Best Area to Stay in Philadelphia?

Old Mar 16th, 2009, 06:16 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 93
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Best Area to Stay in Philadelphia?

When I search for hotels in Philly, what's the safest and closest location to the historic area - Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, museums, etc.?

Is it Center City West, Old City, Convention Center/Chinatown?? Just staying for a couple of nights and don't want to get mugged.

Thanks.
adam09 is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2009, 06:40 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,683
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I, personally, would stay in the Rittenhouse Square area. Very safe, lots of shops and restaurants. This is what some would call the "posh" area of CC Philly.

Thingorjus
Cries_Van_Notebook is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2009, 08:27 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 288
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I love staying in Center City. Just returned from my third stay at the Embassy Suites in downtown Philly...rooms are HUGE; bed is super-comfy; there's a kitchen console with sink, microwave and mini-fridge; great city views; free breakfast daily; free happy hour each evening; plenty of nearby restaurants; and I have walked all over the city from there with no fear (day and night).
sweet_polly is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2009, 08:42 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 21
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The closest to the histroci sights, and a good bar/restuarant scene is Old City, however that can also be the most expensive.

Center City West is also close, Covention center area is the furthest from the liberty bell (still only about 8-10 blocks away) but close to the museums

All of those areas are in Center City Phila, spanning about 13 blocks, from Front st to 13th so they are pretty safe. Just dont venture to far North or south and you will be fine.

Center city East/Rittenhouse area is nice too, closer to museums then Independence Hall area but still only about 10 blocks away.
aliciaf1 is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2009, 08:54 AM
  #5  
yk
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 25,010
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Center City West is also close, Covention center area is the furthest from the liberty bell (still only about 8-10 blocks away) but close to the museums

Sorry, but I don't agree with the above statement.

Center City "west" is the furthest from the Historic Core. Convention Center/Chinatown is actually fairly close to the Historic area - no more than a 10-min walk.

Philadelphia is safe within the Center City area. It is safe to walk. When I used to live near Rittenhouse sq, I used to walk all the time to the Historic area/Old City. It is about a 20-min walk.

The Museums (Art Museum, Rodin museum, Franklin Institute) are all to the West of the city; with the Art Museum being the farthest. It is a fairly long walk from Rittenhouse Sq (30 mins), and even farther from the Historic area/Old City. You can take a cab there and back, which should be fairly affordable.
yk is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2009, 09:36 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,974
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Center City / Rittenhouse, check out the Sofitel Hotel, great location and hotel.
Frank is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2009, 11:26 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 93
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If I did want to drive to the historic sites from the Rittenhouse area, how is the parking? Is it expensive, hard to find a space, etc?

What are the public transportation options, and are they safe?

I'm not a big city person!
adam09 is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2009, 12:03 PM
  #8  
yk
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 25,010
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The center core of Philadelphia is not that big, really.

You DO NOT want to drive from Rittenhouse to Historic core - by the time you get your car from the garage, drive thru traffic, AND find parking at Historic area, you'd be there already if you had WALKED. As I said, it is only a 20-min walk and it's a nice stroll (esp down Walnut Street) with lots of shops and restaurants to look at!

The Philadelphia Phlash bus is an option, but it doesn't start running until late Spring, I believe. You can go to gophila.com and do a search for it.

There are also buses and subway you can take, but again, if I were you, I'd rather WALK. If weather is bad and there's a few of you, take a cab instead because it won't be much more expensive than the bus fare/subway fare for multiple adults.

Parking around the historic area is tough, the meters are good for 2 hours I think, but hard to come by. You can park at lots around the area but they aren't cheap. It's cheaper to take a cab.
yk is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2009, 12:07 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 93
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
How about staying in the (safe) suburbs and commuting in? Would this be an option?
adam09 is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2009, 12:12 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 93
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks, yk, for advice on the Philadelphi Phlash - I didn't know about that. I just wish I could find their 2009 schedule!!
adam09 is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2009, 12:22 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 228
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There's nothing inherently wrong with any of the three areas mentioned and you won't get mugged unless you fail to use common sense.

More specifically, Chinatown/Convention Center may have the better rates and is only a few blocks from "the historic area", but is the least attractive and has the widest range of options. For example, there is a Travelodge (I think it is) on Race Street that I would absolutely avoid, but you might also get the Convention Center Marriott in that area, which is fine (if a bit corporate and uninspired). Actually, I would probably avoid any place that is on Arch Street (or north of Arch) except, maybe, the Sheraton at 17th/Arch (though I'd want a really good rate to stay there as it's a bit isolated). I agree that the Sofitel is a good bet, as are the other hotels within 4-5 blocks of Rittenhouse Square. The hotels in Old City/Society Hill are also fine for tourists (eg Hilton, Omni), but I would avoid staying right on Delaware Avenue (aka Columbus Blvd) because you have to cross the I-95 overpasses to get anywhere, which makes these hotels feel farther and more remote.

