The 5 safest neighborhoods and the 5 least safe to live in San Francisco Bay Area

Are you looking to move to the heart of Silicon Valley?

Editorial Team

By Editorial Team

houses in alamo square san francisco

If you’re thinking about moving to San Francisco, you are likely wondering which parts or neighborhoods of the city are safe and welcoming. The good news is that the crime rate in San Francisco is lower now than it was before the pandemic, according to the San Francisco Gate newspaper.

But even with a drop in the overall crime rate over the past several years, you may want to start your housing search in the safest neighborhoods in San Francisco. Of course, any housing search should begin with a look at the latest crime rate. San Francisco archives their police data online so that it is easy to see areas with higher rates of incidents. We crunched the numbers to present you with the five safest neighborhoods in San Francisco in addition to a crime map of the Bay Area.

San Francisco, with its diverse neighborhoods and vibrant culture, offers an array of options for those seeking a place to call home. Let’s delve into the safest neighborhoods in San Francisco, providing valuable insights for those in search of rental accommodations while addressing concerns about San Francisco crime.

sunrise in san francisco with an ocean view and the golden gate bridge in the background

The 5 safest neighborhoods

1. Presidio Heights

The beautiful Presidio Heights is situated near the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Presidio Heights, nestled near the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, exudes tranquility and elegance. Characterized by upscale homes, tree-lined streets, and stunning views, this coveted San Francisco neighborhood offers residents a serene urban retreat. According to the San Francisco Police Department’s crime mapping data, incidents of violent crime in this neighborhood are notably lower compared to other areas in the city.

2. Noe Valley

Family-friendly Noe Valley is another one of the safest neighborhoods in San Francisco. According to Bekins, this lovely area experiences 61% less crime than the average rate of the city. Noe Valley is ideal for anyone who wants to live a lifestyle. There are many walking paths and a weekly farmer’s market. Also, some wonderful green spaces are ideal for exercising or entertaining children, including Glen Park and Upper Noe Recreation Center.

3. Sea Cliff

Sea Cliff is a planned community in the northwest part of the city. Neighborhood Scout reports that it is the safest neighborhood in San Francisco based on the low number of violent crimes. In addition to being a safe neighborhood, Sea Cliff is ideally located. Residents are near the famous Presidio and several beautiful hiking trails, including the Lands End Trail. The neighborhood also has its own small beach, China Beach.

Sea View from Nob Hill SF

4. Marina District

Another one of the safest areas in San Francisco is the popular Marina District. According to the website Upgraded Home, this neighborhood is safer than 42% of California cities. The Marina District sits right on San Francisco Bay, and there are several cafes, bars, and restaurants with waterfront views. There are also incredible views of the Golden Gate Bridge from the area, making it a popular place to rent an apartment. The Palace of Fine Arts is a neighborhood landmark that is perfect as a meeting spot or the background for your first “I moved to SF” selfie.

5. Inner Sunset

Scenic Inner Sunset is another one of the 10 safest neighborhoods in San Francisco according to statistics collected by the website Upgraded Home. Nestled adjacent to the sprawling expanse of Golden Gate Park, Inner Sunset captivates with its tranquil atmosphere and vibrant community spirit. Lined with charming residential streets and quaint storefronts, this neighborhood offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Boasting a diverse array of eateries, boutiques, and cultural attractions, Inner Sunset provides residents with a perfect blend of convenience and serenity amidst its lush surroundings.

The 5 least safe neighborhoods

1. Tenderloin

Despite ongoing efforts to address social issues, the Tenderloin remains one of San Francisco’s most challenging neighborhoods. Situated in the heart of the city, bordered by Union Square and the Civic Center, the Tenderloin has long grappled with issues such as homelessness, drug addiction, and crime. Crime mapping data reveals a high concentration of both violent and property crimes in this area, making it a less desirable choice for rental accommodations. Despite its central location and affordability compared to other parts of the city, prospective residents should be aware of the challenges associated with living in the Tenderloin. However, it’s essential to note that community organizations and local government agencies are actively working to improve safety and quality of life in the neighborhood, offering support services and initiatives aimed at addressing underlying issues.

