Georgia : Safety by City
- East Columbus
- East Point
- Johns Creek
- Peachtree City
- Peachtree Corners
- Sandy Springs
- South Fulton
- Tybee Island
- Warner Robins
Atlanta, Hotlanta, the ATL – whatever you call Georgia’s largest city, you’re in for a good time when you visit this cultural travel epicenter.
The city brings in more than 110 million visitors each year from all over the world, and it’s not hard to see why.
Professional sports, major performance venues, incredible tourist attractions, civil rights history, the Hollywood of the South – the list of things to do is almost endless.
Even National Geographic ranked it as one of the best places on the planet for culture and history in 2022.
Atlanta is a mix of dynamic neighborhoods, the urban core, must-see museums, and vibrant parks with new businesses popping up all the time.
One of the phrases to know in Atlanta is ITP – which means “Inside The Perimeter” of I-285.
All of the city of Atlanta is located ITP, and there are so many more suburbs to explore.
We have a detailed list of suburbs and nearby cities on our website.
There is also a strong presence of Black-owned businesses here, fueling a cultural kaleidoscope of stores, restaurants, and entrepreneurial opportunities.
Let’s not forget the wide array of musical artists from Atlanta or making music in Atlanta.
Tyler Perry’s studios are located here as well.
Warnings & Dangers in Atlanta
OVERALL RISK: MEDIUM
Atlanta is a major city with nearly half a million people within the city limits and more than six million people in the metro area. A city that large, with that many visitors, will come with certain risks, and most crime rates are much higher than state and national averages. There's a medium overall risk, but it's too wonderful of a city to avoid because of crime concerns.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
MARTA is the bus and rail line system that gets you around Atlanta from downtown to the suburbs with dozens of stops in between. MARTA also has its own police force to help with crime and safety. Taxis and rideshares are readily available. If you choose to rent a car, just know Atlanta is infamous for its traffic.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: MEDIUM
The theft rate in Atlanta is twice the national average, and there's a medium risk of being pickpocketed or having a purse snatched. You should use an abundance of caution when visiting here, carrying only what you need and not wearing valuable items like diamond earrings when touring the city.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
Atlanta can get tornadoes and flooding, which are the two biggest risks. Winter storms aren't all that common, but when they happen, the city's streets can be crippled by them. An ice storm in 2014 left hundreds of cars abandoned on the roads as any movement was impossible. There's a medium risk because of the various storms that can happen here. You should also know that Atlanta is extremely humid in the summer. That's not really a risk, but it is a harsh reality.
MUGGING RISK: MEDIUM
The robbery rate is twice the national average as well, so there's a medium risk here too. Atlanta also averaged more than two shootings per day in 2021. This is definitely a place where you don't want to fight back if approached by a robber.
TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM
Atlanta is a major transportation hub, with Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport being one of the busiest in the world. Given the sheer size of the city and all the headquarters of private and public businesses, Atlanta is always going to be considered at medium risk. You can download the "See Something, Say Something" app from the state of Georgia and easily report any suspicious behavior.
SCAMS RISK: MEDIUM
There's a medium risk in Atlanta for tourists being scammed, and scam artists will try anything to distract you. Avoid any situation where someone is trying to "help" you, even if it's just taking a picture with your phone (or their phone) or a street game with crowd engagement. Anything that takes away your focus is considered an opportunity for pickpockets. If you like to party, watch the movie Hustlers before you go. Versions of this scam happen in Atlanta as well.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: MEDIUM
The sexual assault rate is one category that is actually below the national average, BUT it did go up nearly 40% in 2021. Because all of the crime categories are medium risk, we're assigned the same risk here. It's a big city with many people looking to make a buck or talk to a pretty lady. Try to travel in pairs, don't walk around at night alone, and never leave a drink unattended at a bar. Even if you meet someone from social media, don't go to a private location. Stay in a well-lit, populated area.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The water meets or exceeds all standards across the board, according to the 2021 Water Quality Report. Nearby, Gwinnett County's water was voted the best tasting in the state.
Safest Places to Visit in Atlanta
While it’s impossible to list all the safe things to do in Atlanta because there are just too many, the website DiscoverAtlanta.com has a list for all types of travelers and even a whole section with free attractions.
You can download the Atlanta City Pass for a list of attractions with discounts for bundled purchases.
All of the attractions in the app are approved by the tourism commission, so you know you’re visiting respected places.
Olympic Centennial Park is one of the top tourist spots in the city.
Get a picture at the Fountain of Rings and explore the various water features, sculptures, tributes, and exhibits of international collaboration.
The College Football Hall of Fame is right next door too.
The Georgia Aquarium makes many tourists “must-see” lists, and it’s no wonder why with more than 100,000 under-the-sea creatures to see.
You can also see the world’s largest fish and look a shark right in the eye.
The World of Coca-Cola walks you through this history of the soda brand’s history with bottling exhibits and samples of all varieties of the popular drink.
You can buy tickets for the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coca-Cola at a discounted price.
For those traveling with kids, the Children’s Museum of Atlanta will be a great way to send a morning or afternoon.
The museum explores all senses with interactive exhibits and plenty of activities.
Just wait until you see the connected toy store!
If you’ve seen the Ferris wheel in pictures of Atlanta, that’s Skyview Atlanta, and it’s open for rides to the public.
The cars are enclosed, so you’ll get climate control as you soar 20 stories up.
The National Center for Civil and Human Rights is one of the attractions that put Atlanta on the National Geographic list.
While it began as a memorial to the fight for civil rights in America, it expands to global human rights and how you can be a force for change in the future.
