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Is Spokane in United States Safe?

Spokane is generally safe for tourists, with low violent crime rates. However, be vigilant against petty crimes like theft. Civil unrest is rare but cannot be ruled out. Spokane has good medical facilities, but some vaccinations may be advisable. Natural disasters like wildfires pose a risk during summer. Utilize public transportation cautiously, especially at night, and remain aware of your surroundings.

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Safety & Security

Spokane is generally a safe city for travelers, but like any urban area, it's important to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings. Here are some key points regarding safety in Spokane:

  • Petty Crime: While violent crime rates are relatively low, petty crimes like theft and burglary do occur, especially in downtown areas and tourist hotspots. Keep valuables secured and be vigilant.

  • Specific Areas: Some neighborhoods like East Central and West Central have higher crime rates. Avoid walking alone in these areas, especially at night.

  • Scams: Be wary of common scams targeting tourists, such as fake tour operators, overcharging for services, or pickpocketing. Only use reputable services and keep your belongings secure.

  • Civil Unrest: Spokane occasionally experiences protests or demonstrations, which are usually peaceful but can disrupt travel plans. Monitor local news and avoid areas with large crowds if unrest occurs.

  • Disputes: While rare, disputes or confrontations can happen, especially in bars or nightlife areas. Avoid escalating situations and remove yourself from potential conflicts.

  • Terrorism: The risk of terrorist attacks in Spokane is low, but cannot be ruled out entirely. Remain vigilant in crowded public spaces and follow advice from local authorities.

Overall, Spokane is a relatively safe destination, but travelers should take standard precautions to ensure a trouble-free visit.

Health & Medical

Spokane is generally a safe destination for travelers in terms of health risks. However, it's essential to take some precautions and be aware of potential concerns.

  • Vaccinations: Ensure routine vaccinations are up-to-date, including those for influenza and COVID-19. No additional vaccinations are typically required for travel to Spokane.

  • Air Quality: Spokane experiences occasional air pollution episodes, particularly during wildfire seasons. Those with respiratory conditions should monitor air quality reports and take necessary precautions.

  • Insect-Borne Diseases: While rare, cases of West Nile virus and other insect-borne diseases have been reported in the region. Use insect repellent and take precautions against mosquito bites.

  • Medical Facilities: Spokane has several well-equipped hospitals and medical facilities that can handle most medical emergencies and routine healthcare needs for travelers.

  • Outdoor Activities: If engaging in outdoor activities like hiking or camping, be mindful of potential risks such as wildlife encounters, ticks, and exposure to extreme weather conditions. Take appropriate safety measures.

Overall, Spokane is a relatively low-risk destination from a health perspective, but travelers should exercise caution, stay informed about local conditions, and seek medical attention if needed.

Natural Disasters

Spokane, located in eastern Washington, experiences a relatively low risk of natural disasters compared to other regions. However, travelers should be aware of the following potential hazards:

  • Wildfires: The hot and dry summers in the region increase the risk of wildfires, which can lead to poor air quality and potential evacuations. Travelers should stay updated on any active fires and follow local advisories.

  • Severe Thunderstorms: Thunderstorms with heavy rain, hail, and strong winds are common during the spring and summer months. These storms can disrupt travel plans and cause property damage.

  • Winter Storms: Spokane experiences cold winters with significant snowfall. Blizzard conditions and icy roads can make travel hazardous during this time. Travelers should exercise caution when driving and be prepared for potential flight delays or cancellations.

  • Earthquakes: While not a major seismic hotspot, Spokane is located in an area with some earthquake risk. Tremors are infrequent but can occur, so it's advisable to familiarize yourself with safety procedures.

  • Flooding: Heavy rainfall or rapid snowmelt can lead to localized flooding, particularly in low-lying areas or near rivers and streams. Travelers should monitor weather conditions and avoid flooded areas.

Overall, the risk of major natural disasters in Spokane is relatively low, but travelers should remain vigilant and follow local advisories and instructions during adverse weather conditions or emergencies.


Public transportation in Spokane is generally safe and reliable, with the Spokane Transit Authority (STA) operating an extensive bus system throughout the city and surrounding areas. The buses are well-maintained and equipped with security cameras for added safety. However, it's advisable to exercise caution, especially at night or in isolated areas.

  • Road Safety: Spokane has a relatively low rate of traffic accidents, but drivers should remain vigilant and follow traffic rules. Pedestrians should use designated crosswalks and be cautious when crossing streets.

