How Safe Is Memphis for Travel?

Memphis, United States
Safety Index:

Memphis, a huge metropolitan area resting in the southeastern part of the United States, is the second largest city in the state of Tennessee.

What tourists rush to see as soon as they get to Memphis, is Graceland, the mansion Elvis Presley lived in during his later years. More important than that is the fact that Memphis is considered to be the cradle of blues music.

What’s unique about this city is that it has kept its vintage charm of a city that’s been through a lot, yet developed a new style, a mix of old and new which brings a totally new feel to it.

It’s continually renewing and developing yet never abandoning its roots and initial charm. For example, neighborhoods of Beale Street and Mud Island are now relatively safe, and citizens are trying their best to make downtown Memphis safe again.

It is turning into a city where you can unwing and have a good time after years of abandonment.

Warnings & Dangers in Memphis

Overall Risk


Memphis isn't the safest city though it's slowly regaining some safety on its streets. It has some extremely dangerous areas that should be avoided. You are advised to remain vigilant around tourist landmarks, since pickpockets are an issue there, and keep an eye out for suspicious activities wherever you go.

Transport & Taxis Risk


Trolleys and taxis are considered safe in Memphis, and they operate in the downtown area. However, if you want to visit more than downtown Memphis, traveling by car is your best bet. Also, there is a bus service provided by the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) that will drive you across the city. Just be careful at night and during weekends, as the routes tend to change, so remain informed so you don't end up far from your wanted destination.

Pickpockets Risk


The most common types of petty crime are pick-pocketing, purse-snatching, car break-ins and car thefts. Apply common sense like holding your purses tightly and being wise when carrying them, keeping wallets in front pockets, and being alert to one's surroundings. This should be enough to prevent these incidents.

Natural Disasters Risk


When it comes to natural disasters in Memphis, the most dangerous threats come from occasional earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes.

Mugging Risk


When it comes to chances of being mugged or kidnapped, they are moderate in Memphis, as long as you don't wander off into dangerous areas. Stick to the main streets and avoid suspicious areas and neighborhoods, or getting in altercations with individuals that appear to be gang members.

Terrorism Risk


Memphis hasn't been the target of any terrorist attacks recently, but possible 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 Memphis, 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


The city of Memphis isn't the safest option for women to travel to unaccompanied. You should avoid dangerous neighborhoods (and this doesn't only apply to women). Just follow your basic common sense and general rules of things to avoid, like poorly lit streets and deserted areas and you should be fine.

So... How Safe Is Memphis Really?

As for safety, while some parts of Memphis have regained safety like the Beale Street, it is still not too safe for tourists in Memphis.

Crime rates are generally higher throughout the city than in other cities in its vicinity. In 2015, Memphis was ranked the 3rd most dangerous city in America which says enough about the current situation which is probably – well, not great still.

There are many areas and neighborhoods in Memphis where walking at night should be avoided or at least conducted with caution and accompanied by someone.

These areas are in North and South Memphis, and they have very high rates of crime. Never leave any valuables in plain sight in your car and remain informed on where you shouldn’t be going, especially at night.

You’re likely to see homeless people asking for money. In fact, it is so likely, that there are signs throughout the city asking you not to give them anything.

If you feel inclined to do so, however, never take out your wallet, as they might grab it. Instead, give them loose change.

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 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 Memphis. 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 - Memphis can get extremely hot in the summertime, which is another thing tourists should bear in mind. Moreover, the humidity there can make the temperatures feel even hotter! If you have health problems during high heat and humidity, avoid visiting Memphis during July or August.
  • Airports - Memphis International Airport is a civil-military airport serving the city of Memphis. It is located about 11.2 km southeast of downtown Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee, United States.
  • Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Memphis, 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

Memphis Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 5° C
Feb 7° C
Mar 13° C
Apr 18° C
May 22° C
Jun 27° C
Jul 28° C
Aug 28° C
Sep 25° C
Oct 18° C
Nov 12° C
Dec 7° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

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2 Reviews on Memphis

  1. Just chill Memphis is fine

    I visited Memphis June 2-5 of this year 2019. I did not feel threatened by anyone, nor did I see the streets overrun by homeless people. To me Memphis was beautiful and I will be moving there soon.

Rated 4.5 / 5 based on 2 user reviews.

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