Where to stay on a visit to Philadelphia will depend on why you are visiting. While each neighborhood has its own amenities, there are some areas that are much more convenient for exploring various parts of the city. Be sure to also read up on the types of accommodations to choose from in Philadelphia with suggestions of a few of the best in each category.
Old City is the most convenient place to stay if you’re visiting primarily to experience the historic attractions in around Independence National Historical Park. This is where you’ll find the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and many more attractions.
The area is also great for shopping, dining, entertainment, and nightlife, so you won’t need a car in Old City. However, with the exception of Apple Hostels and a few of the mid-range chains, this is an expensive area and rooms tend to fill quickly, especially in summer.
Society Hill is just south of Old City, offering close proximity to the main historic attractions, in a somewhat quieter, more residential setting. Several unique bed-and-breakfasts provide nearby alternatives to Old city at lower prices.
If you can’t find an affordable room near Old City, anywhere in Center City is convenient for visiting the historic area because Center City is compact and easily accessible by walking, public transportation and tour buses. In addition, staying closer to the center of Center City will put you closer to the museums of the Parkway and the rest of downtown Philadelphia, including Rittenhouse Square, where all visitors will want to see.
Business travelers will probably be set up in or near Center City, as most of the skyscrapers are located within close proximity to each other. This is good because you will be in a good spot for exploring and enjoying the city after hours.
Bed-and-breakfasts can be found throughout Center City, especially in and around Washington Square West, Society Hill, and University City. Washington Square West is a great, centrally located place for anyone to stay, and is especially popular with gay visitors since it is the center of the city’s gay culture. Rooms in the area fill up far in advance of the annual Equality Forum in May and other gay events.
The Parkway is very beautiful during the day when all the museums are open, but it can be a bit desolate at night. It is home mostly to chain hotels, yet it is also very close to Center City, so isn’t a bad option if you find a better deal near the Parkway than right in Center City.
University City just across the Schuylkill River is a bit less expensive than Center City while still close. Home to University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University, it can be a good choice for students as it is also home to many affordable bars and restaurants.
In addition to Center City, you’ll find plenty of chain hotels near the airport, including the Philadelphia Airport Marriott, which is directly connected to the airport. There is also a Holiday Inn near the stadium, but the only reason to stay there is because it is convenient for those attending events at the sports arenas.
Be sure to read up on the types of accommodations to choose from in Philadelphia with suggestions of a few of the best in each category.
Most hotels offer parking at a daily cost on-site or in a nearby lot, usually for around $20 a day. The Official Visitor Site for Greater Philadelphia is an excellent resource for finding descriptions, reservations, and discounts, including the Philly Overnight Hotel Package which includes hotel accommodations for two nights, free parking, and a gift and coupon book upon check-in. Bed and Breakfast Connections of Philadelphia has additional offerings for something more cozy and unique.