How to Stay Safe in Barcelona


Barcelona is a generally safe city, although you are advised to take the same precautions that you would when visiting any other big or capital city. We’ve written a series of top tips on how to stay safe in Barcelona and get the most out of your trip in the Catalan capital, without having to worry about staying safe all the time.

One of the best pieces of advice we can give about staying safe in Barcelona, is remaining alert at all times, especially when visiting the busiest places like Las Ramblas, the beach, any tourist attraction, and also when travelling on public transport. These are the places where pickpockets usually hang about, since there are many tourists visiting these areas.

Stay Safe in Barcelona:

  • When leaving your hotel or apartment, take minimal valuables with you, leaving your passport, unnecessary cash, cards and documents at home. Wear a bag with a strap around your shoulder, stay alert and listen to your intuition.
  • Don’t put your wallet in your back pocket
  • Don’t leave your bag on the floor
  • Don’t put your wallet, purse or phone on the table. If a pickpocket sees that you have a valuable item out on show, they are more tempted to come over and take it. A common trick of many thieves is to ask for directions (putting their map on top of the valuable item) and then to remove both the map and the item as they leave.
  • Be wary of people stopping you in the street (to sign petitions etc).stay safe in Barcelona
  • Be careful watching street performers or stopping to look at something, both present great opportunities for pickpockets who will take advantageof your brief lax in concentration.
  • Don’t get involved in street games, such as the ‘where’s the ball’ game on La Rambla.
  • Don’t buy beers from street sellers- they keep the beers cool in the sewers and in the drains.
  • Take only the money that you need that day out with you. Leave all other valuable objects at home.

Security Services in Barcelona

Policía Nacional/National Police:

The main Spanish police force in charge of fighting crime and maintaining customs control. They are also in charge of issuing out and dealing with any problems with passports and DNI.

Guardia Civil/Civil Guard:

They carry out a similar role to the national police but they are also part of the military forces. They are responsible for guarding borders, roads, the coastline, the airport, and other high-risk places.

Mossos d’Escuadra:

The official police force of Catalonia in charge of dealing with issues inside the region, for example, protecting against terrorism.

Guardia Urbana/Urban Guard:

Official police force of Barcelona in charge of local incidents, making sure everyone remains safe in Barcelona. They deal with general city safety including traffic accidents, road incidents, as well as issuing fines and arrests.

To report a robbery

You will need to obtain a crime number in Barcelona to make any insurance claims abroad. This is issued at a police station, however you can also make the report online or by phone before collecting the number in person.

The most central Mossos d’Esquadra Police Station is, Nou de la Rambla, 76-80

English speaking telephone line: 902 102 112

Online: www.policiadecatalunya.net

Click on “accés a l’oficina virtual de denúncies”. Choose your language.

We don’t want to put you off coming to Barcelona with this article, as generally, the city is quite safe. You just need to be alert when travelling around the city or visiting popular sites, as sadly, pickpockets are a reality here. But if you follow our advice and always keep an eye out, we are sure that you won’t have anything to worry about and you will stay safe in Barcelona.


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