Safety in Barcelona at night for ladies

We are 2 ladies in our 60's and was booked into the Catalanya Aragon Hotel close to Familia Sagrada by NCL for a 2 night pre-cruise stay in Barcelona at the end of Sept 2013.
We would like to enjoy a bit of the night life on Las Ramblas before returning to our hotel by Metro -apparently the Metrostation, Clot, is a 3 minute walk from our Hotel. Would it be relatively safe to do so ?

Posted by Gail
Downingtown, USA
1562 posts

We walked around a lot my sister and I until about eleven pm and had no problem, it was crowded but felt safe. Did not take metro because we were staying at Las Ramblas. Just be careful with valuables as you would any place else.

Posted by Helena
Pretoria, Gauteng, RSA
12 posts

Thank you for the reply, Gail... It sets my mind at ease knowing that our idea of staying out in the evening is not too absurd. Thanx again.
Helena

Posted by Paula
Arlington, TX, USA
278 posts

Helena, I believe Barcelona is safe at night as I have traveled there alone before meeting a tour. I would advise you to wear a money belt and be aware of your surroundings. There are many stories
of pickpockets but I had no problems. Just take proper care.

Posted by Helena
Pretoria, Gauteng, RSA
12 posts

Hi Paula, thanx for your input as well...I am now pretty sure that we will be okay if we are just alert and keep our eyes open ... Our cruise is only in Sept 13, but we are allready counting the weeks. Thank you again !

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7828 posts

Helene I do advise you watch your bag, wear it cross body, not slung over one shoulder and keep bulk of money and passport in your moneybelt , or at very least is a very secure zipped inside pocket in purse that is well sealed itself with zipper and hopefully flap covering too ( that clicks shut). Barcelona is not particularily dangerous, but there is a pickpocket issue ( just like Rome and Paris so heads up) and you should worrry more about your stuff then your person if you know what I mean. We were fine, but we are not novice at travel in Europe, at home we don't really have huge pickpocket issues so not sure what its like where you are from, but thats the thing to be aware of in many places in Europe, especially southern countries( as opposed to say the Scandanavian countries etc)

Posted by Helena
Pretoria, Gauteng, RSA
12 posts

Thank you Pat, all the advice if have received warns about pickpocketing and watching our bags...so I presume that we will be fine if we are alert as far as our "stuff" is concerned. Where we live, it is absolutely out of the question for ladies to go out on foot alone at night...it is really dangerous. That is the reason why I was concerned for our safety on this Mediterranean cruise when we are in the ports at night, which will only be in Barcelona and Venice. Thanx again ! Regards. Helena.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2852 posts

In European cities in general, most places of interest (to natives as well as tourists) are in the center, not the outskirts. The centers are hundreds of years old, so driving is not convenient, and so everyone walks everywhere. Therefore, being a pedestrian in the center of Barcelona is the norm. Further, Spain is on a very late schedule by the standards of other countries. Barcelona is a bit earlier than Madrid, but dinner is eaten there at about 9 PM or later. So, "night life" starts at midnight or 1 AM, and continues for hours. If you're out at 11 PM, people will still be walking home from dinner. And not just the "late crowd" - all kind of people, including families with small children (it's something to see). The Ramblas is a special situation; it has pickpocket problems all day, not just at night. I was vigorously warned by my hotel about going there with anything stealable - at 2 PM. I had no trouble, but I'd still be careful to use a moneybelt and leave valuables at the hotel, at any hour.

Posted by Kia
Toronto, ON, Canada
112 posts

I was a 50 year old woman traveling alone in Barcelona for a week in 2011, and I frequently walked along Las Ramblas day and night (my hotel was on the northern part of the street).......I never once felt that I was in any personal danger. At risk for property theft, sure, but not personal danger. So I did the smart things already mentioned (be aware of who's around you, wear a bag slung across my chest with zippers against my body, use zippered pockets, etc) and had no problems.

Posted by Larry
Elk Grove, CA, USA
6727 posts

Helena, if you are in Barcelona about the 3rd week in September don't miss the La Merce festival. It's the largest holiday in Barcelona. I believe that it will be on Sept 20 through Sept 24 this year (Friday through Tuesday). Tens of thousands of people along the La Rambla. Lots of music, multiple parades and best of the all, the world famous gegants (giants). Here's link to a YouTube video that shows what a gegant looks like. Also, the metal structure behind the people is a major open market that cannot be missed. The night life during this festival is wonderfully insane. Just watch out for pickpockets on the metro.

Posted by Helena
Pretoria, Gauteng, RSA
12 posts

Thank you Harold and Kia...I really do feel quite comfortable now about staying out a little at night in Barcelona. We will surely take care of our 'stuff'. I just have not received much info on the safety of travelling on the Metro back to our hotel... but I presume that the same precautions will be important. 'Staying out' for us would mean untill about 10 or 11 pm, as we would probably be quite tired after the little sleep the previous night on our flight from Johannesburg RSA. LARRY, I know about the festival in September but we will unfortunately be too late as we only arrive in Spain at the end of September...but thanx for the info just the same. It really feels good to be able to chat to people that know so much more than I do. THANX AGAIN !!

Posted by Kelly
St Petersburg Florida
948 posts

I just returned from Barcelona yesterday. My hubby and I never felt our safety would be compromised. There were plenty of people on the Ramblas, nothing of the seedy type. Same for the Born district and areas right around the cathedral. I was told to avoid most of the neighborhood called El Ravel (west of the ramblas) by our guesthouse host at night, even though reports say it is gentrified or in the process of.

Posted by Helena
Pretoria, Gauteng, RSA
12 posts

Thank you Kelly, for setting my mind at ease even further...We are looking forward to be able to at least enjoy some of the 'vibe' on Las Ramblas after sunset.
We only have 2 days in Barcelona before our cruise departs and I believe that we will love every moment of our stay.