Is London safe for travel? Generally — yes, absolutely! London is a lovely destination with an exciting mix of museums, nightlife, history, and more.
Some London locals helped us put together this guide to staying safe in their hometown. It covers everything from the COVID pandemic to tips for solo travelers.
At this stage of the pandemic, Americans can travel to London whether or not they have been vaccinated and without COVID testing or quarantine. Masks are still recommended in crowded areas but are not required for the most part.
Ready to start planning your trip to London? A local can help you create an itinerary that balances seeing the iconic sights and getting off the beaten path.
The coronavirus pandemic aside, London is an incredibly safe place to visit. In fact, the overall crime rate in London is much lower than it is in many big American cities, including New York.
The violent crime rate in London is lower than it is in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, San Diego, Philadelphia, and many others. In fact, London is considered to be so safe that most of its police don’t even carry guns.
Locals tell us that London is a great city for solo travel. Why? Our trip planners say:
London is also a safe place for women traveling alone. Just keep an eye on your belongings, don’t accept drinks from strangers, and be aware of your surroundings, especially when walking at night.
It's good to get local advice, especially when traveling solo! Many of our London trip planners are women who can explain how they keep safe.
Most museums in London are free so you can spend as much time as you want at each exhibit.
Like in any big city, London has its fair share of scammers. Locals say that these are some of the most common scams visitors may encounter:
Vendors selling fake tickets to shows, music venues, or popular attractions
People asking to borrow your phone
Pickpockets (especially on the Tube)
It’s common sense, but be sure to keep an eye on your belongings at all times—especially when on the Tube, the bus, or anywhere like a busy train or bus station.
Locals say that some of the worst stations in London for pickpockets include King’s Cross, Oxford Circus, and Victoria stations.
London police are on the look-out for unattended baggage, so be sure you don’t leave your suitcase somewhere and walk away—you may cause an international incident.
Like any big city, international city, London has some areas with high crime rates (here, though, that crime is almost completely petty theft).
This is especially true in places that attract a lot of tourists. They also attract a lot of pickpockets! Generally safer during the day, locals say to be careful in these neighborhoods at night:
Although you probably won’t need emergency numbers, it’s always good to have them on hand. If you’re in an emergency, call 999 or 112: both will connect you to the ambulance, fire, and police services. You call also call 101 for a non-urgent crime.
When you have a local plan your trip, they'll be available with phone support in case you run into any issues during your stay.
And for more on London travel, check out: