Barcelona Safety

Mar 16th, 2015, 10:24 AM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 807
Christina, it's actually 4 stories that I've heard in the last 2 weeks, now that I think about it. Only one occurred in the last month. The others occurred within the last 1-3 years but the point is, everyone you discuss Barcelona with has a pickpocketing story to share. I know one occurred on the metro and another occurred at a cafe. Don't have all of the initimate details. Even Rick Steve's most recent Spain guidebook says, about Barcelona, "you're more likely to be pickpocketed here than just about any other place in Europe." Sorry if that offends some people, but that's the city's reputation, like it or don't. Thank you to everyone who has replied thus far with worthwhile tips. I will continue to read here for additional ideas. I am planning to buy a cheap travel watch this weekend so that I can leave my IPhone in the room safe most of the time.
MinnBeef is offline  
Mar 16th, 2015, 10:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,339
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.>

this is true IME except for Barcelona and Madrid where muggings apparently are a real problem - Barcelona is not your typical European city but tops in street crime and there havew been many a reported mugging - along with Madrid.

Common sense nagates much of the problem along with not flashing valuables around - leave the fmaily jewels at home.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 16th, 2015, 11:10 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 4,248
I was in Barcelona with a friend last May; we are two women in our early 30s and stayed in the Gothic Quarter. We were warned several times, including by tour guides in town, to watch out for pickpockets. We did so, and never had any issues. The only time I ever felt unsafe was when we had to walk through an argument in Spanish or Catalan that we couldn't understand to get to our apartment; that was an interpersonal thing, not a Barcelona thing, though being in the narrow "streets" of the Gothic Quarter made getting through that situation a little trickier. Still, I'd absolutely stay there again.

We both used cross-body bags around town. Mine carried my dSLR camera and clasps shut rather than zips; because of that, I kept it turned backwards on the metro and other times we were in a big crowd, with my arm over it. I also made a point of looking around, paying attention, rather than being on my phone or looking at a map. Basically all the common sense stuff, but with heightened awareness. I didn't use the SLR in La Boqueria out of an abundance of caution, since I'd heard that's a prime spot for pickpockets.
jent103 is offline  
Mar 16th, 2015, 11:13 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 177
I was in Barcelona for total 5 days, two year ago, always kept our backpack/purses close to our bodies when around people and didn't have any issues while IN Barcelona.

However, soon after boarding a train from Barcelona for a daytrip to Monserrat, three of us were standing quite close together talking, at the junction of two cars (there was no room to sit, however, it was not overly crowded). Suddenly, this tall man came stumbling towards us (appeared to be drunk) and fell heavily against us, we all instinctively grabbed our belongings closely as we were mashed against each other and then almost in unison, pushed him away and yelled - another man on the other side of us also yelled at the man (?an accomplice), and then both of these men disappeared in an instant (almost like they had never been there!). In retrospect, this incident happened just seconds BEFORE the train came to the next stop. This happened so fast, we were just kind of stunned! It was like, "did that man just try to rob us??"

He did not get anything - we had our bags on at the front, all zipper compartments closed, with our arms holding them. Lesson learned to always be super-vigilant - you can never be too careful and don't let your guard down! Thankfully, we came out of this okay...

PS Everyone else in the train car, just kind of looked on in silence with maybe a few mumblings after it happened.
raz1024 is offline  
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