10 Safest Neighborhoods in Boston

Updated On December 16, 2023

Boston has it all: exciting cultural institutions, superlative higher educational institutions, and access to prestigious and lucrative employment opportunities make it a fantastic city to visit or live in.

So, while safety is essential, it does have a price tag, as some of the safest areas in Boston are expensive.

Very, very expensive.

However, some city spots offer the perfect combination of affordability and safety.

While numerous of Boston’s safest neighborhoods start at quite costly and then prices increase, others, like Jamaica Plains, deliver more affordable housing options.

It’s essential to note that safety can be subjective, and factors like personal preferences, lifestyle, and individual circumstances may influence one’s perception of a neighborhood.

However, based on available data and the general atmosphere, these ten Boston neighborhoods are often considered among the safest.


10 Safest Neighborhoods in Boston

Rich in history and culture, Boston is known for its diverse neighborhoods.

While crime rates vary, some neighborhoods consistently stand out for their safety, community engagement, and overall quality of life.

1. Beacon Hill

Settled in the heart of Boston, Beacon Hill is famous for its historical charm and cobblestone streets.

The neighborhood has everything you’d want for period charm: elegant townhouses, gas lamps, and a vibrant community.

With a relatively low crime rate, Beacon Hill is primarily residential and home to numerous professionals and families.

The well-preserved architecture and proximity to landmarks like the Massachusetts State House contribute to the neighborhood’s desirability.

2. Charlestown

Known for its rich history and the iconic Bunker Hill Monument, Charlestown has earned a reputation as a residential haven with a strong sense of community.

The neighborhood offers waterfront views, parks, and historic sites.

While maintaining its historical character, Charlestown has experienced revitalization and is considered safe with a relatively low crime rate.

3. West Roxbury

A suburban-like enclave within the city, West Roxbury attracts families and those seeking a quieter atmosphere.

The neighborhood features tree-lined streets, parks, and local amenities.

West Roxbury is often cited for its community engagement, schools, and low crime rates, making it a desirable place to live.

The crime rate is 870 per 100,000 people, and West Roxbury is 63% safer than the US average and 36% safer than the state average.

4. South Boston (Southie)

South Boston, colloquially known as Southie (as anyone who’s seen Good Will Hunting knows), has undergone significant transformation in recent years.

With a mix of historic and new developments, Southie offers a waterfront location, parks, and a strong community spirit.

The neighborhood is known for its low crime rates, community events, dining, and entertainment options, and is respected for having some of the best bars and events during St. Patrick’s Day.

5. Jamaica Plain

Jamaica Plain, or JP, is a neighborhood with a mix of Victorian homes, green spaces, and a vibrant arts scene.

The community is environmentally conscious, with bike-friendly streets and local farmers’ markets.

JP has a reputation for safety, a strong sense of community, and various cultural events throughout the year.

Jamaica Plain supports extensive Asian, Latin, and Black communities. The cost of living in Jamaica Plain is only 6% higher than the state average.

6. Dorchester (Lower Mills)

One of Boston’s most prominent neighborhoods, Dorchester has pockets of safety and community engagement.

Lower Mills, in particular, stands out for its historical architecture, proximity to the Neponset River, and low crime rates.

The safest areas of Dorchester encompass Savin Hill, Clam Point, and Ashmont Hill.

Interestingly, many of Boston’s labor unions are headquartered in Dorchester.

7. Roslindale

Discover a diverse and welcoming neighborhood known for its strong sense of community and green spaces.

The Arnold Arboretum, a historic botanical garden, is a highlight of the area.

Roslindale’s safety and local shops and restaurants make it an appealing residential choice for families and professionals alike.

Total crime stats for Roslindale are 2% below Boston’s average and 43% lower than the nation’s average.

8. Allston-Brighton

Home to Boston University and Boston College students, it has a youthful and vibrant atmosphere.

While parts of the neighborhood are bustling with activity, there are quieter residential areas known for their safety.

Proximity to universities, public transportation, and various amenities contribute to the neighborhood’s appeal.

