Pickpocket hotspots

Falling victim to pickpockets can quickly turn a dream holiday into a nightmare, with tourists frequently targeted by opportunistic thieves.
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Some places around the world do have bad reputations when it comes to pickpocketing, but which are the worst cities according to tourists?

If you’re planning a trip away and are concerned about the threat of pickpockets, make certain to compare travel insurance deals to make sure that your possessions are covered.

Places with the highest % of pickpocket reviews

graphic containing Places with the highest % of pickpocket reviews
1. Mercado Municipal de Benidorm - Benidorm, Spain
Total reviews: 282
Reviews that mention pickpockets: 48
% of reviews that mention pickpockets: 17.02%

Benidorm is a very popular destination for tourists, but its local market has developed something of a reputation for pickpocketing, according to Tripadvisor.

While 48 reviews mentioning pickpockets may not seem too bad, they account for 17% of the entire reviews for the market on the site.

A number of reviews also describe scammers using a rigged game of chance using cups and peas as a distraction tactic (often working with the pickpockets to target distracted tourists).

2. Athens Metro - Athens, Greece
Total reviews: 579
Reviews that mention pickpockets: 88
% of reviews that mention pickpockets: 15.20%

Places like markets and crowded Metro stations attract the most pickpockets, and Athens Metro comes in second.

The Athens Metro is a quick and handy way to get around this beautiful city but seemingly has a big pickpocket problem according to Tripadvisor reviews.

15.2% of reviews on the site mention pickpockets, with a report from the Telegraph saying that as many as 50 thieves a day were being arrested on the city’s Metro system.

3. Colon Street - Cebu City, Philippines
Total reviews: 618
Reviews that mention pickpockets: 72
% of reviews that mention pickpockets: 11.65%

In third place is the historical Colon Street, in Cebu City in the Philippines. Cebu is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations and this crowded street used to be home to fashionable shops and movie theatres.

Named after Christopher Columbus (Cristobal Colon), it is the country’s shortest and oldest national road.

However, with much of this activity moving further inland, the area has become run-down and crowded, making it a good target for pickpockets.

Graphic of the different countries that had the highest % of rewiews regarding pick pockets

Places with the most pickpocket reviews overall

Graphic containing Places with the most pickpocket reviews overall
1. Las Ramblas - Barcelona, Spain (3,271 reviews)

The place with the highest number of reviews that mention pickpockets is the famous Las Ramblas pedestrian walkway that runs through Barcelona.

Las Ramblas is crowded at the best of times, but especially during the peak tourist season, and this makes it perfect for pickpockets.

Barcelona is a culturally rich city but has a reputation for being one of the worst cities for pickpockets and this is where the majority of crimes occur.

2. Eiffel Tower - Paris, France (2,569 reviews)

As one of the most popular cultural attractions in the world, it’s little wonder that at least some of the people visiting Paris have had issues with pickpockets.

Specifically, keep a close eye on your belongings as you walk up the main street from the metro station to the tower itself.

In 2019, police in Paris arrested 19 people believed to be ringleaders of a pickpocketing gang that targeted the area around the Eiffel Tower.

3. Trevi Fountain - Rome, Italy (2,206 reviews)

Rome is a magnificent historic city although it has struggled with pickpockets and one of its most targeted historical landmarks is the Trevi Fountain, known for its majestic beauty.

There is a famous tradition of throwing coins into the fountain over your left shoulder, with around 3,000 euros being thrown in each day.

However, there are frequent attempts to steal coins from the fountain and there are also reports of pickpockets operating in the busy crowds.

grapgic containing the overall total reviews that mention pickpockets

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About James Andrews

James has spent the past 15 years writing and editing personal finance news, specialising in consumer rights, pensions, insurance, property and investments - picking up a series of awards for his journalism along the way.

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