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10 Most Dangerous Areas in Barcelona (2024) – Where to Avoid

street at night in one of the most dangerous areas of Barcelona, Spain
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If you’re planning a trip to Barcelona, you’re probably picturing the magnificent Sagrada Familia, dreaming of tapas on a sun-drenched plaza… and maybe getting a tad nervous about all the stories you’ve heard of pickpockets and scams. Well, no worries, Barcelona is safe (in general) so you’re in the right place!

After all, I live in Spain and have spent a ton of time in Barcelona. This means that I’ve got the inside scoop on what to watch out for, and the most dangerous areas in Barcelona that require a little extra vigilance. 

Basically, I’ll be your friendly guide through Barcelona’s streets – from the bustling boulevards to the hidden corners and, yes, where to avoid. Stick with me and I’ll share tips, insights, and advice to help you make the most of your trip while staying safe and secure.

Planning a trip to Barcelona last minute?


If you’re booking your trip to Barcelona last minute, I’ve got you covered. Below are some of the top tours, hotels, and more!

⭐ Most popular sights in Barcelona

  1. Sagrada Familia – tickets often sell out weeks in advance so get your entry ticket here (or entry tickets AND a guided tour here)
  2. Park Güell – grab your skip-the-line entry
  3. Casa Batlló – click here for tickets and audio guide

🌍 Top tours in Barcelona

  1. Montserrat Tour, Monastery and Winery (great day trip!)
  2. Flamenco Show at Tablao Flamenco Cordobes (incredible night out)
  3. Tapas Walking Tour with Food, Wine, and History (all the highlights at once)

🛏️ Top hotels in Barcelona

  1. Ohla Barcelona (5-star luxury with an amazing rooftop pool)
  2. Seventy Barcelona (boutique hotel with beautiful décor)
  3. Àmfores Boutique Guest House (great budget option with superb location)

🚌 Want free public transport while you’re in Barcelona? Check out the Hola Barcelona travel card!

street at night in one of the most dangerous areas of Barcelona, Spain

Dangerous areas in Barcelona

1. El Raval

The quiet street of El Raval in day time. One of the dangerous areas in Barcelona.

Overall, Barcelona is a great place and chances are you won’t have any issues. But every city has its shady corners, right? Which, let’s be honest, is just like back home, wherever that might be for you. 

So, first up, we’ve got El Raval. This part of town is a real mixed bag. 

You’ll find yourself surrounded by buzzing bars, cool contemporary art, and some fantastic food joints. But when the sun dips, it’s a different story.

Sure, it’s got character, but as darkness falls, it becomes a magnet for some, let’s say, less-than-savory activities. You’re more likely to run into some petty crime around here, so just be smart.

I wouldn’t generally recommend this as being an area that’s particularly safe to walk in Barcelona at night but if you do find yourself here, common sense advice applies. 

That is, don’t flash your expensive gear around, and be aware of your surroundings, especially in the late hours. It’s not a complete no-go, but it’s not a place where you’d want to take an aimless midnight stroll, either.

2. Besòs

Street arts in Besòs. One of the most dangerous areas in Barcelona.

If I’m being honest, Besòs doesn’t have the best reputation amongst locals. I mean, we’re talking about a district that’s had to deal with its fair share of economic hardship and high crime rates. 

Yeah, it’s tough, but they’re working on it and things are slowly improving.

During the day, you can check out some great street art and the namesake river. But you might want to skip it at night unless you really know your way around.

And remember, always stick to well-lit, busy areas. Be careful with your belongings, and avoid unnecessary risks. It’s just common sense in the end.

3. La Mina

The streets of La Mina. One of the dangerous areas in Barcelona.
OmniaPESLaMina (CC BY-SA 4.0)

La Mina is a bit away from the city center, and unfortunately, it’s known for its struggle with crime and poverty. This isn’t the kind of place that’ll pop up on your typical tourist map, and maybe that’s for the better. 

