10 Most Dangerous Cities In Spain

Updated On October 10, 2023

Spain is a European country on the Iberian Peninsula.

With a population of over 47,900,000 million people, this Mediterranean monarchy was the world’s first global empire.

For both its residents and visitors, Spain offers a ton of museums, gorgeous beaches, food, fiestas, natural beauty, and ancient architecture.

They also have some pretty cool stuff, like the world’s oldest restaurant (opened in 1725) and “La Tomatina”, the world’s biggest annual food fight!

It’s no wonder the home of Pablo Picasso and Julio Iglesias is in the top 5 of the most visited places in the world.

In 2019, Spain welcomed over 126 million visitors.

Now, let’s talk about crime.

It’s an unfortunate topic, but necessary when traveling anywhere.

The good news is, Spain is listed as one of the least dangerous countries in the world according to the global peace index.

The homicide rate is extremely low at .64 per 100,000 people.

In 2020, there were only 298 murders.

To give you an idea, that same year, New York City saw 289 murders with a population of just over 8 million people.

The overall crime rate in Spain is 41.4 per 100,000 people.

That’s not to say crimes do not happen in Spain.

So let’s take a look at their 10 most dangerous cities.

10 Most Dangerous Cities In Spain

San Sebastián, Spain
San Sebastián, Spain

10. San Sebastián, Spain

Like most other cities on this list, San Sebastián is not such a dangerous place that you should not visit. 

Simply, you should use caution and be aware of what is happening.

It’s a great city to visit if you like old churches, gorgeous beaches, and some of the best food in the world.

But there are a few things to keep in mind. San Sebastián is expensive and thieves know this and know people will be carrying money.

The rate of theft is high.

Watch out for scammers and pickpockets.

There are also often protests that you, as a visitor, should not take part in, and steer clear of. 

Malaga, Spain
Malaga, Spain

9. Malaga, Spain

Located on the southern coast of Spain, Malaga has a population of 570,000.

It’s known as a high-end tourist destination because of its beautiful beaches and resorts.

Malaga is also a central location for construction, manufacturing, and technology.

Crime is, historically, fairly low in Malaga, but last year there was an explosion of thefts and robberies that caused the crime rate to go up by 25%.

When visiting Malaga, you should take caution against pickpockets and scammers around the resort areas and town center.

Car thefts have gone up as well.

When visiting the beach, do not leave your items alone when going into the water. 

Madrid, Spain
Madrid, Spain

8. Madrid, Spain

Being the capital and the largest city in the country, with a population of 3.2 million, it’s not surprising that Madrid has its share of crime.

The overall rate of crime is 86 for every 100,000 people.

However, violent crimes like assault, armed robbery, and murder are quite low, like in the rest of the country.

Madrid offers visitors great nightlife with oodles of clubs and bars.

During the day, tourists can walk around taking in the many cafes, shops, and markets.

You should be on the lookout for scams.

One, in particular, is the rosemary plant, where older women will offer you the plant and read your fortune.

During this time, they will attempt to lift whatever you have in your pockets.

There’s also an issue with taxis and restaurants overcharging tourists, so always check the meter and your bill.

Be especially careful in the areas of El Rastro and Puerta del Sol.

Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, Spain

7. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is a usual stop for visitors to Spain.

The city of 16 million people is the financial, business, and biotech hub of Spain.

In addition to the more business-related happenings, the city offers a great deal of art, cultural activities, shopping, and restaurants.

The crime index for Barcelona is 55.5 crimes for every 100,000 people.

The greatest number of crimes revolve around theft, assault, and vandalism.

Hundreds of pickpocket incidents are reported each day.

Like other cities of its size, Barcelona has problems with drugs and prostitution as well.

However, most of these crimes do not affect you as a tourist if you don’t involve yourself.

Only 25% of Barcelona residents reported being a victim of a violent crime like armed robbery or assault.

When visiting, try to avoid the areas of Raval and La Rambla.

Bilbao, Spain
Bilbao, Spain

6. Bilbao, Spain

A port city in northern Spain, Bilbao, is surrounded by mountains.

Its downtown area is a mix of new-world skyscrapers and old-world Spanish architecture.

With a population of just over 346,800, the city boasts 12 museums and hosts many festivals throughout the year.

The crime rate in Bilbao is 56 per 100,000 residents.

Most of those are crimes of theft, like pickpocketing or deception (scams).

Visitors should be wary of anyone coming up to them, offering flowers or spices.

One area to steer clear of, especially at night, is San Francisco Street.

That’s where drug use, dealing, and fights often occur.

Valencia, Spain
Valencia, Spain

5. Valencia, Spain

This port city on Spain’s southern coast has a population of 791,400.

They’re best known for their huge “City of Arts and Sciences” complex, beaches, and tasty seafood.

Surprisingly, this historically super-safe city has seen crime soar, last year overall crime rose almost 40%.

Valencia registered a record high 53, of 358 crimes in 2022.

The incidents of sexual assault, theft, and robbery actually doubled.

