Safe and Dangerous Places in Baltimore

by Simeon Good, an AOL Travel ContributorPosted Aug 31st 2010 01:59 PM


Areas to Avoid Baltimore


There are areas to avoid in Baltimore that are dangerous, gritty and hardcore, where a leisurely nighttime stroll is not recommended. On the other hand, there are also neighborhoods with friendly soccer moms who take comfort in knowing that they live in the safe city of Baltimore.

Whether you are heading to Baltimore for a family vacation or planning to make it your permanent home, it is always a good idea to get a feel for the city before you arrive. To help you make an informed decision, I have laid out a list of the top ten safe and dangerous places in Baltimore.

Number 5 on our list of the most dangerous areas is the Northeastern Police District of Baltimore, which covers 16.71 square miles. This entire district recorded 40% of the homicides for 2009, and, so far in 2010, has accounted for 16% of the city's homicides. This does not include other crimes such as grand theft and robbery, which have reached record numbers in the past two years. To be fair, there are two specific neighborhoods in this district that account for 80% of the violent crimes recorded. These two neighborhoods are Cedonia and Harford Road. They are bes avoided because they are relatively secluded and it is difficult to go in and out of them. This makes them prime real estate for drug activity and its related crimes. These areas are relatively safe during the day, but once the sun sets, these are areas to avoid in Baltimore.

Number 4 on the list is the Western Police District, specifically the Edmondson Heights area, which records an average of 19 murders and 44 violent crimes per year. This is partly due to the recent influx of gang activity among members of the United Blood Nation (Bloods). If you walk down the street, you can see youngsters making gang signs. In Baltimore, this area is a huge no-no for tourists.

The Eastern Police District, and Greenmount Avenue in particular, ranks number 3 on our list of areas to avoid in Baltimore. This area is considered dangerous because of the number of abandoned buildings that have made it easy for drug dealers to set up their operations. Gang activity by the Crips, the dominant gang in this part of town, is another reason for naming this a no-go zone. Greenmount Avenue was the site of 2 murders in April of 2010. There is no reason for a tourist to visit this area.

Number 2 on our list is also among the 25 most dangerous neighborhoods in the country according to WalletPop. Based on annual neighborhood crime rates, the Orleans Street/Front Street area is the 2nd most dangerous neighborhood in Baltimore and the 20th in the nation. Your chances of becoming a victim of violent crime here is 1 in 9. On average, this area has 297 violent crimes each year. It is safe to say that this area should not be on your list of sightseeing destinations.

Another area to avoid is also the most dangerous area in Baltimore – in fact the 5th most dangerous neighborhood in the nation according to WalletPop. The North Avenue/Belair Road area is so dangerous that you stand a 1 in 7 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime. There are about 367 violent crime incidents each year in this neighborhood. I've walked these streets on a number of occasions, and I can personally tell you that this area is packed with drug dealers and drug addicts who do not hesitate to assault a stranger.

If this was all I knew of Baltimore, then I would never want to visit this city. The truth is, though, that there are many more tourist friendly places in Baltimore that make it a safe city in America.

Coming in at number 5 on our list of safe area is Mount Vernon, located just north of downtown. This beautiful area is a National Landmark Historic District. With 60% percent of the population registered as employed, 36% as college students and only 3% unemployed, this neighborhood is great for tourists. The cultured, urban village is home to the Basilica of the Assumption, theatres, museums, shops, historic 19th century architecture and inviting parks that are tourist friendly, safe places.

Baltimore is the home of the world-famous Johns Hopkins Hospital (600 North Wolfe St., 410-955-5000), and number 4 on our list of safe areas in Baltimore is the Johns Hopkins area. This neighborhood is completely safe because of the security guard posted on every corner. It is also the epicenter of medical and scientific research in the U.S. This is a great place to visit.

Number 3 on our list is the Canton area. Located a few miles from the famous Inner Harbor, it is the perfect place to live if you are looking for easy access to downtown and a quiet area to raise kids. Though the surrounding area is frequented by the homeless, there is almost a 0% crime rate in the Canton area.

Number 2 on our list is Upper Fells Point. With the highest concentration of millionaires in Baltimore, this is clearly a safe part of the city. And with a nearly 0% crime rate, tourists can feel free to take their time looking at the many 19th century rowhouses on the tree-lined streets that populate this historic district.

If you really want to feel safe while visiting Baltimore, then head to the Inner Harbor. Number 1 on our list, the Inner Harbor is a hotspot for tourists thanks to the major attractions that call it home. Tourists can enjoy their visit to the National Aquarium, Babe Ruth's museum, catch a Ravens game, see the Museum of Art or dine at the Hard Rock Café. You can feel secure that this area will offer very little or no danger at all.

As we've seen, there are many safe and dangerous places in Baltimore. Whether you're a visitor planning to visit our historical sites or a new resident looking for a home, you'll find it all here. I guess that's what makes it Charm City and the city that I have come to love!

More Maryland Articles From Our Partners
If you are interested in contributing to AOL Travel, join our network of writers and check out travel assignments on

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

Been a Baltimore resident for 6years now I've lived in Maryland my whole life my children recently started school in the area and in which I was forced to move from the Baltimore area. I've lived in the city and decided to move to the county where it "safer" I lived in Dundalk some things happened there in which I decided I can't allow my children to live in this unsafe town I love Baltimore I rly do but the crime is getting worse out there. There was a shooting in front of my house last Saturday. So glad I moved to Annapolis. I lived in the county and my oh my has it changed over the years. I believe it to have changed because of all the renters preferring section 8.

August 25 2015 at 10:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am working on updating this article . I had it published in 2010 and there has been considerable progress since then.

August 06 2015 at 7:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to simeongood's comment

Progress? are you kidding me? Bulletmore is WORSE today then it has EVER been, even the Inner Harbor isn't safe any more.

December 26 2015 at 8:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kahlil Farris

Violence can happen anywhere. Be aware of your surroundings.

May 29 2015 at 11:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Looking for a safe place to rent for a year and then buy. Don't know ANYTHING about the area. Can't even begin to know where to being. Moving August 2013. Any updated information as to a safe and decent place to live. Need something not too far from Loyola, Johns Hopkins area. Help!

June 16 2013 at 12:57 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Matt's comment


June 16 2013 at 12:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

you neglected to mention charles village, which is an excellent neighborhood...and it seems a lot safer than mount vernon if you ask me.

May 19 2013 at 12:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jyssica Warfield

I am SO PROUD of you Simeon. congratulations!

January 13 2011 at 9:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply