Center City and the major tourist destinations are generally safe, but it's wise to take certain precautions, depending on where you go and how late you plan on staying out. You should always be aware of your surroundings, and take care not to count change on the street or regularly flash an extremely expensive camera or iPod. Keep your handbag on your lap—not on the floor or dangling on the back of your chair—in restaurants and theaters. Exercise caution, particularly after dark, in the areas north of Center City and west of University City; avoid deserted streets. You can ask hotel personnel or guides at the Independence Visitor Center about the safety of places you're interested in visiting. As you would in any city, keep your car locked and watch your possessions carefully. Remember to remove items from your car, especially GPS systems and iPods.
Subway crime has diminished in recent years. During the day cars are crowded and safe. However, platforms and cars can be relatively empty in the late evening hours. Instead of waiting for a subway or train in off-hours, take a cab late at night.
Although crime is low in the Rittenhouse Square section of town at all times, other hot spots can be a bit trickier. South Street and Old City attract a young crowd that can get rowdy, though the areas are well patrolled by police both on foot and by bike. Northern Liberties, while not as young and testosterone-fueled as the other two neighborhoods, still sits in an area that is rather hit and miss. It's best to take a cab directly to the bar or club, rather than park a distance away and walk, especially late at night.
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