Many people wonder if Bari is a safe city to visit. We all know that traveling is always risky, but some people take it to the next level. So, I’m here to tell you the truth about the safeness in Bari and what you can do to stay safe.
Bari is a relatively safe city for foreigners. Even though there are some areas to avoid, tourists should not face safety problems other than petty crime. Use common sense and apply all usual safety precautions.
There’s a lot more you need to know before your trip! Also, there are some tips to help you get around Bari without any troubles and ensure your safety.
How Safe is Bari: The Statistics
Bari ranks as number 22 in the Il Sole 24 Ore Crime Index 2019 with 50.988 reports. On average, there are about 139,69 complaints every 24 hours in the city. This data only covers crimes reported by the police and the victims.
However, don’t let these numbers scare you. Most crimes in Bari are just petty theft, the kind of crime you find in many cities. So, let’s see what statistics say:
|Crime||Reports/100.000 People||Italy Position (Top 106)|
|Motor Vehicle Theft||617,9||2|
|Scams and Computer Frauds||252,9||79|
Source: Il Sole 24 Ore Crime Index 2019. Data offered by Dipartimento della Pubblica Sicurezza.
Bari Safety Right Now
Bari was full of crime, drug abuse, and danger some years ago. But now it is a totally safe city for tourists from all over the world. You will be safe in most parts of the town, whether you travel solo, with your family or friends.
Bari is a safe place to go for solo female travelers as well. But you could get unwanted attention like anywhere else. If you do, ignore them and walk away. You could also carry a whistle with you; most men will flee.
“The crime rate has decreased, Puglia is in tenth place, the metropolitan city of Bari has a -13.9% compared to the same period of 2018. (…) Bari had an absolute improvement in the safety of the city over the years.”Minister Luciana Lamorgese
Bari Safety Compared to Other Cities
What if I tell you that Bari is safest than Milan? You might not believe me, but it is true.
In fact, Milan is the most dangerous city in all Italy according to the government data. And despite this, every year millions of tourists come to Milan and have no issues. So, there is no reason to be afraid, even if you travel to another city of Puglia.
Obviously, you are never “technically” safe in any place. But I suggest you stay in the center and the old part of the city.
Is Bari Safe to Visit?
All of Puglia is pretty safe to visit, and it isn’t a dangerous area to live as well. However, It could be a bit overwhelming if you go there for the first time. So, I want to clarify some doubts and worries that tourists have about Bari.
Bari is actually a safe place to visit, though there are still crimes every day. For example, pickpocketing happens very often in Bari, especially in the train station. It is unlikely to get robbed or mugged, but be careful.
Bari has a low risk of terrorist attacks, like most cities in Italy. However, there is a general threat from terrorism in all of Europe. So, it is best to stay alert and listen to the local authorities.
Mafia still exists in Bari, and its name is Sacra Corona Unita. But don’t worry, they have nothing to do with tourists. It is very unlikely that you will have any problem with a Mafia Boss. They will not waste their time stealing cheap stuff.
As for natural hazards, Puglia is a region with a very low seismic risk. However, it could feel the effects of earthquakes on nearby areas. You may also find tornadoes, hail, and tropical storms due to climate change.
How Safe is Bari? My Experience
I’m from Bari, and I know it isn’t exactly the cleanest and safest city in Italy. But there is no reason to worry about, even if someone else told you it is unsafe. Usually, being safe is all about your worldview, which means being aware first.
I rarely felt unsafe in Bari when walking around alone or with my family. I used to walk in the city center and neighborhoods, and it didn’t seem dangerous to me. You should be fine if you follow the basics of safety rules.
Is Bari Safe at Night?
Bari is fairly safe at night. But don’t forget that crime tends to happen at night, especially in lonely places. Also, it is better to don’t walk alone for both women and men. The best place to walk at night is Lungomare Nazario Sauro.
Is Bari Old Town Safe?
The Old Town (or Bari Vecchia) is pretty safe during the day and night. But you should be careful in the narrow and dark alleys. Also, don’t go too far into the town at night to avoid getting lost. All the streets look the same and are not very bright.
Common Bari Safety Issues
There are some issues that you could face in Bari as a tourist. Like in any other city, visitors are always an easier target than locals. So, you should know all of them before your trip to Bari to avoid being surprised when you arrive.
