How Safe Is Phoenix for Travel?

Phoenix, United States
Safety Index:

Phoenix has many titles: it is the capital of the state of Arizona, the most populous city in the American Southwest and the sixth-largest city in the United States.

Ever since 1871, it was slowly growing into the region’s primary political, cultural, economic, and transportation center that it is today.

One of the best things about Phoenix is the thriving arts community and overall support of its many museums and theaters.

Of course, the city isn’t perfect: it has its challenges.

For example, some neighborhoods do not have sidewalks or walkable areas.

But all the same, overall, Phoenix is a great city if you can handle the weather.

Warnings & Dangers in Phoenix

Overall Risk


Even though it's a beloved tourist place, Phoenix is a major American city and as such does have its share of violent crime.

Transport & Taxis Risk


As for transport, it also has many risks. Red-light running is more common in Phoenix than any other city in the country. Also common are speeding, tailgating, and aggressive driving. The moment you see the green light, double-check for someone entering the intersection from another direction.

Pickpockets Risk


Pickpockets do exist in Phoenix, but violent crime is more common here than the petty crime. Phoenix also has one of the highest car theft rates in the country, with a car stolen every 7 minutes.

Natural Disasters Risk


Phoenix is susceptible to several natural disasters, but the most prominent ones are the excessive heat, and, as a result, wildfires. Occasionally happening in Phoenix are the floods and tornadoes.

Mugging Risk


The risk of violent crime is high in the city of Phoenix. There are muggings, assaults, thefts, rapes, and similar incidents. Just ask around about dangerous areas and then avoid them by all means.

Terrorism Risk


Excluding isolated mass shootings, Phoenix 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


There aren't many scams in Phoenix. Still, be wary of people trying to distract you to steal from you and of people overcharging you for various services. We advise you to be extremely careful when handling money and around ATMs.

Women Travelers Risk


Phoenix is somewhat safe for female solo travelers but it's advised they don't walk alone. There are no issues that would endanger females specifically but general caution is advised. Following basic precaution measures should minimize the chances of anything going wrong.

So... How Safe Is Phoenix Really?

Phoenix can’t be considered a safe city. It has its safe areas and dangerous areas, but the dangerous ones outweigh the safe ones.

Arizona is number one, nationwide in identity theft and adult kidnappings.

Both fraud and violent crime are big problems in the entire state, and this applies to Phoenix too.

Also, while it is a border state with very strict drug laws, at the same time, it has very permissive gun laws so do be careful – you never know who might be carrying a gun.

Some parts of the city should be avoided at night, like Maryvale, a commercial/residential district on the west side of the city which has a rough reputation.

The people of Phoenix aren’t good drivers: speeding is common.

Try to keep your cool if you’re ever confronted with any type of unpleasant situation and don’t allow it to escalate: just remember the part about the permissive gun laws.

There are also many beggars and homeless people; there are a significant transient and homeless population and as in any community, one needs to take standard precautions at night.

However, a great deal of the street people seem to be mentally unbalanced, so they are not likely a threat to anyone.

How Does Phoenix Compare?

CitySafety Index
St Louis58
Los Angeles56
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)43
Sofia (Bulgaria)73
Siem Reap (Cambodia)63

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 further information.
  • Currency - The United States dollar is the official currency in Phoenix. Credit and debit cards are accepted nearly everywhere, and ATMs are widely available.
  • Weather - Phoenix has an arid climate characterized by long and very hot (usually unbearable) summers and mild winters. An interesting fact is that it has the highest average temperature of any metropolitan area in America.
  • Airports - Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is the main and the busiest air gateway to Arizona. It is located in East Phoenix some 5 km from downtown.
  • Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Phoenix, 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

Phoenix Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 12° C
Feb 14° C
Mar 16° C
Apr 20° C
May 25° C
Jun 30° C
Jul 33° C
Aug 32° C
Sep 29° C
Oct 23° C
Nov 16° C
Dec 12° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Where to Next?

