Barcelona is still considered a core destination for planning summer vacations not only, for its climate but its mountains, architecture, beaches, and local gastronomy, are enough reasons for the thousands of tourists who arrive from all over the world every year.
It is clear that in the last couple of years, Barcelona’s image has deteriorated due to insecurity. The high levels of robberies committed manly by Pickpockets and Bag snatching in crowded places such as metro stations, icon places, centric neighbourhoods, amount others, has created negative sentiments in tourist and citizens. However, from my point of view, these incidents can be prevented if you take the precautions that I’ll mention belong.
According to the Barcelona City Council Victimization Survey 2019, the most frequent robberies in Barcelona in 2018 were:
- Bag and purse snatching
- Attempted bag and purse snatching
- Attempted mobile phone robbery
- Intimidation, coercion or threats
- Theft of mobile phones
The most critical places of assault in Barcelona:
- The Sagrada Familia
- Park Guell
- The Old City (Ciutat Vella)
- Train station, metro, FGC, airport or bus station (halls, platforms, stairs…)
IS BARCELONA SAFE TO VISIT IN 2020?
In terms of security, Barcelona is safe to visit compare with other European cities. It has very low rates of serious crimes against people such as murders or serious injury, however, Barcelona is one of the most tourist cities in Europe like Paris or Rome, therefore, you will find a lot of Pickpockets (mainly in the Barcelona landmarks) getting ready to assault tourist completely off guard. If you know the common Pickpockets’ practices, you can prevent being their target and enjoy your holidays without incidents.
HOW TO AVOID BEING ROBBED IN BARCELONA?
- In restaurants and cafes. Don’t put phones, cameras on the table; place your luggage under the table or between your legs.
- In the subway. Usually, everyone is focused on their things, if you discover someone who is looking at everyone, paying attention to every move people have, and is not in a hurry, don’t trust them because that is not the normal attitude. Pay special attention to busy stations with multiple connections such as Sants Station, Plaza Catalunya, Passeig de Gracia and Plaza España.
- Buy online the HOLA BARCELONA transport card, it is intended for tourists and offers you unlimited access to the entire transport network (metro, buses, TRAM, and Rodalies de Catalunya). Buy it in advance, so you can avoid using your credit card at the ticket machines, the muggers observe the moment when you enter your data and then steal your wallet and dispose of the money on your cards.
- Avoid using the subway lines 1 (red line), 3 (green line) and 4 (yellow line). If possible, I recommend you to choose other means of transport. Barcelona is a city where you can move around easily by bike or scooter, in the city operate several companies aimed to the mobility sharing, such as Acciona motorbike, Yego motorbike, Reby scooter, Bird scooter, Donkey Republic bikes, Scoot scooter, download the app of any of these operators and move around the city safely. In addition, you can rent a bike for the days of your stay, if you choose to do so, as far as possible do not park them on the street during the night, place them inside your accommodation.
- Avoid walking in dark isolated back streets after 11 pm, mainly in these areas the lower part of the Raval, Ciutat Vella, and around the port (end of La Rambla).
- Don’t wear high-end watches. Robbers used to target owners of very expensive watches. After identifying and tracking them, they look for the right time to assault them.
- Do not carry all your credit cards or more than 500 euros in cash. Leave personal documents at the hotel or home, load photocopies of these documents instead.
- Program your route path on Google Maps so you don’t have to pull out the sheet of the city map, believe me, you will look less like a tourist and a connoisseur of the city.
- Wear your backpack on the front in touristy areas and don’t carry your wallet or cellphone in the back pocket.
- Be wary of any strangers approaching you to ask you for directions or offer you things.
- Don’t neglect your belongings while focusing on something else.
- Don’t stop to watch gamblers (tricksters), fortunetellers (tarot card players, palm readers, etc.), or beggars; these activities are carried out in the street without permission and often have deceptive purposes and constitute a scam.
- Avoid the offer of flowers or other objects outside of commercial establishments.
Check out this guide of the different modalities of pickpockets and bag snatching in Barcelona. Click here
Also, look at this crime barometer to compare the level of security in any city in the world. Click here
HOW TO REPORT A THEFT IN BARCELONA?
There is a police station inside the Plaza Cataluña station.
Find the police station in Ciutat Vella. Address: Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 76-80, 08001
Keep in mind these numbers in case of any emergency: :
092 (Guardìa Urbana) / 088 Police (Mossos d’Esquadra) / 112 All general emergencies / 061 Medical emergencies
Be safe and enjoy your holiday! 😉
Text Original Photo bike tour Barcelona