There are pickpockets in most cities with a high density of tourists, even in safe areas. This is because visitors are an easier target than locals in most situations. So, you need to know where they operate and how to avoid them from stealing you.
Favorite Places for Pickpockets in Bari:
- Bus Stops
- Stazione di Bari Centrale (Train Station)
- Libertà District
- Between Piazza Umberto and Via Sparano
- Pane e Pomodoro Beach
- Buses and Trains
How to Avoid Pickpocketing in Bari:
- Split up your money: You don’t want to have all your cash in one place. Instead, divide everything in different spots like in your wallet, pocket, suitcase, etc.
- Don’t get distracted: Pickpockets will always try to distract you when someone else takes away your wallet. Be careful when somebody wants to help you with buying train tickets on machines. There are no workers to do it.
- Wear your backpack in front: I don’t recommend using backpacks at all. But if you do, wear it in front of you where you can see it. Also, put a hand on it wherever you are in crowded places or not.
- Use a money belt: These will help you to keep your money safe and bring you peace of mind. You can buy yours on Amazon for a super affordable price through this link.
- Take pictures of documents: Always have photos of your credit cards, passports, and documents before leaving for any destination. This will help you to replace them easily, just in case. Also, send all the pictures to your email or cloud storage.
Scams happen very often in all of Italy, especially in huge tourist destinations. There is always someone who wants to take benefit from tourists. So, these are some of the most common scams in Bari:
- Beach Umbrella Rentals: Be aware when you rent an umbrella to stay on a beach. Some people will charge you ridiculous prices to get one for a day. Also, be careful with the parking fee.
- Fake Money: Be aware when someone returns your money, especially with 20 and 50 euro notes. Make sure to touch the real ones to get an idea of how they really look. Also, try to pay with the smaller currency possible.
- High Prices in Food and Drink: Some restaurants will bill you a lot of money for poor quality food. You will find them mostly in tourist places like in the center of the city. Also, be careful when you buy water in some bars and vendor carts.
Probably, car theft is the major safety issue that you will find in Bari. Most vehicles end up in pieces and then sold online or in other cities. So, don’t leave expensive stuff on view when you parking, even in shopping malls.
Also, I recommend you don’t leave bikes or motorcycles in the street for a long time. But if you do, make sure to use a good bike lock.
There are a lot of drivers who don’t respect transit rules in Bari. So, be aware when you cross the road in crowded streets. They don’t care if you are in the whites stripes or you have the green light.
Also, be careful when you walk on the sidewalk. Some of them are badly maintained, and you may fall over easily.
How to Stay Safe in Bari
Bari is a safe place to visit, but you should take some precautions like in any other city. So, these are some tips to increase your chances of staying safe:
- Avoid the Train Station at Night. Don’t walk at night at the train station, especially in the underground. I’m not saying to completely avoid it but stay as long as you need.
- Watch Out for Baby Gangs. These are groups of criminal kids and teenagers spread in all of Italy. They commit crimes like mugging, robbery, and drug dealing. You are unlikely to find them, but be careful.
- Don’t Accept Rides from Unmarked Taxis. Never accept services from fake taxis, even if they have a “TAXI” badge. Remember that official taxis are white and show the emblem of the city hall. I suggest you go on the marked taxi pick up spots.
- Don’t Wear Showy Jewelry. By “showy” I mean only diamonds, big chains, gems, etc. It is fine to wear some jewelry, but don’t be too excessive.
- Get Travel Insurance. It is a good idea to travel with insurance, even if you are going on a short trip. You can find a lot of insurances out there for any budget and destination. Better safe than sorry.
- Learn the Areas. Like any other city, you should avoid some areas. The main ones are the Libertà, Japigia, San Paolo, and Madonnelle neighborhoods. But why would you go there? Those are just neglected places.
- Know Some Italian. You should learn some basic phrases in Italian before your trip. This will help you in a lot of situations, including emergencies. Check out this post for useful tips and phrases to do it!
- 112 – Carabinieri
- 113 – Emergency Police Help
- 115 – Fire Fighters
- 116 – Roadside Assistance
- 117 – Finance Guard
- 118 – Medical Emergencies and Ambulance
- 1530 – Coast Guard (Sea Rescue)