How Safe Is Detroit for Travel?

Detroit, United States
Safety Index:
56

The largest city in the US state of Michigan, Detroit is probably best known for its Motown sound and rock music, as well as cultural venues like its world class museums, theatres and art, not to mention its automobile culture and sports teams.

Detroit has lived through a huge population loss and a decline of tourist visits, but recently, its historic buildings have been renovated, and its downtown is brimming with new events, attractions and developlments.

Tourists visiting may enjoy its parks and cultural venues like Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History or Detroit Institute of Arts, which is one of the most significant museums in the United States.

Though it may have not seemed so in the past, Detroit has many things to offer, from jazz and rock music hubs to sport events, great architecture and neighborhoods with historical significance.

It is a city that offers a unique mixture of technological advance and historic charm

Warnings & Dangers in Detroit

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM

Detroit is generally safe for tourists, though some neighborhoods are best avoided. A crime that does occur is mainly between members of street gangs or individuals who know each other, and in areas that are of no interest to visitors. Avoid sketchy neighborhoods and take normal precaution measures.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

For drivers, it is recommended that they stick to major roads and freeways. Carjacking can happen in dangerous neighborhoods, so avoid them altogether. Public transportation isn't exactly known for being the safest for tourists, especially at night. There have been reports of violent crimes occurring at stations and on trains. It isn't common enough for you to avoid public transport altogether, but you should remain alert at all times.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH

Pickpockets are a recurring concern in Detroit, especially around tourist venues or cultural and music events. You should always keep your belongings firmly by your side as bag snatching also happens. The best would be to keep your valuables in your accommodation.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW

There aren't many concerns in Detroit when it comes to natural disaster risks.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM

When it comes to chances of being mugged or kidnapped, they do exist in Detroit. Violent street crime does happen but it can be avoided if you avoid dangerous areas of some neighborhoods that even locals rarely dare to walk around.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : LOW

The city of Detroit 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 in other tourist destinations, there will be people trying to scam you in Detroit, too. Homeless people can be aggressive and use force when you don't want to hand them money. 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

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

Detroit is very safe for female solo travelers. Following basic precaution measures should completely minimize the chances of anything going wrong. Just act as you would in any other country or your hometown, and you should be fine

So... How Safe Is Detroit Really?

The problem with Detroit is that, although its crime rates are on a decrease, it’s still one of the most dangerous cities in the United States of America.

Tourists are advised to stick to Detroits’s tourist areas and landmarks as these are the spots where you’ll be the safest: you should only avoid those areas that have been known for criminal activities.

All other parts of Detroit are as safe as any other city you’ll visit.

People in Detroit are warm and friendly and you shouldn’t have any problems apart from the neighborhoods that are infamous for a crime.

However, these neighborhoods are of no interest to tourists, since they’re nowhere near the famous tourist attractions.

As a visitor, you’ll probably mingle around the safe downtown and midtown neighborhoods, and it is recommended that you stay within these areas.

However, petty crime can happen even in these areas of downtown and midtown, so take normal precaution measures.

If you are in Detroit because you’re art and music lover, keep in mind that much of the events take place between downtown venues like the Majestic Theater/Magic Stick complex, places in Hamtramck, and suburban venues in places like Royal Oak.

Some of the venues like Harpo’s, Fort Wayne and The Heidelberg Project are located in dangerous areas, so be sure to go accompanied.

How Does Detroit Compare?

