How Safe Is York for Travel?

Updated On December 20, 2023
York, United Kingdom
Safety Index:
83
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Nestled in the heart of North Yorkshire, England, York fuses history and modernity.

York sports a rich tapestry of medieval architecture at the Rivers Ouse and Foss confluence, including the iconic York Minster and well-preserved city walls.

As one of England’s oldest and most charming cities, York’s cobblestone streets take visitors to past eras, like unraveling layers of history, from the Romans to the Vikings.

Beyond its historic import and Instagram-friendly allure, York offers fun markets, cool cafes, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

Warnings & Dangers in York

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: LOW

York is known as one of the safest cities in the UK. The busy City Centre is filled with tourists and locals, bringing a lively vibe and imparting a sense of security whether you’re a woman going out solo, a group of friends meeting up for a night on the town, or a business person eager to mix pleasure with productivity.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

Walking and biking are typical ways to get around York and are part of what makes the city unique. Yes, buses do run regularly in the town. However, it’s generally a 20-minute walk from one end of York to the other. You can use the iTravelYork app to aid you in navigating around York. York has a safe public transit system for getting to and from the city. The train station provides direct service to Manchester, London, and Edinburgh. Many of the large towns are about a two-hour train ride away.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW

While York is generally considered safe, it’s wise to be cautious about pickpocketing, especially in crowded tourist areas. Keep an eye on your belongings, use anti-theft bags, and avoid displaying valuables publicly. Be watchful in busy places, like markets, public transit, and popular attractions, where pickpockets tend to operate. While pickpockets can target a victim in any city area, they’re incredibly active around attractions like York Minster or the city walls. Keep your cash and cards where pickpockets can’t quickly grab them. And consider using a money belt for added security.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: LOW

The issue with the most likely probability of occurring in York is flooding. Factors include: • Deforestation in the North York Moors has led to less interception and more significant surface runoff. • York’s is located at the River Ouse and the River Foss confluence. Flat and low in York means flood water quickly spreads. • The concrete and tarmac in York’s urban areas lead to increased surface runoff. To stay safe and simply for ease of mind if flooding is anticipated, you can sign up to get flood warnings via phone, message, text, or email.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: LOW

York has a reputation as one of the safest cities in the UK. According to Crime Rate, in 2021, the last year available for statistics. The UK has a Global Peace Index of 34, making it a secure place for visitors and locals.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

Counter-terrorism police data shows the hotline had 1,350 reports for two weeks in October compared to 620 the previous year; the number of reports containing information classified as significant rose from 50 to 200. UK police say the Israel-Gaza conflict could have an “energizing effect” on those regarding attacks. While there’s no specific threat, keeping up with local news is a good idea.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: LOW

It’s always wise not to accept things from strangers you meet on the street, including pamphlets or papers. Remember when your parents warned you against taking candy from strangers? Make the home team proud.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW

It’s generally a safe area for folks who travel solo to York, and solo female travelers are pretty safe when visiting this city. The Bounce Women Travel Safety Index has rated the United Kingdom a high level of safety for women. And so, yes, York is an excellent choice for solo women to travel to and feel safe. Set an itinerary; if you change your plans, text so someone knows your plans have changed. And maybe tell the staff at your accommodation where you’re headed and get their opinion on the street, tips to stay safe, and an idea of areas to avoid. Local inside info is invaluable when you’re traveling alone.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

According to the numbers supplied by Numbeo, a crowd-sourced global database, Numbeo gave the water quality high marks in their drinkability and accessibility index, earning a score of 78 / 100 (100 best).

Safest Places to Visit in York

Finding safe York neighborhoods is easy because the city is generally secure.

However, to give you a destination to point to, consider these three neighborhoods.

City Centre: The charm and history of the City Centre are a huge draw.

The City Centre is one of the most popular neighborhoods, with congested streets and crowded attractions.

For those wishing to cut down on the most intense crowds, consider visiting in the early morning or at dinner.

Holgate: A residential area close to York’s most exciting landmarks, museums, and eateries.

It’s close to the City Centre, but far enough away from the crowds; you can walk to most attractions.

Bootham: Enjoy a budget-friendly residential area that’s a short walk to the City Centre.

In Bootham, you can enjoy a quiet neighborhood with tucked-away pubs and cafés.

Places to Avoid in York

While York is generally a safe and welcoming city, exercising caution in crowded tourist areas is advisable to prevent petty theft.

Avoid poorly lit alleys and isolated places, especially at night.

Though rare, being vigilant against pickpocketing is recommended, particularly in bustling areas and public transport.

Respect local guidelines and be aware of your surroundings to ensure a secure and enjoyable visit to this historic gem.

Following basic safety precautions will contribute to a positive experience in York.

Safety Tips for Traveling to York

Traveling to York, UK is a fantastic experience; however, staying safe is always important. Remember, enjoying your trip is essential, but make safety a priority.

