Last updated: November 2017
Barcelona is one of the most bustling, exciting cities in Europe. It is synonymous with art, gastronomy and a vibrant culture. Unfortunately however, it has also picked up a name for itself as being home to pickpockets. Although Barcelona is in general a safe city, with violent crime particularly low, petty crime, such as pickpocketing in Barcelona, does at times occur,as in many large cities.
But fear not! This should by no means be a reason not to enjoy the wonders of this amaxing city. Just follow these basic tips to ensure a safe, hassle-free stay in the Catalan capital.
10 Tips for the Safest Trip
- Don’t put wallets and phones in your back pocket. Remember, these Barcelona pickpockets are sneaky…
- Make sure handbags have zips and are completely closed. Many people prefer to carry rucksacks on their front, especially around Las Ramblas and other areas where there are large crowds.
- When in a bar/café/club, don’t place bags under the table or hanging on the back of chairs and don’t leave mobile phones on the table. Many bars now have hooks under the table where you can keep your bag in sight.
- Don’t leave your belongings unattended on the beach. It’s best to have one person keeping an eye out, just in case.
- Be wary of people standing particularly close to you on the metro or in a crowd, or trying to get your attention in such places. While there are many things to see in the city, especially performers, musicians and artists out on the street, pickpockets in Barcelona can use the forced proximity of onlookers to their sly advantage.
- Be wary of people coming up to you on terraces/squares offering you something, or asking you to sign a petition. Be especially vigilent of people who place a clipboard on your table – this is to distract you. Like we said: sneaky.
- Try to avoid getting your wallet out on the street. Keep small change on you and use that when paying for things in crowded places.
- Make sure you have copies of your passport/identity card, just in case.
- Avoid drunkenly ambling home – you don’t know this city as well as they do, and Barcelona pickpockets will take advantage of this.
- It’s not just pickpockets that can steal your belongings in Barcelona. Don’t get involved with and cup and ball games on Las Ramblas. It’s a scam.
If you are unlucky enough to be pickpocketed, try not to panic. There are some basic steps that you should follow.
- Cancel your credit/debit cards and report your mobile as missing to your phone company.
- In order to be able to claim on your travel insurance you will need to get a crime report and reference number. To do this you will need to go to a police station. The one that most regularly deals with tourists is located on Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 76-80.
- If your passport has been stolen, contact your airline for advice on whether an emergency passport need be issued, or whether a police report is sufficient. If an emergency passport is necessary, contact your nation’s consulate in Barcelona. Many are able to issue one within a few hours.
- Of course, you are also welcome to contact Apartment Barcelona’s customer service team, who will be happy to help you in such a situation.
Just keep these tips in mind in Barcelona and you’ll most certainly have the trip of a lifetime – and a safe one at that!