Hi I am in my 60's and am planning a trip to Barcelona this July. Is it a relatively safe place to travel alone? I am really looking forward to this adventure but thought I would check here first.
Yes, it is as safe as anywhere. Sometimes we hear pickpocket stories, but that can happen anywhere.
The key is situational awareness ( just like at home) and having someone you touch base with on a daily basis. I usually text or send a picture to my kids every day. It makes us all feel better.
My rule when traveling is if a situation makes me uncomfortable, I get out of it ASAP. I have not had to do this in recent years.
Day tours can be a way to feel a bit more secure in some situations and increase social contact.
We (59 and 72) felt very safe in Barcelona in October 2022. We were conscious of our bags on the crowded metro, but otherwise didn't feel worried about pickpockets. I wear a crossbody bag.
One of the places we loved in Barcelona was the cafeteria on the 9th floor of the El Cortez Ingles department store at Plaza Catalunya. The food is inexpensive but good and it has a panoramic view of Barcelona. We had two nice lunches there and it felt much safer than the sidewalk restaurants in the Rambla.
We stayed in Gracia, very close to Diagonal metro station. Our neighbourhood was full of young families and abuelas eating gelato. We felt very safe walking around our local area.
It depends on where and when you go in Barcelona. You should be fine in 85% of the city at any time, but for example I would not wander around places like El Raval or Sant Pere Mes Alt at night.
I'm was a 40 something single traveler in Barcelona for a few days and other than one time where I felt a group of guys following me, I felt pretty safe. Don't bring a lot of valuables and don't walk around with a lot of cash/jewelry. I had a great time but it also had to do with spending a bit more on a nicer hotel. I can recommend the H10 hotels in Barcelona especially in Eixample.
I also have to mention scams. There used to be groups of people wanting you to sign a petition. Don't stop as many of these are just a distraction for pickpockets. Another scam is a person giving you something, a ring, a flower, etc and then once you take it, they demand money saying you bought it. These were pre-Covid so maybe the scams have stopped.
Yes, it is... from a safety point of view (in the full sense of the word 'safety') it's a very safe city -as per international rankings. Yet it's a Western-type of city with 2 million souls at any given day (locals+visitors), therefore some basic precautions are recommended as they would be anywhere else.
As said above, mingling with the crowd (no flashy valuables), avoiding certain areas at certain hours, staying alert for pickpockets in and around touristy sites and trying to avoid the typical well-known scams of major cities in Europe -such as those mentioned by @heather, it's pretty much it. Other types of crime, statistically speaking, are not that frequent (muggings), and some others are even very rare (firearms).