Barcelona Safety

Mar 21st, 2013, 07:31 AM
Original Poster
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Barcelona Safety

Does anyone have any tips for Barcelona in terms of safety? I know everyone has different (and similar) safety advice for various foreign cities. Any tips or tricks I should be aware of? And areas to avoid?
jceilidh3 is offline  
Mar 21st, 2013, 07:41 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Be alert and don't leave your valuables out in the open.

Oh, that applies everywhere.

That said, the Raval at night wouldn't be my first choice of a place to go.
BigRuss is offline  
Mar 21st, 2013, 08:05 AM
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Best safety tip for this den of thieves.....unfortunately it's don't go. Sorry if that offends but the situation there is simply out of hand no matter how careful you are.

I have a cruise starting from Barcelona in June. I will fly into Barcelona the day before (only because I like to leave some lee way for flight delays) stay by the hotel and take a taxi to the cruise terminal. Call me whatever you want but that's how I feel about the place.
xyz123 is offline  
Mar 21st, 2013, 08:11 AM
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Barcelona is a wonderful place, but there is a definite theft problem--not a violence problem.

I always wear my money belt and pay attention to what's going on around me.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Mar 21st, 2013, 08:29 AM
Join Date: Mar 2013
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The Subway/Metro. ALWAYS be alert, especially when you get off. I had left my train with my girlfriend who was wearing a small daypack...I knew there were more passengers behind us but didn't think much about it. Suddenly I looked around and an eastern Europens theif had her hand right inside the bag - almost down to the bottom. I confronted her and it appeeared she was accompanied by 2 other women. She mumbled a bunch of words in Romanian and I told her to f**K off before I smashed her face in. On reflection a rash thing to do as she could have been (and almost certainly was) part of a larger gang.

My advice, when in a crowd, LWAYS keep valuables safe...wear a daypack on your front rather than your back, and don't leave any valuables visible.
EvilDee is offline  
Mar 21st, 2013, 08:55 AM
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I’ve been to Barcelona twice and will return next month. To be fair and honest I suggest common sense, the same that you would apply in any big city. I am particularly careful with the gypsies; I simply don’t let them get too close! And a firm no and making eye contact always helps. Try to be aware of your surroundings and I will definitely steer clear from the Gothic Quarter at night, it’s like getting lost in a maze! I would like to add that we used the metro every day and night and it felt very safe. If you are out late at night a taxi ride is the best bet back to your hotel.
travisa is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2013, 12:27 PM
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Just back from an 8 night stay in Barcelona and never felt unsafe at any time. Just use common sense. My wife carried a purse and I carried a small bag from PacSafe (great little bag...zippers lock, unslashable, etc...). I usually kept my wallet in my bag and carried some change and small bills in my front pants pocket. Also carried my iphone in my other front pants pocket.

We walked all over the city and also rode the metro. We were just observant all of the time, but never encountered anything that would remotely resemble an unsafe situation.

Never saw any packs of gypsies (as we saw in Paris and London). We would often find ourselves walking around Eixample after 11:00pm and again never felt unsafe.

Just be aware of your surroundings and try not to look like a typical tourist and you should have a great (and safe)time.
clemson91 is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2013, 12:32 PM
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Barcelona is a wonderful place, but there is a definite theft problem--not a violence problem.>

well there are more than a few muggings which if it happened to you like it did to a dear friend of mine in Madrid (plagued also by street crimes against tourists) you'd call it violent.

Google Barcelona and Muggings and you'll get many more hits than for anyplace in Europe - well along with Madrid. There are pickpockets and clever thieves in many cities like Paris who will steal you blind without you knowing it but in Barcelona unfortunately this is not always the case and you end up like mine friend - bruised and bloodied after the assault.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2013, 01:55 PM
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Wear a money belt and a body cross purse. Learn a little Spanish and don't take any [email protected] from anyone.

My husband and I were in Barcelona. I went inside a store along La Rambles . The owner told my husband that I had stolen something and wanted him to pay for what I "had stolen." I came back and told the creep to call the police, right now and we'll get this settled straight away. Boy! He ticked me off. I caused a little scene and started telling other tourist what had happened, only when his store sufficiently cleared out, did I accept his apology.

Other than that, not much else happened. I didn't like La Rambles anyway.
LSky is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2013, 01:56 PM
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sorry for my spelling las ramblas.
LSky is offline  
Mar 25th, 2013, 04:57 AM
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There is such a mix of opinions, from its fine just use common sense to, its horrible.
jceilidh3 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2013, 06:22 AM
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Must be a slow month - usually the topic of Barcelona safety gets alot more posts. You may want to use the search option and find a longer thread.

But my opinion is you are most at risk for theft on the metro - esp. in the crowded, main stations. The ne'er-do-wells are as likely to appear as business folks as the more recognizable gypsies. Be esp. on guard if there is any sort of a blockage - getting on or off the metro or on the elevators. Their SOP is for one person to create a snarl and for others to be "fishing" thru pockets and bags.

