Moving to Northeast Philadelphia?

Have you been struggling to learn more about the Northeast Philadelphia area? Whether you?re moving for work, family, or fun, hopefully, this guide gives you a great start.

The Basics

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Northeast Philadelphia (Northeast Philly or NE Philly) is a very large area within the City of Philadelphia.
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It is more than double the size of the entire city of New Haven, Connecticut (at over 50 square miles in size). 1, 2
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It has a population of approximately 500,000 people. 3
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It is a short ride or train to Center City Philadelphia (about 35 minutes) and near many Philadelphia suburbs including Abington, Jenkintown, Elkins Park, Huntingdon Valley, and Bryn Athyn. Montgomery County and Bucks County are close by.
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Fun Fact

“The oldest stone arch bridge in the country still used on a major travel route is the Frankford Avenue Bridge over Pennypack Creek, built in 1697.” 4

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Fun Fact

The nation’s first manufactured shovel was in Northeast Philadelphia at the Rowland Shovel Factory (1802). 4

Neighborhoods

Northeast Philadelphia was once the home of rich farmland and a getaway destination for some of America?s wealthiest industrial families to escape the hustle of center city life (of course center city Philadelphia was much different from what we know it as today). Over the past approximately 50 years, Northeast Philadelphia has blossomed from farmland and escape mansions into an elegant blend of urban meets suburban. It’s an area with deep rooted history, charming greenery, incredible pride, and strong diversity. It offers great access to Center City Philadelphia (a hub of culture and history), but at a fraction of the cost of Center City living. It affords some of the benefits of city life but in a more suburban and residential environment.

Northeast Philadelphia is divided by the City of Philadelphia into two sections: Near Northeast and Far Northeast, respectively. If you move or are thinking about moving to Northeast Philly, you will also often hear locals identify with a specific neighborhood. Each neighborhood has its own character, from the quaint charm of Fox Chase to the greenery of Pennypack.

Bustleton

Ranked 4th best neighborhood in Philadelphia per StreetAdvsior.com. Bustleton was ranked #6 hottest affordable neighborhood in the entire country.

Fox Chase

Ranked 5th best neighborhood in Philadelphia per StreetAdvsior.com. Fox Chase was ranked #9 hottest affordable neighborhood?in the entire country.

Pennypack Park

Rawnhurst

Discover Rhawnhurst on?StreetAdvisor.com

Somerton

Discover Somerton on StreetAdvisor.com
Please Note: These links are to a third-party site (www.streetadvisor.com) and are provided for your convenience only. We do not control the links or endorse the accuracy of the content. Read Full Disclaimer
Hand-drawn map of Northeast Philadelphia showing major neighborhoods and locations.
Please Note: Map boundaries depicted are an approximation only and DO NOT necessarily correlate with the boundaries referenced on third-party sites (i.e. StreetAdvisor.com), The School District of Philadelphia, Neighborhood Schools, any city of Philadelphia neighborhood boundaries, legal boundaries, or any other references made to neighborhoods in this guide.

Schools

There are a variety of public, charter (independently operated public schools), and private schools located within the Northeast.

Public Schools

The public schools are part of The School District of Philadelphia. The School District of Philadelphia offers three different types of public schools. Neighborhood Schools, Citywide Schools, and Special Admission Schools.
Some of the highest-rated elementary schools in the city are located in the Northeast 6 including Joseph J Greenberg Elementary (K-8), Anne Frank Elementary School (K-5), Comly Watson (K-5), and William H. Loesche Elementary School (K-5).

Some of the highest-rated middle and high schools in the city are located in the Northeast 6 including: Joseph J Greenberg Elementary (K-8), C.C.A. Baldi Middle School (6-8), and high schools include The Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush (special admission).

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Fun Fact

The School District of Philadelphia is the 8th largest school district in the nation. 5

Charter Schools

There are also Charter schools. Since Charter schools are still public schools, they are also tuition-free. One disadvantage, however, is there is no guarantee of admission. Students must apply directly with the charter school they are interested in enrolling (with few exceptions).
?Charter Schools are independently operated public schools that are funded with federal, state and local tax dollars. These schools are established to provide families with more educational alternatives for their children.? 7
??[C]harter schools operate independently of the School District of Philadelphia and of each other, with a few exceptions?? 8
You can find a list of Charter schools in the area, here:
Some of the highest-ranked charter schools in the city are located in Northeast Philadelphia, including:
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MaST Community Charter School was ranked as the #1 Best Charter High School in the state of Pennsylvania and a top 100 best public high school in Pennsylvania from Niche.com.

