Travelers Should Be Extra Mindful of Pickpockets in These European Countries, Study Shows

The study also mentioned specific attractions where pickpockets may be most prevalent.

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Nothing can ruin a vacation like being the victim of a pickpocketing scam. Throughout Europe specifically, a new study shows that there are some destinations where theft is more prevalent than others.

Travelers to Italy should be on their guard since the country ranked the highest for pickpockets among all popular European hotspots, according to a recent study by UK insurance price comparison platform To determine the ranking, the study looked at pickpocketing mentions in visitor reviews at popular attractions like the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, and Pantheon in Rome, the Duomo di Milano in Milan, and the Gallerie Degli Uffizi in Florence.

Overall, Italy had 478 pickpocketing mentions for every million British visitors, the highest of countries studied in Europe, according to the report.

“Theft can happen anywhere and tourist hotspots are convenient places for criminals to target holidaymakers’ wallets and purses whilst they are busy taking in the sites,” Greg Wilson, the founder and CEO of, said in a statement. “It is essential always to remain vigilant, leave valuables, like expensive [jewelry], in a safe in the hotel and always travel with a secure cross-body bag with zips to secure phones and wallets or even a money belt.”

Travelers heading to France should also be aware of their surroundings since the country ranked second on the list with 251 mentions of being pickpocketed for every million British visitors. That’s especially true for the area around Paris’ most iconic structure, the Eiffel Tower, which the study found was the worst for pickpockets in the country.

That was followed by Spain — and particularly Barcelona’s Las Ramblas — and Germany, which each saw 111 mentions of being pickpocketed for every million British visitors.

On the other end of the spectrum was Ireland, which had only seven mentions of pickpocketing for every million British visitors, according to the study. Where you want to watch out for your bag is the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, a notorious tourist trap but a worthwhile one nonetheless.

If you do get pickpocketed, Wilson encouraged travelers to file a police report to be covered for any possible insurance claims.

It’s also a good idea to make copies of important documents and make sure all your devices are password-protected.

And remember: you’re not alone. Even the most seasoned travelers can fall victim to pickpockets, just like Rick Steves did when he wasn't wearing his money belt on the Paris Metro a few years ago.

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