Madrid is the capital city of Spain, nested in the center of the country. Other than its exceptional architecture and museums, the city life is exceptional in itself : the tapas restaurants and bars, the music scene and the city nightlife has nothing to envy to other European capitals.
Although the country is very safe, the number of tourists in Madrid 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 historic and touristic center of Madrid is also the oldest part of the town. It is located near the Palacio Real (Royal Palace) and the impressive Nuestra Senora de Almudena Cathedral. The city center attracts a lot of pickpockets and bag-snatchers on the crowded streets near Plaza Mayor. Keep an eye on your belongings at all times.
La Latina & Lavapiès
South of Plaza Mayor are the neighborhoods of La Latina and Lavapies. La Latina is a medieval-like area, with some great churches, museums, and some of the best tapas bars in the city. On Sunday, the Rastro flea market is the best place to buy old clothes, antiques and try some street food.
Lavapies, on the other hand, is a more popular area, and is often avoided by tourists for being a “no-go zone” (drug-dealers and prostitutes are known to operate in the area).
The Rastro is also known for attracting its fair share of pickpockets, so be careful with you belongings. Lavapies is not recommended for tourists, especially at night, unless if accompanied by locals who know where to go.
Puerta Del Sol & Santa Ana
The Puerta Del Sol is the official center of Madrid, where all Madrilenans get together on New Year’s Eve or to have a drink. It is also the best neighborhood for shopping, as all the major brands have a store on the Gran Via. Plaza de Santa Ana is located near Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, one of the most prestigious art galleries in Spain. High caution should be exercised on Plaza Del Sol, especially because of pickpockets working in groups during the day. Street performers and mimes will not usually let you take a picture of them for free, and can get angry.
The Retiro park is the green heart of Madrid, and is located near the most famous in Spain, the Prado Museum, which has some of the finest collections of Goya, Velasquez and other Spanish painters. The museum area attracts pickpockets, and the while the Retiro Park is very safe during the day, it can be dangerous at night.
Continue reading for more details about how dangerous is Madrid.
Is Madrid Safe? Warnings & Dangers
OVERAL RISK: LOW
Madrid 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. Madrid is a bit more dangerous because of the high number of tourists being targets for pickpocket .
PICKPOCKETS RISK: HIGH
As a top touristic destination, there is a high pickpocket risk in Madrid. A few simple precautions will minimize your chances of being pickpocketed. Be careful around Musems, and the Plaza del Sol.
MUGGING & KIDNAPPING RISK: LOW
Madrid is a safe city regarding mugging and kidnapping risks, although some areas are best to be avoided at night.
SCAMS RISK: MEDIUM
As in any touristic place, there may be people trying to scam you in Madrid. 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 Madrid.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: LOW
There are no natural hazards in Madrid and Spain.
TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM
Madrid has not recently been targeted by terrorist attacks, but it is best to stay alert.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Madrid 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.