Contrary to other big cities, safety in Seville is relatively high. You’ll rarely have any problem in the areas most people visit.
The criminals in Seville are not looking to hurt anyone, but they’re looking to take advantage of oblivious tourists. The sad truth is that nonviolent crime, especially pickpocketing, is pretty common.
However, if you’re informed, aware and know what to look for, you should be in the clear. Some pretty basic knowledge can save you from a colossal hassle.
Nevertheless, to avoid bad surprises you should consider getting a travel and health insurance before traveling.
Is Seville safe to visit?
Yes, in general, Seville is a safe place to visit.
But is Seville also safe by night?
Absolutely! As Seville still is somewhat of a small city, you can go anywhere by foot and you will rarely experience anything scary.
So if you’re looking to go out for dinner or have a drink, or you feel like having a night time stroll, don’t hesitate to do so!
Practical advice on safety in Seville
Safety in Seville isn’t any worse than any other big city, and as a matter of fact, the police takes this stuff very seriously. But there are no guarantees so you need to do your part and get smarter than the criminal!
1. Beware of pickpockets
Your odds of being robbed or mugged in Seville are fairly low. Pickpocketing and purse-snatching are a different story. Crooks with sticky fingers do a land-office business in a city that attracts tons of tourists every year…
How do you spot the pickpockets in Seville?
Don’t try to spot them… Try to efficiently protect your belongings!
To save yourself the trouble of becoming a pickpocketing victim while traveling in Seville, follow these tips:
- The most important one is to be aware and trust your instincts. If someone seems too close to you, they probably are.
- Never carry your passport with you when visiting the city. It’s best if you bring another form of identification along. Lock your passport up in your hotel room and leave it there until you need it.
- Try not to be flashy with expensive items, especially smartphones (and most particularly iPhones). So if you want to take a picture, put your phone or camera away when you’re done. Don’t keep it in your hand or around your neck while you wander around.
- Never put your iPhone or wallet on any surface such as a bar or countertop. Even if you’re standing right next to it, it’s an extremely easy target for experienced pickpockets.
- Be especially aware of tourist traps. Foreigners and tourists are always prey in unfamiliar areas.
- In crowded areas keep a hand on the opening of your purse or trousers pockets. If you carry a backpack, put it against your chest instead of your back so you can always have an eye on it.
- Bring no more cash than what you expect to spend and use your travel money card with both Apple and Android devices to make any payment. Keep your physical travel money card as a backup stored in your accommodation.
2. Be careful with gypsy women
You should be wary of certain gypsy women that wander in the center and particularly around the main tourist landmarks – the Cathedral, the Alcázar entrance, the area surrounding the Archivo de Indias and the Plaza de España.
They innocently offer you a sprig of rosemary and, given half a chance will tell your fortune for 20€…
Unfortunately, they are all over the place challenging the safety in Seville and have been for years and years.
You’ll be pestered by the main landmarks as soon as you approach the area, but you can successfully ignored them all. Just firm but polite a “no gracias” (“no thank you”) will usually solve the issue.
You may be thoroughly cursed when they finally realize that you won’t fall for it. But they’re not particularly aggressive nor dangerous. Keep walking and after a few meters ignoring them, they’ll turn around to look for a new potential victim.
Areas and neighborhoods to avoid in Seville
During your trip, you’ll surely visit many lovely areas, some of which are near major tourist attractions, that are quite safe, both day and night.
Nevertheless Seville, as any other city, has some no-go areas. These areas are the poorest in the city and in some cases even in the whole of Spain. That’s why most crimes are committed here, especially drug trafficking, and the crime rate is higher.
But the good piece of news is that none of these bad areas are located near the city center or near anywhere a usual tourist like you will go, so there’s no reason to go there.
Just in case, it’s good to know that hanging around the following neighborhoods at any time may be a good way to ask for trouble:
- Las 3000 Viviendas
- Los Pajaritos
What to do in case you get robbed in Seville
You always think that it will never happen to you. You like to think you’re travel-savvy. And you imagine it won’t impact how you think about travel. But it could easily happen to you.
The most important thing after realizing you’ve been robbed is not to panic. Steady your nerves or you won’t think clearly and act efficiently.
Here’s what you should do in case you get robbed in Seville:
- Have a quick look at your personal belongings and check the damages. Ask yourself what is missing.
- If you happen to travel with a travel money card (which I always recommend), open the app on your smartphone and choose to replace your card so they block and cancel your card immediately.
- If your wallet or purse has been robbed, contact your bank immediately and cancel all your debit and credit cards.
- If your passport has been taken away, contact your consulate and ask for help.
- Go to the nearest Policía Nacional station and make a formal complaint (denuncia in Spanish). You can also call the 24h report hotline: 902 102 112.
- Your best option is to go to the Foreign Tourist Assistance Service, a police station located in the Pation de Banderas next to the Alcázar‘s main gate.
- Alternatively, you can go to Sevilla Centro police station, located in the Alameda de Hércules.
Here is all the practical information regarding Seville’s Foreign Tourist Assistance Service (Servicio de Atención al Turista Extranjero or SATE):
Patio de Banderas, 4 (next to the Alcázar)
Opens every day of the year from 9:00 to 21:00.
The SATE’s purpose is to preserve your safety in Seville especially if, during your stay, you’re involved in incidents that require police intervention. The main services provided include: help filling out paperwork for police-related matters, locating family members, cancelling credit cards, contacting embassies or consulates, and providing tourist information.
If you don’t speak Spanish, don’t worry. There’s a telephone line in the office where you can give your report over the phone in English and a few other languages. The report will then be given to an officer and you’ll confirm the details.
If your car has been broken into it is wise to call and wait for the police to arrive on the scene. The officials will tell you what to do.