How's Philadelphia/Camden at the moment in terms of crime? Planning a trip there soon

Planning a trip early next year to Pennsylvania going through the state to check out some of the sights ending in checking out the Philadelphia waterfront and then crossing over to the New Jersey side in Camden to also check out their waterfront, planning on seeing the Aquarium and Battleship New Jersey over there.

I know Camden used to be the most crime ridden city in the US 15 years ago but also know things have calmed down considerably since then especially in the touristy areas. However reading up comments online from people who visited the waterfront on both the Philadelphia/Camden sides makes it seem like crime in back up again. People complaining about “gangs” hanging out by all the entrances of the museums eyeing people up and down, as well as just a lot more crime recently that about 5 years ago.

Anybody know if it’s just the normal riff-raff over there or are things getting bad again? I mainly plan on visiting museums or going to the “bar crawl” areas of the cities (mostly Philadelphia though).

Camden is better than it was but I would still advise only visiting the aquarium and Battleship. Then back onto a highway or bridge directly.

Look for the Fish and Ships deal if they still offer it. It was a nice discount for the pair.

I can’t speak to Philly.

I grew up about 70 miles from Philly and used to really like the city but haven’t gone there for the past 15 or so years unless I have to. I’ll drive an extra five miles to NYC for my big city outings.

These days the only reason I go into the city is when I drive a couple members of my family to hospitals for ongoing medical treatment. The hospitals advise visitors not to leave the immediate area of the campus; a quick walk to the nearest street corner convinced me to follow that advice.

I’ve been in Philadelphia three times in the past decade, mostly downtown near Independence Hall and along the riverfront but also in various 'burbs, and haven’t had any problems. Like any big city, just be aware of your surroundings and don’t be stoopid, and you should be fine. It’s a pleasant city with history out the whazoo.

I’ve gone up to Philly for concerts at BB&T Pavilion a lot of times. The most dangerous areas of Camden are north of the Franklin Bridge, East Camden, and the South/Central area. The Central Waterfront you should be fine. There’s really zero reason to ever go wandering around Camden.

The main drag in Camden is looking much better. There is a lot of build up from Rutgers Newark. It doesn’t look bad. But the crime is still there and from my sources worse than reported. I have had zero problems at the aquarium and used to go frequently.

Is the Walt Whitman House on the main drag? I see that it’s 5 blocks from the Aquarium, but from visiting Newark I know that even a short distance can make a big difference.
328 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Camden, NJ 08103

That area is not very safe at all. Hopefully better than it was.

Thanks @What_Exit
I live 20 minutes away from the Walt Whitman birthplace museum and every time I plan to go there, something comes up. I should keep planning!

Supposedly one reason; can’t vouch for it as I’ve never been there, only heard that they’re supposed to be great steak samm’ichs

Uh, Walt Whitman was born in Huntington, NY. His birth house, built by his father, is a New York State Historic Site, What is this one in NJ?

He means: Walt Whitman House - Walt Whitman in Camden

Yes the Walt Whitman house I was asking about re. safety is the one on MLK Blvd in Camden, NJ, where he lived for a number of years in his later days and where he died.

The one which I live near is the birthplace in Huntington NY.

From what I understand, the Camden site has more of his letters and manuscripts, understandable considering that he was quite young when he left the birthplace site.

The Whitman House is on MLK Blvd but it’s also called Mickle Blvd on many maps. It’s a multi-lane main road. I’ve never been in but I drove past it many times. I would not expect many problems right there but I wouldn’t go wandering. When I go into Camden I’m not really paying attention to street names I’m just following my GPS. By main drag I believe I mean Broadway. The last time I was there I saw a huge improvement.

If you’re in Camden stop at Donkey’s Place for a cheesesteak. I won’t vouch for the neighborhood but Anothy Bourdain said it was the best cheesesteak anywhere.

I was in Philadelphia in August with my parents and brother to visit another brother. We stayed downtown at a hotel across from the Reading Terminal Market which I can’t recommend highly enough. It’s an amazing and bustling place, clearly well used by locals and tourists alike. A roast pork with rabe and broccoli from DiNic’s was one of the best bites I’ve had, ever. I ate half of it right there on my last day, packed it in my carry on bag, brought it home and it sat in the fridge for a few more days. Still awesome cold and half a week after it was made. If you are driving, make sure to check their parking voucher bargain.
https://readingterminalmarket.org

After I got back, I did a little research and wished I’d done more reading before the trip. For example, the blog post below has a bunch of awesome reviews and recommendations from a local Chicago food guy I trust. I ate well in Philly but a post like this makes me aware I missed a LOT of great food.

Smokin' Chokin' and Chowing with the King: Sandwich City, USA

Other than food, the Museum of the American Revolution was very good. Unfortunately, a big part of the appeal for me was an exhibit of American flags which I learned was only temporary after I got back home. I found it fascinating. The museum’s crown jewel is George Washington’s war tent which is in stunningly good condition.

I didn’t feel unsafe anywhere we went.

There are lots of places that are unsafe.

I love Philly and have been often. I have never felt unsafe near any of the museums. If you have never been to any of the museums I would recommend most of them.

You must go to the art museum with the obligatory photo with Rocky. The view from the top of the steps is one of the best in the city. It also happens to be a great art museum that covers centuries of great art.

The Franklin Institute is more for kids but still interesting for adults. Check to see what temporary exhibit is there when you will be there. Most of the time you have to make reservations for those exhibits.

The Rodin Museum is well worth it.

The historic sites are worth going to. Independence Hall, Betsy Ross house. The Liberty Bell. Also in the same area is the Constitution Center.

I’ve been to the Philadelphia Zoo many times. It’s not in a great part of town but they replaced the shady parking lots with a nice parking garage a short distance away.

The Fishtown area is interesting. It’s the hipster area of Philly but because of that there are a lot of interesting and good restaurants and bars.

Fishtown does border Kensington. Although it’s not exactly the same as the officially designated borders of Kensington, it’s also called the Badlands or Zombieland. Unless you want some form of opioid I would avoid that area.

Coincidentally, I was just talking to my (ex)neighbor who has been travelling around the country in his van. He said he’s had a great time with the exception of getting mugged in Philly. I instantly thought of this thread but couldn’t in that instant remember “Camden” so I could ask him the exact location.

If he said Philly I doubt he meant Camden. Different states with a big toll bridge between them. You can see one from the other but they are very distinct.

Never forget that HitchBot makes it’s way safely across Germany, The Netherlands and the entirety of Canada but was brutally murdered when it showed up in Philly.

That was such a Philly story, wasn’t it. I remember when it happened.

Speaking of which, don’t wear sports affiliated gear in Philly, just don’t do it.

phila, it depends on the neighbourhood, camden… oy, there are very few safe zones.

most of the tourists places are in lower violent crime areas, with mostly pickpocket and mugging type crimes. some of the places are on the edge of dodgy neighbourhoods, like the zoo, please touch museum, archeological museum. there are transport options that will take you directly to the attraction from various points of centre city.

the city is starting to come out of the “covid year”, there are some empty spots where stores or restaurants have closed. masks are required in most indoor venues.