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Barcelona--how safe now?

Old Apr 19th, 2003, 05:39 PM
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Barcelona--how safe now?

We just used our American FF miles to purchase tickets to Barcelona for October, and I have been reading up on the area on this forum. There is a pretty scary thread from several years ago about muggings at knife point, etc. etc in Spain (and Barcelona, in particular). Have things gotten better (or worse) recently?? I would appreciate any up-to-date information on the crime situation in Barcelona. Thanks!
JaneB is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2003, 06:03 AM
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I go to Barcelona occasionally.
I don't think it is any more dangerous than any other European city.

And probably safer than downtown Detroit etc.


mpprh is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2003, 06:58 AM
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There will always be problems with pickpockets and some shoving around. Just be careful and make sure your valuables are secure on your person if you carry any. But it is a great city for visiting. I've been going every year for quite a while no matter what.
Thomas is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2003, 09:33 AM
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I just got back from a week in Barcelona and a week in Madrid. There is a lot of theft and pickpocketing in both cities, lots of it targeted at tourists, but the risk of violence didn't seem to be higher than any American city I've visited (or a number of large European cities, like London, Paris, Rome, Florence). I was at a language school, and we were advised to stay away from certain neighbourhoods late at night (eg. 3 am on the isolates streets running of the seedy waterfront end of the Ramblas), but in terms of the day-to-day tourist activities and locations I wouldn't be worried (about violence - but you need to be very careful about your belongings). If you're a bit nervous (like I was), you might want to stay in the Eixample district, rather than the Barri Gotic, because the former is more upscale, and the streets are wider (the Barri Gotic is full of narrow little alleys) and it still has lots of people going about their business, going to restaurants late in the evening etc to give you that "safety in numbers feeling" without giving you "this squishy crowd has its hands in my pocket feeling". And it's beside the Barri Gotic, so you can visit that area without staying in it. I stayed at the Hotel Astoria (about 115 euros a night), and it was a lovely hotel and a good value.
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Old Apr 21st, 2003, 07:19 AM
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We returned from Barcelona a few weeks ago. My husband was working there so I explored Barcelona on my own for four days. I enjoyed myself and had no problems except the unnverving sights of anti-war demonstrations. I never felt unsafe. I rode the subway all the time, walked extensively, and went all over the city. People were very kind to me- I did speak traditional Spanish as much as I could. Just be smart and carry money, passport inside your clothing on a necklace or money belt. I did carry a purse with personal stuff inside, and still had no problems. My husband however was pickpocketed later, but it was non-threatening-done by two young women from Bosnia (ID'd at the police dept). It is safer than a lot of american cities.
LikeToTravel is offline  
Old Apr 21st, 2003, 08:13 AM
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We're staying at the Regencia de Colon....anything other than pickpocketing to worry about in that area?

We were thinking of walking to the pier to catch our cruise ship from the hotel (depending on how close the ship docks).
Is this a bad idea, in terms of crime, as we'd be pulling luggage?
Crowsie is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 12:46 PM
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In my experience Barcelona is very safe. Of course pickpocketing and muggings are a concern, but it's a matter of using common sense. Keep your valuables out of plain sight; be aware of your surroundings; and even if you are lost act like you know where you're going, as the flustered and distracted tourist is the most ripe for picking.

It's important to be watchful, but not so much that you forget to have a good time.
michelec is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 01:10 PM
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I'm feeling somewhat better. Any more experiences--good or bad?
JaneB is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 01:35 PM
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Hi Jane. Before heading to Barcelona in the spring of 2000, I'd read numerous bits in various guidebooks about the amount of petty (and even violent) crime in Barcelona and was, admittedly, a bit nervous. But we were there for an absolutely wonderful six days and the only two remotely "negative" incidents were on our first night -- when one teenager in a group of six -- kind of put his hand in my face (without touching it) as they were passing us on a street in the Gothic Quarter, and on our way to the airport on the train -- when two young men were aggressively hitting people up for money (nothing physical, they just didn't take no for an answer very easily.)

Anyway, while there's never a guarantee that nothing bad will happen, I'd recommend that you not worry about it. After all, I'm sure thousands of people visit Barcelona every year without incident.
capo is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 02:23 PM
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am i naive - but i really do not understand these posts about the crime in spain ?

we were just there for 2 weeks, including barcelona for 3 days, and not once did we ever see anything remotely resembling a crime. all i can conclude is that there are just some people asking for it to happen

barcelona was, without a doubt, the absolutely most beautiful, wonderful city that we have been to in europe
jkalos is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 02:25 PM
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Went to Barcelona last June. I had read in the NYT and various guidebooks the warnings about safety and went to Spain a bit paranoid. However, I found Barcelona to be very safe and I was never uncomfortable (with all the usual caveats about taking reasonable safety precuations and IMO, not wearing baseball caps and fanny packs that so clearly mark you as a tourist).
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Old Apr 23rd, 2003, 08:40 AM
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I was in Spain (Barcelona & Madrid)for 2 weeks. I was on my own, and had no problems. I went out at night (as well as the day), walked around the city alone, went to niteclubs,dinners etc.. with no problems. I agree with everyone else here, you should always pay attention to what's going on around you, as in ANY city.
travisblue is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2003, 10:18 AM
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Jane - dont want to alarm you but my fiance and I booked our Sept honeymoon flight on AA to Barcelona about 2mos ago and then found out the route has been cancelled. Unless they are routing you via British Airways or something you may want to double check all is well...
gablej is offline  
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