Barcelona is Spain’s most dynamic, urban and cosmopolitan city. From the Gothic neighborhood to Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia cathedral, the city has plenty of sights and landmarks. As the cultural center of Spain, Barcelona offers famous museums such as the Picasso Museum and the Miro Museum; and Barcelona food scene is one of the best in Spain.
Although the country is very safe, the number of tourists in Barcelona attracts a lot of pickpockets and crooks who take advantage of the crowds on the city’s streets.
SafeAround will allow you to see on a map the city’s safest and most dangerous neighborhoods and areas, details on scams and other risks, as well as some useful travel advice.
The touristic center of Barcelona is also the oldest part of the town. Centered around La Rambla, Spain’s most famous and crowded boulevard, the Rambla leads to the medieval quarter from the city’s golden age, where the city’s catedral can be visited. The old city attracts a lot of pickpockets and bag-snatchers, especially around La Rambla’s crowds : keep an eye on your belongings at all times. The waterfront part of the Rambla is known for being prostitutes ground, and is best avoided at night.
West of the Rambla around Avenida Paralel, is the El Raval neighborhood, which was a former slum. It is in El Raval that the MACBA (Modern Art Museum) can be found. The south part (Barri Xines) is a red-light district and drug dealing area, and is therefore better avoided – particularly at night.
L’Eixample is the most central neighborhood of Barcelona, north of Plaza Cataluyna. Other than the iconic Sagra Familia Cathedral and the Casa Batllo, the neighboorhood is known for its expensive shops and restaurants as well as its bars and nightclubs. High caution should be exercised around the Sagrada Familia, and on the main avenue Passeig de Gracia.
Barceloneta and the Waterfront
Barceloneta once was factory and port area. The area has now been rehabilitated into a leisure area with waterfront restaurants, hotels, and a beach-side promenade on the Mediterranean sea. The area attracts pickpockets, and the promenade should be avoided at the night.
Warnings & Dangers
OVERAL RISK: LOW
Barcelona is a safe city. With a rating of 85% Spain, is ranked 17th out of 162 on the ranking of the safest and most dangerous countries. Barcelona is a bit more dangerous because of the high number of tourists being pickpocket targets.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: HIGH
As a top touristic destination, there is a high pickpocket risk in Barcelona. A few simple precautions will minimize your chances of being pickpocketed.
MUGGING & KIDNAPPING RISK: MEDIUM
Barcelona is an averagely safe city regarding the chances of being mugged or kidnapped. Be aware of dangerous zones by asking local advice.
SCAMS RISK: HIGH
There are a lot of scammers and con-artists trying to take advantage of tourists, particularly in large cities and around major landmarks in Barcelona. Be aware of “gold ring” tricks, fake petitions, groups of teenagers acting strangely or trying to distract you; and people offering help with your luggage.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: MEDIUM
There might be some risk while taking public transport in Barcelona.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: LOW
There are no natural hazards in Barcelona.
TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM
Barcelona has not recently been targeted by terrorist attacks, but it is best to stay alert.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Barcelona is generally very safe for women travelers.
Avoid Being A Victim! 10 Tips for Your Personal Safety
It is best to carry a small bag across your shoulder or wear a concealed pouch rather than a back pack
Carry as little cash as you can
Don’t keep your wallet in your back pocket
Beware of individuals who act strangely and who try to divert your attention in order to steal your belongings.
Pay special attention while seating on restaurants and café terraces, when you are withdrawing money from ATMs or near tourist attractions
Never keep your mobile phone or wallet on the table of a café or restaurant.
Don’t wear expensive jewellery in an ostentatious way
If an attacker tries to snatch your bag, don’t try to stop them as you will risk being injured
Thieves commonly work near tourist attractions such as museums, monuments, restaurants, hotels, beaches, trains, train stations, airports, subways and target vehicles with non-local license plates.
Most but not all of pickpockets work in groups, often as teenagers
The currency in Spain and most of Europe is the Euro. Spain is cheaper than other European countries, but the costs can add up in the main cities. Allow a budget of at least 70€ per day including accommodation.