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Topic # 201320 13-Aug-2016 18:37
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Hi.

 

I'll be 8 days in Spain next month, some in San Sebastian and the rest in Barcelona. I love to eat, so markets and other similar things are of specific interest.

 

 

 

Anyone have any tips/tricks or must see's/do's?

 

 


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  Reply # 1611183 13-Aug-2016 20:13
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I haven't been there myself. Based on this tv show I watched, keep an eye on your possessions. Pickpocketing seems to be rife in Barcelona's tourist areas.

Here's a clip from the show:


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  Reply # 1613239 17-Aug-2016 14:00
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Barcelona is the world's pick-pocketing capital.  Do NOT carry anything valuable on you.. at all.
I have visited nearly 70 countries and am very wary of my surroundings yet managed to get robbed in BCN.

 

Words of advice:

 

* Do not carry a wallet or phone in your pockets
* Do not carry precious documents or cards on your person -> leave your passport/license credit card etc in the hotel safe
* If you do need to carry a card or cash, keep them in your socks, underwear or in a body wallet under your clothing
* Only carry what is necessary
* If you must carry a phone or camera, keep them in a back pack/bag tucked deeply away under a rolled up hoodie or something to frustrate a thief
* Try to wear your bag in a way that you can always keep an eye on the zips, ie wearing a backpack on your chest

 

People get whole suitcases robbed from shuttle transfers & buses from the airport, so be extremely vigilant.

 

In the worst case scenario go to to police station to file a report for your insurance company, this is all that police will do.
If a pick-pocketer is apprehended he spends ~12 hours in jail and gets fined a few hundred €. It is more lucrative for them to keep on doing what they're doing.

 

^^ You should not have any of these problems in San Sebastian.

 

Must do's in BCN:

 

* Go up the mountain (Park Montjuïc)
* Go to the Gaudi Park
* Go see the Sagrada Familia
* Check out the port area/marina and have some nice food (tapas) & sangria

 

 





Gigabit




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  Reply # 1613259 17-Aug-2016 14:33
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Wow that doesn't instill me with a great deal of confidence. I'll need my phone on me always, but I was intending on carrying 1 Type of ID and Cash and 1 CC in a pouch around my neck under my clothes. 

 

 


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  Reply # 1613305 17-Aug-2016 15:23
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For goodness sake! Have been to Barcelona 40+ times. No need to be paranoid, just don't be naive. Pick pocketing is no worse than 100 other cities - it is there but be assured, the locals don't put their money in their socks.




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  Reply # 1613306 17-Aug-2016 15:25
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I don't generally give out scaremongering advice but Barcelona does warrant it and I've been there 5 times. I was wearing cargo shorts with 6 pockets and only had 80€ in notes tucked away in my deepest pocket. The guy managed to dance around me and go through every single pocket in under 5 seconds. I didn't realise it had happened until a minute later my wife said "check your pockets you may have been robbed". I intentionally left wallet, passports, cards etc. at the accommodation and only had cash for the day. The result was we had 2€ in coins left to buy water and a bag of muffins to last the rest of the day before the bus came to take us back to our accommodation. Wasted 2 hours at the police station as well where there was a queue of at least 150 people victimised with missing phones, bags, wallets, etc. etc.

 

Barcelona is an absolutely stunning city though, the art is great, lots of culture and great food. It's just such a shame that the authorities don't punish these thieves any harder.

 

You will see that the popular metro stations are guarded by police with dogs, but the thieves are shameless and will target you anywhere.

 

Locals don't dress like tourists and don't walk around with backpacks and cameras typically.

 

 

 

 

 

 





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  Reply # 1613320 17-Aug-2016 15:51
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For what it's worth, I was in Athens two months ago and was attempted to be pickpocketed, thankfully unsuccessfully. I thought I was being really vigilant; hands in pockets all the time etc but the guy still had a go!


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  Reply # 1613476 17-Aug-2016 21:54
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ScuL:

 

I don't generally give out scaremongering advice but Barcelona does warrant it and I've been there 5 times. I was wearing cargo shorts with 6 pockets and only had 80€ in notes tucked away in my deepest pocket. The guy managed to dance around me and go through every single pocket in under 5 seconds. I didn't realise it had happened until a minute later my wife said "check your pockets you may have been robbed". I intentionally left wallet, passports, cards etc. at the accommodation and only had cash for the day. The result was we had 2€ in coins left to buy water and a bag of muffins to last the rest of the day before the bus came to take us back to our accommodation. Wasted 2 hours at the police station as well where there was a queue of at least 150 people victimised with missing phones, bags, wallets, etc. etc.

 

Barcelona is an absolutely stunning city though, the art is great, lots of culture and great food. It's just such a shame that the authorities don't punish these thieves any harder.

 

You will see that the popular metro stations are guarded by police with dogs, but the thieves are shameless and will target you anywhere.

