Hi lovely couples! I hope everything is great with you!
Today we are talking about everything ring related. I will share importantthings to consider when traveling with your bling. Continue reading, so that you can feel secure when you head off to your wedding destination. There are worse things that could happen to your rings than getting stained by sunscreen. At the end of this post I also write about the safety situation in Barcelona city, so don’t miss that!
Research your destination
You have your wedding bands safely stored at home, and I’m sure many of us are guilty of opening the box to have a look at them from time to time, dreaming of the moment when you will put the ring on your partners finger. I know I did! But there are certain things that needs to be addressed before you travel abroad with your rings. Therefore, my first suggestion is that you take a deep dive on google and really investigate the safety situation at your wedding destination. I know this is something that we prefer not to think about, but there are certain destinations that are more risky than others when it comes to theft and pick pocketing.
Trust your gut feeling
If you already been at the destination before, great! Then you will for sure have a gut feeling of wether it is safe to wear bling or not on the streets. If you are unsure, ask your local wedding planner or travel agent. They should be able to advice you. Even if the destination is considered safe, I always recommend that you ask if there are any no go zones, or other areas that you should avoid to minimize the risk of robbery. Also investigate if the hotel and venue is located in a safe area.
Ask other couples
Another idea is to ask other couples who’s gotten married at the same destination. Perhaps they can give you some useful insights since they already went through it. Did they feel safe with their rings while exploring the destination? Were they told not to wear jewelry in public? Did they get any useful advice before their wedding, and did they think it was accurate?
Ask locals, but don’t trust everything you hear
You can also ask locals. Personally, I sometimes find it a bit hard asking locals about this topic. The reason is because you will get so many different answers depending on who you are asking. Some local will give you plenty of good and useful advice, but there are also others who struggle to see the situation from a foreigners viewpoint. They might say that they always feel safe at the destination, that they have never experienced any thefts or pick pocketing. But this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. As a local, you are very rarely the main target for pick pockets.
Yes, an insurance is highly recommended when traveling with your rings. Wedding bands are usually a big investment, and it would be very sad if something happened to them and you wouldn’t have them covered by an insurance. I know this is such a boring thing to have to deal with, but I can promise you that it will feel so good after you have got it organized! If you already have an home insurance, it might already be covered within that insurance. Just make sure to contact your insurance company to ask if it’s also covered while abroad. If it’s not included, then I would suggest that you look to buy an additional insurance for them. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Visit the jeweler
Before you head off to your destination, it’s wise to visit your jeweler and have them inspect the rings. Are there any loose stones? Now is the time to make the final adjustments of the rings if you haven’t done so already. make sure the ring fits you perfectly, to avoid it gliding off. Which leads me to the next point…
No, I’m not saying that you are not allowed to take a swim in the pool or the turquoise Mediterranean. Just make sure not to wear your rings while doing it! You don’t want to risk loosing your beloved ring in the ocean. Instead, make sure it’s locked away safely in the hotels safe.
Now that we have talked about those more general, destination wedding travel tips we can move on to Barcelona.
Safety in Barcelona
Better Together Weddings Spain is based in Sitges/Barcelona. And I will be happy to give you my personal opinion on the safety situation over here. But let’s focus only on Barcelona city for a moment. I will be totally honest with you, because it’s in my main interest that you know what to expect so that you can make well thought out decisions.
Barcelona is a big city, well, at least in Spanish measures. It is the second largest city in the Spain with 1,6 million inhabitants in the city area, and over 5 million if we also include the surrounding urban area. The city is one of the most visited cities in Europe with millions of visitors each year. In 2019 the city had a booming 9,5 million visitors. Compare that to the amount people living there, it’s kind of crazy.
Barcelona kind of has a bad reputation when it comes to pick pocketing and thefts. And it’s true. The type of crimes that are most common are pick pocketing, while robbery with violence is not as common. The city has a extremely dense population compared to other European cities, which makes it easier for pickpockets to be able to get very close up without it being too suspicious. A part from that, the sanctions are also very low if they get caught which is believed also to be one of the main problems.
