How Safe Is Boston for Travel?

Boston, United States
Safety Index:
67

A city with some of the richest history and the biggest influence in America, Boston lies in New England, the state of Massachusetts.

It is its capital actually, and also the biggest one in New England.

It boasts a great number of museums, historical sights, live performances, so it is no wonder that there’s an annual influx of about 16.3 million visitors.

What’s peculiar about this city in a geographical sense is that the neighboring cities of Cambridge and Brookline, though they are not technically in Boston, are functionally connected with Boston and act as a part of the city.

The amazing part is that these two additional parts of Boston contribute to its cultural, social and artistic significance.

Cambridge, for example, is home to Harvard, MIT, and several galleries while Brookline is effectively surrounded by Boston is swarming with its shops, restaurants, and bars.

Warnings & Dangers in Boston

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM

Boston is generally safe for tourists, though some neighborhoods are best avoided. A crime that does occur is mainly between members of street gangs or individuals who know each other, and in areas that are of no interest to visitors. Avoid sketchy neighborhoods and take normal precaution measures.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

Public transport, for a change, is relatively safe and reliable in Boston. It consists of buses, subways, commuter rail, and ferries regulated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA or "T"). However, it isn't the safest after dark, so be very careful.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM

Pickpockets are a common issue in Boston, as it's a city that attracts an enormous amount of tourists. You should always keep your belongings firmly by your side as bag snatching also happens. The best would be to keep your valuables in your accommodation.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

When it comes to natural disasters, the main concern for Boston is earthquakes, as well as dangerous winds like hurricanes and tornadoes.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM

When it comes to chances of being mugged or kidnapped, they do exist in Boston. Muggers are lurking for tourists that are aplenty in this city. Violent street crime does happen but it can be avoided if you avoid dangerous areas of some neighborhoods that even locals rarely dare to walk around.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM

The city of Boston hasn't been targeted by any terrorist group recently, but the attacks shouldn't be ruled out. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM

Just like in other tourist destinations, there will be people trying to scam you in Boston, too. Homeless people can be aggressive and use force when you don't want to hand them money. Be wary of anyone trying to distract you, flashing large signs in front of you or ATMs that look like they've been tampered with.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM

Boston is very safe for female solo travelers. Following basic precaution measures should completely minimize the chances of anything going wrong. Just act as you would in any other country or your hometown, and you should be fine

So... How Safe Is Boston Really?

As in any major city in America, crime can be an issue, and this goes for both petty and violent crime.

Given that the city attracts a huge amount of tourists with all of the tourist attractions, museums, and monuments, it’s only natural that it attracts pickpockets too.

This is where it’s best to not walk around displaying your belongings like cameras, expensive watches, jewelry, money, wallets or passports.

Act as you would in your city, and avoid deserted and poorly lit areas.

The city can become more dangerous after dark, so it is best to avoid parks at night because this is often where criminal activities and drug use take place after dark.

Tourists are highly advised to stick to landmarks and tourist areas.

Though Boston is safe during daylight and relatively safe after dark, some specific areas of Boston are best avoided.

These are Roxbury, Mattapan, and Dorchester, but since there aren’t any tourist attractions here, it’s unlikely that visitors will have any problems in these parts of Boston.

Avoid Boston Common or the Public Garden late at night unless there is a big public event, like a concert.

The usually busy areas of North End, the Waterfront area, and the Theatre District are also locations where it doesn’t hurt to be extra careful at night.

How Does Boston Compare?

CitySafety Index
Boston67
New Orleans57
Baltimore56
Washington DC56
New York City67
Phnom Penh (Cambodia)61
Niagara Falls (Canada)87
Calgary (Canada)82

