Currently staying at Nikko Hotel for work. Took a walk on Ellis Street just a block away and it is the closest thing to The Walking Dead you can witness in real life. The smell of urine and feces is everywhere. People comatose from drug use. People talking to themselves and ranting. Large groups of people loitering and cat calling, commenting on passersby.
The stores look like lootings took place just last night. If you get down to Market Street, the shopping centers have security and loss prevention officers everywhere, making the experience anything but relaxing. Staff is surly and make customers feel like nuisances.
Most of all, the garbage on the street is shameful and makes you wonder if the city government does anything, or what their priorities are.
Brought kids down here last year. Huge mistake. Spent much of the trip explaining what was seen in that 45 minutes on Eddy and Ellis. Not for families, or really anyone. It is not exaggerating to say this area looks like a third world country.
The Embarcadero isn't much better and gets worse every time I have visited over the past 20 years. Even waiting for the cable cars there's a solid chance you'll get acosted by panhandlers offering "advice" but do not be friendly - they are not working - they will feign friendliness and then bully you for money. It's amazing this is allowed around the oldest and most family-friendly tourist attraction in the city.
In short, for family vacation go elsewhere. Anywhere else.
I am from Virginia and had not been to San Francisco before I accepted a job there. I can definitely say that I am shocked by the sheer number of mentally ill and drugged out homeless people in the Tenderloin and Mission neighborhoods. I am not sure how this is deemed acceptable and why this is allowed to persist.
I work in the Tenderloin and would NOT recommend this area to visitors or anyone not escorted by someone local who knows where they are going. I also ventured into the Mission neighborhood this weekend and the sidewalks in some places were packed with homeless people to the extent that I chose to walk in the street next to the parked cars, so I would not have to try to break through tightly clustered street people taking up the entire sidewalk.
Someone in a business there told me that there are homeless encampments.
I noticed that the appearance and apparent safety and number of homeless people at times varied by the side of the street you walk on, or block by block.
I chose to walk down to 18th Street to get where I was going, instead of walking down 16th or 15th Streets for example, after consulting a crime incidence map of the area online.
As a single woman carrying my dog (was on the way to check out a dog boarding place from 16th St / Mission BART stop), it was definitely intimidating and I felt unsafe and as if I would be assaulted if I had walked through the crowd of homeless men blocking the sidewalk.
On why I was carrying the dog, the place was quite filthy and I believe there may have been drug paraphernalia on the sidewalks or in the dirt around the trees.
I suppose I am just naive or spoiled but I lived in and around Washington DC for 10+ years and have never seen this number of mentally ill street people running rampant. It is fairly sad that this state of affairs is allowed to exist or that the city has not been able to effectively address what is apparently a huge safety and humanitarian issue.
I read online there are incidents of violence in that area also, such as shootings.
When we returned to our car after spending 1/2 hr taking pictures in the park, our windows were smashed and our belongings stolen. This is a bad neighborhood and is run down. There were homeless people all around. Stay away from this area! Trust your instincts!
Just don't go anywhere near this area, north, south east or west, stay away. Far too many homeless aggressive people per square foot to feel safe. High end stores should be ashamed of their location. The city obviously does not care for the safety and comfort of their visitors.
I was assaulted in broad daylight, filed a police report which by the comments I received just seamed like one of too many to follow up on or find the perp.
If you want to be safe, go somewhere else.
