to moving to Philly is having to figure out what neighborhood best suits you. Philly is truly a city of neighborhoods, and its hard to know which one you’ll be most comfortable in.
But, we can start with the ones that millennials seem to like already.
Each neighborhood is unique, offering its residents something different. According to that same study, the highest concentration of millennials is found primarily in Center City and surrounding areas like Manayunk, East Falls, Fishtown and Point Breeze. Millennials make up 40 percent of the population in these neighborhoods.
According this research, 59.1% of residents in Manayunk are young adults because of its popularity among recent graduates of local universities. Similarly, Fishtown and Northern Liberties have a vibrant reputation for people with active social lives and interest in art. To make it even better, these neighborhoods have an easy commute to work, nightlife, and restaurants, all while providing a young and lively vibe.
Fishtown, Manayunk and Northern Liberties attract a lot of millennials because of their affordability and convenient location close to dozens of bars, restaurants, shops, boutiques, and more. To put it simply, Manayunk has city vibrance with a splash of suburban charm. Manayunk, despite being easily traveled by foot, it not great for transportation since it lays on the city’s outskirts whereas Fishtown is easily commutable since it lies just Northeast of Center City. But, if you are looking to start a family, East Falls or Northern Libs might be the spot for you.
Point Breeze is also rising in popularity with millennials, who hold about 36.6 percent of the population now.
Although these parts of Philly neighbor each other, they couldn’t offer a more different vibe. These areas, despite being so close to each other, are the perfect example of how diverse each part of Philly can be. Again, it all comes down to the vibe you are looking for.
Philly is the best place to live right now because young adults have endless opportunities to make more money and eventually become homeowners. This was predicted by the 2015 U.S Census Data.
When moving to Philly, millennials tend to gravitate toward the neighborhoods mentioned above due to the safety, affordability, and nightlife.
The low supply of homes is leading to an increase in prices, though. Currently, the housing supply in Philly is 4.4 months, meaning it would take 4.4 months to sell every house on the market. Economists say a balanced housing supply is 5 to 7 months. The last time supply was this low was 2004. Last year, we dove into what Philly’s hot housing market could mean in the coming years.
Now, of course city living doesn’t come cheap. According to Econsult, the average price of a home in Philly rose 22.2 percent over the past two years, whereas New York only rose 12.9 percent and Boston only 9 percent. The rise of costs is because of the demand to move to the city.
Fishtown, for example, is one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in the city. That means housing costs have increased. Over the past 6 years, the median price for a home in or around Fishtown increased by whopping 94 percent. A lot of buyers are looking to inves heret, not to stay, according to the Econsult study. Some inner city neighborhoods are becoming less affordable when compared to other parts of Philadelphia. For example, Point Breeze has the average home costing about $200,000 according to Zillow. The value of these houses has skyrocketed about 20 percent in the past year.
Thankfully, Philly offers housing for rent without the hefty price tag like other cities. The average rent for a studio apartment in Philly is less or more than $1,100 in these areas. For a multiple bedroom apartment the cost bumps up to $1,600 or more. Rent in Point Breeze remains a little above average at $1,420. New York, on the other hand, has an average rent price tag of $3,300.
But believe me, you can find housing cheaper than this if you’re willing to dig a little.
When trying to find housing in Philly it helps to look on various platforms because the market for housing is competitive. To find housing in Philly check out these websites: Craigslist, Zillow, or even Facebook groups, including Affordable Housing. Since rentals can have a fast turnover, these platforms will help you move through the process more quickly.
Where Philly Millennials Like To Eat
Philadelphia’s culinary scene is unique and tasty. Of course, there are a list of foods that need to be eaten during your time in Philly, including cheesesteaks, soft pretzels, Tastykakes, and peanut chews.
Hey, I didn’t say our diet was the healthiest, but those are just the “Philly” staples. There’s a lot more to our culinary scene than junk food.
Philly has undergone somewhat of a food revolution as of late.
This is partially because Philly is a melting pot. We stay true to the people we represent, which leaves you with the ability to find the best of the best across multiple different cultures.
To help you navigate, Philly Views has been compiling resources for all types of food. These are just a few of them, but there are plenty more to come:
But, while visiting Philly, you truly can never go wrong with these options: The Reading Terminal Market, food trucks and, of course, cheesesteaks.
The Reading Terminal Market takes melting pot to the next level. Here, you can experience over 80 merchants, selling you anything from a tasty meal to fresh produce. The must try vendors are: DiNic’s, Beiler’s Doughnuts, Dutch Eating Place, Flying Monkey, Termini Bros, Fair Food Farmstand, and Molly Malloy’s.
