Overlooking view of the street and skyscrapers in Nashville

Is Nashville Safe? (Honest Safety Advice, By a Local)

Nashville is generally regarded as a safe city for tourists. But, like any city, it is important to be aware of what is going on around you when visiting Nashville. 

To decide if Nashville is safe enough for your risk tolerance, you have to think about factors like the crime rate and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. This article will go over the most common risks that you might encounter in Nashville and help you ensure that your trip is as enjoyable as possible.

As a local, I can guide you to the safest areas in Nashville and give you tips on what to look out for during your visit here.

Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. Thank you!

Is Nashville Safe?

For the most part, Nashville is considered a safe destination for visitors. That being said, Nashville does have an above average crime rate and so visitors to Nashville should remain alert to their surroundings just like they would in any major city.

Nashville is a rapidly growing city. Nashville’s population and popularity have exploded in recent years. This means that certain areas have changed quickly.

Nashville’s rate for both violent crime and property crime is above the national average. However, this doesn’t mean that tourists are likely to be victims of violent crimes or property crimes. In general, most crimes don’t occur in the areas where tourists visit. Public places where you’ll find all the best things to do in Nashville are usually safe.

When evaluating how safe is Nashville, you’ll also need to take into account other factors. The pandemic and potential weather concerns can also affect your trip. The status of these factors can fluctuate quickly, depending upon the time of your visit, so it’s a good idea to check the latest weather reports and covid-19 statistics before visiting Nashville. 

Additionally, to offer additional peace of mind from unpredictable circumstances, consider getting travel insurance for your trip (at Travel Lemming, we love World Nomads, but do your own research).

Things to Know About Safety in Nashville

Safe Neighborhoods and Areas in Nashville

View of the Draper James sign on its window in Nashville
One of my favorite spots in 12 South

In general, most of the places that tourists are likely to visit are considered safe. Popular areas for tourists are busy for most of the day and evening. Areas like Downtown Nashville, Midtown, and Music Valley are always full of people. While you should be aware of your surroundings, the average tourist is not likely to encounter any problems. 

Nashville’s high crime rate is concentrated mostly in a few metro areas. There are rarely any issues within walking distance of popular Nashville tourist attractions or within most residential neighborhoods.

Outside the city center, there are plenty of other neighborhoods that are safe. The majority of neighborhoods in Nashville are safe to walk around during the day especially if you see residents around as well.

View of The Parthenon from afar in Nashville

There are a few areas where the crime rate is significantly higher than the crime rate in the rest of the city. Many neighborhoods, especially in East Nashville, have become safer over the past several years. But there are a few areas that visitors should still avoid for now.

It is recommended that tourists avoid the following neighborhoods in Nashville:

  • Heron Walk
  • Talbot’s Corner
  • Glencliff
  • Bordeaux

All of these areas have high rates of violent crime and property crime in relation to the number of Nashville residents living there. There isn’t much for visitors to do in those areas anyway, so they aren’t hard to avoid. 

For help picking the perfect Nashville neighborhood for your visit, read our guide about where to stay in Nashville. You can also just follow my Nashville weekend itinerary for an easy way to plan the perfect trip.

Covid-19 Safety in Nashville

Like much of the world, Covid-19 continues to be a concern in Nashville. Requirements and restrictions continue to fluctuate as Nashville moves through different waves.

The following widget automatically updates daily with the latest key covid-related metrics for Davidson County: 

Check the guidelines online for places you plan to go in advance.

Crime in Nashville

The Nashville violent crime rate is higher than the U.S. national average crime rate, but the city is still generally safe for tourists. Violent crime occurs mostly in a few clustered spots in Nashville rather than through the city as a whole. While the crime rate is higher than average, the instances of crime are still lower than they were during most of the 90s and early 2000s.

The property crime rate in Nashville is also higher than the national average. Again, this doesn’t mean that tourists are likely to encounter these problems. The Nashville Police Department recommends that visitors avoid leaving valuables inside vehicles and avoid leaving valuables unsecured in hotel rooms. Both of these are steps most travelers take anyway.

Residents, as well as visitors, get frequent reminders to lock their vehicles. Property crime occurs most often when it’s dark, but everyone should lock their vehicles when parking during the day as well.

Common Scams in Nashville

Street scams are not very common in Nashville. There are just a few things to watch out for during your visit.

👜 Pickpocketing – This scam can occur in any city. Keep your purse and valuables near you while in crowded areas. That being said, Nashville doesn’t have too many instances of pickpocketing, even in locations where people are drinking heavily and crowded together listening to music.

👮 Fake tickets – When buying tickets to shows online, make sure that you are buying through an official channel. You don’t want to get to your event and find out that you bought a fake ticket from an online scammer.

Hazardous Weather and Natural Disasters

Cars parked covered with snow during winter season in Nashville
The city of Nashville shuts down in more than one or two inches of snow, but it doesn’t happen often.

The weather in Nashville is safe the majority of the time. But, conditions can become dangerous with relatively little warning. It’s important that visitors be aware of the forecast before and during their trips.

