Barcelona: Safety Tips

Spain is one country that contains a variety of cultures. Indeed, few cultures stand out more in this country than that which is found in Catalonia. And Barcelona, being its capital city, is a perfect representation of the Catalan identity. People flock from all over the world to take in the myriad sites and activities this bustling seaside metropolis has on offer, such as the bombastic street performances on the Las Ramblas promenade and the Gaudi-designed buildings. The food and wine are nothing to sneeze at either.

But just like in any tourist hot spot, petty crime can be an issue. While the majority of visitors to Barcelona leave with nothing but fantastic memories, there are others who find themselves the victims of pickpockets or bag snatchers. The good news is there are measures to be taken that can minimize the overall risk of petty theft and ensure a lovely stay in this Mediterranean treasure.

Move that wallet

Seasoned travelers throughout the world can say with some measure of expertise that one of the best ways to protect a wallet is to never keep it in the back pocket. Those visitors to Barcelona who want to hang on to their billfold would do well to keep it in the front. Also, those wearing backpacks will want to wear them against the chest rather than in the standard way.

Don’t expose valuables

There is a rich café culture in Barcelona, and there are few better ways to pass the time in this great city than at an outdoor table with an espresso or beer. However, make sure not to leave things like cameras and phones on the tabletop; it’s all too common to be reading a magazine only to look up and find that the iPhone or digital camera is now gone forever. To this end, keep all bags on the lap or wrapped around the legs.

Be hyperaware in crowded areas

Las Ramblas and the Metro in particular. Subways and the promenade are hubs for pickpockets, and they often work in groups. One moment a tourist is happily enjoying a lively street show on Las Ramblas and the next thing they know their valuables are gone. This petty theft can also be a problem when using airport transit. There’s no need to be overly fearful; just keep an extra eye out.

Be wary of contact with strangers

In any crowded city, it’s not uncommon to brush up against the occasional pedestrian, and it’s no different in Barcelona. However, tourists should be aware of strangers who approach or touch them. Oftentimes a criminal will distract a tourist while his or her partner steals the tourist’s wallet or handbag. Those travelers who have secured their valuables and who cast an assiduous eye toward the people around them are virtually guaranteed not to experience any problems.


In general, Barcelona is a very safe city that earns raves from long-term residents and tourists alike. It is merely the duty of the traveler to take commonsense steps in order to ensure their belongings remain their belongs for the duration of their trip

Franck Anais is a real estate agent in Barcelona since 2002. ShBarcelona is an apartment rental agency based in L’Eixample, in the heart of Barcelona. The agency offers Barcelona accommodations with flexible rental contracts.

Franck Anais operates ShBarcelona apartments, a real estate agency located in the heart of Barcelona, for more than 10 years. He and his team help tourists, students and businessmen find the perfect apartment for their stay in Barcelona.