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Franklin Towne Charter High School (on Tacony Street) was ranked as the #2 Best Charter High School in the state of Pennsylvania and a top 100 best public high school in Pennsylvania.

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New Foundations Charter School was ranked as the #7 Best Charter High School in Pennsylvania.

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Philadelphia Academy Charter School was also highly ranked as the #13 Best Charter High School in Pennsylvania.

Private Schools

There are also many private schools in the area including Father Judge High School (boys), Holy Ghost (boys), Archbishop Ryan High School, Nazareth Academy (girls). Outside of the area, but within the greater Philadelphia area includes Abington Friends (Jenkintown, PA) and Calvary Christian (Philadelphia, PA).

Please Note: About School Information

• You are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of this information and that the information meets your needs.
• The schools listed have different grade levels, religious affiliations, and restrictions. Be sure to check out each school and conduct your own research on them and other schools to learn more. Read Full Disclaimer

Colleges & Universities

The colleges located in Northeast Philadelphia include:
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Community College of Philadelphia Northeast Regional Center
Other nearby colleges include:
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Cairn University Langhorne, PA – 11 mi.
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Penn State Abington Abington, PA – 7 mi.
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Bryn Athyn College Bryn Athyn, PA – 5 mi.
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Manor College Jenkintown, PA – 5 mi.
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Salus University Elkins Park, PA – 6 mi.

A short ride to Center City or head Southwest to the Main Line and you’ll find many more colleges, including: University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Drexel University, Philadelphia University, Villanova University, Saint Joseph’s University, and more.

Main Roads

The main roads that run North and South in NE Philly include:
  • Roosevelt Boulevard (or Route 1)
  • Bustleton Avenue
  • Krewstown / Algon Avenue
  • Academy Road
The main roads that run East and West in NE Philly include:
  • Grant Avenue
  • Cottman Avenue
  • Rhawn Street

Transportation

The area is generally accessible by car but like any city, traffic does exist and can be extensive (especially during rush hour).

The intra-city public transportation source is SEPTA.

• SEPTA has ample bus and train stations throughout the greater Philadelphia area and in the Northeast.

• For easy access to center city Philadelphia, check out Septa’s Regional Rail Line (West Trenton and Fox Chase), Broad Street Line, and Market-Frankford Line.

There are also various on-demand services in much of the area including Uber, Lyft, Taxis, and more.
For easy access to major cities like New York and Washington D.C., you can either drive/take SEPTA to center city and utilize AMTRAK, or there are many bus services available as well.

Note: SEPTA train and bus times and routes vary, especially on the weekends. Check SEPTA’s website for more information on the latest routes and times.

Where To Live

Decide if you are living in a house, condominium, or apartment.

The Basics

If you’re looking for a house or condo, there are many online resources available such as Trulia.com, Zillow.com, Realtor.com. You also can contact real-estate brokers in the area directly. A 3 bedroom+ single-family house generally ranges from the low to mid $200Ks to upwards of the $500Ks.

If you’re looking to live in an apartment building, check out our three-part series on how to compare apartments.

Hands holding a red and green apple

How to Compare Apartments
A Beginner’s Guide

Part 1: Value
Are you starting the apartment search? Overwhelmed with options, feature sets, and amenity lists?
Person using a calculator and writing notes on a notepad

How to Compare Apartments
A Beginner’s Guide

Part 2: Affordability

Life is expensive. There are lots of expenses – housing, utilities, food, car payments, loans, and lots more.

Apartment interior living room with couch and small white table

How to Compare Apartments
A Beginner’s Guide

Part 3: Location, Lifestyle, and Reputation

The LLR Factors – Location, Lifestyle, and Reputation.

