Connecticut : Safety by City
- East Hartford
- New Haven
- New London
- Old Saybrook
- West Hartford
- Windsor Locks
A blend of big city life and beach access in the metropolis of Bridgeport, Connecticut.
This city has centuries of history throughout the community and a little something for everyone.
Circus fans will recognize the name P.T. Barnum, but did you know he was once a mayor of this city and a prestigious legislator in Connecticut before taking this circus show on the road?
That’s just one of many interesting facts about this port city.
It’s known as the “City of Parks” for the community parks that are a step above picnic tables and playgrounds.
The first park was established in 1806, so you’re getting a history lesson while exploring the parks here too.
The state zoo is in Bridgeport as well.
You’ve got several beaches to explore and a downtown area that is always rife with activity.
All the while, you’re just an hour’s train ride to the heart of New York City.
Bridgeport is made up of 13 neighborhoods and those will become more important when we talk about crime rates.
There’s a map of each neighborhood on the city website.
Warnings & Dangers in Bridgeport
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
There's a medium overall risk in Bridgeport due to high violent crime rates. This is a bigger city with nearly 150,000 people, so it's going to come with more crime than smaller communities. There are some dangerous parts of town but many safe places as well.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Greater Bridgeport Transit (GBT) is the public bus system. The train station to New York City is right at Seaside Park. There are taxis and rideshares widely available. There's a low risk, but always be on your toes at bus stops, especially after dark. There is also a water taxi to get to Pleasure Island and back.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
Just one percent of the thefts were pickpockets or purse snatchings in 2020. There's a low risk but a higher potential due to the size of the city.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
There's a low risk here, but you also have to understand this is an area that gets a full winter. That means there will be snowstorms and potentially blizzards. If you are from a warmer climate, that might seem like a higher risk, but for people who live here, this is just part of winter and there's a good supply of snowplows to help clear the streets.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
There's a medium risk here and a high risk after dark. 70% of the robberies that happened were highway robberies, which means they happened in a public places. I'm not sure I've researched a city with so many highway robberies.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
The entire Eastern Seaboard is going to be a hard target for terrorists. While New York could be the main target, the ripple effect in Connecticut could be overwhelming. The city does have a Local Emergency Planning Committee connected to Homeland Security, so that should give some comfort to those highly concerned about this.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
There's not a scam being reported that directly impacts tourists, but with the crime levels in this town there's always going to be someone looking to make a buck. Never fall for a "too good to be true" proposition. It's a low risk, but there's a larger chance a new scam could pop up in the future.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
The sexual crimes rate here is at the national average but above the Connecticut average. Women have a medium risk just because of all the inherent dangers from the crime numbers. Study the neighborhoods to know where the safest places are, and never walk around alone after dark.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The latest water quality report shows there's a low risk and testing samples of water chemicals are far below the contamination limits.
Safest Places to Visit in Bridgeport
There are safe places to visit, whether you want the beach, bougie attractions, or the best historic places.
Let’s start seaside.
There’s Seaside Beach with the Fayerweather Island Lighthouse at the very end.
Learn more about parking at the #3 safety tip below.
Pleasure Island is on the other side of the harbor.
You’ll also see the Tongue Port Light(house) between the two parks.
This is known locally as “The Bug.”
The Barnum Museum is a must-see for history buffs.
This eclectic museum showcases the life of P.T. Barnum from his days as a local leader through the development of what became a world-renowned circus.
You can see nearly 90 animals of all kinds at the Beardsley Zoo.
Bears are being added in the summer of 2022.
You do have to purchase tickets online ahead of time and cannot buy them at the zoo entrance.
Downtown Bridgeport is a beautiful area that starts with a colonial seaside feel and then turns into a big city vibe as you go inland.
There is plenty of shopping and dining to do in this area, and it’s pretty walkable.
It’s best to do sightseeing here during the day due to crime rates.
The best place for nightlife is going to be in Black Rock, on the southeast side of the city near the water.
Fairfield Avenue is lined with drinking and dining options.
To get some fresh outdoor air, head 30 minutes north to the Sleeping Giant State Park, with a historic lookout tower.
The name comes from the way the hills lie here, looking like the outline of a giant taking a nap.
Places to Avoid in Bridgeport
Outside of the Black Rock, South End, and East End neighborhoods, the neighborhoods along the water have the most crime.
The farther north you go, the lower the crime rates are.
