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Thread: Spain - Barcelona

  1. #1
    Senior Member Far far away's Avatar
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    Default Spain - Barcelona

    Hi all,

    Just like to ask around for some opinions.

    Am going to Barcelona for a conference in July this year. Was excited about it until I read that petty crimes like pick-pockets and snatch theft are rife there. Have been to quite a few Western and Eastern European cities like Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, Stresa, Amsterdam, Paris, Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Zurich, Interlaken and Luzern before and found these cities to be quite safe; even though Rome is famed for petty crimes and didn't feel that safe in Budapest. However from what I read online, Barcelona is even worst!

    Just like to ask if anyone here have visited Barcelona before together with their DSLR and such and whether is it safe to do so. Will be arriving a day earlier before the conference then going through the 4 days meeting before going to sight see for maybe another day before going to other cities like Madrid, Valencia, Sevilla or even cities in Portugal as well. Total will be around 3 weeks.

    Planning to bring my 5D2/3 with either my Zeiss 35/1.4 or 35L lens with a tripod and Billingham 307 for this trip. Any advice will be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much in advanced!
    Nikon & Leica

  2. #2

    Default Re: Spain - Barcelona

    Hi, was in barcelona last year for about 4 nights and i had my dslr with 2 lenses with me.. generally safe but pickpockets run amok in the subway - so stay clear (as much as possible! - they always work at the ends on the train - so always board in the middle).. dont display your expensive stuff because there are many envious eyes.. keep the camera in the bag until you have to use it! stay vigilant and you'll be fine

  3. #3
    Senior Member Far far away's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by definitelydan
    Hi, was in barcelona last year for about 4 nights and i had my dslr with 2 lenses with me.. generally safe but pickpockets run amok in the subway - so stay clear (as much as possible! - they always work at the ends on the train - so always board in the middle).. dont display your expensive stuff because there are many envious eyes.. keep the camera in the bag until you have to use it! stay vigilant and you'll be fine
    Hi thanks for the tips bro! The observation about why pickpockets operate in the trains is very true as well since the escape routes are at the end of the platform most of the time.

    I am really puzzled since I travelled through all the previous cities with my dSLR slung across my body and nothing happened (thank God!). Hope it will be the same for this trip. Thanks again bro!
    Nikon & Leica

  4. #4

    Default Re: Spain - Barcelona

    Quote Originally Posted by Far far away View Post
    Hi all,

    Just like to ask around for some opinions.

    Am going to Barcelona for a conference in July this year. Was excited about it until I read that petty crimes like pick-pockets and snatch theft are rife there. Have been to quite a few Western and Eastern European cities like Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, Stresa, Amsterdam, Paris, Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Zurich, Interlaken and Luzern before and found these cities to be quite safe; even though Rome is famed for petty crimes and didn't feel that safe in Budapest. However from what I read online, Barcelona is even worst!

    Just like to ask if anyone here have visited Barcelona before together with their DSLR and such and whether is it safe to do so. Will be arriving a day earlier before the conference then going through the 4 days meeting before going to sight see for maybe another day before going to other cities like Madrid, Valencia, Sevilla or even cities in Portugal as well. Total will be around 3 weeks.

    Planning to bring my 5D2/3 with either my Zeiss 35/1.4 or 35L lens with a tripod and Billingham 307 for this trip. Any advice will be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much in advanced!
    lived in Barcelona for 6 months and returning once every 2 years and usually with my DSLR. no issues at all. but of course, take the usual precautions. be alert, don't put ur wallet at ur back pockets. sling your bag in front.

    5DMII is common in Europe. much more common than I thought. haha. so many red bands on tourists' cams there. watch out for the immigrants from eastern europe if you can tell. they are the common theives on the subways. PM me if you need any more info.
    D7000 + 50mm

  5. #5

    Default Re: Spain - Barcelona

    Pickpockets are everywhere.

    The basic dos and don'ts probaby you already know or read them. Stay clear from friendly woman, man, boys or even kids wanting to make friends with you etc.

    You could take the tourist bus that allows you to travel around the designated route to the gothic spots, the seaside etc. The same should be for Mardid; I only stopped at Madrid , travel to the Railway station to Pamplona for a couple of days. If you can try to separate your money especially your passport and even cellphone. I usually bring a Hi-card (top up for emergency calls or data) then with a old or cheap $25~30 handphone(one with a LED torch) would be good to deter them away etc. I used to carry my lowepro compu-trekker; tough to cut using a razor blade and with loads of compartments. I use a key padlock on bag too while I kept some of my valuables inside.

    Enjoy your trip! Use a PNS also when you are just making a brisk walk among the crowded, this is where you are vulnerable. Keep moving- walk, turn, look left or sit down or lean against the wall, follow the crowd when the green man is "ON" avoid waiting at the lights as this is when you find you are surrounded on the sides and back.

    Finally, enjoy your trip.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Far far away's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the tips bro! Will take good care of my stuff and try not to be too paranoid and enjoy my trip! Haha... Scaring myself...
    Nikon & Leica

  7. #7

    Default Re: Spain - Barcelona

    Just be more careful at La Rambla. There are some usual scams suspects going on. Other than that, Barcelona is a great city! Are you going for the football as well? FC Barcelona and Camp Nou is a must have experience to complete Barcelona! Enjoy!

