Austin has been ranked one of the five safest cities in the United States, but that doesn't mean you can throw common sense to the wind. It's never a good idea to walk down dark streets alone at night, and major tourist areas always attract pickpockets, so keep your purse or wallet in a safe place. Although Sixth Street itself tends to be busy, use caution on the side streets in the area.

Crime -- Morgan Quitno, a firm that sifts through national crime data, ranks Austin as the fourth safest of America's 32 largest cities, and for the visitor, it's probably even safer. There have been few reports of violence directed toward tourists in Austin in the last 5 years. Still, you need to exercise caution. In the most popular parts of downtown, the number of people on the streets and the prominent police presence keep it very safe. Most assaults have occurred on the fringes of these areas when people were walking back to their cars. This is usually not a problem for visitors who are staying in the downtown hotels.


Areas outside of downtown are largely safe, except perhaps for East Austin, where it's not a good idea to walk around alone at night. The area around the University of Texas campus does attract a criminal element, but it focuses mostly on theft and burglary of vehicles.

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