Is San Antonio Safe To Visit? Everything You Need To Know Before Traveling


is san antonio safe

San Antonio is the 7th largest city in the United States and Texas’ number one tourist attraction. It has a rich history and culture, great food, great live music, a great rodeo and a lovely downtown, no wonder 34 million people flock to the city every year.

If you are thinking about visiting San Antonio and have qualms about the safety of the city, we got you covered. We deep dived into the statistics, crime reports and talked to the residents of the city to give you a better understanding of how safe the safe the city really is.

San Antonio Crime Stats

In 2020 San Antonio reported 128 homicides, which was a 22% increase from 2019, where 105 homicides were reported. Police attribute the increase in homicides partly to fatal family violence cases during the pandemic.

As of September 2021, there have been 94 homicides reported in San Antonio and if the current pace holds, the number of homicides will match or surpass the numbers in 2020.

Aggravated assaults and robbery also increased 6.87% and 6.99% respectively.

The most significant decrease was in the number of rapes reported, with a 28.5% decrease from 2019 numbers.

Here’s a breakdown of all the crimes in the city for 2020 compared with 2019:

San Antonio police reported a total of 13,496 offenses in 2020, compared with 13,963 in 2019, which is a 3.3 percent year-over-year decrease.

  2019 2020 Percentage Change
Homicide 105 126 +20%
Rape 1,630 1,164 -28.58%
Robbery 1,965 2,100 +6.87%
Aggravated Assault 7,346 7,860 + 6.99%
Burglary 8,172 7,606 – 6.92%
Larceny/Theft 51,469 40,513 -21.28%
Motor Vehicle Theft 7,781 6,707 -13.8%

If you only look at the statistics, San Antonio is a slightly unsafe place to visit. According to statistics recently released by the FBI, San Antonio had the 38th highest Violent Crime rate in the country in 2019, 707.50 incidents per 100,000 residents. It also ranked 19th for Property Crime rate in the country, 4,844.84 per 100,000 residents.

The average violent crime rate for the United States is 366.7 per 100,000 residents and the average property crime rate for the United States is 2,109.9 per 100,000 residents.

San Antonio’s violent crime rate is 50% higher the national average and San Antonio’s property crime rate is more than double the national average

**All data is from the 2020 Texas Crime Report**

San Antonio’s Crime Rate vs The Rest Of Texas

Looking at the table below, you can see that in terms of violent crime, San Antonio ranks 3rd among the most populous cities in Texas and it ranks 1st for property crime.

According to NeighborhoodScout, you have a 1 in 140 chance of being a victim of violent crime in San Antonio.

If you look at Plano, the safest city on the list you have a 1 in 667 chance of being a victim of violent crime, which is more than four times as less

If you look at Houston, the most dangerous city on the list, you have a 1 in 91 chance of being a victim of violent crime, which is almost twice as much.

In 2020, Houston reported 400 homicides in 2020, Dallas reported 252 homicides , San Antonio reported 126 homicides, Austin reported 48 murders, Corpus Christi reported 34 homicides, El Paso reported 28 homicides, Arlington reported 23 homicides, Laredo reported 12 homicides, Irving reported 9 homicides, Garland reported 6 homicides, and Plano reported 3 homicides.

In 2020, San Antonio was the only city among the four most populated cities in the state to see the total number of reported crimes drop compared to 2019.

City Population Violent Crime (Per 100,000)

Property Crime (Per 100,000)

Houston 2,338,235 1095.23 4128.41
Dallas 1,338,551 774.64 3185.09
San Antonio 1,520,712 707.5 4844.84
Corpus Christi 329,256 702.49 3565.31
Fort Worth 873,069 560.21 3215.32
Arlington 397,377 516.89 3197.72
Austin 971,949 414.84 3189.57
El Paso 688,667 378.85 1818.88
Laredo 260,669 321.86 2483.61
Garland 236,243 316.62 3032.47
Irving 242,062 226.8 2539.43
Plano 290,413 149.79 1733.74

*All data is from the 2019 FBI Crime Stats Report**

*Crime rate is calculated by dividing the number of reported crimes by the total population; the result is multiplied by 100,000.

San Antonio vs The Most Dangerous Cities In The United States

Here’s a list of the top 10 most dangerous cities in the United States ranked by violent crime rate. It can give you some perspective on San Antonio’s violent crime rate, which is 707.5.

San Antonio’s violent crime rate is more than three times as less than Memphis, the most dangerous city on the list.

City Population Number of violent crimes in 2020 Rate per 100,000 people
Memphis 633,104 15,310 2,418.24
Detroit 639,111 14,370 2,248.44
St. Louis 301,578 6,017 1,995.17
Little Rock 202,591 3,657 1,805.11
South Bend 103,453 1,765 1,706.09
Cleveland 372,624 6,281 1,685.61
Milwaukee 577,222 9,407 1,629.70
Kansas City 508,090 7,919 1,558.58
Lansing 112,644 1,699 1,508.29
Springfield 169,176 2,545 1,504.35

The worst neighborhoods in San Antonio

Income and crime are inversely correlated. This maps gives you a really great starting point on which parts of town are safest.

san antonio worst neighborhoods

Westside

westside san antonio

 

Eastside

eastside san antonio

 

Southside

soutside san antonio

Driving tour of San Antonio’s Worst Neighborhoods:

Is Downtown San Antonio safe?

