How Safe Is Birmingham for Travel?

Birmingham, United States
Safety Index:

Birmingham is the largest city in the state of Alabama, United States.

Given that the city was still racially segregated in 1960, it was the site of massive racist violence, bombings, and nonviolent protests.

It got so notorious for these negative happenings, that it comes as a surprise to tourists when they find friendly and warm people and a nice, mellow city full of ridges and valleys, with many attractive views.

It’s a beautiful city.

Rolling hills, nice neighborhoods, and tons of outdoor stuff to do, like hiking, cycling, camping: you name it.

The culture is deep-south, which you’ll either love or hate.

Warnings & Dangers in Birmingham

Overall Risk


Birmingham is a somewhat safe city in Alabama, but it certainly has its dangers. What contributes to the general feeling of insecurity in this country are criminal activities and isolated racist incidents.

Transport & Taxis Risk


Transportation is mostly reliable and safe, but it does attract all sorts of questionable characters, especially after dark, so by all means, be wary of shady people and pickpockets.

Pickpockets Risk


Petty theft exists in Birmingham, though it isn't as common as violent types of crimes. It is wise to watch your belongings while on public transport or in crowded places.

Natural Disasters Risk


Many types of natural disasters can occur in Alabama including tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and thunderstorms and this applies to Birmingham, too.

Mugging Risk


Violent street crime is not a common occurrence but only if you avoid dangerous areas of Birmingham. In North Birmingham, it can happen, so avoid this area altogether.

Terrorism Risk


Excluding isolated mass shootings, Birmingham isn't at risk of being nor has it been the target of any terrorist attacks, but the attacks shouldn't be ruled out. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Scams Risk


Just like in other tourist destinations, there will be people trying to scam you in Birmingham, too. Be wary of anyone trying to distract you, flashing large signs in front of you or ATMs that look like they've been tampered with.

Women Travelers Risk


Birmingham is very safe for female solo travelers. Following basic precaution measures should completely minimize the chances of anything going wrong, provided that you don't wander around unsafe areas of the city.

So... How Safe Is Birmingham Really?

Birmingham, Alabama can’t be defined as a completely safe and carefree city.

It has its dangers, but if you stick to your instincts and common sense, your trip should go smoothly.

Safety here largely depends on where in town you are, whether or not you are on foot or driving, daytime or night time.

It is possible to be traveling within Birmingham and go from an area considered safe to an area that may not be as safe in as little as a city block.

As is the case when visiting any new, unfamiliar surroundings, plan, be careful and do not go alone.

North Birmingham has a lot of abandoned homes and is a hot spot for drug dealing and prostitution; avoid being in North Birmingham for too long because a lot of shootings reported on the local news happening in that area.

The downtown core has a lower crime rate than some of the predominantly white suburbs.

When it comes to racism, the Birmingham police department is one of the least prone to violence and among the better trained among major cities.

Another thing to remember is to always lock your door, and check it twice: burglars are a real issue here, and burglary does happen from time to time.

How Does Birmingham Compare?

CitySafety Index
Washington DC56
New York City67
Calgary (Canada)82
Buenos Aires (Argentina)60
Vancouver (Canada)82

Useful Information

  • Visas - The US is famous for its harsh policy for acquiring a tourist, let alone a resident visa and this applies to Birmingham, too. 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 further information.
  • Currency - The United States dollar is the official currency in Birmingham, Alabama. 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 - The state of Alabama is classified as humid subtropical. Birmingham generally has very hot summers and mild winters. Severely cold weather is rare in Alabama, though snow flurries can be seen in the higher elevations of North Alabama.
  • Airports - Birmingham–Shuttlesworth International Airport, is a shared civil-military airport serving Birmingham, Alabama and its metropolitan area, including Tuscaloosa. It is located in Jefferson County, five miles northeast of downtown Birmingham.
  • Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Birmingham, 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

Birmingham Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 5° C
Feb 8° C
Mar 12° C
Apr 17° C
May 21° C
Jun 25° C
Jul 26° C
Aug 26° C
Sep 23° C
Oct 17° C
Nov 12° C
Dec 7° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Where to Next?

1 Review on Birmingham

  1. Has plenty of interesting spots to visit

    Birmingham is clearly not the safest city but giving it a 38 on the safety index seems extreme to me. I’ve been here a few times and while I haven’t visited every nook and cranny and don’t know a lot, I still think this is or should be at least a 50. I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong but it doesn’t seem as dangerous to me. I have experienced petty theft and a pickpocket managed to steal a few hundred dollars from me but that was partially my fault. If I had paid more attention to my surroundings this wouldn’t have happened. Lesson learned and I have since avoided other problems because I paid attention.

    Yes there can be racist incidents. But I don’t think they are as present as this article says they are or could be. I know of plenty other cities where racist incidents are more widely present and those have higher safety indexes. Again, not trying to say that Birmingham is not dangerous. It has its dangers for sure and I don’t know all of it. It’s just that this city has a lot of good things to offer and many, many good people are part of it, people that make it a good city.

    I visited McWane Science Center, Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark, among others.

    McWane Science Center – interactive exhibits which will attract kids in particular. There’s an aquarium exhibit that is very nice and there are films playing here daily. It’s a great place to learn about art, technology, water and to spend a good chunk of a day.

    The Birmingham Museum of Art – this is a huge museum, with thousands of pieces of African, American and European art. It’s well worth the visit especially if you like art.

    The Birmingham Botanical Gardens – this is a 67-acre park filled with gardens of different plants like roses, lilies, iris, etc. There’s also a Japanese garden.

    Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark – this is a museum of industry where you will instantly travel back to 1882 when it was opened. You can take some excellent photos here and learn about the history of this place using a tour guide.

Rated 4 / 5 based on 1 user reviews.

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