How Safe Is Los Angeles for Travel?

Los Angeles, United States
Safety Index:
56

The city of Los Angeles is the most populous city in California and probably the most popular one in America.

Located in Southern California, the city is most famous for being the home of the world’s biggest stars from movies, through television to music.

It is the biggest movie hub and the center of American film and TV industry.

Los Angeles is surrounded by various natural goods like vast mountain ranges, valleys, forests, beautiful beaches along the Pacific Ocean, and even a nearby desert.

Most tourists that come to visit the Los Angeles area interested in landmarks connected to the American movie industry and Hollywood, like visiting Disney World, Universal Studios, Hollywood Walk of Fame, etc.

The rest of the visitors that are less interested in movie making are usually here to visit Los Angeles’ gorgeous beaches that spread along the Pacific Ocean.

Warnings & Dangers in Los Angeles

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM

Los Angeles is overall a very safe city, with extremely rich and safe neighborhoods and extremely dangerous ones that balance each other out. You are advised to remain vigilant around tourist landmarks, since pickpockets are an issue there, and keep an eye out for suspicious activities wherever you go.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW

Taxis and other forms of transportation are known to be very safe and reliable in Los Angeles, as opposed to many other major cities in America. Still, avoid bus, metro and railway stations at night if you're unaccompanied.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM

The most common types of petty crime are pick-pocketing and purse-snatching on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and public transport to and from Hollywood. Apply common sense like holding your purses tightly and being wise when carrying them, keeping wallets in front pockets, and being alert to one's surroundings and it should be enough to prevent these incidents.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

When it comes to natural disasters in Los Angeles, the most dangerous one is the risk of an earthquake, though they aren't very common. The last one occurred in 1994.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM

When it comes to chances of being mugged or kidnapped, they are moderate in Los Angeles, as long as you don't wander off into dangerous areas. Stick to the main streets and avoid suspicious areas and neighborhoods, or getting in altercations with individuals that appear to be gang members.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM

Los Angeles hasn't been the target of any terrorist attacks recently, but possible 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 Los Angeles, too. 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 : LOW

The city of Los Angeles is very safe for women to travel to, as long as they stay away from dangerous neighborhoods (and this doesn't only apply to women). Just follow your basic common sense and general rules of things to avoid, like poorly lit streets and deserted areas and you should be fine.

So... How Safe Is Los Angeles Really?

Although most areas frequented by tourists in Los Angeles are family safe, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Westwood, and West L.A. included, it is still wise that you take basic precaution measures.

There are some areas and neighborhoods in Los Angeles were walking at night should be avoided or at least conducted with caution and accompanied by someone.

Such areas are located in or near downtowns, such as Skid Row, Pico-Union, Westlake, Boyle Heights, and South Central.

These areas can be dangerous both during the daytime and after dark.

If you’re traveling in the San Fernando Valley region of the City of Los Angeles, by all means, avoid walking along with the neighborhoods of Pacoima, Panorama City, Arleta, Van Nuys, Canoga Park, North Hills, North Hollywood (northern half), and Northridge (southern half).

The thing about the crime statistics in L.A. is that this city has a great amount of very safe neighborhoods such as Bel Air, Pacific Palisades, Westwood that balance out the numbers from the extremely dangerous neighborhoods.

But if the South Central area of Los Angeles was counted as a separate city, it would have the highest crime and murder rate of any city in America.

Another issue in this city is that both the City of Los Angeles and the County of Los Angeles, unfortunately, are infamous for gang violence and crime.

However, gangs generally stick to areas that are of no interest to tourists and you’ll easily recognize their territories by graffiti markings.

How Does Los Angeles Compare?

CitySafety Index
Los Angeles56
Atlanta58
St Louis58
Oakland57
New Orleans57
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)43
Sofia (Bulgaria)73
Siem Reap (Cambodia)63

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 Los Angeles. 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 - Los Angeles has a coveted subtropical-Mediterranean climate, a perfect climate for any visitor planning to go to Los Angeles. This means that the city is mostly sunny all year long, with instances of long dry spells and unusually rainy months. The weather is mild to warm all the time, though.
  • Airports - Los Angeles International Airport is the primary international airport in Los Angeles, California. It is located south of the Westchester district of Los Angeles, about 30 km southwest of Downtown Los Angeles.
  • Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Los Angeles, 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

Los Angeles Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 15° C
Feb 16° C
Mar 16° C
Apr 18° C
May 20° C
Jun 22° C
Jul 24° C
Aug 24° C
Sep 24° C
Oct 21° C
Nov 18° C
Dec 15° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
202121232426292929262320
Low
°C
10101113151718191816129
High
°F
687070737579848484797368
Low
°F
505052555963646664615448

Where to Next?

