Holiday hotspots where tourists ‘need to be wary’ of pickpockets

Woman catches pickpocketer attempting to steal her wallet

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Theft and pickpocketing can happen anywhere in the world, but while on holiday, tourists can often be a key target. Experts from Student Universe share their top travel tips to an audience of over 49k on Instagram (@StudentUniverse) and 7,000 on TikTok (@StudentUniverse).

Speaking to, Sam Willan, global vice president of marketing for StudentUniverse revealed there are some key destinations where holidaymakers should be “extra cautious”.

He explained: “While theft can happen anywhere in the world, there are some places you need to be more wary than others.

“Larger cities that are tourist hotspots tend to be popular pickpocket locations – think Barcelona, Paris and Rome.”

Recent research conducted by found that Barcelona’s famous Las Ramblas was the “worst” holiday hotspot for pickpockets in the world.

The city’s famous cathedral, Sagrada Familia, also made it onto the list at number 10.

Similarly, the Eiffel Tower, Sacre-Coeur, Louvre and Notre-Dame de Paris were also listed as notable areas where pickpockets can strike.

In Rome, the study named both the Trevi Fountain and Colosseum as areas to be on guard against thieves.

Sam continued: “Further afield, be extra cautious in Buenos Aires, Hanoi and Bangkok, but it’s important not to be complacent wherever you are in the world.

“You should always take particular care in areas that see a lot of footfall, such as train or bus stations, busy tourist attractions, markets and shopping centres.”

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How to protect yourself from pickpockets

There are a few ways you can “pickpocket-proof” your belongings, according to Sam, including choosing the right bag and storing valuables correctly.

He explained: “Our top tip would be to wear a crossbody bad (with zips) and to avoid keeping valuables in your pockets. Instead, zip them away in your bag.”

However, high-value items may be better left off your holiday packing list.

Sam added: “For really high-value items like jewellery, our advice would be to think about if you really need to bring it along with you.

“In most cases, we’d suggest leaving jewellery at home. If you can’t, insurance is a must.”

While it might seem like just another expense, and one you hope not to use, travel insurance is absolutely essential for any trip. urges Britons to always take out appropriate travel insurance before they go on holiday, not only for unexpected medical care but also to cover their possessions.

Sam added: “We can’t stress enough how important it is to travel with insurance, especially for any medical problems that should arise.

“When it comes to valuable items it gives travellers that extra peace of mind that their items are covered in any worst-case scenarios.”

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