But if you do find yourself in the area, it’s not the end of the world. Just keep your wits about you, same as you would anywhere else. 

Stick to the main roads, avoid drawing unnecessary attention to yourself, and always keep your phone and wallet secure. Even if you’re just passing through, remember – caution never hurts.

4. La Rambla

The busy streets of La Rambla. One of the dangerous areas in Barcelona.

La Rambla is one of the city’s main arteries – vibrant, bustling, filled with all kinds of entertainment, eateries, and let’s not forget, some of the best people-watching spots. However, as lovely as it is, it’s also a prime target for pickpockets, especially around the crowded tourist hotspots.

But hey, don’t let this put you off! You should still visit, especially if it’s your first time in Barcelona as it’s worth experiencing.

Just keep an eye on your stuff, and maybe don’t wave your phone around like you’re directing air traffic. La Rambla’s worth a visit, just be smart about it.

5. Gothic Quarter (at night)

The Gothic Quarter is the centre of the old city of Barcelona. It stretches from La Rambla to Via Laietana, and from the Mediterranean seafront to the Ronda de Sant Pere. One of the most dangerous areas in Barcelona.

Next up, we have the Gothic Quarter at night. Now, in the day, this place is an absolute charm, filled with twisting lanes and hidden plazas that make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. But once the sun sets, it can be a different story. 

The very narrow streets that are so cute during the day can feel a little claustrophobic at night. They’re dimly lit and can sometimes attract a few unsavory characters. 

Basically, you wouldn’t be the first to wonder if the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona is safe at night. And the answer, annoyingly, is: it depends on where you are.

So if you’re out exploring after dark, stick to the busier streets. It’s still a great place for a late-night bite or a bit of bar-hopping, just stay alert and avoid the more secluded areas.

6. El Born

Streets of el Born neighbourhood at night. One of the most dangerous areas in Barcelona.

El Born is a trendy hipster paradise (which I love, don’t get me wrong) and it’s got some amazing sights, like the Picasso Museum and the Santa Maria del Mar church. But, it’s also got its share of petty crime, particularly in the evening.

At the same time, don’t let that deter you! After all, El Born’s got some of the best tapas bars and boutiques in town. 

Just remember the golden rule: keep your belongings close and your common sense closer. Maybe ditch the flashy jewelry when you head out, and you’ll be just fine.

7. Barceloneta

Cityscape in La Barceloneta lights in the city of Barcleona

Barceloneta is the city’s go-to beach hub. It’s got sun, it’s got sand, it’s got sea – what’s not to love, right? 

…well, apart from the fact that, despite its fame, it’s not actually the best beach in Barcelona. But it is the closest to the city center so you may find yourself heading there anyway. So no judging if you find yourself here during your trip!

At the same time, alongside all those idyllic beachfront scenes, it’s very popular among pickpockets, especially in the busy summer months.

But let’s not let that ruin our beach fun. Be cautious, use a money belt or a secure beach bag, and don’t leave your stuff unattended while you’re splashing in the waves.

Remember, a bit of vigilance goes a long way to making sure you’re all set to enjoy that lovely Mediterranean sunshine.

8. Parc de la Ciutadella (at night)

Night in Parc de la Ciutadella. One of the dangerous areas in Barcelona.

Parc de la Ciutadella is a lush green haven by day…but at night, well, things change a bit. It’s one of those places that’s totally worth a visit, but I’d suggest you make that visit while there’s still light in the sky.

When it gets dark, the park becomes pretty quiet and some of the paths are poorly lit, which isn’t exactly ideal for a nighttime stroll. 

So, my advice? Visit during the day, take in the sights, have a picnic, but once night falls, it’s probably best to call it a day.

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9. Nou Barris and Sant Andreu

Nou Barris and Sant Andreu. One of the most dangerous areas in Barcelona.

