Atlanta

Atlanta is the capital of the state of Georgia and also the most populates in the state. The city balances southern traditions with modernism. You can see this contrast in the many peach trees and the three skylines and the world’s busiest airport. Atlanta has seen the horrors of war and been victim of droughts and floods, but it has endured them and built itself back up better than any other city. Due to its southern culture, history and city life, it has been the backdrop for many films and TV shows like Gone with the Wind (1939), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), The Walking Dead, Drop Dead Dive, Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta. It is important, however, to take precautions to fully enjoy your stay in Atlanta. Bellow, you will find what you need to know when visiting the city.

SAFETY INDEX

As any other major cities, there are some areas that visitors should avoid. Locals and SafeAround recommend staying away from Southern Atlanta, including Grant Park, the Bluff, and the I-20 as these are the centers of illegal activity in the city. There are no tourist attractions there, so there are no reasons to visit these areas. East Atlanta is another area that should be avoided. You’ll be more likely to see gang activity in the northeast part of the city center, Kirkwood.

Warnings & Dangers

Mid Priority-96 OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM

While Atlanta is generally considered a safe city, there are certain areas you should avoid. Unsafe areas are generally far away from any tourist attractions and have little to no interest for visitors. Most crime occurs between individuals who know each other or in high crime-ridden areas of the city. We recommend you take normal safety precautions and exercise common sense as you would in any other major city. Watch out for pickpockets in tourist areas and protect your valuables.

Mid Priority-96 PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM

Pickpocket and bag and purse snatching are common in tourist locations and public transportation. Remain vigilant for thieves that use different strategies to rob you.

Mid Priority-96 MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM

Muggings are the crime for tourists to be concerned with. Though most victims are not physically injured, criminals usually do not hesitate to use force if the target does not cooperate; in case of being robbed, do not resist and hand over your valuables.

Mid Priority-96 SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM

As in any touristic place, there may be people trying to scam you. Homeless people can be aggressive towards you if you don’t hand them money. Be aware of “gold ring” tricks, fake petitions, groups of teenagers acting strangely or trying to distract you. Credit card scams are also common. Never leave your card out of sight, and withdraw money from reputable banks or hotels.

Mid Priority-96 TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

The public transport is somewhat safe. Atlanta’s public transport system is run by MARTA, and it tends to attract sketchy crows late at night. There have been reports of violence both at stations and on trains. It is unlikely that you get directly involved, but you may get hurt if you are in the middle of a brawl. You don’t have to avoid using public transportation, but we recommend that you use common sense and remain alert at all times. It is best if you travel in groups of two or more at night.

Mid Priority-96 NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

There can be some occasional earthquakes, floods, and tornados.

Mid Priority-96 TERRORISM RISK : LOW

Terrorist attacks are unlikely. However, they cannot be ruled out. Remain vigilant and take advice from authorities, hotels and tour operators.

Mid Priority-96 WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

Many women travel safely without any issues.

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WHAT TO DO?

Downtown

Downtown is the central zone of Atlanta and the center of Georgia. It is home to the Georgia State Capitol, City Hall, and headquarters of many companies, which makes it a commercial zone despite the rise of Midtown and Buckhead. Most of the tourist sites are within 10 minute-walk from each other. Downtown is relatively safe compared to the areas around. However, you should still take precautions like not traveling alone at night and remain alert of suspicious activity. Pan-handling is common in this area and may be intimidating to visitors, but it is mostly harmless.

Midtown

Midtown, or also known as Heart of the Arts, is Atlanta’s major financial and residential district. Vibrant with art and energy, it makes the nightlife and dining exceptional. It is located less than a mile north of Centennial Olympic Park. Here, you will also find the Fox Theatre, High Museum of Art and the Center for Puppetry Arts. It doesn’t matter what time it is, this district is always on the move! You can relax on Peachtree Street and, once the sun sets, head to the popular nightclubs and lounges like Opera Nightclub and Sutra Lounge.

East Atlanta

East Atlanta is located south of Little Five Points, and it is a famous for its hip and quirky vibe. Here, you can find locally-owned shops, farmers market, music, restaurants, pubs, bookshops, artisan cupcake bakeries, and many more! One of the top research universities in the United States, Emory University is also located here.

Useful Information

The US has one of the harshest entry policy, sometimes asking for an interview even for a tourist visa. Prepare to pay fees up to USD 160 for your application. Some countries like the ones from the EU or Australia have a visa waiver program (ESTA) which can be filled online. See https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en.html for more information. Strong custom regulations also apply (see the CPB website for more details), and the Travel Safety Administration can open your luggage without your presence. www.doyouneedvisa.com is a useful website that can help you know if you need a visa or not based on your nationality and the country you’re visiting.
The currency in the United States is the US Dollar. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted countrywide, and ATMs are found nearly in every city. The costs can vary widely between the states, but it is fair to assume a $100 budget per day on average, $150 if you rent a car and around $300 for top end accomodation. A 10% service tipping is customary in many sectors such as airport and hotel bag porters, bartenders , hotel maids, restaurant servers and taxi drivers.
The weather in the US varies greatly between the states : from the mediterranean weather of California to the Glaciers of Alaska or the subtropical Florida, each region has its best time to visit; although major cities can be visited all year round. This graph can be useful for finding the best time to travel.
The main international airports are in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Dallas, Denver and San Francisco. If you’re looking fore cheap flight deals, you can find some on JetRadar
As in any country, we advise travelers to get a travel insurance that covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of personal items. Learn more on our travel insurance page