We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Safety in and around Boston area

nebraska
Level Contributor
1,076 posts
68 reviews
Save Topic
Safety in and around Boston area

Are there any locals who can give info on areas to avoid on foot (daytime & evening) in the Boston & Cambridge areas. We're two adults and pretty experienced travelers but sometimes we end up in some dicey areas as we wander about. A Heads Up in advance of our trip would be appreciated. Thanks

Somerville...
Level Contributor
1,511 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Safety in and around Boston area

As a tourist you probably won't be going anywhere you need to be concerned about as long as you follow typical city safety rules (don't walk around flaunting expensive electronics, mind your purse/wallet, etc).

Mattapan and Roxbury are places to avoid.

Cambridge is a very safe place, North Cambridge and East Cambridge I just wouldn't walk around alone at night but otherwise fine.

Edited: 2:15 pm, September 17, 2013
Boston
Level Contributor
6,494 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Safety in and around Boston area

Most places a tourist would go are safe. The subway is safe even at night. Naturally use common sense. Don't walk down dark alleys. Although not horribly dangerous I would opt to walk around the Common at night, especially later, rather than walk through it. Very late at night, like 2AM there can be some rowdiness in the Theater District when the bars let out. There are a couple of neighborhoods that are unfortunately plagued with regular violence, but they are not downtown and it is very unlikely you would go there.

Boston...
Level Contributor
1,664 posts
33 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Safety in and around Boston area

I agree, although crimes can happen anywhere. If you feel like it, tell us your itinerary later and mention safety. Personally I agree, I would not walk through the Common after about 8 pm. It's easy to walk around it.

nebraska
Level Contributor
1,076 posts
68 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Safety in and around Boston area

Thank you all for your answers. We'll take the usual precautions and I'm sure we'll be fine. We are staying in East Cambridge near the Lechmere Station and plan on using the T to get into Boston. If we come back at night maybe we'll just take a cab as Google Earth shows the area as kind of commercial so it will probably be pretty deserted in the evenings.

Do you think we could walk from our hotel over to Harvard Square along Cambridge St. to Prospect to Mass Ave without a problem?

I agree with you about Boston itself. We plan on doing all the tourist stops so we'll be among a lot of people I imagine! We are really looking forward to being in such an historical city!

Somerville...
Level Contributor
1,511 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Safety in and around Boston area

That's a pretty long walk. I'd walk to Kendall Square and take the Red Line 3 stops instead.

Cambridge...
Level Contributor
477 posts
87 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Safety in and around Boston area

You could also take the 69 bus from Lechmere Station to Harvard Square. It goes straight doen Cambridge Street. You don't need to take Prospect Street unless you are planning to go to Central Square. I wouldn't walk the entire length of Cambridge St late at night, but I consider it perfectly safe during the day time.

nebraska
Level Contributor
1,076 posts
68 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Safety in and around Boston area

Thanks to all of you.

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
349 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Safety in and around Boston area

Am I the only the one who has a problem with stigmatizing entire areas? Life (and travel) is what you make it. I've been to Roxbury many, many times (by bus and car) and never had anything happen.

On the other hand, I HAVE had property stolen from me in Beacon Hill.

I understand we all have different comfort levels, but my inner explorer just won't let me stay in a little plastic bubble. I need to explore the world, and sometimes the world isn't picture perfect. Roxbury has as much history as any other part of this city. And it has some beautiful architecture, but people who never go there would never know that.

There's value in leaving your bubbles sometimes, people. You get to know the people who share your world with you, especially the ones you perceive to be different from you. To me, that's worth the risk. That's why I travel.

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
349 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Safety in and around Boston area

And the very calming SOWA design district is in Roxbury, according to my mapping program. Much calmer than Newbury.

Edited: 2:11 am, September 18, 2013
Boston
Level Contributor
6,494 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Safety in and around Boston area

Joyceh, I imagine you are staying at the Hampton or the Holiday Inn. The area is commercial and not very pretty, but they are on a very busy road and even at night I think you would be fine walking back from Lechmere (the Hampton is especially close to the station).