  • Taxis and Ride-sharing: Taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are available in Spokane and can be a convenient option for getting around, especially at night or for longer distances. However, it's always recommended to verify the driver's credentials and ensure the vehicle is legitimate.

  • Cycling: Spokane has a growing network of bike lanes and trails, making cycling a popular mode of transportation. However, cyclists should wear helmets, follow traffic laws, and exercise caution when sharing the road with vehicles.

  • Rental Cars: Renting a car can be a convenient option for exploring Spokane and its surroundings. Major rental companies operate in the city, and it's advisable to familiarize yourself with local traffic laws and regulations.

Overall, while exercising reasonable precautions, travelers can feel relatively safe using various transportation options in Spokane.

Cultural Norms

Spokane is a city rich in cultural diversity, with a vibrant arts scene and a deep respect for Native American heritage. As a traveler, it's essential to be mindful of local customs and traditions. Attend cultural events like the annual Julyamsh Powwow, which celebrates the region's indigenous communities. Respect sacred sites and refrain from taking photographs without permission. Many attractions, such as the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, offer guided tours that provide valuable insights into the area's history and cultural significance.

  • Native American Culture is deeply rooted in Spokane, with the city situated on the traditional lands of the Spokane Tribe. Respect their customs and traditions when visiting sites of cultural significance.
  • Arts and Music Festivals are a prominent part of Spokane's cultural landscape, showcasing local talent and diversity. Attend events like the Spokane Falls Bluegrass Festival or the Spokane Arts Scene Visual Arts Tour.
  • Local Cuisine is a reflection of the city's diverse cultural influences. Try dishes like the iconic Spokane-style pizza or sample the flavors of the region's Native American and immigrant communities.
  • Public Art is celebrated throughout the city, with murals, sculptures, and installations adorning parks, streets, and buildings. Take a self-guided tour to appreciate the vibrant artistic expression.

Emergency Services

Spokane has a reliable emergency services system in place to assist travelers in case of emergencies. The city is well-equipped with fire departments, police stations, and ambulance services that operate 24/7 to respond promptly to emergency situations. Additionally, there are several hospitals and medical facilities available, including the Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, which is a Level II trauma center.

  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in Spokane are provided by the Spokane Fire Department, which has trained paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) who can provide pre-hospital care and transportation to hospitals.
  • The Spokane Police Department is responsible for maintaining law and order in the city and can be contacted for any criminal or safety-related emergencies.
  • Tourist Assistance Services are available through the Spokane Visitor Information Center, which can provide guidance and support to travelers in case of emergencies or other issues.

While emergency services in Spokane are generally reliable and efficient, it is always advisable for travelers to exercise caution and take necessary precautions to ensure their safety.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Is Spokane safe for tourists?

Spokane is generally considered a safe destination for tourists. However, as with any city, it's advisable to exercise caution, especially in areas with higher crime rates. Tourists should be aware of their surroundings and take precautions to protect their belongings.

Is Spokane safe for solo female travelers?

Spokane is relatively safe for solo female travelers, but it's still important to take precautions. Avoid walking alone at night in isolated areas, and be cautious when using public transportation or ridesharing services. Familiarize yourself with local emergency services.

Is Spokane safe for families?

Spokane is a family-friendly destination with plenty of parks, museums, and outdoor activities. However, families should be mindful of potential safety concerns, such as traffic and stranger danger. Researching family-friendly accommodations and activities in advance is recommended.

Is Spokane LGBTQ+ friendly?

Spokane is generally considered an LGBTQ+-friendly city, with a visible and active LGBTQ+ community. Same-sex marriage is legal in Washington state, and discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is prohibited. However, it's still advisable to exercise caution in public displays of affection.

Do you need a visa to go to Spokane?

Citizens of most Western countries, including the United States, Canada, and the European Union, do not need a visa for tourist visits to Spokane, United States, for stays of up to 90 days. However, a valid passport is required for all international visitors.

Can you drink tap water in Spokane?

The tap water in Spokane is generally safe to drink. The city's water supply is regularly tested and treated to meet federal and state standards. However, some visitors may prefer to drink bottled water as a precaution.

What is the currency in Spokane?

The currency used in Spokane, United States, is the United States Dollar (USD). Both cash and major credit cards are widely accepted throughout the city.

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