The historic central city is known as Center City. At its center lies Penn Square, the site of Philadelphia's city hall. The surrounding area can be divided into four quadrants, each arranged around a central square (or, in the case of Logan Circle, the site of a former square). In the northwest quadrant, the gracious, tree-lined Benjamin Franklin Parkway passes through Logan Circle, in a district that includes the Franklin Institute Science Museum and the Academy of Natural Sciences. South of this section lies Rittenhouse Square, an urban park surrounded by buildings that reflect the district's nineteenth-century history as an exclusive neighborhood that was home to some of the city's wealthiest citizens.

In the southeast quadrant is Washington Square, where the city's historic colonial district (also known as Old City) begins and stretches eastward to the Delaware River. This area includes Independence National Historic Park. Colonial architecture is also on display to the south, in the area known as Society Hill, a fashionable neighborhood of restored Federal, Georgian, and colonial homes. Further south is Queen Village, an area originally settled by Swedes that boasts the oldest church in the state of Pennsylvania. South Street, which lies between Society Hill and Queen Village, became a counterculture enclave in the 1960s and is still a trendy and sophisticated venue filled with bookstores, cafes, natural food stores, restaurants, and other businesses.

South of Center City is South Philadelphia, the oldest section of Philadelphia. Today it is a colorful and ethnically diverse neighborhood with a strong Italian influence.

West of the Schuylkill River lies University City, home of the University of Pennsylvania ("Penn"), which moved to this location in the 1870s, and Drexel University. In recent years, the university has helped gentrify the area by supporting the establishment of bookstores and other businesses.

Northwest of Center City lie the residential communities of Chestnut Hill, Mount Airy, and Manayunk; the latter has become a fashionable neighborhood graced by a lively assortment of galleries, restaurants, boutiques, and cafes. Chestnut Hill, originally a planned community designed by British architects in the mid-nineteenth century, has been designated a National Historic District thanks to its distinctive buildings.

City Fact Comparison
Indicator Philadelphia Cairo Rome Beijing
(United States) (Egypt) (Italy) (China)
Population of urban area1 4,398,000 10,772,000 2,688,000 12,033,000
Date the city was founded 1682 AD 969 753 BC 723 BC
Daily costs to visit the city2
Hotel (single occupancy) $118 $193 $172 $129
Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) $44 $56 $59 $62
Incidentals (laundry, dry cleaning, etc.) $2 $14 $15 $16
Total daily costs $164 $173 $246 $207
Major Newspapers3
Number of newspapers serving the city 2 13 20 11
Largest newspaper The Philadelphia Inquirer Akhbar El Yom/Al Akhbar La Repubblica Renmin Ribao
Circulation of largest newspaper 428,895 1,159,450 754,930 3,000,000
Date largest newspaper was established 1829 1944 1976 1948
1United Nations population estimates for the year 2000.
2The maximum amount the U.S. Government reimburses its employees for business travel. The lodging portion of the allowance is based on the cost for a single room at a moderately-priced hotel. The meal portion is based on the costs of an average breakfast, lunch, and dinner including taxes, service charges, and customary tips. Incidental travel expenses include such things as laundry and dry cleaning.
3David Maddux, ed. Editor&Publisher International Year Book. New York: The Editor&Publisher Company, 1999.

Other municipalities in the metropolitan Philadelphia area include Upper Darby, Levittown, Doylestown, and New Hope (all in Pennsylvania), as well as Haddonfield, Moorestown, and Merchantsville in New Jersey. Also geographically associated with

Philadelphia skyline. ()
Philadelphia are a series of Pennsylvania communities known as the Main Line, including Merion, Wayne, Ardmore, Villanova, Haverford, and Bryn Mawr.