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Booking Spain June, July or Augus

I want to book our vacation to Spain but the civil unrest is keeping me at bay. While I'm not sure which summer month exactly I will book, I want to know how everyone feels about the situation. We will have our two very young girls with us so safety is our priority. We do not want to be caught up in any civil unrest while visiting the cities. Do I wait and see what happens or do I book and hope that all is resolved?

Posted by
6841 posts

It is not happening in the entire country, only in the region of Catalonia and the most popular city for tourism Barcelona. If you're worried don't go to Catalonia. I would go Northeast around the Basque or Galicia regions as it is real hot in the south in summer anyway. Spain is a bigger country than it looks.

I am scheduled to be in Barcelona on January 2 but may change that.

Posted by
3217 posts

Spain is a large country, so go someplace other than Barcelona if you’re concerned. We were in Santiago de Compostela, Madrid, and some small towns last month, and like every other trip I’ve made to Spain, we had no problems. Last month there were major flooding problems in the southeast of the country, and to me, those would be more concerning than the Barcelona protests since they are unpredictable. If you do go to Barcelona, just stay away from the area where there are protests. The months for your trip are major tourist months, so all the main tourist sights will be busy, so I don’t think it matters which month you visit, although June might be slightly cooler.

Posted by
6607 posts

When I saw the title of your pist my first thought eas too hot! If those months are your options, go on June. The Catalans want to separate from Spain. Their protests come and go. It wouldn't stop me from visiting Spain. Skip Barcelona if you are worried..

Posted by
1121 posts

How long do you have to travel?
How old are your girls?
What are your travel interests?

Posted by
619 posts

If you live in Spain and are coming to the United States, then you should worry. Spain is much safer.
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime homicide rate per year per 100,000 inhabitants:
United States: 5.3 intentional homicide victims per 100,000 inhabitants
Spain: 0.7 intentional homicide victims per 100,000 inhabitants

List of countries by intentional homicide rate

The United States rate varies a lot from state to state, high in the deep South and the Rust Belt, low in New England and most of the Midwest. The rate for every US state is higher than Spain.

Posted by
1878 posts

I have not been following the unrest in Barcelona, but you might want to consider planning outside of July and August in Spain, if you can. Very, very hot in most of Spain that time of year. Barcelona is nice but you can have a nice visit in Spain without Barcelona.

Posted by
173 posts

We are traveling in the summer months, yes, we have discussed the summer heat on a previous posts, so please don't comment on the heat part, we are aware. I'm concerned about the civil unrest, as far as flooding goes, does it happen during the summer months as well? we will be traveling for 3 weeks with our girls who are 6 and 9. this isn't our first trip to Europe.

as far as safety comparison of U.S and Spain, I was only asking about the civil unrest, and yes Spain is much much smaller than the U.S so I'm sure the crime rates are lower.

Posted by
760 posts

"Spain is much much smaller than the U.S so I'm sure the crime rates are lower. "

The crime rates quoted were "Per 100,000" people - so size of the country is irrelevant.

Posted by
4873 posts

Yes, the murder rate is higher in the USA than Spain.

As long as you stay out of no-go areas in the USA, you will be fine.

Pickpocketing, on the other hand is far more a problem in places like Barcelona and Madrid. Barcelona doesn't treat pickpocketing as a crime if the amount is modest. Wear a money belt.

It is hot in Spain in the Summer, but I have traveled there in August and managed just fine.

Posted by
1250 posts

Floods can happen in the Sumner, but the reason this year's made the news was because of how exceptional they were. In any case this year's were mostly in places Americans don't visit, apart from some flash-flooding in Madrid. You'd be remarkably unlucky if you're affected next year.

The "civil unrest" is pretty much restricted to Barcelona and around. And the hooligans might well have given up long before next year anyway. If you visit the South, you won't find much in the way of support or sympathy for the Catalan whingeing.

