New York is a great destination for visitors, combining amazing architecture, world renowned art and museums and some iconic tourist attractions. But sadly, the city of New York also seems to have a reputation for being a dangerous city. This might be thanks to the many movies and TV series that are filmed here and only highlight the city’s bad side. Really, New York is a city that has been misunderstood in the past and for those who are put off visiting because they are worried about crime, it is time to think again!
The city does have an extremely large population, but despite this it is currently one of the top ten safest cities in the US and violent crimes have dropped significantly over the last few years. However, like any city, if you are planning a visit here it is a good idea to take certain precautions to avoid any trouble.
Use your common sense.
When you are out and about it helps to make sure you aren’t making your status as tourist too obvious. Don’t wander around reading maps and looking lost, instead try and plan your day and, in particular your route, in advance so you always know where you are heading and can walk confidently. Also, be aware of your surroundings. If the neighbourhood you have entered looks a little unsavoury it probably isn’t the place for you!
While you are exploring always keep your belongings safe, especially your wallet or purse. Keep your personal affects closely guarded; held or carried in front of you in a closable bag rather than loose in a back pocket. And don’t flaunt your belongings either. If you have an expensive camera or mobile phone be careful with them and don’t place them down where they can easily be grabbed and taken.
As you would at home, pay attention to your surroundings when using an ATM. New York is a modern city and you won’t need to carry around large amounts of cash as there are ATM’s readily available and credit cards are widely accepted in all stores, bars and restaurants.
Take care after dark.
Though the majority of the city is extremely safe after dark, it’s a good idea to take extra care if you are out in the evening. Try to avoid areas like the business district that become very quiet at night and stick to lively areas of town instead. If you are at all unsure about walking around at night, then get a cab to your evening destination instead as there are plenty available. If you do ride the subway, stay in view of the Metro-card booth or remain in heavily populated areas at all times.
These tips are really just using common sense and would be advisable to follow when visiting any city in the world. The truth is, if you are sensible with your belongings and your safety, New York can be an amazing city to visit and explore, with plenty to see and do for all ages.
Post by Tony, a travel blogger writing on behalf of Cheapflights