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The "City of Brotherly Love" is revered by some as the spiritual home of the United States and the place where the fight for freedom began. For some, it's the city beneath New York. No matter how much or how little you value Philadelphia's role in the American Revolution against British imperialism, you can count on one thing: tourist traps.

For every exciting opportunity in Philadelphia, there is a dry and boring substitute; for every fascinating historical site, there is a trap that will drain your bank account and keep you waiting in hot, crowded lines.

These are top 10 things not to do in Philadelphia

1. Never Go Swimming In The Schuylkill River

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Schuylkill River

Although it might be challenging to pronounce, the word Schuykill River is actually not that difficult to spell. This body of water, pronounced SKOO-kel and roughly translated from Dutch as "hidden river," is now used for recreational activities like outrigger canoeing and dragon boat races, but that doesn't mean you should go swimming there.

The water itself is said to be extremely cold and even worse, filled with chemicals, oils, and untreated sewage, despite the fact that many people attempt to do so. So never swim in the Schuykill River unless you don't mind getting a ton of nasty bacteria all over your body.

2. Never Call Downtown Philly “Downtown”

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Photo: Agoda.com

Despite the fact that every state in America has a "downtown," Philadelphians don't actually refer to theirs as such. In fact, unless you want the world to know that you are unquestionably not from there, you should never refer to it as downtown.

Philadelphians have a distinct way of walking and talking, so no matter how hard you try, you won't be able to fool anyone. But be sure to call their downtown "Center City," which is what they call it, if you don't want to sound like such a foreigner in this part of the world.

Although it goes by a different name, the Center City is still crammed with bars, restaurants, cafes, and literally hundreds of people everywhere, just like any other downtown.

3. Never Travel By Bicycle

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Photo: VisitPhilly.com

We advise against using a bicycle to get around Philadelphia unless you are an experienced cyclist who is accustomed to doing so everywhere you go. Although there is what they refer to as a "thriving biker community" in the Center City and other areas, complete with actual bike lanes that cyclists use, this isn't the case throughout the entire city.

Even though many locals like to bike, many also drive everywhere, and if they feel you are in their way, they won't hesitate to honk at you the loudest they can. So, unless you're used to biking while navigating actual vehicles, stick to using Uber or the public transportation system.

4. Never Line Up For Food Unless You Know What You Want

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Philadelphians take their food very seriously

Philadelphians take their food very seriously. In fact, the Center City is home to many specialties that are only available there, including soft pretzels, hoagies, roast pork sandwiches, and Philly cheesesteaks, to name a few. But if you find yourself in line at one of the many restaurants serving these incredible culinary treats, make sure you know what you want.

Most Philadelphians don't enjoy waiting in line to place their orders, and neither does the staff who will prepare your food while you mull over your options. So make sure to only stand in line when you are certain of what you want.

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5. Visit the Betsy Ross House

8 things tourists should never do in Philadelphia
Photo: Wikipedia.com

Philadelphia is home to many tourist attractions, but the Betsy Ross House—which might not even be her actual home—is one of the worst. The evidence linking Betsy Ross to the flag is tenuous at best, so you should definitely skip this attraction. There are rumors that developers demolished her real house and simply used the house next door as a stand-in.

6. Wander too far north or too far south

8 things tourists should never do in Philadelphia
Photo: CurbedPhilly.com

Center City is very safe, and you can feel at ease walking around at any time of day or night. However, if you stray too far from Fishtown or Center City, or too far from South Philly, you might end up in trouble. Stay in the most populated areas if you don't know the lay of the land.

7. Never Disrespect The Rocky Statue

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Photo: VisitPhilly.com

Rocky Balboa's statue was recreated by artist A. Thomas Schomberg for a Rocky III scene in which Sylvester Stallone, who plays the character, is seen triumphantly standing with his arms raised. Stallone donated the statue to the city of Philadelphia after the film was finished, and it has been there ever since, growing to become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the entire city.

Tourists adore visiting the statue and taking pictures with it, but because it is a recognized public work of art, they are asked never to treat it with disrespect. Take a picture, but keep in mind that you would never be permitted to touch it if it were displayed in a real museum.

8. Never Attempt To Walk Slowly

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Photo: Phillyvoice.com

People in Philadelphia move quickly, so if you make the mistake of strolling in the middle of a busy sidewalk or, even worse, stopping entirely to look at a map or send a text message, it will not go over well with the locals. If you have to pause for any reason, move to the side of the path, but otherwise you should be prepared to keep up with the rest of the group.

9. Never Go To South Street At Night

South Street — Visit Philadelphia
Photo: VisitPhilly.com

One of the best parts of Philadelphia is South Street, which offers a ton of attractions to both residents and tourists. One of the more interesting areas of Philadelphia, it is full of shops, eateries, cafes, and other places to visit throughout the day.

However, it has also developed a reputation as a place where minors can drink, which can occasionally lead to altercations and other dangerous activities that nobody wants to get involved in, particularly when they are just visiting. Never go to South Street in Philadelphia if you want to have a good time; instead, go to Fishtown, Northern Liberties, or Passyunk Square.

10. Never Take Your Safety For Granted

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Photo: ThePewCharitableTrusts.com

Philadelphia is undoubtedly a lovely city that is worthwhile visiting. But when organizing your trip, make sure you are aware of the best neighborhoods to stay in and the ones to avoid. There are some areas that are sketchier than others, just like in many other states across the nation.

Philadelphia has been rated as a state with a high crime rate, with a 1 in 106 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime. Never take your safety for granted and make sure you are aware of the locations to avoid in order to avoid being featured in a news story.

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