La Rambla is very risky place. Lots of cheaters, beggars and pickpockets are roaming freely, in crowded place without any body protesting and there is no police watch.
The worst and the most common is the three boxes and little piece of paper stuff, it is so common in La rambla, after every 40 steps, you would see this happen. They act in a group, with role of everybody fixed and if you stopped, be sure to lose money. There is no protest from any of the people or shopkeepers there. They call third world countries as bad - Asia and Africa, but sorry to say this is the worst experience. At least, the 3rd world countries have beggars, but not open cheaters and that too in crowded places, because in India people protest and help tourists. Here its not the case. Spain act fast if you want to have tourists coming back.
Unique Suggestions: Avoid La Rambla. if at all you want to go, carry very less money. Dont stop anywhere, risky to go alone, be in group.
Fun Alternatives: see the city side, the police and government need to act and get rid of these cheaters in la rambla.
Be aware of anybody walking close to you and/or behind you. Always keep a strong hold of your valuables. We witnessed people trying to open purses on pedestrian crossings, in railway stations or airport.
The subway is another area you have to be on guard. They operate in gangs and, if you are not on guard, they take advantage.
The warning is to make you aware of the reality and enjoy the city without spoiling your vacation by an unwanted event. We spent a week in Spain and enjoyed it very much, but witnessed also some forgetful events - like someone trying to steel the tip we left for the waiter at a terasse.
Unique Suggestions: Be aware of the people around you. Crowded areas, subway, railway stations, airports are ideal places for thieves. We witnessed people trying to steal while crossing a busy avenue in Madrid.
Fun Alternatives: Be aware and keep hold of your visible valuables.
mike malloy and his band of bandits try to rob you on the la ramba by asking you for the time and while you do that a second man comes from berhind bumps you and then takes your wallet .
Unique Suggestions: watch out for that silly sob
Fun Alternatives: be bold
Whilst walking down the Ramblas and further down onto the pier (called Barceloneta) and connecting shopping complex a group of children with blue clipboards came up to us and asked if we could give them money for charity and showed us a bad photocopy of a sponsor form. These kids are gypsies and will just put your money in thier pockets and give it to thier parents. They will not give it to charity.
If you are seated and you have your wallet, glasses or money on your table, do not let them put the clipboard over your items because they will steal them.
Do not let them surround you as they will pick pocket you if given the chance.
Just keep an eye out for a large group of kids with blue clipboards and stay clear of them.
DO NOT FALL FOR THE FACT THAT THEY ARE KIDS. THEY ARE OUT TO STEAL YOUR MONEY!!!
Unique Suggestions: Ignore children asking for money for charity.
Fun Alternatives: Walk away immediately and dont fall for the aaaahhhhh!! sweet children gag.
If you don't have much spare change on you, do your best to ignore the street performers. There are a lot in the touristy areas (such as Las Ramblas) and many will expect you to give them money if you watch their show, take a picture of them, or if they come to your table while you're at an outdoor cafe. Also, if you don't give them money, some will get pissed off at you.
Unique Suggestions: Bring some spare change, and give a few coins to the performers that put on a show for you.
I'm not sure what they call this, but its one of the most blatant tourist traps i've seen. You will see people on the side of the road, usually the busy pedestrian areas, with a table and three boxes. They will ask you to pay some money and guess which box the ball is under. If you guess correctly, you win a prize. You NEVER guess correctly, because it is fixed. I didn't see any locals playing the game, only tourists, so beware!
Fun Alternatives: If you want to gamble, try the bookmakers instead. At least you'll have a chance!
What's a guiri? Is a tourist that do several classic behaviors. Scape if you can.
But if you want to become it, is easy. To beging, you must go in the beach and make your skin all the red that you can. Are you red yet? Is the moment to go in a tablao flamenco, and pay a good money for to see four persons dancing flamenco for first time in their life, to get a little bit money this summer. Barcelona is specyally good for this. Inthe flamenco show, clap your hands and sey "ole, ole". Don't you feel ridiculous? Well, you are becoming a guiri, but still you are not. It's indispensable that you go in the Rambles and buy a mexican hat and walk with them. Finally, when you return at home, make a page in VT, and put the tittle: "Ole Barcelona" or "Viva Barcelona".
Especially around Las Ramblas, but really at any outdoor cafe (Catalunya, Passeig de Gracia, wherever) - you'll get these people randomly strumming a Spanish guitar and then asking for money. Personally I just emphatically shake my head until they go away, but it's entirely up to you if you want to throw them a euro!
Unique Suggestions: Maybe just give your money to the good ones. Some of them are just plain bad.
Fun Alternatives: Save that euro for another glass of cava!
If you see a group of people one of them with a cardboard box, 3 glasses and a ball don’t stop!!! It’s a very old swindle but there are still now some people who don’t know it… They’ll try you bet to guess where is the ball, it seems easy but it’s a swindle… The best: don’t stop, sometimes there are “pickpockets” around "working" with them… In the exceptional case you win probably they will hit you in order to recover the money!
Fun Alternatives: Don't play! don't stop!
just off las ramblas, home to a great falafel shop and a few cool bars but also home to every schemer in the world. don't believe anything these guys who hang around the centre tell you. don't go side streets with them no matter what they say they can sell you. it's pretty safe physically - there's loads of police around.
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