Moving to Philadelphia? 2020 Living Costs & Relocation Tips

  1. Official Language: English (de facto) with many other languages being spoken in the city such as Spanish, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Russian, French, Italian and Polish.
  2. GDP Per Capita: $61,089 USD
  3. Doctors: One in every six doctors in the States, trained in Philadelphia.
  4. Currency: US Dollar (US$). As of early 2017, £1 = $1.25, €1 = $1.08, $1 CAD = $0.75, $1 AUD = $0.77

1. Moving and Shipping Costs to Philadelphia

Below are some sample container shipping costs to Philadelphia from other major world cities. Just keep in mind they only reflect the shipping portion of the cost and not the full moving costs.

2. Philadelphia Housing Costs

  • 1 bedroom apartment outside the City Centre: $750+
  • 3 bedroom apartment in City Centre: $2,098+
  • 3 bedroom apartment outside the City Centre: $1,773+
  • Price per square metre (10.7 square feet) to buy outside City: $1,090.89
  • Different areas — different prices. There are over 200 neighbourhoods in Philadelphia, all with different characters and different rental and purchasing costs. Fitler Square is the most expensive area in the city; Fish Town is the trendiest and West Germantown is one of the up and coming districts to look at.

3. Philadelphia Food, Grocery and Restaurant Costs

  • New York restaurants are 30.31% more expensive and groceries are 20.71% more expensive than Philadelphia.
  • Los Angeles restaurants are 6.64% more expensive and groceries are 7.81% cheaper than Philadelphia.
  • Toronto restaurants are 14.08% cheaper and groceries are 23.30% cheaper than Philadelphia.
  • Sydney restaurants are 3.74% cheaper and groceries are 3.39% cheaper than Philadelphia.
  • Paris restaurants are 7.29% more expensive and groceries are 6.41% cheaper than Philadelphia.
  • Dubai restaurants are 14.74% cheaper and groceries are 29.95% cheaper than Philadelphia.

4. Philadelphia Alcohol Costs

  • Bottle of imported beer at a restaurant/pub: $5.00 — $7.00
  • Pint (0.5L) domestic beer at a supermarket: $1.00 — $3.00
  • Bottle of imported beer at a supermarket: $1.75 — $3.00
  • Mid-range bottle of wine at a supermarket: $11.00 — $20.00
  • Many bars and restaurants have specials after work, all day or at weekends. Try Tequilas from 2.30 p.m. until 6.00 p.m. and pay only $4 for Mexican craft beers and sangria and margaritas for $6. Go to Thrill List, Philly Eater, Philly Mag and Four Square for more ideas.

5. Philadelphia Transportation Fares

Philadelphia transport system is run by Septa. It operates the commuter trains, trolley buses, rapid transit trains, light rail vehicles and buses in the city. It is an efficient and well run system.

  • One day ticket on any form of transport — $12.50
  • Monthly season ticket, unlimited — $91
  • Buy a bike. Philadelphia has 435 miles of dedicated bike lanes
  • Philly has been rated the best walking city in the States year after year, so choose to live relatively close to where you work.

6. Cost of Internet in Philadelphia

Internet prices in the States are expensive compared with many other countries in the world. Here are some sample broadband internet prices from early 2017 for unlimited downloads, based on a 12-month contract:

7. Cost of Clothing, Personal Items, Gym and Leisure

  • Summer Dress: $25 — $40
  • Running Shoes (Trainers): $60 — $100
  • Business Shoes: $70 — $150
  • Short Doctor’s visit (15 mins): $102
  • Deodorant: $2.92
  • Shampoo: $4.43
  • Toilet Paper (4 rolls): $3.38
  • Gym membership: $20-$100 per month
  • Movie (cinema) ticket: $10-$14

8. Cost of Owning a Car and Driving a Car in Philadelphia

If you’re moving to Philadelphia from within the US, you’ll be able to keep your license but need to update your address to your new one.

  • 1 litre (¼ gallon) of gas (petrol):$0.64
  • Other fees (if any): The average cost of state and local taxes, license, title and registration fees is $665 per annum

9. Taxes in Philadelphia

10. Flight Costs from Philadelphia

If you do make the move to Philadelphia, here’s approximately how much it will cost to fly to other major world cities based on lowest, one-way fares from Skyscanner as of early 2017:

Other Tips on Moving to Philadelphia

The costs and pricing above should give you a good idea of the cost of living in Philadelphia but perhaps the following extra tips will make your move go smoothly.

11. Moving to Philadelphia Alone

Relocating anywhere can be a lonely experience, but moving to a new city can be rather daunting, even though Philly boasts of being one of the most welcoming cities in the US. Here are a few tips about settling in Philadelphia.

  • Attend local events: There is always something going on in Philly and many of the activities are free. Have a look at these sites to get inspiration on what to do during your free time — TripAdvisor, Visit Philly, 10Best and Thrill List.

12. Moving to Philadelphia with a Family

Philadelphia has a lot to attract families. Museums, history, the zoo, art and drama, summer camps and lots more.

  • Live in a family friendly area: One of the favourite areas for families in Philly is Chestnut Hill. It has parks, good schools, excellent shopping and entertainment centres and boasts the lowest crime rate in the city. Go to Movoto for other family friendly areas.
  • Find things to do with the kids: The kids will never be bored living in Philadelphia. Have a look at the following sites and see which activities would interest your children — Visit Philly, Philly Fun Guide, Scary Mommy and Metro Kids.

13. Moving to Philadelphia for Work

Moving for work is one of the most common reasons people choose to move. While it is possible to move without a job, it makes sense to ensure there are jobs in your field before you make the move.

  • How to find work: If you want to have a job lined up before you move to Philadelphia, but aren’t sure where to begin, the following sites are good places to start:Monster, Indeed, Snagajob, Craigslist and Career Builder. You may also want to google recruiters in your industry, as they can often help land you some initial interviews as well.

14. Moving to Philadelphia from Australia

Philadelphia attracts Australians, especially students. If you are thinking of moving from Australia to Philadelphia, here are a few things to consider.

  • Join expat groups:Meetup, Internations and Aussies in Philly offer ways of meeting up with other Australians in Philadelphia.

15. Moving to Philadelphia from Canada

There is a large Canadian presence in Philadelphia. If you’re considering making the move from Canada here are a few things to consider.

  • Expat groups: Meeting up with fellow Canadians helps the moving process. Link up through sites such as Internations and Meetup.

16. Moving to Philadelphia from the United Kingdom

There are Brits living in Philadelphia, so if you’re considering joining them, here are a few bonus tips:

  • Expat groups: If you want to get together with others from the UK who are living in Philly, then go to Internations and Meetup.



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