Is New Orleans Safe? Here’s What You Need to Know

Is New Orleans Safe? Here’s What You Need to Know

As you start to plan your dream trip to New Orleans, I’m certain the considered security has crossed your thoughts. Sure, New Orleans could also be nicknamed “The Big Easy,” however is life actually that simple down right here. I’ve lived in New Orleans for about six years now, and I’m right here to interrupt down any issues you might have about visiting New Orleans.

Before we begin our deep dive into the crime of the Crescent City, it’s necessary to keep in mind that most main cities are going to have excessive crime charges. New Orleans is not any completely different.

By the numbers, New Orleans isn’t secure. New Orleans leads the nation in murders, and it’s not moving into the correct path. New Orleans additionally has a significant downside with carjackings. However, you possibly can go to the town and keep secure, if you happen to’re sensible about the way you journey.

It’s a really difficult state of affairs as a result of New Orleans can also be a extremely fantastic metropolis. The vibrant historical past, distinctive culinary scene, and among the greatest individuals you’ll ever meet make it a prime tier vacation spot.

I really like this metropolis fiercely and wouldn’t dwell right here if I didn’t really feel secure. I’m assured you possibly can discover New Orleans safely and have the time of your life right here.

Is It Safe To Visit New Orleans?

Sunset view in New Orleans, Louisiana

Kovcs / Adobe Stock

Overall, New Orleans is mostly secure for tourism, however identical to some other main metropolis, you’ll need to keep vigilant and belief your intestine. Although New Orleans is likely one of the most visited cities in Louisiana, it’s not almost as huge as different main cities throughout the nation.

New York (over 8 million), Los Angeles (over 3 million), and Chicago (2.6 million) might do laps round New Orleans’ inhabitants (369,000). New Orleans isn’t even within the prime 50 largest cities by inhabitants. 

So whenever you begin to examine crime stats to different cities, it makes extra sense to check them with cities that share an analogous inhabitants, like Arlington, Cleveland, and even Honolulu. With that being stated, New Orleans sadly nonetheless ranks above the nationwide common for each violent crime and property crime.

How Safe Is New Orleans Public Transit?

New Orleans StreetcarsNew Orleans Streetcars
SeanPavonePhoto / Adobe Stock

The fundamental type of public transport in New Orleans is the well-known avenue automotive. The avenue automobiles are a really inexpensive solution to see the town ($1.25) and so they’ll take you all over the place from Canal Street to the Riverfront and past.

Generally talking, the road automobiles are secure to journey, and the identical goes for the buses, however I wouldn’t essentially journey them late at evening. Like some other main metropolis, nighttime tends to convey out the dangerous guys.

Even throughout the day, you’ll need to ensure your baggage are secured. Public transportation throughout the board is a straightforward goal for petty crime, pickpocketers, and basic scammers.

During the day, although, I can’t advocate the road automobiles sufficient. There are 4 avenue automotive traces, and the St. Charles Street Car has the honorable distinction of being the oldest repeatedly working streetcar line on the earth. It’s been chugging alongside the oak-lined streets of St. Chuck since 1835!

Take the road automobiles throughout the day, after which within the evenings swap to a ride-share choice like Uber or Lyft. Both are very fashionable in New Orleans, and also you shouldn’t have any issues discovering a journey.

Is Violent Crime An Issue?

People walking on Bourbon street in New OrleansPeople walking on Bourbon street in New Orleans
Tessa / Adobe Stock

New Orleans isn’t the most secure metropolis within the nation, there’s simply no solution to sugarcoat that. New Orleans does rank larger than the nationwide common relating to violent crime, however these crimes have a tendency to remain in residential neighborhoods and away from many of the vacationer areas.

If it’s any comfort, New Orleans isn’t probably the most dangerous city in Louisiana. That “honor” goes to Monroe, adopted carefully by Alexandria, with Opelousas bringing house the bronze. This is particularly for violent crime. 

Even although New Orleans is way from the most important metropolis within the nation, it nonetheless has against the law price that’s 150% above the nationwide common. When it involves violent crime, New Orleans ranks 32 out of 100. There is a 1 in 72 likelihood of turning into a sufferer of violent crime in New Orleans.

Much of the town’s violent crime is because of gang exercise. While which may be intimidating, it’s unlikely you’ll encounter any violent crime when you’re visiting New Orleans. Most violent crime in New Orleans includes events who already know one another, not random shootings in high-tourist areas.

For a few years, New Orleans held the doubtful title of being a homicide capital. Even although the town has made nice strides since final incomes that title in 2011, New Orleans did sadly rank first for homicides in huge cities for 2022, with 74.3 homicides per 100,000 individuals.

The NOPD affords an interactive crime map that may be very useful for each vacationers and locals. Each crime is color-coded (aggravated assault, automotive theft, theft, and many others.) and you’ll click on on any crime and it’ll inform you the date and site of the particular crime.

