Bad Neighborhoods in San Francisco

Want to know the worst neighborhoods in San Francisco? Well, define worst first.

You see, San Francisco has a lot going for it. However, it also has a lot of bad jazz, such as criminal activity, traffic and, worst of all, tourists. Here’s a break down of the worst neighborhoods in SF for each:


  • The Tenderloin – At first, you think you just took the wrong street out of the Hyatt and that things will get better. Then dozens of people are sleeping on the ground and some guy is shooting up in a doorway. The Tenderloin is, quite frankly, the worst neighborhood in SF, and its worst sections are on par with hell.
  • SoMA – SoMA is the grungy warehouse district of SF. Though not as densely packed with degeneracy as the Tenderloin, people in SoMA regularly deal with property crimes, and the many nightclubs attract fights and drug use.
  • Mission – The Mission is gentrifying quickly and has many beautiful streets. However, all it takes is one stop on 16th and Mission to realize that the transition is not complete.


  • Marina/Richmond/Sunset – These neighborhoods are only a few miles away from San Francisco’s downtown (6 max); however, they might as well be San Mateo. Public transit to downtown means a 30-45 minute bus ride, and driving is a worse idea, because good luck finding parking… anywhere.
  • FiDi – The downtown, called Financial District (with all the big buildings) is no place to ever bring a car. Ever.


  • North Beach – Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, the crookedest street – yep, North Beach has it all. And all the tourists want to see it. Every. Day.
  • Chinatown – Tourists flock to Chinatown to buy their cheap buddhas and $5 I <3 SF sweaters, making its already-jammed streets even jammier.


So, what’s the worst neighborhood all in all? San Franciscans will point their fingers all over (people from the Mission will say Marina; Marinians will say Tenderloin; Tenderloinians will admit Tenderloin). In this writer’s humble opinion, though, it’s gotta be the Outer Sunset. It’s so far outside San Francisco proper that it’s barely even SF, plus the fog hits there hardest and earliest, and it’s mostly a bunch of cookie-cutter homes.


Learn more about the pros and cons of San Franciscoor check out some San Francisco moving companies.

About Devie Lin

Read blogs written by Devie Lin and find information related to moving & relocation on the Moving Blog by Moving Guru.
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