The beach locations are among the lowest crime rates in the city, so that’s a bonus for tourists.
If you want to enjoy a night out, Black Rock has a bunch of restaurants and bars along Fairfield Avenue, and it’s in one of the safest parts of town (by crime numbers, at least.)
You need to lock your cars and roll up the windows when parking there.
Nearly 700 cars were stolen in 2021.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Bridgeport
- When people refer to “The City” in Bridgeport, that means New York City. The Big Apple is just 60 minutes away by train and a lot of people from this area commute for work.
- You can sign up for city notifications about emergencies through the Citizen Alert System. You will need a local address, but you can just use the address of your hotel. This will get you hyper-local notifications and you can select the kind of notifications you want to get.
- If you are heading to Seaside Beach, there’s going to be literal sticker shock if you’re parking there. For out-of-state cars, it’s $60 on weekends and $50 on weekdays. This sticker can also get you into Bearsley Park and St. Mary’s by the Sea.
- Parking is free in downtown Bridgeport on weekends, but you’ll have to pay through the newly installed smart meters during the week from 8 am to 6 pm. City holidays offer free parking as well if you’re there on a three-day weekend.
- When you are checking prices for your preferred attraction, make sure you look for “out of state” or “non-resident” charges. Connecticut residents get a lot of great deals throughout the state, but outsiders generally are going to pay more.
- Bridgeport is a very diverse city. There are 42% Hispanic/Latino, 34% African American, 19% Caucasian, and 4% Asian in the population. You’ll meet a wide variety of people and many people associate Connecticut with a certain upscale style of life. There are nicer parts of Bridgeport, but overall it’s just a diverse working-class community with an average income of less than $50,000 and 23% live in poverty.
- Locals say the city is very loud around the clock. There might be an impromptu party, noise from the bay, or traffic noises. You might want to bring a noise machine to drown out the city noise to get a good night’s sleep.
- There is a curfew in place for anyone under 18. They can’t be out between 11 pm and 6 am unless accompanied by an adult. The curfew is midnight on weekends.
- Look for the Bridgeport Police Blotter on the police department’s website. They list all the crimes in the past month. I’m looking at February 2022 right now and it’s 44 pages long (to be fair, it does include traffic citations, which make up a good chunk of the list.) This list can give you a better handle on crime rates closer to your time of visit.
- There are a lot of great fishing spots in Connecticut, but you’ll need a license to fish. This is another activity where non-residents pay more. To get a license for all waters (inland and saltwater) it’s going to cost you $63.
So... How Safe Is Bridgeport Really?
There are a lot of concerning numbers in Bridgeport, especially if you have the stereotypical notion that all of Connecticut is rich with large homes and idyllic shopping areas.
This is a working-class city with a lot of traffic and noise.
Since the early 1800s, this city has been trying to make itself bigger and safer, but there has always been an element of crime here.
Here’s how the crime risk breaks down:
- Violent Crime: 1 in 188 risk
- Robbery: 1 in 362 risk
- Theft: 1 in 146 risk
- Car Theft: 1 in 212 risk
You are going to find reviews that say this is a place where you “wake up every day and face death”, while others say if you’re not into drugs, sex crimes, or other illegal activities, there’s no risk at all.
Should you lock the doors while driving around this unfamiliar city?
Are you at imminent risk of being a crime victim?
Using basic safety practices and understanding there’s a diverse and congested city around you will go a long way.
How Does Bridgeport Compare?
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- Visas - You'll process the Visa at the airport and won't need any additional processing to get into Bridgeport.
- Currency - The U.S Dollar is the only currency used here. Depending on which airport you choose, there should be currency exchange available at the airport.
- Weather - You will get all four seasons here with appropriate temperatures. Winter is very cold, so bring a coat, gloves, and scarves. Spring and fall are picture perfect and don't forget the fall trees changing colors as it's quite beautiful in this region. The summers are warm, but not insufferably hot. On average, it rains or snows eight days each month.
- Airports - Bridgeport only has an airport for charter flights. You are about 90 minutes away from the massive JFK airport in NYC. Bradley International Airport (BDL) in Hartford is an hour north. There are some smaller regional airports about an hour away, but JFK and BDL are the best options.
- Travel Insurance - You'll want to insure your trip with insurance in case a winter storm or other weather event causes problems. Even weather events in other cities can have a ripple effect on regional travel.
Bridgeport Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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