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Is drexel university located in a great area in philadelphia?

by tom44 on May 5, 2013

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Question by G.Q.: Is drexel university located in a great area in philadelphia?
I was wondering could a Philadelphia native/Drexel student offer any information on the environment around Drexel University as it pertains to the quality of the neighborhood in Philly? Like are there a lot of attractions/restaurants, etc. Is there a lot of criminal activity? Thx in advance!!

Best answer:

Answer by Randy P
I’d say it’s OK. The “University City” area (Drexel and U Penn) has a little bit of a reputation for crime and parts of it are a little seedy, but it’s pretty safe and most of the crime I’ve heard of is relatively petty, such as bike theft. There are a lot of police patrols around the area which probably is an indication of potential crime, but at the same time they keep the crime down.

I think it’s a pretty good area for restaurants, especially interesting ethnic ones, and there are a number of other interesting businesses as well. Not so much in tourist attractions.

Drexel borders on West Philly, which is also kind of a gritty neighborhood with a bit of a reputation, but also an interesting and diverse area with a lot of neighborhood loyalty.

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3 thoughts on “Is drexel university located in a great area in philadelphia?

  1. Dorothy C says:

    I lived in the area as a young adult, not as a student. I enjoyed the neighborhood, and didn’t think there was much crime. Maybe it’s changed recently.
    Drexel is in University City, and is a student mecca, but it’s also close to center city, so you are near all the cultural, historical, and social attractions. There’s good transportation into town. I lived next door to the International House. That’s near U of P., and they have lots of interesting events.
    There’s an abundance of restaurants of all types.
    I’m sure you’ll find lots to do. Good luck.

  2. jdm says:

    Drexel is in an OK enough of an area if you’re smart, but it does essentially border what would be considered to be the “ghetto” by some.

    For reference, most classes will center around the Market Street area, in between 33rd and 34th. All of the residencies, like the dorms and fraternity houses will be north of that, on Race and Arch, 34th Street and Powelton Avenue. Make Powelton Avenue your northern border. After you go north of Powelton, you’re getting into a little bit of a hairier area. Many people may even mention “Sam’s” on 34th Street for cheap beer and 40s for underage buyers, which is about 10 blocks north of Powelton. Will they serve you? Probably, but it’s DEFINITELY not worth the trip, especially at night. There are so many easier ways anyhow.

    Another area unfortunately is around 36th Street, particularly around University City High School. I know it’s not all of them, but I’m sorry, those “kids” are animals. If you’re walking with a group and not being an ass, you’ll be fine. If you’re walking alone at night, drunk and with headphones on, you will get jumped. Like I said though, all it requires is being smart and keeping out of bad situations.

    All that being said, aside from the red tape there, I liked that school and the location. I lived on Campus for 4 years and I know Drexel has gotten better since the short time that I left there. You have Penn right around the corner which works out nicely for Drexel security because neither one of the schools wants a safety issue, but with Penn being Ivy League and seeing a broader student base, Penn takes their security above and beyond what Drexel does. Even with THAT being said, Drexel has recently acquired a Police Department to supplement the Drexel Security office.

    You have the Market Frankford Line (the “Blue Line” or “The El”) stops right there on 34th and Market and will take you right into City Hall, Downtown, Old City and Northern Liberties. You can walk to 30th Street Station which literally opens up everything that runs a train through it; NYC, Baltimore, Washington, Boston, etc. on Amtrak, all of the suburbs and even the airport on SEPTA’s Regional Rail and even Atlantic City. Drexel and Penn both have their own shuttles too though, although I think the Penn Shuttle hits more stops (you’re going to have the check).

    In terms of having a car up there though, it depends. Will you NEED it or is it just going to be a convenience? If it’s convenience, than it’s an expensive one worth skipping your freshman year…wait until you need one for a Co-op or something. Parking stickers for the lots used to run over $ 200 a term and there was a pretty serious waiting list. I don’t even think you can get on it as a Freshman. Without the lots and the lists though, it’s possible to park on campus without using one of the lots, but it’s a pain in the ass. If you don’t need it, don’t bring it…the trains, buses and cabs will get you there quicker AND you can have a couple of pops without having to worry about getting home.

  3. impaler19120 says:

    University City, which roughly encompasses the penn and Derexel campuses is fairly nice, a little trendy and very “student friendly”. Just a word of warning, don’t wander outside of the University City confines. Some of the most dangerous parts of the city surround it. Philadelphia, Penn and Drexel Police do a great job of keeping students safe, but a lot of it depends on how much common sense you have. Lots of students get victimized because they have no street smarts. Watch where you go, go in a group and don’t trust strangers. Philadelphia has great, safe public transportation, and it is easy to get to center city or south street or the other areas around that are fun and interesting to college students. Just don’t wander around in “the Bottom” (that’s the nickname for the Mantua neighborhood that borders University City). and don’t engage in ‘risky business’. Most violence in Philadelphia befalls people who sell or buy drugs.

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