Compared to other major urban centers, Barcelona is not a dangerous place. In fact, few violent crimes are committed compared to major cities, for example, in the United States. But petty crimes are quite prevalent.
Petty thieves are particularly aware of the city’s visitors. They are experts at taking advantage of the visitors’ naiveté in terms of caring for their belongings. Thieves attack especially in tourist areas like Las Ramblas as well as crowded places like the buses and metro cars.
While you should not walk the streets of the city in fear, it is very important that you are aware of the people and things that happen around you. Be smart about how and where you carry your wallets and bags. For instance, a wallet in your back pocket attracts someone to just snatch it. A much safer option is the front pocket if you need to keep your money in your pockets.
Take care of your belongings
Keep all important items like credit cards, large sums of money, and your passport in some kind of pouch underneath your shirt. Be cautious when wearing a backpack because it is extremely vulnerable. So it is a very good idea to lock any pouch that contains valuables. Or at least bury valuables in a hard-to-find interior pocket.
If possible, if you have a sling bag or a shoulder bag, wear them strapped diagonally over one shoulder, and have the bag in front of you rather than on your back.
Use your common sense
Here is the rule of thumb when it comes to taking care of your things: Use your common sense and always be on guard. Petty thieves in the city are experts even at stealing from the most aware visitors. So be particularly careful in tourist areas.
If you are victimized by a petty thief and want to report the crime, go to the national police. There are many police stations in Barcelona. There is one near Las Ramblas at the metro Paral.lel on Carrer Nou de la Rambla 80.
Emergency numbers to call
Here are some of the most important numbers to call in case of emergency:
Catalan state police (Mossos d’Esquadra): 088
National Police (Policía Nacional): 091
Local Police (Guàrdia Urbana): 092
Military Police (Guardia Civil): 062
Hospitals: 93 454 60 00 / 93 418 34 00
Dental emergencies: 93 227 47 47
Fire Department (Bombers): 080, 085
EU standard emergency number: 112