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Barcelona’s most frequent tourist scams


Tourist scams are one of the most misfortunate things that can happen to you while on vacation.

Just The Flight did a brilliant list of common tourist scams from around the world to help you avoid common scam situations, and act if you see one of these scams developing.


Check the Tourist Scam infographic for a complete description of each scam. Be specially careful with the following scams, as they often happen in Barcelona:

  • Pickpocket: althought Barcelona is safe from violent crime, there are many pickpockets in popular tourist areas, we will discuss this topic on a future post.
  • The friendship bracelet: payment required or used as a distraction.
  • Rose for your girlfriend: payment required. Guilt Alert!
  • The expensive taxi driver: ask the shorter route to a local before hopping into a cab!
  • Cashier on the phone: always try to hide your credit card numbers from a nearby phone.
  • Slow counting: be patient and count your change!
  • The overly helpful local: make sure that nobody sees your pin codes while withdrawing money from a cash machine or buying tickets.
  • The map seller: just buy your map from the tourism office, a library or use your phone!
  • The beggar: money required or used as a distraction. Guilt Alert!
  • The broken camera: hand the camera back carefully.
  • The closed hotel: contact your hotel before you arrive in town and make sure to know where it’s located…use Google Street view if possible.
  • Fake front desk call: NEVER give credit card information over the phone.
  • The room inspectors: call the front desk to make sure that the allegedly inspectors are real hotel employees.

Our final advice? Research, research and research. Learn as much as you can from the destination that you’re going to visit, that includes maps and tips from locals and other travellers.