Seattle Travel Guide

Health & Safety

According to the most recently FBI crime statistics in 2011 Seattle had 592.7 violent crimes per population of 100,000 ranking it near Denver Colorado (607.3) and San Francisco California (659.6) with the majority of crimes unsurprisingly happening in the more densely populated areas. There are a few notable hotspots in north Seattle around Aurora Avenue and Lake City Way at night and areas around the University District which has some of the highest property crime rates in the city. Some South Seattle and Central District neighborhoods have had a history of gang and drug related violence; while violence related to the two still occur, it's not as frequent as portrayed and many of these neighborhoods are statistically safer than neighborhoods north of the ship canal however the south east Rainier Valley still has a higher rate than most of the city. Auto break-ins and theft are a problem in the city. Never leave valuables visible in a car, and always lock your car doors. Be wary of the rising trend of smart phone theft.

Places to Watch Your Back

Waterfront When parking or walking under the viaduct or on Alaskan Way always keep your valuables close and hide anything in your car and lock it! A safe area but be careful.
Aurora Ave & Lake City Way Never go here at night unless you have to and you have company.
International Blvd and South Seattle Watch your back, or best of all, do not go here.
SODO Stay out of here at night.
Downtown Be careful (see Waterfront).

Drivers in Seattle are typically nice but indecisive, but as long as you're careful as a pedestrian, there is not a high risk of getting hit. Most drivers will stop if you're crossing the street, as such an action is required by Washington State law. Cyclists should be extra wary of traffic and opened doors of parked cars, especially downtown.

Downtown Seattle has sizable population of homeless men and women (suburbs on the eastside enacted laws which forced homeless people into Seattle's downtown core), and while many beg for change and some seem unstable, only a few are actually dangerous. It is worthwhile to be especially careful after dark in some areas around the downtown core. Victor Steinbrueck Park, at the north end of Pike Place Market, often attracts drug dealers and Second Ave. between Pine and Pike streets is locally notorious for drug transactions and occasional violence (although actual violence is relatively rare).


source: Wikivoyage

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