Warnings and Dangers in Atlanta: Not So Safe Areas
Regardless of where you are living in Atlanta, there are a few “not so safe areas” to visit, especially at night.
Places Noted by Tourists as Dangerous
Whether you currently live in Atlanta or just visiting, you should steer clear of Riverdale, Forest Park, and Clayton County altogether. The general rule for safety is to stay north of South I-20.
Additional places to be avoided, especially after dark when you are visiting Atlanta include the Pittsburgh Community, Mechanicsville, and Southwest Cascade Road. Read up on the various areas if you plan to visit and you are unsure of the locations you want to stay in or take tours of. Another area residents recommend avoiding is Vine City, which is in near the Georgia dome. To the locals, this area is called “The Bluffs” and is known for high drug trafficking and potentially dangerous individuals who are looking to buy and sell illicit items.
Walking Around in Atlanta
Even when cities packed with passersby on their way to work, certain areas are still considered suspicious. Always keep your valuables hidden away, avoid eye contact, and if possible, travel in a group setting to avoid becoming a potential target.
Like any large city, Atlanta is no exception and many crimes that happen in Atlanta occur after sunset. The most common crimes committed downtown at night are muggings, robberies, and even vehicle theft. Be sure to avoid shady areas alleys without proper lighting and to steer clear of criminals.
Hustlers and Con Artists
Be wary of fast-talking and aggressive strangers who either need your help or offer theirs. There is a special breed of hustler in Atlanta that is so smooth (and also persistent) that you don’t have a moment to think before you find yourself in a confusing dialogue with him or her. So be on your guard, especially around tourist areas. Anywhere around Ponce de Leon Ave in Midtown has been a really high-risk area for this type of harassment. That doesn’t mean you should avoid the area, just be aware.
Atlanta, inside the perimeter (ITP to the locals… the city, proper) is no more dangerous than the bland and boring as the northern suburbs. In fact, rates of crime for suburban towns like Roswell, Smyrna, Lawrenceville and Marietta are higher than Atlanta proper. But recognize that Atlanta is a city and you should exercise caution and use common sense as you would visiting any city. Ironically, the city is that it is much more community-oriented than the sprawl of the suburbs.
Side Streets at Night
It is best if you do not walk down side streets at night. You can meander down Peachtree (the main street) at 4 in the morning, no problem, but once you get off of this road there are less and less watchful eyes around.
There are sections of town that do not offer anything but unlit streets at night and you should avoid these places after dark. But enjoying the nightlife is possible without fearing for your life. Just use common sense and stay in the areas where the nightlife is.
Look for the city assistants that are wearing white helmets throughout downtown. They will give you any directions and suggestions that you may need.
There has been lot of drug activity in the Pittsburg community near Adair Park in southwest Atlanta. Stay away from the 700 block of Lexington Avenue, where two police officers were shot several years ago.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings and dangers in Atlanta and not so safe areas.