United States : Safety by City
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles
- New Orleans
- New York City
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- St Louis
- Washington DC
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 numbers 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 cancelled 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 Oaklands professional basketball team, competing in the NBA, and in the 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 : MEDIUM
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 : MEDIUM
The bus sytem 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 : MEDIUM
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 : MEDIUM
When it comes to natural disasters in Oakland, the most dangerous threats come from occasional earthquakes and floods.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
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 : LOW
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 : MEDIUM
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 : LOW
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 instincs, 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 cities 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 is 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 neighbourhoods. Unless it is absolutely necessary that you 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 agressive, 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.
- 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 www.doyouneedvisa.com 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.