How Safe Is Philadelphia for Travel?

Philadelphia, United States
Safety Index:
60

The fifth most populous city in America, Philadelphia, is located in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Geographically, it is positioned adjacent to the New Jersey and Delaware borders, and with that, its metropolitan area covers counties in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.

Philadelphia has substantial historical significance for the United States of America.

It was once the capital of the United States, and it counts numerous cultural and educational venues like universities, museums, companies, and laboratories that are of world-class.

With great history, comes great heritage!

Philadelphia has to offer some amazing historical venues too.

For example, you shouldn’t miss out on the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, where the Constitution and Declaration of Independence were signed.

The city has lived through a mid-20th-century decline and is now recovering, becoming slowly the city for those wishing for a true urban American life, without the glitz and glamour of other popular and populous cities in the U.S.

Warnings & Dangers in Philadelphia

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : LOW

Philadelphia is overall very safe to travel to. Even though it is said that it's one of the most dangerous cities in America, this only applies to dangerous parts of the city, which are rarely frequented by tourists.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW

Philadelphia is a God's gift when it comes to walking and many adore its convenience when it comes to talking long walks. However, it also has safe and convenient public transport like the Philly PHLASH Downtown Loop. Also, bear in mind that the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is the fifth-largest and most inclusive transit system in the nation.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW

Pickpockets and purse snatching can be an issue in public transport and locations frequented by tourists, though the rate of petty crime is on a major decline for the past couple of years. Still, it is wise to watch your belongings while on public transport or in crowded places.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW

Occasional natural threats exist in some areas of Philadelphia, like floods, fires, winter storms, tropical storms, tornadoes, windstorms, earthquakes, and landslides.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : LOW

You're not in danger in Philadelphia, when it comes to chances of being mugged or kidnapped. Violent street crime is not a common occurrence but only if you avoid dangerous areas of some cities that even locals rarely dare to walk around.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : LOW

Excluding isolated shootings, Philadelphia hasn't been the target of any terrorist attacks recently, but the attacks shouldn't be ruled out. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK : LOW

Just like in other tourist destinations, there will be people trying to scam you in Philadelphia, too. Homeless people can turn aggressive if you refuse to give them money. Be wary of anyone trying to distract you, flashing large signs in front of you or ATMs that look like they've been tampered with.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

Philadelphia is very safe for female solo travelers. Following basic precaution measures should completely minimize the chances of anything going wrong.

So... How Safe Is Philadelphia Really?

Philadelphia has a reputation for being extremely unsafe, but it isn’t quite so.

It is frequently cited as being one of the most dangerous cities in America, but even though the statistics back this up, tourists should bear in mind that this is a huge city with both very safe and very unsafe neighborhoods.

While violent crime remains at a high level in comparison to other American cities, most of it won’t affect tourists: only those included in the drug trade, street gangs, and the likes.

These are parts of the city that tourists rarely see.

All tourists should take the usual precaution measures, just as they would in any other city or their hometown.

You should, by all means, stay informed on which neighborhoods should be avoided due to heightened criminal activities and avoid those neighborhoods.

For example, the Center City and all its surroundings are very safe and considered to be wealthier neighborhoods, like Rittenhouse Square, Old City, and Society Hill.

This goes for most central districts, too, including the Art Museum Area, Chinatown, the Parkway, Northern Liberties/Fishtown and Bella Vista.

As for the unsafe parts of the city, violence is generally an issue in the north-central, west, and southwest portions of the city, which includes areas surrounding Drexel and Temple.

How Does Philadelphia Compare?

CitySafety Index
Philadelphia60
Las Vegas62
San Francisco61
Houston59
Atlanta58
Brussels (Belgium)60
Shanghai (China)66
Belize City (Belize)37

Useful Information

  • Visas - The US is famous for its harsh policy for acquiring a tourist, let alone a resident visa. The US embassies usually ask for interviews before granting tourist visas, and tourists usually have to pay up to 160 USD to get a visa. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
  • Currency - The United States dollar is the official currency in Philadelphia. Credit and debit cards are accepted nearly everywhere, and ATMs are widely available. The prices vary but you can plan on spending about 100 dollars per day.
  • Weather - Philadelphia has a humid subtropical climate characterized by four distinct seasons. Though the climate is subtropical, winters can be really cold and often snowy, with temperatures around 0°C during the colder months.
  • Airports - Philadelphia International Airport is a major airport in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Most of the airport property is located in Philadelphia proper.
  • Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Philadelphia, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Philadelphia Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 2° C
Feb 3° C
Mar 8° C
Apr 14° C
May 19° C
Jun 24° C
Jul 27° C
Aug 26° C
Sep 22° C
Oct 16° C
Nov 9° C
Dec 5° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
571219242932302620138
Low
°C
-2-13914192221171151
High
°F
414554667584908679685546
Low
°F
283037485766727063524134

Where to Next?

27 Reviews on Philadelphia

  1. E
    ERNEST ROUSE ERNESTOFPHILA@AOL says:

    How SAFE FOR the HANDICAPPED THE deaf? WHEEL chairs? I HAVE SAFE SOCIAL DISTANCING TOURS OF PHILADELPHIA AND VALLEY FORGE.

