Barcelona is infamous for its pickpockets. Everyday, tourists around the city have their belongings stolen from them. And honestly, the police do not pay so much attention to these cases. Therefore, it is important for you to be smart about the precautions you take, so that you can leave the city with all of the belongings that you entered with.
1. Don't Look So Tourist-y
Pickpockets are all over Barcelona (although their favorite hangouts are the metro and Las Ramblas!) and they are searching for the most touristy people to rob. Why? Because they know that tourists are carrying lots of cash with them. By blending in more with the locals by wearing darker clothing instead of Hawaiian shirts and safari hats, you are more likely to keep the pickpockets attention off of you.
2. Keep Your Passports In The Hotel
Every week, the embassy has a new wave of tourists who come in because their passports were stolen. I lived in Spain for almost two years and the only time I needed my passport was when I was leaving the country. I never left my house with the passport and you should not need to either. So, keep your passports safe in your hotel. You don't need them! If you want, carry another form of identification that is not as valuable.
3. Carry Only The Cash You Need
Pickpockets love cash, and the more you have the better. Even if you are being extremely careful about protecting your belongings, that still does not guarantee you will not have money stolen. Therefore, do not take an unnecessarily large amount of cash with you if you do not need it. You may regret it later.
4. Always Carry A Purse You Can Close
If you have an open purse, that is like having a red X on your back and saying "pickpocket me please." You would not think so, but it is really easy for those Barcelona pickpockets to quietly slip your wallet or cell phone out of your purse without you even noticing. I've had friends that have even had their cameras and computers stolen!
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5. Don't Flash Your Cash
If you pull out a handful of cash to pay for a metro ticket or buy a souvenir, there is probably a thief who saw you do it. Remember that these pickpockets are everywhere. They blend in with the crowds and keep their eyes out for tourists who have a lot of money.
6. Keep Your Money in Your Front Pocket
I always kept money in my front pocket, and I believe that this helped me to avoid being robbed. My thinking was that, if a pickpocket would steal something out of my back pocket, I might not notice. Yet, if they tried to take money out of my front pocket, I would.
7. Watch Out For Distractions
Pickpockets usually never work alone. A lot of times they work in teams because it is easier for one person to steal your wallet while another is distracting you. Look out for random people who are making a scene in public, bumping into you, or trying to get your attention in any other way. They may be trying to distract you so that their partner can steal your belongings.
8. Never Leave Anything Out In The Open, Ever
Keep your eyes on your belongings at all times. You may think it is okay to place your purse on the ground for a minute while you are taking a picture, but you could be taking a risk by doing so. It only takes a second for a thief to snatch up your belongings. My friend put her purse down on the seat beside her at McDonald's and the thief spun the chair around and the purse was gone in seconds.
9. Try And Keep Your Purse In Front Of You While You Walk
One of the easiest ways to make sure you don't have your anything stolen out of your purse is to keep it in front of you as you walk. If your purse is not open and on your side then it will not be so easy for a pickpocket to quietly slip your cell phone or wallet out of it.
So remember, use common sense! Both my sister and I lived in Barcelona for a long period of time and never had anything stolen. Don't be scared, just be smart!