Graph paper showing a checklist

The Ultimate Checklist
For Choosing and Apartment

When it comes to choosing an apartment – whether it’s your first apartment or your fourth – you should always have an imaginary checklist in with you to ensure you’re getting exactly what you want.

If you’d like to learn more about us: our luxury apartment communities are extremely well located in Northeast Philadelphia allowing you the opportunity to enjoy all the benefits of NE Philly living and are nationally ranked for customer satisfaction. Check out some of our award-winning communities and stop by and say hello:

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Ambassador I Apartments

851 Red Lion Rd
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Ambassador II Apartments

828 Red Lion Rd
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Park Place One

1801 Winchester Ave
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Imperial Manor III

1170 Surrey Rd

Things to do In Northeast Philly

Your guide to what to see in and around Northeast Philadelphia.

Restaurants

Just like the rest of Philly, local favorites include cheesesteaks, pretzels, wings, and pizza. Northeast Philadelphia is also ethnically diverse so prepare for lots of great international cuisines from Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese and more.

As the famous Philadelphia food critic Craig LaBan said: “There may be no Philly food destination more dynamic than Northeast Philly.”

Gyms

Looking to stay fit? Here are some gyms in the Northeast:
Northeast Racquet Club & Fitness Center

At 125,000 square feet, Northeast Racquet Club is the area’s largest athletic complex featuring a full-size gym, tennis courts, squash courts, locker rooms, fitness classes, and more. With friendly and professional staff, it?s rare to find a place that’s been around for over 35 years.

Northeast Family YMCA

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits and has 20 locations throughout the greater Philadelphia area and Pocono’s. Not surprisingly, the Y also has a location in Northeast Philadelphia.

LA Fitness

Northeast Philadelphia is also home to leading national chains like LA Fitness. Head toward 2560 Grant Avenue and you’ll arrive at the LA Fitness.

Planet Fitness
Cruise on over to 9950 E. Roosevelt Road and check out their 24 hour 7 days a week facility.
Retro Fitness

Feeling groovy? With over 150 locations around the country, you’re in for a unique experience and vibe at Retro Fitness on Welsh Road.

Fusion Gym
Located at 2801 Grant Ave, this is a trendy gym, filled with cardio equipment, weights, a multi-functional work out zone, and more.
The Edge Fitness Club
A new gym that opened in the Somerton neighborhood, with group exercise studios, personal training areas, strength equipment, a workout studio called Edge Cinema, and more. It is located at 15501 Bustleton Ave.

Outdoor

Pennypack Trail
At nearly 15 miles in length from Byberry Road (Huntingdon Valley) and State Road (Holmesburg), Pennypack trail offers a blend of history, small-town charm, and outdoor serenity.
Pennypack Park

A getaway nestled in Northeast Philadelphia and part of the City of Philadelphia’s Parks & Recreation. According to Friends of Pennypack Park, Pennypack is dubbed “The Green Heart of Northeast Philadelphia.” It also “covers approximately 1600 acres and is composed of woodlands, meadows, and wetlands.” This historic park has structures dating back to the late 1600s.

John F. Byrne Golf Club
Near Grant Ave and Frankford Ave, this respected golf course was purchased by the City of Philadelphia in the early 1960s, and was named after famous Philadelphia councilman, John F. Byrne. You can book tee times online.
Sesame Place

Based on the award-winning Sesame Street Show, Sesame Place, located in Langhorne, PA (just outside the city) is an outdoor park for families with young children. The park has “11 mechanical dry attractions, 9 water attractions, and 5 interactive play elements.” A fun fact: Two other Sesame Place parks were opened in Texas and Japan, but both have since closed. The park is not open year-round so be sure to check their latest schedule online.

Indoor

Dave and Buster’s

At Philadelphia Mills, enjoy the classical Dave and Buster’s experience for food, games, and parties.

Burlhome

Golf range, arcades, 18-hole mini-golf, batting cages, and more – Burholme can be a great indoor or outdoor activity.

Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion
If you are into tarantulas, scorpions or praying mantises, the Insectarium might just be the place to be. If these creepy-crawlies are not up your alley, you might prefer to visit the butterflies that flutter around visitors in a 7,000 square-foot tropical butterfly pavilion. You can even take a look at some busy bees, working in a revolving see-through hive.
Sky Zone Trampoline Park
Looking to hop around? Skyzone, a rapidly growing chain of indoor trampoline parks, at 9490 Blue Grass Road, is now open.
Palace Roller Skating Center
Birthday parties, private parties, skating lessons and more, Palace Roller Skating Center is located at 11586 Roosevelt Blvd.

Cultural

Bryn Athyn Cathedral

In close proximity to Northeast in the borough of Bryn Athyn, although it remains an active house of worship, regardless of religious affiliation, it is a lesser known local secret to admire the Cathedral’s architecture, craftsmanship, and history. The Cathedral offers guided tours and self-guided tours. Call ahead to confirm the Cathedral will be open for a tour.

Independent Movie Theatres
Cairnwood Estate

Just steps away is the Cairnwood Estate, lived in by the late John Pitcairn from 1895 until 1916 (co-founder of Pittsburgh Plate Glass). It is open for guided historic tours during certain days of the week. Check the schedule and call ahead to make a reservation.

Ryerss Museum & Library

Dating back to 1859, this famous summer mansion, now a museum in Burlhome Park, has a massive collection of paintings, sculptures, art, and a book collection. Check the website for information on visiting hours, guided, self-guided tours, as well as events.

A short distance away, head to Center City for a plethora of activities, including:

Or in the nearby greater area explore::

Youth Sports

Soccer, hockey, baseball, football, and so much more.
Northeast Philadelphia is home to a lot of great youth sports and due to its vast greenery, it has some of the most competitive youth sports in the entire city.
Youth hockey team posing for photo on the ice

Hockey

The Flyers Skate Zone, located at 10990 Decatur Road in Northeast Philadelphia, is the only official Flyers Skate Zone in the entire city and state. With programs for all ages and skill levels, private lessons, skating programs, hockey academy, clinics, camps, leagues, tournaments, and clubs, if you’re a hockey fan or want to get your child into hockey, The Flyers Skate zone has it all.

young boy kicking a soccer ball while his team watches in the background

Soccer

Looking to get your child into soccer, you have lots of choices: The Bustleton Bengals (in addition to other sports) offers a soccer program for ages 4 and up, the Somerton Youth Organization has both intramural and travel soccer (in addition to other sports), Lighthouse SC is the oldest soccer club in the city and although most well-known for its travel soccer, it also offers in-house soccer programs. Philadelphia Soccer Club, established in 1984, is a cornerstone of youth competitive soccer and also offers in-house and recreation teams. If you’re living in Fox Chase, you might want to check out the Fox Chase Soccer Club which also has intramural sports and travel soccer for ages 9 through 19.

For more general youth sports organizations, check out the various organizations below:

Thank You

If you’re an out-of-towner, hopefully, you feel this guide gave you a better understanding of NE Philly!

Legal Disclaimer

All information including, all content, activities, restaurants, maps, gyms, schools (collectively, “Content”) is meant for informational purposes only and should not be considered advice, legal advice, or professional advice of any kind. We make no representations or warranties of any kind as to the accuracy of Content or whether such Content will be useful to you.

You are responsible for ensuring i) the accuracy of such Content, ii) that such Content meets your needs, and iii) that such Content is up to date.

Any links contained or referenced to third parties (“Third-Party Links”) herein are for your convenience only. Our inclusion of Third-Party Links does not imply or attempt to imply any endorsement or approval of such other websites or organizations including, content contained on those websites, by us. Unless expressly stated otherwise, we are not affiliated with or endorsed by or with any such parties.

Before deciding on any activities, you should carefully evaluate and assess whether any activities are suitable for you and understand any potential risks, including, among other things, health risks, safety risks, and physical condition.

Resources

  1. Wikipedia – Northeast Philadelphia
  2. Wikipedia – New Haven, Connecticut
  3. Northeast Philadelphia Population
  4. Philly.com – Where We Live – Northeast Philadelphia
  5. Philadelphia School District
  6. Ratings vary by source. Among rating sources used, include greatschools.org and greatphillyschools.org
  7. School District of Philadelphia website
  8. School District of Philadelphia website
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