If you decide to visit Valencia, avoid the areas of El Cabanyal, La Coma, and Barrie del Cristo at night. 

Seville, Spain
Seville, Spain

4. Seville, Spain

Located on the Guadalquivir River, Seville is one of the largest cities in the Andalusia region.

With a population of 688,000, the area is famous for its flamenco dancing, bullfighting, and delicious tapas.

The Seville Cathedral also houses the remains of Christopher Columbus.

While there’s no big threat of violent crime, the overall crime rate of 29.

8 per 100,000 people are mostly due to drugs, petty theft, and vandalism.

While there are no dangerous parts of Seville, it’s important to take the usual precautions.

Don’t wear expensive jewelry, try not to carry cash, and keep your wallet in your front pocket.

Torrevieja, Spain
Torrevieja, Spain

3. Torrevieja, Spain

This coastal resort town has a population of just over 82,500 and is known for having a rich history of fishing and salt mining.

It’s a great place for hikers to visit as they have some amazing trails and green areas.

The crime rate in Torrevieja is 38 per 1000 people.

Often, the crimes include car theft, pickpocketing, assault (usually fights near nightclubs and bars), drugs being used and dealt with, and vandalism.

Be careful at night.

Minding your business goes a long way to staying safe.

Ibiza, Spain
Ibiza, Spain

2. Ibiza, Spain

Ibiza is an island off the coast of Spain, with a population of 147,900.

It’s known for being a party town, with a wealth of beaches, bars, and nightlife.

Sadly, this reputation can bring crime, and it has done just that to Ibiza.

The overall crime rate is 79 per 1,000 people, which is much higher than Spain’s national average.

In particular, car theft grew by 65 percent from 2021 to 20022, and drug trafficking rose 56% over that same time period.

Women should be particularly on alert in Ibiza, as the number of sexual assaults has risen as well.

Palma, Spain 
Palma, Spain

1. Palma, Spain 

Palma is a large resort city on the island of Mallorca.

With over 424,800 residents, it’s the place to go if you want beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife.

It’s also home to some amazing ancient architecture and a lovely town center with boutiques, markets, and galleries.

As for crime, Palma has an average of 62.5 crimes per 1,000 people.

The island town had 24,462 thefts in 2022.

Violent crime is quite low, though visitors should be aware of pickpockets and nightclub areas at night.

There are thousands of reports of drug dealing and fights in those areas.

5 Safety Tips For Traveling To Spain

  1. Be careful with your belongings at city centers, cafes, ATMs, and markets. Thieves will often work in groups to cause a distraction in order to steal handbags, cameras, phones, etc.
  2. Lock your car, set the alarm, and don’t leave any valuables on display.
  3. If you’re involved in an auto accident, do not exit the car. Call the police (#062) and wait for them to come.
  4. Be aware of your surroundings. Stay alert and off your phone.
  5. Do not wear expensive jewelry or carry pricey bags.

Spain Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Spain Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a visa to visit Spain?


You can visit Spain without a visa for up to 90 days.

However, you will need to show you have a return ticket or enough money to purchase one.

What vaccinations do I need to visit Spain?

In addition to routine vaccinations, it’s recommended that you have shots for hepatitis A and B, meningitis, tetanus, and the current Covid booster.

Is the water safe to drink?


Tap water in Spain is safe.

It may taste a bit different, but it won’t make you sick.

5 Comments on 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Spain

  1. S
    S Vanderbill says:

    Hi i have a question for you why with all going on should people put them self in potentially dangerous situations and dont they have police officers patrolling areas what do police get payedfor ? What is there government doing or does it not have a government or MPs to deal this sort of situation ?

    1. Go to Miami Fl if you think Spain is not. :/

    2. A
      Anonymous says:

      Because i guess just like in england & uk, we just get on with life and hope for the best each day. We in england have the highest crime rate in uk/europe but we don’t think of ourselves as “putting ourselves at risk” when we go out our front doors each day

    3. M
      Marilyn says:

      I agree. How will a country be popular for tourism when crime rate is that high. Its pathetic. What is their government doing. Locals and foreigners are being scammed n living their lives in fear that anytime they will be robbed or being disadvantaged. Where is the respect. An unfriendly environment will only deter a tourist from visiting or coming back.

      1. J
        JUST ME says:

        Any place in the world is potentially unsafe. It’s just the types of crimes that vary.
        I would say that the biggest issue in Europe is being pickpocketed. Denmark has a low crime rate but my mother-in-law’s bag was slashed and a pickpocket took her wallet in Copenhagen. I saw an incident with a pickpocket in Barcelona and warned two ladies near the Madrid train station that they were being cased by a man who I noticed was following them.

        I am from the US and when I was young I was mugged while walking with two friends one evening on my university campus on the well-lit main boulevard right across from the campus police. That was 1971. There were plenty of people out and about on campus that evening. Unfortunately, some of those were thieves.

        Anyone has to be careful anywhere and use common sense.

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