Crime isn't really a problem for tourists visiting Spain. Your main threats are petty crime like pickpockets or vehicles being broken into. But they're easy to avoid. There certainly isn't the sort of widespread violent crime certain countries suffers from. There are a few districts in the bigger cities you should avoid (e.g. Tres Mil in Sevilla), but i can't see any tourist going into these and otherwise you'll be safe.

And I know you don't want to hear about the weather, but I'd recommend June over August unless you want a beach holiday.

Posted by
2575 posts

The "civil unrest" is pretty much restricted to Barcelona and around. And the hooligans might well have given up long before next year anyway. If you visit the South, you won't find much in the way of support or sympathy for the Catalan whingeing.

What a display of ignorance and disrespect, Nick. Calling "hooligans" to hundreds of thousands of people demanding independence is not serious and denotes you know squat about what's happening in Catalonia, regardless what's your stand on it. It's not appropriate behaviour on a public forum, sorry.

Posted by
173 posts

Isabel it's very relevant since USA is much much more diverse. Anyways, thank you to all those that contributed to my question.

Posted by
4368 posts

Isabel it's very relevant since USA is much much more diverse. Anyways, thank you to all those that contributed to my question.

No, Isabel's reply is very relevant. The crime rates are measured by per 100,000 peple therefore the size (or diversity) of the country is irrelevant, in fact the larger the country and more disparate the population then one would expect crime figures to be lower. Also take into account the different methods used by various countries to measure crime. Violent crime recording in the US is conducted by the FBI and is defined as:

Index crime in the United States includes violent crime and property crime. Violent crime consists of five criminal offences: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and gang violence; property crime consists of burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson.

In the UK for example the simple possession of a knife is recorded as a violent crime even if it is not used in a crime. Pushing someone or threatening to assault someone is recorded as an assault and there are many crimes that are recorded that would not feature in the FBI statisitics. Therefore, in reality, the crime figures in the US are significantly higher than the UK if you were to compare like for like. Spain records crime in a different manner to the US also so comparing figures between the US and Spain would not provide an accurate picture.

The demonstrations in Barcelona that concern you can easily be avoided by going elsewhere in Spain. It's a large and diverse country and those demonstrations are easily avoidable. I'll be in Malaga tomorrow and the prospect of any demonstrations hasn't even entered my mind as there most certainly won't be any.

If the heat is of no concern then Andalusia will be perfectly fine with respect to the prospect of demonstrations, likewise the Basque Country which will be pleasant temperature wise and again free from political demonstrations. You may like to consider the Balearic Islands or Canary Islands. Spain can be experienced without ever setting foot anywhere near Barcelona.

Posted by
173 posts

JC thanks for the reply but isabele's reply stands irrelevant to my question, my question was directed towards the demonstration not asking for violent crime statistics and comparisons of two completely different countries with much different diversity groups, which we are ALL capable of researching ourselves.

I asked because those are the locations that we have on our list to see. The Canary Islands are a joke compared to Spain, we had a stop over there years ago...... You may not be concerned about demonstrators perhaps because you don't have two small children with you and you didn't fly over 17 hours just to pack and leave. Anyways, thanks for the input, I will monitor the situation and make a decision in due time...

again, thanks everyone for the input.

Posted by
4368 posts

You may not be concerned about demonstrators perhaps because you don't have two small children with you

I've been travelling to Spain with my children since they were toddlers, they are now 12 and 14, never experienced any problems in Spain (or anywhere else for that matter apart from the US).

You stated that you weren't concerned about crime rates in comparison to the US because Spain is smaller, myself and Isabel simply highlighted the fallacy in that belief.

You've been advised, multiple times on this thread by most of the contributors that the political demonstrations that you are concerned about are happening in Barcelona, they are not happening all over Spain which is something you've failed to acknowledge. Those of us who are more knowledgable in this respect and are trying to answer your questions and ease your concerns for no reason other than a sense of helping out a fellow traveller are having our advice thrown back at us.

