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Downtown Eastside in Vancouver and Other Warnings and Dangers

SmarterTravel

Warnings and Dangers in Vancouver Downtown Eastside

Known for its natural beauty, food, shopping, culture, and past as a Olympic host city, Vancouver is a popular tourist destination. However, like any city, there are certain safety issues to consider.

Crime-ridden Neighborhoods and Homeless People in Vancouver

Many larger, more populated areas of Vancouver are known for their shopping centers, arts and entertainment, and food of all cultures.  However, once you travel off the beaten path, you may run into some sketchy neighborhoods.  Homeless people, down on their luck, are scattered throughout several areas, including Gastown, Surrey, Chinatown, and East Hastings.  Do not be surprised if some ask you for money. Some areas are also known for drugs, and you may be approached by dealers.

Not every part of Downtown Eastside of Vancouver is dangerous and to be avoided.  It is a good idea to avoid walking alone at night, and alleys should be avoided. But if you keep your eyes open and brush up on your street smarts, the area can be a great place to explore during the day.

Open Drug Use Downtown Eastside

Many visitors note the blatant drug use that can be seen out in the open in many areas of Downtown Eastside.  Most drug users and even drug dealers are not shy about offering you a sample of their product.  If you pay no attention to them and act uninterested as you pass by, you will more than likely be left alone.

Avoid Driving Through the Downtown Eastside

Parking your car for long periods of time in the Downtown Eastside is not a good idea, especially if you have an expensive automobile.  It is a better idea to take a cab through the neighborhood. If you do have to drive, it is best to keep any valuables out of sight, travel in pairs or small groups, and keep your car parked for short periods of time.

Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about areas to avoid in the downtown eastside of Vancouver.

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