Beware in Barcelona and look out in London: TripAdvisor names world’s worst pickpocket destinations

It’s common wisdom that one ought to keep an eye on their valuables while traveling, particularly in large cities or those where one is unfamiliar with their surroundings. But a new survey of TripAdvisor site data, dubbed the TripAdvisor Pickpocket Index, reveals the cities where one is most likely to part ways with their wallet or valuables.

All ten spots on the list were “snatched” by European cities – with Barcelona topping the list for the second year running and London entering the list for the first time.

“London was crowned the most exciting city in Europe in the recent TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Destination Awards,” said TripAdvisor’s Emma O’Boyle. “…[W]hile the vast majority of visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience the Index shows that London must be on its guard.” With over 26 million tourists visiting the capital each year it is perhaps not surprising that pickpockets view its busy tourist hubs as prime hunting grounds.

O’Boyle reiterated that all cities on the list can offer a great travel experience. “This Index simply reinforces that extra care should be taken, especially in the busier tourist areas.”

The global top ten (with 2009 place in brackets) are:

1. Barcelona, Spain (1)
2. Rome, Italy (2)
3. Paris, France (5)
4. Madrid, Spain (-)
5. Athens, Greece (9)
6. Prague, Czech Republic (3)
7. Costa Brava (Alicante Province), Spain (-)
8. Lisbon, Portugal (-)
9. Tenerife, Spain (-)
10. London, England (-)

The 2010 Pickpocket Index is based solely on TripAdvisor site data calculating the number of times travelers use the term pickpocket (and translations of) in their reviews in the last twelve months.

[Image via Flickr user]