i am born and raised here in SF. im 15 so i travel a lot on the bus around the whole city and ive seen everything from pickpockets to shootings. these reviews seem a little wack so let me give you a lil guide
- bayview (drugs/violence)
- sunnydale (drive-by's/lots and lots of drugs)
- hunters point (highest murder rate of the city)
- visitation valley (drive by's/stabbings)
- some parts of the tenderloin (there are actually many great parts, just be careful around Eddy street
- the haight is a common place for tourists to get purses stolen
- some parts of the mission (lots of gang related drive bys and drug violence)
- some parts of the fillmore (drug issues)
if you are a woman of any color traveling alone, all of these neighborhoods are three times as dangerous for you! DO NOT TAKE THIS LIGHTLY, PLEASE TRAVEL IN GROUPS 3 OR MORE AND CARRY PEPPERSPRAY
things to stay alert for:
- LEAVE YOUR CARS!! the MUNI and BART will take you every and anywhere you need. also parking sucks and is expensive
- be wary if you go on the 14 Mission bus because i have been mugged on it twice
- if you're a woman wearing skimpy clothes in the Mission district (mainly 24th street), men WILL try to attack you and lure you into their cars to abduct you!!! NEVER TAKE A RIDE FROM ANYBODY NO MATTER HOW NICE THEY MAY SEEM!!!!
- dont be mean to the homeless people but dont give them money if they have scabs on their faces or bulging veins, that means they are on drugs. instead, give them food or drink
- at chinatown during the day or during events, streets get crowded and there are MANY pickpockets
- also many pickpockets on crowded buses
- do NOT use your phone to check social media or send long texts or call anybody when you are on Market street, it will get stolen
- this goes for the bus/train too. keep a tight grip at all times, or else someone might snatch it from your hand and get off the bus right as the doors are closing
- fishermans wharf is a pickpocketers dream, lots of unsuspecting tourists with their bags and pockets wide open. if you carry your phone in your back pocket and part of the phone hangs out this doubles your risk
- dont lend your phone to anybody for any reason at all. no exceptions
little things all tourists should know:
- dont be afraid to ask for directions! if you're totally lost, try asking someone at a bus stop to point you in the right direction
- bus drivers really dont care if you pay or not. if you dont have the $2.25 or .75 to pay the fare, you can just get in through the back door and sit down. dont beg or plea, they really dont care
- dont take your sweet time getting on and off the bus, move fast
- the driver will not wait for you to pay after you step on board, so have your money ready before getting on or hold onto something for when it lurches forward
- try to keep maps stowed when in urban or public places. it kinda gives away the sense that youre a vulnerable tourist
- inbound buses go towards the center of the city/downtown and outbound buses go to the outer edges. lots of people get this confused
- dont wear any clothing thats solid red or solid blue when in the mission district
- remember how people would walk slowly in the hallways in high school? when walking down market street, dont be that person.
- there is very much meth usage in the LGBT community in the Castro so just be careful
thats all i can think of off the top of my head but please feel free to e-mail me for any additional questions that you may have @ email@example.com
My husband and I were visiting SF for the first time. We have traveled to other large cities but this
was the only time had seen this many homeless and in the 6 days there we had 3 disturbing encounters with homeless and one good encounter. Just for FYI we are both 62 yrs old, my hubbie is a 35 yr career fireman and I am a 30 yr career registered nurse.
We stayed at the Chancelor Hotel on Union Square, very nice by the way enjoyed our stay there. Ist encounter: Sitting on the steps on Union Square waiting on tour bus when a homeless person behind me threw and hit me with his empty cigarette pack, my husband was standing at the top of the steps to watch for the bus and saw him throw it at me intentionally but did not realize it had acutally hit me. He just stared the person down who looked away. 2nd: While crossing street (again union Square area) homeless man crossing street steps in my path making me stop and grabs his private parts. 3rd: In Walgreens store next the Westin Shopping Square on Market, feel someone grab my arm, turn to look homeless man holding onto my arm and would not let go...I screamed, he then let go and ran out the door. All this happened in a matter of 5 days!!!! We were there last of Sept 2014....we had planned on coming back but now I doubt it. Oh yes a van full of folks and us were going back to airport....driver stopped to pick up 2 more passengers when a homeless man came up and was just banging on the windows then ran off.
The one good encounter, after eating breakfast I could not eat all of mine and wrapped a slice of ham and some toast in napkins. Some homeless men sitting on steps at union square I asked if any would like they said yes, thanked me, said 'god bless you mame' and I noticed they shared the food amoung them all.
