We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Pickpockets In Barcelona

Jericho, New York
Level Contributor
212 posts
163 reviews
Save Topic
Pickpockets In Barcelona

My wife and I are visiting Barcelona in October. She's very concerned about all the pickpockets she's heard about. Is it really that bad? We've been to Sorrento, Prague, Budapest, Vienna, over the past few years, haven't had a problem. And we're relatively street-wise New Yorkers who routinely safeguard stuff even in our beloved city. What should we be worried about in Barcelona? Where? When?

Thanks.

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
61,707 posts
67 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Pickpockets In Barcelona

If you use normal "street smarts' as you would around crowds in NYC then you'll be fine. The cities you mentioned are not known for this prob but I am sure you know not to carry all your money/credit cards with you when you are out and about. Don't stick a wallet in a pocket. Don't leave a purse on the floor.

Don't get pulled into a conversation with flower sellers/petitions etc.

In other words just be wise !! I am 62 years old and am going back for my 2nd Barcelona visit soon because I just love the city!! If I can be safe then so can you!!

Jericho, New York
Level Contributor
212 posts
163 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Pickpockets In Barcelona

Thanks for the reassurance. Just to be on the safe side, I'm going to wear a money belt (underneath a shirt outside my pants) and put a "dummy wallet" in my pocket with a few old credit cards and a few euros. I'll show your posting to my wife...Maybe that'll calm her down! Thanks.

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
61,707 posts
67 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Pickpockets In Barcelona

Not sure why you need a "dummy wallet". I wouldn't bother to give anyone an excuse to get that close!!. Just take your other precautions and you'll be fine.

I use a travel wallet around my neck and I have a mesh shopping bag that closes with velcro where I put my maps/books camera etc. It is soo obvious that I have NO money in there that noone bothers me.

Upminster, United...
Level Contributor
11,284 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Pickpockets In Barcelona

Is it really that bad?

Have you not read the posts from the millions of tourists who visit Barcelona each year and never get scammed or have their pocket picked ? Of course not, because people generally only post about bad experiences.

Jericho, New York
Level Contributor
212 posts
163 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Pickpockets In Barcelona

My feeling exactly...but go tell that to my wife!

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
61,707 posts
67 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Pickpockets In Barcelona

geohab, IF it will help your wife to feel better you can help her to message me and we can chat. I appear to be in your age group AND am an X NYrker too.

Jericho, New York
Level Contributor
212 posts
163 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Pickpockets In Barcelona

riffsmom...Thanks for your willingness to offer reassurance...We're handling it ok...and I'm afraid I overstated my wife's concern to make the situation more dramatic! It's just that every time the subject of Barcelona comes up among friends, one invariably recounts an incident they experienced or heard of involving someone who got pickpocketed. The "dummy wallet" ploy is simply a strategy to get rid of anyone who confronts you and demands "your wallet." But I realize not everybody would see this precaution as a good idea.

Treasure Island...
Destination Expert
for Ronda
Level Contributor
10,820 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Pickpockets In Barcelona

Be smart, put your money and passport under your shirt, you will not have a problem. Good luck and have fun. Hubie

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
61,707 posts
67 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Pickpockets In Barcelona

geohab The pickpockets don't "demand" your wallet! They just take it withOUT you feeling it! They are not muggers who confront you physically.

Mtwapa, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
Level Contributor
15,552 posts
55 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Pickpockets In Barcelona

There is no denying there is a problem but over 7 million people visit Barcelona each year, the huge majority do not have, or witness any incidents, a relatively small percentage (but still significant number) do, but why should you be one of them?

And whilst the pickpockets are skilful, they are not violent, mugging is extremely rare in Barcelona, New York, for all it has been cleaned up is far more violent than Barcelona