We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Safety in St. Louis

Thunder Bay, Canada
Level Contributor
2,277 posts
199 reviews
Save Topic
Safety in St. Louis

Just read an article about St louis being one of the more dangerous cities in USA

would I be ok to walk around downtown st louis in daytime, like to see Arch and some museums etc.

What areas of city should one avoid? thanks

St. Louis
Destination Expert
for Saint Louis
Level Contributor
2,881 posts
66 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Safety in St. Louis

Avoid areas where there are not restaurants, museums or other tourist attractions. There is no reason you would go to these areas unless you insist on exploring on your own. Generally speaking, the places to avoid are in the north half of the city, where the polulation has dwindled down to a fraction of what it once was.

St. Louis
Destination Expert
for Saint Louis
Level Contributor
2,881 posts
66 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Safety in St. Louis

You're fine to wander around downtown in the daytime. At night, I'd suggest you avoid dark blocks that have no nighttime businesses, and don't wander more than a block or so north of Washington Ave (which itself is safe and definitely worth seeing).

One more thing: no one on this forum will send you to a dangerous neighborhood, mostly because there is nothing of interest to see.

Arkansas
Level Contributor
24 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Safety in St. Louis

I am considering driving to St Louis to attend a concert at the Fox Theatre, which, if I read the map correctly, is north of Washington Avenue. I assume this is okay, as I will be leaving the event with the crowd? Any advice? The Fabulous Fox Theatre website suggests using paid parking lots because they are well lit and are staffed.

St. Louis
Destination Expert
for Saint Louis
Level Contributor
978 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Safety in St. Louis

The area around the Fox is fine. Most of the available parking is in paid lots. There are several in the block just north of the Fox; take the first left off Grand after you pass the Fox.

St. Louis MO
Level Contributor
740 posts
33 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Safety in St. Louis

Do you have the link to the article?

[rant on] I'm really getting sick and friggin tired of everyone thinking that St. Louis is a horrible crime-riden place. It seems like half of the posts on this board are questions about safety in St. Louis.[rant off]

The problems are this:

1) the City of St. Louis is actually very small when compared to the entire St. Louis metropolitan area. If you look at a map of all the municipalities in the St. Louis area, there are suburban towns that are not much smaller (size-wise) than the city of St. Louis. And admittedly a number of the "bad' areas of St. Louis are in the city.

2) St. Louis City and St. Louis County are two separate entities. This effects how crime stats are reported and compiled. If you compare metropolitan area to metropolitan area, the St. Louis area crime stats are actually the same or better than other cities that are perceived as safe.

I'm not knocking you worldtraveler. The problem is that some parts of the media have hooked onto bad data and are lazily reporting it without questioning the entities that compile it.

Is St. Louis as crime free? No. Do you have to be smart about your surroundings and where you park? Yes. But do you have to visit St. Louis and fear for your life like you're in some third-world lawless hell-hole? No.

St. Louis MO
Level Contributor
740 posts
33 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Safety in St. Louis

This is interesting reading.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgan_Quitno_Press

The U.S. Conference of Mayors criticized the "Most Dangerous Cities" list, saying the annual city-by-city crime rankings are "distorted and damaging to cities' reputations." In addition, it noted specific flaws in the methodology, for instance, its weighting of murder as the same as auto theft.

In addition, the Conference criticized Quitno's "Most Dangerous Cities" ranking because it did not adjust rankings of cities with wide-area city limits, such as Houston and Jacksonville, compared to cities with smaller city territory, such as St. Louis and Atlanta. Houston's apparent city crime statistics, for instance, are diluted because of lower crime in affluent areas within its broad city limits, whereas almost all the low-crime, affluent areas of the St. Louis metropolitan area are outside its much smaller city limits. The city area constitutes only 12.5% of its metro area. If data from adjacent suburbs were included in assessing crime in St. Louis city, its ranking would fall far down the dangerous cities list, with no actual change in number of individual crimes or personal safety. Metro area, rather than city, rankings include all suburbs for all MSAs, and therefore could be considered more valid.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
97 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Safety in St. Louis

All,

I noticed most people on here say to stay away from North St Louis (North of Washington Ave). I have a question that I hope you can help me with;

I am doing a race in St Louis in April that part of the race is biking. I looked on the map and the biking route is in the neighborhood called "North St Louis Riverfront". I will be biking along Broadway from Lumiere Casino to Angelica St and back. I looked on Google maps Streetview and it looks like the area is very industrial with lots of old factories, etc.

This area is seperated by the expressway (I-70) from the rest of North St Louis. Is this area (North St Louis Riverfront) a safe area for biking? Is it safe but just an "ugly" area because of the factories and old buildings? I noticed they built a newer Riverfront path along the river which parallels Broadway.

Thoughts? Any help will be much appreciated!

Saint Louis...
Destination Expert
for Saint Louis
Level Contributor
1,340 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Safety in St. Louis

I've not biked that area myself. Yes, there's quite a lot of industry in that area (a lot functioning and some not), but I've not heard if any issues with bikers along there. I think you'll be just fine. Maybe someone with first-hand knowledge will chime in. There's a rails to trails project in that general area as well-think High Line in NYC. Not sure it's ready yet though.

Saint Louis...
Level Contributor
472 posts
40 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Safety in St. Louis

I am a tourguide and I have led a tour of the Near North Riverfront. There is no need to be concerned about safety because nobody lives there. Your main danger is having to stop for a train. The trains in that area are very long.

The area does have some bright spots, including a Buddhist Temple.

Destination Expert
for New Orleans
Level Contributor
7,951 posts
126 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Safety in St. Louis

We live 100 miles from St. Louis and visit there very frequently, often with our grandkids as there is so much there for kids to enjoy. We have walked all around the downtown area at day and night and never felt unsafe. It is a wonderful city.

As far as crime statistics, they can be very misleading, as dweebe said. A couple of years ago, the city I live in (Springfield, IL, home of Abraham Lincoln) was listed as the 3rd most dangerous city in the US. All of us who live here were scratching our heads in disbelief. The biggest danger in my town would be in being bored to death due to a lack of nightlife! I honestly cannot remember the last time there was a murder here that was not domestic violence or drug related...in other words, there is little to no danger to tourists visiting here. And yet, no doubt that report scared many people from visiting the wonderful Abe Lincoln sights here due to fear or being robbed, attacked, etc. Apparently we must have a high murder rate based on our population, but every single murder was domestic violence or drug related...not saying that's not serious, just not likely to affect a tourist unless they are out in a bad neighborhod trying to buy drugs in the middle of the night.

Quit worrying, go to St. Louis, and have a great time - and if you have any interest in Abraham Lincoln, take the Amtrak to Springfield and enjoy the Lincoln sights!