We hate and it's a shame for us to have to write a warning like this about our own city but this cannot be said enough to tourists visiting Barcelona.
BE AWARE OF PICKPOCKETERS! THEY ARE EVERYWHERE AND THEY ARE LOOKING FOR YOU!
In Barcelona it is not a crime to pickpocket! The Police have to prove that the value of the stolen goods or money exceeds 600 Euros to be able to prosecute the picpocketer, if they even get arrested. They say they are going to change the law but there has not been anything so far.
SO THE PICKPOCKETERS WORK WITHOUT DISTRACTION FROM THE POLICE! YOU HAVE TO WATCH IT YOURSELF!
Barcelona is in general a safe town where violent crime is rare, however you should always be aware of pickpockets as they are extremely good, some people say that Barcelona is The Pickpocket Capital of Europe.
Tourist are usually the main target so just be extra careful with your belongings as sometimes robberies can be avoided by just being a little bit extra careful.
Basic security advice:
- Keep your documents safe: Do not carry your ID or passport, always leave it at your hotel. A photocopy is usually enough. Neither carry all your Travel money or at least just on one place.
- Do not leave your luggage or belongings unattended at any given time.
- Suspect of anyone that seems to be too friendly (except for the Symposium's Staff!).
- Do not let people get too close to you.
- Be especially careful of people saying that you have a stain on your clothing, don’t let them clean it as they are probably trying to rob you. Also be careful with groups of kids asking for your signature or a donation, just tell them to go away.
- Be especially careful when using public transport and while visiting touristic landmarks (Sagrada Familia, Las Ramblas, etc).
- Do not show large amounts of money.
- Be careful with people asking for directions, as this is also one of the tactics used. Again, don’t let people get too close.
- Be careful when withdrawing money from an ATM, always have a look around before withdrawing money.
10 QUICK BARCELONA PICKPOCKET SAFETY TIPS:
1. Don't carry your wallet in your back pocket
2. Don't put phones, cameras on table at cafes
3. Wear your rucksack on your front
4. Keep bags on your lap at cafes/coffee bars
5. Be wary of any strangers approaching you or touching you
6. Don't play any street games
7. Be extra aware on beaches and in the metro
8. Be extra aware when watching street shows
9. Be extra aware on Las Ramblas and in the metro
10. Be extra aware around airport buses and airport transport
PLEASE READ a comprehensive Barcelona Pickpocket Safety Guide article: