Gypsies & Beggars, Sevilla
As in any of the major cities in Spain there are many gypsies offering you flowers...carnations or small bunches of rosemary. DO NOT STOP for these people. they are expert pickpockets and while you are accepting the flower their accomplices are picking your pocket or handbag. NEVER open your purse or wallet infront of them as they are liable to snatch and run! Just walk on by.
You will find some people around town that will try to put a herb in your hands and then pester you for money.
Do not let them!! Once you give them some change they well keep bothering you.
The best thing is to just keep your hands to yourself and tell them no thank you and keep on walking.
You'll see these scammers close to the main tourist attractions - the cathedral and the plaza de Espana. A gypsy woman will walk up to you and hold up a flower, small branch, or bunch of leaves, and say "suerte" (luck) or "un regalo" (a gift). If this happens, turn around and run! If you're not quick enough, she'll grab your hand and shove the plant into it, then give you a palm-reading (mostly generic crap that applies to anyone - you'll be happy, then sad, then happy again...) and expect you to pay (they won't leave you alone till you pay). Usually, they only want a few euros, but it's still annoying.
Am sure you might already know, but just to emphasize...
Don`t accept the litle bush branches that several women stand and hand out, mainly around the Cathedral, because then they will start reading your palm and then they will want you to pay them.
So unless you want to pay for having your palm read on the street, just ignore the women and don`t accept the branches.
When we visited Sevilla, there were a few gypsies around the cathedral area. They were typically ladies, and would approach people (mostly tourists, I'd say) and offer them a small bunch of rosemary or other posy, saying that they are lucky, and should have this gift. They would then try and get the person to pay for the 'gift'. We weren't bothered by these people, but saw others being. The area that they hang about in is huge, and so if you're aware of your surroundings, then it wouldn't be too difficult to avoid them, like we did.
Another tip for being around these people is to look like you know where you're going, and look confident. That way they'll be less likely to approach you.
It seems a shame that in such a lovely city like Seville, you will probably be pestered by beggars.
I was sitting outside a cafe drinking fresh Seville oranges when a rather rude Romanian woman thrusted a childs photo in my face and extended her hand.
I ended up paying her just to leave me alone.
If you do pay them do not fall for the old trick of paying them more after they complain it is not enough. Say quite firmly :I have paid you leave me alone
Watch out for the dodgy people trying to tell you your fortune. They just come straight up to you and won't go without a firm no. We had this happen and they gave us lavender sprigs as well...They tell you your fortune first then ask for money but you can say no.
..or get your hand read by gypsies!
They travel in twos/threes and, though it seems harmless, they get very close to you and could easily pickpocket you when you're paying attention to one of them.