How Safe Is Brooklyn for Travel?

Brooklyn, United States
Safety Index:
74

Usually seen as Manhattan’s younger, less developed sibling, Brooklyn is one of the five boroughs that make up New York City — arguably America’s greatest, most exciting city.

When most people think of NYC, Manhattan first comes to mind. Although this borough, regionally known as “The City,” does have its merits, the other four boroughs, especially Brooklyn, frequently get overlooked, despite everything they have to offer.

Brooklyn may not yet have as glowing a reputation as its more famous sibling, but many people who live in this culturally rich area claim they live in NYC’s best borough.

And there are plenty of reasons for this claim.

From its eclectic music scene to its colorful street art to its impressive history to its delectable foods, Brooklyn has an array of things to see and do, allowing every kind of tourist to thoroughly enjoy their visit.

Below, we’ll give you a rundown of this dazzling place, including interesting facts about Brooklyn as well as certain parts of this borough you might want to avoid.

Warnings & Dangers in Brooklyn

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : LOW

In general, Brooklyn is quite safe for tourists. As long as they avoid more crime-ridden neighborhoods like Vinegar Hill, East New York, Fort Greene, Crown Heights, and DUMBO, they should expect to have an average, or medium, risk when it comes to their own safety.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

If you’re visiting Brooklyn, chances are you’ll be hitting up other boroughs too, and experiencing different parts of NYC. If this is the case, you’ll very likely be using the public transit system. As one can expect, the busier subway stations tend to see more crime than their lower-traffic counterparts. These stations, according to an Auto Insurance Center study, include 34th Street-Penn Station, 161st Street-Yankee Stadium, and Port Authority. According to forum users on Trip Advisor, taxis in NYC are quite safe, although visitors need to beware of fake taxis, which like to grossly overcharge passengers. We can conclude there’s a medium-to-high risk for transport and taxi users.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM

Recently, NYC has been seeing a spike in pickpockets. This is particularly true on the city’s subways, where serial pickpocketers have learned the art of blending in with everyday commuters and honed their pickpocketing craft. The level of pickpockets risk, therefore, is about medium to high.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

According to FEMA’s National Risk Index, Brooklyn has a “very high” Risk Index rating, with a rating that’s 99.7% higher than other US counties. However, this high rating is largely due to Brooklyn’s denser population, meaning more lives and property would be at stake if a natural disaster occurred. The rating doesn’t necessarily mean that Brooklyn experiences more natural disasters than other places. It just means that more would be lost if something bad happened. Brooklyn, whose most common natural disasters include severe storms, floods, wildfires, and winter storms, has a medium natural disasters risk.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : HIGH

A Neighborhood Scout report says that one’s chance of becoming a violent crime victim is 1 in 184. This is higher than New York State’s, which is 1 in 287. Violent crimes in the report include murder, rape, robbery, and assault. Out of Brooklyn’s population of 2,736,074, there were 3,811 reported cases of robbery. This translates to a rate of 1.39 incidents per 1,000 people, which is higher than the national rate of 0.73 robbery incidents per 1,000 people. Thus, it can be concluded that Brooklyn has a fairly high mugging risk.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM

NYC has had 12 incidents labeled as “terrorist attacks” since 2001 (when the 9/11 attacks took place). The most recent attack was in December 2017 when a Bangladeshi electrician attempted a suicide attack at Times Square. Although there were no fatalities from the bombing incident, 4 people were injured, including the bomber himself. There are no data about terrorism in Brooklyn specifically, but since this borough is a densely populated area, it has a medium-to-high terrorism risk.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM

Like other major cities around the world, NYC and its boroughs aren’t immune to scams. Some of the most common scams in Brooklyn, according to Your Brooklyn Guide, include the following: • Taxi scams (run by fake taxi drivers claiming to be legitimate taxi drivers) • Subway scams (involving people selling MetroCards that either is empty or contain fewer swipes than advertised) • Comedy show ticket scams (involving people selling “tickets” to events that don’t even exist or cost much less than you were charged)Because Brooklyn is a high-traffic area with growing levels of wealth and affluence, it makes sense that the borough has a medium-to-high scams risk.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

There’s no official data about the safety of women travelers specifically (although several bloggers and forum users claim that NYC is very safe for female travelers). Despite the lack of data, Neighborhood Scout’s rape statistics might be of help. According to its report, there were 623 incidents of rape, resulting in a rate of 0.23 per 1,000 people. This is markedly lower than the national rate of 0.38 per 1,000 people. With this information, we can conclude that women travelers have a low safety risk.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK : LOW

Users on Quora say that NYC’s tap water, which comes from well-engineered reservoirs upstate, is extremely safe to drink. In addition, NYC has “no active health-based violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA),” according to Tap Safe. We can therefore conclude that NYC, including Brooklyn, has a low tap water risk.

Safest Places to Visit in Brooklyn

Most of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods are relatively safe, but some are safer than others.

The safest ones include Borough Park, Bay Ridge, Park Slope, Kensington, Midwood, Williamsburg, Dumbo, Gravesend, Dyker Heights, and Carroll Gardens.

Besides being safe, these boroughs offer an endless number of things to do.

For example, Borough Park’s 13th Ave Commercial District provides some of the best shopping options in all of NYC.

You could also enjoy some fresh air at Bay Ridge’s outdoor parks and green spaces, which contribute to the area’s laidback lifestyle.

