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Metro Station Safety, Taxi Fare & Taxi Safety

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I am mapping out our days and walking routes to avoid having to look at maps while touring the City. Google Streetview has been a great help in learning landmarks. I have a few questions for the experts:

(1) My plan is to avoid the Catalunya Metro station & Las Ramblas entirely since that looks to be pickpocketing central. Any other specific metro stations to avoid?

(2) What is the approximate taxi fare from Passeig de Gracia station to Rocafort station (where our hotel is). We're planning on taking a taxi from Cuidad Condal back to our hotel (Eric Vokel Gran Via) instead of taking the metro. Is it "safe" generally to take a taxi at night?

(3) Can/Will restaurants call taxis for you? We have a bunch of people-- can we specifically request a minivan taxi?

(4) Is it customary to "tip" on top of the the taxi fare?

(5) Is it "safe" to walk from the Universitat metro station up Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes to get to Cuidad Condal? We will be pushing 2 cheap umbrella strollers.

Is it safer in the Universitat/Passeig de Gracia neighborhood than say, on Las Ramblas?


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