Safety Tips

If renting a car, and it has the car hire company sticker on the back window, remove it right away. Do not advertise to potential robbers (and they are out there) that you are a visitor and have money, passports, cameras etc with you! They will follow hire cars from the airport. Please be careful!

Remember the emergency number in Spain is 112.  It works from any phone.

The United States State Department has a good article about travel safety everywhere:

Spain is one of the safest European countries to visit. There is little serious crime. A visitor to Spain should know that there is some pickpocket theft in the metros of the big cities and in crowded places that are frequented by tourists.

At night you should not walk on a street where you are the only one. It is safe when there are many others on the street.

Use ATM machines in a bank and not the ones on sidewalks. This is to prevent youngsters from rushing to you in a group and grabbing the money as it comes out of the machine. Also some ATM machines on the street may have had their keyboards tampered with and will transmit your card number and code to someone who will try to empty your account. This is called card skimming.

Avoid women offering you a flower or rosemary. These women are Romany gypsies. They will want some money if you accept. Many are expert pickpockets.

Avoid young women who carry clipboards and ask for signatures for a good cause. They work in groups and while one is explaining something to you, the other may try to pick your pockets.

An interesting Spanish newspaper article has listed the what the Spanish perceive to be the safest and unsafest cities in Spain.

ABC Spanish newspaper

BARCELONA Update Summer 2014:

PARKING OF VEHICLES:  Each August it is free to park in the Green zones in Barcelona City Centre.  However leave NOTHING in your car in sight- even something small- car window smashings are common- locals around the Poble Sec/Mont Juic/Plaza Espanya report their car broken into at least a few times per year on the street.  If you park your car on the street, take all valuables and your car registration and insurance documents out with you. 

COMMON CRIMES:  The most common at-present crimes are mobile phones (iphones especially) being pickpocketed.  Make a note of the serial number or registration number of your iphone and keep it somewhere safe (ie not stored in your phone!) as the police request this information when you report the theft.

Risk is present at train stations from thieves who have scissors and cut the purse-strap of shoulder bags.  The shoulder bag drops, the thieves grab it and run away. You may think you are safe with a shoulder bag close to your hips, but consider keeping your most important documents cards or wallets on your person.

REPORTING A CRIME:  There is an English Interpreter from 10am daily at the Police Station closest metro: Parral'el or Liceu (easy walkable from La Rambla).  The address is:  

Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 76-80 08001 Barcelona

Remember the emergency number in Spain is 112.