Spanish American Institute of International Education - SAIIE - Safety

If a country has a pattern of tourists being targeted by criminals on public transport, that information is mentioned in the Consular Information Sheets under the “Crime Information” section.

Spain is considered a very safe country and to travel within as well. However, it does not mean we do not have small crime. Pickpocketing is the most common one amongst tourist and foreign students that visit the Spanish country.

TAXIS:  Taxis are safe in Spain and in Europe. However, from time to time they will try to make an extra penny, especially if they notice they are carrying someone not local. Fortunately, in Seville you will not need to use a cab as much as most places can be walked too. However, Uber and Cabify are other options for getting around the city. You will have to download the application, register in order to use their services.  

TRAINS: This mean of transportation is definitely used by many students as it is an economical way to get around Europe. A popular option by many of our students is pruchasing a railway pass that allows you travel and stop in certain cities in different countries. 

BUSES: Buses are probably the cheapest way to travel around Spain and around Europe. Evidently, it will take longer to reach your destination, but if you are on a budget, there are many bus companies offering different destinations connecting Spain with the rest of Europe. 

Please note that this is not the general case and trains and buses in Spain and in Europe are very safe but you never can be too cautious.

The following is a LIST OF TIPS SAIIE has come up over the years for you students to be aware of when walking on the streets:

  • Don’t use narrow alleys or poorly lit streets during the late night. Try not to travel alone at night. Catch a cab if necessary.
  • Avoid public demonstrations and other civil disturbances.
  • Keep a low profile and avoid loud conversations or arguments. Do not discuss travel plans or other personal matters with strangers.
  • Avoid scam artists. Beware of strangers who approach you, offering bargains or to be your guide.
  • Beware of pickpockets. They often have an accomplice who will: jostle you, ask you for directions or the time, point to something spilled on your clothing, or distract you by creating a disturbance.
  • A child or even a woman carrying a baby can be a pickpocket. Beware of groups of vagrant children who create a distraction while picking your pocket.
  • Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest and walk with the bag away from the curb to avoid driveby-purse-snatchers.
  • Try to seem purposeful when you move about. Even if you are lost, act as if you know where you are going. When possible, ask directions only from individuals in authority.
  • Learn a few phrases in the local language so you can signal your need for help, the police, or a doctor. Make a note of emergency telephone numbers you may need: police, fire, your home-stay, and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
  • If you are confronted, don’t fight back. Give up your valuables. Your money and passport can be replaced, but you cannot.

Please take a few minutes to read all the following informationg from the website from the Department of State of the United States about Spain: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Spain.html