Is Los Angeles Safe for Tourists?

Los Angeles has much to offer its visitors. The sunny destination provides a variety of exciting experiences, from celebrity spotting in glamorous West Hollywood to breathtaking sunsets on Venice Beach.

Whether you’re grabbing a coffee at a hip cafe, or exploring a famous studio lot, LA has many unique things for you to do. Additionally, this handy guide has all the tips to help you enjoy this Southern California gem.

Now let’s talk about safety in the City of Angels. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if LA is secure. However, this article gives you the most important information you need to make informed decisions and ensure your well-being in this vibrant metropolis. 

So, let’s dive in!

Why Visit Los Angeles

One of the most attractive features of Southern California is its fantastic weather, and LA is no exception. With an average of 284 sunny days a year, Los Angeles provides its residents with the recommended daily dose of vitamin D. So don’t forget your sunscreen.

Plus, LA has so much more to offer than just Hollywood. If you’re not familiar with the city, you probably associate it with coastal resorts like Santa Monica and Venice. You’ll also think of opulent boutiques on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, or lively bars in West Hollywood.

Whether you live in LA or are just visiting, there are some fascinating neighborhoods to enjoy. Finally, one of the best things about living in Los Angeles is the fact that there is always something going on.

In Los Angeles, you can attend an art show, stop by a farmer’s market, listen to live music, attend a corgi meet-up, watch a sporting event, see an improv show, or participate in a variety of other great activities. The options are limitless, no wonder it’s one of the best cities to live in the US.

Is Los Angeles Dangerous?

LA is a very diverse city. It’s a vibrant, unique, creative city with many intricate facets that is definitely worth exploring. But is it dangerous? Well, that depends because the metro has safe and dangerous neighborhoods, just like any other big city.

This means you should always be careful about which areas you should and shouldn’t visit, as detailed below. Still, you should exercise vigilance there. Due to the high population in Los Angeles County, the number of violent and property crimes is higher here than in other areas of the country.

Dangerous Areas in Los Angeles


Many of the best-known rap artists from the West Coast have cited the rough neighborhood of Compton as their inspiration, particularly  N.W.A., a group with Ice Cube and Dr. Dre. The neighborhood is now one of the deadliest in the entire United States, not to mention the most dangerous areas in LA itself.

With a crime rate of an incredible 3,374  incidents per 100,000 residents, it ranks as the 13th most violent neighborhood in the state of California. Therefore, visiting this neighborhood is not recommended. However, if you can’t resist the urge, it’s best to go in a group, and during the day.

Skid Row

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The very name Skid Row brings to mind some of the most desolate streets in America. There is no question that this neighborhood is one of the most dangerous in all of Los Angeles – the name itself has become synonymous with poverty and homelessness.

The strange thing is that it’s right in the middle of Downtown Los Angeles. To the north of Little Tokyo are upscale bubble tea stores and sushi joints and to the west are the glittering towers of the Financial District. Leave those behind and step onto the row, and you’ll immediately notice a change as sidewalk cafes are replaced by impromptu tent cities and panhandlers.

Is it Safe to Live in Los Angeles?

Los Angeles is definitely one of the best cities in America, but like any city, it has both safe and unsafe areas. To get a sense of where they are, it’s important to do your own research before you decide to live there. If you have the money, it can be beneficial to book a hotel room and stay in the area for a few weeks. This will give you a feel for what the area is like during the day.

Much of the American culture developed there, making it one of the most vibrant melting pots in the world. The ability to express yourself freely here has given birth to some of the most fantastic music, art, and movies.

Safe Areas in Los Angeles

Santa Monica

If you can afford it, there’s no better place to live in Los Angeles than in Santa Monica, as it’s a really unique suburb. However, it’s an expensive area, as the average rent is $4,017 or more.

Also, Santa Monica has a number of excellent restaurants, from Water Grill to Edobox, you can try just about any cuisine. Then there’s the famous Pier with its amusement park and adjacent beach.


Even though Burbank has grown from a small village in the foothills to a small metropolis, it’s still one of the most beautiful places to live. The location is stunning, and it’s mostly quiet and safe.

It’s so safe that violent crime rates in 2020 were 162.1 per 100,000 residents, well below the national average of 366.7 per 100,000.

Burbank is one of those places that surprises even locals. There are plenty of shopping opportunities, various excellent restaurants, and a great movie theater in the entertainment district. Residents now regard it as the new Hollywood, as most of the people who work at the studios live in this quiet and well-kept neighborhood.

Old Town Pasadena

In general, Pasadena is a safe place to live. To put it in numbers: In 2020, Pasadena’s violent crime rate per 100,000 residents was 298.49, 25% below the national average. In addition, violent crime has decreased by 32% compared to the previous year.

This town also offers a fantastic selection of restaurants and stores. You have the option of taking the train downtown if you need to, and it’s only a short 30-minute drive away and connected by subway. Most importantly, it’s quiet after the sun goes down.