Philly food trucks are never a bad option for a quick and cheap meal. Some great Philly trucks include Mac Mart, Foolish Waffles, Pitruco Pizza or even a local halal or deli-style trucks.
Now, of course, the cheesesteak is just about the most Philly meal money can buy. Remember: just because you are in Philly doesn’t mean you can find the best cheesesteak at every restaurant you go to.
Stick to the places that dedicate their lives to perfecting this Philly beauty: Steve’s Prince of Steaks, Tony Luke’s, Jim’s, Pat’s, Geno’s, Sonny’s, and Dalessandro’s Steaks, to name a few. The list is endless when it comes to the best cheesesteak in Philly, but these are the must try places to experience a Philly steak.
If you are looking for a traditional boozy brunch with mimosas, Bloody Marys or Eggs Benedict, there are so many options. You can’t really go wrong with Sabrina’s, Greens Eggs Cafe, El Camino Real, Royal Boucherie, Walnut Street Cafe, or Cafe Lift. If you’re looking for just a quick coffee and pastry fix, check out La Colombe, Suraya, Rival Bros, Elixr, Ultimo, or Talula’s Daily.
Philly also does Restaurant Weeks throughout the year in areas including Center City, East Passyunk, Northern Liberties/Fishtown, and University City. Restaurant week gives everyone a chance to experience high end meals, atmosphere, and service at the city’s best restaurants for only $15 to $35 for a three-course meal. Keep an eye out for the rotating schedule.
If you’re looking for snacks and late night munchies, but don’t want to get properly dressed, you can try out services like Grubhub, Caviar, UberEats, and GoPuff. All of these are super fast and convenient in the city.
Where To Go Out
Millennials like to have fun and, hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. Philly’s nightlife clusters in certain areas, which makes it easy (and cheap) to walk from bar to bar. Fishtown, South Philly, Manayunk, and Center City are all hubs for vibrant nightlife in Philly.
If you plan to stay in Center City for your night out, check out Noto, Voyeur, Down, or Concourse for a taste of Philly’s club scene. If you’re not into clubs, but are still young and wild, you can’t go wrong with Tavern on Broad, U-Bahn, Howl at the Moon, Ladder 15, McGillin’s, Time, Raven Lounge, or Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse.
Oh, and don’t forget Center City Sips, a summer-long happy hour every Wednesday. That’s right, summer-long. With over 80 bars and restaurants participating, Philadelphians will be offered $4 beer, $5 wine, $6 cocktails and half off apps from 5 to 7 pm. This is a great way to get through your hump day.
On the other hand, Fishtown has been rising as one of the best places to go enjoy a chill night out in bars and beer halls, including Johnny Brenda’s, Loco Pez, Frankford Hall, Barcade, Kraftwork, and many more.
Main Street Manayunk is flooded with great bars for young millennials. These include JD McGillicuddy’s, Manayunk Brewing Company, Manayunk Tavern, and more.
South Philly is a big portion of Philly, therefore getting from place to place on a Saturday night might take some planning when it comes to transportation. But, if your up for the adventure and looking to party Xfinity Live! and Fat Tuesdays are good for that. More chill and relaxed bars include American Sardine Bar, South Philadelphia Taproom, and Pub on Passyunk East.
Just remember, South Philadelphia is a big place with a bunch of different, distinct pockets. It’s not a small neighborhood, rather, more of a general area.
What To See and Do
As we always say, Philly is a hotbed for music, art, science and culture. In fact, Philadelphia is practically a humongous classroom for these topics.
Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Franklin Institute, Mutter Museum, African American Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and Penn Museum are only the start of the best museums in Philly.
According to U.S. News & World Report in 2017, Philadelphia was ranked as the second best place to visit in the United States, only behind New York, and our museums act as a strong contribution to that ranking.
Philly’s museums span from science to art to culture to history, so no matter what you’re in the mood for, you’re going to learn a lot in our museums. Whether you want to run the Rocky Steps at the Art Museum or explore the world’s most strange bodily figures, including conjoined twins or a 7’6″ skeleton at the Mutter Museum, you’re always in for a treat when you visit a museum in Philly.
Home to an array of venues, the music scene really thrives in Philadelphia. Some great places to find live music in Philadelphia include Union Transfer, The Fillmore, Electric Factory, MilkBoy, Johnny Brenda’s, The TLA, Kung Fu Necktie, World Cafe Live, Boot & Saddle, and more.
There are also so many record shops in Philly that sell a range of products from old school cassette tapes to classic vinyl records. Some of these occasionally host live music in-store.
Philadelphia is a city of history. I mean, it is where our Founding Fathers met and birthed this country. Luckily, Philadelphia’s history has been so well-preserved that these attractions are open for Philadelphians and visitors to admire and appreciate.