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    Senior Member Far far away's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raylistic87
    Just be more careful at La Rambla. There are some usual scams suspects going on. Other than that, Barcelona is a great city! Are you going for the football as well? FC Barcelona and Camp Nou is a must have experience to complete Barcelona! Enjoy!
    Yeah have been readin up on the scams and the places to be extra careful! Thanks!

    Not going for football cos not a football fan. Haha... Thanks again bro!
    Nikon & Leica

  9. #9

    Default Re: Spain - Barcelona

    You are welcome. Enjoy the cuisine as well. And they start their dinner at 9pm! You can get really good Paella at some restaurants.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Spain - Barcelona

    And a necessary event to visit
    Don't think the football matters...
    The atmosphere is incredible, in a packed Camp Nou, truly mes que un club
    Beware the touts and scalpers, can get pricey

    Have fun, was there when Ronaldinho was at his prime, in a euphoric 4-0 win over Villarreal
    50th career goal with the next an overhead kick, front page on the papers the next day of which I bought a copy
    I remember going off singing goodness knows what with arms around local supporters, even on the trains. Good times
    And now there's Messi......

    It wasn't dangerous for me, but then again I was younger, fitter and alone
    Walked around with a satchel and a beanie on my head, black hood pulled down
    Wandered the dark alleys with reckless abandon, with only tens of euros in my front pocket
    Got mistaken for a restaurant worker plenty of times - locals walked up to me and asked Restaurante Chino? ;P

    Helped a mate at the hostel who did get his pockets emptied by a bunch of high school girls, standing by the train doors
    American GI stationed at Frankfurt, had his money in a buttoned pocket of his military trench coat; he was royally pissed!
    Stay vigilant
    -------------------------------
    Endure. In enduring grow strong.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Far far away's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raylistic87
    You are welcome. Enjoy the cuisine as well. And they start their dinner at 9pm! You can get really good Paella at some restaurants.
    Quote Originally Posted by dapier
    going to camp Nou to watch a match tomorrow
    Quote Originally Posted by Zichar
    And a necessary event to visit
    Don't think the football matters...
    The atmosphere is incredible, in a packed Camp Nou, truly mes que un club
    Beware the touts and scalpers, can get pricey

    Have fun, was there when Ronaldinho was at his prime, in a euphoric 4-0 win over Villarreal
    50th career goal with the next an overhead kick, front page on the papers the next day of which I bought a copy
    I remember going off singing goodness knows what with arms around local supporters, even on the trains. Good times
    And now there's Messi......

    It wasn't dangerous for me, but then again I was younger, fitter and alone
    Walked around with a satchel and a beanie on my head, black hood pulled down
    Wandered the dark alleys with reckless abandon, with only tens of euros in my front pocket
    Got mistaken for a restaurant worker plenty of times - locals walked up to me and asked Restaurante Chino? ;P

    Helped a mate at the hostel who did get his pockets emptied by a bunch of high school girls, standing by the train doors
    American GI stationed at Frankfurt, had his money in a buttoned pocket of his military trench coat; he was royally pissed!
    Stay vigilant
    Thanks so much for the many tips Bros! Too bad I am not a football fan plus my wife is coming as well, if not, I will surely be at Camp Nou!

    Will surely be vigilant over there!

    By the way, will be in Barcelona for 5 days for a conference and then will be joined by my wife for a 2 weeks trip. Any other place worth visiting? Was thinking Madrid and Lisbon in Portugal. Any recommendations?
    Nikon & Leica

  12. #12

    Default Re: Spain - Barcelona

    Nice, was there for training too
    I'm not one to hop cities if I can, preferring only one location, use it as a base then set out from there
    So many small towns on the outskirts plus the renfe isn't too shabby to move around
    -------------------------------
    Endure. In enduring grow strong.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Spain - Barcelona

    Have you considered Granada, Seville or Cordoba? They are really nice old cities in the south/west.
    Watch out for funny chinese guys coming up to you and making strange requests/proposals. We had the same guy come up to us in several locations over a 3 day period. He is obviously up to something.

    Personally I think a DSLR is saver then a point and shoot. People like to take your stuff and put is either in their own bag, pass it on to the next person or something like that. A big DLSR is not so easy to handle and hide out of sight.

    But Barcelona is a place to be very vigilant, actually in most of Spain/Europe you need to watch out. I had my car broken into one time in a small coastal town when I went inside the hotel to check if they had a room, 5 minutes later some of my bags were gone. Another occasion I had my apartment door kicked in and my video cam and some money stolen in broad day light. I personally have two friends who also got careless and lost there stuff... A well, make sure you have insurance and enjoy your trip.

    This might sound all like a big scare, but the only time I actually caught a pick pocket red-handed was right here in Singapore at the Marriot taxi queue! He was very nicely dressed and trying to take a wallet from the lady's bag in front of him..
    Last edited by uncletall; 21st March 2012 at 10:17 AM.
    Canon 7D|EF-S 17-55 f/2.8|EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II

  14. #14
    Senior Member Far far away's Avatar
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    Default Re: Spain - Barcelona

    Thanks for the great advice Bro Zichar and uncletall!

    Am still firming up my itinerary after the conference and reading up on Spain and Portugal to decide where we want to go. Will remind myself and my wife to be extra vigilant there. Thanks again!
    Nikon & Leica

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