Just took my first trip to the west coast and it was San Fran to visit my wife's family and a vacation. Born and raised in Philly so I know what a bad area looks like. This much I will say the area around the Wharf didn't seem to be bad. However, when you get out of the tourist area The Mission being one of the areas I did not feel very safe. The homeless issue in San Fran in my eyes is an issue! If you don't answer them or God forbid tell them no they get aggressive and answer you back. Its a cool city lots to see and do but tell you what, between the congestion, some of the areas of town being sketchy and the homeless. I think I'll spend my money and vacation someplace else and not go back to San Fran!
We are a couple from Scotland, we were on our second visit to SF in June 2014.. We previously stayed in Sutter street in 2010. Stayed opposite City Hall On our second visit. We noticed many more homeless 2nd time around, but as in 2010 we had NO PROBLEM. the peeps tended to keep to themselves.. we walked Market St at night, the Tenderloin because our favourite restaurants are there.. shock horror had my Mobile (Ce;llphone) and camera on display were never approached by anyone.. However on the last day on Market Street saw 2 youths angrilly trashing an I pad.. maybe the stole it and couldnt get the password.. but we have had no problem what soever.. saw a couple of them ranting to themselves though, gave a dollar to one lady selling those homeless news papers.. it was an interesting read about the homeless situation there
Tenderloin,Tenderloin,Golden Gate Park,The Mission District,Dolores Park are those areas which you should avoid ..because these areas are so quite and dangerous .Already many miss happenings are done on these places.
I haves lived on the peninsula most of my life, and moved to San Francisco in my adult life and I can honestly say that 90% of the neighborhoods are good. Even the neighborhoods that were deemed unsavory 10-15 years ago have gentrified and residents have made these neighborhoods hip and more $$$ to live. Yes, tenderloin has its characters and addicts, and I wouldn't recommend tourist walking at night in some parts from market between van ness to 5th street. And west of post st. Western edition is in the lower bracket of neighborhoods but there really isn't anything there anyway. That goes true with hunters point too, there is no reason to go there. The bayview has a lot of new business and condos, and it used to be Terrible but I live near that area and its changed dramatically. If you want to see bad neighborhoods, go across the bridge to Oakland, that's a war zone there and I would bypass it by all means.
Ive lived in San Francisco for 5 years now and it is mostly safe. Tenderlon is definitely dangerous ( a friend got punch there) if you don't feel safe in a muni, you can sit closer to the driver, ( I've sit way at the back when the muni wasn't crowded and almost got attack by a drunk man) so really look out at the situations and sitting at the front is way better.
Richmond, sunset, outer Richmond is definitely safe.
height and fillmore is a bit shady.
Japan town is safe.
downtown is safe during the day, at night there'll be a lot of homeless, although most of the time, they don't really bother you.
chinatown is safe during the day, there's a lot of tourist here. beware of pickpockets especially during events, where the street is really crowded.
financial district is safe until 8-9 pm
some areas of market street is quite unsafe, such as between market and 6th street.
my advise is to always stay alert, and that san francisco is pretty much safe. Even areas like tenderloin is actually safe during the day. ( the food around this area is really good, though they close pretty early)
The main thing about san francisco is every two blocks, the atmosphere changes, so the safe and unsafe areas are pretty hard to tell.
Also the atmosphere during the day and night are very different ( such as downtown area, Fillmore, and Market street) So it is better not to walk alone at night, especially when you aren't familiar with the area)
Overall, I have been living in areas that are known for not being too safe (Downtown, Fillmore, O'farrel, ) and I would say that it is actually very very safe.
my advise is to always stay alert
Do not take your car to the city unless you want it broken into or you want a parking ticket. Had my car in a parking garage with security and cameras and it was broken into, I honestly think it was the security team. It is a beautiful city but full of derelicts and thieves. LEAVE YOUR CAR HOME!