Are you thinking about traveling to Atlanta for business or pleasure? You’ll be glad you did. The city is a thriving metropolis full of Southern charm, modern attractions, and diverse cultures.
Its booming economy, growing population, and abundance of tourist spots like the High Museum, the Georgia Aquarium, and Stone Mountain have made it one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, attracting more than 40 million visitors every year.
But as with any large city, there are some safety concerns to keep in mind. Read on for our tips on staying safe in Atlanta.
Is Atlanta Safe to Visit in 2022?
Yes. Overall, Atlanta is a safe city to visit. However, like any other metropolis, Atlanta does have its share of safety concerns. Here are some of the most common safety concerns that visitors should be aware of:
- Pickpocketing. Pickpocketing is a common problem in Atlanta, particularly in crowded areas like tourist attractions and public transportation. Make sure that you keep your valuables close to you and always be aware of your surroundings to avoid becoming a victim of pickpocketing.
- Gang violence. Another safety concern in Atlanta is gang violence. Although the city has made great strides in recent years in reducing gang activity, it is still important to be cautious when traveling in certain neighborhoods.
- Earthquakes. Despite their rare occurrence, earthquakes have been known to occur in Atlanta. While the risk of being caught in a major earthquake is relatively low, it is still important to be prepared.
- Mugging. Mugging is another safety concern in Atlanta. Although it isn’t as common as pickpocketing, it can still happen.
- Car theft. Car theft is also a problem in Atlanta. If you rent a car, be sure to park it in a safe and well-lit area.
- Scams. Unfortunately, there are many scams targeting travelers to Atlanta. These can include anything from fake taxi cabs to someone offering to help you with directions and then robbing you. Be sure to research any offers or help before accepting them.
Crime in Atlanta
The city of Atlanta ranks high in terms of general safety, but there are some crime concerns you should be aware of. According to the latest statistics by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), the overall crime rate in Atlanta has declined in recent years.
However, higher than average property crime rates and a relatively high violent crime rate mean that Atlanta is still not the safest city in the US.
Moreover, violent crime, such as robbery and murder, is also a concern in some areas of the city. Nevertheless, violent crime largely occurs in a few specific areas of the city.
Tips for Avoiding Crime and Areas With High Crime
Here are some tips to help you stay safe while visiting Atlanta:
- Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid walking around staring at your phone obliviously.
- Avoid walking alone at night in unfamiliar areas. You’re more likely to be a target if you’re alone.
- Keep your valuables close to your body, especially in crowded areas. Pickpockets often target distracted or unaware victims.
- Always keep an eye on your belongings, and never leave them unguarded in public.
- Never leave your drink unattended. This is a rule you should follow anywhere you go. Leaving your drink unattended allows scammers to slip something into it. If you need to step away from your drink, finish it first or ask a friend to watch it for you.
- Don’t share your personal information with anyone you don’t know. Such information includes your hotel room number, home address, or credit card information.
If you’re the victim of a crime, it is important to file a police report as soon as possible. You can do this by going to your local police station or calling 911.
Avoiding Bad Neighborhoods
There are a few key things to keep in mind when it comes to avoiding bad neighborhoods in Atlanta.
First, pay attention to the crime rates in different areas. While no neighborhood is completely free of crime, areas with higher violent crime rates or property crime are generally best avoided.
Areas such as Adam’s Park, Vine City, and Castleberry Hill are all considered high-crime areas. Second, take a look at the homes and businesses in an area. Well-maintained neighborhoods are usually safer and more desirable than those that are run-down.
Finally, get to know the people who live and work in a neighborhood. If you can, talk to some of the residents and get a feel for the community.
You may also want to check out online resources such as crime mapping websites. These can give you an idea of what types of crimes have been reported in a particular area.
Safest Neighborhoods in Atlanta
If you’re looking for a safe place to stay during your visit to Atlanta, consider one of these neighborhoods:
- Buckhead. This affluent neighborhood is located a short drive from Downtown Atlanta and is one of the safest areas in the city.
- Midtown. Midtown is located just south of Buckhead and is also a safe and desirable area to stay.
- Inman Park. Inman Park is a historic neighborhood located east of Midtown. It’s a safe area with plenty of restaurants and bars.
- Virginia-Highland. Virginia-Highland is another safe neighborhood located northeast of Downtown Atlanta. It’s a popular area with plenty of nightlife options.
- Morningside. Morningside is a safe and family-friendly neighborhood located east of Midtown. It’s a great place to stay if you want to be close to the city but not in the middle of the action.
- Candler Park. Candler Park is located east of Downtown Atlanta and is a safe neighborhood with a laid-back atmosphere.
Getting Around Safely in Atlanta
Most of the crime in Atlanta occurs in specific areas of the city. However, there are some safety concerns to keep in mind when getting around the city:
- Public transportation. The best way to get around Atlanta is by using the MARTA public transportation system. MARTA trains and buses are safe and reliable, and they cover most of the city. However, there have been some crime reports on MARTA, so it’s important to be careful when using the system. If possible, try to travel with a friend and stay in well-lit areas.
- Taxis. Taxis are another safe and convenient way to get around Atlanta. However, it is important only to use licensed taxis. There have been reports of people posing as taxi drivers to rob their passengers.
- Driving. If you’re renting a car, be aware of the areas of the city you should avoid. As mentioned before, some areas of the city are best avoided after dark. Also, when driving, lock your doors and keep your valuables out of sight.
Staying Safe at Hotels and Rentals
Like any other type of lodging, safety will vary depending on the specific hotel or rental you choose. However, you can do a few things to reduce your risk of being targeted by criminals while staying in these accommodations.
When booking a hotel or rental, try to stay in a well-lit and populated area. Doing so will help you feel safer when coming and going from your accommodation.
When you arrive at your hotel or rental, scope out the area and familiarize yourself with the surroundings. Avoid hotels that have a poor safety record. Check online reviews and safety reports before choosing a hotel.
It’s also important to always lock your door, even if you’re inside or just stepping out for a few minutes. And, don’t forget to hide your valuables. Use the hotel’s safe or lock your belongings in a storage container if possible.
Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t stay there. There are plenty of other accommodations available.
If you have any concerns about safety while staying at a hotel or rental, don’t hesitate to contact the staff. They should be able to help you with any safety concerns you may have.
Several Atlanta Scams to Watch Out For
- Tourist traps. It’s easy to spot a tourist trap in Atlanta. It’s a popular attraction that targets tourists, often with gimmicks or cheap tricks. Avoid places that seem too good to be true.
- Bait and switches. This is an attempted scam in which scammers try to lure you into an expensive purchase by offering a very low price. This usually happens when you’re shopping for jewelry or antiques.
- Fake taxis. Taxis in Atlanta may be hard for travelers to identify. Some scammers will impersonate taxi drivers, hoping to trick travelers into riding in their cars.
- Online romance scams. This is a form of online fraud in which scammers trick people into falling in love with them and then asking for money. This kind of scam can happen through dating websites or social media.
If you’re planning a trip to Atlanta, be aware of these common scams.
Things to Consider
When planning your trip, there are a few things you should keep in mind to help you stay safe while visiting Atlanta:
- Do your research. Before you book your flight or hotel, take some time to research the area you’ll be staying in. Read reviews and safety reports to familiarize yourself with the area and choose a safe place to stay.
- Have a map or GPS. It’s always good to have a map or GPS with you, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the area. A map will help you get around and avoid getting lost.
- Walk with confidence. When you’re out and about in Atlanta, walk confidently. Avoid looking like a tourist by not carrying all of your valuables.
- Avoid drawing attention to yourself. Try not to dress too flashy or wear expensive jewelry. This will help you blend in and avoid drawing attention to yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few frequently asked questions about safety in Atlanta:
Is Atlanta safe for solo travelers?
Overall, Atlanta is safe for solo travelers. However, you should always take basic precautions, like not walking alone at night and keeping your valuables out of sight.
Is Atlanta safe for women?
Atlanta is safe for women, but you should always take precautions to avoid being targeted by criminals. Also, it’s always a good idea to carry a self-defense kit.
Is Atlanta safe for families?
Atlanta was ranked as the 10th most family-friendly city in the United States, so it is generally safe for families.
Is Atlanta safe for LGBTQ+ travelers?
Atlanta is a very LGBT-friendly city. Since Georgia doesn’t have statewide non-discrimination laws, some smaller cities may not be as friendly to LGBT travelers. However, Atlanta itself is very open and welcoming to everyone.
Is it safe to travel in downtown Atlanta?
Downtown Atlanta is generally safe during the day. However, since most businesses close after five, the area can be pretty deserted at night. So, if you’re planning on being in downtown Atlanta after dark, stay in a well-lit and populated area.
Is Atlanta safe for tourists?
Overall, Atlanta is safe for tourists. However, as with any large city, certain areas are more dangerous than others.
Is Atlanta safe for students?
This college city is teeming with safety measures to protect its youthful population. The Georgia State University Police Department offers 24/7 patrol services. It also has a free app for students to use in case of emergencies. In addition, there are blue light emergency phones located throughout the campus and a network of over 1,600 surveillance cameras.
Is Atlanta Safe to Visit? Final Thoughts
So, is Atlanta safe? Despite the rumors, Atlanta is a great city to visit. It’s vibrant, diverse, and home to many of the U.S. Southeast’s important landmarks.
However, keep in mind that while the city is safe, like all large cities, there are some crime concerns you should be aware of.
That means exercising general situational awareness and avoiding areas known for high crime rates. If you follow these tips, you’ll have a safe and enjoyable trip to Atlanta.