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Safety in New York City – A Visitors Guide to Staying Safe in NYC

Safety in New York City – A Visitors Guide to Staying Safe in NYC

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Many people think that New York City is unsafe, dangerous. The way NYC is depicted in movies and TV shows doesn’t help its image either!

To tell you the truth, this used to be the case till mid-90s. But since then, New York City has improved a LOT when it comes to safety. In fact, it ranks among the top 10 safest cities in USA!

Not exactly unsafe, eh?

(Image source)


Safety Tips for Visitors and Tourists

But that doesn’t mean you should be taking safety lightly while in NYC. Like any other city, there are people here who want to take advantage of your carelessness. To stay safe, all you need is common sense and some insider tips!

Here are some dos and donts.

Avoid doing things that declare that you are a tourist. Like looking at a map standing on the sidewalk, or chatting away on your phone at a subway station during the peak hour rush. Con-men are looking for tourists, so it is in your interest to look as much like a New Yorker as possible.

Don’t ride in private limos offering a ride – always use marked taxis. This is especially true while travelling from the airport, where there are many people offering travelers a ride. Of course, it is safe to take a pre-arranged a limo.

NYPD Horseback

NYPD Horseback

Don’t flaunt your valuables – this includes your jewelry, watch, camera, video camera, phone, etc. Keep gadgets in your bag when not using them. Turn your ring inside so that the gem is not easily visible.

(Image source)

Keep an eye on your wallet. When you know you would be in crowded places, try to keep it in the front pocket instead of the rear pocket. Be especially careful while watching street performers, as pickpockets are highly active at such places.

Plan ahead and know where you would be. This way, you can avoided shady areas at late hours, and plan when to walk and when to take a cab.

Avoid carrying cash and avoid cash transactions. Use credit cards or debit cards instead.

Use hotel safe to keep your valuables. Most hotel rooms have them, so use them for your peace of mind.

Stay on main streets after dark. Avoid small lanes and dark alleys.

If strangers approach you for help, say “no” politely but firmly. Most such people are not genuine.

Don’t take part in the sidewalk card games. Most such games are scams, plus you run a risk of getting pick pocketed.

If you are in trouble, shout “fire”. Asking for “help” usually doesn’t help.


As you would see, most of these tips are common sense tips – stuff that would help you remain safe in New York City, and any other big city in the world. Follow these, and stay safe!

(For subway safety tips, please read “Tips to Stay Safe in New York City Subway“)


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