Denver is a city unlike any other. With its unmistakable charm, it’s no wonder why millions of people visit it annually. If you’re planning to visit the Mile High City, you’re in for a treat.
With tons of restaurants, bars, museums, and sights to see, Denver is truly a great place to spend a vacation. When you visit Denver, you can expect modern, convenient, and high-end hotels and other amenities just like any other major city.
Denver’s neighborhoods also boast unique personalities, and since the city is connected through parks and bike paths, exploring it is a breeze.
But as with other vacations, your safety should come first. By now, you’re probably wondering how safe is Denver. In this guide, we’ll let you in on tips to remember when visiting Denver, as well as information on the safety of this city.
Is Denver Safe to Visit in 2022?
Whether you’re in town to have a good time or to take in the culture and history this city has to offer, you probably want to know a little more about its safety.
Denver is a very safe city. In fact, a recent study named Denver one of the least dangerous metros in the country.
However, violent crime has been on the rise in Denver by 17% from 2019 to 2021. This type of crime includes homicides, aggravated assaults, sex assaults, and robberies. Meanwhile, murder is up by a whopping 47% during the same period.
Despite this, visitors should not be worried because most crimes in Denver do not involve tourists.
The major things travelers should be on the lookout for are property crime and car theft. Compared with 17 other major cities, Denver has the highest rate of car thefts per 100,000 residents.
Crime in Denver
Visiting a new city is always daunting, especially if you don’t know much about its safety. We’ve compiled the common crimes in Denver you should know about below.
Violent crimes are crimes involving the threat of physical harm or bodily injury. These include murder, sexual assault, and domestic violence. In Denver, most violent crimes include aggravated assaults and robberies, particularly bank robberies.
Violent crimes in Denver have been on the rise in recent years, and this is causing concern among residents. However, tourists are usually spared from these crimes, especially if they do not visit the dangerous areas in Denver.
Since the area sees a lot of property crimes, it is integral to be wary. Property crimes are non-violent crimes in which the offender breaches the property of another without the use of force.
If you’re not staying in a reputable hotel, lock your doors at night or when you leave. It is also integral to keep your valuables safe by storing them in a secure place.
In case your room or rental home is robbed, you should contact the police right away. If you don’t have a phone with you, there are public telephones around the city you can use.
Car theft and bicycle thefts are common in Denver. When going out, make sure to lock your car doors or use a bike lock. Finally, do not leave any valuables in plain sight. This tip includes your phone, laptop, wallet, or anything else of value in the car when you drive out.
Another thing in Denver you should watch out for is pickpockets, especially in crowded areas and on public transportation.
Aside from that, another most common crime against tourists involves tour and rental scams. It is always a good idea to do your research when looking for a place to stay or a tour group to join. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Also, tourists should be wary of people trying to take advantage of them. This unfortunate event can happen in bars and clubs, so be careful when talking to strangers.
Ultimately, you don’t need to live in fear when visiting Denver. To stay safe, you need to be aware of your surroundings. Stay in well-lit areas, avoid unfamiliar surroundings, explore with a friend, and be mindful of your belongings.
Avoiding Bad Neighborhoods
When visiting Denver, it’s important to know what to expect in its neighborhoods. This way, you can protect yourself from the risk of running into trouble.
Keep in mind that, as with other major cities, the authorities in Denver are constantly working on improving its neighborhoods.
Five Point is one of the more popular neighborhoods in Denver. Once a violent, crime-ridden area, it is now considered one of the coolest neighborhoods in Denver.
This area is where many young people of all ages hang out. Despite this, make sure to stay alert when you visit this neighborhood.
Highland is a popular nightlife destination for tourists. It has a diverse community and is known for its great restaurants and bars.
Though Highland is considered safe, you should still avoid dark alleys and dimly-lit areas at night. Walking alone or biking is only recommended during the daytime.
Park Hill is another popular Denver neighborhood with a good mix of residents and tourists. However, it used to experience drive-by shootings, as well as gang activity. When going to Park Hill, be wary of pickpockets.
Lodo or lower downtown is a great place to explore if you want to experience the nightlife of Denver. It is home to many bars and restaurants. Lodo is also a popular place for those looking to party and hang out.
As a result, it can get quite noisy and busy, and it can be a hotspot for crimes, particularly fights. Bike theft is also common here, so make sure to exercise caution. Despite this, the authorities in this part of Denver are extremely alert.
It is generally quieter than other parts of Denver. This neighborhood has more affordable houses and apartments, although many of these apartments are in poor condition. While there is a police presence in this area, it is not as active as in other parts of Denver.
This part of Denver is relatively safe, even for female travelers who plan on exploring it by foot. The major concern in this area is property crime.
This area is packed with things to do, which makes it a very lively neighborhood. It is also home to the popular and historic downtown area.
While it is generally safe, Capitol Hill is a vulnerable area for petty thefts, especially in bus stations. However, it’s still a relatively area for tourists to explore since police presence is active.
Despite being a relatively safe area, you still shouldn’t walk around randomly in this part of Denver. If you have to pass through this neighborhood, use well-lit paths or only explore during the daytime.