Take a take a look at this desk evaluating the crime rates of some main cities within the nation:

Crime Rate (per 1,000 residents)
City Violent Property
New Orleans, LA 13.85 41.12
Detroit, MI 23.07 35.94
Los Angeles, CA 7.40 24.60
New York City, NY 5.21 19.62
Chicago, IL 8.70 23.82
Arlington, VA 2.04 14.83
Cleveland, OH 17.16 38.67
U.S. National Median 4.00 19.00

Will Tourists Feel Safe In New Orleans?

Overall, sure. Many vacationers that come to New Orleans keep on with the identical common vacationer areas: the French Quarter, Warehouse District, CBD, and perhaps the Garden District.

Since these New Orleans neighborhoods are so tourist-heavy, it’s not the violent crime that you just’ll want to fret about. Petty theft is a a lot larger menace to vacationers touring to New Orleans.

Just like some other main metropolis, closely tourist-centric spots are prone to petty crimes like pickpocketers and getting scammed. If you’re sticking to those New Orleans neighborhoods, it’s best to really feel simply as secure as you’ll in cities like Chicago, Houston, or Boston.

When you click on by that interactive crime map, you’ll discover one kind of crime stands out from the remaining. Yes, New Orleans does certainly have a car theft downside.

And this can be a downside for everybody. Shockingly, the District Attorney of Orleans Parish was carjacked at gunpoint not too long ago (October 2023). The carjacker was apprehended inside 24 hours and nobody was injured, but it surely simply goes to indicate that nobody is secure from crime.

Not simply car theft although, it’s additionally smash-and-grab kind crimes, too. The French Quarter, Central Business District, and plenty of different areas in downtown New Orleans have change into a goal for criminals stealing automobiles or breaking home windows to grab seen backpacks, laptops, and many others.

If you propose on renting a car in New Orleans, I’d advocate ensuring nothing is seen from the surface. Keep your baggage within the trunk if it’s worthwhile to, and all the time park in well-lit areas. Parking garages are even higher since they typically have safety cameras.

Do I Need Travel Insurance?

I don’t care the place you journey to, travel insurance is all the time a good suggestion. If you saved for months to plan your perfect vacation, wouldn’t you need to ensure you’re coated? Between canceled flights, hurricanes, and different random climate delays, you by no means know what’s going to occur.

No one plans for issues to go fallacious, however when/in the event that they do, having travel insurance from a trusted firm like VisitorsCoverage will put all your worries apart so you possibly can benefit from the Big Easy to the fullest.

Many journey insurance coverage insurance policies will even cowl rental automotive harm in addition to theft, which is all the time a plus. Again, nobody plans to be pickpocketed or have their rental car window smashed, but when you end up on this state of affairs, it’s good to be coated.

Is The French Quarter In New Orleans Safe?

Bourbon Street in New Orleans at nightBourbon Street in New Orleans at night
buttbongo / Adobe Stock

Overall, sure. One of the primary causes individuals journey to New Orleans is to go to the French Quarter. Strolling down the long-lasting streets, taking in the entire historic structure, and naturally, perhaps getting a drink or two.

Speaking of ingesting, you possibly can completely get your drink in a plastic to-go cup and wander across the French Quarter. We might speak about bars within the French Quarter all day, however that’s a special article. In basic, the French Quarter is secure.

I wouldn’t fear about violent crime within the French Quarter.mThink of the French Quarter such as you would Times Square. Petty theft is common in closely touristed areas like this, so that you’ll need to have your wits about you.

Scammers are the largest security concern within the French Quarter. It’s difficult as a result of there are such a lot of avenue performers, it’s simple to be mesmerized by the candy jazz music or gifted bucket drummers and never understand you’ve been pickpocketed.

My security suggestions for strolling round, particularly the French Quarter, is to maintain your valuables in a entrance pocket or put on a cross-body bag. You don’t have to go to any extremes right here, simply ensure your zippers are closed and also you’re staying vigilant.

Is New Orleans Safe For Solo Travelers?

New Orleans is a superb metropolis for solo travelers. Even although there are some security issues, they’re pretty simple to keep away from, and there are many New Orleans downtown accommodations which might be centrally positioned.

It’s not troublesome to strike up a dialog with a neighborhood, and our energetic nightlife scene is unbeatable. Travelers come from throughout the globe to get pleasure from a drink on Bourbon Street, and it’s best to too!

You’ll need to observe the final security suggestions you’ll for some other main metropolis. Don’t inform random strangers you’re traveling alone, keep away from strolling down darkish streets late at evening, and hold your valuables in a secure place.

Personally, I’d benefit from the various tours available in New Orleans. Our tour guides are one of the best within the biz, and if you happen to join one in every of these strolling excursions at the start of your trip you’ll have a greater concept of what different sights you need to discover.

