How Safe Is Austin for Travel?

Austin, United States
Safety Index:
65

Austin is a city located in the Hill Country of central Texas.

The capital of Texas is home to a major university and it’s the state hub for politics, technology, music, film and an increasingly popular food scene.

It’s also got some natural beauties: it’s a gorgeous metropolis with the Colorado River running right through downtown and biking trails and parks running the length of it, nice lakes and plenty of small towns nearby to explore.

All in all, there is something here for everyone.

If you like a quiet sort of ambiance, that is available, but if you’re more a big city lover, that’s available too.

Warnings & Dangers in Austin

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : LOW

Austin is not that different from any other US city for tourists, in the sense that it's generally safe as long as you use caution and common sense on the streets. Do not carry cash with you and be wary of shady people and avoid beggars.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : HIGH

Traffic accidents/other drivers are probably the biggest risks in Austin. Driving here can be a terrifying experience. Traffic and distracted drivers are a major hazard. Also, do be wary when on trains and buses as well as stations, because that's where pickpockets and snatchers operate.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM

As for pickpocketing, it is a recurring concern on the streets of Austin, as well as bag snatching, so be careful and hold your bags tightly by your side. Even better, keep your money and your valuables elsewhere, like in hidden pockets of your clothes and never keep all of your money in the same place.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

One of the natural hazards in Austin is the coyote sightings near greenbelts in Austin. The problem is that coyotes adapt to being around people, and when they lose their fear, they attack pets and children in the city. Also, some streets in Austin and the surrounding area are prone to flooding during periods of heavy rain.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM

Mugging, as already mentioned, does happen in Austin but it is rare, as are other forms of violent crime. People that are targeted - even though rarely - are mostly people walking alone and tourists. In the case of mugging, immediately hand over all your possessions without resisting.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : LOW

Excluding isolated mass shootings, Austin hasn't been the target of any terrorist attacks recently, but the attacks shouldn't be ruled out. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM

Just like anywhere else, taxi drivers might try to trick you into paying more, giving you wrongful information about the price of the ride. Also, be wary of suspicious activities of thieves trying to rob you, such as tapping your shoulder, bumping into you and similar actions.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

The city of Austin is very safe for female solo travelers. Following basic precaution measures should completely minimize the chances of anything going wrong.

So... How Safe Is Austin Really?

Austin is, generally, a safe city to visit and you should have no fears if you’re planning on traveling here.

The University of Texas is an especially good place to be.

The very liberal atmosphere and accepting.

The biggest threat for people in Austin is the dangerous conditions in driving and the risks of participating in transportation.

In 2015, Austin experienced its deadliest year for drivers.

There were 55 vehicle deaths, 30 pedestrian deaths, 15 motorcycle rider deaths, and two bicyclist deaths.

As for crime, the biggest threat is a petty crime, while violent forms of crime do exist but they’re very rare.

There can be issues around Rundberg Lane in North Austin, particularly North Lamar and the Interstate.

It’s a place where you may be stopped and asked for protection money if you are out walking late at night, or where a sex worker may walk up to you (if you are male), grab your privates, and name a price, even during the day.

You’ll also probably encounter many beggars; they mostly aren’t aggressive but avoid being surrounded by them.

The safest parts tend to be the most affluent ones.

Anything north of Braker Lane into Round Rock is going to be safe suburbia.

West of downtown is Terrytown which is one of the nicest neighborhoods in the city.

How Does Austin Compare?

CitySafety Index
Austin65
Houston59
Atlanta58
St Louis58
Los Angeles56
Sao Paulo (Brazil)45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)43
Sofia (Bulgaria)73

Useful Information

  • Visas - The US is famous for its harsh policy for acquiring a tourist, let alone a resident visa. The US embassies usually ask for interviews before granting tourist visas, and tourists usually have to pay up to 160 USD to get a visa. If you are not sure about your visa status, contact your local US embassy for more detailed information.
  • Currency - The United States dollar is the official currency in Austin. Credit and debit cards are accepted nearly everywhere, and ATMs are widely available. The prices vary but you can plan on spending about 100 dollars per day.
  • Weather - Austin is located in Central Texas, so be prepared to deal with its long, hot summers if you are visiting anywhere between May and September. Winters in Austin are short to non-existent, while the best time to visit this city is spring or autumn.
  • Airports - Austin–Bergstrom International Airport is an international airport located in Austin, Texas. It is serving the Greater Austin metropolitan area, and is located only about 8 km southeast of Downtown Austin,
  • Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Austin, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Austin Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 9° C
Feb 11° C
Mar 16° C
Apr 21° C
May 24° C
Jun 28° C
Jul 29° C
Aug 29° C
Sep 26° C
Oct 22° C
Nov 16° C
Dec 11° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
151722262933353532282217
Low
°C
35101519222323201595
High
°F
596372798491959590827263
Low
°F
374150596672737368594841

Where to Next?

