How Not To Get Robbed in Barcelona


One of our first stops in Barcelona was Labyrinth Park of Horta (Parc del Laberint d'Horta), which is just on the outskirts of the city. We felt kind of enchanted by the place and spent a good hour wandering around the park. We had even found a spot to park our car for free (not that common in bigger cities around Spain). Happy days!

Little did we know that we would come back to a smashed car window and both of our backpacks gone from the trunk.

We had heard that pick-pocketing is a big issue so we took all the precautions there but even this kind of theft sadly is not uncommon in Barcelona. You always think that you’re being smart and cautious enough until it happens to you.

Without getting too much into how much it sucks, here are some tips on how not to let it happen to you –

  • Never leave your car parked in remote free parking spots in the outskirts of the city. Parking in Barcelona can be quite difficult to find and expensive so I know it might be tempting when you see a sweet free spot but you might end up paying way more for it in the end by wasting time at the police station and spending money to replace all your stuff.

  • If you have a rental car, peel off the sticker of the rental company or anything that might indicate that it’s rented as soon as you get it. Obviously this is not something that the rental companies would ever advise or agree with but do it anyway unless you want to risk looking like a sitting target.

  • Don’t take a lot of cash with you. I know it sounds quite obvious but seriously, just don’t. Also, if you haven’t heard of Revolut yet, get it here. It will make your travel spending so much easier and cost-effective, no cash and ridiculous currency exchange and bank fees involved.

  • Adding to that, don’t take a lot of anything with you. Travel extra light so if this happens, you have less stuff to steal. And most definitely don’t take any items of sentimental value (goodbye forever my Black Sabbath t-shirt from their last tour ever - I’m still mourning my loss)

  • Consider travel insurance, if you can afford it. Make sure to research and check if it covers the specific activities you are planning to do and valuables you’re bringing with you.

Lastly, of course it sucks, really bad. We had to remind ourselves that worse things have happened and there are way more awful places to be broke than Barcelona. So in the end, all you can do is write it all down to experience, take whatever you have left from your savings, grab a few tins of Estrella and head to Barcelonetta for some stress soothing, well-deserved beach and beer time.

Above all, don’t let it ruin your whole trip because there is still so much left to see. Stupid, bad breaks happen and if you have learned anything from this experience, you will know better next time.