Is New Orleans Safe For Queer Travelers?

A joyful couple proudly waving a rainbow flag at the festivities of a Mardi Gras celebrationA joyful couple proudly waving a rainbow flag at the festivities of a Mardi Gras celebration
Drazen / Adobe Stock

For a metropolis that embraces those that dare to be completely different, you’ll discover that New Orleans could be very queer-friendly. There are loads of homosexual bars in New Orleans. One of the most well-liked gay-friendly areas in New Orleans is known as the Lavender Line.

It’s positioned on the nook of Bourbon Street and St. Ann Street within the French Quarter. Be certain to take a look at Café Lafitte’s in Exile, it’s the oldest repeatedly working homosexual bar within the United States!

Several queer-friendly festivals in New Orleans happen all year long, too. Southern Decadence over Labor Day weekend attracts greater than 100,000 festers yearly. During Easter, the Gay Easter Parade is only one of three queer festivals that happen within the French Quarter throughout spring.

Bibliophiles will totally benefit from the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival the place homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender authors, books, and characters are celebrated for the three-day competition. So, general, queer vacationers ought to discover New Orleans secure to go to year-round.

What Are The Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In New Orleans?

Jackson Square in New Orleans at NightJackson Square in New Orleans at Night
PaulDidsayabutra / Adobe Stock

New Orleans is made up of 73 neighborhoods, and every one has a definite vibe. Just like some other massive metropolis, there are certain to be a couple of neighborhoods you’ll need to keep away from. Most of those are residential neighborhoods with only a few vacationer points of interest.

The most harmful neighborhoods in New Orleans embrace:

  • Central City
  • Saint Roch
  • seventh Ward
  • Little Wood

Again, most of those are residential areas. The typical New Orleans vacationer wouldn’t essentially discover themselves in one in every of these neighborhoods. Central City is a little bit of an outlier right here, as a result of there are some actually good eating places in Central City, however the entire fundamental New Orleans points of interest are a number of blocks away.

These additionally aren’t areas that you just’d simply by chance end up in. You must make plans to get to one in every of these neighborhoods, both by driving your self, taking a bus, or a ride-share program.

What Are The Safest Neighborhoods In New Orleans?

Historic home in Garden District, New OrleansHistoric home in Garden District, New Orleans
Kit Leong / Adobe Stock

On the flip facet, there are many neighborhoods the place you’ll really feel secure as you stroll previous. Now, I can’t assure that you just’ll be free from New Orleans crime in one in every of these hoods, however they’re typically secure.

The most secure neighborhoods in New Orleans embrace:

  • French Quarter
  • Central Business District/Warehouse District
  • Garden District
  • Most Uptown New Orleans neighborhoods

Most vacationers will discover a place to remain within the French Quarter or the CBD. The Garden District does have a couple of boutique accommodations, however most vacationers come to the Garden District to admire the historic houses and gardens and stroll down Magazine Street.

Technically talking, the Garden District is an uptown neighborhood, but it surely tends to get its personal distinction. Other uptown neighborhoods embrace the Irish Channel, Riverside, the Black Pearl, and Carrollton.

This is the place you’ll discover Audubon Park, one of the crucial stunning parks in Louisiana. I’m partial, in fact, however I’d extremely advocate you pay a go to to this stunning park and zoo.

Is It Safe To Go To Mardi Gras In New Orleans?

Colorful Mardi Gras MaskColorful Mardi Gras Mask
Lynne Ann Mitchell / Adobe Stock

If you come to New Orleans for no different motive, make it so you possibly can expertise Mardi Gras. New Orleans actually comes alive throughout Carnival season, and it’s one thing everybody ought to placed on their bucket list.

Of course, whenever you add hundreds of additional individuals to a metropolis, count on the crime price to extend. It’s not essentially gang violence or violent crimes that it’s worthwhile to fear about, although.

Mardi Gras means massive crowds, and through a parade, it’s not unusual to be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers for hours at a time. This is the right alternative for petty theft.

Pickpockets are recognized to wreak havoc throughout Mardi Gras Season. It’s very simple to succeed in for some Mardi Gras beads after which uncover you’re lacking your cellular phone, pockets, or some other worthwhile merchandise.

With the entire pleasure of the parade (and the truth that you possibly can drink outdoors in New Orleans), it’s simple to let your guard down. Get your self a trusty cross-body bag you possibly can put on throughout your chest with simply the necessities and hold the whole lot else in your hotel room.

What About Hurricane Season In New Orleans?

Satellite image of Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico before landfallSatellite image of Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico before landfall
lavizzara / Adobe Stock

Hurricane season runs from June till November. August and September are probably the most energetic months. If you need to keep away from probably catastrophic hurricanes, keep away from coming to the Crescent City throughout these months.

