10 Most Dangerous Cities in Indonesia

Updated On October 10, 2023

Most travelers would rate Indonesia as one of the safest countries in Southeast Asia to choose as a travel destination.

For this reason, you may be surprised to discover that several Indonesian cities are not as safe as you would think.

While Indonesia is known for its low crime rates, hospitality, and gorgeous tropical beaches, it isn’t quite paradise.

As of 2021, the population in Indonesia had swelled to 273.8 million.

With such a large population and a great deal of tourism, certain major cities in Indonesia have seen an uptick in crimes per capita over the past few years.

10 Most Dangerous Cities in Indonesia



As the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta is one of the most populated regions in the country.

As the population and tourism go up, so does the crime level.

In South Jakarta, there are some areas that are known for their prostitution, drug trafficking, and theft.

Even in areas like this, you can stay safe by keeping a close eye on your belongings and staying near other travelers.



Like much of Indonesia, Surabaya is mostly safe from a crime perspective.

Still, that doesn’t mean that travelers and tourists shouldn’t take special precautions to avoid becoming one of their low crime statistics.

As reported by a survey on crime and safety concerns, many inhabitants of this city express fears about political corruption and bribery.

They also worry about a moderate uptick in crime as a whole in the past 3 years.

In this area, the main concerns for tourists include the relatively low number of English speakers and the threat of natural disasters.

As with anywhere, it’s best to slowly develop trust in new people over time, even if they seem kind, and avoid leaving your belongings unattended.

While you want to assume the best about other travelers or locals, it pays to keep your guard up until you’ve established more of a rapport.



As with the previous cities on the list, Bekasi is a safe place compared to many other places in the world.

While you won’t have to worry about gang violence or murder here on a statistical level, you should still keep your wits about you in this region.

As shared in a survey on crime in the city, many residents reported a high concern for problems of corruption and bribery and a moderate worry about vandalism and theft.

Others perceived a rise in crime over the past three years and shared fears about being mugged or robbed.

Staying safe in Bekasi involves using basic travel safety tips, like going places in a group or with at least one other person.

It also helps to know the language, since there are fewer English speakers in this region than in major Indonesian cities like Jakarta.



As you can tell, most cities in Indonesia are seen as relatively safe, so Bandung is one of the more dangerous ones by comparison.

Citizens of the city worry about political corruption and bribery as well as growing crime rates over recent years, muggings, and drug dealing/use.

Still, as long as you follow basic international travel safety trips, you have a low chance of encountering serious crime here.

One safety concern here is the lack of proper pedestrian infrastructure and public transit.

Plan to spend more on transportation as a foreigner and speak in Indonesian since English speakers in Bandung aren’t as common as in Jakarta.



In Medan, most residents consider the level of crime to be moderate.

Even so, for Indonesia, that’s relatively unsafe.

The main crimes reported in the area include the usage or dealing of substances, vandalism, theft, and corruption or bribery.

According to some, armed robberies targeting tourists have become common in the area.

This is why it’s important to ensure that you don’t have to walk alone at night in Medan.

Also, don’t flash your valuables and only carry the absolute necessities on your person.



While Depok might not seem statistically dangerous compared to notoriously dangerous cities abroad, it still has its unsafe moments.

Some residents express concerns over a rising level of crime, muggings, and fears about their homes being the targets of break-ins and theft.

The high heat and humidity can make this city unsafe for an entirely different reason than crime.

Still, if you have to visit the city, it’s important to prepare to drink water, take breaks, and seek cool areas if the heat becomes overwhelming.

In this area, racism is a moderate concern that could lead to safety issues, as well.



In Tangerang, there have been some severe crimes that made headlines such as the gang rape that ended in homicide in 2016.

There have also been tragedies that make some residents question the safety of the area including a prison fire and horrible prison conditions.

Most locals would recommend steering clear of underdeveloped parts of the city.

To stay safe, they would suggest sticking close to developed metropolitan sections. 



In Palembang, some common dangers include people using or dealing with substances, and property crimes including theft, assault, armed robbery, corruption, and bribery.

All of these crimes happen at relatively high and very high rates according to a survey in the area.

One of the worst areas in the city, as shared by a local on a social media post, is Gandu.

In this region, you are more likely to encounter thieves and violent criminals.



While Semarang is not one of the most dangerous places on this list, it has its fair share of safety concerns.

Over the past three years, residents have worried about rising crime levels, corruption, and bribery.

The lower hill may not have a higher risk of crime, but it does have a higher risk of flooding.

Like many parts of Indonesia, the real danger here is natural disasters and extreme temperatures.



In Makassar, high levels of administrative bribery and increased corruption rates have made some citizens uneasy.

Additionally, over the past five years, residents have seen crime levels go up.

This has led to Makassar feeling like one of the least safe cities in Indonesia.

In the past, there has also been gang activity in Makassar.

Thanks to recent security measures, this has gone down.

To stay safe in Makassar, you should stay aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on the news for reports of gang activity or other local crimes.

5 Safety Tips for Traveling to Indonesia

  1. Learn the language or partner with someone who knows Indonesian. Enlist a native tour guide or learn the language before visiting most places outside of Jakarta if you are an English speaker.
  2. Don’t walk alone at night. For female solo travelers or foreigners who are unfamiliar with the area, this is especially important.
  3. Bring extra funds for transportation. Much of Indonesia lacks accessible public transit or walkable roads, so your best bet is relying on taxis. These can be pricey but worth avoiding the alternative–getting stranded in a foreign country isn’t a safe option.
  4. Stay aware of recent or potential terrorist threats. Since Indonesia does experience some terroristic threats and acts, it’s best to stay on top of this coverage.
  5. Don’t instantly trust even friendly people. While the local culture is very friendly and hospitable, if you are meeting someone for the first time, you should exercise caution. Some pickpockets or thieves may befriend you at first before stealing, so it’s best to stay on guard at first.

Indonesia Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Indonesia Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most dangerous city in Indonesia?

While this is debated, most sources agree that Jakarta is the most dangerous city in Indonesia.

Because of the EIU’s ranking of Jakarta as 53rd out of 60 cities in safety, it’s definitely low on their list of safe cities.

Of course, compared to other cities, it may have less crime overall.

Are there safer times of year to travel to Indonesia?

The best time to visit Indonesia is around July and August.

During this time, the weather is ideal and the likelihood of unsafe weather conditions drops.

As many residents and frequent tourists of Indonesia know, the weather can be one of the least safe parts of this mostly low-crime country.

What is the crime rate in Indonesia?

In Indonesia, the crime rate was 94 per 100,000 residents in 2020.

1 Comment on 10 Most Dangerous Cities in Indonesia

  1. Indonesia may be known for its low crime rates and beautiful beaches, but don’t let that fool you.

    Some major cities have seen an increase in crime rates, making it important to take precautions while traveling.

    It’s best to learn the language and understand at least a little bit.

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