red round fruit on brown stem
high rise buildings city scape photography
a harbor filled with lots of boats at sunset

Is Baltimore Safe?

Baltimore has a higher violent crime rate than the national average, with certain areas posing risks of robbery and assault. However, the Inner Harbor and tourist districts are generally safe during the day. Travelers should avoid isolated areas at night and remain vigilant. While civil unrest occasionally flares up, it rarely affects visitors directly. Overall, reasonable precautions can mitigate risks for most tourists.

Download Vigilios

Your Pocket-Sized Travel Safety Guide

A phone displaying the Vigilios app and it's safety features.
App Store

Safety & Security

Baltimore, like many major cities, has its share of safety concerns that travelers should be aware of. While most areas are generally safe during the day, it's advisable to exercise caution, especially at night and in certain neighborhoods known for higher crime rates.

  • Petty Crime: Pickpocketing, bag snatching, and theft from vehicles are common occurrences, particularly in crowded areas like the Inner Harbor and tourist hotspots. Remain vigilant and keep valuables secure.

  • Violent Crime: While not widespread, incidents of violent crime, such as robberies and assaults, do occur, especially in certain areas like West Baltimore and East Baltimore. Avoid walking alone at night in these neighborhoods.

  • Scams: Be wary of common scams like fake tour guides, overcharging for services, or individuals posing as officials demanding money.

  • Civil Unrest: Baltimore has experienced civil unrest and protests in the past, some of which have turned violent. Monitor local news and avoid areas with large gatherings or demonstrations.

  • Disputes: Disputes or altercations can arise, particularly in areas with higher crime rates or where alcohol is involved. Remain vigilant and avoid confrontations.

It's generally recommended to stick to well-lit, populated areas, avoid displaying valuables, and be aware of your surroundings. Researching specific neighborhoods and taking precautions can help ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to Baltimore.

Health & Medical

Baltimore is generally a safe destination for travelers when it comes to health concerns, but there are a few important points to keep in mind. Visitors should ensure routine vaccinations are up-to-date before traveling. The city has good medical facilities, but healthcare can be expensive for those without adequate travel insurance.

  • Air Pollution can be a concern, especially during summer months. Those with respiratory issues may want to limit outdoor activities when air quality is poor.

  • Insect-Borne Diseases like Lyme disease transmitted by ticks are present in the region. Using insect repellent when hiking or spending time in grassy/wooded areas is advisable.

  • Heat Exhaustion/Stroke is a risk during hot, humid summer months. Staying hydrated and limiting strenuous outdoor activities during peak heat is recommended.

  • Water Quality is generally good from municipal sources. However, boiling or using bottled water is advisable if concerned about the safety of local tap water.

Overall, taking common-sense precautions and being aware of potential health risks can help ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to Baltimore.

Natural Disasters

Baltimore, located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, experiences a relatively moderate climate with distinct seasons. While natural disasters are not a major concern, travelers should be aware of the following potential risks:

  • Severe Thunderstorms: Baltimore can experience severe thunderstorms, particularly during the spring and summer months. These storms can bring heavy rain, strong winds, and the potential for tornadoes. Travelers should monitor weather alerts and seek shelter if necessary.

  • Flooding: Due to its proximity to the Chesapeake Bay and its location along the Patapsco River, Baltimore is susceptible to coastal and inland flooding during periods of heavy rainfall or storm surges. Travelers should exercise caution in low-lying areas and follow local advisories.

  • Winter Storms: During the winter months, Baltimore can experience snowstorms, ice storms, and blizzard conditions. These events can disrupt transportation and outdoor activities. Travelers should be prepared with appropriate clothing and footwear, and check for travel advisories.

  • Hurricanes: While not a direct coastal city, Baltimore can still experience the effects of hurricanes or tropical storms that make landfall along the East Coast. High winds, heavy rain, and flooding are potential risks during these events.

  • Extreme Heat: Summer temperatures in Baltimore can reach extreme levels, with high humidity. Travelers should take precautions to stay hydrated and avoid prolonged exposure to the sun during heat waves.

It's important to note that while natural disasters are relatively infrequent in Baltimore, travelers should remain vigilant, monitor weather conditions, and follow the advice of local authorities in case of any potential emergencies.


Baltimore has a comprehensive public transportation system that includes buses, light rail, and subway services. The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) operates these services, which are generally considered safe and reliable for travelers. However, it's advisable to exercise caution, especially at night or in isolated areas.

  • Public Transportation: The MTA's buses, light rail, and subway lines provide extensive coverage throughout the city and surrounding areas. These services are reasonably priced and offer a convenient way to navigate Baltimore.

  • Safety Measures: MTA has implemented various safety measures, such as security cameras, emergency call boxes, and transit police patrols. However, it's still recommended to remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings, especially during off-peak hours or in less populated areas.

