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Is Savannah, Georgia Safe to Visit in 2024? | Safety Tips

Is Savannah, Georgia Safe to Visit in 2024? | Safety Tips

Is Savannah, GA safe to visit in 2024?

Savannah is generally safe for tourists, but it does have some property and violent crimes. Visitors should take precautions like avoiding poorly lit areas at night and not leaving valuables in their vehicles. Additionally, be aware of the potential for hurricanes during the June to November hurricane season.

Savannah, Georgia is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the southern United States. Annually, the city receives over 15 million visitors.

Most people visit Savannah to check out its historic, elegant charm (it’s one of the oldest cities in the U.S.). The city is full of historic sites such as the imposing 18th-century Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist, the Owens-Thomas House, and many other historic buildings.

The tree-lined streets and other green getaways such as Forsyth Park are well worth a visit. Of course, no trip to Savannah would be complete without some good Southern cooking.

With so many annual visitors, chances are that Savannah isn’t that dangerous. However, it’s always a good idea to double-check on the safety of a new destination before visiting.

Here is a detailed travel guide with information about the safety of traveling to Savannah, including information about crime. Keep reading so you can plan your trip with peace of mind!

Is Savannah, Georgia Safe to Visit?

Riverfront promenade at sunrise for a piece titled Is Savannah Safe to Visit

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Yes. Savannah is a safe place to visit as this mid-sized city doesn’t have that much crime. However, it still has crime, especially property crime, so you need to be cautious when you are out and about.

Plus, hurricanes are a risk anywhere in coastal Georgia, and that includes Savannah. Most people are surprised to learn that Savannah has problems with crime, just like any other city in the United States.

Its overall crime rate is about the national average, according to U.S. News & World Report, and the violent crime rate is slightly above the national average. Keep in mind that Savannah is not just postcard pictures, but a living breathing city with the same problems other cities have.

Common crimes include:

  • Theft from vehicles
  • Vehicle theft
  • Petty theft
  • Burglaries
  • Assault
  • Robbery

The reality of life in Savannah outside of the historic center is not always pretty. The city struggles with high poverty rates, income inequality, and drug abuse, all societal factors that often drive up crime rates.

Although most severe crimes occur in areas where tourists are unlikely to venture, it is still a risk that you should be aware of. The good news is that besides crime, there are few other challenges to your safety that you should worry about when visiting Savannah.

It is a small, quiet city, so the problems that bigger cities like Atlanta experience, such as potential terrorist attacks and civil unrest, are rarely felt here.

However, you do need to be mindful of the natural disaster risk in Savannah. Savannah is very close to Georgia’s coast, which means that it is in the zone of the United States that experiences the most hurricanes.

Although hurricanes rarely hit Savannah directly (the city was actually nicknamed Dodge City since hurricanes dodge it so frequently), the storms still cause heavy rains, wind damage, and flooding when they pass close to the city.

Hurricane season lasts from June to November and intensifies from August to early October.

If you are visiting during hurricane season, make sure to check the Savannah official government website. The local government publishes alert information along with safety advice if the meteorologists think that a hurricane could affect the city.

Crime in Savannah, Georgia

City Market in Savannah Georgia for a piece titled Is Savannah Georgia Safe to Visit

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA MAY 31, 2013 Historic City Market dates back to 1755 as a center of commerce and public market./Gestalt Imagery/Shutterstock

Crime is the primary concern for visitors to Savannah, partially because other dangers are rare, but partially because the city’s crime rate is slightly elevated.

According to U.S. News & World Report data from 2019, the crime rate in Savannah is 345.8 incidents per 100,000 people. This figure is around the national average.

However, the violent crime rate is slightly above the national average (but keep in mind that the national average includes data from small towns and villages that don’t have many violent incidents in their calculation).

According to police department crime statistics shared by a local newspaper, the vast majority of crimes in Savannah are property crimes.

Different property crimes, including larceny theft, theft from vehicles, burglary, and vehicle theft, make up 79.8% of total crime reports. The most common form of property crime is theft from vehicles, which makes up 22% of total crimes reported.

Violent crime does make up a significant portion of Savannah crime at just over 20% of the crime total. The most common violent crime is assault, which the Savannah police divide into assault with a gun and assault without a gun.

However, the most common violent crime affecting tourists is robbery. Visitors to Savannah have been victims of robberies and muggings before.

Although the situation has gotten slightly better in recent years, Savannah city leaders and community members are concerned about the city’s gun violence problem.

Many residents are concerned about the massive disparities in Savannah between different neighborhoods. While the Historic District is quite safe, residents just a few streets away are threatened by gun violence.

To be clear, most incidents of gun violence (besides some late-night robberies) don’t affect tourists to Savannah. However, it is a good idea to inform yourself about all the problems facing a city before you visit.

You should do this not just because you don’t know what you might run into, but also to be sensitive in your conversations with locals. To recap, Savannah has its fair share of problems with crime, including a high rate of gun violence.

However, most incidents affecting tourists, and most criminal incidents overall, are property crimes.

Savannah’s safety also depends a lot depending on the neighborhood, which is why it is a good idea to research safety information and where to avoid in the city ahead of time.

Theft from Vehicles

As mentioned above, theft from vehicles is the most common crime in Savannah, making up 22% of reported crime totals. It is so common that the Savannah P.D. counts it as a separate category from other forms of theft.

