Study Reveals High Risk of Pickpocketing in Certain European Destinations

by Alice

Vacations can quickly turn sour when travelers become victims of pickpocketing scams. According to a recent study, certain European countries pose a higher risk of theft than others, urging tourists to exercise increased vigilance.

Italy emerges as the top concern for travelers, boasting the highest incidence of pickpocketing among popular European destinations, as per findings from a study conducted by UK insurance price comparison platform The research, which scrutinized pickpocketing references in visitor reviews at renowned landmarks such as the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, and Pantheon in Rome, the Duomo di Milano in Milan, and the Gallerie Degli Uffizi in Florence, sheds light on Italy’s prominence in this regard.


With 478 pickpocketing mentions per million British visitors, Italy leads the list of countries studied in Europe, the report reveals.


Greg Wilson, founder and CEO of, emphasizes the ubiquity of theft and highlights tourist hubs as prime targets for criminals preying on travelers’ wallets and purses. He underscores the importance of perpetual vigilance, advising tourists to secure valuables, such as expensive jewelry, in hotel safes and opt for secure cross-body bags with zipper closures or even money belts.


France also warrants caution for travelers, securing the second spot on the list with 251 pickpocketing mentions per million British visitors. Particularly, visitors to Paris, notably around its iconic landmark, the Eiffel Tower, should exercise heightened awareness, as per the study’s findings.

Spain, especially the bustling Las Ramblas area in Barcelona, and Germany follow suit, each recording 111 pickpocketing mentions per million British visitors.

Conversely, Ireland emerges as a safer destination, with only seven pickpocketing mentions per million British visitors. However, tourists should remain cautious, especially at popular attractions like the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, despite its allure.

In the unfortunate event of falling victim to pickpocketing, Wilson advises travelers to promptly file a police report to facilitate potential insurance claims. Additionally, he recommends making copies of essential documents and ensuring all devices are password-protected.

It’s crucial to recognize that even seasoned travelers aren’t immune to pickpocketing incidents, as evidenced by notable travel expert Rick Steves’s experience on the Paris Metro a few years ago when he wasn’t wearing his money belt.



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