A mother and her two young sons are crossing a street in Manhattan, New York City, on an overcast day.

10 of the Safest Neighborhoods in NYC

New York City New York State

by Bonnie Azoulay Posted on April 19, 2024

New York City is filled with all the greatest things life has to offer — including great culture, food, nightlife, employment opportunities, and history. Dubbed “The Big Apple” and “The City That Never Sleeps,” NYC lives up to its nicknames with tall skyscrapers that tower over its residents and blaring lights at all hours of the day. You may be surprised, but some of the safest neighborhoods in NYC don’t include all of the tourist attractions and appeal New York is known for. 

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From The MET and the MoMa to Central Park and the Empire State Building, NYC is a tourist’s paradise and an ever-changing landscape for locals. And by the way it’s been glamorized in multiple iconic movies — including New York Minute, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, When Harry Met Sally, and Big, just to name a few — you’d think that NYC is the perfect place to live. It’s no wonder why so many people want to live there.  

But just like all big cities, it’s not all glitz and glam all the time. Unfortunately, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention an unglamorous side of the city: the crime. Sure, NYC has some crime, and it may seem unsafe to people who live outside the area (the news has a way of magnifying crime!). But the people who live in NYC will generally tell you otherwise. Still, the statistics paint a more accurate picture: According to the city’s crime index from the first quarter of 2024, New York City has seen reductions from the prior year in several index-crime categories. For example, murders were down 19.4 percent and shooting incidents were down 25.9 percent. 

Statistics and hearsay aside, NYC is certainly one of the best places to live in the U.S. Ahead, learn more about the safest neighborhoods in NYC, so you can feel comfortable in your decision to move there — and get back to focusing on everything that made you fall in love with America’s City in the first place! 

General Safety and Crime Rates in NYC

According to Neighborhood Scout, the crime index is 6 for NYC (100 is safest). That means it’s safer than 6 percent of other U.S. cities. Sounds a little rough, huh? Well, for comparison, the Los Angeles crime index is 7, Chicago is 6, and Austin is 5

To add more perspective, however, New York State has a crime rate — that is, the rate of crimes per 1,000 residents, including violent and property crimes — of 21.51, while New York City has a crime rate of 38.22

Q: Which neighborhoods in Manhattan are safe?
Some of the safest neighborhoods in NYC include Battery Park City, Tribeca, Chelsea, and Murray Hill. Those aren’t the only ones, though! Read on to explore our other top picks for the safest parts of NYC.

The Safest Neighborhoods in New York City, New York

If you’re planning on moving to New York City, the hottest food spots and best schools aren’t the only things you’ll be taking into account when searching for a neighborhood. Whether you’re moving alone or with a family, safety is probably at the top of your list. 

Here are 10 of the safest neighborhoods in NYC. 

 Dozens of locals are enjoying a sunny day outdoors in Battery Park City, New York, with tall residential buildings rising up in the background.

Battery Park City

1. Battery Park City

Battery Park City is the 8th best neighborhood to raise a family in NYC, according to Niche, especially because of its low crime rate relative to other neighborhoods — making it one of the safest neighborhoods in Manhattan. This cozy neighborhood is known for its Brookfield Place mall and pier, Museum of Jewish Heritage, and Rockefeller Park, as well as its ferry rides to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. There are also plenty of public schools in the neighborhood. As one of the best neighborhoods to live in NYC for families, you’ll fall in love with its homey feel. 

People who live in the neighborhood have reported feeling very safe, with no crime to speak of. “The police are visible and very responsive,” someone commented on Niche. And based on a Niche poll, residents say they feel very safe with no safety concerns. 

Walkability: With a walk score of 97, Battery Park City is a walker’s paradise.

Accessible/safe transportation: This area is very accessible. Common subway lines in the area are the 4, 5, R, and 1 trains. There are multiple bus lines, and the New York City ferry service is nearby.

2. Tribeca

Tribeca is a hip neighborhood near Canal Street that is home to many celebrity residents. Gaze up at the mesmerizing skyscrapers and pop into an art gallery or two. Pier 25 - Hudson River Park has a landscape view of the city and is perfect for families looking for water sports and activities. 

Walkability: With a walk score of 99, you can run your daily errands by foot or bike and comfortably access your favorite spots all over Manhattan with public transportation.

Accessible/safe transportation: Chambers Street and Canal Street are the closest subway stations. Only the 6 train is accessible at Canal. The 1, 2, and 3 at Chambers are also accessible with elevators. 

Q: What is the safest area in Manhattan, New York?
What is the safest area in NYC? Battery Park City, where the crime rate is 16 percent below the national average, according to Area Vibes, is known as the safest neighborhood in NYC.

