United States : Safety by City
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles
- New Orleans
- New York City
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- St Louis
- Washington DC
A melting pot of California, San Francisco, is a major city of the Bay Area, well known for its vibrant life, ethnic diversity, summer fog and many, many educational, historical and cultural venues and facilities – to name just a few of its virtues.
It’s no wonder that the city of San Francisco is one of the most visited cities in the world. There’s so much to see here that you won’t be able to cover everything during just one trip.
Your best bet, if you want to see as much as this unique city has to offer, is to save money and buy a relatively cheap San Francisco CityPASS.
You’ll get to see the California Academy of Sciences, a Blue and Gold Fleet bay cruise, the Aquarium of the Bay.
Don’t forget the Exploratorium or the Legion of Honor and the de Young Museum (both must be visited on the same day).
And don’t forget the cable cars – this city’s most popular feature: the pass also includes three consecutive days of Cable Car and MUNI fares.
Warnings & Dangers in San Francisco
OVERALL RISK : LOW
San Francisco is overall very safe to travel to. Even though it's sometimes dangerous, and the amount of homeless people and junkies on the streets may make you feel uneasy, the criminal activities that occur only apply to dangerous parts of the city, which are rarely frequented by tourists.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
San Francisco has a safe and convenient public transport, though you shouldn't let your guard down. Be extremely vigilant while on public transport and don't linger around bus, railway and metro stations.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
Pickpockets and purse snatching can be an issue along Fisherman’s Wharf, the F-Market Streetcar line, on public transport and in crowded places. It is wise to watch your belongings while on a public transport or in crowded places.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Occasional natural threats exist in the form of earthquakes that have been known to happen in California. They aren't that common, though. The last major one was in 1994.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
When it comes to mugging, you're not in danger in San Francisco, as long as you stay away fro the dangerous parts of the city. Violent street crime is not a common occurrence here.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
Excluding isolated shootings, San Francisco hasn't been the target of any terrorist attacks recently, but the attacks shouldn't be ruled out. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
Just like in other tourist destinations, there will be people trying to scam you in San Francisco, too. Homeless people can turn agressive if you refuse to give them money. 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
San Francisco is very safe for female solo travelers. Following basic precaution measures should completely minimize the chances of anything going wrong.
So... How Safe Is San Francisco Really?
As expected, San Francisco does have problems when it comes to safety on its streets.
However, the good news is that a tourist is unlikely to be a witness to any crime or, worse, become a victim of one.
This is because the crime that goes on in San Francisco, is usually confined to certain dangerous neighborhoods and individuals that know each other from the streets.
All tourists should take usual precaution measures, just as they would in any other city or their own hometown.This means avoiding dark alleyways any communication with unknown people.
You should, by all means, stay informed on which neighborhoods should be avoided due to heightened criminal activities and avoid those neighborhoods.
In San Francisco’s case these are downtown districts like the Tenderloin, Mid Market, 6th Street, Soma and the Western Addition.
This also applies to the south-eastern part of the city that also has issues with violent crime.
In general, San Francisco has the largest homeless population per capita in America because of its pleasant climate that enables them to not, basically, freeze to death like they would in Chicago or New York.
This may cause you to feel a bit uneasy, but they usually aren’t dangerous and will leave you alone if you avoid contact with them.
The main homeless areas are around 6th and Market, as well as the Tenderloin, while the area near Golden Gate Park is infamous for being a gathering spot for junkies.
Another thing to bear in mind is that San Francisco has a high rate of pedestrian and bicycle fatalities, so you have to be very careful when on the streets, especially while crossing one.
- 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 San Francisco. 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 - San Francisco has a mild climate characterized by cool, wet winters and dry summers. The nights can become chilly so locals usually carry around a light jacket because the temperatures are known drop or rise significantly within an hour.
- Airports - San Francisco International Airport is an international airport serving San Francisco. It is located 21 km south of downtown San Francisco, California, United States,
- Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to San Francisco, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems, but also theft and loss of valuables.