Barcelona -- safety

My Mom is going on 80 -- but her physical and mental health are quite good. She recently rented an apartment in France and stayed there alone for 10 days, and loved it. This fall she intends to do the same thing in Barcelona. I'm very anxious about this. I don't mean to knock that beautiful city unduly, but I have heard so many times that one has to be careful there. If that's true for the average person, how much more so for a (way too) trusting senior on her own? Mom, like Rick, travels to engage with people -- she's very open to strangers. I can so easily see her being taken advantage of! Am I nuts for worrying so much? Mom is a very smart lady, but can get lost in her thoughts, and when visiting South Africa she got preoccupied and suddenly found herself in a dark, isolated area -- two kids approached and snatched her necklace. Thank heaven that's all that happened.... Any input would be greatly appreciated, thank you!

Posted by Marbleskies
USA
281 posts

I am envious of your mom. I doubt there is little which can be written which will calm your anxiety, but I understand your concerns. If it helps, I am seeking to purchase an apt in Barcelona and would not do so if I had overt concerns about safety.
Safe travels.

Posted by H J
LaGrange, Ga, USA
923 posts

Let her travel!!! Barcelona is as safe as any place and she will enjoy it. I might suggest a very nice hostal such as El Balcón del Born where they can help "keep an eye on her" if you are worried. There are several such places in the city.

Posted by Patricia
Long Island
11 posts

That actually is comforting Steve (about the apartment) -- thanks for taking the time to reply. (I'll just add that Mom does consider herself very fortunate indeed! Wish you all the best with your apartment.) Thanks to you too, HJ -- I think you're making me start to see that I'm over-reacting.

Posted by Nicole
CA, USA
78 posts

I'd worry a little bc of her age, but not the locale. I was just there a few weeks ago. I found it rather safe feeling and quite nice for a large city. I would recommend she stay in the Eixample neighborhood if she can - perhaps a litle closer to Plaza Catalunya if possible. Would she be taking the Metro or walking?

Posted by Patricia
Long Island
11 posts

Nicole, I think her plan is to check out the sights on foot and via the Metro, whichever's convenient. That is how she's done it in the past. I will certainly share with her your suggestions re. where to get a room -- thank you!

Posted by Nicole
CA, USA
78 posts

We stayed at the recently renovated Hotel Granvia and found it well located. I believe they have single rooms. Your text to link here...

Posted by Patricia
Long Island
11 posts

Thank you Nicole, I'll certainly share that with Mom! Appreciate your input very much.

Posted by Marbleskies
USA
281 posts

Ask her to purchase a phone w ability to reload minutes. While not inexpensive this would provide you both w an additional method to communicate. I recommend the Orange phone store located at plaza catalonia.

Posted by Patricia
Long Island
11 posts

I really like that idea, Steven -- we had trouble connecting with just her home-based iphone last time. Would never have thought of what you suggested, thanks so much!

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7213 posts

We stayed in Bari Gotic and were happy with it because it was very walkable. If I was booking for your mother, however, I'd book the Eixample area (home to the famous modernist architecture). It's not far from the Gothic district but generally newer, nicer, quieter, cleaner and more secure.

Posted by Patricia
Long Island
11 posts

I really appreciate the advice Brad, many thanks; you echoed Nicole re. a good location and after talking to Mom she has booked a place in the Eixample area. It is really so kind of the people here to jump in and help a stranger this way, thanks to everyone. I have to say just reading the input from you all has made me feel so much better about Mom's trip. All the best to every one of you!

Posted by Carol
Atlanta, GA, USA
679 posts

My 75 plus year old mother survived Barcelona just fine... Despite carrying her purse the way Michael Vick carries a football.

Posted by Patricia
Long Island
11 posts

Thanks Carol, it's good to know another senior has made a trip to Barcelona and lived to tell the tale!

Posted by Dianne
Pawtucket, RI, USA
88 posts

Hi Patricia
I would like to give my two cents worth. My sister and I are 70 and 73. We have been traveling to Europe by ourselves for 12 years and Good Lord willing, will travel for at least another 12 years. We were in Barcelona last year and felt very safe. I hope that if I should ever have to travel alone, I would have the fortitude of your Mom. I know I wouldn't want my kids to try and stop me. Worry? yes. But don't stop me. Wish her "safe journeys" for me.I admire her.

Posted by Patricia
Long Island
11 posts

Once before, a few years ago, I had some travel-related concerns and the people on this board were incredibly helpful. I'm having the same experience again now. It really eases my mind to hear what you say, Dianne. Thank you for taking the time to comment, and I wish you and your sister all the best -- happy traveling to you both. I will give Mom your good wishes! I admire you and your sister as well.

Posted by Val
Long Beach, USA
92 posts

I agree with everyone's comments. I am a young petite blonde female and often travel alone. There is NOT a place I felt unsafe in Europe...Like it has been said on here a million times...You do have to be careful and conscious of your surroundings. I try to check in with friends and relatives often. I often befriend hotel or hostel staff. I hope to be 80 and still traveling! Glad to see your mom can do it...let her do it. She has some experience as you stated and she should be fine :) I guess she should be careful not to carry valuables or wear jewelry (or at least not expensive type).