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Most Pickpocketed Countries In Europe

Image: A photo of a secluded bay on Ibiza Island, Spain, featuring crystal-clear waters, a sandy cove, and rocky cliffs dotted with sparse greenery under a clear blue sky.

Most of us, if not all of us, dream of visiting Europe. It’s probably something about the cobblestone streets that twist and turn through ancient towns, the grand castles perched on hilltops, the lush vineyards sprawling across the countryside, the cultures, festivals, cuisines, or all the different flavours of adventure each corner of Europe has to offer.

However, many a time, many people get so caught up in these enjoyable explorations that they forget petty prevalent crimes such as pickpocketing. These often take place in busy locations, especially near stunning attractions where people are more vulnerable.

The worst part is that these petty thieves are dab hands, masters of their crafts. They are fast and strategic in action, often look less suspicious and could easily mix with the crowd. Just a bump and your wallet is gone.

This articles highlight some of the most pickpocketed countries in Europe and gives you some tips and insights to help you remain vigilant.


In Spain, particularly in tourist hotspots like Barcelona and Madrid, pickpocketing is quite common. Be wary when in crowded areas such as main tourist attractions, popular landmarks, public transport, and busy streets.


While Italy is one of the number one tourist destinations, it is sadly also one of the number one notorious pickpocketed countries in Europe.

Cities like Rome, Florence, and Venice are known for their high rates of pickpocketing, especially in areas flooded with tourists. The thieves often work in teams to distract victims while they steal.


Image: A photo of tourists basking in the Parisian sun, enjoying a moment of leisure and lively chatter at a classic sidewalk café.

France, especially Paris, which is often romanticized for its culture and beauty, unfortunately, also holds a less desirable title as a pickpocketing hotspot.

Areas such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the city's extensive metro system are particularly highly vulnerable.

One common scam is the "ring trick," where a scammer pretends to find a ring on the ground and asks if it belongs to the tourist. While the tourist is distracted, an accomplice pickpockets them.

Other tactics include creating a commotion or crowding around a tourist under the guise of asking for directions.


Pickpockets in the Netherlands, like most other places, often work in teams. They may employ distractions such as asking for directions, bumping into you, or performing street shows to engage your attention while an accomplice picks your pocket.

The crowded conditions in big towns and cities like Amsterdam, during festivals, or in busy tourist spots like Dam Square make it easier for these thieves to operate unnoticed.


Germany, particularly in its larger cities and tourist-heavy areas, is known for instances of pickpocketing. Cities like Berlin, Munich, and Frankfurt have busy public transport systems and popular tourist attractions where pickpockets are more active.

For example, in Berlin, tourists are often advised to be cautious at landmarks such as the Brandenburg Gate, the Alexanderplatz area, and on crowded U-Bahn and S-Bahn trains.

Stay Safe with These Simple Tips

  • Be Aware of your surroundings ? Pickpockets often target distracted tourists, especially in crowded places. Stay alert and be conscious of the people around you.
  • Don’t leave your belongings unattended (avoid dropping them on tables while sitting or eating).
  • Be mindful of people who bump into you
  • Avoid keeping valuables in your back pocket or the outer compartments of backpacks. It’s safer to store items like wallets and phones in front inner pockets or a money belt under your clothing.
  • Avoid opening your bags or pressing your phone in crowded locations.
  • Travel light and only carry what you need for the day and leave other valuables in a safe at your accommodation.
  • Avoid populated queues, as they present a perfect opportunity for thieves
  • Know where your items are at all times, so you can quickly notice if something is missing. This helps in not having to openly sort through your belongings in public.
  • For backpacks or bags, use locks to secure your zippers, making it harder for pickpockets to discreetly open your bag.
  • Have digital copies of important documents like your passport, ID, and travel insurance accessible online in case of theft.
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