Barcelona & pickpockets

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  • Barcelona & pickpockets
  • j5kol
    Member

    So, I’m off to Barcelona soon and nearly everyone I have spoken to that has been, have warned me of the pickpockets. Is it really that bad, and if so what precautions should I take. We both have extremely expensive items of jewellery, do they target watches etc ?

    PrinceJohn
    Member

    Just watching a documentary on Channel 5 – it’s the Romanians you’ve got to look out for, coming over here taking away the marks of the honest british pickpocket..

    wobbliscott
    Member

    Same in all big cities. I’ve the same advice about Paris and Prague. They tend to be gangs, so you’ll be distracted by one while another does the pickpocketting, usually at road crossing points or similar spots. Rucksacks over your shoulder are targets as well as back pockets. I usually keep my wallet in a pocket with my hand in it in busy spots on the street. Worked for me so far, unless I’ve been lucky.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    my wife had a small rucksack nicked off the back of her chair when inside a restaurant. They only got a pair of knackered sandals and a hairbrush but you’ve got to admire their pretty slick work all the same (I do wonder if it was one of the staff)

    We both have extremely expensive items of jewellery,

    why would you take those ?

    schrickvr6
    Member

    what precautions should I take. We both have extremely expensive items of jewellery

    Errrmmm, ummmmm, ahhh, no sorry can’t help.

    CountZero
    Member

    There are many places I’d be wary about wearing extremely expensive items of jewellery, so I’d take the obvious precaution, and not wear it. It’s not a requirement that you have to go on holiday blinged up like an LA rapper. Most of what I wear is pretty inexpensive, with the exception of my Seiko, but there are places where I’d wear my G-Shock instead.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
    Subscriber

    Leave the expensive stuff behind, it’s not a fashion parade you know and only the pick pockets will be impressed by your posh watches etc.

    Premier Icon tonyg2003
    Subscriber

    Barcelona has been bad for pickpockets for years. I been there plenty of times over the years and around the tourist hot spots are the obvious places.

    Expensive jewellery – don’t take it if you are worried.

    enfht
    Member

    Had my jacket pockets picked in Amsterdam, then Paul Weller walked past with his mrs. Don’t think they were involved though. I’ve also been to Barcelona where I neither saw Paul Weller OR had my pockets picked so maybe he was involved after all?

    b r
    Member

    We both have extremely expensive items of jewellery

    Are you a young professional couple also?

    Premier Icon dti
    Subscriber

    Had a fantastic week in Barcelona – no problems at all – the only precaution you should take as with most tourist traps is not to take expensive jewellery/watches. Just enjoy – in no particular order
    Sagrada Familia,
    Camp Nou
    Olympic Park
    Tibidado
    The Beach
    Fruit and Veg Market just off Las Ramblas

    If you have more time
    Science Museum (on the way to tibidado)
    Picasso Museum
    Parc Guell

    legolam
    Member

    Just got back yesterday from barcelona – can’t say we saw anything out of the ordinary. I don’t think it is any different from any other big city. Just be sensible about not flashing cash/jewellery and don’t leave your bag somewhere it can be snatched. And google the most common scams – the one time I’ve been pick pocketed was in Madrid, when one woman tried to sell us a flower whilst an accomplice lifted my friend’s wallet out of his back pocket.

    Top tips – go to Can Paixana (near Barceloneta metro) for cava and tapas, and Euskal Etxea in El Born district for pintxos (Catalan tapas).

    JEngledow
    Member

    We went a few years ago and IMO if you’re sensible (so leave the unnecessary expensive stuff behind) and keep your wits about you when in busy areas you’ll be fine.

    I tend to be a little paranoid and so only take what I may need that day (and leave all other cash and cards in the hotel safe) and ensure I have a few notes and coins handy for buying drinks etc which means I don’t need to get my wallet out too often (and if it is nicked I still have some money to get back to hotel etc).

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Subscriber

    I spotted a pocket picker going for his rotund American target on Las Ramblas and his fat wallet in trouser pocket. I stopped him doing it by walking right up to him and I was like, all up in his grille.
    I expect he never did it again and toddled off and got a respectable job…

    But yeah, just be sensible and streetwise, and probably leave your extremely valuable jewellery at home.