I think there is some violent crime and muggings but it is much less frequent than the pick-pocketing. I would never skip Barcelona because of the theft problems BUT either carry your stuff super-secure, under your clothes or better yet IMO, limit what you carry so if you happen to be a target they do not get all your credit cards or cash. These theives are professionals and they are pretty darn good at their jobs - I would never assume that I am too saavy to be a target but I can make sure that my trip is not ruined if they happen to "bump into!" me.
suec1 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2013, 06:34 AM
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Some git tried to pinch my empty decoy wallet from my back pocket, while explaining how fantastic Barcelona FC is and showing me how they tackle.
I felt his hand on my trouser button, I grabbed him and he was thrown against a steel barrier, HOPE IT HURT !

Barcelona is a lovely city, but the pick pocketing is definately out of control.
Been there once, wouldn't bother again.
Mucky is offline  
Mar 16th, 2015, 09:23 AM
Join Date: Oct 2011
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Refreshing this post. I leave for Spain in 10 days, with Barcelona being my last stop on the trip. Now I'm a pretty seasoned traveller and am aware of the types of typical scams and such. But I've heard Barcelona pickpocketing stories from 3 different friends and co-workers in just the last week! Now I know it's a big city, but I don't know of ANY big city that has as bad a reputation as Barcelona does and it's starting to get to me a bit.

I have a Pac Safe waist bag that I'll wear in the front. I also have an over tne neck pouch. I understand the Ramblas is a prime tourist target area, as is the Metro. But can anyone else provide me with some practical tips to minimize my risk of being pickpocketed? It seems such a shame that such a beautiful, tourist oriented city has such a bad reputation and the powers that be seem uninterested in trying to curtail it.

Thank you in advance.
MinnBeef is offline  
Mar 16th, 2015, 09:48 AM
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I've been to Barcelona way more than once and yes, unlike all the "knowledgeable" travelers here I usually stay in a hotel (the Monte Carlo) which is right ON Las Ramblas if for no other reason than it is close to the opera house.

I have had my pocket picked ONCE and that was when I was distracted on the Metro.

I have yet to ever feel unsafe in the city and I would agree that you need to remain alert and if you are unsure then use a moneybelt which never hurts.

Believe me, Barcelona is nothing in terms of theft when compared to certain places in Rome and Prague.
Dukey1 is offline  
Mar 16th, 2015, 09:53 AM
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Believe me, Barcelona is nothing in terms of theft when compared to certain places in Rome and Prague.>

Well I would not believe you off hand - any stats to prove that seemingly ridiculous claim - nothing compared to - that's quite a statement - would be interested in why you say that. Not to say that those two cities along with Paris don't have a lot of thefts and pickpockets but way way more - just not possible.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 16th, 2015, 10:08 AM
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Apparently if you think and talk like a racist, that is what passes for common sense.
sandralist is offline  
Mar 16th, 2015, 10:08 AM
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I've been there several times, including last time just 2013, and I don't think it's different than many other big cities. There are some big cities in Europe that have worse reputations than others though (mainly in the south, actually). I think Prague does have somewhat of a reputation, although I"ve never had problems there, but I did have a friend who was mugged right in the metro system in the city center.

I haven't read that it's worse than in some places like Rome. I"ve heard bad stories about Madrid, also, but again I've been there several times and didn't have a problem.

I don't lend myself to pickpocketing like some people do, though.

The tips are the same as anyone, don't have anything someone can pick. For men, that means your front pocket is not a magical place compared to yoru back pocket. For women, purses can be pickpocketed if you aren't careful with them or dangle them down to your side, whatever (and some are even open). Don't leave things on the back of chairs or put them on the table in front of you in an open-air cafe. These things seem obvious, but a lot of people do them.

MinnBeef, the stories you heard from your friends, were those personal experiences or just stories they were relating that they had heard? If personal, what exactly happened to them and what were they doing, what were the circumstances. I'd be interested in hearing, and whatever they were ought to give you an idea of what not to do. IOf they were mugged or some violence was involved, I'd be interested in hearing that, also. I think if you know 3 people that have been pickpocketed recently, it could be instructive to hear about the situation.
Christina is offline  
Mar 16th, 2015, 10:15 AM
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Don't take all your cards and money out with you - carry just enough for the days activities.

If you are a woman, use a cross body bag with a zip top, (not poppers or magnetic fastenings) and position the bag such the zip needs to be pulled toward you (so its hard for someone standing behind you to open it).

Don't put valuables on tables or chairs - keep them on your lap and/or with your arm threaded through the strap.

It's also worth noting that western european cities are not particularly noted for violent crime - that is muggings/violence and much less likely than a simple pickpocketing attempt.

Barclona is an amazing city and you should not be put off visiting it.
RM67 is offline  
Mar 16th, 2015, 10:15 AM
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should say 'muggings/violence are much less likely than a simple pickpocketing attempt'.
RM67 is offline  

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