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Few rough questions from a Barcelona first timer

Danbury, Connecticut
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Few rough questions from a Barcelona first timer

I’ll be spending 4 days by myself in Barcelona after a week of business trip near Valencia. I will take a train from Valencia to Barcelona. After reading many posts on this forum for weeks, I’m starting to feel somewhat uneasy with the safety issues in this famous city. The fact that this forum has a dedicated safety thread already tells me something.

I usually feel pretty comfortable walking around alone in a new city when I don’t carry any stuff with me. I can guard against pick pocketing, but I’m not sure about protecting myself from being robbed by a gang. I feel somewhat vulnerable when my hands are tied with luggage’s (a laptop shoulder bag and a carried on rolling bag).

1) I’ll arrive at the Barcelona-Sants train station. How long does it take from where I would get off the train to walk to the street level where I can get on a bus/metro/taxi? From what I’ve interpreted on this forum, this walk can be usually where a lot of pick pocketing occur. Right?

2) What is the cost effective and relatively safe way to go from Barcelona-Sants station to the Nouvel hotel? Aerobus? How? Would taxi be the safest way if it’s not too expensive?

3) I read about pick pocketing on the street, in subway stations, and crowded area. What about the hotel maids who come into your room to clean your bed daily? Are they trustable? I can put my wallet and passport in the room safe, but I can not do that with my laptop. I just read the review of my hotel that a poster got his bag and laptop stolen while checking in. What the F!

4) When I’m on a solo trip, I often ask strangers to use my camera to take pictures of me whenever I feel like to be in the picture. I wonder if that is a dumb thing to do in Barcelona because, if those strangers happen to be the wrong kind of people, they can easily walk away with my camera without doing anything. No?

5) I intend to purchase my round trip tickets on the Renfe website after reading the instructions from the article provided here. What I’m unclear is that if I buy a ticket for 11:00AM and decide to go couple hours earlier or later on another train, would I be able to do that? Would the ticket still be valid? The ticket is not good for a day. Isn’t it?

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Mtwapa, Kenya
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for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
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11. Re: Few rough questions from a Barcelona first timer

Slatkin,

No problem ('Hakuna matata' as they say here) I was just explaining the historical reason why it was there, if the consensus is that it is now a negative rather than a positive let's ask TA to remove it

London, United...
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12. Re: Few rough questions from a Barcelona first timer

I agree with Slatkin & Myscreen,

I've been to dangerous places, Barcelona is not one of them, the worry that the sticky creates is disproportionate to the actual real life minimal risk. The sticky is the cause of so many similar posts from worried new visitors.

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Barcelona
Barcelona
Province of Barcelona, Spain
Northampton, MA
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13. Re: Few rough questions from a Barcelona first timer

The type of muggings that tend to happen in Barcelona don't compare to what happens to people the boros of NYC. If you are robbed in Barcelona you probably won't be aware of it until later, Now I have heard tales about gangs of African prostitutes on this forum but I think it's blown out of proportion. I would just stay away from the lower part of Las Ramblas at night if you want to avoid them.

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Province of Barcelona, Spain
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Honolulu, Hawaii
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14. Re: Few rough questions from a Barcelona first timer

I agree with Benny.

I just got back from a month long Spain trip. 2 weeks in Barcelona.

I too was furiously worried about pick pockets etc. so much so that I reluctantly left behind some of my more fashionable items.

When I got there all it took was common sense an I then wished I brought my items I normaly use in the states as I saw so many other women (local) using them. I am both grateful and irritated with the TA forum about pickpockets because that can happen in any city and at any given time.

I traveled as a solo woman and never felt in danger I was smart with how I carried cash etc and never left my bag and iPhone unattended as it could be easily swiped (both in Spain and USA) so common sense, and good sense of yiur surroundings and you'll be fine. Please don't over think it and think more possitiveky to avoid negativity or calling in the bad

Granted there a few places Yiu might feel more inclined to pay extra attention like Las Rambla, Gotic, catalunya. But I swear to Yiu it's all about common sense. Be respectful of the Catalunya culture an see how the locals act and Yiu will be more then fine. Now Yiu know the essentials to minimize yiur chances of being pickpocketed. Follow those rules be diligent and most importantly enjoy yourself.

