Avoid These 8 Dangerous Neighborhoods in Seattle

Seattle city scape with snow coverd.
© Joecho-16/iStock via Getty Images

Written by Katie Melynn Wood

Updated: February 10, 2024

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With plenty of sights to see, including some of the most picturesque views in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle also has some crime-ridden neighborhoods that can be dangerous. Like any other city, Seattle has some areas that are best avoided during times of day when there are fewer crowds or law enforcement out to keep order.

The City of Seattle tracks various types of crime, including violent crime and property crime. Each year, they share these statistics in an annual report. According to the data, these are some of the hot spots in Seattle for crime.

Queen Anne

The Space Needle is one of the most visited and most photographed spots in Seattle.


This neighborhood in Seattle reported a total of 2,552 crimes during 2023. Of these, 183 were violent crimes and 2,369 were property-related crimes. Even though it had some of the highest overall crime rates in Seattle, there were fewer violent crimes than in other nearby neighborhoods. Queen Anne is home to the iconic Space Needle as well as many other must-see spots in Seattle.

Capitol Hill

Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery Park, Capitol Hill, Seattle, Washington.

Capitol Hill, Seattle is home to the possibly haunted Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery.

©Joe Mabel/Wikimedia Commons - Original / License

The Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle had 2,489 crimes reported in 2023. This included 378 violent crimes and 2,111 property crimes. Even though the total number was lower than the nearby Queen Anne neighborhood, a much higher percentage of the reported crimes were classified as violent crimes. Many residents and visitors frequent Capitol Hill for its restaurants, bars and nightclubs, scenic Volunteer Park, and the spooky and possibly haunted Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery.


Adorable English bulldog poses in the autumn in the park

The Northacres off-leash dog area is a great spot to take your pup in Northgate, Seattle.

©Vera Reva/Shutterstock.com

A neighborhood in Northern Seattle, Northgate had a reported 2,484 crimes in 2023. Northgate’s claim to fame is the first covered mall in the United States, which was named Northgate Mall. Northgate covers a lot of area compared to some other Seattle neighborhoods.


The Ravenna Park Bridge in Seattle was constructed in 1913.

©Joe Mabel/ CC BY-SA 3.0 - Original

The city tracks the joint neighborhoods of Roosevelt and Ravenna together when it comes to crime data. In 2023, residents reported 2,155 crimes in this area. Of these, 156 were violent crimes and 1,999 were property-related crimes. Roosevelt makes up the western portion of this area and Ravenna is the eastern portion. Even though the data shows some crime, the overall violent crime is a small percentage of the reports.


university of Washington,Seattle,washingto n,usa. 04-03-2017: cherry blossom blooming in the garden with crowded.

The University of Washington has around 60,000 students.


Just south of Roosevelt/Ravenna is the University neighborhood. It had 2,130 crimes reported in 2023. There were 179 reported violent crimes and 1,951 reported property-related crimes. It is the home of the University of Washington’s main campus. Many of the businesses and restaurants in the area cater to the student population as well as the numerous alumni and supporters who visit the area.

Downtown Commercial

Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington

One of the most famous spots in the city, Pike Place Public Market is a must-see in downtown Seattle.

©Daniel Schwen / CC BY-SA 4.0 - Original / License

The Downtown Commercial neighborhood is just like its name suggests. It has more businesses and commercial properties than residential. Reports indicated 2,035 reported crimes in this part of Seattle in 2023. However, the percentage of violent crimes was quite high relative to some other areas of the city. There were 406 reported violent crimes and 1,629 reported property crimes. Downtown Seattle is home to many businesses as well as tourist hot spots, such as the world-famous Pike Place Public Market.

South Lake Union/Cascade

Lake Union Park in Seattle is a great place to enjoy the outdoors in the city.

©Adbar/ CC BY-SA 3.0 - Original

Just north of the Downtown Commercial District is the neighborhoods of South Lake Union and Cascade. In 2023, there were 1,834 reported crimes in this area. Reports broke these down into 251 violent crimes and 1,583 property-related crimes. As its name suggests, it is just south of Lake Union. Most of this area includes businesses and other commercial buildings, as well as a few parks.

Ballard South

Ferry Boat From Bainbridge Island On the Morning Commute To Seattle, Washington. Early morning sunrise commute and a ground fog layer make for a mystical transport to the Emerald City.

Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood is across from the northern part of Bainbridge Island, where you can take a ferry to and from the city.

©Edmund Lowe Photography/Shutterstock.com

Closer to the western edge of the city is the neighborhood of Ballard South. In this neighborhood, residents reported 1,786 crimes in 2023. This included 151 reported violent crimes and 1,635 reported property crimes. It is located along Salmon Bay and includes many historic parts of the city. It is also on the water and sees a lot of maritime traffic traveling to and from the Seattle area. There are numerous shipyards in this part of the city.

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About the Author

Katie is a freelance writer and teaching artist specializing in home, lifestyle, and family topics. Her work has appeared in At Ease Magazine, PEOPLE, and The Spruce, among others. When she is not writing, Katie teaches creative writing with the Apex Arts Magnet Program in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. You can follow Katie @katiemelynnwriter.

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