Is Boston safe to visit? A comprehensive safety guide

Published by: Bounce9 February, 2023
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Being the capital of Massachusetts, Boston is very popular with tourists from around the world. The amazing stories behind the city will have you seeking out the best museums and attractions to learn more about not just the city’s history but also the history of the United States.

Some say Boston is a dangerous city with a high crime index, while others say it is one of the safest cities on the East Coast. So, is Boston safe? Despite an above national average crime rate overall, yes, Boston is a safe city to visit. This guide will teach you to be a savvy tourist, allowing you to experience the wonderful city of Boston to the fullest.

The off-peak season, such as winter is when you'll see the city without the big crowds. Summer and fall are the more popular seasons for tourists, with concerts in Fenway Park and strolls through the first botanical garden in the US. June through August are the most popular months for visitors to Boston and if you head there then, that's when you'll want to be on top of your safety skills.

The downtown area has a population of close to 700,000. Playing host to more than 16 million visitors each year, Boston is truly a must-see place, but it does have its fair share of petty crimes like any big city will. Our first tip is to keep your things secure by using a Bounce luggage locker in Boston as part of your plan.

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Is Boston safe to visit right now?

Boston is a safe city to visit. The United States has a 2021 Global Peace Index ranking of 122 and if you stay aware of your surroundings and know the best places to visit, you'll have a fantastic time. In this busy city, you may see petty crimes such as purse snatching and pickpocketing. Scammers are also another thing to watch out for when you're exploring Boston.

When you're planning your trip to Boston, check out your government’s official website for any travel guidelines or restrictions to ensure you're following all necessary protocols. Even the most experienced traveler should check the official travel guidelines and safety tips offered by their country. No safety guide is perfect, so be sure to research all aspects of the city you'll visit.

Don't let the stats about Boston's crime rate keep you at home. It's a fun city to be in and with Boston brewery tours, The Museum of Science, and the terrific Quincy Market, you'll want to see as much as you can.

Top petty crimes and scams in Boston affecting tourists

Knowing how to stay secure when you're in a strange city is any traveler's plan. Become familiar with the public transportation system and have a plan in place for where you're going to visit.


Pickpockets will target tourists and those who have easy to reach accessories and a lot of blingy jewelry. When you're out exploring Boston, be sure to leave your valuables in a secure Bounce luggage locker.

Also, only carry a small amount of cash, and not in your wallet but somewhere else on your person. Place your wallet in your front pocket rather than your back pocket and ladies should use a crossbody purse instead of a shoulder strap. These are straightforward and easy to remember Boston safety tips.


According to Travel Safe Abroad, there is a medium risk of being mugged in Boston. Although the robbery rate in Boston is higher than the national average, most robberies will take place late at night, with cell phones and money being the favorite items to steal. Have your wits about you and if you are a fan of the nightclub scene, always head out with a friend or two.

Property crime

Boston has a property crime rate that is lower than the national average. Even with this lower property crime rate, be vigilant when staying in Boston, especially if you're renting a home or staying in an Airbnb.

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Is Boston safe to travel alone

When you're traveling alone, stay in a hotel in one of the safe neighborhoods or choose an Airbnb with a home security system to ensure you have another level of security. Traveling alone can be great fun, especially if you're a seasoned traveler used to exploring new spaces by yourself.

The United States has a Bounce Women Travel Safety Index of 32, and Boston is generally safe for tourists to visit. Female solo travelers are also at low risk of being the victim of crime when in Boston.

Use common sense such as not drinking too much and avoiding walking in alleys or out of the way places. Stick to well-lit areas and well-traveled streets. Use taxis or UberBlack to get around the city at night. UberBlack drivers have to be licensed by the city.

Safest neighborhoods in Boston

Boston has some shady spots but there are many wonderful places to visit and explore. Boston neighborhoods that are safe for tourists, even solo tourists, have plenty of activities to see and do. From meandering through Boston Common to browsing at Faneuil Hall, visiting Boston will keep you busy.

West Roxbury

More of a residential neighborhood, West Roxbury is a very safe place to stay. There are shops, restaurants, and some historical sites that history buffs will love. Take a stroll through West Roxbury and choose a place to dine.

North End

One of the oldest residential neighborhoods in the city, it is densely populated and sees a lot of tourists throughout the year. Many refer to North End as the Little Italy of Boston. There have been few crimes reported in North End, with the majority being property crimes. Explore with ease and be sure to try a pizza while there.


When looking for the artsy crowd in Boston, look no further than Allston-Brighton, home to several amazing music venues and art galleries. Car and house break-ins and motor vehicle theft make up the majority of the crimes in this neighborhood but that's no reason to avoid this entertaining area as it is considered a secure spot.


This neighborhood has the least amount of crime incidents in the entire city. It is one of the best areas to stay when you're planning a trip to Boston. Seasonal farmers' markets, art markets and more can be found here. You can even enjoy a walk through the neighborhood after dark, as long as you use common safety precautions.


Filled with bars and nightclubs, Fenway-Kenmore has a hopping nightlife and does get rowdy when the sun goes down. But, there is also generally a larger concentration of police officers so crime rates are not as high as in other areas in Boston. When you're here after dark, it is best to be with a group.

The city's crime rate may be above the national average but rather than skip areas you may want to see, use caution and visit during the day. Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, South Dorchester, and South Boston are considered the more dangerous neighborhoods in Boston.

Is downtown Boston safe? For the most part, the city center is safe, as long as you stay aware of your surroundings. Downtown Crossing, East Boston, Central Boston, and South End have their fair share of pickpockets and petty crimes, but if you stay alert and use our tips, fabulous sights like the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the Paul Revere House can be added to your Boston sightseeing list.

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Is Boston public transportation safe?

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, or MBTA, is a pretty safe way to get around Boston. The “T” as locals call it, runs throughout the city and is usually easy to figure out. But, if you're not used to riding the MBTA, you do not want to use it at night. There are some areas in Boston that are sketchy late at night and you do not want to end up at one of those stations.

If you don't want to tackle the subway system, taxis are also a safe option, as are UberBlack and Lyft. UberBlack drivers must be licensed by the city before they can operate. Before getting into an Uber or Lyft, check the license plate number to make sure it matches the one listed in the app.

Important emergency numbers in Boston

The most important emergency phone number to know when you're in Boston is 911. The operator will determine what your emergency is and dispatch the correct emergency response teams whether it is the police, paramedics, or fire department.

When you're traveling from another country, keep the number of your country’s embassy with your passport or important documents.

  • United States country code: +1
  • Boston area code: 339; 508; 617; 774; 781; 857; 978
  • Emergency number: 911
  • Information: 411
  • Boston Police Department (Non-Emergency): 617-343-4500
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Staying safe in Boston

While some would say Boston is an extremely safe city, it does have an above-average crime rate. Experienced travelers will know how to keep themselves safe even in the most dangerous cities and if you are new to travel, this guide will keep you informed.

Boston can easily be one of the safest cities on the East Coast, with the touristy areas in Boston being safe during the day. A majority of crimes committed at night are in the neighborhoods noted for muggings and pickpocketing.

The East Coast is home to some pretty amazing places. Get ready to see great attractions such as the Bunker Hill Monument and the Boston Tea Party Ships. The Boston crime rate is about 45% higher than the national crime rate but overall, Boston is a safe city to visit and explore, filled with intriguing history and culture.

When planning your trip to Boston, take some time to read Where to Stay in Boston: The Ultimate Guide to find the best Boston locales. Another useful read is How to Get Around Boston to learn more about public transportation.

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