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Is Miami Safe to Visit in 2024? (& Safety Tips)

Is Miami Safe to Visit in 2024? (& Safety Tips)

Miami is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States, especially for those seeking a relaxing beach vacation. The city welcomed over 26.5 million visitors in 2023, and those numbers are only set to grow in the future.

Most people visit hoping to spend as much time as possible on the famous beaches, whether South Beach or Miami Beach. If you are looking for a little intellectual getaway to break up your tanning, Miami has plenty of world-class museums, such as the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens.

Miami’s neighborhoods are also worth exploring, from Little Havana with its delicious Cuban food to the beautiful Art Deco Historic District. But while it’s a city rich in history, culture, and amazing food, is Miami safe to visit? Here’s our take.

Is Miami Safe to Visit in 2024?

Picturesque photo of a colorful teal and yellow guard shack below a blue sky and next to still water for a guide titled Is Miami Safe to Visit


Yes. Miami is one of the safest big cities to visit in the United States. It has a fairly low crime rate, and the rate is even lower in the most popular tourist destinations.

As long as you are smart about where you visit in the city and take basic precautions when walking around town, you should have a safe visit.

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But there is conflicting information about the crime rate. Crime in Miami overall is the lowest that it’s been in forty years, especially in wealthier areas of town. That means that it’s safer than ever to visit.

However, some parts of Miami have high crime rates. A surprising outlier is Miami Beach, which was named the third most dangerous city in Florida. However, there are a few caveats to this data.

It was compiled by a private company, and not all municipalities in Florida share their crime data equally. Plus, many perpetrators and victims in Miami Beach are from out of town, which skews the ratio per 100,000 residents.

What this data shows you is that crime can happen anywhere in Miami, although the highest crime rates are concentrated in certain neighborhoods. It pays to use your big-city smarts while in the city to avoid being the victim of a crime, but you don’t have to be constantly on your guard.

Some common crimes that occur in Miami include:

  • Theft
  • Vehicle theft
  • Assault
  • Armed robbery
  • Break-ins

Besides crime, one important threat to your safety that you should be aware of before planning your trip to Miami is hurricanes. Miami is one of the cities at the highest risk of hurricanes in the United States.

Every year from June to November, but peaking in late August and September, devastating hurricanes sweep through the Caribbean and southern Atlantic.

There have been devastating hurricanes in Miami before, such as Hurricane Andrew in 1992. The city is on the shore and has very little infrastructure to prevent hurricane damage, so the risk of a devastating storm is high.

Unless you must visit during that time, avoid visiting Miami during the peak of hurricane season. Even if there isn’t a devastating storm, there is often heavy rain, high humidity, and even flooding that could affect your trip.

Crime in Miami

People enjoying the historic and art deco hotels on Ocean Drive in Miami

MIAMI, USA – AUG 23, 2014: people enjoy Palm trees and art deco hotels at Ocean Drive by night. The road is the main thoroughfare through South Beach in Miami, USA/Travelview/Shutterstock

Most potential visitors to Miami are primarily concerned about crime when they think about any safety problems they may encounter. After all, this is the city that inspired the TV show Miami Vice!

However, the reality on the ground is much tamer than TV might suggest. Crime in Miami is moderate — and even low — compared to some other cities of similar sizes.

According to U.S. News & World Report, Miami’s crime rate of 207.4 incidents per 100,000 people is much lower than the national average. This makes it one of the safest big cities in the nation.

Miami-Dade County has a detailed breakdown of crimes by type. The most common crime in Miami is larceny, which makes up about 57% of total crimes committed in Miami. Larceny is a broad category that also includes crime against businesses as well as theft from individuals.

The Miami-Dade Police Department offers a further breakdown of the larceny category in a crime report published on its website. According to police statistics, the most common form of larceny is various theft followed by theft from a motor vehicle and then shoplifting.

Street crime, such as pickpocketing, occurs but is fairly rare. The other most common crimes are petty non-violent offenses as well. Larceny is followed by motor vehicle theft, which makes up about 10.5% of total crimes committed.

Motor vehicle theft rates have remained consistent in Miami compared to previous years, which is different from national trends, which saw a growth in motor vehicle theft rates.

The most common violent crime is aggravated assault, which makes up about 7% of total crimes committed in Miami-Dade County. Overall, violent crimes (assault, battery, homicide, and sexual assault) make up about 17.5% of total crimes committed in Miami-Dade County.

One thing to know about Miami is that the city is quite segregated. Income inequality between neighborhoods is very high.

Some neighborhoods have lots of social factors that often affect crime rates, such as poverty, addiction, and unemployment, while others are extremely wealthy and have well-resourced local police departments and even private security.

Most tourists tend to spend time in the latter kind of neighborhoods, which means that they are fairly insulated from the worst of Miami’s crime. While you should still take basic precautions while there, you don’t have to worry too much about crime, especially not if you are sticking to the most popular touristy areas.

Theft From Vehicles

The most common crime in Miami is theft from vehicles. While this crime primarily affects locals, who are more likely to have cars in the city, it can also affect tourists.

