Areas to Avoid / Crime, Houston

22 Reviews

Know about this?

  • Areas to Avoid / Crime
    by redwedding23
  • apartments on southwest side
    apartments on southwest side
    by therealest
  • northside near downtown
    northside near downtown
    by therealest
  • el_ruso's Profile Photo

    Crime-prone Areas

    by el_ruso Written Jul 25, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As any major city, Houston has its depressed and crime-ridden areas. Generally, they hold few if any attractions, and are of no interest to a tourist, unless you have friends or family to visit. Generally, areas south of I-10, east and north of downtown, some areas of northwest. Houston is definitely though one of the safer large cities in the US. The city does have a carjacking and car theft problem.

    Was this review helpful?

  • johno6's Profile Photo

    Panhandlers and solicitors

    by johno6 Written Jul 5, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lots of homeless in Houston and you will see panhandling a lot, avoid eye contact and they, for the most part, leave you alone. You may also find yourself being approached at a gas station by someone asking for assistance (a dollar for fuel or phone or trying to sell soemthing it is a scam to see if you have cash to rob). Again try to avoid contact and if you do speak just be polite and excuse yourself from the situation.

    Related to:
    • Aquarium
    • Zoo
    • Theme Park Trips

    Was this review helpful?

  • More panhandlers than you can shake a can at!

    by GeoloJoe Written Nov 20, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I have never been accosted by more panhandlers in my entire life than the 2 days I spent in and around the Galleria in Houston. I felt sorry for most of them, but some were outright scumbags just looking for an easy ride. From my Motel 6 room, I watched this young man walk around outside a gas station panhandling for money. Each time getting at least 1 dollar I counted well over 30 people giving him money in a span of 4 hours, that's $7.50 an hour. He was there each day, nearly all day long, even asked me three times as I was going in and out of my hotel room. Finally on the last day, as I was leaving, I stopped and said, "you must do really good for yourself out here." He said, "yup, beats McDonalds."

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Seniors
    • Women's Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • more bad areas...

    by TitanicCranium Written Dec 13, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Don't forget most of the east and northeast sides of town inside the beltway are pretty rough from I-10E to US-59N over to Hardy Road areas, but the rest of Houston is pretty much a chessboard of good parts to bad parts of town, so you may sometimes think you are in a good part of town and be in a bad part, and vice versa...outside the belt, it's a mish-mash of good and bad, hoods are less than 2 miles from millionaires' places, even more entertwined than the innerbelt...but if you want to see Houston in it's best Glory from the past, check out the Heights about 3-5 miles west of downtown inside the loop, great old places to eat and shop that are still around...

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • jjp76's Profile Photo

    Houston is actually a safe city

    by jjp76 Updated Sep 18, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    For some reason many people have this impression that Houston is crime-infested... perhaps from an era gone by.

    The fact is that many other large cities, including Dallas and Atlanta, have much higher crime rates than present-day Houston. In a recent list of the top 25 most dangerous cities, Houston didn't make it -- being beat out by places like Dallas, Tampa, Memphis and Orlando, as well as all the obvious like Detroit, New Orleans and Miami.

    In fact, Houston recently tied with San Francisco, Honolulu, and Winston-Salem on a recent list of cities for best personal safety. This even while Houston is a very large city, in fact the country's fourth largest. So for a city of its size, Houston's crime rate is actually below average compared to the rest of the country.

    However, this hardly means that Houston is immune to crime -- some areas are quite bad. Avoid the areas immediately east of I-45 in the Houston city limits, and around I-45 and the 610 Loop on the southeast side. The area surrounding Hobby Airport is also not very good. There are several other pockets of unsafe areas, but most of these are not near any areas of interest to tourists anyway. Finally, keep in mind that if the area looks bad, it probably is.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Nomad_2001's Profile Photo

    Houston has more than its fair...

    by Nomad_2001 Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Houston has more than its fair share of crime. You should be cautious about wandering around Houston (particularly the downtown area) at night. It should be okay if you are at one of the many university campuses outside of the downtown area.

    Was this review helpful?

