Is Brooklyn Safe to Visit in 2024? Safety Concerns

Brooklyn, one of New York City’s five boroughs, has undergone significant transformations in recent years, challenging its historical overshadowing by Manhattan as a tourist destination. The borough, particularly along the East River Waterfront, has experienced gentrification, making it a compelling alternative for visitors seeking a distinctive New York City experience.

The Evolution of Safety in Brooklyn

Historically plagued by crime, Brooklyn has seen a remarkable turnaround in recent decades. Areas like Williamsburg, once considered unsafe, have transformed into vibrant neighborhoods with trendy cafes and cultural hotspots. While gentrification has brought about its set of challenges, crime is no longer a predominant concern in many parts of Brooklyn.

Notable Attractions and Neighborhoods

Brooklyn’s appeal lies in its diverse offerings. Bushwick boasts a thriving nightlife scene, Brooklyn Heights provides serene skyline views, and Park Slope offers world-class parks. Additionally, the borough is a culinary paradise, with fabulous food available in virtually every neighborhood.

Safety Concerns in Brooklyn

Common Crimes

Tourists in Brooklyn may encounter petty theft, scams, and, to a lesser extent, random acts of violence. While the overall safety has improved significantly, it’s essential to stay vigilant and informed.

Petty Theft

Petty theft, including pickpocketing and bag snatching, is relatively common in densely populated areas, especially around popular tourist destinations like Prospect Park and the Williamsburg Waterfront. Travelers should secure their belongings and stay aware of their surroundings.


Scams targeting tourists, such as inflated prices or charges for free services, are a concern. Visitors are advised to ask for prices in advance, avoid unlisted product prices, and refrain from purchasing metro cards or tickets from scalpers.

Violent Crime

While violent crime in Brooklyn often involves residents with personal disputes, tourists may occasionally be affected, particularly in property theft situations. Random acts of violence, such as stabbings or subway incidents, do occur. Travelers are urged to stay vigilant and report incidents to the police.

Crime in Brooklyn

Larceny, both petit and grand, is the most common crime in Brooklyn. Tourists can minimize the risk of petit larceny by securing valuables, avoiding distractions, and keeping personal items in front of them while on the subway.

Navigating Brooklyn Safely

Avoiding Scams

To steer clear of scams, tourists should be cautious of overly friendly individuals and always verify prices. Beware of fake cabs at the airport, ATM skimmers, and subway scammers. Utilizing rideshare apps like Lyft or Uber is a common strategy to avoid potential issues with traditional cabs.

Avoiding Random Violence

Remaining aware of surroundings, maintaining eye contact, and walking confidently can deter potential threats. Travelers are advised to be cautious when using the subway, avoiding unnecessary risks like standing near the platform edge.

Identifying Bad Neighborhoods

While tourists are unlikely to enter dangerous neighborhoods, it’s essential to be aware of areas like Bushwick, Brownsville, East New York, and Vinegar Hill. Understanding the characteristics of these neighborhoods can help visitors navigate Brooklyn safely.

Additional Tips for a Smooth Visit

In addition to safety considerations, tourists should keep in mind a few other factors for a seamless Brooklyn experience:

  • Seasonal Planning: Visit during the milder seasons of spring or fall to enjoy exploring Brooklyn on foot without extreme weather conditions.
  • Cash Handling: Carry cash, as some establishments may be cash-only. Look for Chinese take-out restaurants or McDonald’s for affordable ATMs.
  • Transportation Options: Always have a second transportation option in mind, considering rideshares, cabs, Citi-bikes, or rentable e-scooters.
  • Local Interaction: Brooklynites are known for their vocal nature; however, they are generally more bark than bite.
  • Subway Safety: While it is technically prohibited, traveling between subway cars can be an effective way to remove yourself from an uncomfortable situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most dangerous part of Brooklyn?

Brownsville is considered the most dangerous part of Brooklyn, known for various crimes, including robberies, murders, drug offenses, and sexual assault.

Is Brooklyn a dangerous city?

Brooklyn has both safe and crime-prone areas. Overall, crime in New York City has been decreasing since the 80s, making Brooklyn comparable in safety to other major U.S. cities.

Is Brooklyn or Manhattan safer?

Excluding extreme outliers, Manhattan and Brooklyn are considered equally safe. Tourists concerned about safety should also consider Queens, the safest borough.

Is it safe to go to Brooklyn at night?

Brooklyn is generally safe at night, with different neighborhoods having varying safety levels. Travelers should exercise caution, travel with a friend when possible, and have alternative transportation plans.

Where should I avoid in Brooklyn?

Tourists should avoid Brownsville, East New York, and Ocean Hill due to high crime rates. Other neighborhoods with elevated crime rates include Bedford-Stuyvesant, Sunset Park, Coney Island, and Gowanus.


Brooklyn is indeed a safe city to visit if one knows where to go. With North Brooklyn offering numerous attractions and amenities for tourists, a visit to this borough can be a delightful experience. By staying informed, exercising caution, and following the provided tips, travelers can navigate Brooklyn’s diverse neighborhoods with confidence. Happy travels!