I'll be traveling solo to Barcelona and Sitges in November and would like to hit the beach. I know it's probably not warm enough to swim, but hopefully it'll still be warm enough to get some sun/walk around. I am guessing it won't be very crowded, and so I am assuming theft would likely not be a big issue at beaches that time of the year. I definitely wouldn't leave my stuff unattended at a beach in summer months, but I'm thinking it's probably ok to do so in Nov. I don't intend to carry anything valuable, and I'm pretty sure my clothes and beach towel would not be of any interest to anyone. Anyone been to Barcelona and Sitges beaches after summer and disagrees?
Hi, you say, "I definitely wouldn't leave my stuff unattended at a beach in summer months, but I'm thinking it's probably ok to do so in Nov."
NO, not in Barcelona.
You say, " I'm pretty sure my clothes and beach towel would not be of any interest to anyone."
You'd be surprised. The police patrolling the beaches area in Barcelona have special kits which they hand to visitors who have had all their belongings stolen. The kits comprise: a T-shirt; a pair of shorts; a pair of flip-flops and a T-10 travel ticket.
The problem you may encounter is that police beach patrols in November are substantially reduced — whereas all kinds of thievery and scammery isn't.
Here's a link to an article in English about beach thefts in Barcelona: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/25/barcelona-police-spare-bathers-blushes-with-clothing-robbery-kits
Enjoy your stay in Barcelona.
Put your stuff in a small daypack while you walk around...
Interesting things the police are doing. That being said, if police beach patrols in November are substantially reduced, that probably means there's substantially less beach crime/thefts in November, so that actually makes me feel safer about leaving things unattended (for a short time)!
As for carrying a daypack, I'd much rather enjoy the sand and the water freely without carrying anything with me....isn't that the point of relaxing at the beach? :)
Sean, sorry to say, but it looks like you weren't asking, you already have your mind set... then why asking? But if you're belongings are stolen, please don't come back complaining.
It's not a good idea to leave belongings unattended on an urban beach any time of the year. Period. And long-time residents we know why we're saying this. I urge you to listen and potentially avoid a disappointment later on.
Agree 100% with Enric and Bill, why take the chance? But it looks like you have your mind made up, I know I wouldn't go to the beach in November, just too bloody cold lol!
It is true that I kind of have an opinion before I post the question, but your replies are still helpful and appreciated. I guess I am curious to see if anyone has actually witnessed or been a victim in similar situations and timing. I certainly won't complain or blame anyone but myself if my stuff were stolen. In fact, I would come back and warn others! However, looking at the weather forecast, it may rain during my stay in Barcelona. Unless it's a come and go type of storm, that may be the deal killer :(
I'm not sure I understand why you'd need to leave your belongings, since the water will probably be too cold to swim?
Barcelona's beaches were crowded a few days ago in late October. I think there's always stuff going on even is it's too cold to actually swim. not sure if anyone else mentioned this, there are also lockers you can use.
I would assume fewer police means fewer tourists/victims rather than less chance of victimhood. In fact, since the thieves have a bigger pool to choose from when the beaches are crowded, it could mean that as one of the very few tourists on the beach, you have a much higher chance of being a target.
I spend time in Barcelona and Sitges every summer. Yes, it's busier in the summer and there are a lot of people. I never feel unsafe or that someone will steal my stuff while I'm on the beach, but then I wonder what I'd do if someone did. So I invested in a Loctote backpack. It claims to be virtually theft-proof. It comes with a lock and you can attach it to a beach chair, railing, etc., while you take a walk or a swim.
It has been useful to me in other situations - in a hotel that doesn't have a safe, I can use it to secure my valuables. Also, when walking around a busy street (like the Ramblas), I'm sure nobody can get their hand in it to steal my wallet.
I may sound paranoid, but one year, my husband's wallet was picked at Sanz train station in Barcelona. It was a major pain and disrupted our vacation for which we save money every year.
FWIW, that's my advice.
Locker is a great idea. I did some research and noticed that some beaches in Barcelona has that but others (like the ones I intend to visit that are further north) do not :(
And it looks like the ones in Sitges do not have lockers either. But maybe Sitges is better than the urban Barcelona when it comes to petty crimes. And looks like the beaches are not as big as the ones too, so probably much easier to keep an eye on.
I'm with Balso on this one, if you have no intention of going in the water (I wouldn't in November) and you plan on just walking the beach why not just carry your stuff in a backpack?
I know it won't be very warm, but I would like to get into the water if it's not too too cold. (Sorry it wasn't written up clearly in my original post.) Looks like last week wasn't too bad, though next week may be a different story :(
I'm currently in Estepona, far further south than Barcelona and I dipped my toes in the sea this morning, I had no desire to go any further.
We were at the beach near Barcenolta yesterday and there were lots of people on the beach and a few brave souls in the water. My husband just waded in and said his feet were frozen. I wouldn't leave anything unattended anywhere. We have not seen any thefts/pickpockets that we know of, though one man did appear to be following my husband off the Metro so I intervened.
Hola! Finally arrived at Barcelona yesterday. I went to Sitges today and it's Sunny and beautiful (contrary to the weather forecast). It is a little cool, but I did get in the water anyway. I went to a smaller beach and there were about 20 ppl. There were some traffic on the boardwalk too. Overall it felt very safe and I got more and more relaxed to the point i fell asleep. As far as I know, no one tried to take my bag, except for the wave! I'm guessing Sitges is probably safer than Barcelona anyway. A good day overall!
Glad you came back to report! Have a fabulous trip.
I'm back from my trip. Had a great time and want to provide a final report. Went to the beach on 2 different days in Sitges. Relatively quiet both days and no problem whatsoever with leaving my stuff at the beach. On my last day at Barcelona, I decided to go to the beach for an hour since it was a sunny day. Kept a close eye on my stuff for 58 mins and had no issue. Then I decided to go for a skinny dip in the water (it was a naturist beach) before leaving, only to find out when I get off the water 2 mins (if that) later that EVERYTHING is gone! So even though I didn't loose anything of great value (other than my pride and dignity), I have to admit those who warned me earlier were absolutely right.
when I get off the water 2 mins (if that) later that EVERYTHING is gone! So even though I didn't loose anything of great value (other than my pride and dignity), I have to admit those who warned me earlier were absolutely right.