In general Barcelona is a safe city and most tourists are able to visit without any problems at all. However, you may have heard stories of Barcelona’s (in)famous pickpockets. Follow our simple guide to Barcelona safety tips below to avoid getting your valuables stolen on holiday, which is always going to be a small nightmare and leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth. But all of this can easily be avoided – read our our useful checklist – remember, like any major city, in Barcelona it is important to be careful with your belongings.
Our Barcelona safety tips
Keep your belongings in your sight
- Always be aware of your belongings! When you’re sitting out on a terrace try and keep an eye on your stuff and never leave your phone or wallet out on the table, as that’s easy territory for pickpockets.
- Be extra vigilant on the metro – this is where a lot of pickpockets operate and trust us, they know what they’re doing! People can try to distract you whilst the pickpockets do their work. If you have a backpack make sure you keep it in front of you.
- Other places to take extra care of your belongings are in general in places where there are agglomerations (the Rambla, queues for attractions, the beach, the metro, etc)
Be a tourist, but not too much
- Not leaving your belongings unattended is a rule of thumb actually. Never leave your bag out of sight, even in a fancy bar or restaurant. A good tip is to trap a handle of your bag on a chair leg so it is not easy to snatch away.
- Pickpockets will automatically try and target tourists, so try to dress and act in a way that doesn’t too obviously attract attention to the fact that you are one. We’re not saying you have to speak Catalan or Spanish (in fact you will hear all sorts of languages whilst you’re here) but try to blend in and dress in a similar way to the locals.
- This also applies to stopping in the middle of the road to look at a big map for example. Not only does this immediately draw attention to you as a tourist, it also makes you an easy target for pickpockets.
More Barcelona safety tips
- Be wary of people who approach you in the street. Unfortunately, someone can distract you in order to take your belongings. This can include anything from people offering you club entry or even street performers.
- There’s nothing wrong with having a few beers or glasses of wine on your holiday, but if you’re planning on drinking make sure you still have your wits about you. Pickpockets will take advantage of drunken people, especially around the Las Ramblas and Barri Gòtic areas.
- It’s always a good idea to keep some cash in separate places on the off chance you do get pickpocketed so you’re not left without any money at all. This is an important one to know anywhere you go, but try and remember the emergency numbers. In Barcelona the number for the local police, Guàrdia Urbana, is 092, or you can also call the Mossos d’Esquadra (112), as both deal with cases of theft. However, if you don’t speak Catalan or Spanish it’s better to call the Europe wide 112 number as they speak a variety of languages and can be dialled from most international mobile phones.
- If you want to report the theft, you can check the list of police stations you can go to on this handy link.
With all that being said, these are just the most important Barcelona safety tips to keep in mind in many other places.
Barcelona is a beautiful and wonderful city, and in fact, most of the people you meet here will be friendly and more than happy to help you in any scenario. Stay vigilant but also don’t forget to enjoy your trip to Barcelona!