Nou Barris and Sant Andreu are more residential districts, a little off the beaten tourist path, and unfortunately, they’ve had a bit of a hard time with higher crime rates.

Does that mean you need to avoid them completely? Not necessarily. 

There are some great local markets and parks, plus you get to experience a side of Barcelona that’s less touched by tourism. Just keep your guard up, don’t venture too far off the main streets, especially after dark, and you’ll be just fine.

10. Any metro station (especially in touristy areas)

Barcelona metro station with train in motion. One of the most dangerous areas in Barcelona.

When talking about the most dangerous areas in Barcelona, sometimes it’s about areas more generally than specific neighborhoods.

So on that note, let’s switch gears here and chat about metro stations. 

Public transport is a quick and easy way to get around Barcelona, but, like many other cities, it’s also a popular hunting ground for pickpockets. 

Touristy areas are especially risky, so remember to be extra vigilant here.

Now, I don’t want to put you off using the metro. It’s super handy and generally safe, but you gotta be aware of your surroundings. 

Keep your bags close, pay attention to people getting too close, and hold onto your belongings when the train is crowded. A little bit of street-smarts can save you a lot of hassle.

At the end of the day, Barcelona is an amazing city, full of life, culture, and yes, a few tricky areas. But with a dash of caution and a bit of common sense, you’re all set to enjoy all the fantastic things this city has to offer. 

What are the safest areas of Barcelona?

Okay, after all that talk about areas to be cautious in, let’s lighten the mood a bit and talk about some of the safest areas of Barcelona. Remember, this is a vibrant, incredible city, and there are loads of neighborhoods where you can roam freely and feel secure. 

Here’s a list of my picks for the safest areas in Barcelona:

  • Eixample: The modernist heart of the city, it’s safe, it’s beautiful, and it’s got some killer architecture.
  • Gràcia: A laid-back, bohemian neighborhood that’s perfect for a leisurely stroll.
  • Sarrià-Sant Gervasi: Think leafy streets, upmarket boutiques, and some lovely eateries.
  • Les Corts: It’s quiet, it’s residential, and it’s one of the safest districts around.
  • Pedralbes: A bit upmarket, and away from the city center, but very, very safe.
  • Sant Martí: Aside from a few exceptions, this district is generally very secure, with a nice mix of residential and commercial areas.
  • Vila de Gràcia: Artsy and safe, it’s a local’s favorite for good reason.
  • Poble-sec: Don’t let the name fool you (it translates to ‘Dry Town’), this area’s safe and it’s a fun place to explore.

Remember, Barcelona is a city to be loved, not feared. Take these safety tips to heart, use your common sense, and you’re all set for an unforgettable trip.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Best hotel overall in Eixample: H10 Casa Mimosa – If you’re looking for a place that perfectly captures the spirit of Barcelona, H10 Casa Mimosa is it. It’s right in the heart of Eixample, blending beautiful modern comforts with the area’s rich history. Plus, you’re just a stone’s throw away from some amazing sights.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Best luxury hotel in Eixample: ME Barcelona – Imagine waking up to breathtaking views of Barcelona, right from your room. That’s what ME Barcelona offers, along with some seriously stylish decor and top-notch service. It’s luxury with a cool, contemporary twist.

⭐⭐⭐ Best budget hotel in Eixample: Hotel Omnium – Traveling on a budget doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the Barcelona experience. Hotel Omnium is super cozy, has a friendly vibe, and puts you right in the mix of things without breaking the bank. It’s a great base for your city adventures.

FAQs

Is Las Ramblas safe at night?

Las Ramblas is generally safe at night. But like any busy tourist area, it’s got its risks, especially with respect to pickpocketing and other petty crime, which is definitely an issue around here. Stay aware of your surroundings, though, and you should be fine.

By day, Las Ramblas is a bustling thoroughfare with street performers, markets, and all sorts of activity. At night, it remains lively, especially around the restaurants and bars. 

