7 Most Dangerous Places In Washington DC After Dark

Washington D.C., a city known for its rich history and political significance, also harbors areas that are less safe, especially after dark. This article highlights the seven most dangerous neighborhoods in Washington D.C., providing insights into the challenges these areas face and the importance of being cautious when visiting them.

1. Washington Highlands/Bellevue

Located in the Southeast, Washington Highlands/Bellevue is notoriously dangerous. Ranked as one of the “Top 25 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods” by NeighborhoodScout.com, the area is plagued by a high crime rate. It’s important for both residents and visitors to remain vigilant in this neighborhood.

2. NoMA

NoMA, or North of Massachusetts Avenue, is another high-risk area in Northeast D.C. Known for an average of 187 violent crime incidents annually, NoMA’s reputation for danger is well-established despite its cultural offerings like the annual Oktoberfest.

3. Columbia Heights/Mount Pleasant and Park View

This cluster of neighborhoods in Northwest D.C. has recorded a high number of violent crimes and robberies. With 406 violent crime cases reported in one year, these areas pose a significant risk after dark despite their historic and cultural significance​​​​.

4. Deanwood Metro Station

The Deanwood Metro Station area is frequently cited as one of the most dangerous metro stations in D.C. With multiple murders reported in recent years, it’s an area where travelers should be particularly cautious.

5. Brentwood

Brentwood, in Northeast D.C., is known for its high crime rate, which is 179% higher than the national average. Daylight shootings and other violent crimes are not uncommon, making it a particularly hazardous area​​​​.

6. Ivy City, Trinidad, Carver Langston

These neighborhoods, part of the Southeast’s neighborhood cluster 23, experience a high rate of violent crimes. Despite ongoing gentrification efforts, the crime rate remains significantly above the city’s average.

7. Historic Anacostia

Though there have been efforts to revitalize Historic Anacostia, crime remains a significant issue. The area’s crime rate is 223% higher than the national average, reflecting the socioeconomic challenges it faces​​​​.

Crime in D.C.

The varied crime rates in Washington D.C. reflect the complexities of urban life. Factors contributing to these high crime rates include socioeconomic challenges, lack of employment opportunities, and educational disparities. Efforts to address these issues are ongoing, but progress is often slow.

Safety Tips for Navigating D.C. After Dark

  • Stay in well-lit, populated areas.
  • Use reliable transportation, avoiding isolated metro stations.
  • Stay informed about the safety of different neighborhoods.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings.


While Washington D.C. is a city of great historical and political significance, it also has areas where crime and safety are significant concerns. Understanding these challenges and staying informed can help ensure a safer experience for both residents and visitors.

For those interested in exploring the safer sides of Washington D.C., neighborhoods like DuPont Circle, Adam’s Morgan, and Logan Circle are known for their lower crime rates and vibrant communities. Always remember that safety in any city is dynamic, and staying updated on local news and crime reports is key to navigating the city safely.

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