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Is Indianapolis Safe? | Travel Tips & Safety Concerns

Is Indianapolis Safe? | Travel Tips & Safety Concerns

Indianapolis is a thriving metropolis area that receives a whopping 29.2 million visitors annually. It’s no wonder the city boasts a thriving hospitality and tourism industry, which is the backbone of larger Indiana’s economy.

Located in Marion County, Indiana, Indianapolis is the largest capital known as the “Crossroads of America.” It’s where Interstate 65, 69, 70, and 74 intersect.

Full of attractions to see and active sporting culture, Indianapolis is a city whose unique allure keeps people wanting. It’s, by far, the most accessible city you can visit, and everything is affordable.

If you want to experience great culture with so much to experience, Indianapolis is the place to be. But the burning question here is, “Is Indianapolis safe?” Read on to find out.

Is Indianapolis Safe to Visit in 2022?

Indianapolis skyline pictured on the riverfront for a piece titled Is Indianapolis Safe to Visit

Alexey Stiop/Shutterstock

The incredible mid-west charm and convenient amenities throughout Indianapolis make the city easy to navigate, even if you’ve never been here before. It’s a large city with more than enough to offer the curious visitor.

Are you scheduled to visit Indianapolis soon? If yes, you probably wonder how safe you’ll be in such a densely populated area. While not entirely devoid of crime reports, Indianapolis is a relatively safe place.

With a higher level of vigilance on your part, you will remain safe and enjoy your stay here. Below is everything you need to know about the safety of Indianapolis.

Crime in Indianapolis

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) ranks Indianapolis 10th among cities in America with the highest crime rate. The most prevalent offense is violent crime, with about 1,334 incidences reported per 100,000 residents.

If you’re an investor who has your sights on Indianapolis, you should also know that the city has one of the highest property crime levels in the United States.

These numbers can deter tourists on a quest to visit Indianapolis. But with a population of about 900,000 people, there’s evidence that the authorities have control over and can manage the crime rates.

Below are some of the most common types of reported crimes in Indianapolis.

General Safety Risk: Medium

Generally, Indianapolis is a safe city to visit. However, you must remain alert to lower your risk, especially when visiting neighborhoods and public places with higher crime rates.

Transport and Taxis Safety Risk: Low

You are unlikely to be at risk when using public or private means to traverse Indianapolis. There are a few pickpockets and petty thieves, especially around crowded bus and train stations. Avoid looking too flashy and keep your valuables close when planning to board the train or bus.

Mugging Safety Risk: Medium

Failure to lock your car, leaving your handbag unattended, and putting on fancy clothes and jewelry are a few examples that can make you a target for thieves.

While kidnapping and violent crime are less likely to happen to visitors and locals, you are safer when you stay away from secluded areas and dark alleys where you are likely to get mugged.

Women Travelers’ Safety Risk: Low

In most cities, women are advised to walk in groups to stay safe, but not in Indianapolis. Indianapolis is super safe for women travelers going solo. Provided you practice caution and remain alert, there’s little chance anything will go wrong.

Avoiding Bad Neighborhoods

Ruins of the Ritz Theatre pictured in West Indy for a piece titled Is Indianapolis Safe to Visit

Indianapolis – Circa April 2017: Remnants of the Ritz Theatre/Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

The larger Indianapolis is safe. However, particular neighborhoods are flagged and labeled the most dangerous. While visiting the city, only linger in the safe zones and avoid venturing into areas with high reported crime rates.

Below is a closer look at Indianapolis’s safest and most dangerous places.

Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Indianapolis

The locals will quickly caution you against going to Indianapolis’s Eastside and Westside areas. These are problem areas with the highest reported dangerous crimes against locals and tourists.

Of the two flagged areas, the eastside is the most dangerous – so much that even Indianapolis natives steer clear of it.

The Westside isn’t too great, but there exists some semblance of policing by the authorities to try and reduce the crime levels. Check out the Indianapolis Health and public safety department to see how safe the area you plan to visit is.

Safest Neighborhoods in Indianapolis

Despite reasonable cause for concern about the safety levels in Indianapolis, it’s not all bad. Here are some of the safest neighborhoods to visit.