If you’re looking for a faster-paced environment, check out Williamsburg, which is a haven for young professionals, young families, and young couples.

Whatever your preference, you should visit as many of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods as you can.

After all, they each have their unique charm and beauty, adding to NYC’s social and cultural diversity.

Places to Avoid in Brooklyn

The migration of young professionals to Brooklyn (largely due to its lower rental costs) over the past few decades has led to the gentrification of many of its neighborhoods.

While there have been positives of gentrification in the area, including reduced crime rates, increased local fiscal revenues, and rehabilitation of the property, there have also been negatives.

These cons include displacement of long-term residents, loss of affordable housing, loss of social diversity, and homelessness.

Many of those who have been displaced or become homeless have flocked to neighborhoods that either haven’t been gentrified yet or have been undergoing very slow gentrification.

These neighborhoods include Vinegar Hill, East New York, Fort Greene, Crown Heights, DUMBO, Brownsville, and Navy Hill.

According to Housely, they happen to be some of Brooklyn’s most dangerous neighborhoods.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Brooklyn

  1. Avoid riding empty subway cars. This just isn’t a safe thing to do, especially if it’s obvious that you’re a tourist.
  2. Walk with confidence. Try not to look like you’re a tourist or someone who doesn’t feel like they belong. Instead, keep your head held high and walk as if you know exactly where you’re going and what you’re doing.
  3. Avoid engaging with people who stop you on the street. Most people who try to chat you up will be harmless, but to be safe, simply keep walking.
  4. Keep expensive watches or jewelry at home. Brooklyn may be attracting a growing number of wealthy people and it may be tempting to flaunt, but it’s best not to be a walking advertisement and just leave your valuables at home.
  5. Don’t go out alone at night. If you do need to go out after dark, avoid using the subway as well. Uber and taxi rides are much safer options.
  6. Walk into a store or other public business if you’re being followed. If you do this, chances are the person following you will just stop and go somewhere else.
  7. Watch your drink. If you leave your drink unattended, you never know what someone with ill intentions could put in it.
  8. Stay away if someone is making you uncomfortable. Again, most people on the streets mean zero harm, but if anyone is making you feel uneasy, don’t feel pressured to be polite. Instead, walk in the other direction.
  9. Stick to the low-crime neighborhoods. Most of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods are safe for tourists, but to ensure your safety, you should stay in the borough’s safer neighborhoods, such as Borough Park and Carroll Gardens.
  10. Be aware of your surroundings. This means avoiding wearing headphones. If you can’t hear what’s going on, you run some dangerous risks.

So... How Safe Is Brooklyn Really?

All things considered, Brooklyn is a very safe place to visit.

Brooklyn’s violent crime rate in 2020 was 388.11 incidents per 100,000 people.

Out of the 100 largest cities (by population) in the US, Brooklyn was in 75th place.

This means that Brooklyn was deemed safer than 74 of the most populous cities in the US.

Major cities with similar violent crime rates, which are also popular tourist destinations, included San Jose, Austin, San Diego, and El Paso.

Like most other major cities, Brooklyn has both safe and not-so-safe areas.

As long as tourists stay in the less crime-ridden areas, they should be fine.

The borough of Brooklyn has a never-ending list of things for tourists to see and do.

Just stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings, and you should have the vacation of a lifetime with everything Brooklyn has to offer.

How Does Brooklyn Compare?

CitySafety Index
Brooklyn74
St Louis58
Los Angeles56
Oakland57
New Orleans57
Sofia (Bulgaria)73
Siem Reap (Cambodia)63
Phnom Penh (Cambodia)61

Useful Information

  • Visas - If you’re traveling from outside the US, you’re required to present a passport. Unless you’re a permanent resident or someone who’s staying in the country for more than 90 days, you don’t need a visa.
  • Currency - The official currency of the US is the US dollar. You cannot use any other currency in the country. However, there are many places where you can exchange currency, including kiosks, ATMs, and businesses throughout NYC.
  • Weather - NYC has four seasons throughout the year. While it may sound like the city has the best in every world, its summers are quite hot and humid and its winters are cold and wet. So be sure to dress appropriately for the season.
  • Airports - Located in the Queens borough of NYC, John F. Kennedy International Airport, commonly known as JFK, is the airport most travelers fly into.
  • Travel Insurance - Unexpected things are bound to happen while you’re traveling. These situations include lost luggage, severe illnesses, canceled flights, and more. Unfortunately, these situations can be very costly, making you spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Thankfully, there’s travel insurance, which is designed to curb those financial losses and give you peace of mind during your travels. If you purchase travel insurance, you’ll be able to maximize your fun and relaxation in Brooklyn.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Brooklyn Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan -1° C
Feb 1° C
Mar 6° C
Apr 12° C
May 18° C
Jun 23° C
Jul 26° C
Aug 26° C
Sep 22° C
Oct 15° C
Nov 10° C
Dec 4° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
351017232731302619137
Low
°C
-4-32713182121171060
High
°F
374150637381888679665545
Low
°F
252736455564707063504332

Where to Next?

1 Review on Brooklyn

  1. B
    Barbara says:

    I love New York

    I have lived in NYC for15 years and now live in Brooklyn Borough Park for 13 years and I love my home. Just use your head and be aware of your surroundings and have a great vacation but bring ALOT of money. It’s not cheap here.🤗

Rated 5 / 5 based on 1 user reviews.

Share Your Experience