Some thieves even target rental cars or out-of-state license plates because they assume visitors are more likely to keep their valuables in their cars. The most important thing you can do to prevent this kind of crime is not to leave anything in your car to tempt potential thieves.

Definitely, never leave your purse, backpack, or other valuables unattended. Even if you are just stepping out to run to the store, quickly pay for parking, or fill up on gas, take anything you would be devastated to have stolen with you.

You’d be surprised at which small items can motivate potential thieves. Something like phone chargers, loose change, or USBs can inspire a smash-and-grab theft.

Before leaving your car, make sure that you put all of these items somewhere where they are out of sight, such as a glove compartment. The reason thieves sometimes target out-of-town plates or rental cars is because they know tourists are more likely to have their bags in their cars.

If you can, try to check in as soon as you can, drop off your bags, and then go exploring. If you have to have your suitcase or shopping bags in your car while parking in public, make sure they are well-covered in your trunk so nobody can see them from outside your car.

Finally, make sure that you park in a secure location, especially overnight. Most hotels offer parking garages for their guests (although sometimes for an extra fee). If your accommodation doesn’t have a garage, try to find a public garage with security cameras nearby to park overnight.

You can try to avoid bringing your car into Miami (which will also save you the hassle of finding parking). While it’s not the most walkable city, most attractions are located in the fairly compact downtown.

As such, it may make more sense to pay for taxis to see other things you want to see rather than bring your car and expose it to potential theft.


The most common violent crime in Miami is assault. Although tourists are rarely victims of this crime (it tends to occur between people who know each other), it does sometimes happen, so here are a few precautions you can take.

Violent crime rates are higher in certain neighborhoods. Avoid dangerous areas, especially at night, as you may be targeted for a crime.

If someone tries to rob you, hand over your valuables and don’t resist. There have been cases of robbers assaulting victims who tried to fight back before, sometimes with a weapon.

Miami’s nightlife is world-famous, but the famous nightclubs do tend to attract crime. Be careful when exploring the nightlife scene, especially if you are a woman. Always keep a close eye on your drinks, as drink spiking and sexual assault do happen fairly often.

Drunken disputes sometimes escalate into assault, so stay alert and get out of there if you notice that a situation feels unsafe. As much fun as you may want to have while on vacation, try to watch your alcohol intake.

Avoiding Bad Areas

Photo of a few run down buildings in Overtown Miami for a guide to whether the city is safe to visit

Miami, FL, USA – March 5, 2022: Street shot Miami Overtown/Felix Mizioznikov/Shutterstock

There are a few parts of Miami that are best avoided because they have high crime rates. These neighborhoods include:

  • Overtown
  • Liberty City
  • South Coconut Grove
  • Around the South Miami Community Center

Parts of Little Haiti and Little Havana can also get sketchy, so save your explorations for daylight. You also want to watch out around highway overpasses as they tend to be desolate and attract shantytowns.

Things to Consider

Crowded South Beach in Miami, as seen from the air from the port entry channel


Here are a few additional safety tips for visiting Miami:

  • Certain periods of the year have higher crime rates. Theft increases around the holidays, and crime overall increases during spring break times due to rowdy visitors. If you want a quieter trip, avoid coming to Miami during those times.
  • Be careful of pickpockets in downtown. Although pickpocketing is not very common in Miami, it still can occur, especially in crowded areas popular with tourists. Make sure that your valuables are in a safe place.
  • Be careful when swimming. Always obey posted warnings and flags. Red flags mean no swimming, yellow flags signal dangerous conditions, while purple flags mean that dangerous creatures such as jellyfish have been spotted.
  • Prepare for the Miami heat. Drink plenty of water and apply sunscreen. Summers can get very humid, so make sure to hydrate and stay out of the heat during the middle of the day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Expensive fishing boats on South Beach Street in Miami

Songquan Deng/Shutterstock

Here are some of the most common questions visitors to Miami have asked before:

Is it safe to walk around downtown Miami?

Yes, it is safe to walk around downtown Miami, although some parts can feel sketchy at night. This is also one of the most walkable parts of the city.

Is it safe to walk around Miami Beach at night?

Miami Beach at night is safe if you stick to boardwalks and other areas that are popular with people. Avoid more desolate parts, such as lone stretches of beach, as you could be the victim of a crime.

Is Miami safer than LA?

Los Angeles has a lower overall crime rate than Miami. However, Miami feels safer to people because it is smaller, and neighborhoods where tourists tend to venture have low crime rates.

Is Miami safe for a girls’ trip?

Miami is safe and a very popular destination for girls’ trips. However, groups of women will need to take extra precautions, such as being careful when accepting drinks in clubs to avoid drink spiking.

Is Miami cheap or expensive?

Miami is relatively expensive to live in or visit. The cost of living is above the national average, so make sure to factor that into your budget when planning your trip.

So, Should You Visit Miami?

Miami is a wonderful place to visit, and it is possible to visit it safely. However, there is some crime in the city, and it tends to spike around popular times for tourists, such as spring break. Make sure to keep a close eye on your valuables (and your drinks) and avoid dangerous neighborhoods.

So, with so much to see and do and a relatively safe environment, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that Miami has to offer. Happy travels!