Italy, France, Spain: Where is the paradise for pickpockets?


Last Updated on December 27, 2023 by Rikki

Are you planning a trip to Italy, France, or Spain? While these countries are known for their beautiful architecture, rich history, and delicious cuisine, they also have another reputation: being hotspots for pickpockets.

According to research by Quotezone, Italy takes the top spot as the country where tourists are most likely to fall victim to pickpocketing, with 463 mentions of theft per million visitors to its top attractions in 2022. France comes in second with 283 mentions, while Spain surprisingly ranks sixth with significantly fewer mentions compared to Italy.

So, if you’re heading to these popular destinations, it’s important to stay vigilant and take necessary precautions to protect your belongings.

Need to Know

Safety of Your Belongings

When planning a trip abroad, it’s important to consider the safety of your belongings. Becoming a victim of pickpockets can quickly turn your excitement into a bitter experience, leaving you without money and documents in a foreign country. In bustling areas and near popular tourist attractions, you need to be particularly vigilant. But which countries pose the highest risk, and how can you protect yourself from street thieves?

Most Likely Country

According to research conducted by Quotezone, an insurance aggregator for travelers, Italy is the most likely country where you could fall prey to pickpockets. Visitors to famous landmarks such as the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, and Pantheon in Rome, as well as the Milan Cathedral and Uffizi Gallery in Florence, left 1,906 online reviews about street thefts in 2022. This corresponds to 463 mentions of pickpockets per million visitors, the highest rate among all European countries.

France Came in Second

France came in second with 283 mentions of pickpockets per million visitors. All five attractions monitored by Quotezone experts were located in the capital city of Paris. The Netherlands ranked third in the pickpocket index. Surprisingly, despite Barcelona’s notorious reputation, Spain only ranked sixth on the list, with five times fewer mentions of theft compared to Italy.

Countries With the Fewest Pickpocketing Incidents

On the other hand, Ireland and Poland were the countries with the fewest reported incidents of pickpocketing, with 30 and 18 mentions per million visitors, respectively. Despite these rankings, it’s important to note that pickpocketing incidents can happen anywhere, and popular tourist attractions are convenient places for criminals to target unsuspecting travelers.

Storing Valuables

Things to Consider

Greg Wilson, the founder and CEO of Quotezone, advises tourists to store valuable items, such as expensive jewelry, in the hotel safe.

Wilson also recommends using a strong cross-body bag with a zipper or even testing out a money belt.

It’s crucial to never leave personal belongings unattended, as insurance companies require travelers to exercise “reasonable care” and may reject theft insurance claims if items were left unattended.

Falling Victim

In the unfortunate event of falling victim to a pickpocket, it’s important to file a police report, as it serves as evidence for insurance claims. It’s also useful to have digital and paper copies of important documents.

Download a “Find My Phone” app and ensure that all your data is backed up and photos are automatically uploaded to a cloud service.

Other Factors to Consider

Do Not Let Fear Lead You

While being cautious is essential, it’s important not to let the fear of pickpockets ruin your travel experience. With the right precautions, you can minimize the risk and enjoy your trip to the fullest.

Remember to stay aware of your surroundings, keep your belongings secure, and take advantage of safety measures such as hotel safes and secure bags.

Take Appropriate Measures

Although Italy, France, and other countries may have higher incidents of pickpocketing, this shouldn’t deter you from visiting.

These destinations offer unique cultural experiences and stunning attractions that are worth exploring.

By staying cautious and taking appropriate measures, you can navigate through these popular spots without falling victim to pickpockets.

Things to Note

Be Proactive

It’s also essential to understand that pickpocketing can happen in any country, even in places with lower reported incidents. Regardless of your destination, it’s crucial to remain vigilant and protect your belongings.

By being proactive and following safety precautions, you can significantly reduce the chances of becoming a victim of pickpockets.

Don’t Let it Deter You

While there are certain countries more prone to pickpocketing incidents, it doesn’t mean you should avoid traveling to these places altogether.

By taking necessary precautions, being mindful of your surroundings, and safeguarding your valuables, you can have a safe and enjoyable trip no matter where you go.

Stay informed, stay prepared, and make the most of your adventures abroad.


Based on Research & Statistics

It’s important to note that the information provided in this article is based on research and statistics. However, travel experiences can vary, and personal safety is subjective. It’s always a good idea to stay updated with local safety advice, listen to recommendations from travel experts, and consult reliable sources before making any travel decisions.

The Goal

Remember, the goal is to have a memorable and worry-free trip. By staying informed and taking necessary precautions, you can navigate through busy tourist destinations with peace of mind. So, pack your bags, embark on your adventure, and enjoy your travels while keeping your belongings safe. Bon voyage!

In this article, we discussed the countries with the highest risk of pickpocketing incidents and provided tips on how to protect yourself while traveling. By being aware of your surroundings, securing your belongings, and following safety measures, you can minimize the chances of falling victim to pickpockets.

Whether you’re planning a trip to Italy, France, or any other destination, it’s crucial to prioritize your safety and take necessary precautions. Remember, a little awareness and preparation can go a long way in ensuring a safe and enjoyable travel experience. So, keep these tips in mind, and embark on your next adventure with confidence.

Prevalent in Tourist Destinations

Raising Awareness

It’s important to acknowledge that pickpocketing is a prevalent issue in many popular tourist destinations.

By sharing this information, we aim to raise awareness about the risks and equip travelers with knowledge to protect themselves.

However, it’s important to stay open-minded and not let fear overshadow the joy of discovering new places and cultures.

Stay Cautious, Stay Positive

Traveling is an enriching experience that allows us to explore different corners of the world and connect with people from diverse backgrounds.

By staying informed, staying cautious, and staying positive, you can make the most out of your travels and create lasting memories. So, embrace the adventure, be mindful of your surroundings, and enjoy the incredible journey ahead.


Don’t Let it Discourage You

In conclusion, while pickpocketing can be a concern, it shouldn’t discourage you from traveling.

By taking precautions, such as securing your belongings and staying alert, you can minimize the risk and have a safe trip.

Don’t let the fear of pickpockets overshadow the excitement of exploring new destinations and immersing yourself in different cultures.

Proper Awareness

Remember, travel is about experiencing new things, meeting new people, and broadening your horizons.

With proper awareness and preparation, you can navigate through any destination and enjoy the wonders that the world has to offer.

So, be smart, be prepared, and make the most of your adventures while staying safe.


A Better Understanding

By now, you should have a better understanding of the countries where pickpocketing risks are higher and how to protect yourself while traveling.

The key is to stay vigilant, secure your belongings, and be aware of your surroundings.

With these tips in mind, you can enjoy your travels with peace of mind and create lasting memories.


So, whether you’re planning a trip to Italy, France, or any other destination, remember to research the local safety situation, listen to advice from travel experts, and take necessary precautions.

By doing so, you can have a safe and enjoyable journey, exploring new cultures, and making unforgettable experiences. Happy travels!

Hi, I’m Rikki

I’m a passionate author and blogger, sharing my thoughts and experiences on life and travel.

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