What do all big cities have in common? They are beautiful, often tourist-crowded and plagued by pickpockets. Does that mean that you have to be scared to go on a citytrip? No. But we want you to have a nice stay, so here are some tips to avoid being the next victim!
Don’t be the next victim!
First of all, don’t be afraid to walk around with a bag or purse. In Barcelona, pickpockets are not violent and they will not rip off your bag from your arms. What they are looking for are moments of distraction, when they can take things out of your bag without you noticing it. The important thing is thus to keep your bags closed and get away when you feel people are trying to distract you!
A favourite spot for pickpockets are the metro stations. People have to take their wallets out to buy or take their tickets… and this way, the pickpockets know exactly where you keep your money! Here’s a trick: keep some money separated to buy tickets and don’t keep your tickets in your wallet. If you want to give some coins to the musicians in the metro stations, it’s also a good idea to keep some coins in your pocket.
Of course you need to carry some cash and other valuable items, but it is better to keep them on your body (in your pants’ pockets (but not the rear one!) or an inside pocket in your jacket). If you need to put it in a bag, make sure it is well hidden and not easily reachable. Be careful especially in restaurants and shops: keep your bag on your lap or at least make sure it’s attached one way or another to your chair or table, so nobody can just get away with them.
Pickpockets often work in groups and try to distract you, especially if they see that you are a tourist. So take care when you take out your city map in a crowded place! Make sure you close your bag after taking your map, because some “good souls” may offer their help to show you the way, while another person “accidently” bumps into you and goes off with your wallet… Another trick often used is spraying some sauce on you, while another person kindly offers its help to help you clean… and take your money. Don’t think the old lady or the cute child is really wanting to help you. Just keep walking is the best option! Don’t fall for the shuffle bets on Las Ramblas either: although it may look like a successful bet, they are mostly scams and you will lose your money.
Pay attention when a group of people is willing to “help” you show the way
Last but not least: check your wallet and bags before you leave the hotel and leave anything you don’t need there (such as local IDs, keys from home, driver’s licence etc.). Also consider carrying a copy of your passport instead of the original one. This way, you’ll have less work replacing all documents if you get pickpocketed despite your precautions. Don’t take too much money with you and prefer paying by card. But the most important thing is to stay alert all the time!
If you are looking for an accommodation in Barcelona, check out our apartments on www.barcelona4seasons.com so you can enjoy the city in all freedom!