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9 replies
safety in Barcelona
Carey Tan
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How safe is Barcelona for a 19 year old female traveling by herself? I’ve seen lots of posts about Barcelona being "seedy" and crime ridden. If it’s really that bad then I might not want to take the risk. This is my first time traveling alone!
Your thoughts?

Basie
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I’ve just returned from a trip to France with a brief side trip to Barcelona. I didn’t feel that Barcelona was especially seedy or dangerous—— but when you travel, you always need to be careful about pickpockets, etc., and you need to avoid wandering off into deserted areas alone at night. In other words, use common sense and you should be OK, but there are no guarantees in life.

Shell77
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When I went to Barcelona, I stayed with an Aussie male friend and his Spanish girlfriend. Most of the time, his girlfriend showed me around but I wandered around by myself as well (day and night) and never really had a problem.

Some spots to be careful of at night are the huge square at the top end of Las Ramblas (sorry, I’ve gone a blank on the name of it) and the subway entrances/exits (main places for pickpockets).

To be honest, the area that I actually felt was the worst in terms of seediness was Mare Magnum – the strip of free clubs that are frequented by all the backpackers and students from Barcelona. Seriously, unless you want to pick up, avoid ALL eye contact with any males – if you’re going to go out there for a night, definitely find some other people from the hostel to go with. I wouldn’t recommend you go there by yourself.

As Basie said, just use your common sense. Keep any valuables on your body where pickpockets can’t get them and don’t make it obvious that you’re a tourist (eg. wearing your camera around your neck is asking for trouble). As long as you stay in lit-up areas where other people are around and act confident, you’ll be fine. Enjoy Barcelona and don’t be scared – it’s a beautiful place with some great things to see and a wonderful culture to experience!

EricaT
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Hi,

I’m an American girl living in Barcelona, and I definaletly think you should go and not let others comments deter you. Like the other posters said, be cautious and everything will be all right. Try not to take more money than you need, out with you when you are walking around. Also, leave your passport in the safe if your hostel has one. Be careful of Maremagnum like the other poster said, my friend was robbed while dancing with a guy there! It’s mostly pickpockets in barcelona, so thats why I advise not to bring more than you need. You’ll be robbed, and you won’t even know it, they are professionals. But with that said, if you carry a daypack around, walk around with it in front of you. if you carry cash in your pocket, keep your hand on your pocket when you are walking through a big crowd, or standing on the metro. I’ve been living here for almost three months, and nothing has happened to me, but I’ve been careful, and I’m sure you will be too!

Have a great time, and I’m sure you’ll really love it here!

shorty2728
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I traveled this summer with my friend (both of us female 22 years old) there…you need 2 b careful anywhere u go..wear a money belt around your waist under your clothes and u will b fine!

bigpaw
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When are you going to visit Barcelona? I am planning to visit there by myself during Christmas holidays for 3 days, I am 29 years old.

buffy
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I went to Barcelona on my own a couple of months ago and as a 22 years old female travelling by myself I had the same concerns. I stayed in a cheap hotel called Hosteria Grau on a street called Jovellanos and found this was pretty safe. There is a big problem with pickpockets in Barcelona but if you hold on tight to your bag all the time and be sensible you will be fine. I didnt have any problems although I definitely saw some dodgy looking characters particularly on La Ramblas. There are a lot of police on the streets. Deliberately avoided using the subway but there is no need to use it anyway, I used the Tourist Bus, departing from Placa Catalunya, this was safe and good. Go to Barcelona, you will be fine!

steena040784
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When I was 17 years old I went on a foreign exchange to Spain and stayed with a family near Valencia. Now I am 20 and I am going to Barcelona 2 weeks from today, and I am going all by myself. I am a little nervous but I know it will be an amazing time in my life and well I’m sure you will have fun too. Traveling is good for the soul and for your mind so take advantage of every second and don’t worry just be aware of the risks as you would be in any other major city.

LEX
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yup, I agree with everyone else Smile Barcelona isn’t that bad. Just keep your eyes open. It’s a beautiful place!

Scruffy
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We went to Barcelona last January and found it to be a great city – so many things to see and do. Very historical from Gothic Cathedrals to a Picasso Museum. There are basic precautions we use where ever we travel – some mentioned above: use a money belt or a pouch that hangs around your neck INSIDE your blouse or shirt, if you wear a fanny pack put it to your front so one of our hands can be on it at all times, never be afraid or embarassed to walk away from a situation that does not "feel right" (like too many people gathering around just you), if you are being accosted or frightened by someone – start yelling and/or run into the nearest place (shop, hotel, any place where there might be aid). A backpack makes you an espeically easy target in a crowd – your pack will be opened and things missing before you even know it. Dire warnings – but, by being careful we were never hit by pickpockets and as far as I know, never targeted. And certainly no hint of violence. Another tip that you may have read about (which is really hard to do) is to NOT look like a tourist. Walk with a destination in mind, don’t keep reading a map, and don’t dawdle (window shopping is OK). If harassed by anyone ignore them (don’t argue or talk to them) and walk away briskly. If at all possible I would try to travel with someone, not just for a feeling of additonal safety, but it is much more pleasant to share your experiences as you have them. Good luck.