Penn Off-Campus Housing Guide When to search
For students in need of University of Pennsylvania off-campus housing, the search should start getting serious in January, not long after returning from winter break. Based on our conversations with students and researching of popular terms on search engines, the number of students searching for housing in Philadelphia rises as soon as students get back from break then peaks in February and March.
As the spring semester continues, housing around the UPENN campus starts filling up for the following fall, as most leases start in August. To secure your perfect apartment near Penn, get on top of looking before everyone else!
Rent In Philadelphia, PA
Rent prices for UPENN students in Philadelphia are going to be on the pricier side, but this is nothing new to students who attend an Ivy League university. With five universities in Philadelphia, UPENN is located in the center of the city, rightfully named University City.
This swanky part of town is home to several larger, luxury apartment complexes near campus. In this area, you can find more studio and one-bedroom apartment units. Among the long list of amenities, these apartments have to offer, some buildings even come furnished so there is no need to lug your stuff from back home. To save some cash, try finding some roommates to share a house or apartment with. Neighboring University City is an area called Spruce Hill. This section of the city is within walking distance to UPENN and there are several, cheaper housing options.
Here’s a breakdown of Philadelphia apartments and houses average rents per person, per bedroom:
Life in Philadelphia, PA Where to Have Fun
For students at UPENN, excelling in academics while still maintaining a social life is key. This university provides an environment where it is socially acceptable to study every single night and never go out or to party every single night, to each his own! Being in the center of Philadelphia, any activity is easily accessible. Extracurriculars are important to students and with hundreds of clubs on campus anyone can find something to interest them.
Consider enrolling in a frat or sorority as Greek Life is big on campus and they throw a ton of parties that students go to. Philadelphia is a big city with plenty of cultural and historic sites for students to visit. Take the SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) or walk the bridge to Center City. Attend a student art opening or gallery night. Check out a student play on campus or catch a movie at the campus theater. Walk over to West Philly for a concert or go out to the clubs. Tailgate a Philadelphia Eagles or Flyers game. Stay on campus and root for one of the many UPENN Quaker sports games. Visit one of the hundreds of street fairs held annually. Whatever you’re into, you can definitely find something to do in Philly to pass the time.
- Explore the Philadelphia Museum of Arts
- Dine at the Reading Terminal Market
- Ride the SEPTA to Center City
- Shop on Walnut Street
After a long day of classes and studying, students are ready for a much-needed drink and some food to fuel-up. Being in the heart of Philadelphia, students have a wide variety of places to choose from and a lot of the most popular places to eat, and go out, are within walking distance of campus.
Food trucks are quickly becoming popular, and there are a ton of them. On campus during the day, you can get yourself Chinese, Mexican, crepes, fresh fruit and veggie, and so on. Heading downtown, students can indulge in the 80 different food vendors that the Reading Terminal Market has to offer. When the weekend hits and you’re ready to get tanked be sure to check out the bars around campus.
BYOB anyone? Places like Aija or Beijing, conveniently located next to the Quad, allow for students to bring their own booze to drink. For a different scene, head downtown or to West Philly to catch a concert and go clubbing.
Here are a few places to stop at.
- Mad Mex
- Tacos Don Memo
- Federal Donuts
- Smokey Joe’s Tavern
- New Deck Tavern
- Blarney Stone
- Drinkers West
- City Tap House
The University of Pennsylvania is known for its scenic campus. Even though the university is in the middle of the city, when you step onto the campus many students say it feels as if though you aren’t in the city anymore.
The tree-lined Locust Walk is a main path for students to take around campus spanning over a mile. This path will lead you to Penn Park which is the universities 24-acre area full of athletic playing fields and open space to play sports and relax. Philadelphia is home to a number of lakes and parks if you’re looking to get off-campus. Students can hike, rock climb, rent kayaks or even visit one of the equestrian centers and horseback ride on the trails.
Nearby campus is the Schuylkill River Trail where a lot of students will jog or bicycle. Make sure to catch one of the many events here like the International Dragon Boat Festival!