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Belo Horizonte Safety: Am I Safe to Travel to Belo Horizonte, Brazil in 2024?

Planning a Brazil trip? Safety is crucial. Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais' capital, often features in plans. But is it safe? Let's explore.

Tobi Miles
March 31, 2024
Belo Horizonte Safety: Am I Safe to Travel to Belo Horizonte, Brazil in 2024?

Belo Horizonte boasts a rich cultural scene, stunning architecture, and a vibrant nightlife. However, like any major city, it has its share of safety concerns. Understanding these can make all the difference in ensuring a smooth and enjoyable visit.

Key Takeaways

  • Belo Horizonte offers rich culture and vibrant nightlife but comes with safety concerns: The city has dynamic cultural scenes and architectural beauty but travelers should be aware of safety concerns including crime rates and areas to avoid.
  • Slight improvement in violent crime rates but risks persist: Although there's a noted improvement in homicides and robberies based on recent statistics, Belo Horizonte still presents risks, emphasizing the need for vigilance.
  • Petty crime prevalent in tourist areas: Crowded and popular tourist spots are hotspots for petty crimes like pickpocketing. Awareness and safeguarding personal belongings are crucial in these areas.
  • Local police are active but staying informed is pivotal: The local police force in Belo Horizonte are taking measures to ensure safety. Nonetheless, being informed about high-risk areas and taking necessary precautions remains essential.
  • Adhering to safety tips can significantly reduce risks: By researching high-risk neighborhoods, protecting valuables, being cautious on public transportation, using trusted taxi services, traveling in groups at night, and keeping emergency contacts handy, tourists can enhance their safety.
  • Knowledge of emergency contacts is key for immediate assistance: Having the numbers for police, ambulance, fire department, and knowing the location of one's country's consulate or embassy can provide peace of mind and immediate help when needed.

Crime Rate in Belo Horizonte

When planning your trip to Belo Horizonte, it's crucial to consider the crime rates that paint a realistic picture of what to expect. Recent statistics reveal a complex safety landscape in the city that requires a vigilant approach.

Violent Crime Statistics

A look at the data unveils a mixture of challenges and improvements. In recent years, Belo Horizonte has seen fluctuations in violent crime rates, including assaults, robberies, and homicides. Notably, the city has embarked on various crime reduction strategies, yielding mixed results. Here's a quick glimpse at the numbers:


Homicides per 100,000

Robberies per 100,000







These figures suggest a slight improvement but underscore the persistent risks.

Petty Crime and Tourist Areas

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing, is especially prevalent in crowded areas and tourist hotspots. Sectors like the Mercado Central and Savassi tend to attract opportunistic criminals targeting unsuspecting visitors. It’s paramount to stay mindful of your belongings and surroundings in these bustling zones.

Local Police and Safety Measures

Belo Horizonte’s police force actively works to enhance security, deploying additional units in high-risk areas and during large-scale events. The city has also seen a rise in community policing efforts, aiming to foster a safer environment for both residents and tourists.

Understanding Belo Horizonte's crime situation is vital for effective trip planning. While there are safety concerns, knowing what to expect and taking necessary precautions can significantly mitigate risks. Stay informed, be cautious, and you can navigate Belo Horizonte with confidence.

Safety Tips for Tourists

When exploring Belo Horizonte, safety should be your top priority. Despite efforts to curb crime, tourists can be easy targets. However, by following these guidelines, you'll greatly reduce your risk and ensure a memorable visit.

Stay Informed About High-Risk Areas
Research is crucial before your trip. Certain neighborhoods, particularly those outside the city center, exhibit higher crime rates. Avoiding these areas, especially after dark, can significantly mitigate potential dangers. The Federal District and Pampulha occasionally report higher incidents, so exercise extra caution if you visit these locales.

Protect Your Valuables
Petty theft, including pickpocketing, is not uncommon in crowded tourist spots. Here's how you can minimize the risk:

  • Use money belts or hidden pouches for your cash and passports.
  • Avoid displaying expensive jewelry or electronics.
  • Always keep your belongings in sight, particularly in restaurants and cafes.

Be Vigilant on Public Transportation
Public transport systems are convenient but can be hotspots for pickpockets. When using buses or the metro, keep your backpacks and purses in front of you, and remain aware of your surroundings.

Use Trustworthy Taxi Services
Opt for official taxi services or reputable ride-sharing apps. Before entering any vehicle, verify the driver's identity and ensure the vehicle matches the description provided by the app.

Travel in Groups at Night
There is safety in numbers. If you plan to explore the city's nightlife, stay with a group. Stick to well-lit, busy streets, and always let someone know your whereabouts.