5 Reviews on Los Angeles

  1. A
    Anonymous says:

    Nice city avoid skid row

  2. A
    Anonymous says:

    TOO much going on here

    My experience in one month (LA):

    2 scams
    1 shooting across the street
    1 assault
    2 earthquakes (4.0)
    Multiple sounds of police sirens throughout the day and night.
    Homeless people are everywhere, California has a huge issue here with drugs + homeless.
    I’d have stayed longer, It’s impossible to get peace in this city. Yes, for vacations in a hotel is nice… But not recommended as a place to live.
    Rude manners, most of the people working in customer service are just complementary of the vibe of this city.

    I will come back for a few days to vacation but I’m moving out again.

  3. A
    Anonymous Zero says:

    I’d never expect yoda trying to pull a scam on me in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater! Once you past the tourist spot, the glam, you were able to see the “true colors”… However, what I like about the city is people were laid back. Met dozens of decent locals in my trip. Would like to return one day! Love from Hong Kong!

  4. A Lot to do.

    Another Big City. One correction though, you can visit Disneyland, which is not far from Los Angeles. But, Disney World Is in Florida, which is on the other side of the country.

    Most tourist and nightlife areas are relatively safe. But, instead of Hollywood, check out Silver Lake, just 2 miles East on Sunset Blvd. then, jump on the bus and go 2 more miles East, also on Sunset, and visit Chinatown.

    Stay in a good hotel. Before you book, look at the reviews on Yelp. You might find a great hotel, with a great price, by looking outside the tourist areas. Check hotel prices by hospitals or the like.

    People are friendlier the further East you go. If you are visiting areas like Santa Monica, don’t expect to have a casual chat, or even a nod, from people. Once you get East of the 405, people will begin to be nicer. Once you are East of Vermont Blvd, the vibe is more relaxed.

    Check out Koreatown, for BBQ too! Just avoid areas like skid row.

    Los Angeles has good weather and with that, as huge number of people experiencing homelessness. They won’t freeze in Los Angeles, unlike other US cities. Most homeless are nice people, but remember that they are in a stressful situation and be mindful. And, some are drug addicts. For the most part, they are ok. And, avoid skid row!

    Driving in Los Angeles can be overwhelming. Just relax. The goal is to get there, not get there first. Drive at the same speed of others. But definitely, look at renting a car, if you plan to see a lot. Los Angeles is big and a car Is important. Since you’re going to be driving, don’t forget that Los Angeles hosts some great mountain ranges and ski areas are nearby too. Check out the beaches in Malibu, or find your own stretch of sand.

    The Los Angeles zoo is ok, the parks are nice, Griffith Observatory a lot of effort, Little Tokyo of yummy, Hollywood Forever Cemetery is really cool and hosts events, Hsi Lia Temple is worth the drive (largest temple in Western Hemisphere and very tourist friendly), Santa Monica Pier is a blast on a warm day, and a visit to one of the many outdoor shopping malls is fun. Check to see about the food courts, some are amazing.

    Do not carry all your cash, you know. Same precautions as revealing anyplace else on the planet.

  5. Avoid popular destinations and you will have fun

    People seem to either hate or love LA, there’s no in-between. I’m not one for tourist traps aka the Hall of Fame, the Hollywood sign or the Santa Monica Pier so these weren’t even on my list. I just did some digging, basically reading travel forums and reddit until I came up with an itinerary for our five-day stay.

    In fact, LA is not a typical tourist destination like Vegas where you see tourists everywhere. And this is what I like most about it.

    Rent a car since it will give you the freedom you need. It’s way cheaper than ubering from one destination to another. To avoid not finding the right car for you I would book one the day before you land. I hate not having more options and having to settle, especially if I’m spending more than just a few days in that place.

    Activity wise, you won’t get bored in LA. If you’re more nerdy like me then museums – The Getty is an absolute must – and galleries along with libraries are great ways to spend a good chunk of your day. My wife is all about outdoor life so she was the one in charge of finding cool hiking and biking trails. Who knew you could find waterfall hikes in LA?!

    Indeed, homeless people are a big thing right now, especially post covid, but unfortunately I’m used to this as a New York City resident. If you mind your own business and ignore their questions or occasional rants you will be ok. The only emotion they get out of me is anger, anger towards the system that has let them down, I don’t feel weirded out by them simply being there.

    I’m always very serious about car insurance, not leaving things in the car, not flashing wads of cash around, having my contactless card out of sight at all times etc.

Rated 3.8 / 5 based on 5 user reviews.

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