3. Murray Hill

Just take one step into this neighborhood and you’ll see tons of residential apartment buildings filled with post-college and young professionals. There are also lots of bars (happy hour, anyone?) and dining options — they’re especially known for their array of Indian restaurants. 

Walkability: Murray Hill has a walk score of 99. Whether you’re looking for a bar, gym, restaurant, or subway, everything is within walking distance. 

Accessible/safe transportation: Take the 4, 5, or 6 train in the 33rd Street subway station. It doesn’t appear to be an accessible station with an elevator; however, Grand Central is about a 10-minute walk away for more train line options.

Q: Which borough in New York has the worst crime?  
While the Bronx may historically have had some of the worst crime rates of the five NYC boroughs, recent NYPD data shows that Manhattan and Brooklyn have comparably high amounts of crime. Underserved areas tend to experience higher crime rates, and as New York is filled with hundreds of diverse communities, getting to know the neighborhood you’re visiting or planning to move to is more important than the crime rate of the entire borough. If you’re looking for the safest borough in NYC, though, Staten Island tends to have the lowest crime rate of the five.

4. Roosevelt Island

It may be an island of its own, but when you’re looking for the safest neighborhoods in NYC, don’t sleep on Roosevelt Island. With a population under 12,000, it’s a relatively small, tight-knit community in the middle of the East River. According to reviews on Niche, locals say it’s an “urban oasis” with a peaceful ambiance, ready access to green space, and a strong sense of safety. “Having lived here all my life, I can say it is a very small neighborhood with a very close community in which almost everybody knows everybody,” says one review. 

And, per Neighborhood Scout’s crime data, Roosevelt Island is one of the safest neighborhoods in New York. Not to mention, if you live here (or just visit), your commute can involve a scenic gondola ride on the Roosevelt Island tramway, if you so choose. 

Since this island is only about 1.5 miles long and an eighth of a mile wide, it’s not hard to trek across the whole neighborhood on foot, which explains its respectable walk score of 79

Accessible/safe transportation: You can take the bus or the F or E trains to the Roosevelt Island stop. For a ride with a view, though, you can hop on the Roosevelt Island tramway.  

Q: What NYC neighborhood has the highest crime rate?
Though crime rates shift all the time, East New York is one of the New York neighborhoods with some of the consistently highest crime rates.

5. Chelsea

Voted the second best neighborhood to live in NYC by Niche, Chelsea is known for the High Line, a walking path above the streets of Manhattan’s west side, spanning from Gansevoort St. to 34th St. There are plenty of art galleries, famously including the Whitney. And from the Vessel in Hudson Yards and Chelsea Market to Chelsea Piers and the Rubin Museum of Art, there is plenty to do in this thriving NYC neighborhood. 

Chelsea is one of the best areas to live in NYC because it’s listed among the top 20 most walkable neighborhoods in NYC with a Walk Score of 99. It’s close to many subway lines, offices, gyms, lunch spots, and more. And the High Line makes it even easier to get around with its serene pathway above the city streets. 

Accessible/safe transportation: Commuters can easily pass through Penn Station. They can take the A, C, and E trains on Eighth Avenue and 1, 2, and 3 trains along Seventh Avenue. There are also multiple bus lines and the 7 train right outside Hudson Yards. 

A rooftop view of the tops of buildings in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of New York City. It’s autumn, and Grant’s Tomb is seen in the background amidst copper-colored leaves.

Morningside Heights

6. Morningside Heights

Situated between Harlem and the Upper West Side, from West 110th Street and West 126th Street and from the Hudson River to Morningside Avenue, is the Morningside Heights neighborhood in NYC. Most of this area is made up of Columbia University and its student housing. Riverside Park and The Riverside Church are also located nearby. 

Walkability: With a walk score of 96, it’s easy to walk around Columbia’s campus, and subway lines are close by.

Accessible/safe transportation: The main subway line is the 1 train. There are also multiple bus lines.

Aerial view of Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, New York, on a summer day. There are dozens of people enjoying a cloudy autumn day in the park.

Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village

7. Greenwich Village

Among the safest areas in New York is quaint Greenwich Village. Known for its young population — since this is where NYU’s campus is located — many college students dorm or rent nearby. Washington Square Park is probably the second best park (after Central Park, of course) in all of NYC. With its big fountain and towering arch, people from all walks of life come to skateboard, eat lunch, and schmooze in between class or work. And as you could imagine, nightlife abounds in this neighborhood, since many of its residents are young students or professionals. 

Walkability: Greenwich Village has a walk score of 100, making it the 9th most walkable neighborhood in New York. In fact, there are many walking tours in the area because of its historic and vibrant neighborhood.

Accessible/safe transportation: The main subway stations are 14th Street and West 4th. There are elevators in both stations. 