  • GUYON's Profile Photo


    by GUYON Written Apr 17, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Banning of handgun

    In Texas everybody may have a weapon but it is forbiden to bring it in a lot of places.
    This sign was shot at the entrance of a mall. But nobody checks if the banning is enforced.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Houston

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

67 travelers online now

Comments (2)

  • Jun 27, 2013 at 8:25 AM

    After reading all these comments, it seems like you should just stay in your hotel room. These "helpful tips" are ridiculous. I've lived here half a century and have watched the city grow and change. It's a dynamic city with constant construction and demolition and revitalization. Here's the best advice you'll get: get a "points of interest" guide to visit our vast array of excellent museums, galleries, and public art, pay attention to your instincts, get a rental car with working door locks (this really isn't a city for public transportation or for walking/biking - esp for a tourist), and use your GPS. Explore in the car all you want and, if things look sketchy, use your GPS to get out of the area. Simple as that.

  • Nov 24, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    I have read all posted reviews here, and the main thing I've noticed is a lot of seriously outdated information and silly suburban paranoia. I grew up in Houston in the 70's and 80's, when it was the murder capitol for a few years, and when it wasn't it was usually in the top 5 most violent/dangerous cities in the nation from the early 70's to the early 90's. Those days are long over. Ever since serious gentrification began in the 90's, Houston's violent crime rate has steadily gone down in the last 20 years, and much of what used to be abandoned and decaying inner-city neighborhoods are now trendy, upscale urban zip codes. Today Houston ranks something like 35 or 36 in the list of most violent cities in America. Funny enough, I remember how Dallasites used to look down their noses at Houston because we were supposedly one big violent filthy ghetto, yet today Dallas has a significantly higher rate of violent crime than Houston. So take that, big D.

    However, this isn't to say that there aren't still some areas you wouldn't want to be walking around alone, day or night. Due to Houston's notorious lack of zoning, you can be strolling through tree-lined, mansion-dotted, high-income neighborhoods one minute, then cross a street and be in the middle of gangland. There are pockets of high-crime zones interspersed all throughout the urban landscape, and they aren't confined to just one side of town.

    I would agree with some of the other reviews here that the near North side (the area just North of I-10, East of I-45, and West of 59) is still pretty rough, but unless you live in this area you really have no reason to go there. A few reviews I read mentioned the 2nd ward, which I very much disagree with. The area is currently seeing the beginnings of gentrification, and becoming safer every day. I grew up eating at Ninfa's on Navigation, and I remember the days when you were rolling the dice if you chose to drive there, since there was a good chance your car wouldn't be there anymore when you left the restaurant. Today, it's a whole different story. The streets are much more well-lit at night, and you can see a few new high-rise apartments starting to go up. Always a sign that a neighborhood is rising from the ashes.

    The 3rd ward and the neighborhoods near UofH seem to be a safer place these days as well, even if it still looks a bit run-down. Now, whoever said "avoid the 4th ward" earlier must be living in a time warp. The 4th ward of today has been completely revitalized and gentrified. High-end condos now stand where the seedy Allen Parkway Projects used to be, and most of the 4th's inhabitants work in offices downtown. The 4th ward is probably safer than most of Houston's suburbs these days. In the SE part of the inner-loop, it's probably still a good idea not to take any midnight strolls through the Gulfgate or Wayside neighborhoods. Gangs still have a pretty tight grip on that area.

    Outside loop 610 is where you're most likely to find the TRULY dangerous 'hoods. Sharpstown is still pretty nasty and not showing any signs of getting better any time soon. Also a good idea to stay away from Northside/Northline (really, anywhere in the area bordered by N. loop 610 to the South, Tidwell to the North, Yale to the West, and Hirsch Rd. to the East). Not much to do in that part of town anyway except get into trouble. Also, just outside the loop on the SE side of town (Sunnyside, Park Place, Broadway) is still pretty scary, and covers a pretty large area. If you're flying into Hobby and renting a car, don't make any stops until you've reached your destination.

    So that's pretty much it. All in all, a much gentler and kinder H-town than in days of yore. As long as you have some street smarts you should be ok anywhere in the city, and contrary to what somebody laughably said in another review, you won't need to pack any heat. One of the biggest myths about Houstonians is that we're all gun-crazy. Like I said, I grew up during a time when Houston was the murder capitol, and never once owned a gun (though I did keep a butterfly knife on me most of the time). Whoever thinks we all carry guns has seen too many movies. If you're visiting Houston to do the tourist thing then it's highly doubtful you'll have any reason to be in any of these neighborhoods. The biggest danger you'll have to face is the Summer heat and humidity.

View all Houston hotels