How to Stay Safe as a Solo Female Traveller in London: Tips from a Local

Bell   |   09 September 23

Planning the ultimate solo trip to London? Make the most of your time and enjoy the city safely with my ultimate travel tips after years of living in London.

Despite what you may or may not have heard, London is actually a pretty safe city to travel for solo, female travellers. London is incredibly international and welcomes over 30 million visitors each year. In addition, a whopping 40% of London’s population was born outside the UK – we all remember what it felt like to visit London for the first time.

That being said, no city is 100% safe, so you do need to follow some “rules” and apply common sense. I have collected all my top tips for staying safe as a solo, female traveller in London, including areas to avoid, things to watch for and local tips and tricks. 

If you are planning to travel here and have any further questions or concerns, my Instagram DMs are always open – I grew up in London for half my life and know the city inside out. 

Tips to stay safe as a solo, female traveller in London

London solo,female solo travel - posing with the iconic red photo booth - traveloffscript

Watch your bag and hold onto your phone

One thing that London is pretty notorious for is robbery. There was a time where people on bikes would steal your phone out your hand on Oxford Street (my phone has had a phone chain attached every since). 

Regardless, in my 12 years in the city, I never once had anything stolen. The secret is pretty simple and applies to really any city in the world – keep your belongings tight on you. That means bags with zips, ideally in front of your body. Phone away or in a tight grip  – never in your pocket!

Stick to public transport and uber at night & always let someone know where you are

One thing my friends and I have always been strict about in London is letting each other know when we are home safe. London public transport is generally quite safe, even at night, but you can never be careful enough.

Also, avoid any small backstreets and stick to the big, busy roads. Even with a friend, you don’t want to walk long distances at night through London – stick to buses, tubes or uber. 

Don’t give strangers too many details, especially regarding where you live

If someone asks you just one too many questions or about where exactly you live, you lie. Don’t feel bad and make up something. 

No one really needs to know where exactly you live (unless it’s for a job and even then make sure it’s legit).

If you feel unsafe, let a bouncer or security know!

A few weeks ago, I was visiting my friends in London and we went out to a bar. A guy in there would not leave us alone, even after being repeatedly told no. In the end, we let the bouncers know who made sure he left and escorted us out of the bar. 

Don’t be scared to kick up a fuss! Scream if you have to. Your safety goes above any social awkwardness or people pleasing tendencies.

Safe the numbers for police and transport police

Whenever you travel somewhere new, make sure you know the local emergency numbers. In London, those are 999 for emergencies, 101 for non-urgent police and 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016 for the transport police. 

The tube is the most likely place in London to experience harassment so knowing those numbers is crucial in case of emergency. If you feel unsafe, get off at the next stop and talk to someone on the platform. Never stop the tube or train as it will be much harder to get help. Also again, don’t be scared to make a fuss and ask strangers for help.

Know which areas to avoid, especially at night

London at night is actually relatively safe and most areas are quite busy even late into the night. That being said, there are some areas which I wouldn’t recommend walking through after a certain time.

Key areas to avoid in London at night are Croydon, Harlesden, Peckham, Finsbury Park, Southwark, Lambeth, Newham, Tower Hamlets and the northern parts of Islington.

Here is the thing – this list is only to give you an idea of areas with spikes in crime and harassment. It does not mean something will happen to you there, nor that other areas in London are perfectly safe. Try to never walk alone at night and always let someone know where you are, no matter where in London you are at night.

Be aware of your surroundings - one headphone out

I do this anywhere I travel to, but especially in London. There is always so much going on, I need to be aware of my surroundings and able to react quickly if anything is amiss. I only ever wear one earphone – I need to be able to hear what is happening. Also be careful when crossing the road, even if you have green – cyclists in London are a different breed and will just mow you down.

I also check behind me every now and then – nothing crazy but enough that I will notice if anyone is following me. 

Lock your doors!

I can’t believe I have to include this, but I have met several people from other countries who do not lock their doors in London. One American girl explained to me how she never does it at home and she doesn’t see why she would start here, after all, her neighbours look nice and the house door locks. Don’t be that person!

Even if your apartment block has a front door that is locked and security – lock your own front door and even room door. I cannot stress that enough. Just don’t make yourself an easy target.

Where should solo, female travellers look for accommodation?


I spent the past month or so  in Prime Backpackers in Angel and loved it. I felt safe at night, it’s incredibly well connected and you can walk to King’s Cross, Old Street and the Canals. 10/10 recommend.

Central London - Soho, Paddington, Westminster, Waterloo

There are tons of hostels and hotels in central London. The reason I would recommend this area is the amount of people that will be around at all times. If you want to go out till late, your safest bet is to book something super central and avoid any public transport.

Putney and South-West London

This area is where I used to live and grew up in and it is honestly the safest area I have experienced in London. You will find more affordable AirBnb options here which are still well-connected to central and so safe at night.


I love Battersea, I would move there in a heartbeat (if I wasn’t travelling). It also recently got completely remodeled and new developments are showing up everywhere. Overall an incredibly safe area with great public transport connections. 


The best word to describe Hampstead is wholesome. You have Hampstead Heath with outdoor swimming opportunities in summer, Parliament Hill with gorgeous views over London and lots of cute cafes, local shops and more along the main street. 

Should you visit London by yourself?

Solo, Female Travel in London, walks along Thames- traveloffscript

Yes, you should 100% visit London by yourself at some point. It’s such an incredible city and there are so many other people just like you, who either just moved here or are travelling and keen to make friendships.

Use resources available for meeting people, such as London Lonely Girls (yes, funny name but the best group) Facebook Group and Bumble BFF. If staying in a hostel, you are very likely to meet other solo, female travellers that want to go out and explore with you.

London is probably also one of the easiest cities to travel as a first-time solo traveller as information is so readily available and there are thousands of incredible guides on things to do. It can also surprisingly be done on a budget, more on that in my full “London on a budget” guide.

Is London friendly to tourists?

In general – yes, London is friendly to tourists.

As much as Londoners will whine about slow-walking tourists and how busy the city gets during peak season, we wouldn’t know what to do without tourists. London lives off the constant influx of new people, it’s what makes the city truly one of a kind.

People in general will be willing to help you if you ask nicely, though don’t expect someone to smile at you on the tube. We simply don’t look at other people here 😉

Shop owners and restaurants in general are super international and you will likely meet other people speaking your language or who have some connection to your home country. And as I said before, there are countless people who once visited London for the first time too and now live here. They remember what it feels like, the excitement but also scariness of this mega-city and will be nothing but understanding with you. 

On top of all of that, the British are ALWAYS overly polite. I’m not sure they even have it in them to be rude (unless you skip one of their queues – that is truly a sin).

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Hi, I'm Bell

Bell from Travel Off Script

My blog is here to show you that there isn’t one correct way to travel the world. Together, we can figure out what that means for you. Learn more about me here!

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