Barcelona is the first city I will say I won’t visit again. No other city that I have visited in the past 20 years left me such a bad taste and it is a pity as it is a very beautiful city.
It was sickening to see so many pick-pockets. Nothing has happened to me but still I did not like it. I thought that perhaps it was only me, some anecdotal evidence that there were (much) more pick-pockets than in any other city but I came across this list compiled by TripAdvisor:
Global Pickpocket Top Ten 2010 (vs 2009)
1. Barcelona, Spain (1)
2. Rome, Italy (2)
3. Paris, France (5)
4. Madrid, Spain (-)
5. Athens, Greece (9)
6. Prague, Czech Republic (3)
7. Costa Brava (Alicante Province), Spain (-)
8. Lisbon, Portugal (-)
9. Tenerife, Spain (-)
10. London, England (-)
Barcelona was no. 1 in 2009 and 2010 and I am quite sure the situation has not changed in 2011/2012.
I have compiled a list of pages that could help the tourist in Barcelona. However, it was dis-heartening to read some stories of people who knew about Barcelona’s reputation and took all precautionary measures and they were still pick-pocketed.
Robbed in Barcelona? What I did + tips to beat the pickpockets
Barcelona Safety – Learn and Apply The 16 Safety Guidelines to Safeguard Your Personal Safety
Barcelona Pickpockets – Real Life Stories And Tips on How to Beat Them
Perhaps this is the way to visit Barcelona, they seemed to be from the Secret Service (was someone from Obama’s family in the group of tourists?).