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Old City

One of the city's popular nightlife destinations, with many lounges, dive bars, and quality restaurants, mostly along the three blocks from 3rd and Market streets to Front and Chestnut streets; is home to the oldest continually inhabited street in America, Elfreth’s Alley.

At a Glance

BOUNDARIES

Old City District occupies several blocks between Front and Sixth Streets, bounded by Vine Street to the north and Walnut Street to the south. The Philadelphia Almanac and Citizens' Manual gives a larger set of boundaries to the Old City area, defined as the area within Spring Garden Street, 4th Street, the Delaware River, and Walnut Street.

LINKS

FURTHER READING

Overview

Old City in Center City is the historic hub of Philadelphia. This neighborhood represents both one of the major colonial cities of early American history and the birthplace of the United States.

While almost any block in the area has a claim to some pivotal event that helped shape the nation, major attractions include Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, both of which attract huge numbers of tourists throughout the year.

The boundaries of Old City can be defined as being Front and Sixth Streets, with Vine Street and Walnut Street marking the Northern and Southern edges.

Yet Old City is not merely a piece of living history. The neighborhood is also home to a large portion of the city’s nightlife with a mix of both expensive and dive bars, dance clubs and hookah lounges. As the tourists file out at night the locals pour in for events like First Fridays, which occur each month. First Friday’s offer a way to enjoy art, music and style from local artists and businesses in a street fair style atmosphere at little or no cost.

While its prime location makes it expensive, Old City also retains many residents. These lucky city dwellers, many of them in historic row homes, are both situated in the heart of Philadelphia and separated from its hectic pace, hidden on narrow alleys and cobblestone streets. Even now, after over two hundred years, Old City still has the colonial look that made it so appealing to the country’s founders.

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