Carmel

This is a quiet, upper, middle-class neighborhood, with plenty of new commercial and residential buildings. It’s one of Indianapolis’ young neighborhoods that aims to give the city a better reputation. You’ll find schools, shopping centers, and other thriving establishments here.

Zionsville

This is another suburban area located on the Northwest side of Indianapolis.

Broad Ripple

Broad Ripple is one of the few places in Indianapolis where you can have tons of fun without constantly having to watch your back. It’s located on the city’s Northside and boasts a strip of bars that college students frequent.

Butler-Tarkington

The population here includes middle-aged to seniors. This tells you that it’s a relatively safe, quiet neighborhood where it’s safe to walk outside without fear of being mugged or attacked by some strange person.

Fishers

Fishers is a Northeast neighborhood in Indianapolis near a mirror replica of Carmel. If you’ve been to Carmel, you should feel safe and at home in Fishers.

Fountain Square

This hipster-dominated neighborhood may appear suspicious and sketchy but is one of the safest and most welcoming places you can be.

Meridian Kessler

This neighborhood has a thriving commercial area and a close-knit community where you can find shops and the most beautiful homes.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Indianapolis

Aerial shot of the skyline over Monument Circle at dusk

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Unsuspecting tourists can easily become targets for crime in Indianapolis. However, there are a few tricks you could use to avoid becoming a target while enjoying everything that the gorgeous city of Indianapolis has to offer.

Below are the top safety tips to consider when traveling to Indianapolis.

Know Where You Are Throughout

Try and study the layout of your location and, if possible, the whole of Indianapolis. That way, you’ll know which places to avoid and easily find your way if you get lost. Here, a map can come in handy.

Beware of Potholes

If you’re self-driving, you must drive slowly to avoid running through potholes and possibly damaging your car. Some roads in Indianapolis could use some upscaling.

Avoid Walking Alone for Long Distances at Night

It matters not how safe your surroundings are because the probability of crime rises at night. Use a cab to get to your desired destination at night to stay safe.

Stay Alert and Aware of Your Surroundings

Situational awareness makes all the difference if you are a visitor who knows little about what to expect in this foreign place.

Avoid putting on headphones or staring at your phone for too long. These distractions keep you from noticing irregularities and suspicious people around you.

Try to Blend In

Try to dress and talk like the locals. Some people might try to take advantage of if you stand out and if they realize that you are from another country.

Avoid Taking Free Stuff From Strangers

Anyone offering you free stuff on the streets probably has a motive. Free stuff includes food and drinks from strangers. Politely decline such advances and move on about your business.

Watch Your Food and Drinks

Closely watch your food and drinks if you’re alone during the day or night. Keep an eye on who’s making your drink too.

Walk Fast and Confidently

When you walk confidently and fast, it looks like you know where you’re going. Therefore, you’re less likely to become a victim of muggings, thefts, scams, and attacks.

Things to Consider

For a piece on whether or not Indianapolis is safe to visit, a theatre and skyline with a walkway is pictured

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA – October 19, 2021: Downtown as seen on Washington Street with the Indiana Repertory Theatre to the left and the Indianapolis Artsgarden on the back/Roberto Galan/Shutterstock

With plenty of museums, parks, arts, and cultural institutions, sports facilities, scenic surroundings, and so many other interesting attractions, there’s no doubt that Indianapolis is one of the most attractive places to visit globally.

Millions of people throng the city to experience a taste of what this vibrant place has in store. If you have an upcoming trip to Indianapolis, here are a few things you need to know first.

Indianapolis Is a Small City With Many Attractions

Downtown Indianapolis is where you need to be to experience the best that the city has to give. It’s where you’ll find museums, restaurants, sports centers, and other attractions.

Top places you must visit include, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the state fairgrounds, the Indiana Convention Center, and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, among others.

Main Currency

The U.S. dollar is the main form of currency used in Indianapolis. ATMs are available, and credit and debit cards are accepted in almost all shops and places of business.

The Weather

The weather in Indianapolis is utterly unpredictable. The city sits right at the center of the Midwestern area, well known for its humid continental climate. It can be freezing cold in the mornings and scorching hot in the evenings.

