Walking back to are car from Little Italy to the Inner Harbor (4 blocks) we noticed LOTS of police. Not just cars patrolling, but helicopters shining a spot light down too. Apparently, the tourist areas flood with teens at dusk. We happen to be walking by police breaking up a fight where 25 or so kids were hanging out. It didn't feel dangerous since all the police are around. It just seemed like an annoyance for the city bc they don't need to be in the area bc the mall and most shops are closed.
Although Baltimore is below the Mason Dixon Line and thus considered 'South' it is really only 100 miles south of Philadelphia and has much the same weather. In the winter it snows. Or sometimes there is ice.
If you intend to fly in or out of Baltimore in the winter, you should be prepared for snow. If you leave on a cruise out of Baltimore in the winter, you should come a day early just in case there is a snow delay (either at your originating destination or in Baltimore).
Over the last 53 years the average number of inches of snowfall in Baltimore annually (according to the weather service) is 20.8
In the summer, the main hazard is thunderstorms. You can be delayed for quite a while due to thunderstorms over the airport. The last time I flew into BWI, we were delayed three hours because of storms over Baltimore
I'm a college student living, working, and studying in Baltimore. Even as a young, white woman, I've had very few problems. I work near the train station and sometimes don't get off work until 2am. I have never, ever been bothered on my walk home. Granted, Mount Vernon is one of the nicest neighborhoods in Baltimore. I used to be bothered by men when I worked in the harbor during the summer, but they were harmless. I just kept walking, kept my answers short, and they eventually went away.
Generally, If you don't give people a reason to bother you, they won't.
Also, you'll know if you're in a bad neighborhood. You'll just KNOW. If you find yourself in a neighborhood like that, you'd better ask yourself why the hell you're there.
In all, Baltimore is an OK city. There are plenty of bars and plenty of things to do.
I was born in Baltimore, and currently live there. I have never had any problems. At night, Baltimore is safe in Federal Hill and Canton, which both surround the inner harbor. In the center of the inner harbor they have the "Powerplant" which is night clubs, bars.. it is mostly safe there, but be careful of any dark areas.
At night, the main thing to remember is don't use any outside ATM's unless they are well lit, and stay in well lit areas unless you know you are in a good part of town.
During the day, Baltimore is safe, especially tourist areas. Stick to the areas around the harbor, fells point (cobblestone streets) and the inner harbor are the nicest places to walk around. Hamden is also nice, about a 15 minute drive from the inner harbor. Federal Hill park is the best place for a view. Ft. McHenry park is good for its history, and also a nice view. Both safe.
The good thing about Baltimore is you can usually tell you are in a bad area, suspicious looking people will be walking around, it will be trashy, houses will look poorly maintained. The nice/safe areas will look like nice/safe areas.. so just use common sense and you will be fine.
As many of us still need to be reminded. Many of the older cities still have ONE WAY streets so please pay attention to stay safe. Plus, you may comes accross some very colorful hand gestures if you don't;-)
The main thing I did experience was the pan handling. I had been approached at least three to fours times each day I was there. Yet, I kept a pocket full of change ready when approached. It's not fun being poor.
Yet, at one time I was getting a salad from the local Burger King just down from my hotel and I was approached inside the door as I was leaving. I didn't have any change and the man had the nerve to say "Then what the hell is that!" I was taken back from the comment, but chose to ignore him.
They reminded me that crime is high there and should use caution whenever I venture out into the city. Their were good areas to walk in one block and then you were not in such a great area the very next block. So, use caution wherever your go!
If a mob of thugs decides to assault you for no reason, breaking bones in your face in the process, they will be let off with a bit of community service.
After this slap on the wrist, they will probably sue you.
This story is, sadly, the most accurate representation of Baltimore I could ever provide.
It was easy to see that security was ever present around the airport....a good thing..but HOW competent is it.....while I was killing some time before my flight I was hanging around outside watching the light Rail train arrive...I was chatting with a guy that worked at the airport and he was telling me that he had his car stolen from a "secure" parking area for empoyees of the airport.He told me that they check the cars at the entrance to the parking lots but NOT on theyre way out....so someone jacked his car and drove it straight through the parking lot gate....hmmmm...sounds a little hokee but this is what he told me...
Baltimore at night is very dangerous.
We wanted to spend a Saturday night around the Inner harbor where there are so many nightspots.
You see police and armed security everywhere. Eventhough, you don't feel safe.
As the clubs were full in the area, we went to Charles Street where some clubs are also close to each others. As we just parked the car and wanted to enter the night club, we saw a rush of people going out, police arriving.
Someone told us that a guy shot another and he was dead. She said that like it was very usual for her to witness such an event.