Central West Denver
This area is home to many museums, parks, and restaurants. Exploring this area is relatively safe, although it’s still best to watch your belongings at all times since it can get crowded. Vandalism can be observed in this area.
In this area, theft, burglary, and vandalism are high. Wandering around this area with a lot of cash is not recommended. Despite this, it’s still a great place to explore.
The crime rate in this neighborhood is not as high as in other parts of Denver. It is still best to keep your valuables safe and to only visit during the daytime since it still has cases of mugging and pickpocketing.
Central Business District
The major crime in this area is larceny, but there are tons of police activities, so this neighborhood is still a safe place to stay. Despite this, make sure to be wary of illicit activities during nighttime. Public transit can also be unsafe, so always be cautious.
Things to Consider
Regardless of what part of Denver you’re in, here are some things that you should always keep in mind to protect yourself from crimes.
Stay alert at all times if you want to protect yourself in Denver. For example, wearing headphones in public can be a distraction since it blocks out your senses.
When walking the streets, taking public transportation, or biking, stay alert and aware of your surroundings. If you see someone suspicious, keep away.
Avoid Dark and Dimly Lit Areas
This is not only to protect yourself from crimes but also for your safety. If you are walking at night, only go to well-lit areas and avoid poorly-lit alleys.
Don’t Go Out at Night Alone
While traveling, always stick to a group of friends. This way, you can protect each other and stick together. While walking alone at night or riding public transportation, pay attention to your surroundings.
Exercise Caution When Drinking or Partying
If you’re at a bar or party, take your drinks from the bartender or ask for them to be served to you. Remember that alcohol and drugs can impair your judgment.
Be careful not to get too drunk when you’re out at night so you won’t be a target of scammers and criminals. The most significant drug threats to Denver are cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine.
Don’t Be Flashy
In Denver, pickpocketing is common. Be wary of strangers bumping or brushing into you in public. To avoid being a victim, don’t wear expensive jewelry or show off your wealth. If you’re going out at night, bring only the cash you need.
When going out at night, try to find secure parking. Avoid parking in poorly lit areas and near dark alleys. If you’re renting a bike, don’t leave it in the bike racks overnight. Bring it back to your hotel.
Pick an Established Hotel
Try to avoid staying in cheap hotels in the city’s bad neighborhoods. Instead, choose established and popular hotels to avoid getting scammed or robbed.
Be Wary of Scams
Be wary of people offering you deals that seem too good to be true, especially when it comes to car rental scams and fake accommodation scams. If you’re stuck in an uncomfortable situation.
It is always a good idea to do your research when looking for tour or accommodation deals.
As a visitor, it is important to know your rights and not be intimidated. You have the right to ask to leave if you are in a situation that makes you uncomfortable. If you’re in trouble, contact the police immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions that tourists have about Denver.
Does Denver have a high crime rate?
Here are the different crime rates in Denver:
- Property crime: 27.8 crimes per 1,000 residents
- Domestic violence rate: 1.2 crimes per 1,000 residents
- Sexual assault: 0.4 crimes per 1,000 residents
- Robbery rate: 0.8 crimes per 1,000 residents
Is Denver a dangerous city?
No, Denver is not an especially dangerous city. If you stick to the well-lit areas, there’s nothing to worry about. Even if you encounter a crime, reporting it to authorities is easy since there are a lot of patrolling officers around the city.
Is Denver a safe place to live?
Yes, Denver is a safe place to live. Aside from the occasional crime, it is a welcoming place for everyone. Nonetheless, it is still recommended to remain alert and keep yourself safe.
Is Denver safe at night?
Yes, most of Denver is safe at night as long as you’re aware of your surroundings.
Is it safe to bike in Denver?
Yes, biking in Denver is one of the best ways to get around. The city has bike lanes and paths, so you’ll be safe. You should still wear a helmet and be sure not to leave your bike unattended.
How safe is Denver airport?
The Denver International Airport is generally safe, but you should still be careful since it’s easy to get distracted by the things around you. As long as you pay attention to your belongings, you’ll be fine.
Which part of Denver’s the safest?
Southeastern Denver and Greenvalley Ranch are some of the safest parts of Denver. Lodo can also be a great area to explore, and while there are still non-violent crimes here, the authorities in this area are alert and will immediately take action.
Is downtown Denver safe for tourists?
Downtown Denver is generally safe if you’re going to explore during the daytime. However, it still experiences petty thefts at night.
How safe is Denver for women?
There is little crime against women in Denver. It’s a great place for those who plan on exploring Denver alone, although it’s recommended to stay out of sketchy areas.
So, Is It Safe to Visit Denver?
With a good mix of attractions and activities, Denver is a great city to visit. While petty crimes like pickpocketing or bike thefts happen occasionally, violent crimes are rarely seen, especially those involving tourists.
This makes it a prime destination for people who want a safe and secure city to visit.
To make your stay in this city even more comfortable, it is recommended that you always keep your wits about you and take note of the safety precautions.