5 Reviews on Phoenix

  1. N
    Native Phoenician says:

    Pretty Spot On

    Outside of some exaggerations around getting “mugged”, this was fairly spot on. The average temps are off – Its closer to 105 F average in June, 115 F July-Aug, back to 105 Sept, 100F Oct and the BEST time to visit is Nov-Mar when its perfect weather, barely a need for sweaters (but us natives will wear coats because its the only chance we’ll get) and able to swim in pools most of the “winter”.

    I grew up in Maryvale – it’s not INSANELY bad, just rougher, lower middle class and heavily latino. Gang presence is there, but not out in force patrolling the streets or something. During the day you can hit the stores, walk the streets, no worries. I wouldn’t but a home there or hang out at night (especially on the weekends). I’ve dealt with more loud, annoying, stupid young drivers and alcohol but have definitely also dealt with shootings in the area (again, at night).

    If your a tourist, its not where you’ll likely be hanging out. And if your getting an AirBnB, I’d recommend elsewhere for the best experience.

    1. Lived in Phoenix for 2 years and bartended a bit. Pretty spot on. Unfortunately I got assaulted walking to my car at 4am after work but otherwise accurate. Use your head, don’t walk around sketchy areas at night (Uber everywhere if a tourist) and you’ll be fine. It’s a good city but just remembe/assume everyone has a gun and wait a few seconds when a light turns green.

  2. B
    Benjamin says:

    Not coming back

    Phoenix is a nice place but some of the people here are very aggressive. It’s a pretty dangerous place both in the daytime (in certain areas mind you) and especially at night. I will probably not come back here unless things change for the better. Too bad, there are actually a lot of interesting things to see or do.

  3. Love summer? Then visit Phoenix!

    Phoenix is a great place if you really love summer. If you don’t then this is not the place for you. It’s warm and dry here so bring plenty of water 🙂 You can get into biking, climbing, camping, hiking or anything else that’s very outdoorsy. Phoenix is a great place for that and more.

    I’m a sun and summer “addict” so I had to go and visit Phoenix. Played some golf while here and yes they do have nice courses. I recommend the Troon North Golf Club.

    If you’re planning on spending 1-2 weeks here then definitely go for some day trips from here to close towns like Sedone, Jerome, Prescott or the Grand Canyon. These trips will enrich your time here and are so well worth it. We were here for 2 weeks and we took advantage of everything we could and have hundreds of pictures (and videos) to prove it.

    Phoenix is home to one of the most beautiful botanical gardens I’ve seen. It’s 140-acre with thousands of different vegetation, plants and animals. Take 1 or even 2 days to take in everything the Desert Botanical Garden has to offer.

    A few others places we’ve visited and recommend are the Hall of Flame Fire Museum (has exhibits from both the US and Europe and Japan and it’s nice to see the differences), Papago park, Arizona Science Center (so many interactive exhibits), the Arizona State Capitol Museum (this was the seat of the government up until 1974) or the Phoenix Symphony (full-time symphony orchestra).

    If you’re traveling with kids don’t forget to go to the Phoenix Children’s Museum. There are 14 galleries that your kids will love plus the staff is just great with kids.

    Phoenix is safe for tourists. Some areas are more dangerous, with higher chances of getting mugged and you should avoid them. While here we didn’t encounter any pickpockets but know they are present so stay alert.

  4. S
    Suzey Metrice says:

    I spent a good bit to relocate my home to Phoenix. I was appalled by the rampant rudeness, cavalier obscenity and super scary criminals all around. I never felt safe. Granted, I am a middle aged woman and not one who blended in with the street scene. Add in the weather, a ruined great car which blew its cooling system, and the bland landscape – not much variety but unique flora and a lunar feel to the hills. I felt welcome only in my church. So needless to say, I wasted a year and savings to be in a place I’d never return to. If you go, be very cool headed. Half the drivers are crazy speed demons, tons of crashes and so many kids are tragically killed.

Rated 3.4 / 5 based on 5 user reviews.

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