Is Miami safe to visit? A comprehensive safety guide
When it comes to vacationing, Miami is a model city. Located in Southeastern Florida this city is the ultimate destination for beach parties and relaxing holiday retreats, although the city also boasts fantastic attractions for nature lovers and outdoor adventurers. Places like the Everglades National Park and Grossman Hammock State Park are a gateway to wilderness exploration, whereas shoppers can explore Downtown Miami and those who like to relax can spend their time basking in the sun of South Beach or Miami Beach.
The local government puts lots of money into the tourism of Miami and on average, nearly 23 million people travel to this spectacular city each year. Keeping in mind that this is a major city with over 6.2 million citizens in the Metro Miami area, the streets can get pretty busy and tourist attractions cater to crowds all year long.
The city of Miami itself, with a population of about 450 thousand people, gets busiest between November and March, and even more so on Spring break as the snowbirds travel here to escape the cold. If you're one of them, prepare for active and crowded downtown streets and higher hotel prices.
If you're lucky enough to vacation in this lovely city, get up to date on Bounce luggage storage in Miami. Use Bounce's services any time you're going out on excursions; you can store bags of any size within reason, and the services are easy to use with an app available on Android and IOS.
Is Miami safe to visit right now?
When ranking 96 cities, Safe Travel Abroad gives Miami a ranking of 55. Take regular safety precautions when traveling here. Miami itself is a safe city with a low to medium risk of danger and no current travel advisories or restrictions. You can feel comfortable traveling here, although there are still petty crimes and scams that occur within the city. Experienced traveler or not, before planning a vacation you should do some research and consult the travel guidelines put in place by your own government.
The biggest problems to look out for in Miami include pickpocketing and purse snatching, most notably in busy places and near tourist attractions. You might also come across property crimes in relation to scams, especially when booking condos or vacation homes. It is also important to note that Miami is at risk of tropical storms like hurricanes, occurring most often between the months of June and October.
All of these dangers and crimes can be avoided by practicing common sense or being cautious and, although the perfect safety guide does not exist, we will do our best to educate you on how to best protect yourself and your belongings when traveling to a new city.
Top petty crimes and scams in Miami affecting tourists
Petty crime will be present no matter where you go, but you can lower the chances of being a victim by doing research and following safety tips. Below are some to keep in mind when you visit Miami.
Miami has a higher mugging rate than the national average of other US cities. However, the risk of muggings is much higher at night or in dangerous neighborhoods that have street gangs, and these areas can be easily avoided. We suggest doing some research about the places that you're planning to visit and try sticking to the safe neighborhoods in Miami including a few we'll mention below. You should also do your best to not attract attention by wearing flashy clothing or luxury accessories.
Bag snatchers and pickpockets
Most cities that you visit with a high tourism rate will experience pickpockets and bag thieves. As the streets are alive and full of activity, unsuspecting vacationers make for easy targets. Precautions that you can practice include leaving your wallet in a secure pocket of your bag, not carrying cash on you and being wary in crowded areas. If a space is particularly busy you might want to carry your backpack in front of you where you can keep a good eye on it. Another option is to store large bags and backpacks with Bounce as you tour the city.
Scams and financial trickery
Scams are present in Miami, although they are not difficult to avoid if you know what to look out for. Some scammers may try to trick tourists when renting homes and condos by accepting payments for fake properties. To avoid property crime scams you can ask for a live tour of the property via Facetime or video chat before booking your trip. It is also important to check that your landlord has an authentic rental permit. If you're unsure, book a stay in a trusted hotel or resort instead.
Is Miami safe to travel alone
If you're a frequent solo traveler you'll be pleased to hear that Miami is safe to visit alone, as long as you're responsible and smart. You should always take the regular precautions as you would in normal day to day life, and stay alert of your surroundings and strangers near you. As one of the most popular vacation destinations, Miami sees lots of foreign visitors and if you stick to the tourist locations you'll be fine. Avoid walking around on your own at night in unlit areas and unsafe neighborhoods.
Miami is also safe to visit for solo female travelers. The USA is ranked 32nd on the Bounce Women Travel Safety Index, although you should always be careful if you're going out to clubs or parties. Do not leave drinks or food unattended, and avoid accepting items from new acquaintances. Stick to touristy areas as they will have a higher local police presence which decreases any threat of violent crime or assault, and keep an eye out for unusual behavior targeted toward you or other solo female travelers.
Safest neighborhoods in Miami
On the topic of Miami safety in certain areas, keep these neighborhoods in mind. They are some of the safest places in the city.
Coconut Grove is a safe Miami neighborhood, and your biggest threat here is property crime. Violent crimes are not prominent so you can feel safe navigating the area and all of its attractions. Keep in mind that the northern part of the neighborhood is safer, while South Coconut Grove gets more dangerous at night.
This is one of Miami's safest areas, and also a favorite among many locals and tourists. Pay it a visit the next time that you're in the city to see botanical gardens and fabulous museums.
This neighborhood in Miami is the embodiment of peacefulness and relaxation, and it has a low crime rate as well. Consider booking a hotel room in Key Biscayne when you plan your trip to Miami.
Little Haiti may be the place to go for terrific food but it's not known for being one of the safer neighborhoods. Miami Downtown, Little Havana, Overtown and Liberty City may be fun to check out for a taste of culture and nightlife, as long as you are in a group and exercise greater caution and awareness. Violent crime is not unheard of here and they are often listed as dangerous neighborhoods.
Is Miami public transportation safe?
It is relatively safe to use Miami's public transportation although crime can still occur, as in any other city. You should not let your guard down completely and ensure that none of your bags or belongings are easy to steal. Keep a firm hold on them at all times so that thieves won't be tempted to grab them and run. It is also recommended to choose a Metrorail car or Metrobus that is full of passengers as opposed to one that is empty, as thievery and assault are less likely to happen with witnesses.
Some people have the opinion that Miami does not have a great public transportation system which is why a car rental is also a viable option. If you do have your own car, be careful driving in bad neighborhoods as car theft can happen if your vehicle is left unattended. Remember, as you do at home, lock the car doors when you pop into a restaurant or store anywhere in the city.
Important emergency numbers in Miami
Although Miami is not an overly dangerous city, it is always smart to be prepared by taking note of the emergency phone numbers that are available. The city has a heavy police presence that is ready to help you in any situation that makes you feel unsafe. Keep a list of the numbers below or save them in your phone so you have access to them if needed. You should also make sure to take note of your embassy number.
- Emergencies: 911
- Answer Center Lines: 311
- Police Non-Emergency: 305-579-6111
A safe trip to Miami, FL
Stepping foot outside of the Miami airport you'll be greeted with beautiful sunny weather and plenty of things to do. As the seventh largest city in all of America, the Miami area has a fair mix of good and bad areas, and to be safe you should stick to the touristy neighborhoods that have fewer random crimes.
By following these tips and using reason it is easy to have a safe and fun trip in South Florida. If you want to do some more research before going on your trip you should read Where to Stay in Miami: The Ultimate Guide and How to Get Around Miami. They will help you be even safer on your trip.