In 2022, the violent crime rate was 315 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, safer than 82% of cities in Massachusetts.

9. East Boston

Located across Boston Harbor, East Boston has seen increased interest in recent years due to its waterfront location and affordability compared to downtown areas.

The neighborhood is diverse, with a mix of residential and commercial spaces.

East Boston is known for its safety, cultural diversity, and accessibility via public transportation.

Crime rates have steadily dropped in recent years; as of 2023, East Boston’s crime rate is 34% lower than the national average.

10. Hyde Park

Proudly rocking a population of 35,000 and a sort of suburban feel, Hyde Park considers itself “A small town in the city.”

Hyde Park has many independently owned and operated stores, shops, and eateries, and pet parents take note: it has a reputation for sporting one of Boston’s most popular dog parks.

Hyde Park also has a crime rate of 11 property crimes and only one violent crime per 1,000 locals, making the neighborhood 78% safer than the state average.


5 Safety Tips for Traveling to Boston

Boston, filled with history, culture, and vibrant neighborhoods, can be an exciting destination.

While Boston’s generally considered safe for visitors, it’s always smart to take precautions.

  1. Be Aware of Your Surroundings: Boston is a bustling city. Be cautious with personal belongings like bags, wallets, and electronic devices. Pickpocketing can occur in crowded places, so keep your valuables in sight and hold on tight!
  2. Enjoy Public Transit Safely: Boston has a great and efficient transit system, including buses and the “T” subway system. While generally safe, stay aware of your surroundings, especially during peak hours. Conversely, avoid empty subway cars late at night. Get up close and personal and familiarize yourself with the transportation routes and schedules in advance.
  3. Stick to Well-Lit and Populated Areas at Night: When exploring the city at night, stick to well-populated and well-lit streets. Avoid deserted and dark streets, especially if unfamiliar with the spot. If you’re unsure about a particular area, consider Ubering it.
  4. Stay Informed About Weather Conditions: Boston experiences a range of weather, so keep up with the weather forecast and pack accordingly. Additionally, keep up with potential weather-related travel disruptions and have Plan B. Then maybe Plan C.
  5. Research Your Routes: Research the neighborhoods you plan to visit before hitting the streets. Familiarize yourself with the locations of critical attractions, your digs, and nearby attractions and amenities. Planning helps you avoid getting lost in unfamiliar areas.

Boston Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Boston Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any areas to avoid in Boston?

While Boston is generally considered safe, like any urban area, it has neighborhoods with varying reputations.

Here are some areas that have, in the past, been associated with higher crime rates or specific safety concerns:

  • Mattapan: Mattapan, located in the southern part of the city, has had higher crime rates than other neighborhoods.
  • Roxbury: Roxbury, situated south of downtown Boston, has some neighborhoods with higher crime rates.
  • Dorchester (Certain Areas): While Dorchester is a large and diverse neighborhood, some areas have faced safety challenges. Exercise caution, particularly in less-developed or less-traveled areas.
  • Jamaica Plain (Jackson Square): While much of Jamaica Plain is known for its safety, Jackson Square has had a history of crime.
  • South End (Near Mass Ave and Columbus Ave): While the South End’s generally safe, some blocks near Mass Ave and Columbus Ave have had reported incidents.
  • South Boston (Certain Areas): While Southie is known for its safety, there are specific areas, particularly near public housing developments, where safety concerns may arise.

When's the best time to visit Boston?

The most popular time to visit Boston is in the fall, particularly in September and October, with great weather, crisp temperatures, and myriad cultural events.

The city comes alive with the Boston Marathon, fall festivals, and historic sites surrounded by fantastic autumn leaves.

Plus, the summer months, from June to August, attract visitors with warmer temperatures and unique outdoor activities.

Planning and booking your digs early is advisable, as these peak seasons see a surge in visitors.

What's Boston famous for?

Boston is famous for baked beans, The Boston Marathon, MIT, Fenway Park, the term “wicked sma,” and Cheers, the bar “where everyone knows your name.”

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