Barcelona is one of the Europe's most popular tourist destinations. But sadly an increasing numbers of visitors are finding out how much of an annoyance the threat of petty theft can be there. This is a guide to thieves and their techniques in Barcelona, listing the top ten ways to get robbed in Barcelona Spain.
This advice is not meant to make you terrified of walking around Barcelona. The main advice is to keep your wits about you, hold on tight to your belongs and be wary of friendly strangers. To set your mind at ease a little, though the tricks mentioned on this page are quite common, violent street crime in Barcelona is virtually unheard of.
1. The Football Move
Popular along Las Ramblas and Gothic Quarter backstreets, this is an attempt to snatch your wallet by craftily invoking the universal bond of football. Having approached you with a line about some Barça player, a leg is thrust between yours to show you a move and the hand reaches into your pocket for your goods. Before you know it he's gone and you're left looking for the referee.
2. Transsexual Prostitutes
A group of transsexual prostitutes is known to prowl Las Ramblas looking for men to tickle. You may snigger, but their technique is deadly, going in for a fierce group tickle before disbanding with whatever they managed to pull from your pockets. Hmm.
3. Cutting Handbag Straps
Ladies, beware. Your handbags are at peril. My advice is to purchase a bag with extra tough straps.
4. ATMs (Cash Machines)
If an ATM swallows your card and a man appears offering a solution involving you phoning some hotline on his mobile, tell him to beat it. He wants your pin number.
5. Tapping On Your Car Window
You've stopped at a traffic light. A guy taps on you window mouthing something. Don't open the window. There's another guy waiting to reach in through another window and steal whatever he can. In fact, make sure your doors are locked and your windows closed when driving around. Especially in the El Born area.
6. Stealing in Bars and Restaurants
Don't leave your mobile on the table. Or your bag under the table. Or anything out of sight for an instant. It'll get lifted the moment you turn your head.
7. On The Beach
Don't leave your stuff unattended when you go for a swim down at the beach. It'll disappear. Ask someone to keep an eye on it for you.
8. Bird Mess
'You've got some bird mess on your back,' you hear a kind stranger say. You take off your bag and twist round to take a look. And hey, presto, your bag's gone.
9. On The Metro
There's a growing contingent of thieves posing as tourists and operating on crowded Metro carriages. So keep your pockets covered, even if the guy standing next to you in the 'I Love Barcelona' shirt looks harmless enough.
10. Card Games on Las Ramblas
No matter how much of a gambler you think you are, don't get drawn into those card tables on Las Ramblas. It's not a fair game with good odds - it's a magic trick that involves crafty slight of hand. Anyone who appears to win is simply in on the act. All that'll happen is that you'll lose your money.