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Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in NYC

most dangerous neighborhoods in nyc

Are you getting ready for a trip to New York City

The Big Apple is one of the most vibrant and popular cities. There are numerous world-famous attractions to visit and interesting neighborhoods to explore. First-time visitors to the city can find the pace of life a little overwhelming at first. Like with most major cities, the crime rate is fairly high, and certain areas should be avoided after dark. 

So, let’s take a look at the most dangerous neighborhoods in NYC and how to stay safe when you travel.

Getting To Know The City

New York City is comprised of five boroughs: Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. New York City has an endless supply of sights and activities for visitors to discover. 

This mighty metropolis is home to famous attractions like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Central Park, and Coney Island. There are also numerous museums and cultural venues like Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Guggenheim Museum.

The Five Boroughs

New York City boasts a tapestry of five neighborhoods, which are known as boroughs. Each of these areas features its own unique characteristics for visitors to discover. It’s worth taking the time to explore these boroughs to get a real feel for the city.

  • Brooklyn boasts a network of tiny neighborhoods and diversity, and this can be an exciting borough to explore. Brooklyn Heights boasts the city’s first historic district and is lined with elegant brownstone buildings. The Promenade can also be found here, which offers stunning views of Manhattan. 
  • The Bronx is perhaps best known for its fantastic zoo, which is a popular destination among families. Sports fans can also check out Yankee Stadium, which is one of the most celebrated sports fields in the world. 
  • Queens is the most ethnically diverse and largest borough in the Big Apple. It covers 109 square miles and is a real paradise for food lovers. Almost every neighborhood and street boasts eateries that serve authentic cuisine from every part of the globe. 
  • Greenwich Village is a neighborhood on the west side of Lower Manhattan and boasts an intricate network of wide, tree-lined streets. Following the borough’s streams and footpaths is a great way to spend a sunny afternoon. More commonly known as the Village, this borough boasts numerous blocks of beautiful old houses, funky shops, and bohemian cafes. 
  • Manhattan is the city’s main financial district and is characterized by orderly streets and office buildings. This borough is home to Battery Park, Wall Street, and Ground Zero. You can also head to Manhattan to take a boat trip to Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, and Staten Island. 

The Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in NYC

New York City is generally a fun place to both visit and live. However, there are certain neighborhoods that it’s best to avoid if possible. A number of factors make particular neighborhoods in NYC very dangerous, especially after dark. 

Hunts Point 

Located in the Bronx, Hunts Point has the reputation of being the most dangerous neighborhood in New York City. This area is rife with prostitution and drug issues. Your chances of being a victim of a crime if you explore this area after dark are around 1 in 22.

Sexual assault crimes, in particular, are on the rise in this area, and women should take care after dark. For every 100,000 people who live in or visit this area, the violent crime rate is around 1,944. Tourists are a particular target, and it’s best to hail a cab immediately if you stumble into this area. 

Hunts Point 


This Brooklyn area has a long history of crime and is connected to drug-related deaths, murder, and homicide. In fact, the murder rate in Brownsville is nearly four times higher than the city’s average. The chance of being a victim of violent crime in Brownsville is around 1 in 36. 

Mott Haven 

This Bronx district has a notoriously high crime rate, and it is best to avoid it, particularly at night. The crime rate in Mott Haven is around 400% higher than the average in the United States. Your chance of becoming a victim of violent crime while exploring Mott Haven is around 1 in 32. 

All types of crime are prevalent in Mott Haven. This includes murder, rape, and robbery. Even traveling through the district to get to another location during the daytime is not advised. The violent crime rate in the district is approximately 2,039 for every 100,000 people. 


This is another Brooklyn district that is notorious for its high crime rate. This district was founded in the 17th century and is locally known as Bed-Stu. 

The Stuyvesant Heights Historic District is a popular tourist attraction among lovers of architecture. Attractions of note include Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, Mount Lebanon Baptist Church, and St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church.


Robberies turn violent, often…

However, robberies in the district are fairly common, and they have a tendency to turn violent. The chances of becoming a victim of crime here are around 1 in 35. If you are set on visiting the district’s churches and other buildings, consider booking a guided tour. 


This district is home to the city’s largest central business district and looks very safe at first glance. However, violent crime has been on the rise here in recent years. In particular, there has been a fairly high number of stabbings from homeless men in the area.

However, Midtown boasts a large number of prominent landmarks, including the World-famous Times Square. This makes Midtown a major tourist attraction and a hunting ground for pickpockets. It’s important to be extra vigilant when exploring this popular district.

Other Midtown landmarks of note include:

  • The Empire State Building
  • The Museum of Modern Art
  • Grand Central Terminal
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  • New York Public Library
  • The Chrysler Building
  • United Nations Headquarters
  • Carnegie Hall
  • Madison Square Garden
  • Trump Tower
  • Bryant Park
  • Tiffany & Co.

East Harlem 

Although Manhattan has a reputation for being safe and upmarket, it’s best to avoid East Harlem. This district is also known locally as Spanish Harlem or El Barrio and boasts a large Hispanic community. The district is a melting pot for diversity, although the lack of fresh food is a real concern here.

