Is Washington DC Safe? A Guide to Safety in Washington DC

Washington D.C is a world-class metropolis is one of the biggest cities in the United States of America. The city is home to numerous cultural, architectural and historical sites and is said to be one of the safest cities in the world. However, there are certain things to keep in mind while travelling to ensure your safety in Washington D.C. 

So Here is a Guide to Safety in Washington DC:

1. Cars and Transport 


Taxis and other modes of transport are usually safe in Washington. The city has a fast and extensive public transportation system. However, you shouldn’t let your guard down and lookout while travelling on public transport. Do not hang around metro, railway and bus stations. If you choose to drive, be aware that parking spots are very hard to find and the garages are expensive. Parking is not allowed on many major streets from 7 to 9 a.m in the morning and again from 4 to 6 p.m in the evening. 


2. Hotlines and Important Numbers in Washington D.C

Emergency Number
It is very important, especially for a traveller to know the emergency telephone numbers while visiting any destination. These type of precautionary measures can go a long way. The emergency numbers of Washington D.C are here as follows.
911- For any emergency with respect to the police, paramedics and fire.
311- For Police non-emergencies and City Services
(202) 637-7000 - Washington, D.C. Public Transportation Information

3. Pickpocketing in Washington D.C

Pickpocketing can be an issue in public transport and mostly in crowded places. So, be aware and always pay attention to your belongings while you are in a crowded area. 

4. Muggings in D.C

Muggings can be prevented if you are extra careful in certain places in D.C like Shaw, Near North East, the area around Gallery Place and Chinatown Metro Station and Adams Morgan. These places are some of the top spots for nightlife, so be extremely vigilant while travelling in these places. 

5. Women's Safety in Washington D.C

Washington D.C is one of the safest cities in the Continent of the U.S, especially for women solo travellers. However, the following basic precautionary measures can go a long way and helps you to enjoy your trip!
  • Choose safe neighbourhoods like Dupont Circle, Penn Quarter etc., for accommodation. 
  • Double-check whether you locked your rooms properly.
  • Do not consume drinks that are not served in front of you or you feel that are tampered with. 
  • Let your hotel know where you are heading to especially at night.
  • Know your emergency numbers.
  • Act erratic, if you feel you are in danger and alert people around you by screaming loudly.
  • Don’t completely avoid nightlife, but make sure you are extremely vigilant in those places.

6. Common Scams

Just like every other tourist destination, there are people in Washington D.C who try to scam the tourists but, it’s quite rare. So pay attention to your surroundings and be wary of people who try to be extra friendly with you and trying to distract you.

7. Protests and Closures

Protests and Closures

The capital city is often a venue for protests. So, some streets will be blocked and the museum’s timings might change during the time of protests. So make sure you check in advance before visiting them.

8. Where to Stay in Washington?

Accommodation in Washington D.C

Accommodation is an important factor in any trip and should never be compromised. Without a good night sleep and delicious food, it tends to be difficult to enjoy the trip. Hence, choosing the right kind of hotel in a right place is extremely important.  Best neighbourhoods include Upper Georgetown, Penn Quarter and Dupont Circle to ensure your safety in Washington DC.

10. Make Friends with Locals


It is important you make friends with local residents especially if you are a solo traveller. When you connect with nice people, they take you under their wing. Also, the locals can show you the city better than anyone.

11. Try to Blend in 

Always try to blend in whenever you visit any destination including Washington D.C. Dressing according to the place and knowing the customs makes it easy to blend in. This helps you to look like a local and can minimize any risks.

12. Know Washington D.C

Washington D.C

This applies to every place you visit. It is important for travellers to know about the destination they are visiting. One must thoroughly do their research and know the place before they could. Washington D.C’s government issues travel advisories for travellers from other countries. 

Have we missed out on any potential tips that will help with ensuring your safety in Washington DC? Let us know in the comments below.

This post was published by Harshitha Pudota

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