  1. Research and Plan: Familiarize yourself with the local customs, emergency services, and vital contact numbers. Plan your itinerary and have a general idea of the places you’ll be visiting.
  2. Secure Your Goodies: Secure your belongings, especially in crowded tourist areas. Use anti-theft bags, money belts, or pouches to protect your valuables.
  3. Stay Informed: Stay updated on local news and any travel advisories for the area. Check with your embassy or consulate for relevant information.
  4. Health Precautions: Ensure travel insurance covers medical emergencies. Carry any necessary medication in your carry-on.
  5. Transit Safety: Use reliable transit options, and be mindful when using public transport. Keep an eye on your belongings while on buses or trains.
  6. Emergency Contacts: Save essential contacts in your phone, including local emergency services and your embassy. Consider sharing your itinerary with someone, whether a friend or family member or someone at the place you’re staying at. If your itinerary changes, that’s beautiful, and serendipity is a fun part of the travel experience, but you still might want to let someone know when your plans change.
  7. Weather Preparedness: Check the weather forecast and pack accordingly. Be prepared for rain, as the weather in the UK can be unpredictable–except for the rain. The rain will come, except if you carry a large umbrella.
  8. Be Sensitive. Culturally Sensitive, That Is: Respect local customs and traditions. Read the room and see how the other folks around you are acting. Use common sense and consideration. Respect the room: dress modestly when visiting religious sites, and be conscious of your behavior in public spaces.
  9. Hydrated, Fed, and Happy: Carry a reusable water bottle and stay hydrated, especially if you plan on doing a lot of walking. Consider slipping a simple, nutritious snack into a pack, purse, or pocket. Hint: they call it Trail Mix for a reason. That way, you can wait until you find an eatery that looks good rather than being whipped by hunger to make questionable decisions.
  10. Be Aware of Scams: Be cautious of common tourist scams, such as fake petitions, distraction techniques, and overcharging. Trust your instincts and remove yourself from the situation if something feels off.

So... How Safe Is York Really?

Is York safe?

Yes.

The city is exciting enough for a great night out and a busy weekend shopping experience.

But York also has a sleepy, laidback town feel that doesn’t fit its city status.

As they say, York is as safe as it gets in Yorkshire.

The city, which has excellent shopping and dining yet maintains a serene town feel, has earned the lowest crime level in the county.

For example, in 2020, the police report noted only 61 crimes per 1,000 residents.

As visitors, most people tour the York City Centre, which is safer than some of the outskirts neighborhoods.

The lawlessness in York City Centre is mainly limited to shoplifting and bike thievery.

Sadly, there are rare cases of sexual assault and alcohol-fuelled mayhem and mischief, so stay alert, especially at night.

How Does York Compare?

CitySafety Index
York83
London68
Northern Ireland56
Belfast56
Edinburgh70
Scotland71
Glasgow55
La Paz (Bolivia)52
Sao Paulo (Brazil)45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)43
Sofia (Bulgaria)73
Siem Reap (Cambodia)63
Phnom Penh (Cambodia)61

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

York welcomes visitors with a rich cultural heritage and historical charm. To prepare for a smooth journey, review your visa requirements. Obtaining the correct visa is crucial for tourism, business, or study. Plan, consult the official UK government website, and make your visit to York a memorable experience. For anyone wanting to apply for a UK visa in the USA: • Apply online • Pay your fee • Book and attend your biometric appointment • Attend an Application Support Center (ASC) • Mail your application

Currency

Currency

Plan a hassle-free visit by getting up close and personal with the local currency. And if you guessed that the money accepted, honored, and cherished in the UK is the British Pound Sterling (£), well done! ATMs can be found throughout the city, and credit/debit cards are readily accepted in most places where you might find yourself. For those other places, you’ll want cash. From exploring historical sites to enjoying local cuisine, having the correct currency helps you in many ways.

Weather

Weather

York experiences a temperate maritime climate with mild summers and cool winters. Summer temps range from 59 °F to 77°F, while winters average between 32 °F to 46 °F. Rain is possible/probable/inevitable year-round, so packing a capsule wardrobe and a waterproof jacket is an easy answer to travel dressing. Start with light wardrobe basics such as shorts, dresses, T-shirts, and clothing with buttons, zippers, sleeves, and comfortable shoes in summer. Add a coat, gloves, and a hat for winter. Regardless of the season, an umbrella, light layers of natural fabrics, and adaptable/multi-function pieces allow you to enjoy the city, whatever the weather.

Airports

Airports

Alas, York has no airport, but the nearest major airports are Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) and Manchester Airport (MAN). LBA is approximately 32 miles away, offering domestic and international flights. MAN, around 80 miles from York, is a larger international airport with extensive connections. Both airports provide transportation options to reach York, making air travel convenient for visitors.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Securing travel insurance is essential when visiting York, UK. It provides financial protection in the event of, well...the unexpected. Yes, there is a way to plan for unforeseen events, including -- but not limited to--trip cancelations, medical emergencies, or lost luggage. Keep your peace of mind by purchasing comprehensive travel insurance before your journey. This safeguard covers unforeseen circumstances and allows you to explore York confidently, knowing you’re protected against potential travel-related challenges.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

York Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 4° C
Feb 4° C
Mar 6° C
Apr 9° C
May 12° C
Jun 15° C
Jul 17° C
Aug 16° C
Sep 14° C
Oct 11° C
Nov 7° C
Dec 4° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
771013161921211814107
Low
°C
112471012119731
High
°F
454550556166707064575045
Low
°F
343436394550545248453734

United Kingdom - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Aberdeen63
Bath81
Belfast56
Birmingham44
Bradford42
Brighton67
Bristol58
Cambridge78
Canterbury79
Cardiff64
Coventry41
Dundee60
Edinburgh70
Exeter77
Glasgow55
Inverness73
Leeds56
Leicester43
Liverpool56
London68
Manchester44
Newcastle upon Tyne72
Northern Ireland56
Nottingham56
Oxford66
Peterborough70
Salford43
Scotland71
Sheffield74
Southampton65
Surrey77
York83

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