What To Avoid, Barcelona
There are no bargains when it comes to buying electronics or small appliances in Barcelona. Beware of the small "importers" shops on the sidestreets. They will cheat you right and left. Check the merchandise before you leave the store, to make sure all the parts are inside and the appliance actually works - even if you have to open what looks like a hermetically sealed plastic bag.
My husband asked for a rechargeable shaver, but when we got back to the hotel, it turned out it wasn't. We returned it the next day and - bad mistake - bought a CD player which was offered for the same price. It was in a fancy closed box with a Sony label. We didn't open it because we wanted to give it as a present. It turned out that the earphones were broken, the player itself was cracked and the batteries were dead.
We rented a car, and made 3 days trips around Barcelona ... it was wonderful, but the overall price was much more than we expected, as there are practically NO FREE PARKING places in Barcelona or around! And the parking fee per day/night it's almost as much as the rent fee for the car!
Always... always... ALWAYS have your bag with you whenever you're in La Rambla. Someone stole my small bag in Starbucks La Rambla just 12 hours before I have to fly back home.
I spent 2 hours at the police office. They don't really speak English well. It took ages to report! Because they have to translate my report into Spanish.
There are 2 police office:
1. Atencio al turista: La Rambla 43 (less than EUR 400)
2. La Rambla 80 (more than EUR 400)
Oh please... don't ever loose anything in Spain even though you speak Spanish really well.
When we got to the beach in Barcelona, it was very disappointing. It was the first time I’d been near the Mediterranean Sea and the beach was covered in rocks and garbage. Fortunately, we asked around and found that an hour south by train there was a beautiful beach at Castelldefels. We took a day trip down there for some tanning and it was well worth the trip.
After so much hazzle reporting to a Spanish Authority -finding a translator (who is standing next to me on this photo) how it all happened so quickly. I ended up spending more than my budget, a New U.S. Passport here in Barcelona cost 96.00 U.S. AMERICAN DOLLARS.
Guard your U.S. Passports, Your Valuables! Your Airline Tickets, Your Train Tickets...pickpocketers are so rampant and so fast hardly felt anything move next to me when my passport was stolen.
Barcelona and Madrid have a pretty lousy reputation when it comes to petty theft and street crime. However, most trouble can easily be avoided, unprovoked violence is really rare, bar fights and random attacks seem to be much more common in northern Europe.
These areas in particular have a bad rep;
Raval , especially the southern part and at night, one of the few places were I have heard of violent robberies
Las Ramblas & Placa Reial , THE place for pickpockets
Around Paral.lel , this street has become increasingly seedy in recent years and is not of much interest to tourists anyway
The Beaches , If you leave your belongings for just one second you WILL lose them - especially true for Barceloneta
Estació Sants and Sagrada Familia ,
two other places to watch your bags and wallets
Outside of the old city centre Barcelona is as safe if not safer than most cities in Europe - Enjoy!
Before I went to Barcelona I spoke with some friends that went there and all of them warned me: don't use the Metro at night!
Unfortunatelly, I dind't pay much attention: I visited Barcelona with 4 (female) friends and, one night, after the fountains-show at Montjuic we had dinner around and, as our hotel was near the Metro station Clot, we took it in Plaça de Espanya, about 10 p.m.
The station didn't have many people and after we seated a group of 7-8 hispanic boys with large clothes and a strange look came nears us, seated in our bench and started to scary us. As the Metro came, we all entered and we were realy afraid of what could happen after our stop but fortunatelly the boys got oof before us.
So, if you look like a tourist (as we did) and travel with girls I don't think it is a good idea to take the Metro by night, as well as walking around in desert areas.
Be careful urinating in the streets thinking is Spain and nothing will happen. I was arreted in Ramblas for peeing in the street, but nothing happen they just gave me a 45 euro ticket. But the funny thing was whaen I was going to take money mt ATM didn't work in not a single machine. SO BE VERY CAREFUL DOING THIS DANGEROUS ACT.
I read SO many things about pickpockets and other petty theft in Barcelona. Fortunately for me, I did not witness anything of the sort while there. With this said, I was aware of my surroundings at all times, and always watched my back. Don't leave anything in your back pocket, and if possible, don't bring a purse... or bring one that you can hold onto tightly, especially to places like Las Ramblas, where it is so crowded. Enjoy yourself, but just use common sense and ALWAYS be aware.
It might sound oh so obvious, but considering that one of our lot did this, I feel the need and responsibility to warn all of you. Barcelona contains many lamp posts, and although they are strategically placed away from the middle of the pavement, that didnt stop my friend Ben from walking straight in to one of them whilst talking to me, providing one of the highlights of our (probably not one of his) holiday!
The attatched picture is testament to the fact that you should always be visualant. The red mark on his forehead is a result of the said incident. :)
Although the Barri Gotic is impressive, try avoiding the small, empty streets, as you might get robbed. You can visit the Barri Gotic anytime you want, even at night, but stick to the crowded streets. Nothing will happen there.
I hate writing warnings - especially for nervous flyers. Here, the danger is on the ground, not in the air.
The UGT trade union and airport technical staff warned over a year ago that there is a risk of building collapse at Barcelona Airport's Terminal B (a roof collapse at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport killed 4 people on May 23, 2004).
In the Barcelona case, the problem lies in Terminal B where the shopping deck could collapse on to the Iberia check-in terminals below. The UGT union states that the company which carried out weight loading trials also has a contract to expand airport facilities - a clear conflict of interest. Technicians consulted by La Vanguardia newspaper [May 25, 2004, p33, Society Section] are asking for an independent public report. According to UGT studies, the shopping area is only designed for a weight loading of 127 - 197 kilos per sq. metre when building regulations stipulate 400 - 500 kilos per sq. metre for this public use.
The mall was built without reinforcing the original concrete beams (which date back to 1961), says the UGT. The union also points out that the recommendations of a 1991 technical report were ignored. In that report, the Ministry of Works (Fomento), Airport Authority (AENA) and an architectural firm (TABSA) agreed that the upper deck should be subject to low weight loadings. Potted plants were suggested to keep the weight down - a far cry from busy shops and hordes of bargain hunters.
Spain has far more than its share of building collapses and - unlike other countries - does not have major earthquakes as an excuse. High-alumina cement was commonly used in Spain for structural elements up until the late 1970s, when building standards were notoriously slipshod.
So now you know. Avoid the Terminal B check-in area and the shopping floor above it until the problem has been solved. Otherwise you could end up grounded in more ways than one. I shall update this tip when I have more information [tip date: May 25, 2004].
There is nothing dangerous about climbing the stais to the top of the Sagrada Famila's tower - except if you are clastrophobic.
Ok, if you are over 30 or out of shape, dont go up either. To go to the top of the tower you need to climb over 400 steps in a spiral shaped stair case. There is one detail: you cant give up in the middle of the way.
The view up there is beautiful and you will definetly take some nice pictures but be aware that climbing the stair case is only for the adventurous.
Per a police officer my girlfriend spoke to, deserted side streets are a popular haunt for gangs.
Stick to the main roads and busy areas.
Try not to get lost, OK?! And carry a map, even if you're trying to avoid looking like a tourist!
After all this typing, I doubt I've told you something you didn't already know!
I read a lot about this subject and was prepared. However, I felt very safe in B. I took all the usual precautions and did wear a fanny pack under my jacket so I didn't have a purse hanging. The one time I got lost, I just pretended to know exactly where I was going. Thankfully, I found my way pretty quickly. I was never out past 11 p.m. and things were always busy where I was. It really reminded me on New York City. Very busy and fast.