Personally I find your responses and attitude to those of us simply wishing to ease your concerns, educate you about the reality and advise you accordingly disrespectful and unnecessary. I don't see any reason to provide you with any further advice.

Posted by
173 posts

JC I'm sorry to hear you have experienced problems in the U.S.... The U.S has 50 states and Spain is roughly the size of California..... To our standards it's a very small country. I'm originally from Europe but have lived in the states for the past 35 years.... Like I said on my post I was NOT concerned about the safety of the entire country but only during the demonstration. I never said I was afraid of being murdered but just the political unrest..... Just like you I have been traveling my little ones since they were newborns and have been to over 30 of the states... never had any issues.....Perhaps you should give U.S another chance, there are tons of us here who would love to help fellow traveler.... Yes, there are parts of certain cities that I wouldn't even consider driving through, let alone visiting but that goes the same for many parts of the world. I speak 3 languages fluently so I'm not your "typical" American.... I'm not rude, but the repatative answers of U.S is more violent than Spain kind of got too much.... No where in my post I asked for statistics just the civil unrest, especially when Barcelona is a must place to visit for us..............

Posted by
4368 posts

I'm not sure how many times it can be reiterated but the size of a country is irrelevant when comparing crime figures because they are measured usually per 100,000 people. So if the violent crime figures were 15 per 100,000 people in the US compared to 2 per 100,000 people in Spain it makes no difference that California is bigger than spain, it's irrelevant.

Your concern surrounds the demonstrations in Barcelona. Currently there's no end in sight for such demonstrations. If the prospect concerns you so much simply avoid Barcelona and enjoy many of the other parts of Spain that aren't experiencing demonstrations. It's no different to deciding to avoid visiting the US because there are demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri.

I've been visiting the US for at least once a year over the last decade. My reason for reducing my visits has absolutely no relation to the crime levels (which are exceptionally high) but for other reasons.

You can absolutely travel within and enjoy Spain quite safely and I'd even argue that it's safe enough in Barcelona. I'd rather take my chances in Barcelona than Miami!

Posted by
173 posts

California being bigger than Spain only tells you that U.S is huge and you have other places to visit........... I guess you have zero understanding that I don't care nor did I ask for statistical data. You keep insisting on the size and number of the two different countries. Again.... I do not care about the statistics..... Have a wonderful day I will no longer respond to statistical data. thanks....

Posted by
4368 posts

And I will no longer reply to impetuous posts that fail to acknowledge the advice that you've been given. Statistical advice aside you've been told numerous times that Barcelona is the only place experiencing such demonstrations, the obvious response is to avoid it if it concerns you. You haven't acknowledged this advice, you haven't enquired about other destinations that have been suggested as alternatives, all you've done is have a hissy fit about statistical data (which is relevant when your concerns are considered) and made assumptions about other people (primarily about me travelling with young children). If you don't want to fly for 17 hours with two young children to a city that's experiencing political demonstrations, some of which are violent, then fly somewhere else....it's quite simple. We've told you this, I don't know what more you expect!

Posted by
2575 posts

ahhh, but that isn't quite so... Barcelona is "just" the capital-city of Catalonia. The revolt affects the whole of Catalonia with actions happening here and there in most of the major cities (Tarragona, Girona, Lleida, Vic, Manresa...) as well as plenty of temporary roadblocks across the region. From Friday to Sunday, the main motorway at La Jonquera -border crossing with France- was blocked causing queues of nearly 100km inside France, all the way to Perpignan, for those attempting to cross the border.

Furthermore, just last week we started getting support demonstrations elsewhere outside Catalonia... like in San Sebastian, Valencia and Madrid. These are small indeed in comparison to those in Catalonia, but for example, in Madrid, there was also a police charge which left several injured.

Just sayin'...

Posted by
173 posts

Thanks Eric for the real and true update. This is exactly what my question was.

Posted by
4368 posts

No, that wasn't what your question was, your question was......

"Do I wait and see what happens or do I book and hope that all is resolved?"

To which no-one has answered because no-one knows.