Safety in Barcelona

Barcelona is generally a safe city, but because of the large number of tourists visiting the city, theft does occur, especially in tourist areas. There are many pickpockets active, but those who pay attention don’t have to worry. My tips.



Be aware of pickpockets in crowded places, such as tourist highlights, and taking public transport, especially the metro. Always be sure to keep a close eye on your belongings and never put them anywhere unguarded, not in a café, but also not in a fancy-looking restaurant.

Be careful with smartphones and cameras on your table in a bar. Some street thieves manage to deftly remove them while asking for directions with a map of the city, a well-known trick.

But don’t let stories about theft and pickpockets scare you: I live in the middle of the tourist center and I have never been rolled or robbed in all these years. I always make sure I watch my things carefully.

Are there any neighborhoods I should avoid?

Basically, you can walk the streets of Barcelona safely. Especially during the day you should have no problems. However, always watch your bag carefully. At night I recommend not walking alone through deserted streets and alleys in the center. In general, the streets in the city center are also fairly busy at night. In addition, there are some suburbs, where you don’t visit as a tourist anyway, where I personally would rather not walk alone on the streets at night.

Reporting to the police

If you have been robbed and want to report it, you can do so, at either the Guàrdia Urbana office, the Mossos d’Esquadra office or the regional police force. You can find the addresses on the municipality’s website.

Have you lost your travel document? Then I advise you to report it to the police as soon as possible. This is necessary to be able to apply for a new passport or travel document. Then contact your embassy in Madrid.

Medical assistance

In case of an accident or if you need to see a doctor for some other reason, you can visit the emergency room (Urgències) at hospitals and some health centers. This department is open 24 hours a day and no appointment is necessary.

If you need medication, you can often get it without a prescription at the pharmacy. There are many pharmacies in the city – recognizable by the green cross on the facade – and even antibiotics can be obtained here without a doctor’s prescription.

Food and drinks

I regularly get asked about Barcelona’s tap water. Don’t worry, you can drink it! It is not very tasty and has a somewhat chlorinated taste, but it is not dangerous. I use a special filter, which makes the strange tastes disappear. During your city break, you can ask if your hotel has filtered water, for example, or buy water in the supermarket.

Furthermore, the catering industry in Barcelona is subject to European rules on hygiene and food preparation. You can always have the misfortune of being victim of food poisoning, but that chance is no greater or lesser here than when dining out in any other European city.

Phone numbers

  • European emergency number: 112
  • Police: 092
  • Municipality of Barcelona: 010