It’s an inspiring and humbling experience every Atlanta visitor should see.
Stroll through the Buckhead District for shopping, sightseeing, sipping, and soaking in this uniquely Atlanta neighborhood.
There are history museums and incredible Southern architecture to explore.
This district is lively day or night.
Places to Avoid in Atlanta
The Atlanta Police Department offers three variations of crime mapping on its website, so you can search your hotel’s neighborhood and where your preferred attractions are before you go.
This will help you see crime trends closer to your visit.
While there isn’t a perfectly safe part of the ATL, there are some neighborhoods with higher crime than others.
The farther south and west you go, the more dangerous the neighborhood is outside of the downtown core.
Bankhead is one of the more dangerous cities, and don’t confuse that with the above-mentioned Buckhead.
You should definitely stay in the tourist areas when you’re visiting, and don’t go through neighborhoods or pull over in a rundown part of town to check your GPS.
You’ll be able to see if a neighborhood is less-affluent, but you never know what nicer neighborhoods might have more crime too.
Without having to dive into each one, you’re just safer staying on interstates and main roads when visiting Atlanta.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Atlanta
- Notify ATL is the city’s alert system, and every tourist would be wise to sign up for these alerts. You’ll get emergency notifications of all kinds, including weather, and they’ll be sent to your mobile device.
- The Atlanta Police Department is very transparent with crime data, even releasing weekly crime reports. Review these crime reports before you go, or it could be great reading on the flight to ATL.
- Atlanta has LIT lanes, which are lanes designed for bicyclists. If you are driving, do not park or block one of these lanes, or else you’ll get a ticket. The LIT lanes are separated by posts from the traffic lanes for everyone’s safety.
- You can rent scooters in Atlanta if you don’t want to deal with traffic on the roads. There’s a safety video for where scooters can ride on the police department’s website. You cannot ride a scooter on the sidewalk.
- There is a one in 61 risks of being a victim of a car break-in. More than 8,000 of those were reported in 2021. Don’t ever leave anything in plain sight in your car. Be sure the doors are locked, and the windows are rolled up.
- If you happen to get information about a crime in Atlanta, you can remain anonymous and call Crime Stoppers at (404)577-8477. Cash rewards up to $2000 are offered for information leading to an arrest. Of course, if it’s an emergency, call 911.
- I mentioned MARTA as the major transportation hub above, but there are some other choices in certain parts of Atlanta. For example, you can ride The Buc to get around the Buckhead District. The Atlanta Streetcar makes getting around downtown easier and will allow you to rest your feet. Xpress is a great system to use if you want to explore the suburbs.
- If you’re planning to attend a major sports team game, like the Atlanta Falcons or the Atlanta Braves, don’t buy scalped tickets. Just pay the price from the venue for the safety and security of your personal payment information.
- Atlanta doesn’t have the traditional rush hour times on the roadways. From 5:00 am to around 7:00 pm is all traffic. There are memes and viral lists about Atlanta traffic, but it’s really almost a tourist attraction within itself – as long as you don’t have high blood pressure. I once sat in traffic for three hours getting from the west side of town to drive south toward Macon. When the traffic FINALLY cleared, it was ONE construction barrel partly in the far right lane that caused the slowdown.
- If you have any questions about the city of Atlanta or need guidance about the services offered, you can dial 311 or email ATL311@Atlantaga.gov. You can report potholes, ask about parking rules, or get information about where to rent a bike/scooter.
So... How Safe Is Atlanta Really?
The raw numbers can be quite staggering to see at first, but then you remember there are nearly half a million people who live just within the city limits.
There are gangs.
There are gun crimes.
There is a drug problem.
However, I challenge you to show me a major city that doesn’t have those issues.
There isn’t an inherent risk of a tourist being a victim of a crime.
If you are coming from a small town, this is going to feel a little overwhelming.
If you’ve been to big cities like London, New York, Chicago, Miami, etc., this is no different aside from some higher-than-average crime rates.
Every single crime category went down in 2021, aside from rape, murder, aggravated assault, and larcenies.
More than 3,000 cars were stolen in 2021, almost average from the year before, but down slightly.
The overall risk in the Atlanta area is as follows:
- Violent Crime: 1 in 136
- Robbery: 1 in 621
- Theft: 1 in 38
You must pay attention to your surroundings and keep your belongings secured.
Every bit of common sense safety you know will go a long way here.
You’ll also have a large and present police force helping keep the community safe and responsive to any emergency you might have.
How Does Atlanta Compare?
|Santiago de Chile (Chile)
|Hong Kong (China)
You'll need a U.S. Travel or Work Visa to get through Customs at the Atlanta airport. Be sure to put that in a secure place because you won't need it during your visit. It can take months to get an appointment to interview for a visa in your home country, so plan ahead.
Many of the attractions here won't even accept cash, so be sure you have a working credit card to make purchases. You can exchange currency at the airport or at numerous banks around the city. Try to avoid using an ATM in a public place. Go inside a bank if you need money.
Even the winters can be mild here, so you rarely need a winter coat. However, you'll see people dressed in winter attire when it gets into the 50s. A mix of t-shirts, sweatshirts with pants, shorts, and skirts will cover just about every weather event here. In the summer, just be prepared to sweat. They don't call it Hotlanta for nothing.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is on the southwest side of the city, and you can get there by car, taxi, rideshare, or public transportation. Given all the traffic, plan for at least an hour to get there.
You should get travel insurance to cover your flight, baggage, and any incidents on the roadways. It will give you peace of mind in a city that moves quickly.
Atlanta Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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Georgia - Safety by City