Don't bother staying in the burbs and driving in --- you will get killed on parking fees or parking tickets. Park your car at the hotel and leave it there for the duration of your stay (or better yet, don't bring a car to Philadelphia at all).

Philadelphia is extremely walkable and public transportation (specifically Septa bus system and Phlash tourist loops) are efficient and easy to navigate within Center City. Cabs are also plentiful if you are tired of walking, out late, etc.


may have the best rates but also has a greater range of places (there are some places I would not want to stayI agree that the Sofitel is lovely
MLTimes is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2009, 12:35 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,315
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
> How about staying in the (safe) suburbs and commuting in?

The historical area of Philly is as safe as any area in or nearby the city -- and there are parts of Philly I wouldn't advise driving through in daytime. The places that have things tourists would want to visit are quite safe, and the unsafe areas have nothing of interest to tourists. Thus, avoiding dangerous areas is simple: if there's no reason to go to an area, then don't.

The problem of staying outside of Center City is the cost -- in time, money, and aggravation -- in getting from your lodging to CC. Driving in Philly traffic is near the top of my list of things I don't like about living here, so you'd have to save a LOT in lodging costs to make up for what you lose.

It will take some searching to get a good deal on CC lodging. But this is the way I strongly recommend.
PaulRabe is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2009, 12:35 PM
  #13  
Amy
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,821
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Philadelphia is indeed extremely walkable (and I've been walking it for 42 years without any problems, by the way.) You definitely don't want to stay in the suburbs--not only the parking and tickets, as MLTimes mentioned, but just the time element; you'd miss so much by not being in the heart of the city.

There's a Holiday Inn at 4th and Arch which is right smack in the historic district (Helloooo, Betsy Ross!) that shouldn't be too expensive.

Just to get you in the frame of mind for Philadelphia, there are some albums of Philadelphia here: http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/334838255hjfcWf
and here: http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/563154710eoxUAu

Happy travels~
Amy is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2009, 01:30 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 17,325
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If your intention is to spend your time in the historical center, why not just stay there. That is what we did last month. We got a rate at the Omni, a very nice hotel BTW that was only $128 including taxes through hotels.com. That site had by far the lowest rate. I have seen it lower since on that site. The room was lovely and it had a fine view of Independence Park. The hotel is directly across the street from the historic Second National Bank and no more than 2-300 yards to Independence Hall. There are plenty of good restaurants in all price ranges nearby and a restaurant named Cosi that is no more than 25 yards from the hotel that has very nice and inexpensive breakfast options. The Omni has valet parking available at $34/day with unlimited in and out privilages at a garage just around the corner. Without valet and in-out it is a few dollars less ($27/day)- about as good as you will find in the historic district. Parking in the Rittenhouse area will be at least as much. What more can you want? As you can tell, we were very satisfied guests and will stay there again.
basingstoke2 is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2009, 01:59 PM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 93
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for all of the advice. We will definitely stay in Center City. It sounds like leaving the car in the hotel parking lot and walking is the way to go. We can't go without a car at all, since we're driving to Philly in the first place.

We'll see what the prices are - I'll put the Omni and Sofitel at the top of the list.
adam09 is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2009, 02:34 PM
  #16  
yk
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 25,010
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
How many days are you planning to stay in Philadelphia? Are you driving your own car or are you renting a car?

If you're renting a car and staying for more than a day or two, you should look into returning your car once you arrive at Philadelphia, and then rent another one when you are ready to leave.
yk is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2009, 03:17 PM
  #17  
yk
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 25,010
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You might want to look into the Independent Hotel, a boutique hotel which was completely renovated last year. $109/n thru March, $119/n thru April inclu FREE breakfast. It has good reviews on tripadvisor if I remember correctly.
http://hotels.travelzoo.com/lodging-hotels/533324
yk is offline  
Old Mar 17th, 2009, 06:53 AM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 93
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>>How many days are you planning to stay in Philadelphia? Are you driving your own car or are you renting a car?

We'll probably stay 2 1/2 days maybe 3 if we don't have enough time to see what we want to.

We'll be driving our own car, since we live in Virginia and are just driving up to Philly from there (which should be LOADS of fun).
adam09 is offline  
Old Mar 17th, 2009, 06:58 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 11,415
Received 7 Likes on 3 Posts
adam - The drive from VA to Philly really isn't too bad. I'll be doing it this weekend. I forget where you are from but I assume you know how to time DC traffic. I would highly recommend getting a Smart Tag for tolls if you don't already have one. It will save you a lot of time.
Birdie is offline  
Old Mar 17th, 2009, 07:03 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,683
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would stay in Philly, if I were you, but if you are going to stay outside the city and drive in (hint: park in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art for $5 then take a cab to the historical sites) I would stay at one of the hotels around the King of Prussia Mall--Valley Forge.

Thingorjus
Cries_Van_Notebook is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:04 AM.