Warm and cold temperatures alternate from day to day. Always bring something warm to put on, even when the weather seems fine. Indianapolis has four different seasons and an average temperature of 52°F.

The Airport

Indianapolis International Airport is Indiana’s first LEED-certified airport. It’s a super busy airport that accepts over 1,000 flights weekly. It’s located 15 minutes from downtown Indianapolis assuming there’s no traffic.

Indianapolis Is Easy to Navigate

You are unlikely to get lost in Indianapolis even when it’s your first time here. The city is designed using a simple grid structure, making it hard to get lost.

Almost every road heading south starts from the north, and every route starting from the east heads west. Many one-way streets may be annoying for self-driving visitors because you may have to drive longer if you miss a turn.

The Local Food Is Uniquely Surprising

There’s no shortage of award-winning, five-star restaurants in Indianapolis. Most of these restaurants serve everything from local traditional meals to world-class cuisines.

They even have state food! The Indiana tenderloin sandwich is a must-have and a top-listed option in nearly all the city’s traditional, German, Irish, and American restaurants.

No Alcohol on Sundays

Most restaurants and bars have a wide array of beers, wines, and traditional drinks on their menu. Any day of the week, you can partake in the drink of your choice as you make merry or after your meal.

However, it’s strictly forbidden to sell alcohol on Sundays. If you want to keep drinking even on Sunday, plan ahead and stash away plenty of drinks to take at will.

Innovation Pioneer

Come back to Indianapolis in about five months, and you’ll barely recognize the place. The city is an innovation incubator and hub that the world has tagged “Model for Urban Revitalization.”

The Urban Culture Trail is a renowned pedestrian and bike walkway connecting people across the six cultural districts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Light streaks from a bus in downtown for a piece on Is Indianapolis Safe

Ted Alexander Somerville/Shutterstock

Here are answers to the most common questions about Indianapolis:

Are People in Indiana Friendly?

Indiana people are super friendly. If anything, Indiana is known for its top-notch hospitality. It has the most down-to-earth people eager to say “Hey” and offer honest assistance whenever necessary. If you’re lost, locate a restaurant or shop to ask for directions. The residents are always willing to give a helping hand.

Is Indy Safe at Night?

While it may be easy to navigate, the boundaries between neighborhoods are poorly marked. Therefore, if you are unfamiliar with the city, it’s easy to cross over into a dangerous neighborhood, albeit unknowingly. Some areas are safe at night, but a block or two away may be a sketchy, crime-ridden neighborhood that is dangerous for visitors, whether day or night.

Should I Visit Indianapolis Alone?

Indianapolis is a safe place to visit alone. Provided you learn the city’s layout and can separate the safe places from the unsafe areas, you are good to go! Note that you are more likely to become a victim of crime when you are alone than in a group. Therefore, it is advisable to take caution.

Is Traditional Public Transportation Reliable in Indianapolis?

Indianapolis’s primary forms of public transportation include trains, buses, and cabs. Transport here is scheduled at specific times in the morning or evening. If you want to head somewhere outside the designated hours, you may need to find an alternative private means of transport. You don’t always need a car because most places are close together.

Is Indianapolis Safe for Kids?

As long as you bring your kids to the safest spots in Indy, such as the neighborhoods mentioned above and downtown Indianapolis, it would be safe for them. The city can even be a suitable place for families to move into.

So, Is Indianapolis Safe to Visit?

Indianapolis is a great city in a great state where the community lives as one. Their crime rate may be slightly higher than most cities in America, but this hasn’t affected the high number of people interested in visiting.

The high number of crime reports in some of the most dangerous neighborhoods results from increased drug use and abuse among locals in that area. In their quest to feed their drug cravings, they are forced to steal, attack or even kill.

Poverty is another reason why most people break into cars and mug people. These bad acts seem to overwhelm the authorities as they keep increasing yearly. Take caution whenever you are outdoors to avoid becoming a target for thieves.

Stay in urban settings around local stores, markets, and eateries instead of secluded areas. Overall, this detailed guide offers you plenty of reliable information to keep you updated on what to expect on your next trip to Indianapolis.