Depending on the season, severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, flooding, or icy conditions are possible. Check for emergency alerts that may occur during your visit. Follow the recommended guidelines if any warnings or watches are given.

Nashville also has a tornado warning siren system. It’s loud, and you’ll definitely be able to hear it if it goes off. Most places in the city have disaster plans that will guide visitors to follow if situations become dangerous.

To learn more about what to expect during the different seasons in Nashville, see my guide to The Best Times to Visit Nashville.

To lessen your concerns about hazardous weather when traveling, consider getting travel insurance from World Nomads. Then, you won’t have to worry if Tennessee’s unpredictable weather gets in the way of your vacation.

Drinking Water Safety

The tap water in Nashville passes all standards set at the federal and state level. It is safe for visitors and residents to drink the water in Nashville.

5 Safety Tips for Nashville

Safety Tip #1 – Lock Your Vehicle

View of a "Park Here" sign on a parking lot in Nashville

Lock your car whenever you park it somewhere. The most common property crimes in Nashville involve car theft and break-ins. Making sure that your car is locked and that there are no valuables inside helps reduce your risk of being a victim of property crime.

Vehicle break-ins are reported more frequently during the summer at Nashville’s parks. Each year, the Nashville Police Department reminds residents to lock their vehicles in these locations. Visitors should be aware of this concern, too.

Safety Tip #2 – Be Aware of Your Surroundings

While most places that tourists visit are relatively safe, it is possible to walk into more dangerous areas in a few neighborhoods. For example, East Nashville is a popular area that is mostly safe, but there are some pockets that you should avoid. If you notice a drastic change in your surroundings or something seems odd, head back.

🍽️ Read More Local Guides: 19 Best Places to Eat in Nashville

Safety Tip #3 – Plan Your Transportation in Advance

View of people and illuminated establishments in Nashville at night
(photo: AevanStock / Shutterstock)

If you’ll be out at night, figure out how to get home in advance. If you plan to drink late, either plan ahead to have someone else in your party drive or plan to book an uber. Tourists sometimes have issues finding their way back after drinking heavily.

Safety Tip #4 – Avoid Public Transportation in Nashville

View of a "Park Here" sign on a parking lot in Nashville

Nashville’s public transportation system is not laid out well for tourists. Hopefully, there will be changes to that in the future and it will be easier to get around Nashville via public transit. For right now, personal vehicles and rideshares are best for getting from one neighborhood to another within Nashville. 

Read my guide to how to get around Nashville for more.

Safety Tip #5 – Go Out With a Group at Night

View of people having fun listening to the live band
(photo: Rolf_52 / Shutterstock)

Nashville is safe for solo travelers, but if you plan to spend a lot of time enjoying the nightlife, go out with a group of friends. Then, you can watch out for each other and everyone in your group will be less likely to be a victim of crime. Downtown Broadway is a fun place to party as long as you remember to stay safe.

Speaking of going out, be sure to check out my list of the 13 best spots for listening to music in Nashville. You can also see my full list of Nashville tips for more.

FAQs About Safety in Nashville

Is Nashville Tennessee a safe city?

Nashville is generally considered a safe city for tourists. Like with any populous city, visitors should be aware of what is going on around them.

What should I avoid in Nashville?

Avoid walking around areas of Nashville that are not well-lit and full of other people at night. Most tourists areas are generally safe in Nashville.

Are there bad areas in Nashville?

Although much of Nashville is safe, there are some dangerous parts of the city. The safest neighborhoods in Nashville for tourists are Downtown, Midtown, the Gulch, West End, Hillsboro Village, and Music Valley. 

Is Nashville safe to walk at night?

It is safe to walk in Nashville at night in well-lit areas where you see other tourists walking. Avoid isolated places or unfamiliar areas. If you plan to go out at night, go with a group. While violent crime is rare in tourist areas, it does occur more frequently at night than during the day.

***

That’s it for my guide to safety in Nashville.

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of what to expect in Nashville and what to be aware of while you’re in the city. As you plan your trip, be sure to check out my guide to the best things to do in Nashville

Enjoy your time in Music City!

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6 Comments

  1. Is Berry Hill a safe neighborhood to go to? There’s a restaurant that I want to eat at in Berry Hill and I want to make sure that it’s a safe neighborhood to go to.

    Thanks.

    1. Yes, for sure. Having lived in Nashville 32 years (my whole life lol) most places here are very safe. The rough areas wouldn’t tempt tourists anyways. Out of curiosity, what restaurant?

  2. Why is West Meade on the unsafe list? I am a Nashville native and West Mead is a good neighborhood…actually upscale. I suspect this writer mislabeled a nearby neighborhood as West Mead when she is really referring to something else.

  3. Hello, planning a girl’s trip to Nashville Oct 2023. Found an Airbnb but wasn’t sure about location. It looks close to Germantown and it says “Cumberland Heights” around it on map… would you recommend? It says 8 min Uber drive to downtown Nashville. Just don’t want to stay in an unsafe neighborhood
    Thank you!

  4. We are visiting for a football game December 11th. It will be a family of 4. We would like to stay downtown and close enough to walk to the stadium. How is the area around AC Hotel?

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