"Pickpockets" Security Tip by ponyperson

Security, Madrid: 77 reviews and 23 photos

Madrid (like most of Europe) is filled with pickpockets, but doing things like wearing your backpack forwards instead of backwards marks you immediately as a tourist and potential target. I spent four months living in Madrid and never had anything stolen. Ladies, always keep your purse very close to your body: for longer, hip-length bags keep the strap over one shoulder for added security. For smaller, going-out type bags, make sure they are tucked very securely under your arm at all times. When in the Metro, do as the locals - keep your purse in your lap with your hands holding the top of it, and keep larger backpacks/laptops/shopping bags/etc. tucked securely between your feet. Even when standing, try to keep a hand on your purse or bag at all times. Try to avoid wearing a backpack if at all possible, particularly on the Metro (also because a large backpack can be extremely uncomfortable during the crowded rush hours). All of the pickpocketing I heard about during my stay in Madrid was non-violent, and usually consisted of someone being distracted while walking around Sol/Callao/Granvia (the biggest tourist and therefore pickpocketing spots), someone getting drunk or distracted in a bar or discoteca and not paying attention to their things, or someone being careless or distracted in the Metro. It's much more unusual for thieves to use force or to physically alter your belongings in order to steal them (no backpack slashing, no strap cutting...), or (unfortunately) to even be noticed. Use common sense and don't allow yourself to be distracted and you will have a wonderful, safe time in Madrid!

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated May 24, 2006
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