New York City (NYC or simply New York) is the city with the largest population in the US (c.19m in its metropolitan area). With over 50m tourists every year, it is also the most visited city of the country. The city is an international center for culture and arts, fashion, music, business and finance; and its skyscrapers skyline, numerous landmarks and museums attracts many visitors.
New York is the safest large metropolis of the US, with a crime rate per inhabitant even lower than the national average. However, given its status as the most visited city in the US, petty theft against tourists is not uncommon. The city also have some rough neighborhoods which are unadvised for tourists.
SafeAround has compiled information from numerous sources make sure you have a safe trip while in NYC and be aware of all potential dangers.
New York City’s most famous island, Manhattan is one of the five boroughs of the city. It is commonly divided in three sections, Downtown, Midtown and Uptown. It is the most densely populated part of the city, and is home to iconic neighborhoods such as Times Squares, SoHo, the Greenwich Village, Wall Street, or the most famous park of the city, Central Park.
Most of the city’s touristic sights, stores, famous buildings or museums are located in Manhattan, mostly downtown or midtown, and there is an extensive subway and bus networking to travel to every part of the city.
2016’s Manhattan is the safest large city in the US, the crime rate has been divided by 5 from the mid-80’s. However, as a tourist, it is better to stay cautious particularly on the subway during rush hour, or in the tourist crowded streets near Times Squares or Broadway. Some pickpockets gangs are currently (2016) operating in Chinatown, as well as in large department stores such as Macy’s. Do not venture in unsafe areas of Upper Harlem during the night.
Located across East River and connected to Manhattan with 3 bridges (including the famous Brooklyn Bridge) and one tunnel, Brooklyn is the most populated borough of New York City. Compared to Manhattan, it is more residential and laid-back, with areas such as Williamsburg famous for their artistic and hipster communities.
Brooklyn is mostly safe for travelers, although some areas such as Crown Heights, Brownsville or East New York are neighborhoods with a higher crime index.
Warnings & Dangers
OVERALL RISK: SAFE
New York is a very safe city. With a rating of 69%, the US is ranked 51th out of 162 on the ranking of the safest and most dangerous countries.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: MEDIUM
There is some pickpocket-related risk in New York. Be careful around crowded Midtown streets, packed subway cars. A few simple precautions will minimize your chances of being pickpocketed.
MUGGING & KIDNAPPING RISK: LOW
New York is a safe city regarding mugging and kidnapping risks, although some areas are best to be avoided at night.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
As in any touristic place, there may be people trying to scam you in New York. Be aware of “gold ring” tricks, fake petitions, groups of teenagers acting strangely or trying to distract you; and people offering help with your luggage.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
Transports and taxis are generally very safe in New York.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: LOW
There can be some occasional natural hazards (blizzard or floods) in New York.
TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM
New York has not recently been targeted by terrorist attacks, but it is best to stay alert.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
New York is generally very safe for women travelers.
Avoid Being A Victim! 10 Tips for Your Personal Safety
It is best to carry a small bag across your shoulder or wear a concealed pouch rather than a back pack
Carry as little cash as you can
Don’t keep your wallet in your back pocket
Beware of individuals who act strangely and who try to divert your attention in order to steal your belongings.
Pay special attention while seating on restaurants and café terraces, when you are withdrawing money from ATMs or near tourist attractions
Never keep your mobile phone or wallet on the table of a café or restaurant.
Don’t wear expensive jewellery in an ostentatious way
If an attacker tries to snatch your bag, don’t try to stop them as you will risk being injured
Thieves commonly work near tourist attractions such as museums, monuments, restaurants, hotels, beaches, trains, train stations, airports, subways and target vehicles with non-local license plates.
Most but not all of pickpockets work in groups, often as teenagers
The currency in the United States is the US Dollar. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted countrywide, and ATMs are found nearly in every city.
The costs can vary widely between the states, but it is fair to assume a $100 budget per day on average, $150 if you rent a car and around $300 for top end accomodation.
A 10% service tipping is customary in many sectors such as airport and hotel bag porters, bartenders , hotel maids, restaurant servers and taxi drivers.
The weather in the US varies greatly between the states : from the mediterranean weather of California to the Glaciers of Alaska or the subtropical Florida, each region has its best time to visit; although major cities can be visited all year round. This graph can be useful for finding the best time to travel.