Barcelona thievery….

We weren’t really prepared on what to expect, attraction wise, from Barcelona. Ive read its trying ever so hard to be the newest fashion destination in Europe. Most would even say it is definitely the fashion capital of Spain. But it’s certain we were only aware of one element Barcelona offered as this city had a very big reputation amongst all travellers we spoke to.

“It’s an absolute must, but always watch your belongings!”

So naturally, we asked more questions and heard more stories…
Like the time someone asked for directions with a map and as they helped a person they tried (almost successfully) to take the persons phone with their map.

Or the time when walking through the metro turnstiles, they were blocked at either end and had their wallet pinched from the back and quickly lost all the money inside.


Luckily we took all the advice we were given and implemented it at all times.

1. Keep personal belongings in front pockets- NEVER in the back.

2. Handbags need to be clutched in front of you & crossed over the body if possible.

3. If anyone suspicious (or not so suspicious for that matter) asks you for help or assistance, the answer is always no!

4. Watch your external belongs on crowded streets, buses and trains.

5. Beware females as they are the most common culprit

6. Don’t ever leave your bag unattended! Ever, never, not even at a coffee shop or clothing store! No.

So thankfully, by following these rules, we escaped any sort of foul play.

We had some almost events happen….
Our first day I was buying metro tickets at the machine and a guy approached me and spoke Catalan (my spanish is poor at the best of times so I was unsure what he wanted) before I said no, he then jumped the turnstiles and walked quickly in another direction.

Another time we were strolling the Ramblas and we could see people communicating on opposite sides of the street (for those that haven’t been, it’s narrow where the pedestrian zone is, so this is very easy to do) & sizing tourists (including us) up for accessible pick pocketing.

A friend of ours had their phone stolen from their pocket, albeit they were carelessly strolling the streets alone, late at night.

Or when we were sitting in the lobby of our hostel late one night just arranging emails on the laptop & a random girl comes in off the street & has a rushed look on her face, begging to use our laptop to print her tickets for her “bus in 10 minutes”….
Firstly the bus depot was no where near our hostel
secondly where was she planning on printing them with a laptop?
lastly the hostel had a free printing service at reception & when we brought this up she assured us it wasn’t possible for them to access the tickets…. SUSPECT!
The point is it can happen at anytime, anywhere & by anyone.

A smart traveller is always aware of these possibilities…. Don’t be the novice.

Til next time…. Chao!



About mapofjo

I'm a late twenties opinionated nerd who likes to share my wisdom & experiences with like minded people. I've studied, worked & travelled lots. I'm an open book with nothing to hide, other than my secretly embarrassing celeb crushes....


  1. rod

    Well done for keeping your wits about you jo, chances are that if any randomer you don’t know wants something from you, its gonna be a scam.
    I got scammed once in Cuba, renowned for being a poor place, a woman with a baby in a pram approached me on the street and asked if I would buy the baby milk, feeling sorry for the baby I agreed.
    The woman with the baby beconned me into a shop, and she spoke with the person @ the checkout in local language. All of a sudden in a flash the checkout person handed the woman a whole bag of shopping ! And the woman took off out the shop and down the street like lightning as it slolwy dawned on me what just happened. SCAMMED. !
    Moral of the story, don’t allow strangers to access your emotions as a tool to manuipulate. Anyone wants anything its always the firmest NO, and instantly start looking for back up for yourself, authoroties to attract, and who in the vacinity could be in with the predator scammer, if the parasite persist.

    Safe and happy travels.


    • Wow thats insane….. cant believe you fell for that! But I hear ya, I did just that every time I felt uneasy. Always sizing people up myself and the position they may have in my uneasiness. It definitely helps that I’m not on my own. As every time I have walked around on my own (just for a bottle of water or something quick) I get approached or harassed about something.
      So I’m lucky I’ve been experiencing both sides of the coin.

      • rod

        Haha :). Yeah , I got sucked in that toime. A lesson in life learned the hard way. Lol.
        Glad your smarter than me n not fell victim.
        It was once difficult to lay down emotions that were evoked by other people , (“milk” for baby, the ‘borrow’ of a laptop etc).
        I Learned the hard way on a few occasions the problems and issues of the world and others are not mine to take ownership of and solve. In doing that I began to close the door on unhealthy unwanted and uneeded chaos that certain doors lead to.

        Its not my responsibility to feed a strangers baby, its not your responsibility to fix some chicks ticket issue (even if she was telling the truth). Etc.
        Glad to hear that when u are approached, your proactive radar switches on, sux that you get targeted as a potential victim, in first place tho , esp if your alone.

        Sure u can stick up for yourself and it doesn’t take long for anyone to realize , if they thought u were an easy target, they were wrong !

        Hope u manage not to let lil experiences like that, have any power to spoil your trip.

      • Lol @easy target miscalculation!
        Yeh but I think anyone is a potential victim to them, it just depends how ballsy they feel that day.

        I have only been savvy to the potential dangers thanks to horror stories like yours!

  2. Hayley Rook

    Excellent advice Jode and love the picture at the bottom 🙂

  3. Pingback: BARCELONA | Map Of Jo

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