Money Matters, Barcelona
Dear all people in the world at large...
Every friend groups of mine who have visited Barcelona in the last six months have been robbed off at various restaurants in Barcelona... They have lost their passports, cash, phones, credit cards, cameras, jackets anything within just a blink of an eye.. Usually these petty thieves work in a team and while one distracts, one makes way with your valuables..
The police have been of no use at all and the language "barrier" for those who do not speak Spanish does not help at all. It may be a good thing to boycott this otherwise wonderful city and focus on the other beautiful cities in Spain that are not so crime ridden like Barcelona... for a season and see how as collective citizens of this world make an impact.
1. Leave your valuables in the safe in your hotel
2. Be warned about this very common occurence and prevent falling prey
3. Use cash as much as possible and do not carry it in a wallet but somewhere on your person
If you see a device attached to the card slot on ATM machines, do not insert your card. Don't tear it out either, someone might be watching and you might get your butt kicked. Just walk away and go to another ATM.
The other day a group of us ate by Sagrada Famila. We are all foreigners and had been talking in English. When the bill came, there was a mysterious 4 euros added on....strictly a tourist scam and no reason for it. They removed it when we questioned it. Check your bill and question any charges that don't look right.
Also, be careful you don't fall for the "menu del dia" beverage trap. While most 'menu del dia' include a choice of beverage, this one (same place!) listed wine on the menu. If you ordered any different beverage they tacked another 2.50 euros onto the bill.
Unless you don't mind this...
1x Jack Daniels and coke.
1x Malibu and Lemonade.
...I'd strongly advise against 'stopping for a quick one' at one of the cafe/restaurants along La Rambla. A meal, however, may not be so bad.
Most merchants require photo id if you charge on credit card. Also, try avoid using it if you can, because I got credit card company calling me about suspicious charges that occurred after I left Spain.
Make sure you communicate with your credit card company before you travel.What I did is Inform them the dates that I stayed there and make sure I wrote down the local contact number if I lost the card.
Barcelona has a couple of different metros, make sure you buy the right ticket for the train you want to take. I found that you need to buy a ticket from a person for the M , if you buy it from a machine chances are its the wrong kind of ticket.
Again on the ramblas. You will find many, many streetperformers. And if you want to give them something it is easy to have some small change on you. If not, you can easily spend a few € in just 15 minutes on the Ramblas.
As in most of European countries that changed their value in Jenuary 2002, also in Spain, the new currency euro brought an increase of all the prices.
So, if you, like me, have been in Spain before 2002, expect a more expensive cost of life.
A scam whereby you are stopped in the street by a man asking about 'changing Money,top rates' & suddenly plaincloths 'police' arrive to ask for your ID which is in your wallet!! They question you agressively and try to examine your wallet.If you part with the wallet you will be robbed of any cash,so simply tell them to '****off' Be careful out there!
DON'T KEEP YOU WALLET IN YOUR BACK POCKET! This is the most common mistake you can do on La Rambla or in the metro. The thieves are not usually dangerous but if they have even a small chance of staling your wallet thy will do it. You should keep your property(bag, purse) on front side of you, in your sight.