Is it safe to go to Barcelona?

Alma booked flights so she could visit her family in Barcelona next month. In Travel SOS, Leon offers her some tips to help her stay safe in the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region.

Q. Alma
I have booked some airfares to Spain for next month. I bought them in March this year and I could never have predicted the trouble that has happened there since. I am worried that I will be in danger when I go to Barcelona. Will I be safe?

A. That’s a difficult one to answer Alma, because, at the end of the day, anything can happen to anyone, anywhere.

Your first port of call for travel safety information should always be the SmartTraveller website. This is where I’m getting most of my info.

Boiled down, the recent terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils have led to heightened security measures in Spain. That said, SmartTraveller is still recommending that you take ‘normal safety precautions’ when you’re there.

That’s pretty much exactly the same level of awareness you need walking around any of Australia’s capital cities.

And, although terrorist attacks are scary, you probably have more chance of being in a car accident.

Having said that, Spain is not Australia. There may be other civil unrest, violent crime or health threats.


Now, I don’t mean to scare you, just saying that you need to be careful out there. Follow official warnings, lookout for suspicious behaviour and remain vigilant about your surroundings. That way you’ll have as good a chance at safety as you will at any major shopping centre, on public transport or in any busy public area.

Ensure you take notice of the local media and news channels. And if you do feel threatened or get into any trouble, you can always call the local authorities or the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on 1300 555 135 or, if calling from overseas, +61 2 6261 3305.

Again, I urge you to check in with SmartTraveller on a regular basis. By the time you get there Alma, things will hopefully have settled and you can enjoy your time with family.

Do you have family in Barcelona? Can you share any advice with Alma?

Related articles:
Eat your way around Barcelona
San Sebastian in six dishes
Small-town Spain

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.


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