Be very careful when driving and walking around Baltimore. The city has undergone much development and rehabilitation. However, there are good neighborhoods right next to bad and you often go from one to the other very quickly. Get good directions and don't venture out to unknown areas at night by yourself!
If you stay well on the beaten path, there should be no problems...however common sense precautions are always, well, common sense.
Some rules of thumb:
-don't leave anything where people can see it in your car. I'm not even talking about hiding valuables, I mean, don't leave anything in sight. (We had a window smashed where all whoever got from it was a pack of stale cigarettes.)
-if you're in an area where there are a pair of sneakers tied together by their laces and thrown over an electrical wire, be aware that means that there's drug dealing in the neighborhood. you can either get out of there...or make your purchase....
-if you get REALLY, REALLY lost, I mean, really lost, people may follow your car. this doesn't mean they want to rob you...if it seems as though you don't belong, sometimes people assume that you're in the area to buy drugs. (which is what a lot of people do.)
These aren't posted to scare you off...and the chances of anything happening to you are exceedingly rare, but you should just know what is potentially out there....
I don't think Baltimore is usually quite as windy as when we visited, but I guess it still is sort of dangerous. While we were around Canton, windspeeds were still gusting up to 30 mph, making it very cold and uncomfortable. It was still cold about half an hour later when we were in the Inner Harbor. So on cold days, wear lots of clothes, keep yourself warm. You still can't really tell how windy it is through this photo.
As long as you're not foolish, flashing nice jewelry & cash every few minutes, you'll be fine. It's a nice city. I lived there for many years & have wandered both the nice & not so nice areas during my youth. sure there are some homeless, but that's true of any city center.
an example of inner city paranoia versus reality - we parked my in-laws' Mercedes on the street in a 'seedier' section, with prostitutes & junkies, because a friend lived there and we were meeting him. We proceeded to walk down toward the power plant area for dinner & nightlife - then walked back to the ghetto very late & sure, we saw a few people.. i won't judge them based on what they look like, but they left us alone and we left them alone..
However, when we parked the Mercedes in a more yuppie college-kid area of Canton, right near Nacho Mama's (excellent mex. food btw)... that is where some drunk frat jerk kicked in the side of our passenger side door. Who knew! I'll take the courtesy of the ghetto over spoiled drunk yuppies anytime.
enjoy yourselves & just be alert to your surroundings & respectful to many kinds of people you find in a city environment.
Good places are usually peppered with the flavoring of bad people, and Baltimore is no exception. While there is a very fun time to be had here, walking past (North of) East Baltimore Street in the wee hours of the morning is not a good idea, especially alone. And it might be a good idea to keep your wallet or cash in your front pocket in the crowds at Power Plant live and other places; I make this a habit at any crowded venue.
i've been living in baltimore for about 6months now and i have been all around the city , and for the most part baltimore is a nice city . there is police downtown, so u can feel safe ..and the harbor is nice (a little dirty though but nice) you will have a fun time here , just as long as you don't go wondering off to far, it's rather easy to find the bad areas of baltimore.so just be careful...try going to the powerplant area , there's some nice places to eat and to go clubbin.. or if all else fells go to felis point i assure you that you will have fun there.....
If you're driving in Baltimore, be careful when stopped at a red light, when your light turns green. At least a few people will generally sail right on through their red light, and just seem to know that everyone will wait for them.
Just give it a few seconds, if you're the first one at the light, before you proceed....
Hangovers seem to be a very common problem in Baltimore. All 6 of us who spent the night there woke up with pounding headaches and upset stomachs. It must have been something in the water (or something in the beer or tequila, maybe?).
According to the website below, we could have prevented our hangovers by eating almonds, bifidus powder, peanut butter, or primrose oil. Mmmmmm... that would make a tasty milkshake.
The Downtown/Inner Harbor area of the city is safe, but of course one needs to use common sense when walking the streets at night in ANY big city. The "touristy" areas are all very well lit, and people can be seen walking around these areas well into the night. Of course, there are dimly-lit side streets and shady areas of town, but those dangers can be found in any city across the U.S. When visiting ANY big city, you need to keep in mind that indeed common sense and awareness of your surroundings are essential.
It upsets me when I read reviews that make it sound as if Baltimore is a horrific, crime-ridden city. That simply is not true. When you focus on the negatives, certainly your experience will be a negative one. Baltimore is a beautiful city, and we welcome tourists with open arms. Baltimoreans love sharing our city with visitors, and I am certain that you will find most of us, (if not ALL of us), greet visitors with our kind spirit and willingness to help guide you throughout our many wonderful neighborhoods.
Many large cities are dealt a harder blow with higher rates in crime, homelessness, and other unfortunate circumstances that do not plague smaller, more rural areas in the U.S. Those circumstances, however, should not serve as a deterrent to visit our beautiful Charm City, nor should it be used to judge the quality of character of the many locals who are proud to call Baltimore home.
Please come and visit our wonderful city and see for yourself the countless attributes that make our city a fantastic one.
Baltimore is not nearly as dangerous as many on this site are making it out to be. It is not Japan or Sweden, and you will need to keep your eyes open just as you would in any large american city. Anyone with common sense will be just fine. Remember, "You'll know if you belong." For example, don't walk around drunk in impoverished areas at 3 am asking where the ATMS are or asking for change. (duuuh)
Some other things to keep in mind:
-Baltimore does not have a lot of room for buffer zones. Walking across a street can make a world of difference.
--Panhandlers are often not starving. Ignore them unless you absolutely cannot resist.
-I would invite those visiting baltimore to venture
outside the soulless, corporate inner harbor to the many other safe neighborhoods which make this city so eclectic and interesting:
Neighborhoods such as Bolton Hill, Otterbein,Hampden, Charles Village, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Canton, Guilford, Roland Park, and Mt Vernon offer a lot of fun times and beautiful scenery. Dont be afraid!
Please be sure that if you are in Downtown Baltimore, that you are only in the inner harbor area, unless you know what you are getting into. Baltimore is a nice city, but not exactly the safest so make sure you are careful when visiting.
If you see these "Golden Eggs", hold your nose. You're near the Back River Sewage Processing Plant. It is located along Eastern Avenue near Dundalk...
Actually, they've made huge improvements about the smell in the past few years.... But every so often, you get a whiff in the air....
Maryland had the very first aeromedical evacuation service in the United States back in the early 1970's.
You'll be happy to know that this service is available if you really need it. Provided by the Maryland State Police.
Here, a patient is loaded into the medivac helicopter on the front lawn of Towson State University, after a nearby accident.
Baltimore is typical of America's larger cities. There are safe areas, the not so safe areas, and the dangerous areas. The major touristy areas are always safe. The dangerous areas are usually pretty obvious to people with some street smarts. For those without street smarts, just follow this simple rule - if you can't buy souviners, your not in a very safe part of town.
Service is not one of Baltimore's strong points. In fact, I would have to say that it is down right poor. Its not to say that I didn't receive some good service but good service was the exception and not the rule.
Baltimore is not regarded as being the safest city to be in, especially at night. The stadium area is generally safe, but outside of that, pay attention to your surroundings. It's generally a high-crime and drug use city.