Safety in Barcelona

Old Jul 16th, 2005, 01:47 PM
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Safety in Barcelona

After reading alot on this great city, I am getting very nervous about pickpockets. What is the very safest way to carry money and credit cards? Passports left in hotel safe..I am sure. But where do you carry money?How about walking around at night since I know one eats very late in Spain. Please help!Thanks!
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Old Jul 16th, 2005, 02:04 PM
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When I was there I carried on as I do in London, I have my wallet in my pocket as per usual. Just be aware, and if the worst does happen, make sure that you're insured then there isn't too much trouble to be honest.

I never get this "rough" thing, Barcelona seemed no different to London, in fact it seemed that much safer.
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Old Jul 16th, 2005, 03:10 PM
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I don't believe in leaving the passport in the hotel. It goes in the money belt and stays with me the entire trip. If something happens and I cannot return to the hotel for my clothing I can go straight to the airport,embassy, hospital etc. with my passport ready to go.
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Old Jul 16th, 2005, 03:31 PM
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I was also nervous on my first trip to Barca because of all the warnings regarding street crime. It gave the beginning of my trip a very negative feeling. I encountered nothing at all to indicate Barcelona is different from any other large city and had a wonderful time.
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Old Jul 16th, 2005, 04:28 PM
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Barcelona and Madrid are different from other major European cities - they have strongarm muggings rarely seen elsewhere in Europe. I regularly talk with travelers and several have been mugged - one relative of mine was mugged at 7am near Atocha station in madrid on a Sunday morning - the theif tried to get her day pack off her back and she tried to give it to him but couldn't get it off either. She was bruised and could have been more hurt. Nearby shopkeepers opening their shops stood by and did nothing. Similar things have happened on the Plaza Mayor - more of a snatch and run thing in Madrid's main tourist focal point. The Ramblas in Barcelona. I usually pooh-pooh also reports but i have reliable knowledge that there is a serious problem in these two cities. Don't wear a day pack on your back, a fanny pack or fancy jewels. Sad but true. If you know the problem the less likely you'll be victimized - beware anyone coming up to you. I wish i could say it weren't true. I too never had a problem in either town.
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Old Jul 16th, 2005, 04:51 PM
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Hi

This is an interesting link - http://jones.tc/barna/scams.html. However don't be put off.

I never was worried in Barcelona or anywhere else in Spain. I always felt safe. However commonsense prevails. I used a hidden moneybelt around my waist to carry my passport, credit cards and cash. Only keep enough cash to pay for your daily spending, preferably in smaller denominations. Shopkeepers like it that way anyway. You'll find there is a lot of people around even late at night. Stay on the main thoroughfares. Avoid quiet streets. If someone seems dodgy, trust your gut feelings - chances are you're right. Make sure that you choose accommodation in safe areas. There is good and bad parts in every city. Avoid wearing expensive jewellery. When not in use, keep cameras out of sight. These are simple rules I use everywhere when travelling, not just Barcelona.

You'll be fine. You'll love Barcelona and Spain. Have a great trip!

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Old Jul 30th, 2005, 03:32 PM
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Our youngest daughter spent Fall Semester 2004 in Madrid. Her program, Marquette University, advised her to carry a purse/bag with a decoy wallet. In other words, money for incidentals, but money that she could afford to lose ($20/20E or less).
Some ID but no credit cards, etc. So if
she were cornered, she would have something to surrender...and it won't be a real loss althoug the thief would think he was successful. As an experienced traveler, especially with
high school-aged students, I thought this was a good suggestion, but I didn't actually do that when I was in Spain Jan. 2005 for three weeks. Put everything in money belt.
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Old Jul 30th, 2005, 03:57 PM
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I never thought of the decoy wallet before. Clever idea. I've always thought that pickpockets more common than muggers thus the need to keep items concealed.

I use a money pouch for nearly everything. A small amount of cash goes in my purse/bag.
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Old Jul 30th, 2005, 05:45 PM
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My purse was snatched from my lap at an outdoor restaurant in Barcelona off Las Ramblaslast October. A very, very polished thief created the impression he was part of the wait-staff, and only when he too quickly disappeared around the corner of the building after chatting momentarily with us did I realize he'd removed my purse from my lap, without my feeling or seeing a thing. He was so talented that my initial reaction was bemusement.

Luckily, my purse held only my $400 camera and accessories - no credit cards, money or passport, which I'd given to my sister to tuck in her money belt.

Those who say "Just use common sense and you won't have a problem" obviously haven't had a run-in yet with a really talented pickpocket. I was aware of Barcelona's reputation before we visited there and tried to be as cautions as possible and still lost a fairly valuable camera to the predations of a sneak-thief.

I hope you won't be put off to such an extent you decide against visiting Barcelona, because it's a beautiful city. Just keep your credit cards and passport in a moneybelt and carry only what you can afford to lose to theft or loss.
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Old Jul 31st, 2005, 09:26 AM
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I am glad to see positive comments about money belts. So often, I have seen, on this board and others, people putting their use "down." Good point about keeping everything--including passport--in them.

We were in Barcelona three years ago, and my husband was "sprayed" with chocolate, going down the steps to a Metro station. At the bottom, waited the fellow who did this, who had run past us so quickly, that I, right behind my husband, did not see the spraying happen. Since I had read on this BB about a similar experience in BCN, we shooed the culprit off, when he offered to help with the "cleaning" --which would probably included my husband's valuable--except that he carries them in his $$belt.

The incident did not spoil our trip to B. but it made us more aware of possibilities. That is the point--the more aware you are of what "could" happen, the more careful you will be.

PS. In regards to the purse in the lap--I usually don't carry anything in my purse except a few coins and use it mostly as a camera bag. But, I usually put my leg though the strap and then put it on my lap. The "fake" waitperson would have had to take me with it, had he tried to grab the bag from my lap. I shudder when I see people with their purses draped over the back of the chair. Sorry about your camera. mhm
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Old Jul 31st, 2005, 10:11 AM
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<But where do you carry money?>

In a money belt worn under your clothing. Passport, cash, credit card in it. But nothing you need to access during the day. The money belt concept that some people seem not to grasp is you do NOT go into it in public.

Carry 1 day's cash, ATM or 2nd credit card, in your pocket or purse so you can easily get to it when needed. I like a small leather bag with a strap long enough to go across my torso and be worn close to the body (note: I never take it off even in restaurants). For reasons like the story above: never put your purse on your lap, the table, or strung over the back of your chair.
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Old Jul 31st, 2005, 01:09 PM
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Money belts are a complete waste of money. If you wear close fitting jeans/trousers it's hard enough for you to take the money out of your own pocket, let alone anyone else.
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Old Aug 1st, 2005, 09:08 AM
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Money belts usually cost around $10==a small price to pay, even if you decide that you don't want to use them or they save you from having your valuables stolen. Tight fitting jeans may be the answer for some people, but not everyone. $$belts aren't normally accessed during the day, as mentioned above. Maybe the tight fitting jeans would be a good way to make sure you don't spend a lot of $$ each day, tho--mhm
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