Before you go travel to new cities, it is best that you first do a bit of research about them to know what areas to avoid or if the city itself is safe. To help make your vacation a success, we have compiled a list of the top 5 dangerous cities in the U.S. Take a look below and see what destinations you’d do best to avoid.

 

St. Louis

Going to see the Gateway Arch or the Forest Park, are activities well-worth pursuing, but before you embark on your journey, there are a few things to consider. The city is well known for the bad race problem it has that has spilled over to other parts of the county.

While most people know Ferguson to be the bad area, there are in fact neighborhoods far worse than that. The University City and Bel-Nor seem to be the two worst areas and walking there may attract immediate attention from criminals.

The north edge of the county also known as the Hazelwood-Florissant district is not so bad. If you do plan to visit St. Louis, it is best you concentrate on this particular areas. Do try and avoid Page Avenue when going into the city, especially at night, when not even a reliable pocket flashlight can keep you safe.

 

Detroit

A top of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. would not be complete without Detroit. While most residents would tell you that things have started to improve in the last years, official FBI data shows that Detroit saw a 15.7% increase in crime.

With a poverty rate of 40.3%, there’s no surprise that many of Detroit’s residents turn to property crimes and even violent offenses. This can make visiting the city quite dangerous for new tourists that know nothing about it.

With that said, not all of Detroit is dangerous. Downtown, in particular, is worth visiting, as it has been transformed from a ghost town into a thriving center with bars, restaurants, breweries, and more. There are also excellent museums and music venues worth exploring.

Oakland

While not as dangerous as Detroit or St. Louis, you should carefully plan your vacation if you intend to explore Oakland. As is the case with all cities, you can find both bad neighborhoods and good ones; the secret is to know which ones to avoid.

There are lots of gorgeous places to see in Oakland such as going camping and hiking on Angel Island or exploring the Tilden Regional Park. Property crime is also widespread throughout the city. Oakland records one car theft per 40 residents, and one robbery per 91 residents, which is three to four times the state average.

The areas where the most violent crimes occur are parts of West Oakland and East Oakland, so you’d do best to avoid them.

 

Cleveland

What makes Cleveland a dangerous city is the drug addicts that seem to have plagued the city in the last years. Cleveland has a real and major Heroin epidemic. The drugs lead people to become desperate, and you are likely to get mugged since the vast majority of property crime, theft, and the occasional robbery and mugging occur mostly from strung out addicts.

It is best you avoid neighborhoods such as Kinsmith, North Broadway, and Saint Claire-Superior. Most importantly, if you do happen to visit Cleveland, make sure you try your best to not interact with people that seem to be under the influence.

 

Baltimore

Baltimore is a beautiful city, but just as with Cleveland, the most dangerous area of the city is anywhere drug dealers decide to sell drugs. That makes it difficult to know which areas to avoid. Even an apparent safe spot could quickly become dangerous which is why crimes of opportunity are the most prevalent ones here.

The reason why Baltimore seems to be riddled with drug addicts is that a big chunk of the residents is poor and many people are unable to find jobs. Many of them are also connected to the drug trade and escaping from the ring can be close to impossible. It also doesn’t help that neighboring Virginia has some of the weakest gun law in the U.S.