Tijuana is home to 1.6 million people. Like any large city, Tijuana has its share of crime. In fact, it’s notorious for being a high-crime area. But after visiting the place, tourists usually return with a positive opinion of the city and its people.
Is Tijuana dangerous for tourists? Not if you know where and where not to go in Tijuana. Keep reading to learn more about visiting the popular Mexican city in the safest manner possible.
Risk is part of everything we do. Whether you’re driving to work or visiting Tijuana, risk is involved. However, misconceptions exist about the risk level of visiting Tijuana.
Over 300,000 people cross the border between San Diego and Tijuana each day. Americans have long traveled this short journey seeking lower-cost medications and medical treatment. Others cross the border daily for work purposes.
Tijuana is also a popular destination for inexpensive shopping. It has a lively party scene and food culture. College students love visiting Tijuana because the drinking age is only 18.USA Today Tijuana Night Clubs “The legal drinking age in Tijuana is 18 years old, which makes a cross-border night out an attractive option for U.S. residents who may not drink legally in the States before the age of 21.” View in Article
Interestingly, people who wouldn’t think twice about cruising to the Bahamas or Jamaica would actually be safer in Mexico.
According to Numbeo.com, NumbeoCrime Index by Country 2020 Mid-Year ” 2020 – Out of 133 countries, Venezuela ranked 1st, Mexico ranked 37th, United States ranked 50, in crime level in the world …” View in Article in mid-2020
Tijuana’s elevated murder rate is largely due to conflicts between Mexican gangs. According to the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OASC) crime is largely limited to outlying areas of Tijuana. Crime is not concentrated in tourist zones.OSAC Mexico 2020 Crime & Safety Report: Tijuana “…the purpose of these acts is criminal in nature, directed largely at rival gangs, and not for a larger political agenda… Violence is largely limited to Tijuana’s outlying areas and not concentrated in tourist zones…” View in Article
Pickpockets work in tourist areas but look for easy targets. This includes those who appear wealthy or inattentive. Dressing simply and being aware of your surroundings can help eliminate this risk. In addition, Tijuana’s Tourism Police have increased their presence in recent years.
Generally, the best way to visit Tijuana from San Diego is to hire a driver. Uber and lift are conveniently available in Tijuana. Not all of the drivers speak fluent English.
Transportation to and from San Diego Airport is included in your MTC fee. If for some reason you cannot use our driving services, you have other options.
Here are common questions related to getting to Tijuana.
Tijuana is a wonderful place to buy handmade arts and crafts at affordable prices. Markets sell t-shirts and other souvenirs for $10 or less and you may be able to haggle a lower price.
However, the OSAC recommends being careful with cash transactions on the street. Try to pay the exact amount to avoid the risk of receiving incorrect change or counterfeit currency.
Review the OSAC’s Overseas Traveler’s Guide to ATM Skimmers & Fraud and Taking Credit to learn more about staying financially safe in Mexico.
Emergency Numbers in Tijuana
For any type of emergency in Tijuana, the two most important things to know are the Mexican emergency phone number (911) and the citizen assistance number of the US consulate in Tijuana – (664) 622-7400.
Dialing 911 will get you the fire, police, and ambulance services in Tijuana. The other numbers that are good to have are:
Whenever you travel abroad, keep the U.S. Consulate’s information on your person at all times. In case of an emergency, you will know where to find help right away.