  2. T
    Tyler Boro says:

    Philly is dangerous

    Look before exposing what’s actually going on in Philadelphia you should take a look the all of the residents within the town itself. It is not accurate to assume a big city as safe, because you could be in danger in Philadelphia if you’re not an eagles fan.

    1. A
      Anonymous says:

      Only if you wear a Dallas Cowboys jersey!

  3. x
    xander pachecco says:

    Northeast Philly is peaceful and cool

    Before I start I wanna say that i’m only 14 so some things might differ for adults. These 5 stars are for Northeast Philly, possibly the safest area of Philly. Petty theft barely happens here, there was no major natural disaster ever since I was born, women are safe (there are a few creeps in Frankford though), and you won’t get shot at all (but act decent and normal just in case). The transportation system here is amazing and can take you to every corner of the ENTIRE city but sometimes some SEPTA buses do be having some nasty things in it. There is a lot of smokers in the Frankford Transportation Center just to add. Pennypack Park and Poquessing Valley Park are cool nature parks to visit. I go to Pennypack Park like every week since I live very close to it, you can bring a bike and ride on the pavement while seeing the nature stuffs. You can also skip rocks and look at the beautiful landscape. Northeast Philly also has Philadelphia Mills (it used to be called Franklin Mills btw), one of the biggest malls in Philly, you can come here if wanna shop for the average items. So yeah, cool place, it has flaws but which place doesn’t?

  4. P
    Philly girl says:

    You are wrong about philly I lived there my whole life yeah there may be some bad places but is not as bad as any other places.

  5. P
    Phillysusan says:

    Philly no longer safe

    What you say used to be true but violent crime, day and night, has absolutely infiltrated Philadelphia’s formerly safe neighborhoods and particularly Center City and the tourist areas. No part of the subway system is safe. Don’t mislead people.

  6. B
    Bucks Mike says:

    As someone that lives in one of the suburbs I will not venture into this city for anything . It bad enough I need to drive thru it to get to the airport.

  7. P
    Phillysusan says:

    Reality check

    You’re not doing anyone any favors by downplaying how dangerous Philly really is. On a per capita basis Philadelphia is most dangerous city in the country. I live here and have most of my life. It used to be that the danger was confined to areas that can be easily avoided by visitors. No more. Shootings, stabbings, beatings, assaults, car-jackings, armed robberies, rapes – all over the city including the heart of the tourist area, at all hours of the day.

  8. D
    Dash Riproc says:

    Content with its corruption and graft

    Homeless people live in the subways and terminals Police lay down DA is a joke
    The only law is the USAttorney and US Marshals
    Open air heroin and meth markets all along the Frankford Ave
    All major news outlets dumb down the looting and shootings
    It’s a spectator sport to count the stabbings and gunshot victims on the weekends
    The City Administration wants to dumb down the felony murder rate and encourage more soft targets into the tourist areas
    Stay back Jack this isn’t Disney World

  9. Highly inaccurate

    I have been a resident of Philly for 7 years now and it is undoubtedly dangerous unless you know exactly where you need to go. Most people I know here have been mugged at least once and my car has regularly been broken into. I would be very cautious while visiting here and not venture very far away from the Market/Chestnut/Walnut St center city area.

  10. N
    Not a Philly Girl !!! says:

    Philly Not Safe

    Philly is not safe. Read the papers & watch the news. Shootings & murders every day. Any time of the day… broad daylight & dark of night. You should tell the truth & warn people. I no longer live or work in Philly because it is so dangerous. If you are going to visit Philly, you have to be on guard every minute, because that’s all it takes, a minute to get shot. Or mugged by the druggies.

  11. Not safe at all ESPECIALLY for women.

  12. Safe to visit Philly in Center City?

    My husband and I are invited to a wedding in Center City Phila., Mid September. We’re staying at the “W” hotel. A friend from Cape May warned me about high crime in that area. We’re from mountains in Colorado. We’re late 60’s in age, are we taking a big risk safety wise attending this wedding?

    1. Absolutely not. I live in the suburbs but work in Center City and I’ve never had an issue. Any big city comes with a level of risk so be aware of your surroundings. You’ll be fine.

    2. F
      Former Police Officer says:

      Don't go to Philadelphia

      Don’t go. Shootings and carjackings everywhere…day and night!

  13. Born in northeast Philadelphia, I’ve seen the “changes” over time.
    As far as I’m concerned, the 1960’s and 1970’s were good times in Philly.
    But as the 1980’s progressed, things have gone downhill.
    Now?…. several parts of Philly have gone to crap, society has to deal with the criminals, invading like a cancer, in neighborhoods that once were safe.
    West, North, Southwest…. areas like Strawberry Mansion, Logan, Germantown, Cobs Creek….. among others, have become filthy death zones.
    Not to worry, the usual criminals are easy to spot, wearing hoodies in summer.
    And now, the mask mandates have allowed these fine young cannibals to rob and shoot stores up with less fear of the security cameras.

