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Two people sit on an bench, talking, in front of a lush, green park.

West Philadelphia and University City

A hub for life sciences and home to the city's top universities

Play Video Penn Museum Sphinx photo by K Huff

West Philadelphia is a vibrant, diverse neighborhood with rich culture and a strong sense of community. University City, in West Philadelphia, is home to top universities, including Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania.


What to Do

On the University of Pennsylvania campus, the Penn Museum is home to priceless archaeological artifacts from around the globe. Institute of Contemporary Art features features works of bold experimentation across multiple mediums. They are known for hosting Andy Warhol’s first solo museum show in 1965. Philadelphia Zoo – America’s first zoo – is home to more than 1,300 animals. The zoo is also known for its first-in-the-world Zoo360 trail system, which allows animals to roam high above zoo grounds beyond their natural habitats.

An owl at the Philadelphia Zoo.

An owl at the Philadelphia Zoo.

Where to Dine

Booker’s Restaurant & Bar serves modern takes on traditional Southern-inspired dishes, including vegan jambalaya, blackened catfish, and Jamaican jerk oxtail. White Dog Café offers warm hospitality and cuisine in a space filled with whimsical dog-inspired décor. The restaurant is known for using environmentally sustainable, seasonal, and local foods from farms within 50 miles. Or check out Jezabel’s, an Argentinian café and bakery, 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 accommodations. These area hotels place guests within walking distance of Amtrak’s 30th Street Station. 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. Also near the University of Pennsylvania’s campus is the Homewood Suites by Hilton University City. Or take in the studious atmosphere at the 212-room Study at University City. The hotel offers nice views of the neighborhood and is in walking distance to bars and restaurants in West Philadelphia. 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 Study at University City

The Study at University City