Pickpockets in Barcelona
Let’s face it. Tourists are easy targets for pick pockets. They tend carry around a lot of money and expensive equipment such as cameras. They are also easily distracted by the surroundings, and may seem a bit lost at times which makes them targets. The areas that you should be extremely careful in are La Rambla, Ciutat Vella (old town; El Born, Gothic Quarters and El Raval), squares in general, close to monuments, the metro/subway, at the beach and when sitting down at restaurants specially if you are sitting outdoors. Also distractions such as street performers is heaven for those who want to steal from a tourist, since tourists tend to stop and look at them.
How to avoid getting robbed in Barcelona (what I learned living 10 years in the city)
Don’t bring a lot of cash on you, or at least store it in different places. Avoid backpacks and handbags if possible. Wear backpacks on your chest instead of back, this is extremely important.
Don’t leave your phone on the table while eating. Don’t leave bags unattended if you are going to the bathroom at restaurants. Put away phones as soon as someone else than the waiter approaches your table, especially street vendors but also other random people who might approach you to ask you something.
Be careful if someone is asking you for instructions how to get somewhere. Or if someone is pointing out that you have a stain on your clothes. They might be trying to distract you.
Stay focused when entering and leaving the metro/subway, as well as inside the trains. Bags should be on your front side and no phones or wallets in your back pockets ever. Be careful with people who don’t look like tourist holding a map in the metro or people reading the newspaper in the metro. They will use the map/paper as cover while searching through your handbag with the other hand.
Don’t leave any bags unattended at any time at the beach, one person must always stay on land to look after your belongings so you have to take turns when yo go into the water. Be careful with vendors at the beach trying to sell you stuff.
Don’t walk with your handbag as if it was a suitcase. It should be between your arm and body. Pickpockets sometimes will approach you on a bike if you are walking on the sidewalk and snatch the bag from you and then pedal away.
No go zones in Barcelona
Compared to other cities in the world Barcelona is not a dangerous destination at all. Just for you to understand, you can’t compare these neighborhoods that I’m a bout to mention to the no go zones in for example New York City, London or Paris. But there are some areas where you should be a bit more cautious in Barcelona too, or only go there if you are a experienced traveller or if you know the city.
Those areas are mainly El Raval, which is part of the old town Ciutat Vella. This area has higher crime rate than other ares in the city, and at night you will be able to see suspicious looking characters, prostitutes and drug dealers. Avoid small, narrow streets with no people, that’s where you usually will see them.
With this said, and as a contrast to all of this, El Raval actually offers a great variety of bars and restaurants, and actually used to be my personal favorite area for bar hopping in my younger years. But I’m also a local, so I don’t face the same risks as a tourist would, since I know where I’m going, I don’t look lost, and I don’t act like a tourist. El Raval can be described as the more underground part of the old town which is why many locals still enjoy this area because they are far from tourists.
El Raval is the main area that I think is important to mention to a tourist who most likely will be staying in the city center. There are also a few other areas in the outskirts of the city, such as Besòs, La Mina, and Besòs Mar. But those are areas where a tourist wouldn’t normally stay anyways.
Can you wear jewelry on the streets in Barcelona?
With this information, I think you are able to get a better idea of how the safety situation is like here in Barcelona.
So what are my opinions about waring bling in the streets in Barcelona? Well, I think that the possibility of somebody robbing your rings is very small. If you follow the advice that I gave previously.
As I also mentioned, the type of thefts that are most common here are pickpockets, and not armed robberies. This means that the thieves would be more focused on wallets, cell phones and cameras than jewelry that you are wearing. I would however not wear very eye catching rings with big stones if I would go out in El Raval, just to be on the safe side.
So that’s it for this time! I hope you found this topic interesting and useful! If you have any questions at all, feel free to send me an e-mail!