Being a tourist in a big city is not always easy, even if you have everything planned out in advance. Certain unfortunate events can occur even in beautiful cities such as Barcelona. Now, we all know that we’re talking about one of the most amazing cities in Europe, but let’s face it: the more tourists equal, the bigger chance for pickpockets to hunt for their treasure. Scared of something like this happening to you? Don’t despair; I’m here to help you!
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A tourist before going to Barcelona (or any other city) often does the usual: checks up the attractions and events happening in the period of his/her stay in the city. Rarely when they check if something bad is possible to happen while they are visiting and that’s normal: nobody likes to be pessimistic about an already planned trip. However, having ranked Barcelona in the list made by experts of 10 worst cities for pickpockets is not something that we should be indifferent about. In 2009, in a tourist season, 6.000 thefts per day had been reported, a number quite shocking.
Now, you’re planning a trip to Barcelona, but you don’t like what you’ve just read? Don’t worry; I am not here to ruin your expectations and tell you that you’ll have an awful time there. On the contrary, I’m helping you prepare for a trip you will certainly enjoy if you follow some suggestions. Are you ready for a care-free vacation? Do you want to have the time of your life without worrying about your security? Here’s how to do it!
Watch out not to attract too much attention
In Barcelona, you’re a tourist, but you don’t want to look like one. Why? Well, the answer is pretty simple: tourists are signalizing pickpockets, pointing out the source of valuable stuff and money, even though the visitors are not aware of this. All those cameras on your neck, selfie sticks in the air and maps in your hands just alarm the pickpockets about their next target. So, when in Barcelona try as much as possible not to look like a tourist.
Take good care of your stuff
When taking a photo, don’t leave your private stuff on the bench or somewhere near. Always have them with you and check them many times. If you’re traveling with a companion or a group, always divide into roles like who should watch for suspicious strangers approaching you, who should keep eyes on the road and the instructions, etc.
Always carry a bag that guarantees security of your valuable stuff
When deciding which bag to wear on your visit to the city: don’t get caught up in the fashion vs. security battle of your luggage. Always go with safety! Everyone wants to be well-dressed, but if that means that your money’s in a bigger potential danger than if you’re wearing your old Fanny Pack, then fashion will just have to wait for another occasion. Additionally, don’t put all your money in the bag, but be creative to put something extra just-in-case money in your pockets or even socks!
Don’t trust people, no matter how friendly they look
I know you’re used to going to the beach without a care in the world, leaving your belongings on the towel at the beach and going on the water for a swim. Well, this can result in a wrong decision leading to severe consequences, like your stuff being robbed. Also, when you walk down the street, watch out for people that are approaching you, especially the ones being too friendly. Try not to make any physical contact with strangers to avoid potential pickpockets. And this happens quite a lot especially on the nights when people have had a few drinks and have to loosen up a bit, not taking care a lot of what’s going on around them.
Also, watch out for your bag when you’re in a metro. Pickpockets wisely use the crowd to target and attack their next victim. And the worst part is, you might not even notice that somebody’s robbing you.
Be careful everywhere, but especially on these locations
There’s no rule in which zone pickpockets exist or do not exist. They can be found, or better yet said, they can find you everywhere and at any time. However, it is well-known that pickpockets like to do their job in crowded places, where you can’t notice them easily, and even if you do, they can run away and get lost in the crowd very fast.
Have your eyes wide open when walking through Las Ramblas, the most famous street in Barcelona. Also, while worshiping Gaudi’s masterpiece – Sagrada Familia, don’t forget to keep your bag closed and guarded. Barcelona’s central railway station – Sants Estacio is also a perfect place for pickpockets, as we mentioned earlier when we talked about paying attention when being or waiting for a metro. Take care of your stuff when watching the performance of the Magic Fountain, as this is a perfect place for pickpockets to do what they have in mind, taking advantage of the night and the entertained and deconcentrated tourists.
Let’s remember again that this article is not meant to scare you. On the contrary, it should encourage you to accept a challenge and enjoy the wonderful city even though there might be some obstacles on the way. However, if you are careful enough, there’s nothing that can ruin your holiday. Barcelona is fantastic, make sure you experience it that way!