    DT78
    Member

    As above, like any big city just keep your wits about you and don’t go making yourself a target. No point in taking flash watches etc… unless your there for an anniversary or something and going to some of the top restaurants I suppose. My nice watches stay at home in the safe whilst I go on hols with my trusty seiko monster…

    Premier Icon althepal
    Subscriber

    All the shopkeepers on the Ramblas constantly warned us about our bags and wallets but didnt have any problems.. I did keep a sharp eye out though. Would exercise caution there and the on the wee streets and alleys between there and the back of the cathedral..
    A coupla lads in the hostel we stayed at were apparently held up at gunpoint beside a cashpoint they were using after dark and my in-laws had a bag stolen on the underground just before the doors closed but I had no problems the week I was there. Was a skint backpacker though so might not have looked like rich pickings..
    As for wearing expensive jewellery? ? Really? Come on.

    Premier Icon seadog101
    Subscriber

    We had a close call waiting on a busy underground platform. Just come out of the match at the Nou Camp. There was an altercation further up the platform, quite a way off. Naturally every body turns to look. Mrs Seadog felt her bag move, as she turned around the (female) pickpocket quickly turned away and skulked off to her gang. Luckily nothing was lifted.

    A Spanish lady then came to us and ushered us away from the gang, and told us this was a common trick – Create a distraction, then you get nabbed. The fight was entirely staged so it seemed. When the train arrived none of the gang were allowed to enter the train – the locals forcibly shoved them off and out of the doors!

    Sorry to have to say this, but they were all typically Roma/Gypsy in the looks and manners.

    Throughout the entire time we were there, doing all the typically touristy stuff, this was our only incident. No need to be paranoid, just be careful and sensible.

    razorrazoo
    Member

    As posted in previous thread;

    On the pickpockets front, make sure you avoid the groups of girls who tend to be nearer the bottom end of Las Ramblas during the evening. If you’re a target they’ll be all over you in a harassing sort of way and if you don’t have your wits about you wallet, watch, phone etc will be gone. Don’t think the whole place is like this, just be aware as last time I was there, (albeit on a stag do so lets just say some were none too complicit) a few of my friends were robbed.

    To add one girl was just pulling one of my mates by the arm and had his watch off in the process. I just walked round with my hands in pockets and barged my way through.

    Premier Icon nano
    Subscriber

    Barcelona is pretty bad for it IMHO compared to plenty of other places I have been to. Agree with Tonyg that its the tourist areas that get it worst although not exclusively.

    All the advice suggested above applies so won’t repeat it again.

    alpin
    Member

    i was in Barcelona a fortnight ago. i didn’t get robbed, but i did get very stoned, enjoyed looking at all the totty on the beach and then fell asleep on the beach for a few hours waking up sun burnt down my right-hand side.

    church was a bit meh. i was however quite stoned when i saw it, too.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8Kum8OUTuk[/video]
    Just make sure you don’t advertise what you have 😉

    I found Barcelona good but very easy to get off track into some of the less friendly places.

    Mackem
    Member

    Be careful on the train from the Airport to the city, some people try to grab your bag and jump off as the doors close at stations. Happened to me.

    We both have extremely expensive items of jewellery

    Good for you. Well done, but a fat lot it’ll do you if the wrong person wants it off you, & if you were the type of person who could make sure you could keep hold of it, then you wouldn’t be asking the question.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    No worse than any big city. Just be sensible (see question below)

    By the way what’s your definition of extremely expensive jewellery, you needn’t be exact just give me a range ?

    MrSmith
    Member

    Been visiting BCN every year for the last 15 years including staying in the Born before it became all trendy and full of English tourists 🙄 apart from having to step over a pregnant crack-whore who had pissed herself on the doorstep to get to my friends apartment I have never had any trouble but then I don’t walk around looking like a wide eyed tourist dripping in bling.
    Because of the reputation BCN had the police are quite active in keeping a lid on tourist crime, so just be sensible like you would in any inner-city area any you will not get any trouble, if you stagger around the ramblas pissed at 3am then don’t be surprised f you get some ‘attention’
    I have photographed a lot round there but take a hi-viz tabard when shooting cityscapes/using a tripod and nobody bats an eyelid as they think you are a local.
    Basically don’t be an idiot and have a nice time.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    it’s not a fashion parade

    Whats the point of owning nice jewellery and not wearing it and whats the point of going to a fashionable european city and not being all fashionable and european. And whats the point of going on holiday and not being able to relax.

    Just wear what you want, take some sensible precautions – such as insurance- that you’d take anywhere you go and enjoy yourself. Theres the risk it could get stolen, but theres the risk you could drop something down the toilet or leave it on a train, theres the risk you’ll get your be-jangled arm bitten off by a panther thats escaped from the zoo. You’ll probably be fine though

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Whats the point of owning nice jewellery and not wearing it and whats the point of going to a fashionable european city and not being all fashionable and european. And whats the point of going on holiday and not being able to relax.

