Safety is one of the most vital things to consider when thinking of a place to unwind and clear your head. Regardless of how wonderful a state or city may appear, it’s not worth visiting if safety isn’t prioritized.
Philadelphia is one of America’s most extensive metro areas and lies halfway between Washington, D.C., and New York. As a result, the town has a rich culture and history. Famously known as the “City of Brotherly Love,” Philadelphia has numerous fantastic things to see and do that make visiting here worthwhile.
The town is deeply connected to American History and is home to the Independence Hall and the Liberty Hall. Philadelphia also prides itself in its meal dishes and world-class Museums.
Is Philadelphia Safe for Travel?
Violence in certain parts of a city is daily, but it becomes a concern when it gets too extreme. Philadelphia is a relatively safe city, especially if you’re traveling to the tourist-dominated regions in the city.
Philadelphia has a mixed multitude, so there are certain areas you should avoid because of the high crime rate, but many places in the city are safe, very safe. After all, it won’t attract over 36.3 million travelers if it’s too risky to visit.
Philadelphia has a higher crime rate than most communities in the state, but the record is understandable, considering that it’s the largest city in Pennsylvania.
Philadelphia’s crime and violence rate is relatively lower than average compared to other areas with larger populations. A report from NeighborhoodScout Statistics shows that as a traveler, your chance of being a victim of violent crime is 1 in 125, making it safer than most large cities in the United States.
Taking precautions is a necessity regardless of where you find yourself in Philadelphia.
Prevalent Crimes in Philadelphia
To help you ascertain the safety rate in Philadelphia and enjoy a safe trip, we’ll show you some of the prevalent crimes in the city.
Pickpocketing is one of the typical crimes prevalent in most touristy areas in Philadelphia. Pickpockets are tricky individuals who disguise themselves to steal your phone or wallet.
Contrary to public belief, pickpockets don’t only lurk in dark alleyways to perpetrate their act; they do it even in well-lit areas.
They disguise themselves as ordinary people, mix up in a crowd and eliminate your chances of detecting them before they get away.
Philadelphia’s pickpocketing rate is average, but that isn’t any reason to let your guard down.
One safety tip to help you avoid pickpocket theft is to avoid wandering into dangerous areas at night and always be vigilant whenever you’re in crowded places. Also, avoid carrying bags across your body; put them in front of you or at your side.
Scam theft is another thing to watch out for in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, Philadelphia is home to several crimes, and anyone, either a local or a tourist, is susceptible to these crimes.
Scams in Philadelphia increased rapidly in 2022, becoming a cause of concern in the city. As a result, Philadelphia police had to raise public awareness of fraud, government imposters, tech, and romance scams.
Romance scam tops the chart of prevalent scams in Philadelphia. People who perpetrate this act create fake profiles on social media or dating sites and develop bonds with unsuspecting victims, who they later manipulate and steal from.
Protect yourself from scams by applying caution when relating with someone you don’t know online and do not wire money to anyone you haven’t met in person.
Based on a report by Numbeo’s Crime Index, Mugging or robbery is one of the highest crimes perpetrated in Philadelphia. Mugging occurs in all city areas. Mugging can occur on the street, bus, train, shopping mall, or anywhere else.
To reduce your mugging risk in Philadelphia, stick to the following:
• Constantly endeavor you avoid poorly-lit areas at all times.
• Walk in groups
• Don’t appear lost or distracted.
Natural Disasters in Philadelphia
The risk of natural disasters in Philadelphia is medium. Philadelphia usually experiences ice storms, snow storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes, but locals and tourists are typically given prior information before these encounters.
Transportation in Philadelphia
Navigating around Philadelphia using its public transportation system doesn’t pose much risk to travelers. The Philadelphia PHLASH is best for travelers as this bus service usually navigates across most of the city’s popular spots.
Renting a car is another option as it’s convenient and lets you take your safety into your own hands. Always apply caution when using public transit to ensure you safely arrive at your destination.
Women Traveling Risk
The average crime risk for a female solo traveler in Philadelphia is medium. Although, as a female visiting Philadelphia, there are some things you should avoid so you don’t make yourself a target for theft and petty crimes.
Using luxury accessories like sparkly jewelry and designer bags could easily make you a target of theft, so ensure to be vigilant when walking in crowded places and always make sure you walk in groups.
Safest Places in Philadelphia
There isn’t a thing like a safe place because each location has unique merits and demerits. Regardless if you need help with a safe place to stay during your trip to Philadelphia, here’s a list of places you can consider:
Bustleton is one of the neighborhoods with a meager violent crime rate in Philadelphia. Bustleton is a family-friendly residential area in northeast Philadelphia and offers the perfect escape from the city’s bustle.
The area is calm and features many eye-catching attributes that will leave visitors glued to the spot.
Bella Vista, popularly called the beautiful sight, is another area with a minimal crime rate in Philadelphia. In addition, its proximity to Center City and several SEPTA lines makes it accessible to visitors and locals.
Like Bustleton, Whitman is another family-friendly community in Philadelphia that’s safe for tourists. In addition, many people prefer Whitman to other regions in Philadelphia because of its low cost of housing and laid-back atmosphere.
Places to Avoid in Philadelphia
Like other big cities, Some areas in Philadelphia are very safe, while others are considered dangerous and unsafe. Here’s a list of some of those hazardous areas you must avoid in Philadelphia:
There’s nothing fair about Fairhill in terms of safety. The community is very unsafe, especially during late hours. If you want to visit Fairhill, go during the day because Fairhill isn’t the sort of place you should roam at night.
Kensington in Philadelphia is known for crime and drugs, and it’s best to stay aware of this area if you’re new in Philadelphia.
Do not let the name deceive you because, contrary to the title, there’s nothing pleasant about Nicetown. On the contrary, Nicetown ranks as one of the most dangerous places in Philadelphia.
There are frequent reports of crime and violence here, which isn’t an area for tourists to explore.
South Street is a blend of fun and crime. The city isn’t as unsafe as other dangerous territories in Philadelphia, but you must be extra vigilant should you find yourself here.
If you’re traveling with your family, consider avoiding it at all costs, but if you’re out with friends for a good time, you’ll probably find South Street worthwhile.
Safety Tips to Help You in Philadelphia
If you’re a tourist in Philadelphia, there are a few things you must keep in mind if you want to make the most of your time in Philadelphia. Here are a few things to note:
1. Always Make Yourself a Hard Target
Thieves and Crime perpetrators usually go after soft targets or people who appear easy to scam or steal. Making yourself a hard target would make crimes refrain from victimizing you. Here are a few ways to do so:
• Do not appear confused
• Don’t flash your valuables
• Visit shops or cafes to look at the map if you feel lost
• Don’t appear overly spacy
2. Use Public Transportation When Touring the City
Most touristy regions in Philadelphia are interconnected and walkable, but if you need to explore much of the city, try using public transportation.
Philly PHLASH is usually the best for tourists who wish to explore the city as their prices are affordable, and they typically navigate most parts of the city.
3. Protect Your valuables
One of the easiest ways to lose your valuables to theft is to flaunt them. Therefore, constantly endeavor to keep a low profile and keep your valuables locked up to keep them safe.