Feeling Lost? Resources for Finding Your Way On and Off Campus

Whether you're just starting out at Drexel or returning after time away from campus, these are helpful ways for finding out where you can go, what you can do and where you can eat on campus and around Philadelphia.
View of campus looking east on Market Street from JFK.

Drexel's campus is located west of the Schuylkill River. If you look east on Market Street, you can see Center City and Philadelphia's skyline.

New or returning to Drexel University?

First things first: as a Drexel student, you definitely need to know about the Resources for Students page with information and guidance pointing you in the right direction to find everything you need to know about academics, crises, financial services, technology and software, health and wellness centers, co-ops and more. Drexel Public Safety put together safety tips for staying safe and aware on campus. The University’s most recent COVID-19 guidance for the academic year has been released, with recommendations that you could follow off campus too. Those lists, tips and advice could change your life, enhance your Drexel experience and help you when you need it most. Read them! Remember them!

But where can you look when you’re trying to figure out what to do for fun around here, or when you’re searching for a good place to eat?

No matter if you’re here for the first time or coming back after time away, there are ways to find out where you can go, what you can do and where you can eat on campus and around the city. There are plenty of social, cultural and local layers as well as ingrained knowledge that takes time to build up when starting anywhere — especially when it’s likely your first time living alone, you’re somewhere new and you don’t know what you don’t know.

DrexelNOW compiled what you need to know about navigating campus and Philadelphia, generating ideas about how to have fun and get involved, and where to grab a bite in between.

Tips for Exploring Drexel

How can you get around?

  • Check out these maps for Drexel’s multiple campuses (hint: if you’re just starting out at Drexel, chances are you’re spending the most time at the University City Campus).
  • Once you know where you want to go? Drexel’s campus, like University City and Center City, is very walkable and streets are organized in a grid structure — once you get the hang of it, you’ll be good to go.
  • With your DragonCard, you can hop on one of three Drexel shuttles for free rides.
    • Dragon Route (Center City Loop): Stops at 33rd and Market streets (on the University City Campus), 15th and Race streets (to the Center City Campus) and 19th and Arch streets (to the Academy of Natural Sciences)
    • Powelton/Spring Garden Route: Stops at 33rd and Market streets, 36th and Spring Garden streets and 42nd Street and Powelton Avenue (Vidas Field Complex)
    • Queen Lane Route: 15th and Race streets and Queen Lane (Queen Lane Campus)

Where can you get food?

  • If you have a dining plan with Drexel Campus Dining, you can swipe in at several spots, including both traditional dining halls and non-traditional eateries.
  • If you signed up for DragonDollars, you can use them when buying things (not just food!) at local businesses on and around campus.
  • Food trucks scattered both near campus (The Porch at 30th Street Station) and on campus (check out the row of food trucks behind Main Building!) are also great for sampling different cuisines in a no-fuss, no-long-wait kind of way.
  • These outdoor spots are still open for eating on campus.
  • For getting groceries as close to University City Campus as possible, visit the GIANT Heirloom Market at 3401 Chestnut St.

What can you do?

Tips for Exploring Philly

How can you get around?

  • Walking and biking, if you can — the streets are easy to navigate (again: grid!) and being active outdoors has many benefits. Biking is a free or cheap way to get around if you already have a bike or rent one through Indego.
  • You can still ride Drexel Shuttle (explained above) to get to and from Center City, even if you aren’t going to a Drexel location.
  • It's easy to hop on public transportation on campus. The subway is at 34th and Market streets, the trolley is at 33rd and Market streets, buses go through campus and trains through and outside of the city can be accessed at the nearby 30th Street Station. Visit SEPTA’s website to learn more about purchasing fares, planning trips and more.
  • Download Uber and Lyft for ride share services to be driven where you need to go.

Where can you get food?

What can you do?(um, a lot)

  • You can do some digging on social media to follow Philly accounts and influencers — too many to list here. Sorry!
  • Visit Philadelphia’s Uwishunu covers a lot of general, neighborhood-specific, current and upcoming things to do, bites to eat and events to enjoy. Familiarize yourself with all of Philly’s drastically different but equally vibrant neighborhoods — maybe try exploring one per weekend?
  • Like the great outdoors? Philly has green spaces galore with its 300+parks (Clark Park to the west and Rittenhouse Square to the right are close), and Schuylkill Banks and Bartram’s Garden are just across the Schuylkill River.
  • The biggest shopping areas in Philly are Chestnut and Walnut streets in Center City (on and around Rittenhouse Row) and the Fashion District, to find stores you might already know or haven’t explored. Some places — like J. Crew (1719 Walnut St.) and H&M (1530 Chestnut St. and 901 Market St.) — have a student discount, so don’t forget to ask at the register and put your DragonCard in your wallet!
  • From art to history to science to something more, Philly’s wide range of museums has something for everyone. Make sure you bring along your DragonCard to see if you can get a student discount!
  • There are a ton of concert venues in Philadelphia to see your favorite artists or find some news ones, so start Googling and going through your playlists! World Café Live, located right near Main Building at 31st and Walnut streets, usually has a free concert every Friday at noon through its excellent Free at Noon concert series.