  • Road Safety: Baltimore's roads can be congested, and drivers may be aggressive. Pedestrians should exercise caution when crossing streets and use designated crosswalks whenever possible. Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are also available and can be a safer alternative to driving or walking in certain areas.

  • Bike-Sharing: Baltimore has a bike-sharing program called Baltimore Bike Share, which offers a convenient and eco-friendly way to explore the city. However, cyclists should wear helmets and follow traffic rules to ensure their safety.

Overall, while Baltimore's public transportation system is generally reliable and safe, travelers should remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to ensure a secure and enjoyable experience.

Cultural Norms

Baltimore is a diverse city with a rich cultural heritage. Travelers should be mindful of the following cultural sensitivities:

  • Racial Diversity: Baltimore has a significant African American population, and racial tensions have been a part of the city's history. Visitors should be respectful and avoid insensitive comments or behavior.

  • Sports Culture: Baltimore is home to passionate fans of the Baltimore Ravens (NFL) and the Baltimore Orioles (MLB). Visitors should be aware of the city's strong sports culture and avoid wearing rival team apparel in certain areas.

  • Neighborhood Pride: Baltimore is a city of distinct neighborhoods, each with its own unique character and pride. Visitors should be respectful of local customs and traditions when exploring different areas.

  • Art and Music: Baltimore has a vibrant arts and music scene, particularly in genres like jazz, blues, and street art. Visitors should be open to experiencing and appreciating these cultural expressions.

  • Food Culture: Baltimore is known for its unique culinary traditions, such as crab cakes, pit beef, and the iconic Berger cookie. Visitors should be open to trying local specialties and respecting the city's food culture.

While exploring Baltimore, visitors should be respectful of local customs, dress modestly when appropriate, and be mindful of their behavior in public spaces. Engaging with locals and learning about the city's rich cultural heritage can enhance the travel experience.

Emergency Services

Emergency services in Baltimore are generally reliable and well-equipped, though response times may vary depending on the location and severity of the incident. The city has a dedicated emergency medical services (EMS) system, with ambulances staffed by trained paramedics and emergency medical technicians. Fire and police departments are also well-resourced and capable of responding to emergencies.

  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS) are provided by the Baltimore City Fire Department, with ambulances staffed by trained paramedics and EMTs. Response times can vary based on location and call volume.

  • Fire Department services include fire suppression, hazardous materials response, and technical rescue operations. The department has specialized units for handling various types of emergencies.

  • Police Department is responsible for law enforcement and emergency response. The department has specialized units for handling critical incidents, such as SWAT teams and bomb squads.

  • Tourist Assistance Services are available through the Baltimore Visitor Center, which can provide guidance and support to travelers in need of assistance during emergencies or other incidents.

While emergency services are generally reliable, travelers should exercise caution and take necessary precautions to ensure their safety during their visit to Baltimore.

Frequently Asked Questions

A colorful illustration with three people and the letters "FAQ" representing a Frequently Asked Questions section

Is Baltimore safe for tourists?

Baltimore is generally safe for tourists, but caution is advised in some areas. Stick to well-lit and populated areas, avoid walking alone at night, and be aware of your surroundings. Follow common-sense safety precautions, and you can enjoy Baltimore's attractions and culture.

Is Baltimore safe for solo female travelers?

Solo female travelers should exercise caution in Baltimore, especially at night. Avoid isolated areas, use licensed taxis or rideshares, and stay in well-lit public spaces. While not overly dangerous, it's wise to take standard safety precautions as a solo female traveler.

Is Baltimore safe for families?

Baltimore is a family-friendly destination with plenty of attractions like the National Aquarium and Port Discovery Children's Museum. However, be cautious in certain neighborhoods and avoid walking alone at night with children. Research family-friendly areas and activities.

Is Baltimore LGBTQ+ friendly?

Baltimore is generally LGBTQ+-friendly, with a vibrant LGBTQ+ community and annual Pride celebrations. Same-sex marriage is legal in Maryland, and discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is prohibited. However, exercise caution in public displays of affection.

Do you need a visa to go to Baltimore?

For most tourists, no visa is required for visits to Baltimore, United States, of up to 90 days. However, a valid passport is necessary. Visitors should check their specific visa requirements based on their nationality and purpose of travel.

Can you drink tap water in Baltimore?

The tap water in Baltimore is generally safe to drink, as it is treated and monitored by the city's water authority. However, some visitors may prefer bottled water due to taste preferences or extra precaution.

What is the currency in Baltimore?

The currency used in Baltimore, United States, is the US Dollar (USD). Credit cards are widely accepted, but it's advisable to carry some cash for smaller purchases and tips.

Related Content

Download the App

Map, Insights & Support - Vigilios is your Personal Safety Companion

A phone displaying the Vigilios app and it's safety features.
App Store QR LinkApp Store
Google Play QR Link
Coming soon to Android
Google Play