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What You Need To Know Before Moving to Drexel

What You Need To Know Before Moving to Drexel

Wendy Alinor
May 24, 2022

Moving to a new city can be intimidating, especially if you don’t know anyone or know what places to check out. If you’re planning on attending Drexel University in Philadelphia this year or new to the City of Brotherly Love then read along to learn what you need to know before moving to Drexel. 

University City District 

If you’re moving to Philadelphia, PA, then you should know University City District is the academic heart of Philadelphia, PA. Home to Drexel University, the University of Philadelphia, and the Restaurant School at Walnut College, this is where you’ll find students from different backgrounds and explore everything University City has to offer. 

Museums, Performances, and Art Galleries

If you’re a fan of the arts, you’ll love what this area has to offer. You’ll find museums, galleries, festivals, and performance spaces.

One of the coolest Philadelphia museums in the city is The Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is home to over a million artifacts and archaeological finds throughout the museum worldwide, Africa, Asia, the Americas, and the Mediterranean. Visit this Philly building and you’ll be greeted by their 3000-year-old, 15-ton Egyptian sphinx display. It’s also a great resource for students wanting to participate in their museum-based academic engagement program. 

If you’re planning on becoming an art student then we suggest you head to The Arthur Ross Gallery. They have a variety of exhibits in the building available to view through the end of the year so we suggest checking their site to see what’s new and to schedule your visit.  

The Mandell Theater is where you want to be when you want to see a performance. The theater has 424 seats and hosts theater, dance recitals, and musical performances. The Mandell Theater is also where Drexel University events happen and can be rented for private events. The theater is also easily accessible for the disabled following ADA guidelines and is equipped with listening enhancement devices 

Click here for a full list of museums in University City near Drexel. 

Farmers’ Markets

Who doesn’t love a good farmers’ market? You’ll find organic and local produce and food all year round. There are a number of farmers’ markets at University City but the most popular one is The Clark Park Farmers’ Market, this market is run by the Food Trust, a popular Philly market. You’ll find organic fruit, vegetables, cheese, meat, eggs, milk, and more to fill up your basket. This market is open to students, young professionals, and anyone who wants to mingle and support local farmers and agriculture. There are also food trucks at the market so you can keep yourself full while you do some shopping.  

The Farm to City University Square Farmers’ Market is also another great weekly market to check out. You can satisfy your sweet tooth with sweet apple cider, artisanal chocolates, European baked goods, granola, fresh-baked bread, delectable pastries,  and granola. The University Square Market also sells fresh flowers and plants to brighten up your living space, body care products for radiant, silky soft skin, and seedlings if you’re looking to add to your garden or maybe looking to start one of your own, don’t hesitate to ask the vendors any gardening questions you may have before you get started. View a full list of the available farmers’ markets in the Philly area. 

Restaurants in University City 

Philadelphia has a variety of restaurants throughout University City and a diverse range of cuisine, from barbecue to vegan friendly. Take a look at some spots we recommend but feel free to view the full list of restaurants here.  

Baby Blues BBQ

If you’re looking for nearby barbecue then head on to Baby Blues BBQ located on Samson Street, they’ve also been featured on Food Network, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives along with the Travel Channel, and Food Paradise. Their menu offers Memphis-style long bone pork ribs, dry-rubbed baby back ribs, big Texas beef ribs also with Caroline-style pulled pork, beer-braised beef brisket, and a variety of seafood options. If you’re looking to split something with a group then try the Butcher’s Block, it comes with eight baby back ribs, eight Memphis-style ribs, half-smoked chicken, half a pound of pulled pork, a half-pound of brisket, and you gt to choose four one-pint sides with six pieces of delicious cornbread. Finish off your savory meal with something sweet! The signature banana pudding is sensational and is made from scratch daily.  

Savas Brick Oven Pizza

Who doesn’t love a good slice of pizza? Savas Brick Oven is located on Lancaster Ave and their menu is full of diverse options. Get a plain slice of cheese pizza or get one of their signature brick oven pizzas, we suggest the Savas Special, it comes with pepperoni, sausage, fresh mushrooms, green peppers, red onions, and tomato sauce, and shredded cheese. You’re able to choose from a small 12-inch pizza, a large 16-inch pizza, or a 16-inch square pizza. 

Their menu also has gourmet burgers, wraps, brick oven strombolis, desserts, milkshakes, and of course Philly cheesesteaks. View their full menu here and you can even order online. 

Center City District

If you’re moving to Philadelphia then you should checkout Center City once you’re all settled. Located downtown, the area is walkable and one of the most easily accessible parts of town, and has more than a half dozen neighborhoods. Here you can go look at the historic Liberty Bell and visit Independence Hall. There’s something to do in all of the neighborhoods! 

  • If you’re looking to enjoy the nightlife then head to Old City, you’ll find fun bars, restaurants, and galleries in this part of downtown Philadelphia. 

  • South of Old City, you’ll find Society Hill, this area is appealing to students because of the sneaker stores, cafes, and galleries.