 

Locals don't dress like tourists and don't walk around with backpacks and cameras typically.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's the only place in Europe I was ever robbed whilst on holiday in the 37 years before I moved here...! The area around the cathedral is especially notorious.






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  Reply # 1613477 17-Aug-2016 21:56
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For a laugh, carry a bundle of Monopoly money in a cheap wallet...!






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  Reply # 1617643 26-Aug-2016 05:11
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Sam91:

 

I haven't been there myself. Based on this tv show I watched, keep an eye on your possessions. Pickpocketing seems to be rife in Barcelona's tourist areas....

 

 

Wow, I've just watched the whole episode of this show (ScamCity on Duke).  It seems that when these pickpockets are caught the severity of their punishment is being locked up for 3 days and/or a fine of something like 250 Euros.  The show didn't elaborate on the whole justice system but it certainly appears there are no worse repercussions for repeat offenders.  Until the authorities recognise it as a real problem get serious about this I wouldn't expect the situation to get any better  (Note that I have no personal experience on how bad the problem really is.)





Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important. (T.S. Eliot)


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  Reply # 1617644 26-Aug-2016 05:44
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Spain is a nice place to visit, very foody. Few things that are quite different to NZ:

- tapas/pinxos - small bites that come with bar drinks are very common, and often take the place of meals
- dinnertime is late - ie. after 10pm normally so you will need to wait
- siesta - this exists and means lots of shops are closed in the afternoon
- Spain is similar to Italy and other European states where the notion of a country is a 19th/20th century one. This means dont be surprised if people tell you they arent "spanish", and get offended/dont understand if you try your tourist spanish on them as they still think regionally.
- Barcelona is a massive tourist city - with lots to see and do, the Sagrada Familia is popular, but there are two entrances - one at each end of the block - try the other if one is busy and you havent booked.
- lots of department stores like some in Europe have supermarkets in the basement - El Corte Ingles is one.
- leather goods are still relatively cheap/good - and worth looking at


Food to try
- ham
- Chorizo
- squid
- olives
- Cheese is good
- patatas bravas (hot chips and spicy tomato sauce)
- Tomatoes
- Prawns

Havent been pickpocketed yet, tend to be careful though and avoid the crowds. Have been to Barcelona twice, Madrid, Seville, Menorca, San Sebastian, Bilbao and lots of small places.

Jon

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Reply # 1644421 2-Oct-2016 22:26
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networkn:

 

Hi.

 

I'll be 8 days in Spain next month, some in San Sebastian and the rest in Barcelona. I love to eat, so markets and other similar things are of specific interest.

 

 

 

Anyone have any tips/tricks or must see's/do's?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I generally use Wiki travel. You can check one for Barcelona.

 

Also, I've been recently watching BBC doumentary - Great Continental Railway Journeys which covers most of Europe which may be a good one to watch in flight  smile

 

 

 

On a side note, I am planning to visit Europe next year. If possible, do a small write-uup.


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  Reply # 1644461 2-Oct-2016 23:43
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Reading back on my own words in this thread; my boss went to Barcelona for the first time a few weeks ago. Guess what.. he got robbed. iPhone 6 Plus gone.

 

 





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  Reply # 1644502 3-Oct-2016 08:54
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My experience of Barcelona (~2009) ...

 

I got pick-pocketed the one day I went out without my jacket.  I have some grudging admiration for the pickpockets, they got my wallet out of my hip pocket without me noticing and it was jammed in quite deep.

 

It's an expansive city, what looks like a short distance on a map can be very long. 

 

Road signs are minimal and often not visible from a car (e.g. on side of buildings).

 

Taxis are cheap.  The metro system is good.

 

People are generally small.  Consequently so are meals and clothing.

 

The food is delicious, but a number of restaurants allowed smoking inside.

 

People walk very, very slowly.  Don't expect to get anywhere fast if the footpath is crowded.





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  Reply # 1644511 3-Oct-2016 09:09
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We were in Spain a few months ago - Madrid and southern Spain - AirBNB all the way, can't rate the experience highly enough. That said, here's a recent BBC documentary podcast on the backlash in Barcelona against tourism, especially the impact of AirBNB on traditional neighborhoods.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p041cf02

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1644515 3-Oct-2016 09:19
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My advice on avoiding pickpockets is simply don't keep anything valuable in trouser pockets at all (front or rear) and don't have anything valuable on the rear of your person - eg. rear-facing back packs etc. Keep everything on the front of your person.

 

I used a small 'man bag' with shoulder strap worn on the front of my body. It had a flap, then a zip compartment under the flap, and a further zip compartment inside for notes, so would be pretty hard to access unnoticed. In crowded markets, I would rest my hand on the bag when walking and always ensure it was kept it in front.

 

I'm not a great shopper, so in the crowded markets I would entertain myself by trying to spot pickpockets in action (-;


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