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Barcelona....and I need to stay off YouTube.

I am looking for a safe and central hotel in Barcelona for late 2023. Arriving by train and then continuing on a cruise. I say I need to stay off YouTube because I saw a video post of a man and his wife who assumedly were in a safe neighborhood in early evening and were followed and struck by a group of thugs who stole the man's watch. We are seasoned and savvy travelers but have yet to stay overnight in Barcelona. Wearing a money belt and being vigilant is our protocol and we are not paranoid about traveling. We are just looking for safer options with respect to neighborhoods, walk or pubic transportation to major sites, and staying at safer hotels. We plan on taking the train from Paris and then the Barcelona Metro to our hotel. I have heard of Hotel Jazz as an option. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thank you.

Posted by
416 posts

I have seen the video that you are talking about. I am a female in my 60's and have stayed in Barcelona a total of eleven nights over two different trips. I didn't have any issues like the couple in the video had. I am very careful and always wear a money belt under my clothing and don't wear any fancy jewelry or other obvious signs of wealth.

On my first trip there, my two friends and I stayed at the EasySleep Barcelona Apartments on Carrer de Sicilia. We felt completely safe, even going out after dark.

On my second trip to Barcelona, I went there with my son and daughter in law. We stayed the Aspasios Rambla Cataluyna Suites. Again, we felt safe, although my son and I ventured out further at night and it felt a bit sketchy in other areas of Barcelona after dark.

Posted by
2700 posts

I would strongly suggest you take a cab to your hotel. Dragging luggage marks you as a tired traveler, easy pickings for pickpockets and thieves. Cabs are plentiful, cheap, and payment is contactless. Several years ago we stayed at the Hotel Catalonia Portal de l’Angel with the RS tour. It was very nice. More upscale is the Le Meridian where we stayed on another company’s tour this summer. Advantage is a very nice restaurant so dining in is an option.

Posted by
1942 posts

My parents and I stayed at one of H10 off Catalunya Plaza. My parents are in their 70s and arrived after I did. They took the Aerobus from airport and rode the Barcelona Metro everywhere. We walked all over the centre of Barcelona and rode buses and trains and walked home from restaurants after dark during the evening paseo. We are all short and skinny and don't look Spanish. We were fine, no one tried to steal our bags or wallets but we were vigilent on the Metro as we kept eyes on each other and held our bags and if we felt any hesitation-would move.

Can it happen? Yes, but I've been to Spain and have yet to have anything stolen. But then I don't wear Apple Watches, gold watches or any jewelry and I dress casual. I do have an iPhone but make sure to keep it with me at all time and my purse is always in my lap at a table.

I will also point out that I live in a very desirable city and tourist destination. My city has had a rash of car break-ins and broken windows. Do I feel unsafe-no, just reminds me not to have anything valuable in car. Barcelona is pretty safe but in most cases crime happens because people aren't aware of their surroundings or leave valuables in plain view.

Posted by
8124 posts

I suggest you stay at either the Hotel Barcelona Aeropuerto or Barcelona Airport Hotel. They're both about 2 miles from the airport terminal and priced under $100. They should be on Booking.com.

The airport is adjacent to the Mediterranean, and travel to the cruise port shouldn't be too far.

Posted by
11127 posts

Our hotel warned us to be careful every single time we left the premises and we also were warned about safety by restaurant staff. We stopped the one attempt made to rob us as we were boarding a metro. My dh swatted the person with a newspaper and I hit her arm and hand that were reaching into dh’s pocket. She ran onto the train screaming! And ran to another car.
We have lived in big cities in the US and are not naive but we haven’t returned to Barcelona. The only other place in the world we have felt uneasy was in Buenos Aires.

Posted by
365 posts

You’re right. Stay off YouTube and those kinds of videos. These things can happen to anyone, anywhere.

Use sense. Do your research. Stay alert. And have fun!

Posted by
3893 posts

Of course there's always a risk of petty theft in Barcelona, speaking as a local I'd say keep your wits about you and stay away from Raval, las Ramblas, and the Metro if you are unfamiliar with pickpockets tactics. Taxis are plentiful and cheap in Barcelona, and you have no risk of being pickpocketed while riding in them.

Posted by
1942 posts

I think this thread is a bit of scaremongering. Plenty of people go to Barcelona every year and are fine and comparing and Barcelona is not nearly on the level of Buenos Aires crime.Keep your wits about you, don't go walking down deserted streets and keep all money and jewelry safely tucked away I have been going to Spain for 10 years and while I have known people who've gotten pickpocketed, I still would tell people to come and I stand by the fact that Barcelona and Spain are probably safer then any American big city.