There are several charming tree-lined streets with eye-catching apartments and houses, with cafes and excellent restaurants nearby.

Warnings & Dangers in Los Angeles

In reality, LA is a safe city where most tourist attractions and famous landmarks such as the Santa Monica Pier are located in affluent neighborhoods overlooking the ocean.

As with any other popular destination, you should be wary of pickpockets in crowded areas, but overall it’s very easy to stay safe in LA.

Overall Travel Risk (5/10)

Los Angeles is mostly safe, depending on where you stay but there are some risks as you move through the lively streets. Traffic is a major challenge, with congestion causing delays and unpredictability.

In busy areas, there is a moderate risk of muggings and pickpockets, so it’s important to be vigilant and secure your belongings. Considering Los Angeles is located in an earthquake-prone region, there is also a potential risk of natural disasters such as earthquakes, wildfires, and flash floods.

If you want to enjoy the fascination of this city, it’s important that you take the necessary safety precautions.


The Metro, Los Angeles’ extensive public bus and train system, can be quite risky, mostly because of the unpredictability of fellow riders. You’ll meet a diverse mix of people, including criminals, the mentally ill, and the homeless.

To ride the Metro safely, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take the necessary precautions for your personal safety.

In early 2022, there was a significant increase in reported crimes on the Metro. As a precaution, you can take a cab or carpool, which poses fewer risks. Renting a car is also an option, but be prepared for the heavy traffic and aggressive drivers that life in LA brings.

Natural Disasters

Everyone knows California is prone to various natural disasters, including earthquakes, fires, floods, and mudslides. Although there is a high potential for earthquakes, none can be predicted.

Even though it doesn’t rain often here, when it does, everyone freaks out, and drivers seem to lose their minds.


Watch out for pickpockets and petty theft in busy areas, just as you would in any other city. Be sure to hide your money, keep wallets in front pockets, and hold purses tightly. Especially when visiting popular tourist destinations like the Hollywood Walk of Fame or riding public transportation.

If you can avoid it, leave your valuables at home and check your luggage when a group of people approaches you. Also, be on the lookout for potential scams like hacked ATMs, distracting flashing signs, and fake talent scouts.

If someone approaches you claiming to be a producer, or casting agent, never follow them, and when in doubt, ask for a business card so you can verify them online.

Mugging Risk

Due to a new trend known as “follow-home” robberies, muggings do occur and are a great danger. In this scenario, gang members follow victims home after they leave fancy stores or restaurants and brutally attack them there. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has established a follow-home task force because this is a major problem.

Tips for Staying Safe in Los Angeles

As you plan for your trip to Los Angeles, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind for the ultimate LA experience:

  • Choose the right neighborhood: One of the most important things you can do to make sure you’re safe in LA is to decide where you want to live. Fortunately, the sprawling city of Los Angeles has much to offer any visitor. This includes stunning beaches such as Venice Beach, glittering rooftop pool parties, and world-class restaurants like Rossoblu.
  • Try to blend in: Not looking like a tourist is the easiest way to feel safe in Los Angeles. Avoid wearing flashy watches, luxurious purses, or anything similar, as you’ll make yourself a target. Before you leave, make sure you know where you’re going because robbers are attracted to people who look lost. Stay off the streets at night.
  • Be prepared for a natural disaster: As you already know, natural disasters can strike at any time in Los Angeles. To be prepared, you should read up and research how to survive a natural disaster. To cover the basics, make sure you at least have a whistle and a flashlight with you.
  • Dress for the weather: L.A. has wonderful weather. Summers can be quite hot, and winters can be quite frightful. Wear weather-appropriate clothing in Los Angeles, depending on when you’re there, so you’re comfortable.

Is Los Angeles Safe | Frequently Asked Questions

Is Los Angeles Safe for Female Travelers

Although Los Angeles is generally safe for female visitors traveling alone, it’s still advisable to exercise the same caution as in any other large city. Be aware of your surroundings, avoid walking alone at night, and keep your valuables close by. For extra precautions, embrace daytime exploration of renowned spots, connect with women’s travel groups for insights, and choose accommodations in well-regarded neighborhoods. 

Is Los Angeles Safe at Night?

At dusk, most neighborhoods resemble ghost towns. If you want to experience the exciting nightlife of Los Angeles, you should stay in safe areas where security is guaranteed at night. Also, exercise caution, avoid unfamiliar neighborhoods, and trust your instincts. Stay in well-lit, busy areas, and consider using reputable transportation options.

Is it Safe to Jog in LA?

Although it’s generally a safe place, you should be careful at night and avoid walking in dark, deserted areas. In general, you should avoid walking in Hollywood because there is constant traffic, even at night. You also should avoid stopping at red lights frequently. When you go out for a run, do so during daylight, and avoid secluded areas. 

Is Hollywood a Safe Neighborhood?

Most tourist neighborhoods, such as Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and West Los Angeles, are safe. Of course, it’s important to keep your wits about you and watch your belongings when visiting crowded tourist attractions like the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


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