Top historic sites include Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the Betsy Ross House, Ben Franklin’s grave, Elfreth’s Alley, the President’s House, the Museum of the American Revolution, the National Constitution Center, and much more. Even by just walking the streets of Philly, you will be walking on history.
If you want to be a true Philadelphian, it is essential that you at least vaguely know what’s going on with our teams.
The Eagles just won the Super Bowl. The Sixers are headed for a bright future. The Flyers and Phillies are on the up-and-up after a few down seasons. It’s a good time to get in on the ground floor.
Participating in Philly’s sports culture will expose Philadelphia in its most raw form. You’ll soon realize the stories you heard weren’t a lie. There’s something about Philly that will turn you into a nutcase during every single game.
Here are some of the best places to watch sports in the city: Xfinity Live!, Misconduct Tavern, Fox and Hound, Chickie’s & Pete’s, Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse, Garage Fishtown, and Field House. But during big games, almost any bar will be popping off.
Festivals are embedded into Philadelphia’s culture. No matter the occasion or weather, you can always count on festivals to bring lively fun to city.
Ranging from science, food or beer, festivals keep Philadelphia thriving as a fun city to be for millennials. The big annual festivals include: Philly Craft Beer Festival, Philadelphia Flower Show, Philly Wine Week, StrEAT Food Festival, Philly Tech Week, all of which are scattered around the city. Stay locked in to Philly Views, and we’ll make sure you know when and where everything is.
How To Get There
Philadelphia is an easily commutable city. With a deep rooted public transportation system, parking garages and the growing prominence of rideshare services, you will be more than okay getting to and from your desired locations in this city.
SEPTA, although unreliable at times, is Philadelphia’s regional public transportation system.
SEPTA provides different services, including busses, trolleys, the Broad Street Line (subway), Regional Rail (train), and the Market-Frankford Line (“The El”). It remains the major transit provider for Philadelphia and the surrounding Delaware, Montgomery, Bucks, and Chester counties.
The cash fare to ride a SEPTA bus, subway car, or the EL costs riders $2.50, but you can use a SEPTA key with pre-loaded funds to get onto public transit efficiently. On the other hand, tickets for the Regional Rail, which can take you to neighboring suburbs and far-off neighborhoods for approximately $6. This price changes depending on the zone you are traveling to.
Basically, if you have some change in your pocket, your options are limitless. Acting as a big part of Philly’s everyday life culture, public transportation remains fairly cheap for all riders. But beware, it can be unreliable at times. The only way to prevent this is by checking your specific ride through the SEPTA app and planning accordingly.
If you are not familiar with SEPTA or the Philadelphia area as a whole, taking SEPTA alone during specific times of the day might be a bit sketchy and, of course, you want to avoid sketchy.
With the rise in popularity of rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft, Philadelphians can find quick rides throughout the city very easily.
Just download the apps if you haven’t already. They definitely come in handy if you’re not feeling SEPTA and don’t mind paying a little more.
Even though driving may seem more convenient than public transportation or rideshares, driving in Philadelphia is not really that fun.
It’s doable in some parts of the city, but driving everywhere is not recommended because of the city’s traffic and travel costs. Parking in Center City isn’t easy and definitely isn’t cheap. Philly has the third-highest cost of parking out of every city around the world, averaging about $18 an hour.
Free street parking is rare in many parts of the city, and if you find something, beware of the PPA, which will probably give you a ticket for some very vague and unclear reason.
Note: rush hour in Philadelphia is no joke. Unless you are okay with sitting in a parking lot of traffic, avoid I-76 between the hours of 4 and 7 pm on weekdays. Also, there are potholes. Lots of potholes.
Walking is always an option, but Philadelphia is such a big city that walking may not always be the best move.
Philadelphia also has an eco-friendly bike system that is available to pedestrians called Indego Bike Share. These bikes are rented out, picked up, and returned in central locations throughout the city. These bike rentals charge $4 for a 30-minute ride, $15 for a month pass, or $144 for a year. These bikes are the perfect way to explore Philly come fall, spring, and summer.
While the infrastructure is improving, Philadelphia is a tough city for cyclist. Protected bike lanes are rare, and heavy traffic makes it difficult to navigate at points. It’s not the worst, but it’s far from the best.
We hope this changes soon.
That’s All For Now, Millennials
If you already live here, you know Philly is a wonderful city, and it’s becoming better for young people all the time.
We hope this guide (and this whole website, really) helps you enjoy it as much as we do.
And, if you think we missed anything here, please feel free to drop you favorite food spots, hidden gems, and whatever else in the comments section.