Safety in the City - How to have a Safe Visit To New York City

First of all, New York City is one of the safest big cities in the world. In 2014, over 55 million people, both foreign and domestic, visited New York City. That many people wouldn't come to town if they felt unsafe.

Still, New York City is a large place with a large cast of characters; from Wall Street Brokers, Williamsburg Hipsters, your typical Soccer Moms, and unfortunately the law breakers who you'll want to avoid.

Here are some safety tips that can help you have a safe and secure visit to the Big Apple:

Woman Texting on City Street

Safety on the Streets of New York

New York City is probably the most walkable city in the world. Every street has a sidewalk, is well lit at night, and our traffic directional system and street crossing signage is first rate.

However our traffic is a nightmare of explicative producing proportions, especially in Manhattan. So unless you've got the patience of a saint with plenty of time and money to burn sitting in cabs, prepare to ride the subway and do a good amount of walking.

With that being said, here are some things you can do to make walking the city streets as uneventful as possible:

  • Do Your Exploring During the Day - If you want to get out and walk around the city to see what you can see, that's fine, but it's best to do so in the day time and early evening.
  • Know Where You're Going and How to Get there at Night - If you plan on being out late you should definitely know how to get where you're going and how to get back to your hotel when dinner is finished, the Broadway show is over, or you're done clubbing. If it's well after midnight and you have to walk to your hotel or the subway (or from the subway to your hotel) a good distance...don't. Hail a cab or call Uber.
  • Pay Attention - Yes that skyscraper is incredible, yes that dress in that store window is tres chic, and yes there may be half naked people in Times Square, but pay attention to where your walking.
    1. Don't blindly follow people into the Crosswalk - New Yorkers jaywalk and cross against the light on a regular basis. We don't like to wait and death by cab doesn't scare us. Look both ways before you cross the street regardless of what everyone else is doing.
    2. Texting & walking don't mix - Watch where you're going. Walking into traffic or bumping into the wrong person because you were too busy texting can have disastrous results. Step to the side and have your conversation instead.
    3. Watch out for speeding bikers - Some of them have death wishes and ride through city streets at breakneck speed without helmets or regard for the traffic laws that apply to them.
    4. Watch out for open cellar doors - They're left open for a variety of reasons; deliveries, ventilation, forgetfulness.
    5. When out at night, don't be paranoid...but be alert. - The law breakers like to target distracted people.

Now that you've gotten a few great tips on how to safely walk around New York City, both in the daytime and at night, take a look at our next article on how to ride the New York City Subway System Safely.

Enjoy Your Visit

-->How to Safely Ride the New York City Subway