Useful Information

  • Visas - The US is famous for its harsh policy for acquiring a tourist, let alone a resident visa. The US embassies usually ask for interviews before granting tourist visas, and tourists usually have to pay up to 160 USD to get a visa. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
  • Currency - The United States dollar is the official currency in Boston. Credit and debit cards are accepted nearly everywhere, and ATMs are widely available. The prices vary but you can plan on spending about 100 dollars per day.
  • Weather - The climate in Boston is unpredictable. It can become very cold in the winter, and summers can be filled with rainy spells. The majority of tourism in Boston happens during the summer, from late May through late September, when the weather is more than pleasant. During summer, Boston is very comfortable weather-wise, with sunshine 60-65% of the time.
  • Airports - Logan International Airport officially referred to as General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport is an international airport in East Boston. It is located partly in East Boston and partly in the Town of Winthrop and it contains six runways.
  • Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Boston, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Boston Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan -1° C
Feb 0° C
Mar 4° C
Apr 10° C
May 15° C
Jun 20° C
Jul 24° C
Aug 23° C
Sep 19° C
Oct 13° C
Nov 7° C
Dec 2° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
34814192528272317116
Low
°C
-5-4-15101519181483-2
High
°F
373946576677828173635243
Low
°F
232530415059666457463728

Where to Next?

12 Reviews on Boston

  1. Hilarious.

    This is a joke, right?

  2. Boston does not have earthquakes

    Boston does not have earthquakes… natural disaster risk is extremely low.

    1. M
      MrKern2u says:

      This is about risk. There is a fault line that runs through there. So, that means there is potential risk.

  3. There is no earthquakes in Boston

    There is no earthquakes in Boston but other than that everything else was pretty accurate.

    1. A
      Anonymous says:

      Having lived in Boston for 12 years (having since moved), I can tell you that it is worth mentioning. Because there is a fault line, you can still be affected by tremors and issues with them knocking out power structures and causing damages in high-rise buildings. Overall, Boston is not a safe place because of the people. I would worry more about them than earthquakes.

      1. I’ve lived on the same fault line in the east coast for my entire life and I have not once felt a tremor. My parents can only count one or two instances of the past several decades where they can remember feeling “slight movement” for a few seconds. There is no risk and it’s not worth mentioning. You probably have a better chance at getting hit a car or dying from a heart attack.

  4. Mostly correct

    No earthquakes, and it’s pretty safe for woman travelers. Other than that, pretty accurate. Avoid Mattapan.

    1. a
      anactualwoman says:

      Glad James thinks its safe for women. Ask James why if you’re ever in Boston why you should avoid Mattapan. I doubt it has anything to do with parking.

  5. F
    Felicia says:

    Surprised to see Medium across the board for Boston

    Surprised to see Boston with Medium safety risk. I wasn’t expecting things to be this bad there but what do I know. I’m not from the US but I like the US and plan on visiting there and am now trying to find the best cities (and preferably safest) I should visit. If I don’t do this trip now I may never do it so… I guess I’ll just look at the green cities you have on the site and pick some I actually want to see.

    1. K
      Kate Egan says:

      Boston is best.

      Having lived or visited many US cities it is absolutely safer than most cities. This is especially true in the tourist areas- Faneuil Hall, Seaport, Southie, Back Bay, Longwood area etc.
      Why -Boston is a walkable city so lots of foot traffic and a large student population. Also gun safety laws so no open or concealed carry.
      Boston is like a European city and a wonderful place to visit or live.

  6. I can’t believe they forgot to put blizzards on the list, the rest of the stuff is not even as common as blizzards.

  7. A
    Anonymous Resident says:

    One of the Safest Cities to Visit

    Boston is an extremely safe city, especially for tourists. It’s one of the least problematic cities in the country. You can walk around with expensive bags, cameras, drive a sports car, etc, go on walks through the parks at night, etc. Women (solo) frequently run at night on the esplanade or through the parks, children and teens hang around in the squares and on Newbury St, etc. I’ve lived here for the greater half of a decade and everyone I know of all genders says Boston is one of the most comfortable, quietest, safest, and smartest cities they’ve ever visited in the US. Finally, it doesn’t matter if Boston sits on a fault line if that fault line is renowned for being extremely inactive. Most of the east coast is on a fault line and ask how many times life-long residents can recall an earthquake, they won’t be able to answer that question. The fact that earthquakes are listed as more of a concern than say, I don’t know, BLIZZARDS, tells me you haven’t really lived there. The winter in Boston can be absolutely horrible, most people avoid visiting until the spring.

Rated 4 / 5 based on 12 user reviews.

Share Your Experience