18 Reviews on Austin

  1. False sense of safety

    I live in Austin. The good parts of town are more dangerous than rough looking parts of New York. Don’t be fooled. This is not a city safe for women to be alone at any time of the day or night. UT Austin female students must stick to campus with day classes. The university for decades hides the sexual assaults on campus that almost always take place at night. You can expect to be followed by perverts around town, ladies. The locals aren’t friendly. They are either wanting to know your business, or they want to do something to you. Beware of being racially profiled by locals and you know the rest that happens with that. The support for people of color and LGBTQ people is a facade put on to encourage tourism. I want to move away myself and need the money.

    1. Austin is garbage

      I agree. I’ve been here since 2002 and I’ve seen gentrification turn this place into an overpriced dumpster fire. I’m trying to escape Austin ASAP. Homeless population has exploded. I can’t ride the bus without almost having to stab somebody in self defense. Aggro psych bums everywhere… 45 murders this year. Fack Austin. Good luck to you.

      1. Exaggerations are the worst

        Trying to escape Robert? Take your exaggerations and go!

        1. Can it, Jim

          Jim, why don’t you fix the anti women/queer/people of color crime, home burglaries, car theft, homelessness, and the sinkhole this city has become? You seem peeved. Maybe people won’t leave your precious city then when it’s good again.

    2. Austin is a top, overall safe US city!

      Susan’s review is simply not accurate on a whole. I have lived in Austin for 20 years. Live near downtown. Overall a safe city for a large city, now number 10 in the US size wise.

      The areas the reviewer indicates on the northern side are filled with drugs and gangs but those are not touristy areas.
      No reason to go there.

      The homeless population has grown,is not ideal and some of these people suffer from mental illness so be aware and avoid where you can.

      Avoid “dirty 6th st.” after midnight. Gets a little dodgy.

      Overall, Austin is a world class and safe city! And I’ve been to 75 countries on all 7 continents so I’m an experienced traveler.

      Come enjoy our great city and friendly people. But take the typical city precautions.

      1. Jim is a phony and must work for a hotel or city council

        Do you work for the city council public relations team. Jim? Or are you the mayor’s office? Austin is dangerous all over. A man with a luxury condo I know sold it after being trailed by creepy types leaving Whole Foods back home. The Domain has muggings. Friendly people?! I didn’t know asking one’s ethnicity or sexual orientation is being friendly. Ah ha when they’re old men or women asking you out like predators and won’t stop so you have to leave the store? Maybe you’re one of them Jim, because you feel safe in Austin? You mean like an actor being kidnapped and escaping a running car that was pushed under the radar a while back? Austin is a city for white collar crooks and the people studying at UT to become them. Maybe Jim, you’ve never experienced someone trying to steal your purse, or anti gay slurs and violence directed towards male friends. Maybe you’ve never been sexually assaulted. Hats off to you, Jim. You must be the only person in town who doesn’t live for checking his Nest home surveillance to see if he’s been robbed again. Enjoy your precious bubble. Here everyone rich or poor gets the bad stuff. You must be a gift from heaven.

  2. I have lived here for like 15 years and between my friends and me I think that the most exciting thing that has happened is we went down to rainy street and saw some man naked rolling around in the street.

    But let’s be honest, that’s part of the fun.

  3. N
    Namjodh Singh says:

    Words to the Wise

    Austin has alot of homeless people. Most of them are either drug addicts or alcoholics or both. Avoid downtown late at night especially after the bars close. The other dangerous spots are Lamar and Rundberg , St. John’s and I-35, and 290 and I-35. There are less expensive hotels around the 290/I-35 area – Avoid Them. Some of your fellow guests will be sex workers or drug dealers.

  4. M
    Mike Coxmall says:

    Dumpster juice

    I live here. Austin is a gentrified, violent, yuppie/hipster dumpster fire. Traffic sucks. Public transportation is always late. Homeless camps all around because all the richies moving here to live in overpriced apartments. If you’re a millennial snowflake just stay in your bubbles and you’ll probably be okay. If you’re working class, don’t move here. You’ll get squeezed out like the rest of the have-nots. Austin will buckle and die a miserable hipster death. To the pricks who did this… go eat some gluten free gluten and get a tummy ache… or Ebola. Hell awaits your sorry asses. This is just limbo.

