How Safe Is Oakland for Travel?

Oakland, United States
Safety Index:

An important port city in California, Oakland is the 8th largest city in California, the largest city in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay and one of the most important cities for African American culture.

It is located 12 minutes from San Francisco and offers a vast number of activities for tourists, like visiting the oldest wildlife sanctuary in the nation (at Lake Merritt), walking the labyrinth at Sibley Volcanic Preserve in the Oakland Hills or and listening to live music at Yoshi’s Jazz Club.

Oakland has a large downtown area and many interesting tourist spots like its unique elegant high-rise buildings that are, by no means canceled out by the beautiful traditional architecture in Old Oakland.

You’re looking for a more vibrant and alive feel in Oakland, visit the fascinating old urban Chinatown in downtown Oakland.

For the sports lovers, Oakland is paradise, since it’s the home of Golden State Warriors.

The Golden State Warriors are Oakland’s professional basketball team, competing in the NBA, and in recent years they’ve become very popular.

Don’t miss a home match at Oracle Arena in Southern Oakland.

Warnings & Dangers in Oakland

Overall Risk


Oakland isn't the safest city though it's slowly regaining some safety on its streets. It has some extremely dangerous areas that should be avoided. You are advised to remain vigilant around tourist landmarks, since pickpockets are an issue there, and keep an eye out for suspicious activities wherever you go.

Transport & Taxis Risk


The bus system isn't too reliable and can leave you waiting for a while. There's a BART service (Bay Area Rapid Transit) which is reliable and safe. Don't linger too long on the platfors as they can be dangerous. If you're driving, keep in mind that car thefts and break-ins are common in Oakland.

Pickpockets Risk


The most common types of petty crime on the streets of Oakland are pick-pocketing, purse-snatching, car break-ins and car thefts. Apply common sense like holding your purses tightly and being wise when carrying them, keeping wallets in front pockets, and being alert to one's surroundings. This should be enough to prevent these incidents.

Natural Disasters Risk


When it comes to natural disasters in Oakland, the most dangerous threats come from occasional earthquakes and floods.

Mugging Risk


When it comes to chances of being mugged or kidnapped, they are moderate in Oakland, as long as you don't wander off into dangerous areas, where the chances of mugging are higher. Stick to the main streets and avoid suspicious areas and neighborhoods, or getting in altercations with individuals that appear to be gang members.

Terrorism Risk


Oakland hasn't been the target of any terrorist attacks recently, but possible attacks shouldn't be ruled out. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Scams Risk


Just like in other tourist destinations, there will be people trying to scam you in Oakland, too. Be wary of anyone trying to distract you, flashing large signs in front of you or ATMs that look like they've been tampered with.

Women Travelers Risk


The city of Oakland is relatively safe for women, as long as they move in groups and use their common sense. You should avoid dangerous neighborhoods (and this doesn't only apply to women). Just follow your instincts, don't let your guard down and follow general rules of things to avoid, like poorly lit streets and deserted areas and you should be fine.

So... How Safe Is Oakland Really?

As in any other major city in America, crime is an issue in Oakland.

It is generally a safe city, depending on where you’re at.

Generally speaking, the hills and areas around the lake are safe.

However, there are many areas and neighborhoods in Oakland where walking at night should be avoided or at least conducted with caution and accompanied by someone.

These areas in Oakland are the eastern and western Oakland neighborhoods.

Unless you must go to West and East Oakland or near Lake Merritt, you are advised to steer clear from these areas.

These areas have issues with homeless people that may turn aggressive, substance abuse and similar problems.

As for tourist landmarks, it is advised that you keep an eye out for pickpockets and be vigilant of your surroundings while exploring the city.

Oakland used to be extremely dangerous and while some parts of it have regained safety, it is still not too safe for tourists here.

The changes that are happening in Oakland are mostly influenced by companies that are opening and operating in the city, and the cost of living has increased which affected the demographics of the city.

How Does Oakland Compare?

