It does not matter where in the world you are traveling, you always need to be aware of local thieves. This is a topic you can not avoid in Barcelona for sure. In the last years crime rates raised and the city transformed more and more into a minefield. The social pressure increases due to the general economic condition and tightens the situation. This post is not meant to scare you off, but to point out the danger clearly and advise you to be vigilant.
Even before Rome, Barcelona leads the list of european cities in this category. You have to be expect (almost) in any place that a thief will elaborately try to get your valueable things. The tricks are many and even experienced travellers are not safe.
At night it happens that drunk people, who are on the way back home in empty and small streets of the old town, are robbed. Favorite prey are of course tourists, not speaking catalan or spanish audible. Usually no brute force is used since the victims are more or less defenceless. Although here also the tone gets rougher and it happens that robbers push victims to the floor hard.
- Leave all valueable things you do not need at home (or in the hotel safe).
- Only take the money you are going to spend with you.
- Do not be distracted by unknown people on the street talking you into something (even if they look like tourists).
- Check if your backpacks and handbags are really closed! In crowded places carry them in front of your chest (e.g. packed metro)
- Mind your dresscode: do not look like a tourist