Keep Emergency Contacts Handy
Always have a list of emergency numbers, including local police and your country's embassy or consulate. Knowing whom to call in case of an emergency can make a significant difference.

By adhering to these safety tips, you'll not only safeguard yourself but also enjoy a rich and vibrant experience in Belo Horizonte. Stay alert, stay informed, and most importantly, enjoy your adventure in one of Brazil's most dynamic cities.

Emergency Contacts in Belo Horizonte

Having easy access to emergency contacts in Belo Horizonte is crucial for your safety and peace of mind. Whether it's a medical emergency, a safety concern, or you simply need assistance, knowing whom to call can make all the difference.

  • Police: For immediate police assistance, dial 190. This number connects you to the Military Police, who handle most safety and security emergencies throughout the city.
  • Ambulance and medical emergencies: The SAMU (Serviço de Atendimento Móvel de Urgência) can be reached at 192. They provide medical emergency services and are your go-to in case of a health crisis.
  • Fire Department: In case of fire or rescue situations, the number to call is 193. The Fire Department is well-equipped to handle fires, rescues, and natural disasters.

Apart from these essential services, it's wise to have the contact information of your country's consulate or embassy. They can offer assistance in various situations, from lost passports to legal troubles. Unfortunately, specific consulate numbers vary, so it's best to look up yours before your trip.

For non-emergency assistance or inquiries, the Tourist Police (Polícia do Turista) can be very helpful. While they don't have a universal hotline, their offices are located in key tourist areas, providing support in multiple languages.

Remember, preparation is key. Store these numbers in your phone and keep a small card or note with you at all times. Whether you're exploring the vibrant streets of the Pampulha district or the historic landmarks of the city center, knowing you're prepared can significantly enhance your sense of security and enjoyment in Belo Horizonte.

Areas to Avoid in the City

When you're exploring Belo Horizonte, there's a world of beauty and excitement waiting. However, it's crucial to stay informed about which areas might be less safe, particularly after dark. Your safety can significantly enhance your experience, so being aware of certain neighborhoods can help you navigate the city more confidently.

Downtown Belo Horizonte, especially at night, has been flagged for higher incidents of petty crime. While the daytime buzz keeps the area relatively safe due to the high foot traffic, it's a different story once the sun sets. The decrease in pedestrian numbers can give way to more opportunistic crimes, so it's wise to be extra cautious or avoid the area during these hours.

Favelas, like many around the world, can be unpredictable due to their less formal community structures and economic disparities. Though not all are dangerous, it pays to be cautious. Venturing into these areas without a local guide or substantial knowledge about the community can expose you to unnecessary risks.

Recent statistics highlight the importance of staying vigilant in certain zones. For example:


Reported Incidents



Venda Nova




Venda Nova and Barreiro are other districts where caution is advised, particularly in less crowded or more secluded parts. These areas have seen a range of criminal activities, including theft and muggings. It's always a good idea to stay in well-lit, populated areas and keep a low profile by not flaunting valuables.

Remember, most visits to Belo Horizonte are trouble-free. However, like any large city, there are areas and situations that require extra awareness. Always trust your instincts and make safety your priority while enjoying all that this vibrant city has to offer.


Armed with the right information and a cautious approach, you can navigate Belo Horizonte safely and enjoy all the vibrant experiences the city has to offer. Remember to steer clear of identified high-risk areas, especially after dark, and keep your wits about you in less crowded neighborhoods. Your adventure in Belo Horizonte doesn't have to be marred by safety concerns if you're informed and prepared. So pack your bags with confidence, knowing you're ready to explore one of Brazil's gems with both excitement and caution.

Frequently Asked Questions

What areas in Belo Horizonte should I avoid to ensure my safety?

Avoid downtown Belo Horizonte at night due to higher petty crime rates. Favelas and specific districts like Venda Nova and Barreiro also require extra caution due to their unpredictable nature and criminal activities.

Is it safe to visit Belo Horizonte?

Most visits to Belo Horizonte are trouble-free. However, prioritizing your safety by staying informed about which areas to avoid and remaining vigilant, especially in less crowded or secluded parts of the city, is essential.

What type of crime is most common in the areas to avoid in Belo Horizonte?

Petty crimes such as pickpocketing and theft are more common in areas suggested to avoid, particularly in less crowded and less secure zones of Belo Horizonte.

Can I walk around Belo Horizonte at night?

It's advisable to be cautious when walking around Belo Horizonte at night, especially in downtown areas and other mentioned zones with higher incidents of crime. Opting for secure transportation methods after dark is recommended.

How can visitors protect themselves from crime in Belo Horizonte?

Visitors can protect themselves by staying informed of which areas to avoid, avoiding displaying valuables, being vigilant in less crowded areas, and using secured modes of transportation, especially at night.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 31, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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