Q: Which borough in NYC is the safest?
Of the five boroughs in New York City, Staten Island is considered the safest, with a crime index of 31 (meaning it’s safer than 31 percent of other cities in the U.S.), followed by Queens (19) and Brooklyn (14). 

8. Financial District

Believe it or not, the financial district (FiDi) isn’t just an area where people work on Wall Street and the banking industry. People live there, eat there, and frequent the famous Oculus in the World Trade Center and the Seaport. The 9/11 memorial and museum adds to the neighborhood’s rich history and impact on NYC at large. And with low violent crime, it’s considered one of the safest neighborhoods in NYC. 

Walkability: This area has a walk score of 100. Some of the streets are filled with cobblestones, and you can easily access subway stations, lunch spots, gyms, and more. 

Accessible/safe transportation:
1, 2, 3, 5, C, E, R, W, and the PATH Station are all inside the Oculus and on different streets of FiDi.

Q: Where is the safest place to live in NYC?
Battery Park City is considered the safest neighborhood in NYC to live, with an overall B safety rating, according to Area Vibes, and a violent crime rate 41 percent below the national average.

A street-level view, looking up at a row of colorful and historic residential buildings at the intersection of Mott and Kenmare Streets in Manhattan’s NoLita neighborhood.


9. NoLita

NoLita, which is short for “North of Little Italy,” resides in downtown Manhattan right next to SoHo. Best known for its trendy neighborhood decked with clothing stores and boutiques, there is no shortage of cool storefronts and pop-ups on any given day.

As far as safety is concerned, there are police forces, surveillance cameras, and other precautions always in place, making this neighborhood one of the safest in NYC. 

Walkability: With a walk score of 100, NoLita is the 2nd most walkable neighborhood in New York. And with so many pretty stores to look at, you won’t even mind the walk from your apartment to the train and nightlife.

Accessible/safe transportation: Easily ride your bike or skateboard in the area, with car traffic at a minimum. The Delancey-Street Essex subway station in NoLita is where you can take the F, J, and M train. However, it is not wheelchair accessible. 

Q: What is the nicest neighborhood in NYC?
That’s debatable! But the nicest neighborhoods are probably Tribeca, the Upper West Side, and the Upper East Side. Many celebrities and A-listers live near Central Park and the more hip parts of town, including Tribeca, West Village, and NoHo.

10. Cobble Hill

Walking down Court Street, the thoroughfare that runs through this quaint, 40-block neighborhood, you'll pass by all kinds of restaurants, independently owned shops, and things to do. Catch a movie at the adorable Cobble Hill Cinemas, shop for stationery at Measure Twice, or indulge in some Ethiopian fare at Awash. Then, stroll over to Smith Street to pick up something to read at Books Are Magic

The walkable streets lined with historic homes are among the many reasons Cobble Hill is listed as one of the best neighborhoods to live in NYC, according to Niche. When it comes to safety, Cobble Hill has a B+ safety rating, according to Area Vibes, with a violent crime rate 60 percent below the national average (though a property crime rate that is slightly above the U.S. average).

Walkability: With a walk score of 99, it’s a breeze to do your daily errands on foot, from grocery shopping to popping to a vintage shop or getting an afternoon coffee. It’s also the 34th most walkable neighborhood in New York.  

Accessible/safe transportation:
The Bergen Street station is in Cobble Hill, where you can pick up the F or G. There are also bus lines in the neighborhood, and you can easily stroll into neighboring areas like Carrol Gardens and Brooklyn Heights. 
Q: What is NYC's richest neighborhood?
Some of the neighborhoods with the wealthiest residents include Cobble Hill, Battery Park City, Gramercy Park, Greenwich Village, Chelsea, and Dumbo.

Making the Move to NYC

Now that we’ve covered some of the safest NYC neighborhoods, are you ready to make your move? Once you’ve found your safe haven in NYC, let PODS help you get there with PODS City Service — containerized moving designed specifically for big-city moves. Spare yourself the trouble of trying to navigate busy NYC streets with a moving truck. A PODS professional will take care of the driving and handle parking. They’ll even work with you to secure proper permits and follow any HOA requirements. Furthermore, as you unload everything, your driver will stay with the truck and your container, defending against parking tickets and theft. 

Want to learn more about making a big move? Check out the “Moving” section of the PODS Blog.

Bonnie Azoulay Elmann is an NYC-based freelance writer and frequent contributor to the PODS Blog. Her work has appeared in Glamour, Health, and Parents, among others. She is an extremely driven digital storyteller who may or may not have a slight obsession with fanny packs.

Editor’s note: For ease of reading, monthly rental prices were rounded to the nearest $25 and home values were rounded to the nearest $100.
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