Of course, the place was closed by police and we had to move. We came bac to Inner harbour. It was 2AM, time for bars and nightclubs to close. The police could not control all these people fighting in the streets. We could see hundreds of people fighting, breaking, etc. Lots of them high from I don't know which drug.
On the motorway, there were lots of cars. Again, some people did not finish their fight and they were shooting at themselves from the cars.
Well, Baltimore is not a place to be at night, or go with an inhabitant who knows where to go and where not to go.
This is a comment I received on Baltimore:
mattman5170 Tue May 1, 2007 16:47 WAT
This post is total crap. I have never in my life witnessed anyone shooting at other poeple or fighting in any decent, wothwhile area Downtown. I go to Baltimore frequently. The City is full of amazing restaurants, bars, clubs, and sights.
Well, It is a question of opinion. I am not a frequent user of Baltimore but each time I went there I witnessed fights and problems. It is my right to express my opinion, whatever it is.
Remember that with Detroit and Miami, Baltimore has the top three criminal record of USA.
Imagine our surprise when we were challenged at the gate. We brought a half-full, "Rick Steves approved," carry-on sized backpack for our raincoats and sweaters. Apparently, even this is too big. The attendant asked us to put our pack in this tiny box, then started to turn us away when it appeared too big. Only after some sweet-talking (and the disassembling of the internal frame) were we allowed to enter.
Be warned: don't bring any big bags to the park!
Most of the people on here are right, Baltimore is not as bad as some people make it out to be. Some people have been telling others to stay away b/c Baltimore is terrible...this is entirely not true and probably is a review coming from someone who had one bad stay or experience here. It's true; many Baltimorians [or Balti-morons, as I like to call them :^) ] are very proud of the city, it's restaurants, different areas, and SPORTS TEAMS. Federal Hill is, hands down, my favorite place to go in the entire DC/Bmore area...never had a bad time there. You can get specialty beers, hang out with friends, and hang out, all while feeling safe. I've walked the streets of Federal Hill both with friends and alone, and chances are, you will be fine pretty much anywhere...it's mostly college kids and twenty-somethings out on the weekends, having a good time. I've walked by myself all throughout Fells Point as well...as long as you aren't flashing valuables about and are careful, you should be fine. I've walked through project housing developments as well...it's true, as long as you keep to yourself and don't start any trouble, in most cases the locals will leave you alone. In short, don't fear coming here...there is so much to do and see, it'd be a shame to miss out on it b/c of some bad reviews and opinions...
Baltimore is a big, urban city and has it's share of problems with crime, at one time being the murder capital of the US. Be aware of your surroundings, neighborhoods change very quickly and you may find yourself, like I did, walking through a housing project. Chances are that I would have been fine if I had continued on but it just wasn't worth the risk to me so I turned around and headed back towards the Inner Harbor.
My advice is to ask at your hotel if the neighborhood you are heading to is safe and if it is safe to walk to. And then still keep your eyes open, one of the staff at the Baltimore Visitors Center was the one who told me it was OK to walk through a housing project. Or better yet, just take a cab if money is not an object.
where there is drugs there is crime, but you have to know how to avoid it.
DONT ACT SCARED;THAT WILL TIP PEOPLE OFF
DONT BE SCARED TO ASK; IF YOUR LOOKING TO COP
JUNKIES ARE PRACTICALLY HARMLESS
AVOID NORTH AVE AND FAYETTE ST IF YOU CAN; NOTHING THERE FOR TOURISTS EXCEPT A STREET TO GET SOMEWHERE ELSE (OR DRUGS,IF THATS WHAT YOU WANT)
Should be the name of their soccer team or something as these vermin are all over the back alley ways and streets of Baltimore. Also spotted a large number of roaches... this is pretty typical, yes, but these pests (rate and la cockaroaches) were out in droves. I was told that the rats have made a come back after the city had them under control for some time.
This whole city is a virtual dangerous stinkhole. There is Harbourplace, and the rest of the city. Cameras watch you on practically every corner. Red Light Cameras watch you in your car at virtually every intersection($75 fine if caught running light). Blinking blue light cameras watch you in the more dangerous areas of the city (which is practically everywhere except downtown). The place is overwhelmed by panhandlers, and everything seems to be top dollar. Crime is so bad here that the police will question just about anybody if you stand or sit too long in one place, and tell you to get moving. The city is a virtual police state, and there have been several horrible incidents of scandalous police officer behaviour against citizens. One must wonder who to fear most: the thugs/criminals, or the police. Stick to the main central north-south streets: Charles, St. Paul and Calvert--and the downtown area. Everything east or west is dangerous, unchartered territory. It is claimed this city has lost 500,000 residents in the past 50 years, and is still losing them. I wonder why.