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It sounds like a joke but this just happened!

Many assistants to the Math Congress taking place in Madrid were assaulted by men impersonating the police.
The 'police men' asked the victims to identify themselves with a legitimate ID or passport, and they took that as an opportunity to steal their wallets.


See a comment of one of our customer in Madrid:
"... watch out for small local children pickpocketing or taking your mobile phone off the table in the local bars. Local police not bothered about tipsy british people reporting crimes..."




Barcelona is a superb city and we love it!
- We want you to enjoy this beautiful city so....just a few tips to avoid a bad moment!

Years ago, Madrid and Barcelona were quiet "provincial" cities. Today, this has changed and they can be paralelled to any touristic European town in security matters.

It is a good idea not to carry on you big amounts of cash, and to leave the passport, documents, plane tickets, etc. in a safe place. The worst in the event of a robbery, is when documents and flights are taken, because you'll have a good deal of paper work to do.

Touristic Barcelona attracts many visitors and it also atracts pick-pocketers...Fortunately the degree of violence is not yet alarming. The risk is mostly to have your wallet stolen inadvertedly at the metro or at some other crowded place, to have your camera or cell phone pinched from the table or the floor at a café....or at the worst to be mugged when wandering in a lonely street. So, taking some precautions you shouldn't worry.

In Catalunya, there are three security forces:

  • la Policía Nacional (National Police),
  • the Guàrdia Urbana (City Police) who wear dark blue uniforms. They are in charge of security matters and traffic in the streets, and are the ones that you will have to deal with, in case of an unfortunate event;
  • and the Mossos d'Escuadra, (Local catalan police) who wear red caps



ROBBERY OR ACCIDENT......................... 092

MEDICAL ASSISTANCE..........................061

Where to go:
La Guàrdia Urbana de Barcelona, has a service of assistance for visitors in the event of a robbery or accident at:

Las Ramblas, 43
Barcelona -08002

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When you arrive:
When you get off the bus, metro, taxi or any public transport, be aware of your belongings. If you are carrying a laptop, keep it attached to you, do not place it on the floor.

Handbag, Wallet, Camera, Laptop, documents and valuable items
Don’t carry large sums of money. Do not carry money, keys and personal documents in the same place (ID, credit cards, driving license, etc.). Keep them separate (in pockets, bag or knapsack, wallet, etc.) Do not lose sight of your personal belongings or leave them unattended on table, floor, etc. Only carry the money and objects you need. Carry your bag or briefcase closed and with the strap across the body, at the front where you can see it. Try to carry your purse, wallet, mobile phone, etc. in inside pockets, and be wary if you are pushed or someone comes suspiciously close.
If you take your passport with you, write down the number in case it is stolen.
If you lose your passport or if its stolen, you have to report it to the local police and contact your embassy or consulate for assistance.
If you are travelling with credit cards, remember to write down the numbers in case that they are stolen.

In the Car:
Both when parking in the street or in public car parks do not leave objects or parcels within view. Park, if possible, in a space near the street or within the line of sight of the attendant or the security cameras. Remember to leave the car locked and close all the windows properly. Take the ticket with you. Be wary of window washers, peddlers and beggars.
Cases have been reported of robberies on country roads or highways by an intentional flat tyre: help comes fast and you are mugged.

At Cash Points / ATMs
It is highly recommended to use a combination of cash, traveller cheques and credit cards so that you don’t have to rely on one way of payment during your trip. Try to use cash dispensers when the banks are open. Outside bank opening times, look for an interior cash dispenser and do not forget to keep the door locked while you are inside. Block the view of strangers while you are using the cash dispenser or handling money, and turn down any help they may offer. Avoid lonely and hidden cash points.
If your credit card is stolen, you can contact the numbers on our page on Money & Currency

Be aware of ploys of thieves to distract your attention, they usually work in group or pairs. Violence is not usually applied, the risk is mostly to be pick-pocketed, but in case of dangerous or threatening situations do not attempt heroics, remember that the most important thing is people's safety.
There are plenty of con games and tricks to fool a tourist: Be cautious of anyone invading your personal space or someone who keeps offering to help you. (One trick is helping you to clean the birds shit they just dropped on you)
There are bands of children of Romainian origin who might try to steal by fiddling around you, begging and joking.


Places where you should be specially alert:

In Bars, Cafés, Restaurants:
Keep your belongings where you can see them. In terraces beggars or peddlers may approach and sometimes they try to steal what is on the table.

At rental car parking lots:
A place to keep alert. Employees usually care for the security of the place, but still, do not leave baggage unattended.

On the beach and in parks:
Specially sensitive places. Relaxing and dozing in the sun is exactly what thiefs expect you to do. Don't take any valuables with you.

At the Ramblas:
This famous promenade is always crowded, the ideal place for thieves. Walking along with the tourists, there may also be pickpocketers. Try not to give them an opportunity.
The "trileros" are swindlers who play games of chance (three-card trick, etc) on the Ramblas to atrack people and cash in their money. Do not even stop.
If you get into some of the narrrow lanes on the lower-seaside end of the Ramblas, you should increase your alertness. On the right of the Ramblas as you walk towards the sea, the Raval district is safe enough down to Hospital street. After Hospital, the area round the streets San Ramón, Sant Pau and Robadors is still marginal. On the left of the Ramblas, the Gothic area is very safe except for the area round Escudillers street and George Orwell square, which is a bit seedy.
Specially at nightime Las Ramblas should be an area of maximum alertness.

Station, Airport, Bus, metro:
Keep alert as in any other crowded place.



Emergencies: 112
Medical emergencies:
Barcelona Information: 010
Guardia urbana (City Police): 092
Policía Nacional (National Police): 091
Mossos d'Esquadra (Regional police): 088
Fire brigade: 080
Local governent citizen assistance: 012
Ambulances: 902 013 112/ 93 455 1000/ 93 456 6666
Hospitals: 93 227 54 00 / 93 248 30 00/ 93 291 90 00 / 93 274 61 00
Pharmacies 010 / 098
Dental Emergencies: 93 227 47 47
RACC: 902 307 307