CitySafety Index
Los Angeles56
New Orleans57
Washington DC56
Siem Reap (Cambodia)63
Phnom Penh (Cambodia)61
Niagara Falls (Canada)87

Useful Information

  • Visas - The US is famous for its harsh policy for acquiring a tourist, let alone a resident visa. The US embassies usually ask for interviews before granting tourist visas, and tourists usually have to pay up to 160 USD to get a visa. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit which will let you know whether or not you need visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
  • Currency - The United States dollar is the official currency in Oakland. Credit and debit cards are accepted nearly everywhere, and ATMs are widely available. The prices vary but you can plan on spending about 100 dollars per day.
  • Weather - Oakland boasts a warm-summer Mediterranean climate characterized by an average of 260 sunny days per year. In general, you can expect warm, dry summers, and mild, wet winters in Oakland.
  • Airports - Oakland International Airport is an international airport in Oakland, California, United States. It is located approximately 10 miles south of Downtown Oakland and across from San Francisco.
  • Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Oakland, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Oakland Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 11° C
Feb 13° C
Mar 14° C
Apr 15° C
May 16° C
Jun 18° C
Jul 18° C
Aug 19° C
Sep 19° C
Oct 18° C
Nov 14° C
Dec 11° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Where to Next?

9 Reviews on Oakland

  1. don't be alone, don't get lost

    dangerous and too many homeless. asians being attacked during daytime at lake merritt

  2. Demilitarized Zone

    if you value your life and valuables you’ll steer clear of Oakland.

  3. N
    NorCalLifer says:

    Oakland is a pit

    Some of these CA reviews really need updating. I have lived in NorCal my entire life and I have seen the Bay Area rapidly deteriorate over the last decade. Oakland is no exception. Homeless problem is out of control with tents everywhere. Crime is rampant. Just recently the bishop of Oakland was robbed while walking on the street during the day. Just like the rest of CA, criminals are being arrested in Oakland and the jails are releasing them the same day due to overcrowding and COVID concerns. Also, our DAs are not prosecuting people! I recommend going to another area of CA like Monterey, San Luis Obispo, or Napa counties. They are much nicer areas.

    1. I am glad people are pointing this out. I lived in the Oakland area for 15 years and had to call it quits last year and move out of state. I am now in Arizona. I just couldn’t stand to be in a place that was this filthy, ridden with crime, and having issues all over the place. California used to be a place of dreams now it is just a state where dreams go to die. It is hell on earth. I would rather live in New York City than anywhere in Cali. It has never been very safe but at this point, I wouldn’t feel safe taking my dog out to pee.

  4. C
    Concerned citizen says:

    I have lived in the SF bay area for over 60 years and have seen Oakland continue to spiral downward. This website describes being able to see the Warriors at Oracle Arena. The Warriors are not in Oakland anymore, neither are the Raiders, and the A’s are looking to buy property in Las Vegas. The current admin is 0-3 in pro sports. Nothing to see in Oakland except maybe a crime scene or be a victim of burglary, vehicle theft, or robbery. Please update your ratings to truly reflect the criminal environment. There doesn’t appear to be much support for law enforcement. To remain safe, stay on Interstate 580 and bypass the city.

  5. Oakland is getting worse by the day

    Oakland used to be safer but not anymore. The homeless problem is getting out of hand. Many, many problems here and I would not come here to visit, not now. Like someone already said, Monterey or the Napa counties are much safer and interesting places to visit nowadays.

  6. Visit Oakland

    I am a woman who lived and worked in Oakland for over 30 years, and I never had trouble. There was an incident of a series of Honda Accord exterior parts removal one night in our neighborhood, but the perpetrators were from San Francisco. As far as walking around downtown during the day or around the beautiful Lake Merritt, I never experienced anything where I felt threatened. If you’re a young woman, a guy may occasionally speak to you, but I learned to laugh at what most of them said. I loved it there, and only moved because I had to due to a change in financial status. Don’t be afraid to go there, and just use the same common sense you would in any big city.

  7. Smash and grab city

    Just flew into and out of Oakland and may have been the most unsafe feeling of my life. With my 3 month old baby and wife in the backseat of our rental car at the gas station just outside of the airport we witnessed two vehicles get the windows smashed with crowbars and luggage stolen, with the people still inside the car. Google it, seems to happen every single day at the same gas station and the cops do absolutely nothing.

  8. Oakland is not safe

    I was visiting San Francisco and decided to head into Oakland to see what it was all about. Although I knew it was semi dangerous, I didn’t think it was as bad as it was. Homeless, everywhere. Within the first 15 minutes of me waking on the street I was already getting called from a group of guys in a side alleyway to come over, and I’m not a small guy. I saw someone break into a car and take some belongings within the hour. The Uber I took into the city told me to be very careful and that I should leave quickly if I don’t need to be there. Don’t travel to Oakland, it’s not worth it. Nothing special there but crime, homeless, and dirty streets.

Rated 1.89 / 5 based on 9 user reviews.

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