CitySafety Index
Detroit56
New Orleans57
Baltimore56
Boston67
Washington DC56
Niagara Falls (Canada)87
Calgary (Canada)82
Buenos Aires (Argentina)60

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, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
  • Currency - The United States dollar is the official currency in Detroit. 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 - Detroit has a continental climate, which means it's subject to rapid change and a variety of weather. Winters are usually snowy and very cold, not to mention windy. Spring and fall are normally mild and pleasant but it can get significantly colder during late fall. Summer is short and sometimes, during summer, you can expect instances of severe thunderstorms.
  • Airports - Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport sometimes referred to as Detroit Metro Airport, Metro Airport, or just DTW is Michigan's busiest airport. It is one of the largest airline hubs in the entire country.
  • Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Detroit, 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

Detroit Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan -3° C
Feb -2° C
Mar 3° C
Apr 9° C
May 16° C
Jun 21° C
Jul 24° C
Aug 23° C
Sep 19° C
Oct 11° C
Nov 6° C
Dec -2° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
1271421262827231592
Low
°C
-6-6-24101619181472-5
High
°F
343645577079828173594836
Low
°F
212128395061666457453623

Where to Next?

16 Reviews on Detroit

  1. At your own risk

    Detroit .. is not safe . Certain areas but you still the young neighborhood crews just making the Riverwalk very unpleasant. Downtown can be nice during events but it’s no adequate parking end your likely to get a ticket . I lived here for 10 years and people aren’t that friendly . The roads themselves are a reason not come . If you value your car don’t drive it . The worst

    1. Detroit no save right

    2. I live in Detroit

      You must not be a friendly person yourself. People in Detroit wave and speak to everyone.

  2. Detroit is very dangerous the crime rate is 100

    Detroit is the most dangerous city in the U.S. surpassing Albuquerque

    1. Great city to live in or visit. Don't come looking for drugs. You will get hurt in that hood.

      Consider the source of this comment. 100% means we are all dead.

  3. Detroit Is Safe

    Detroit is safe to visit. There can be a little crime in Detroit so watch out!

  4. A
    Allen Parker says:

    Never go here unless you need to

    As of 2019 Detroit was the 46th most dangerous city on the entire planet. There are places in South Africa, Mexico, and Brazil safer than this city. It’s probably even more dangerous now as crime has been way up in 2020 and 2021. This doesn’t mean you can’t be safe, but this rating makes it seem a lot safer than it is. For one I would never advise a solo female to travel to Detroit. In fact I’d never advise a solo anybody to travel to Detroit. At a minimum you should have 2 men or 3 women in a group, preferably more.

    If you stay in well trafficked areas during the day in the safer parts of the city you should be alright as long as you don’t look like an easy target. Even at that I’ve seen people casing out cars to steal and selling hard drugs in the “safe” areas, so be aware of that.

    Public transit exists, but isn’t particularly safe. Driving is the way to go, but it’s very easy to make a wrong turn or drive too far and end up in a pretty sketchy area. Roads are poorly maintained on side streets so it’s easy to get a flat tire in a place you really don’t want to be in.

    Terrorism and natural disasters are thankfully not a risk, so there’s that.

    If you do travel here for some reason stick to areas around Wayne State, downtown, Belle Isle and major landmarks like stadiums and museums . Honestly there’s not enough going on in this city to justify traveling to it for fun. If you have to come here for work just make sure you don’t look like an easy target.

    1. Tourist attractions of Detroit- just as safe as any big city

      I really don’t agree with this assessment. I lived in a “safe” area of Detroit for almost 4 years and never once had an issue more than simple annoyance. I’m a woman and I would occasionally walk around midtown by myself at night. I’ve never witnessed any evidence of crime or drugs (other than rarely smelling weed) in heavily trafficked areas of downtown or midtown. There are some panhandlers in these areas, but people asking for money doesn’t feel like a danger to me. Walking with just one other person at night (in about 50% of the city limits, which includes all the places tourists go to anyway) would make me feel just as safe as I feel walking by myself in the more quiet suburban neighborhood I now occupy.

    2. Ignore the headlines

      Allen, you sound like someone who hasn’t actually been to Detroit and is just parroting the headlines. Most of your assessment is just..wrong. Case in point: I ride public transit at night all the time here, and it’s fine. Just don’t go looking for trouble and trouble generally doesn’t find you.

  5. I’m from Detroit and it’s largely safe, but stay away from the bad neighborhoods and you’ll be fine. Metropolitan is very very safe as well – I think the greatest risk you have in the city is car damage, the roads are terrible.