Bunch of people in a cafe in the streets of La Rambla. One of the dangerous areas in Barcelona.

However, day or night, it can also attract pickpockets and scammers due to the crowds. So, while you can definitely enjoy a night out here, just remember to be aware of your surroundings, especially if it’s crowded. 

Keep your belongings close and don’t entertain anyone who seems a bit too eager to interact. And above all, trust your instincts.

Is the Gothic Quarter safe at night?

The Gothic Quarter is generally safe at night, but it does have its dark and secluded corners that are better avoided after sunset. It’s best to remain aware of your surroundings and stick to well-lit, busier streets to avoid some dodgy corners.

Now, don’t get me wrong. The Gothic Quarter is a mesmerizing place, with narrow, winding streets that’ll make you feel like you’re stepping back in time. 

But at night, these same alleys can feel a little eerie. They’re often poorly lit and can be quite desolate, especially the farther you go from the main thoroughfares. 

That’s why it’s best to stick to the busier areas if you’re exploring after dark. Enjoy the nighttime buzz of the quarter, but stay on the safe side, avoid isolated areas, and don’t forget to keep an eye on your stuff.

Is the area around the Sagrada Familia safe?

Yes, the area around the Sagrada Familia is one of the safer parts of Barcelona. However, due to its popularity, it can get crowded, and where there are crowds, there’s the occasional pickpocket. That’s why you should remain aware in this area, but not overly concerned.

Basically, here’s what you need to know. The Sagrada Familia is located in the Eixample district, a well-off part of Barcelona that’s pretty darn safe. 

It’s full of beautiful modernist buildings, wide avenues, and, of course, the masterpiece that is the Sagrada Familia. 

Sagrada Familia is one of the dangerous areas in Barcelona

And like anywhere with masses of tourists, some petty crime does happen here. But honestly, don’t let that discourage you. 

As long as you keep your belongings secure and maintain a level of awareness about your surroundings, you’ll be able to fully enjoy this iconic part of Barcelona with peace of mind. And it’s well worth a visit!

Are there areas to avoid in Barcelona?

While there aren’t necessarily “no-go” zones, there are areas where you should be a bit more cautious, especially at night. For instance, neighborhoods like El Raval and Besòs, while culturally rich and fascinating, do have higher instances of petty crime, with areas that are best avoided after sunset. 

Similarly, some areas, like the more secluded parts of the Gothic Quarter or Parc de la Ciutadella, can feel a little sketchy after dark. 

But remember, even in these areas, there’s a lot to see and enjoy. The key is to stay alert, be aware of your surroundings, and stick to well-lit, busy areas, especially when it’s late.

What should I be careful of in Barcelona?

When it comes to what you should be careful of in Barcelona, it’s the usual stuff you’d be wary of in any large city: pickpockets, bag snatchers, and occasional scam artists. They’re more likely to target tourists, particularly in crowded places like La Rambla or metro stations.

So here’s my advice: Keep your belongings secure and within sight, particularly in busy public places. If someone’s trying to distract you, or if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. 

But let’s not get all gloomy. Barcelona is generally a safe city with a lot to offer. After all, the vast majority of tourists have no issues at all when visiting here.

In the end, like basically anywhere in the world, a little bit of caution and street-smarts can go a long way to ensure your visit is a smooth and enjoyable one.

8 Comments

  1. Bonjour, Thank you for the information on your blog. It was very helpful both from a safety perspective and places to stay. Based on your recommendation we are staying at Hotel Ohla Barcelona. Are there any other things you would share with us other than what is on your blog? This is our first time to Barcelona. By chance do you have a blog or recommendations on Venice?

    1. Hi Darla – great choice of hotel, especially with that incredible rooftop pool they have! The main thing I would emphasize for your trip is that it’s really important to book things early. I’ve had friends come and visit who couldn’t do major highlights like, say, going into the Sagrada Familia as tickets had sold out weeks before, so please make sure you plan in advance as it would be terrible to miss out on your first time here! I’d make sure to particularly do this for the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell, as they’re easily the most popular sights for tourists in Barcelona.