  14. A
    Anonymous says:

    The city crazy right now

    We passed 430 homicides in 10/2021 and its still going up as well as other crimes such as robberies, assault, and rape… lets lay facts, even that one good neighborhood is easily prone to something dangerous happening.

  15. N
    Narelle says:

    I love Philly

    I have been to Philly 5 times as a tourist… as the article says, keep out of the dangerous areas and you’ll be fine.
    We have never had an issue in Philly and I cannot wait to travel again and return to Philly. Philly is my happy place!
    P.S I’m from Melbourne, Australia!!!

  16. One the most unsafe cities in America

    I’m sorry but Philadelphia is unsafe. It’s a 50 on the index max. It’s a huge city with lots of people in it and whenever that happens chances are there’s going to be crimes. This city has so many problems that I don’t know where to start. Please update the safety index to reflect reality.

  17. Philly is not loving.

    I loved Philly when I was here for college (2005-2009). Now I’m back and reading articles like this… crime is out of control. Even if you are lucky and don’t get mugged, you’ll read about a shooting a block from where you were. Homeless people are everywhere, the subway is their personal toilet.

    I’m so disappointed, this city has so much potential. City administration should make no apologies for gentrification. In fact, they should try to do everything to achieve this. In the meantime, they should hire police to patrol the entire city, especially the subways.

  18. Author Has Never Visited Philly

    The author has obviously never visited the city of murderous love or is a woman. I have lived in North Philly for 6 years and I have had to keep one eye ahead and the other behind me everywhere I go the whole time. Center City, Fishtown, Germantown, Chinatown, Fairmount are all fine during the day, however, they constitute a small portion of the whole metropolis. It is OK for touring. “Even though it is said that it’s one of the most dangerous cities in America, this only applies to dangerous parts of the city.” What are the dangerous parts, oh wise one? Give tourists the truth and don’t mislead them into possible “death zones.” And get a new job.

  19. Philly is a complete nightmare. Krasner should be arrested.

    Born and raised in Philadelphia, in multiple neighborhoods (some safer than others).

    Philly is in the worst shape it’s been since maybe the 70s. And no- it’s not just the “dangerous neighborhoods.” It’s all over the city, day or night.

  20. P
    Philly Rich says:

    Come roll the dice if you want. Gunshots on 3rd and south street once the most popular street in Philly. Someone just got robbed outside city hall, on camera while the news was doing a story live. Telling people its safe here is setting them up for disaster.

  21. G
    Gabrielle says:

    2 stars for safety and 4 starts for things to do

    Philadelphia was once a great city and I hope it gets back there where it belongs. Unfortunately, right now the city is unsafe in many areas. That 60 on the safety index should be a 40 or lower to reflect the current reality in the city. Drugs, crimes of all sorts, the police can’t handle things well and don’t have enough employees and so on. Pickpockets are present everywhere there are crowds and will snatch your purse, phone or whatever else they can grab in a hurry. Don’t even get me started on public transport: they are there. Just keep your eyes open and you’ll notice them.

    You can get mugged in Philadelphia. It almost happened to me but fortunately a few good people stepped up and caught the thief and handed them over to the police. I know of people that have been mugged so it happens. For tourists, things might seem a little better and will feel better, but people that live here know how bad things can get. And it’s a damn shame as there are so many great places to visit here.

    Independence National Historical Park is probably the most historic place in America. There’s over a square mile of crucial landmarks like Independence Hall or the Liberty Bell. The Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were created here. Then there’s the Ben Franklin Museum or the National Museum of American Jewish History.

    Another place you must visit is the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The steps in front of it are the ones where Rocky Balboa (from the movie Rocky) strikes a pose with the city as a backdrop. The Museum has one of the biggest collections of paintings in the whole US.

    If you’re visiting with kids then make sure to visit the Please Touch Museum. Your kid will be crazy about it because they can touch everything! It’s filled with interactive exhibits that teach kids and encourage them to learn through play.

  22. G
    Grieving Philly woman says:

    Extremely risky sad to say

    I went to live with my mother in philadelphia at the age of five, comming from the deep south I thought this must be the greastest place in the world, just going downtown felt like Disney world’I have untold number of friends and family living there,For the past 22 years Ive lived in Florida near Disney world which truth be told is almost as bad as Philly , I hear the same horror stories repeated in both places , I am very saddened to think what has been lost in this once great city called Philadelphia,the culture was almost unmatched, unfortunately , now so is the crime, I have traveled to many countries unafriad, now I am petrified travel to my once beloved home town, from what I see on the news as well as personal experiences shared by friends and family, Please believe me.

  23. S
    Senior Citizen says:

    Will not visit

    Having read the above reviews, I will not be visiting Philly. Car jackings are out of control. And there is crime everywhere. Tourist officials and business people often lie about crime to get people to visit.

  24. Canceled trip

    I once planned to visit Phil but canceled my trip plan after learning more about its safety situation. Just a few days before my trip there was a shooting in centre city near my hotel. And there was shootings last weekend as well. What a pity as I was quite looking forward to visiting PMA and meeting friends.

Rated 2.44 / 5 based on 27 user reviews.

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