Safety First in Madrid

Safety First in Madrid

Safety First in Madrid!

As in all major cities, pickpockets target tourists, so please be careful and keep your valuables in a secure bag.  You should be particularly mindful on the metro and when you are in the center of Madrid in the tourist hot spots. NEVER carry your wallet in an open pocket or in the back of a book bag where it is easy to access. When possible, leave your passport at home. We recommend carrying a colored photocopy of your Passport on you while you are out and about.


Be mindful of your belongs and your whereabouts. Crowded and/or 'touristy' areas are where pickpocketing occurs the most. Tourist areas are easy to identify, they are large crowds, lost faces, maps and cameras. Typically pickpockets work in pairs or small groups, so keep an eye out.

  • We don't recommend you carry a large amount of cash on you, but if you do, place your money in various secure compartments in your bag and on your person.
  • Steer clear of people approaching you with papers/petitions at restaurants. This is a distraction mechanism and often means they see your cell phone sitting on a table or you bag open and accessible.
  • Carry a purse with a secure flap opening and zippers help, wear it across your body, always keep a hand on it, don’t set it down at a club, and don’t put it on the floor or hang it on the back of your chair when you are sitting down.
  • Try not to bring anything valuables out with you unless you absolutely need it (such as debit/ credit cards, passport, etc.). Keep photocopies of all these documents at home. You can also give your mom or dad a copy to keep at home to be extra secure.
  • Don't keep valuables resting on tables while you're out to eat or drink. A smartphone on the table is easy targets to thieves. Keep it in your lap or secure in your bag.
  • Ladies, don't hang your bag behind you on a chair. Keep it in your lap or securely closed next to you.

The U.S. Embassy encourages U.S. citizens to review "A Safe Trip Abroad," which includes valuable security information for those both living and traveling abroad.  All U.S. citizens in Spain are urged to enroll online at the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  Enrolling gives U.S. Citizens access to updated information on travel and security within Spain and makes it easier for the Embassy to contact citizens in case of emergency.  You can also download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips. Below is a link to the contact information for the US Embassy in Madrid. It is a good idea to have that info plugged into your phone as well as Madrid´s emergency number, 112. Petty theft is not the the best part of traveling, but it is important to discuss. With us, it is safety first, and we are always here to answer any and all questions you may have!


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Updated 02/28/2017 by Anna Whetzle

Lisette Miranda

Written by Lisette Miranda

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