Although the highest risk in East Harlem is property crime, violent crime is roughly double the national average. The crime rate in the district is roughly 4,554 for every 100,000 people. Around 1 in 22 people in the district are subjected to some form of crime. 


This district is home to Fordham University and boasts a vibrant bar scene. However, this Bronx neighborhood has a notoriously high assault rate. Despite the small size of the district, the assault rate in Fordham is five times higher than the national average.

Old Fordham Village is a popular tourist attraction and is a fairly safe place to explore in the daytime. However, it’s best to avoid walking through the district at night, especially alone. The chances of being a victim of crime in Fordham is around 1 in 29, and tourists are a particular target. 


This Brooklyn district was established close to the turn of the 19th century. The area boasts a large number of pretty parks, such as Green Central Knoll Park, Irving Square Park, and Maria Hernandez Park. Notable entertainment venues include Mood Ring, House of Yes, and the live music venue Elsewhere.

If you are tempted to visit any of these attractions, it’s best to take a cab there and back. The chances of becoming a victim of crime in Bushwick are around 1 in 40. Although violent crime is not comparatively high, robbery and petty theft are particularly prevalent. 



This is one of the lowest-income districts in the whole of New York City, which has led to a high crime rate. It is best to avoid this area of the Bronx, especially after dark. The crime rate in Tremont is around 200% higher than the average in the United States. Tourists often travel here to visit the Morris Avenue Historic District. However, it’s best to take extra precautions and consider visiting as part of a guided tour.

The crime rate is so high in Tremont that two different police precincts have been formed to handle crime. The chances of becoming a victim of a crime while exploring the district is around 1 in 35. The average crime rate is 2,898 per 100,000 people and 1,223 per 100,000 for violent crimes. 

Staying Safe

Despite its reputation, New York City is a fairly safe city if you keep your wits about you. Make sure you keep your belongings close and avoid wearing flashy jewelry while exploring. Here are some other tips for staying safe while you explore.  


Local scams are a popular way to rip off unsuspecting tourists in New York City, so be wary of anyone offering you anything. Be wary of anyone who ‘accidentally’ falls in front of you or causes some other type of commotion. This person may be working with someone else who will steal your wallet while you’re distracted. Don’t place a bet on a sidewalk shell game or card game, because you will definitely lose.


Men should carry their wallets in their front pockets, and women should keep constant hold of their purse straps. Cross camera and purse straps over one shoulder, across your front, and under the other arm. Never hang a purse on the back of a chair or on a hook in a bathroom stall. Instead, keep it in your lap or between your feet.

Exploring at night

Avoid deserted and dark areas when exploring the city at night. Stick to the main streets, and don’t avoid wandering in city parks after dark. If you’re going to a performance in a park, make sure you stick with the crowd.

Exploring at night

The subway

Although subways are generally safe, keep a hand on your personal belongings at all times. Choose crowded subway cars rather than empty ones. It’s best to avoid the subways late at night or ride in the center car with the conductor.

Bathroom breaks

Trying to find a public toilet in New York City can be a challenge. It’s best to avoid the toilets in parks, as they tend to be dirty and can also be unsafe. It’s best to head to a café and buy a drink if you need to use the restroom while exploring. 


Driving around New York City can be dangerous, and long-distance driving without regular breaks is a bad idea. Avoid leaving your car parked on city streets at night, and be extra vigilant for pickpockets and carjackers. If you travel to New York City by car, it’s best to leave your vehicle in the hotel parking lot. Using cabs and the subway to get around is relatively safe and affordable.

Are You Relocating To A New City?

So, you’re taking on a new adventure in the Big Apple? Then you might be interested to find out The Best Sites To Find A Job In New York CityHow to Get a Work Permit in New York, as well as Why Are There No Walmarts In New York City if you like your superstore shopping!

Perhaps you’re still deciding where you’re going. For that, we’ve covered a few cities, such as How to Get a Work Permit in MarylandHow to Get a Work Permit in Arizona, and How to Get a Work Permit in Illinois, along with How to Get a Work Permit in MassachusettsHow to Get a Work Permit in California, and How to Get a Work Permit in North Carolina.

But that’s not all! Take a look at d How To Get A Work Permit In New JerseyHow to Get a Work Permit in Michigan, and How to Get a Work Permit in Washington, followed by How To Get A Work Permit In Louisiana, and How To Get A Work Permit In Georgia in 2023.

Final Thoughts

As long as you follow common sense, you should be safe while exploring New York City. Avoid carrying a lot of cash around with you, and keep your valuables hidden. There are also certain neighborhoods that visitors should avoid due to the high crime rates. It’s a good idea to take out travel insurance for yourself and your family when visiting New York City

Although New Yorkers have a reputation for being cold and unfriendly, they are usually willing to help visitors. Don’t be afraid to stop and ask someone for help if you need it. The police presence on the streets is also fairly high, and police officers are always ready to assist visitors.

Enjoy your sightseeing in the Big Apple!

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