Barcelona is a vibrant and exciting city with a rich culture and history, attracting millions of visitors each year. However, like any major tourist destination, it’s important to be aware of potential safety hazards and take the necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. In this post, we’ll cover the most important safety tips for travellers to Barcelona.
- Be aware of pickpocketing: Pickpocketing is a common issue in tourist areas, particularly on public transportation and in crowded areas such as La Rambla. Always keep your valuables close to you and be mindful of your surroundings. Consider using a money belt or keeping your valuables in a hidden pocket. Never leave your electronic devices at sight while you’re at public places, specially when you’re in a table.
Pickpockets often target crowded metro cars, particularly during peak hours. They may work alone or in groups, and they can be very skilled at distracting their victims while they steal their belongings. Common tactics include bumping into someone, asking for directions, or creating a commotion in the car. It’s also important to be mindful of who is around you in the metro car. If someone is standing too close to you or behaving suspiciously, move to a different part of the car or alert a security guard.
- Be careful at night: Barcelona, like any city, has neighborhoods with higher crime rates, particularly at night. One such neighborhood is Raval, where visitors are advised to exercise caution and stay in well-lit, busy areas, while avoiding dark, deserted streets.
In recent years, there have been reports of incidents where tourists have been ambushed by gangs of young immigrants in dark alleys. These criminals may encircle their victim and use force or violence to steal their valuables. To protect yourself, it’s important to be vigilant and take simple precautions, such as not carrying large amounts of cash or valuables, keeping your belongings close to your body, and traveling in groups, especially at night.
Additionally, it may be helpful to research the safety concerns in different neighborhoods ahead of time and plan your activities accordingly. If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe in any situation, it’s best to trust your instincts and seek help or leave the area.
- Watch out for scammers: Barcelona is home to many scammers who prey on tourists, from fake gypsy fortune tellers to street vendors selling fake goods. Be wary of anyone who approaches you aggressively or offers you a deal that seems too good to be true. Special attention on the “distraction” method: Someone may bump into you, spill something on you, or ask for directions while an accomplice steals your wallet or phone.
- Use caution when using ATMs: Skimming devices can be installed on ATMs, so it’s best to use ATMs inside banks or in well-lit, populated areas. Also, cover the keypad when you enter your PIN.
- Don’t leave your drink unattended: Drink spiking is a concern in Barcelona, particularly in bars and clubs. Always keep an eye on your drink and never leave it unattended.
- Be aware of your surroundings: Always pay attention to your surroundings and be aware of potential hazards, such as uneven sidewalks or construction areas.