10 Safest Cities in Spain

Updated On October 10, 2023

Spain is a beautiful country with lots to offer tourists and residents alike.

From the stunning beaches of the Costa del Sol to the vibrant culture of Barcelona, there is something for everyone.

But what about safety?

Is Spain a safe place?

And which are the safest cities in Spain?

In this article, we will look at the top 10 safest cities in Spain and explore what makes them so secure.

Stay tuned!

Is Spain Safe?

The amount of crime in a city is an essential consideration for safety.

Some of the other things to consider for safety are access to emergency care, road accident rates, and even the amount of pollution.

According to The Global Peace Index, Spain is 31st on a list of 163 countries in 2022 for peacefulness and safety.

This institute reports a data-driven assessment of safety and peace globally every year.

While not in the top ten, this score puts Spain in the top 20% of safe places in the world.

It is way ahead of Great Britain, France, and the U.S. in crime, violence, and terrorism.

I have arranged the cities by population.

It is almost always safer to visit cities with smaller populations, which is true in Spain with a huge exception.

Madrid, with a much larger population, is safer than Barcelona.

Both cities are rated as very safe cities on a global scale.

However, the safest cities in Spain are still the smaller ones.

You can check the U.S. travel advisory site to see if there are any issues.

Madrid, Spain
Madrid, Spain


Population: 2,824,000

The capital city of Madrid holds 14 % of the population of Spain but accounts for only 11 % of crime.

Additionally, according to a report published by the Economist every year, Madrid has a high-security rating for other factors like infrastructure and health globally.

Madrid comes in at an impressive 11th place on the list of safest cities in the world.

Watch out for pickpockets at the train stations and airports especially.

Thieves take advantage of tourists’ confusion in these high-traffic areas.

Another hotspot for pickpockets is the famous flea market called El Rastro.

Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, Spain


Population: 1,454,000

Barcelona is the second safest of the big cities in Spain, ranking in the top tier of international cities.

According to The Economist, Barcelona comes in 21stj in the world for overall safety.

This result puts Barcelona above big American cities like Chicago and Dallas in overall safety.

Although safer overall than 80% of the world’s big cities, Barcelona does have a massive problem with pickpockets and confidence tricksters, so be wary!

Oviedo, Spain
Oviedo, Spain


Population: 220,020

Nestled between the Bay of Biscay and the Cantabrian Mountains, this medieval city has a Gothic Cathedral from the 9th Century and world-class museums.

Make sure you visit the Fine Arts Museum of Asturias and The Archeological Museum, which is in an old palace.

With only one murder reported here in 2020 and just over 1000 cases of theft, this is one of the very safest cities in Spain.

Valladolid, Spain
Valladolid, Spain


Population: 186,665

There are five wine regions surrounding this city full of foodie delights.

It is also known for its stunning architecture from the 14th to 16th centuries.

Taking a stroll to the cathedral down winding cobbled streets after enjoying a wine and cheese pairing menu is a relaxing way to enjoy the best of this very safe city.

San Sebastián, Spain
San Sebastián, Spain

San Sebastián

Population 186,600

Named in honor of my favorite saint- Saint Sebastian, a protector against bubonic plague, this seaside city is full of charm.

San Sebastián is also my pick of city escapes where I can also enjoy the beach.

This Basque country resort town has two famous beaches and a prom on the bay.

After a swim, you can explore the quaint cobbled streets of the old town neighborhood called Parte Viejo.

Lugo, Spain
Lugo, Spain


Population: 98,025

Lugo rests on the Miño River in northwest Spain.

It is most noted for its Roman walls, which you can still walk upon safely.

They are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Occupied in the past by both the Moors and the Normans, you can see the rich history reflected in Gothic, Baroque and Romanesque architecture.

I love taking a picnic in the serene Parque Do Mino, a public park, and just relaxing along the winding river.