Natural disasters like hurricanes don’t hit New Orleans fairly often…however after they do, they’re devastating. The most well-known hurricane to ever hit New Orleans was Hurricane Katrina.

August 29, 2005. A date the vast majority of the Gulf Coast is aware of all too nicely. Ironically, the opposite main hurricane (Hurricane Ida) to hit New Orleans made landfall on the identical day 16 years later, August 29, 2021.

August 29 is simply not a very good day for hurricanes in New Orleans. Both brought about billions of {dollars} price of injury, many lives had been misplaced, and each of those hurricanes modified New Orleans and the Gulf Coast eternally.

Just about any tour in New Orleans you are taking will point out these storms in a technique or one other. The excellent news is that hurricanes are tracked for a lot of days (generally weeks) prematurely, so that you’ll have loads of warning.

If you’re touring to New Orleans throughout hurricane season, I’d extremely advocate getting travel insurance, simply in case it’s a must to bob and weave your means round a storm. Stay dry!

How Tourists Can Visit New Orleans and Stay Safe

Jackson Square and Architecture in New Orleans, LouisianaJackson Square and Architecture in New Orleans, Louisiana
Mark D. Savignac / Adobe Stock

While the stats paint New Orleans as a really harmful metropolis, there are nonetheless loads of alternatives to go to New Orleans and keep secure. The largest travel tip for staying secure I can provide you is to belief your intestine. If you get a foul feeling about a spot, stroll previous it.

Any huge metropolis goes to have a excessive crime price. Whether you’re strolling down Royal Street or having fun with a day in City Park or Audubon Park, it’s all the time a good suggestion to remain vigilant. Most of the dangerous guys are ready so that you can let your guard down.

And let’s be sincere: the crime in New Orleans isn’t going to go away in a single day. The New Orleans Police Department is attempting to maintain New Orleans secure, but it surely’s clearly having some difficulties. I can definitely perceive the temptation to choose some other metropolis for a family vacation.

Like a wedding, I stand by New Orleans in illness and in well being… and proper now the town is having a tough time controlling the crime. Is New Orleans secure? Well, the numbers paint a transparent image, and it’s exhausting to dispute these numbers.

All I can say is that if you happen to keep on with areas just like the French Quarter (together with Bourbon Street), the Warehouse District, and the Central Business District, and belief your instincts, it’s best to have an exquisite time.

One solution to hold your self secure is to remain in one of many New Orleans hotels within the downtown space, relatively than renting a trip house in a neighborhood neighborhood. The added security and safety you obtain from staying in a lodge is price way more than the comfort of renting a house in a neighborhood that will or is probably not secure.

The Verdict: Is New Orleans Safe?

Is New Orleans secure? Well, sure and no. I’ll be the primary to confess that it’s troublesome to inform you flat out to come back to The Big Easy and have the time of your life. It’s completely attainable you possibly can go to New Orleans and have an incredible time, however you’ll have to be sensible about the place you go and keep vigilant.

Even although New Orleans ranks primary in murders, it’s unlikely that you just’ll change into a sufferer. Most of those crimes are between residents with prior histories. That doesn’t make it any higher, but it surely does imply that this kind of crime sticks to a selected space.

Petty theft is a possible downside wherever you go. Be sensible about what pockets you set your belongings in and all the time ensure your baggage are zipped up.

As far because the carjackings and smash-and-grabs go, it’s actually random. These dangerous guys don’t appear to be focusing on particular makes and fashions, both.

For instance, I drive a mid-size SUV that’s about 5 years outdated. I’ve by no means had my automotive damaged into, however I’ve by chance left it unlocked in a single day a couple of occasions through the years and woke as much as discover that somebody had gone by it. I don’t hold something worthwhile in my automotive, so nothing was stolen (or damaged) however nonetheless goes to indicate that the dangerous guys won’t ever cross up a possibility.

Don’t give them a possibility.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is New Orleans secure for vacationers?

Generally talking, New Orleans is a secure metropolis for vacationers. While New Orleans does rank larger than the nationwide common for violent crime price, it’s unlikely you’ll change into a sufferer of a violent crime whereas in New Orleans. Violent crimes in New Orleans are usually between events who already know one another.

How has the crime price in New Orleans modified through the years?

New Orleans usually ranks as one of many prime cities for homicide charges. New Orleans had the very best homicide price of any main American City for the next years: 2001-2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. The most up-to-date knowledge for 2022 reveals that New Orleans has the very best murder price for giant cities, with 74.3 homicides per 100,000 individuals.

What security measures ought to I take when visiting New Orleans?

If you’ve got security issues about visiting New Orleans, I’ve a couple of suggestions. First, hold all cell telephones and wallets in your entrance pocket, or put money into a journey bag that you could put on both as a cross-body or within the entrance. At evening, keep on with well-lit streets and use ride-sharing providers to get throughout city.

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