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Safe in Spain?

For those that have traveled to Madrid, Toledo, Barcelona and Seville in the past year, did you feel like your safety was threatened in any way? I'm talking more than just petty pick pocketing incidents.

Posted by
3149 posts

We were in Madrid, Toledo, and Cordoba in May and felt perfectly safe. No problems at all!

Posted by
22158 posts

Absolutely not but you must have had a reason for asking? Did someone tell you a horrible story about something that happened to a friend of a cousin?

Posted by
629 posts

We were in all 4 cities in April and did not feel like our safety was threatened at any time. Just like at home, we did not walk alone or late at night in certain areas either.

Posted by
23 posts

Thanks for all your responses and advice. As someone had mentioned, a friend who visited Madrid last month told me a story of their car being broken into as he parked in an area just off the tourist area.

Posted by
292 posts

I was in the same places in Aug. I was traveling on my own. I did not feel unsafe at all. Even at night, I walked back to my hotel in Seville at midnight on my own and there were lots of people around. Wendy

Posted by
2297 posts

In terms of personal safety I've never had any concerns. However, I've had a very bad experience in Barcelona as we made the mistake of parking our car just in a side street instead of a secure/guarded parking lot. We got broken into and all our luggage was stolen. As it included the entire camping equipment that was pretty much the end of our trip :-(

Posted by
4535 posts

There are areas in some of these cities that tourists should not wander alone at night. Such areas are not within the typical tourist areas and you are unlikely to just happen upon them.

Posted by
324 posts

Some idiot ran the red light while I was crossing a street this morning. Does that count? Madrid, Barcelona and Seville are all large population centers in a country where unemployment is roughly 40% for uneducated young men. Statistically, uneducated young men are more likely to commit violent crime than most other demographic groups. If you go into a neighborhood where these people live, you might have a problem. (Even then, I still vote that the jerk who ran the red light poses a greater risk.) Luckily for you, things of touristic interest are not usually located in scruffy neighborhoods. (On the other hand, the highly recommendable cemetery in Seville (a must see if you're in town on Nov. 1st) is located right next to the worst slum in town. Do not go wandering through the cardboard shantytown behind the cemetery after dark. You will run a severe risk of being submitted to beggars, rats and mediocre flamenco artists!) Certainly, the possibility of a life endangering crime ,with the possible exception of DUI, is lower in Spain than in equivalent population centers in the US. Use your head and you'll be fine.

Posted by
83 posts

I visited the same four cities and never felt in danger at any time. A few of the nights we were out pretty late. Take a little time to familiarize yourself with the areas to avoid, and you'll be fine. Enjoy your trip.

Posted by
1178 posts

I have visited every six months for several years and felt safe in Toledo, Monfraque, Zamora, Madrid, Barcelona, Salamanca, Valdevilla, and every other place I have visited, any hour of the day or night, alone or with a group... Much more safer than in Atlanta, Georgia, in the bright day of sunlight. Go and enjoy yourself!

Posted by
333 posts

I don't think I've been in a place that I felt more 'safe' in than San Sebastian or Bilbao.

Posted by
9363 posts

Well, Luis, I have had my car broken into in Chicago when it was parked on a side street near Northwestern Hospital, and again in a "secure" parking garage near the Chicago Theater. That hasn't stopped me from going to Chicago.

Posted by
20 posts

I traveled alone to Madrid, Barcelona, Toledo, Segovia, and El Escorial in 2006 & 2007. Never had a problem. I kept my essentials (passport, credit cards, and larger sums of money) in my money belt. I rented a flat outside of the touristy areas, but I always made it back home safely, using common sense and remaining mindful of my surroundings. (I earned my black belt in Tae Kwon Do several months before traveling alone). Be safe and have fun!

Posted by
8 posts

Went to all four places in July. We walked extensively day and night, read tourist maps on busy street corners, spent time in bus & train stations, and stayed in relatively modest hotels. Never once felt threatened.

Posted by
4535 posts

Luis - with all due respect, cars being broken into is not violent crime. In fact, it's pretty standard all over Europe and many folks on these boards can relate such experiences. Such break-ins occur in tourist zones and even in parking areas of popular tourist sites. NEVER leave anything of remote value in your car - even your trunk. Don't even leave things in plain sight that might make a would-be thief think your car is a tourist rental with maybe something hiding in the trunk.

Posted by
1035 posts

It is pretty easy to find yourself in a red light district in Madrid. Just keep moving and avoid eye contact. It doesn't appear unsafe, just a bit seedy. Returning to hotel one evening and found someone had jumped or fell (or maybe was pushed) from a balcony and was lifeless on the street. Police were investigating. Sad scene that can happen anywhere I suppose. Big thumbs up to Madrid all the same.

Posted by
13 posts

I lived in Madrid last year...Madrid is fine besides the pickpocketers on the subways. I had a friend also have her car broken into in Barcelona. They stole everything. Apparently it happens semi often. But overall Spain is not anymore dangerous than the United States. In fact I felt safer there.

Posted by
204 posts

We spent 3 weeks in Spain last year and always felt safe. Just use common sense and have fun!

Posted by
24 posts

I have never felt unsafe in Spain. That said, I was in Seville earlier this year and was greatly annoyed by the Roma (gypsies) with their Rosemary sprigs. It wasn't a minor annoyance. I didn't feel like I could stand still for 2 seconds without being repeatedly harassed by them. I had encountered their tactics on previous visits to Spain, but nothing compared to the harassment I endured in Seville. It was oppressive and more than enough to spoil my visit to the city.