  6. Almost a 4 star but there are many unsafe places in Detroit

    Detroit has a lot of things to do from the Institute of Arts to the 125 acres Detroit Zoo. The city has a lot of neighborhoods with fantastic architecture. There’s an interesting mix of old and new found here.

    If you’re curious where the famous Model T car was born then visit the The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant. The plant still has its original worn floorboards from back in the day. There’s also the Experimental room where most ideas were born. It’s a real experience and a trip to the past.

    Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History is another great place to visit. There are always new lectures, events and films presented here.

    The zoo is amazing. It’s huge and separated by habitat type so you will find a lot of animals. It feels like you are visiting the entire world in a single day. Take a day or two to properly visit this place as it’s well worth it.

    Other places you should consider visiting would be the historic Fort Wayne, Belle Isle, The Henry Ford Museum, Comerica Park, GM Renaissance Center, the Detroit Public Library or the Masonic Temple of Detroit.

    The city is very big, so there are areas that are not that friendly and should be avoided. I would not go traveling solo in this city. It doesn’t matter if you’re a woman or a man. Just go with some friends or family. Don’t go alone and avoid the bad areas of the town and you’ll be fine.

    There are plenty of pickpockets in more populated areas and you’ll be sure to find them where there are crowds. Keep your valuables close by and your eyes open. In dangerous areas, crime is a daily occurrence and can happen during the day so it’s best to just inform yourself about these areas and avoid them altogether.

    Detroit can be a beautiful experience if you take out these bad and very bad neighborhoods and the pickpockets.

  7. Detroit great place to visit

    Been working and partying in Detroit since 1976
    Cass corridor old Miami bar
    Old temple bar
    Down under in hart plaza
    Intermissions bar
    Greek town when there wasn’t a roof in the alley
    Heidelberg
    Casinos
    Dally In the alley
    Seen a lot of stuff
    Never really had a problem
    Lots of great places to visit
    Lots of cool bars great music
    If you want a problem you will definitely find it downtown

  8. L
    L. McFall says:

    Lived it

    I was born and raised the east side of Detroit. If your just visiting, go to your destination. When you wander off that’s when you find trouble and problems. People are very friendly in general compare to California. Dollar wise is half the price as Cali. Food has much better flavor of everything. Wish I. Could move back home, miss it dearly.

  9. J
    Jermaine says:

    Typical Major City

    I’ve lived in the city my entire life both east, west and Downtown. Take it from a real Detroiter it’s is like any other major city. Touristy areas are generally safe because tourist = money so police presence is visible. There are tons of safe neighborhoods outside of Riverwalk, Downtown and Midtown like Avenue of Fashion, neighborhoods like Boston Edison, Indian and West village, Corktown, Rosedale Park, Palmer Park etc…but of course “sketchy” neighborhoods exist outside of tourist areas, no different than Chicago, NY, Miami, LA etc… There are tons of nice, new restaurants downtown and other parts of the city, lots of new shops from locals along Woodward(main street from downtown to suburbs), people are kind and will speak, tons of concerts, the stadiums are all within walking distance of each other, if you gamble 3 Casino’s. The SloRo for bike riders, Music festivals all summer, Belle Isle is better during the day when it’s not super crowded. Weather can be goofy during seasons changing and the roads really are the worst but I love my city. There’s no place like Detroit.

    1. D
      Denise Crapps says:

      I was born and raised in Detroit, There’s Great Restaurants,I still haven’t seen everything in Michigan, I like going to Canada, a Country just across the Water, there So many different cultures, Great Entertainment, Fashion, I’m a Fashion Designer, People Love to Dress Here, and there is always something to do here, Casino’s are here, it’s what You make of it, life is good ,cause You have to be cautious every where You go, I believe God is Good, Just Pray before You leave Your Home ,and Thank God, and You’ll be Ok..

Rated 3.81 / 5 based on 16 user reviews.

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