Palencia, Spain
Palencia, Spain


Population: 78,629

This northern central city, rich in history, is the capital of Castille y Leon.

The city of Palencia, while small, has urban parks and is packed with history.

The medieval architecture is also stunning and worth the visit.

It still has many ancient sites from Roman times and boasts beautiful 18th-century architecture.

Full of castles and cathedrals and museums of art, you will never run out of art to be awed by.

You can enjoy the traditional Castillian food at low prices in Palencia.

Guadalajara, Spain
Guadalajara, Spain


Population: 84,910

Guadalajara is the capital of the region that shares its name.

The Palacio del Infantado is the most prominent tourist attraction in Gualdahara.

After enjoying the palace grounds, you can visit the quaint shops and restaurants surrounding the palace.

Concordia Park is an oasis of calm greenery in the middle of the city, and it is worth a visit no matter which season you visit.

It is peaceful and serene here, and you will feel very safe.

Ávila, Spain
Ávila, Spain


Population: 57,949

With only one murder reported in Avila in 2020 and 3 violent crimes overall, this medieval city dedicated to Saint Theresa is just north of Madrid.

It is a beautiful city to walk in; be careful to watch your wallet as there is some pickpocketing.

Built high on a hill, the stunning views of the Castille region that can be seen from atop the city walls at sunset are worth the visit.

Built as a fortress against the Moors, you can still sleep safely in this walled city.

Huesca, Spain
Huesca, Spain


Population: 54,083

Set at the foot of the Pyrenees mountains, this ancient city was founded in 77 B.C.

It has a 13th-century Gothic cathedral and the Romanesque church of San Pedro, as well as a hilltop monastery.

The royal palace of the Aragon Kings still stands, and you will feel the magic in the air of this city.

Huesca has the oldest grocery store in Spain called Ultramarinos “La Confianza”.

It has many regional specialties, and you feel like you have traveled back in time when you entered.

Safety Tips for Tourists in Spain

Although Spain is considered safe by many standards, tourists have reported feeling unsafe in Spain’s big cities, and this is because petty thieves target tourists aggressively.

In many countries, if you are robbed, it will be at a gun or knifepoint, and they will take everything you have.

In Spain, petty thieves will try to cheekily jostle you out of a few dollars and your wallet if you let them.

The two most important tips are to stay alert and not put all your money in one place.

  • Keep your luggage and backpacks in front of or close to you where you can see them.
  • Buy an extra travel wallet you can wear under your clothes and keep some of your money there.
  • Only carry as much money as you need for the day.
  • Don’t wear expensive jewelry and ostentatiously expensive clothing.
  • It is safer to travel with a companion.
  • Lock your hotel door with a travel lock when inside your room.
  • Avoid demonstrations and large crowds.

Spain Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Spain Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most dangerous city to visit in Spain?

Bilbao is the city with the highest crime index in Spain.

What are the biggest scams in Spain?

I was surprised by how aggressive ordinary thieves are in Spain.

I am used to thieves using weapons.

In Spain, instead of weapons, they have one thousand and one clever ruses to part you from your money.

These are called the street swindle, and you have to be cynical and watchful to avoid them.

Do not let anyone read your fortune either; it is almost always a way to rob you.

Check your bill twice in Spain – it is not uncommon for a restaurant to pay your bill.

What is the safest way to travel in Spain?

There is no especially unsafe way to travel in Spain.

They have fast and efficient train service, and it is easy to fly.

Be wary of taxis, because sometimes taxi drivers will charge too much or demand an unreasonable amount of money for a tip.

You are safe from bodily harm in Spanish taxis, but getting gouged can be annoying.

Public transportation is pretty safe; just use your wits as you would in any city.

Unfortunately, pickpockets are always found on public transport.

1 Comment on 10 Safest Cities in Spain

  1. Spain is a beautiful country with a lot to offer tourists and residents alike, and while it is not without its safety concerns, it is generally considered a safe place to visit.

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