  5. M
    Mike Coxmall says:

    Hipster paradise/ rice-free rice

    I live here in Austin. It sucks. Austin is a gentrified, violent, yuppie/hipster dumpster fire. Traffic sucks. Public transportation is always late. Homeless camps all around because all the richies moving here to live in overpriced apartments. If you’re a millennial snowflake just stay in your bubbles and you’ll probably be okay. If you’re working class, don’t move here. You’ll get squeezed out like the rest of the have-nots. Austin will buckle and die a miserable hipster death. To the pricks who did this… go eat some gluten free gluten and get a tummy ache… or Ebola. Hell awaits your sorry asses. This is just limbo, you bearded, skinny legged, V-neck wearing anorexic biotches have a day of reckoning coming soon. Boo!

  6. ignore the ut side

    Austin is amazing there are alot of homeless people and some may be annoying if you can get by that then austin is great my favorite part is probably stassney and manchaca

  7. pretty good

    Austin is great shut up there are a few places to avoid like dirty 6 after 12 and the trafic is garbage but overall its amazing my fave is south austin

  8. Low crime, high traffic, lots to do!

    I have lived in Austin for 6 years and have never felt unsafe in any way. The worst parts about the city is the traffic and the heat during the summer. Yes, the homeless folks may make you feel uncomfortable at times (specifically downtown) and you should absolutely avoid dirty 6. But I don’t think that’s unlike any other major US city. There are endless things to do here!

    1. Love it here!

      Totally agreed. I have lived here in Austin for about a year, I moved because of the pandemic, I wanted a fresh start and so far Austin has been great! People are nice, and helpful, not like in many major cities such as NYC or the like. highly recommended for a visit.

  9. I've watched Austin for 50+ years

    I have lived in Austin for over 50 years. What used to be a nice, relaxing, fun, safe and caring city has morphed into a haven for homeless, drug-using, and ultra-liberals that want to defund our police. The city has grown from 200,000 to nearly 1.5 million. Obviously there will be growing pains, but with a very liberal mayor and city council, we are moving in the wrong direction. Safety is major concern. Gangs are a major problem for our city and they do not stay in just one area. Downtown gangs are common. As for UT, UT’s west campus is extremely dangerous, as is most of the downtown area. The section east of Congress Ave have become homes to druggies, and people looking for someone to take advantage of. I am not saying to stay away from my city, but you need to be cautious and realize that this is not the paradise that many consider it on the news channels. Most Texan know that Austin has jumped over Houston and Dallas for crime. Overall, traffic is the most dangerous. That’s probably why Austin is one of the highest auto insurance rates in the country.

  10. My home for years

    I had to google just how safe Austin is, I admit I was curious to see how people perceive it.
    I’ve lived here for more than four years now and if you take into account the pandemic, I was smart to do so. I never felt like my life was in danger or that I had to look over my shoulder, there are other cities that make me uneasy, Austin is clearly not one of them. Obviously, I can’t compare it with how it used to be, I just wanted to comment on its ups and downs from my own viewpoint.

    My political orientation has no value, this review comes from an unaffiliated citizen that lived in more than six different states only to discover that Texas is the place that feels most at home.
    Austin tends to get some bad rep for its infrastructure that is poorly developed and old, certainly not able to hold up the infusion of people that seem to favor Texas all of the sudden. This means that you have to expect to spend way too much time on the road, especially during rush hour. Audiobooks, podcasts or even some good music will make the wait less annoying but wasted time is one of my pet peeves so I would put this in the disadvantages column.

    The Downtown area is generally safe, I would say the colorful nightlife might bump you into one or two unpleasant characters but nothing a little prevention can’t fix. Also, watch your drinks, I never leave mine unattended, no matter where I’m at. Uber to and from the bar, regardless if you’re drinking alcohol or not, it’s best to avoid any unpleasant incidents with your car.

    Yes, 6th Street is riddled with homeless people which surprised me at first but now I just avoid it.

  11. Review of 26 years living in ATX

    Born in Texas and spent my whole memorable life in Austin until 2017. Then 4 years in Denver. Now Oregon. Austin was such a groovy place, and certain bits still are, but the truth is between the lack of infrastructure planning (impossible traffic), the ridiculous increase in cost of living around 2012, and the necessary but evil corperatization that has occured as a growing pain *plague* the city.

    That being said, the homeless and crime and general feeling of less safety is far from unique in Austin…Take any major city in the US and look at the last 5 years…..homeless pop., crime stats, and life satisfaction have dropped significantly.

    RIP the “up and coming music city” “OG” Austin, TX
    p.s. the lakes and rivers of central TX are top notch. They deserve all the glory

  12. Once beautiful city

    It’s sad to see cities going down because of the growing population of lowlifes. They vote for Democrats who are soft on crime, hard on the police, enable the lowlifes to keep living in their victimhood.

Rated 3.06 / 5 based on 18 user reviews.

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