You merely need to know where it is not recommended to walk after midnight and which places statistically are more dangerous in comparison with other locations. Of course, Barcelona has some dangerous places, yet, the level of insecurity in these areas is still much lower than, for instance, in some New York neighborhoods or some of the remote areas of London and Paris.
Yes, it is true that in the district adjacent to the Gothic District, Raval, you might see strange characters selling drugs and encounter several low-level public houses as well as some parks where hookers gather at nighttime. Nevertheless, we cannot claim that this place is terribly dangerous, even though the overall environment of such streets as Carrer d’En Robador in Raval or the tiny park, Ronda Sant Antoni, might provide a slight shock for the average tourist. Visitors should be extremely careful on the main tourist street, La Rambla, at night. Street sellers of beer and caffeinated drinks do not present any real risk for visitors to the city—if you do not want to buy a drink, you simply can say “no.” The situation changes in the case of professional pickpockets who walk on the popular tourist streets at night. Tipsy tourists and those who lose their vigilance for a few moments may be targeted by pickpockets.
For this reason, there are certain rules of conduct that can help in the restaurants, bars, and clubs of the Raval district and on La Rambla itself.
- First of all, it is not a good idea to put your mobile on the table in a restaurant or on a bar counter. It is better to keep the phone close to you all the time and avoid taking it out too often.
- Second, a small handbag with a strap over the shoulder that can be positioned conveniently in front of you is a “must-have” element when paying a visit to some establishments in this tourist zone. Similarly, backpacks and ordinary bags are not good choices for nightclubs, as these options are too risky.
- Third, it is best not to drink too much. If it this does happen, you can avoid walking along La Rambla at night by calling Uber or a taxi. In general, although Raval is included on the list of relatively dangerous districts of Barcelona, the worst thing that might happen to you is the loss of a purse or mobile in the crowds of tourists, or a bad mood after encountering the priestesses of love and some of the semi-dilapidated blocks of houses that form the backdrop for this neighborhood.
This park is one of the most popular destinations among tourists to Barcelona. While enjoying its cultural and aesthetic value, you should be careful not to lose sight of any of your personal possessions. The most common thieves’ trick at this site is the so-called “bird poo scam,” a trick featuring bird excrement. As a rule, a middle-aged lady or gentleman will approach you, remarking that bird poop has fallen on you. In reality, the white liquid might be either white chocolate or liquid soap. The lady or gentleman will then “help” you to clean the traces of this unpleasant accident off of your clothing, after which your wallet and mobile will be gone for good. Everything happens in a flash, due to the nimble young accomplices who move almost invisibly in and out of the whole scene. Therefore, it is crucial to be extra cautious and not to let strangers hold your things or watch your personal items and to ignore the potential efforts of strangers to distract you.
La Mina, Sant Adrià de Besòs
When discussing the most dangerous areas of Barcelona, we should clarify that among the E.U. country members, Spain is second only to Austria for the lowest level of especially severe crimes. It is true that in Besòs, La Mina, and Besòs Mar, you will see more trash on the streets and might be astonished that the streets are almost empty when darkness falls on the city. Here, you might encounter suspicious-looking figures or alcoholics. Also, there may be more homeless residents on the streets here. Yet, it would be an exaggeration to say that you will be scared to death or face a life-threatening situation. Some claim that it is not a good idea to park a car here for safety reasons. Moreover, it would be a real mistake to leave your personal items within view inside your car. It should be mentioned that for a couple of years, numerous fights have been registered here. Thus, today, police vigorously control this area, especially during the so-called “hot,” or touristic, season.
Rambla de Raval Boulevard
It is important to remember that Barcelona is a city of contrasts. Though we talk about dangerous streets in Barcelona, this does not necessarily mean that these streets witness thugs armed to the teeth or barbed wire around the perimeters. However, the boulevard known for its famous bronze cat sculpture is one of the most common gathering points for such people. During the daytime hours, you would never sense any danger in the air here. Accordingly, there is a children’s playground in the middle of the boulevard and benches for residents and tourists scattered all over the area.
Nevertheless, should you wander a bit further to the right of the widely-known cat, you will see alleys with abandoned houses, people strolling along the streets without any apparent purpose, graffiti-covered walls, and a shocking bit of solitude. In the evening, the bars and cafes on this boulevard open and people walk in groups from one place to another. Yet, some of the abandoned lanes still lie completely empty, and only lonely shadows haunt the streets in this area. If you have a basic survival instinct, it is highly likely that you simply will not enter such dark lanes. You will agree that it would be unlikely for most visitors to enter such areas. Although nothing appalling happens in these lanes, many of the transactions occurring here could be illegal.
“INEEDSpain” company is always ready to provide you with full, in-depth consultations on the issues related to life and business in Barcelona and Catalonia in general, and we are happy to share useful tips and our key life-hacks pertaining to Spain with you.