North Philadelphia is large area north of Philadelphia's Center City that includes many neighborhoods such as Northern Liberties, Kensington, Fishtown, Fairmount, the Spring Gardens, Templetown, Nicetown, and Tioga. Unfortunately, large swaths known as North Central are plagued by violence though they include some of the city's most interesting residential architecture.


The Art Museum Area is on of the city's fastest growing neighborhoods, rooted by three unique cultural icons. It's more than just museums, though, including the neighborhoods of Franklintown, Spring Garden, Fairmount, and sometimes Francisville. Though it is the seat of one the finest art collections in the world (you must see the Impressionist gallery), it also encompasses the Philadelphia Free Library, the Franklin Institute, the Wine School, the Eastern State Penitentiary (where Al Capone sat idle for many years), and an up-and-coming residential neighborhood that includes galleries, restaurants, and bars just east of the Parkway off of Spring Garden Street and Fairmount Ave. Kelly Drive, the most popular recreational destination in the city with bike and running paths, as well as historic Boathouse Row, begins just behind the art museum.

Northern Liberties, so named because it was free from the onerous regulations and taxes of Philadelphia, it has become a trendy neighborhood in Philadelphia among students, young professionals and artists is also home to many galleries and shops. NoLib, as its residents call it, is home to artist lofts, architecturally-conscious condo developments, and entertainment from bowling, to restaurants.

The Northern Liberties neighborhood extends approximately from Front Street to 6th Street east-west, and from Spring Garden Street to Girard Avenue north-south. Until about the 1960s, Northern Liberties was home to Philadelphia's breweries: Ortleib's, Schmidt's, and Ballantine. These beers are tougher to find these days, but live on at Citizens Bank Park's (home of the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team) Brewerytown stand. It fell into a disrepair once the breweries declined.

Today Northern Liberties is an excellent place to spend an evening out, with a large number of unique bars and restaurants well within walking distance.

Fishtown, originally part of the Kensington neighborhood, is rumored to have gotten its name from Charles Dickens from the fish smell (it's on the river). It's also believed that Penn Treaty park is where William Penn actually met with Native Americans. Many artists moved there after Northern Liberties became too expensive. There is an increasing among of galleries, a live music club (Johnny Brenda's), and a somewhat burgeoning commercial strip along Girard Ave east of Front St. It's mainly a rowhouse neighborhood rather than one of lofts, a nice park here is Palmer Park.

Templetown is a neighborhood of Temple University's main campus, one mile north of City Hall and east of Fishtown. Not many locals actually call it "Templetown", but prefer to call it 'near Temple'.

Get in

By car

North Philadelphia is readily accessed by Broad Street.

For Templetown:

Two stations on the Broad Street Subway (orange line) serve the district. The safer and more used stop is Cecil B.Moore, but the area is also accessible from the Susquehanna-Dauphin stop. All SEPTA regional rail lines stops at Temple University Station.

Temple University also offers their form of Transportation. The Ambler Shuttle makes stops at Ambler Campus, Tyler Campus, Medical School Campus, and Main Campus. There is a separate shuttle bus that will take you to the center city campus and the podiatric medicine campus (8th and Arch). Also, Temple runs two smaller shuttles, known as the "White" and "Cherry" shuttles. These buses run different routes around main campus.

By mass transit

SEPTA Regional Rail serves North Philadelphia at Temple University Station (R3 West Trenton, and R5 Rail lines) The Broad Street line also has stations located in North Philadelphia.


Northern Liberties

Temple University

Temple University is a large, urban comprehensive research university located on Broad Street


Theater and music


The IBC Fittness Center is located at the corner of 15th street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue, the entrance is located off of 15th street and is located across from the parking garage. The IBC is opened to all students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Those who do not carry a Temple University ID card can still get in by paying an entrance fee of $12 for a day. The IBC offers plenty of fitness equipments such as bench presses, treadmills, let-workout machines, and many others. It also offers an indoor track, an indoor racquet ball court, and offer table tennis.

The Student Pavilion is located at 1901 N 15th street across from the Turf Complex. It is opened to all Temple University's students, faculty, and staff. Non Temple University ID holders can still get in by paying $12 for a day pass. The Student Pavilion offers recreational sports such as basketball, volleyball, badminton, table tennis, tennis (it offers 6 outdoors Tennis Courts), in-door Golfing Range, and football. Equipment for all of the sports are offered for rental at the front office but a Temple ID card is needed to rent one. Every Friday the Pavilion also hosts Net Night (only Badminton, Volleyball, Table Tennis, and Tennis is offered) from 7PM to 10PM, tournaments in those sports are sometimes held with prizes.

The Student Activity Center is located at 1755 N 13th Street. It is the center for all of Temple University student organizations. It offers a food court that contains various forms of dining choices from Italian pizza, Asian cuisine, and a Burger King. It also offers a Game Room where a Temple ID card is not necessarily needed. It offers table tennis, billiards, air hockey, foosball, and chess. You need to pay an hourly fee in order to rent the table tennis, billiards, and air hockey equipments. The SAC also has an underground movie theater, the "Reel" Cinema and an underground night club, "The Underground."

The Liacouras Center is on 1776 N Broad Street. It is 10,200 seat multi purpose venue. It is home to all of the Temple University's baketball home games as well as many other events such as concerts, plays, famous guest speakers. The calendar of events can be found on the Licacouras homepage at:

Temple University also offers art and culture entertainment buy holding free Classical music concerts, art galleries, and student theatre productions. The concerts are usually located in Rock Hall and you can find a schedule on the Easter Boyer College of Music and Dance website. For the art galleries you can find information about them on the Tyler School of Art website.




Art Musueum area

The food scene in the Art Museum Area is diverse, from Greek to Moroccan to Northern Italian to English-style pub food. The best bets are grabbing a bottle of wine and making a reservation at one of the neighborrhood's BYOBs.

Northern Liberties


There are various spots in Templetown where you could go to eat. One of them would be the food courts along 12th or along the Anderson Building. It contains many delicious eateries such as the Ali's Middle Eastern, Richie's Deli, and the Oriental Express. Another spot would be along Montgomery Street right along the SAC building. It offers Eddie's, Eppy's, and a Korean Japanese food truck. There is also a purple truck that is home to Insomnia Cookies, a late night cookie and milk delivery service for those students who are real night owls.


Art Museum area

The bars are clustered around the intersection of 24th and Fairmount Avenue, and largely favor micro-brews over cocktails.

Northern Liberties



Stay safe

North Philadelphia is arguably the most dangerous neighborhood in the city. Murders and crime are often associated with gang violence and drugs. It is not wise to venture off major streets. The area around Temple University is very dangerous. If you do travel through the area, stick to a major thoroughfare like Broad Street. It is also unwise to be in this neighborhood after sun down. Northern Liberties is also known to be high in crime often from robbery by gun point. Criminals are known to target drunk students and residents. The Philadelphia Police Department acknowledges Interstate 95 is a major access route directly into and out of the neighborhood, making way for easy strikes.

Go next

Routes through North Philadelphia (by subway)

END Northwest Philadelphia  N  S  Center City West/Center City East South Philadelphia
Upper Darby Old City  SW  NE  Northeast Philadelphia END

Routes through North Philadelphia (by commuter rail)

END  N  S  Center City East Philadelphia International Airport
END Northwest Philadelphia  NW  SE  Center City East West Philadelphia
Northwest Philadelphia Center City East  NW  SE  END
West Philadelphia Center City East  SW  NE  Northwest Philadelphia Northeast Philadelphia
Norristown Northwest Philadelphia  NW  SE  Center City East West Philadelphia

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, January 17, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.