  • Midtown Village lies between historic monuments of Independence Mall and Rittenhouse Square, this also is the center of Philadelphia’s bustling LGBT community. You can go shopping and try one of the many restaurants in the area.

  • Rittenhouse is on the westside of Center City and has upscale dining options with the best shopping, this area is perfect for young professionals.    

Fairmount Park

Fairmount Park in Philadelphia is 2000 acres of rolling hills, gentle trails, relaxing waterfronts, and shaded woodlands with beautiful, natural landscapes throughout the area. Get some friends together for an afternoon of ultimate frisbee, go fishing at the pier, or have a nice picnic to take in the weather.

  • If you’re an outdoor enthusiast then you’ll love the hiking trails, miles of trails for off-road bicycling, and horseback riding. 

  • There are also tours of Colonial-era mansions like the historic Strawberry Mansion you can take to get more history about Philadelphia.

  • Japanese tea ceremonies at the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden if you’re interested in learning about different cultures. 

  • Take in the view of the Center City skyline at Fairmount Water Works

  • Enjoy year-round indoor recreational activities at Boathouse Row. 

  • Go to America’s oldest zoo, the Philadelphia Zoo. 

  • Catch an outdoor concert at one of two concert venues. 

    • This is the summer venue for the Philadelphia Orchestra.  

  • Visit one of the largest museums in the world, The Philadelphia Museum of Art. You’ll find over 200,000 pieces of art spanning over a 2000-year history.  You can also run up the steps just like Rocky did in the iconic movie. 

    • Don’t forget to walk around the one-acre sculpture garden and the 14th-century Buddhist Temple. 

Philadelphia Sports

Did you know? Philadelphia has one team only in each major sport. Get a rundown of each team down below to get some background knowledge before your move to Philadelphia. 

  • NFL’s Eagles and NCAA’s Temple University, Lincoln Financial Field (or the Linc)

  • MLB’s Phillies, Citizen’s Bank Park

  • NBA’s 76ers, NHL’s Flyers, NLL’s Wings, Wells Fargo Center

  • MLS’ Union, Subaru Park

  • MLL’s Barrage, United Sports

  • WTT’s Freedoms, Hagan Arena

  • Philadelphia Big 5 NCAA basketball: Villanova, St. Joseph’s, Temple, La Salle, and Penn

  • Annual Army vs Navy football game

Music Scene

You can expect great music festivals when you’re in Philadelphia. The most popular festivals in town are: 

  • Jay-Z’s Made In America Festival (Labor Day weekend)

  • The Roots Picnic

  • WXPN’s XPoNential Music Festival

Signature Philadelphia Foods to Try

Philadelphia has a world-class restaurant scene and an assortment of signature food staples. Get a full list of Philly’s best eats here


  • Starting with the most popular sandwich, the Philly cheesesteak! You can get this Philly staple with or without onions, and it wouldn’t be complete without a cheese topping, choose from whiz (cheddar sauce), provolone, or white American cheese.  

  • Not in the mood for a cheesesteak? Try the roast pork sandwich with sharp provolone cheese and sauteed broccoli rabe. 

  • Feeling adventurous? Get the Philly taco, it’s a cheesesteak from Jim’s Steaks wrapped in a giant Lorenzo & Son’s pizza slice. 

  • You also can’t go wrong with a Philly hoagie. It usually has Italian meats, cheese, vegetables, and peppers on a delicious hoagie roll.  


Enjoy the snacks Philadelphia has to offer. There’s something for everyone to enjoy.  

  • Soft pretzel, in the Philly eight style. 

  • Tomato pie, a cheeseless rectangle pizza on focaccia crust served at room temperature. 

  • Crab fries, crinkle-cut fries seasoned with Old Bay topped with beer cheese. 

  • Bonus! The Tastycake snack factory is headquartered right in Philadelphia. 


You should always finish your meal with dessert. Here are some Philly staples for sweets.

  • Philadelphia’s iconic chocolate bar is Goldberg’s Peanut Chews. The sweet treat consists of peanuts and molasses covered in either a dark or milk chocolate coating. 

  • Experience water ice, it’s kind of like a hybrid of Italian ice and a slushie. 

  • Cannolis are the best and Philadelphia is one the best places you can get one. Visit Termini Brothers in the Italian market to get one or a dozen. 

  • If you’re looking for the perfect combo of salty and sweet then get the Salted Caramel Budino, it has a dark chocolate crust, vanilla bean caramel, and sea salt. 

Getting Around Philly

Philadelphia has one of the most easily accessible transportation systems in the city compared to its northeast counterparts. According to US Census statistics, the average one-way commute through Philly is 31.5 minutes with 21.3% of commuters using public transportation. 

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority  (SEPTA) operates the regional public transportation system. They have a range of fleets below: 

  • Broad Street Line subway north/south

  • Market-Frankford elevated train primarily east/west

  • 13 Regional Rail train lines

  • 131 bus and eight light rail, trolley, and trolleybus lines

Philadelphia also offers the Indego bike share program but scooter rental companies are illegal in the city.

We hope this guide was helpful with your move to Philadelphia especially if you’re looking for Drexel off-campus housing.   

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