About this Photo

West Philadelphia & University City

November 7, 2023

A hub for higher education, University City, in West Philadelphia, is home to top universities, including Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania.

What to Do

The multisensory Please Touch Museum show visitors how to learn through play and by interacting with permanent and rotating exhibits. On the University of Pennsylvania campus, explore priceless archaeological artifacts from around the globe at the Penn Museum. Or take in a theater, dance, or world-music performance at Penn Live Arts. Institute of Contemporary Art features up-and-coming artists and is known for hosting Andy Warhol’s first solo museum show in 1965.

The Mexico and Central America Gallery at the Penn Museum in West Philadelphia. Featuring a mask and stela from the area.

The Penn Museum

Where to Dine

Reserve a table or grab a quick snack to go from Walnut Street Café, a modern café serving American food. Or visit a West Philadelphia staple, Sabrina’s Café, a brunch haven, serving both breakfast classics and lunch specials. Booker’s Restaurant & Bar serves modern takes on traditional Southern-inspired dishes, including vegan jambalaya, blackened catfish, and Jamaican jerk oxtail. Finally, don’t miss Argentinian café and bakery, Jezabel’s, owned by Jezabel Careaga, known for their assortment of empanadas and alfajores.

Where to stay

Stay while surrounded by some of Philadelphia’s brightest minds by booking a room at one of these West Philadelphia accomodations. These area hotels place guests within walking distance of Amtrak’s 30th Street Station. Other areas, such as Rittenhouse Square and the Convention Center District, are easily accessed via a short walk, train or car ride.

Located six blocks from Amtrak’s 30th Street Station and in between the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University is the Sheraton Philadelphia University City. The hotel includes complimentary WiFi, 24-hour fitness center, business center, and Sang Kee Noodle House restaurant. Also near the University of Pennsylvania’s campus is the Homewood Suites by Hilton University City. They feature 136 studio and one-bedroom suites with fully equipped kitchens, plus an on-site fitness center and indoor swimming pool.

King guest room. Photo courtesy of The Sheraton University City Hotel.

Take in the studious atmosphere at the 212-room Study at University City, also located in University City. The hotel offers nice views of the neighborhood and is in walking distance to bars and restaurants in West Philadelphia. The onsite CO-OP Restaurant and Lounge serves creative a menu of salads, sandwiches, pasta and shareable plates.

For groups of 20 to 70, the Chamounix Mansion is a hostel operating out of a National Historic Landmark building in West Fairmount Park. The mansion was originally constructed in 1802 as a seasonal retreat for prominent and prosperous Philadelphia merchant, George Plumstead. Declared the first urban hostel in the United States in 1965, Chamounix features several multi-bed dorm rooms.

Discover more neighborhoods.

Register & Save

Register with DiscoverPHL.com for free to save your favorites for future visits

View My List

See what you've added to "Favorites"