Being a tourist in a foreign land will open you up to amazing adventures. It will, unfortunately, also open you up to opportunistic thieves.
While you won’t have to worry about many serious crimes while traveling in most countries, you will have to be on the lookout for petty crimes like pickpocketing. Here is a guide to the 10 worst cities for pickpockets.
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With Spain’s high unemployment rate and lack of legal deterrent for petty crimes, Barcelona has become the pickpocketing capital of the world. The pedestrian walkway known as Las Ramblas is tourist mecca so be extra vigilant when you’re there.
Rome, with it’s tens of millions of visitors a year, is a pickpocket haven. With it’s vast amount of tourist attractions, there are many places to be distracted. This distraction is what pickpockets prey on.
Prague has one of the highest rates of pickpocketing in Europe. When visiting tourist attractions like the Charles Bridge or Prague Castle keep your guard up and be aware of your surroundings.
Unsurprisingly, Spain’s other major city, Madrid, also makes it’s way onto this list. Popular places in Madrid that pickpockets operate include the El Rasto flea market, the Prado Museum and along the crowded metro lines.
With over 30 million visitors a year, Paris pickpockets are hard at work on a daily basis. Majestic sights like the Louvre and the Eiffel tower are prime targets for these industrious thieves. Away from the sights, you’re equally susceptible down below traveling the metro system.
While you’re admiring Michelangelo’s iconic statue of David, pickpockets may be admiring your valuables. Be aware of your surroundings in crowded tourist areas.
Be aware of pickpockets in crowded areas like the subte (subway) or the colectivo (bus). If you suddenly find yourself in the middle of a commotion or surrounded by people nudging you put your hands on your belongings because this is a pickpocket’s most common approach.
Because Amsterdam has an “anything goes” kind of attitude, it’s very easy for travelers to relax their defenses. This care free attitude creates a great atmosphere for pickpockets to operate in.
With an uncertain economy and influx of immigrants, Athens is another city to be extra protective of your valuables. Hotspots like the metro and any of the many tourist sites like the Parthenon are prime spots for pickpockets.
Hanoi, ironically, is one of the safest places to travel except for the risk of have your pocket picked. A more preferred method here is to just blatantly cut a hold in your bag and get everything out that way.