      Also make sure you only buy through legit sites – I was scammed once when I thought I’d found a “good deal” for the Sagrada Familia, but then couldn’t enter as the ticket was fake. Super annoying…so the links I’ve put above are definitely the legit ones.

      How many days are you planning to be in Barcelona? I’m not sure if you saw them, but I’ve got a bunch of itineraries on the site (from one to five days) so finding the one that applies to your trip could be helpful for maximizing your time here.

      Final tip: bring good walking shoes, you’ll need them! 😉

      Unfortunately, I don’t have recommendations for Venice but as it’s such a popular spot, I’m sure you’ll have no trouble finding some great blogs with their thoughts on what to see and do there.

      Have a great time on your trip, it sounds like you’re in for an epic time in Spain in Italy based on your comment! 🙂

  2. A well written article that hits all the questions I had of safety in Barcelona. is the area where Barcelona Sants station is located, safe? We are coming back late at night from Granada and have to walk a few blocks to our hotel located nearby. Should we walk or take a taxi instead? Thank you for your advice

    1. Hi Prakash, glad I could help 🙂 I wouldn’t worry about getting a taxi in that area at night, especially as it’s only a few blocks. If I were you, I would just follow the standard advice – make sure to keep an eye on your belongings as petty crime (i.e. pickpocketing) can be a bit of an issue and if anyone approaches you about anything, ignore them. They may very well be innocent but, of course, you never know. I don’t mean to scare you by saying that, as you’ll more than likely be fine, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

  3. we are staying at the la ramblas hotel. I have only ever stayed in el born with friends but i am going with my husband who has never been and he has booked this hotel. El born was lovely, should I be worried about staying in la Ramblas? We like bars, tapas, cocktail bars, that sort of thing. Also what is the best way to get to the beach and how long would it take us to get there please.

    1. Hi Jayne – the main thing you have to worry about by staying on La Rambla is all the tourist traps 😉 If you’re looking for tapas and cocktail bars, there are plenty nearby, although it will be best for you if you go slightly off La Rambla to find these as the quality will be better than what you’ll find on the main strip. For example, you may want to take a look at my favorite tapas places in the Gothic Quarter, as you’ll be fairly close to there based on where you’re staying.

      On the safety aspect of La Rambla specifically, you shouldn’t be worried, but it’s good to be aware. I’ve got a longer article on La Rambla specifically that you may want to take a look at but, basically, pickpocketing is an issue around there so keep an eye on your things at all times. Violent crime isn’t something to be concerned about though.

      For the beach, you’re pretty well located on that front! It’s about a half hour walk to Barceloneta Beach or you could just jump on one of the many buses that stop near your hotel and will take you straight to the beach in 15-20 mins. I’d recommend just using Google Maps as there are so many buses going to Barceloneta from where you are, there’s no point me listing them all out here. And if you want to go to a calmer beach than Barceloneta, which can get pretty packed, Bogatell Beach is only half an hour by public transport away – although, again, Google Maps is going to be your friend here.

      Hope all that helps but let me know if you’d like any further info on any of this! 🙂

  4. Hi Anna, I was discouraged to see El Reval at the top of the list as that is where my wife and I are staying soon. We’d like to grab dinner but don’t plan being out too late. Is the crime you mention more pick pocketing or should we be concerned about being held up and possibly assaulted with weapons?

    1. Hi John – I wouldn’t be worried about actual assault basically anywhere in Barcelona (at least nowhere you’ll be going, including throughout El Raval). Pickpocketing is certainly the biggest concern in this area – much like the rest of the city – although I’d also be careful in El Raval to avoid a few dodgy areas at night, if I were you. This article on El Raval specifically has a section on where I’d recommend steering clear, which may help ease your mind when it comes to the exact part of the area you’re staying.

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