The best precaution against theft from vehicles is not to have a vehicle in the first place. If you flew to Savannah or took public transportation, you definitely don’t need to worry about this crime.

Most sights in Savannah are clustered in the Historic District, which is very walkable, so you don’t need to rent a car. Taxis are widely available if you want to go somewhere further afield in the city.

However, if you drove to Savannah with your family car, or rented a vehicle to explore other parts of Georgia before or after your visit to Savannah, you should take precautions to protect your car from this crime.

Thieves often target people with out-of-state license plates or rental cars as they know that tourists tend to be more careless with their things.

The best way to prevent theft from vehicles is to make sure that your car is not an attractive target. Never leave any possessions, especially your valuables, in your car unattended.

Even some spare change could be incentive enough for someone to break your window. Shopping bags are one of the most common targets for theft from vehicles. If you go shopping, try to take your bags directly back to your accommodation.

If you have to keep them in your car, put them in your trunk and make sure that they are not visible from outside. In general, be careful of your valuables in Savannah.

Besides theft from vehicles, the city has a lot of other petty theft incidents such as pickpocketing and purse snatching.

Tourists are often targeted because thieves know visitors tend to have less street smarts than locals. Take basic precautions as you explore the city, such as not flashing valuables and putting your wallet in a hard-to-access place.


Occasionally, tourists are victims of more violent crimes in Savannah. The most common violent crime that you might experience as a tourist is robbery. Muggings and robberies, sometimes at gunpoint, unfortunately occur in Savannah regularly.

The good news is that most robberies occur at night, so make sure that you are especially careful about your movements after dark.

If you go for a walk in Savannah after dark, make sure that you stick to well-lit main streets with lots of other people who are also out and about. If you’re going to a new neighborhood or somewhere further away, take a taxi.

You want to avoid potentially dangerous areas, especially alone. Research which neighborhoods are safe and which ones are sketchier.

Even in the relatively safe Historic District, avoid parks, poorly lit side streets, and areas where your gut tells you that you are unsafe. Even though Savannah’s nightlife is lots of fun to explore, you don’t want to have too much fun.

Thieves often target people who are inebriated, so go easy on the drinks and have a little less than you would at home so you can keep your wits about you.

Avoiding Bad Areas

Photo for a guide titled Is Savannah Safe to Visit featuring three police officers on Segways patrolling the area

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA – December 5, 2015: Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia. From the historic architecture and parks to the beaches of Tybee, Savannah attracts millions of visitors annually/Darryl Brooks/Shutterstock

While the Historic District of Savannah is safe, other parts of the city have drastically higher crime rates, including parts that are close to the touristy areas. Knowing which areas to avoid in Savannah is key to staying safe.

Dangerous neighborhoods in Savannah include:

  • West Savannah
  • Carver Heights
  • Cloverdale
  • Garden City

Ask a local, such as your hotel receptionist or accommodation host, about where you can go in Savannah and where you should avoid.

Your instincts will also be a good way to tell where you should go and where it’s better to avoid, so trust your gut. If you don’t feel safe in an area, get out of there immediately.

Things to Consider

Golden dome in Savannah Georgia


Here are some additional safety tips for Savannah:

  • Choose your accommodation location carefully. Many Airbnbs are on residential streets that get quiet at night. Even if the neighborhood isn’t dangerous per se, it can still feel a little sketchy. It might be worth splurging for a hotel on a busy street to feel safer.
  • Talk to the locals. Southern hospitality is a stereotype that is rooted in truth. Most locals are happy to point out cool locations around the city or give you tips to make sure that you get the most out of your visit.
  • Be respectful of the locals. Savannah locals are famous for their hospitality, but even their hospitality is tested by people behaving badly. Try not to get too rowdy in bars or clubs and be polite.
  • Avoid parks at night. Savannah’s parks may be beautiful, but crime occurs more frequently there after dark.

Frequently Asked Questions

Benches and trees with Spanish moss along a walkway at night, at Forsyth Park, in Savannah, Georgia

Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

Here are a few common questions that fellow visitors to Savannah have asked before:

How safe is Savannah for tourists?

Savannah is fairly safe for tourists. The area around most of the city’s main attractions, the Historic District, is the safest in the city besides some petty theft. You do need to take some precautions while exploring other parts of the city, though.

Is Savannah safe to walk around at night?

Parts of Savannah’s Historic District are safe to walk around at night, as long as you stick to well-lit streets with lots of other people around. Some tours for visitors even go around at night! However, you shouldn’t visit any unfamiliar areas after dark.

Is Savannah safer than Atlanta?

Atlanta is the bigger city, which means that it has more problems such as civil unrest. Savannah has higher crime numbers in certain categories, such as assault, but usually those crimes are confined to certain neighborhoods.

Is Savannah, Georgia safe to travel alone?

Yes, Savannah, Georgia is safe to travel alone. Many solo travelers, including solo female travelers, visit the city.

Is Savannah a friendly city?

Yes, Savannah is a friendly city! In fact, the famous Southern hospitality is one of the main reasons why people visit the city.

So, Is Savannah Safe to Visit?

Savannah, Georgia is a safe city to visit as long as you take precautions to keep yourself safe. If you stick to the tourist areas, watch your back at night, and avoid making yourself a target, you’ll have a great time.

The city has more problems than you might expect when looking at the photos, especially an elevated crime rate, but tourists who take the right precautions are rarely affected by the worst that Savannah has to offer.

So what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that this picturesque has to offer. Happy travels!