2. Mission District

Nestled in the heart of San Francisco, the Mission District exudes vibrancy and diversity, attracting residents with its rich cultural heritage, vibrant arts scene, and eclectic culinary offerings. However, beneath its colorful facade lies a neighborhood grappling with safety concerns. While the Mission District boasts a strong sense of community and an array of amenities, it is nevertheless plagued by crime, particularly property-related offenses. Prospective renters should exercise caution when considering this neighborhood, as crime statistics indicate above-average rates compared to other parts of the city. Despite ongoing efforts by local organizations and law enforcement to address safety issues, the Mission District remains a challenging area for those seeking residential accommodations. It’s essential for individuals considering living in this neighborhood to conduct thorough research, engage with local community resources, and prioritize safety when making housing decisions.

3. Bayview

The Bayview is located in the southeastern part of San Francisco. The neighborhood faces socio-economic challenges that contribute to higher crime rates. While community initiatives aim to improve safety, renters should be aware of the neighborhood’s reputation and take necessary precautions. According to the SouthWest Journal, Bayview’s crime rate is 161% above the national average making it a challenging neighborhood to live in.

4. South of Market (SoMa)

South of Market (SoMa) is a dynamic neighborhood in San Francisco known for its mix of residential, commercial, and cultural spaces. From sleek high-rise apartments to trendy art galleries and tech startups, SoMa offers a vibrant urban experience. As a bustling hub of commerce and nightlife, South of Market experiences its fair share of crime, particularly theft and vandalism. While redevelopment projects are underway, prospective renters should weigh the neighborhood’s amenities against its safety considerations.

5. Western Addition

The Western Addition neighborhood in San Francisco faces challenges related to crime, with a rate that is 24% above the US average. Historically diverse and culturally rich, Western Addition is home to iconic landmarks like the Fillmore District, known for its jazz history and vibrant arts scene. However, despite its cultural significance, the neighborhood grapples with pockets of crime, particularly in certain areas such as the Fillmore District. Renters considering Western Addition should research specific blocks and streets to gauge safety levels accurately. While efforts are underway to address these issues through community engagement and law enforcement initiatives, prospective residents should exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings when considering this neighborhood. Despite its challenges, Western Addition continues to offer a unique blend of cultural heritage and urban vitality that contributes to the tapestry of San Francisco’s diverse neighborhoods.

How to choose the best neighborhood for you?

Even if you have decided to only look in the safest areas of San Francisco, there are still other factors to consider in your housing search. First of all, you need to figure out your budget for housing. Keep in mind that San Francisco is one of the more expensive cities in the U.S. If you cannot afford to rent a studio or a one-bedroom apartment on your own, you may want to consider living with roommates. In addition, be sure to consider the cost of living in San Francisco. For example, you can consider utilities like electricity, gas, Internet, and water as part of your monthly housing budget.

Sunlit skyline of San Francisco

Once you have a budget in mind, search for apartments in San Francisco’s top neighborhoods and see what you can afford. If you commute to an office daily, you will want to find a home with parking or good access to public transportation. On the other hand, if you will be working from home you may be able to save on rent by finding an apartment that isn’t located near public transportation and thus costs less.

Putting it all together

Whether you’re moving to the city alone, with family, or with friends, finding an apartment in one of the safest areas in San Francisco can be a challenge. Thousands of people relocate to this glittering Silicon Valley city each year, and the competition for quality housing can be stiff! Renting a flexible-term furnished apartment in San Francisco instead of a traditional year-long rental is a convenient way to relocate.

Short-term housing providers like Blueground often have furnished apartments available in the safest neighborhoods in San Francisco, taking some of the guesswork out of your housing search. Finally, the choice of where to live comes down to your preferences. Do you want to be near the tourist hotspots? Do you want to live near the best public schools? Maybe you love the club scene and want to live near the best bars and restaurants. Think about what is most important to you, and make sure that you are looking in neighborhoods with the amenities you cherish most.

Thankfully, many of the safest areas in San Francisco are also near the heart of all the action! We hope this guide to the safest neighborhoods in San Francisco helps you with your upcoming move!

Editorial Team

Editorial Team

The Blueground editorial team covers the best things to see, do, and experience in our cities around the world.