Barcelona is Spain’s second largest city, and with that the capital of Catalonia, so it’s no wonder that it’s a city famous for a huge influx of tourists. Add to that a population of over one and half million people and you’ve got yourself a vibrant city brimming with life.
What’s incredible about Barcelona is that this city is at the same time hip and very modern as well as incredibly old with such a rich history.
Wherever you go, you can see the new elements working to both preserve and celebrate the ancient.
If you go to Barcelona, you can count on having a marvelous time as it is filled with everything every other European city has to offer, like outdoor colorful markets, vibrant streets, restaurants and shops, as well as cultural landmarks like museums and churches.
It is also very easy to check everything you want to see off your list, because Barcelona has an extensive and reliable Metro system.
But if you prefer walking, that’s understandable too, since its streets are as marvelous as any other museum you might stumble upon in Barcelona.
Warnings & Dangers in Barcelona
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Barcelona is very safe to visit. Apart from the pickpockets, which are common in this city, tourists should encounter no other problems. Use your common sense and your trip should go smoothly.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
Transportation in Barcelona is very safe and reliable, even though taxi drivers might try to overcharge their services or demand a tip. Also, be careful on public transport, as it's the place where pickpockets operate.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH
Barcelona is filled with tourists, and naturally it attracts a bunch of pickpockets so watch out in crowded places such as bus and train stations. Be careful when carrying your valuables and never leave them out of your sight.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
There are no threats of natural disasters, apart from an occasional avalanche which can only be a threat when skiing in the Pyreenes.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
Do not fear mugging or kidnapping in Barcelona, since it isn't too common here. Still, do not accept any unsolicited help or drinks from anyone you don't know (even though drink spiking is also not an issue in this country).
TERRORISM RISK : HIGH
There have been recent terrorist attacks in Barcelona, so it is highly recommended that you pay close attention to your surroundings and avoid crowded areas altogether. Always be informed about the recent events in this city.
SCAMS RISK : HIGH
There are a couple of ways to get scammed here. Be wary of "trileros" and their "shell game" where you might get ripped off or stolen from. Always check the bill twice in restaurants and bars since the staff may try to overcharge you or charge for something you did not order.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Women traveling alone should have no problems in Barcelona. You should use your common sense, and be careful at night, avoid desert and poorly lit streets, and finding yourself alone with strange people in abandoned areas. Apart from that, you should have no safety problems in Barcelona.
So... How Safe Is Barcelona Really?
Barcelona is a safe city to visit, but in the light of recent events, or more precisely, the terrorist attacks that have recently occured, it is highly recommended that, if you do decide to go to Barcelona, take extreme precaution measures and remain aware of your surroundings at all times.
Apart from this, Barcelona is known for petty crime, which is no wonder, since it has a huge influx of tourists every year.
This is why it is recommended that you take precautions measures especially around popular tourist landmarks and larger cities.
There have also been cases of thieves on motorbikes driving by women and grabbing their purses, so keep it tightly by your side at all times.
Be extremely careful in bus or train stations and other similar crowded places, since pickpocketing is so common there that a voice message reminding you of pickpockets is always played on repeat.
Also, be well prepared for people trying to scam you. This can happen with taxi drivers trying to trick you into paying a fixed price from an airport to a city, even though they have a visible fare table. They may also demand a tip.
Before paying in bars and restaurants, always check the bill twice since the staff sometimes try to squeeze in a few extra euro by charging for something they did not eat or drink, or just by overcharging.
- Visas - Most countries do not need a visa to enter Barcelona for any stays shorter than 90 days. Any longer than that, you will have to obtain a visa. Also, make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your planned date of return. However, if you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
- Currency - Euro is the official currency in Barcelona. ATMs are widely available throughout the country, and credit cards accepted in most establishments such as hotels and restaurants. Allow yourself a budged of around 150e per day, including accommodation.
- Weather - When in Barcelona, tourists can expect a Mediterranean climate, with hot, sunny and dry summers and mild, rainy winters. The coldest month is January with the average temperature of 9 °C and the hottest is of August with the average temperature of 24.5 °C.
- Airports - Barcelona–El Prat Airport, commonly referred to as El Prat Airport, is an international airport located 12 km southwest of the centre of Barcelona. It is situated in the municipalities of El Prat de Llobregat, Viladecans, and Sant Boi.
- Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Barcelona, since it covers not only medical problems, but also theft and loss of valuables.