Is Brooklyn safe to visit? A comprehensive safety guide
Brooklyn is one of the five boroughs making up New York City. It is an exciting place with a rich culture and plenty to offer tourists. Incredible street art and a wonderful music scene are just a few of the things that you can look forward to, as well as beautiful green spaces and lots of opportunities for shopping.
In 2019 New York City reached its new record of tourists at 66.6 million visitors. Although not all of them went to Brooklyn, the city is gaining popularity and some people choose to travel here as opposed to Manhattan. Brooklyn is also the second biggest New York borough in terms of size and has the highest population density with close to 2.6 million citizens. People tend to travel to New York the most between the months of June and August, and from November to December.
When you're traveling around this big city you may want to leave your bags behind at a New york suitcase locker, whether it be in Brooklyn, Manhattan or another convenient locale. Then you can explore the city freely without having to carry them around or being concerned about them getting lost. Being bag free and without worry is the best way to see the sights. Don't miss the Brooklyn Museum or meandering through Brooklyn flea.
Is Brooklyn safe to visit right now?
Prior to traveling to a new country, you should consult resources that can tell you if it is safe to visit or not. The Global Peace Index is accurate, and they rate the United States as the 122nd safest country on the list of 163 checked locales. Currently, you'll face no travel restrictions when traveling here, but it is wise to check in with your own government's advisories before booking a trip.
Although Brooklyn is a safe city, crime still exists and as a tourist, you'll be at risk of some petty felonies. Be aware of the possibility of muggers when walking around, although they are most common in dangerous neighborhoods. You should also be on guard while using public transport as pickpockets and petty thieves could be looking to relieve you of a few items.
Although these crimes exist, there is no reason to stay at home from Brooklyn because it's a terrific place to visit. You'll still have a fun and safe vacation to Brooklyn if you use common sense and follow some of the safety tips that we'll introduce. Remember that your safety is ultimately your own responsibility, and experienced traveler or not, you should do additional research aside from this Brooklyn safety guide.
Top petty crimes and scams in Brooklyn affecting tourists
You're at a lower risk of becoming a victim of any crimes if you're aware of them. Here are a few of the most common issues in Brooklyn and what you can do to protect yourself.
Your chance of witnessing or being a victim of crime is low if you stick to the highly populated areas and avoid any places that are deemed unsafe. The risks of mugging increases in the night as well, so do not go walking down dark alleys alone. To be safe, stick to well lit streets and if you're ever approached by someone threatening you should comply and remember any distinct features to submit to the police later on. In most cases muggings occur when an expensive accessory like watches, jewelry, smartphones and wallets are visible, so consider leaving these items at home or in your bag if you're going out at night.
Pickpockets have always been present in New York City, and they most often strike at popular tourist destinations or on public transit. These thieves are skilled at taking valuables without you noticing and distracted tourists are the perfect target. Avoid being a walking advertisement for thieves by leaving any expensive items at home. Let Bounce store your valuables for you which will make you less of a target to pickpockets. When traveling through crowded areas it's a good idea to keep your backpack in front of you, and to leave passports and money in a hard to reach pocket.
Fake taxis and transport problems
Most American cities have an extensive public transportation network which is great for getting around. However, the close contact and busyness of these places make it an easy spot for pickpockets to strike. To protect yourself you can practice the safety tips listed above, and keep a firm hold on your bags while using the metro or bus around the busier stations. If you're worried about having your things stolen you can always take a taxi, but make sure that any vehicle that you get into is registered. Fake taxis might try to pick you up and overcharge you for the ride.
Is Brooklyn safe to travel alone
Looking for somewhere to travel alone? Brooklyn can be a great choice! It does have a crime rate that is above the national average because it is so highly populated, but it is not a dangerous city. As long as you're smart about how you travel and where you go you should be fine. In general it is safer to walk around in groups, especially after dark, so pay extra attention to what is happening around you if you're alone. If possible try to avoid unpopulated areas at night.
If you're a solo female traveler you're at no further risk than men who are vacationing alone, since the US has a ranking of 32 according to the Bounce Women Travel Safety Index. You'll be fine if you practice regular precautions like sticking to groups at night and not giving away any sensitive information to strangers. There are even apps, like NomadHer for example, that will connect you with other women traveling to Brooklyn alone. You can meet up with them to stay safe and might even make new friends.
Safest neighborhoods in Brooklyn
Most of the Brooklyn neighborhoods are safe, although you'll find some areas that are better than other neighborhoods. Places along the East River as well as neighborhoods like Prospect Heights, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill are generally fine to be in. Here are a few more that you can feel comfortable walking around in.
A quiet and calm neighborhood, Park Slope is a great place to visit for solo travelers, young families, and just about everyone. There are some lovely historic buildings in this borough which is found on the western part of Prospect Park. If you're traveling as a family consider checking out the Prospect Park Zoo.
Bay Ridge, found close to Upper Bay, is a friendly place and one of the safest neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Here you'll find a close knit community of Brooklyn residents who all know each other and there are low crime statistics because of that.
As one of the first suburbs, back when it was called Brooklyn Village, Brooklyn Heights has earned itself a reputation. Luckily it is a good one, and even today it is considered to be a very safe neighborhood.
So yes, there are plenty of safe neighborhoods in Brooklyn, but take note of the places that are often described as dangerous areas. These include Downtown Brooklyn because of its petty crime rate, East New York, Crown Heights, Vinegar Hill, Fort Greene, Brownsville and Bushwick. You may have things you want to see in these neighborhoods, and if you do, we suggest excursions to places like Brooklyn Bridge Park during the day.
Is Brooklyn public transportation safe?
Most people say the public transit in Brooklyn, and New York in general, is safe. However, we already know that this is where non violent crimes like pickpocketing and petty theft can happen, and you should always be aware of that. Subway cars are a great way to get to other boroughs, but keep a close eye on your items while riding on the subway.
When using the metro after dark always try to sit close to other people as opposed to in a car alone, as that is when crimes are more likely to happen. Stick close to the station agent if you're waiting for the subway solo, and keep headphones off so that you can be more aware of your surroundings. If at any point you feel unsafe or if you're making your way back home alone at night it might be a better idea to pay for a cab ride.
Important emergency numbers in Brooklyn
Brooklyn's violent crime rate is low compared to other American cities, but if you ever get hurt or need assistance for whatever reason there are some numbers that you can call. Taking note of your embassy number also, these resources below will help you out in any situation.
- Emergency: 911
- Non-Emergencies: 311
- NYPD General Inquiries: 646-610-5000
- NYC Victim Hotline: 866-689-4357
Visiting Brooklyn prepared
With landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge, plenty of art galleries, fascinating museums and much more, there are so many reasons that you would want to visit Brooklyn. The city is not without its issues, but it does not have very high crime rates aside from a few areas. As long as you're responsible you can definitely have a safe trip to Brooklyn.