Thus it

I too arrived at Sants and its a super easy station to navigate The taxi stands are less than five minutes away. Just print yiur hotel address out so they know the street and if possible, know the area as an added bonus to tell them. The drivers are very nice, efficient and quick. Like Benny said it should be around 10€.

Enjoy yiur trip and don't be worried. Attract the possitive and enjoy this gorgeous city. Yiu will be in love with it.

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Barcelona
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Province of Barcelona, Spain
Guesthouse Barcelona Gotic
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15. Re: Few rough questions from a Barcelona first timer

My husband and I went to BCN back in October. I had read/heard about the pickpocket issues, so we just made sure to be aware of what was going on around us, and my husband kept his wallet in pockets that were not "easy-grab." We had absolutely no problems. No one even tried anything (though, we think we saw it happen to a couple of people who were obviously not paying attention -- and I mean very obviously not paying attention -- the thieves want the easiest targets they can find). We walked up and down La Rambla, walked around many other parts of the city, and used the metro all the time -- morning, afternoon, and night. Zero problems.

We asked a number of people to take our picture, and no one tried to run off. Most of those people were tourists, but that is just because we were in a bunch of touristy spots, where we were surrounded by other tourists, and, as someone else pointed out, they are not in any hurry and are doing the same things you are. We did a lot of trade-off picture taking with other tourists for that reason. We did ask some locals, though, and they were very nice about it.

We brought our camera, phones, ipad, and work laptop, and never had to worry about any of it. We never put anything in the hotel safe. We brought and wore the same kinds of things that we do here in the States. I have felt less safe in various US cities than I ever did in BCN.

Overall, BCN and its people are extremely friendly. You will have a great time!

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Barcelona-El Prat Airport
Barcelona-El Prat Airport
El Prat de Llobregat, Spain
Danbury, Connecticut
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16. Re: Few rough questions from a Barcelona first timer

Thank you all for your passionate responses. I feel pretty good with the safety condition now. I believe the safety thread has been overall a good thing despite some of the downside many of you have already mentioned. I bet, without the sticky thread, you would probably see more tourists on here posting their experiences about being pick pocketed or robbed. At least, the sticky thread keeps raising safety awareness to the first timers so they don’t take safety for granted, let their guard down, or get too complacent in a new city.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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17. Re: Few rough questions from a Barcelona first timer

Oneguy: I am a criminal prosecutor from Milwaukee, WI. I haven't been to Barcelona yet, but am planning a trip to Spain and Portugal for the fall off 2014. Crime can happen anywhere, but we shouldn't live our lives fearing what might happen. I have travelled quite a bit in Mexico, Central America, Canada, various Caribbean islands, Italy, France, Argentina and Chile. My experience is that in most tourist friendly countries, if you take the same precautions you would take in any major city in the US, you will be safe. If a particular area raises the hairs on your arms, trust your instincts. You can't ever guarantee that you will not be the victim of a crime whether you are in the US or any other country, but if you take ordinary precautions, you can limit the amount of likely harm. Don't carry large amounts of cash, or more than two credit cards - and keep a list of your cards handy to report. Secure your passport and other identifying cards. Be alert. But be ready to enjoy your trip, and don't overreact! I have yet to have anyone run off with my camera, or to be pickpocketed. That doesn't mean it can't happen, but you shouldn't fear it more in any other locale than you would in the US.

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18. Re: Few rough questions from a Barcelona first timer

Just returned from Barcelona and where victims of attempted pickpocketing in Barri Gothic by a group of women touting a flower festival. It was brazen and quite well done but being aware of repeated warnings helped.

It's a wonderful city and the people we met in bars, shops and our apartment were fantastically friendly and helpful but it doesn't do anyone any favours to minimize the problem.

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19. Re: Few rough questions from a Barcelona first timer

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