Downtown San Antonio and the Riverwalk area is a safe area to visit. It is well populated, well lighted and has a big police presence. There are many restaurants, bars and attractions you can walk to without feeling fearful. Most residents of San Antonio also agree that the downtown area is generally safe.

There are homeless people wandering certain sections of downtown but they are harmless for the most part. Just don’t interact with them and keep moving forward.

It is when you start to travel outside of downtown is when you encounter problems. Avoid anywhere directly south, east or west of downtown. Those neighborhoods can get really sketchy, especially at night.

Driving tour of Downtown San Antonio:

What do residents of San Antonio say about its safety

  1. I have lived in San Antonio for about 15 years and lived all over town. It’s not so much violent crime that concerns me, it is just wacko shit. Grifters, homeless and scammers.
  2. Most of the violent crime here is not random, it’s gang violence or disagreements between people that escalate to violence. I will say there is a lot of property crime though.
  3. You probably won’t get murdered in San Antonio but you might wake up with your car on blocks.
  4. Northside and Northwest are the better areas.
  5. I would say avoid the south side (north of 1604), Converse area and he southwest and west areas around Lackland AFB.
  6. I was born and raised here and have lived here my entire life. I have never once been attacked, assaulted, or robbed. When they say “Keep San Antonio Lame” it’s because nothing really happens here, it’s a sleepy little blue collar town
  7. I have lived here for 26 years and never felt unsafe. San Antonio is safer than most big cities.
  8. San Antonio is fine, the news is full of fear mongering stories. It’s their job to scare you, and report more crime than good. Auto theft is a big problem in the city, but everything else is sensationalized.
  9. The eastside and westside near downtown San Antonio have been battling it out over which side is more dangerous for decades. It’s where the you’ll find the highest levels of poverty, crime, drug use, gangs and violence.
  10. The closer to AT&T Center the more ghetto it is.
  11. Alamo Heights and Terrell Hills are two of the nicest areas in San Antonio.
  12. People will tell you that the east side is sketchy but I think the west side is far worse from what I’ve heard and observed/felt.
  13. When you see a Fred’s Fish Fry, you’re in the hood.
  14. I have lived in East Houston and 2 blocks from the AT&T Center, and that is probably the most ghetto place you’re gonna get in San Antonio.
  15. The north west or north east of SA are pretty nice, except for some areas in the northeast like The Glen. The southside, the westside, and the eastside are all very bad areas. Stay away.
  16. There are certain parts of the San Antonio that I wouldn’t travel alone at night, but most of the city is pretty safe.
  17. Avoid these streets, Zarzamora/Guadalupe, Zarzamora/Commerce, Frio/Martin, any courts, etc.
  18. I have visited Compton/Crenshaw/MidCity in LA and there’s nothing in San Antonio that remotely compares to that. SA is a walk in the park compared to that area.

Is San Antonio safe at night?

San Antonio is safe at night, however, like any other city, there are areas where you shouldn’t think of going at night, namely the neighborhoods mentioned above. These are the most dangerous areas and even long time residents have qualms about going there.

Is it safe to visit alone?

San Antonio can be a safe place to travel alone as long as you know the layout of the city and know which areas to avoid. San Antonio is just like any other city and there are risks involved when you’re in a big town by yourself.

Research the areas in San Antonio that you want to visit and use Google Maps street view to see if the areas is sketchy.

Tips to stay safe in San Antonio

  • First and foremost, learn the layout of the city! You will avoid a lot of problems if you know which areas to avoid during your visit.
  • Stay away from sketchy areas, especially at night.
  • Don’t go out alone at night and if you do go out alone, Stay in well light, well populated areas.
  • Don’t get involved or participate in illicit activities. Stay way way from drugs, prostitutes, etc.
  • Save the sightseeing for the daytime and always know where you are going. Wandering around aimlessly and without direction can get you in trouble
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t get lost in your phone or your headphones.
  • Walk with confidence and purpose. Don’t engage with the homeless.
  • Don’t leave valuables in your car. San Antonio has a property crime issue and you can lessen your chance of being a victim, if you hide your valuables.

Is San Antonio Safe To Visit?

If you look at the crime stats and read the opinions of the residents, San Antonio is a slightly unsafe place to visit. The number or homicides and aggravated assaults have increased, but not significantly enough to warrant concern. Most of the violent crime in the city is concentrated in a few areas and it is unlikely a visitor or tourist will ever see these places.

Most residents agree that San Antonio is pretty safe to visit if you avoid these areas; The westside, the eastside, the southside. Specific areas include. The Glen, Marbach, Prospect Hill, Camelot , Guadalupe Street, Lincoln Courts apartments, Westwood, Denver heights, Nogalitos and 5 Palms/ Indian Creek.

The one thing that is concerning is property crime. San Antonio has the highest property crime rate in the state of Texas. You should be vigilant of your belongings when visiting the city.

Other Cities You Might Be Interested In:

Albuquerque, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Barstow, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Corpus Christi, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, Las Vegas, Long Beach, Memphis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Oakland, Philadelphia, Reno, San Antonio, San Bernardino, San Jose, Slab City, St. Louis, Stockton

Mariska Lee

Mariska is a recovering attorney who gave up her professional job to discover new perspectives of life while traveling in a 2009 Ford Transit. She has been living the van life for 3 years and has not looked back since.

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