    Probably the point where you get a knife pointed at you?

    FuzzyWuzzy
    Member

    Seemed OK to me the other week when I was there but didn’t do the normal touristy things (was there for a convention) so probably avoided the worse places for it. Mind you one of the wider group I was with had his iPhone 5s and a gold chain nicked on the first night out, he would have been wasted though so I guess an easy target…

    chewkw
    Member

    Most cities are infested with pickpockets if you are not careful.

    🙄

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Get a cable lock for your rucksack / shoulder bag, I’ve got on to a metro only to find all the pockets had been unzipped. Amazingly nothing was missing, which was good as I had a DSLR in it. I now lock them all using a mini-cable lock, before shouldering the rucksack.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Whats the point of owning nice jewellery and not wearing it and whats the point of going to a fashionable european city and not being all fashionable and european. And whats the point of going on holiday and not being able to relax.

    Is this an either/or question? Personally I’d pick the relaxing over being a peacock, but YMMV.

    Premier Icon rickmeister
    Subscriber

    Barcelona Ramblas on the way back from a night out… hands on pockets holding wallet and hiding my watch…

    Hassled by a group of laydees, they grabbed my balls, I kept my hands in my pockets….

    We just looked at each other to see who blinked first, but my hands stayed put !

    scaled
    Member

    My mates MRs got her bag nicked a few years back in Las Ramblas, gang of 4 lads, they confronted them and got the bag back after she kicked the lad holding her bag in the bollocks – not sure I’d recommend that though

    lewismorgan
    Member

    We went to barcelona a month ago on a boozy weekend. We stayed in placa reial, and spent most of our time on las ramblas like most people do.

    Personally it put me off the city I really wouldn’t advise carrying anything in a pocket that isnt zipped up! During the day through the hustle and bustle, its constant paranoia!

    At night, we seemed to get offered drugs everywhere we walked. We werent exactly shady looking in fact quite well dressed compared to some, but it seems to be a bit of a problem there. You find that the people selling the tat on the street will mutter under there breath, offering charlie or md! Not really what you want to hear whilst admiring the city!

    We got surrounded by a pack of ladys who surround you and will follow you down las ramblas, they try to touch you up and invite you back, make sure you tell em to F Off! They take some convincing, but if your just really rude to them (its the only way) they will leave you alone! If not they’ll have your phone and wallet!

    A lot of beggars also, tend to come round as your sat outside!

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    At night, we seemed to get offered drugs everywhere we walked.

    missed the drugs but was propositioned by hookers

    hora
    Member

    When I was in Barcelona I pulled a Alsation by the tail away from an Akita dog (Akita owned by someone begging). Weird situation and really I shouldn’t have grabbed and swung the Alsation away/or got involved).

    Later in the night we wandered out swigging from a 1.5lt bottle of coke mixed with vodka and sat at the back of a church watching a midnight wedding (it was NY’s eve).

    In no way did we encounter pick pockets or trouble and we wandered allover for three days but then I don’t think pick pockets would bother with people like us 😆

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    In no way did we encounter pick pockets or trouble and we wandered allover for three days but then I don’t think pick pockets would bother with people like us

    The sight of you and Binners in drag would scare anyone off!

    aphex_2k
    Member

    I was walking down Las Ramblas with my German Shepherd Dog and some tourist decided he’d yank it by the tail….

    MrSmith
    Member

    We stayed in placa reial, and spent most of our time on las ramblas like most people do.

    And you were annoyed by the hassle?!? if you spend all your time in a consumerist, tourist hotspot full of tat flogging low-life’s and people painted silver standing very still what did you expect?

    It’s just Leicester square with an extra 10°. Same tat, same hassle, same shit food.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    And you were annoyed by the hassle?!? if you spend all your time in a consumerist, tourist hotspot full of tat flogging low-life’s and people painted silver standing very still what did you expect?

    It’s just Leicester square with an extra 10°. Same tat, same hassle, same shit food.

    Only 20mins walk and you can sit down for a beer in the home of the basque communist party (bit weird) and head round the corner to find the walls with chest high bullet holes. Hell of a modern and still evolving city that one.

    I would not suggest the OP follow our path in all their bling the locals tapas bar where there was no english attempted and we got away by being friendly and the help of some local students and me and my mate “Big” Andy straying into the gay 1/4 made for an entertaining visit…

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