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Nov 05 2012

Is Barcelona Safe?

barcelona, spain, catalunya, catalonia, europe, street, people, shops, flags

I had wanted to go to Barcelona for years but had never managed to get there.  Then, last September (2011), one of my friends suggested a group trip there for September 2012.  We were all very keen but we never actually did anything about it and didn’t talk about it again.  Strangely, I ended up visiting Barcelona on my own in September 2012.  I say strangely because, apart from talking to my friends about it that one time, I hadn’t actually planned to go.  That was until I signed up for a travel blogging conference that was taking place in Girona in September 2012.  It was then that I started planning my long awaited trip to Barcelona.


It was a bit odd when I was planning to go to Barcelona though.  I was an experienced independent solo traveller by that point and I was really looking forward to visiting Barcelona.  However, I was told so many times about the risk of being mugged in Barcelona and how I had to be really careful.  That reminded me of some friends of friends who had fallen victim while on the metro in Barcelona.  It’s nice that they were concerned and warning me of the potential dangers but it started to unnerve me and I was beginning to rethink going to Barcelona by myself.  This caused me inner conflict because I had travelled by myself to more dangerous places but I was suddenly really concerned about going to Barcelona by myself and worrying about where to stay.  That wasn’t a good starting point.


Thankfully, I didn’t go straight to Barcelona.  I was in Portugal first and then Madrid so, during that time, the concern that had built up diminished.  I was definitely in a much better frame of mind when I arrived in Barcelona after a seven and a half hour bus journey from Madrid but I was very alert to everything around me.  I arranged to stay with a couchsurfing couple so I followed the directions and got on a metro to almost the end of the line.  With all my travel gear, I couldn’t hide the fact that I was a traveller who had just arrived but it was fine.  I got the train and met up with the people I had arranged to stay with.


I was fine in Barcelona on my own.  I got the metro every morning to the centre and wandered around, soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying the sights and returned every night on the metro.  I walked around a lot and didn’t feel unsafe at all.  I carried my backpack in front, which made it more difficult for anyone to take anything and I didn’t have any valuables on show or within easy reach.  So, in answer to my question, ‘Is Barcelona safe?’; yes, I think it is, providing you stay alert to your surroundings and you are careful with your belongings.  If you do that, you shouldn’t have any problems.  I’m really glad that I went and wasn’t put off by the risk of being robbed.  It would have been a real shame to miss out Barcelona, particularly as it had been on my list of places to visit for so long.

About the author

Teresa Keane

Teresa has been to almost 60 countries. She started travelling independently at the age of 38 when she gave up her job, rented out her house, put her possessions in storage and spent a year travelling the world. It changed her life. She now creates, publishes, & promotes online travel content and is an experienced freelance trainer & EFL teacher.

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