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Beware the Pockets: Navigating Europe's Most Notorious Pickpocket Hotspots


Europe beckons with its stunning vistas, history-rich landmarks, and the allure of unique cultures. However, with its fame comes a caveat: the issue of pickpocketing in certain tourist hotspots.

As visitors from all around the world flock to its picturesque cities, they must remain vigilant to protect themselves from these adept thieves.

Holidaymakers heading to Europe often have a checklist of attractions they want to visit. From the Colosseum in Rome to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, these landmarks represent the crème de la crème of global tourism. Yet, unbeknownst to many, they are also the very spots where pickpockets thrive.



Travel insurance comparison experts at recently released a European Pickpocketing Index, ranking the most popular European holiday destinations by pickpocketing mentions in visitor reviews of each country’s top five tourist attractions.

The results are startling.



Italy tops the list, especially with its prime attractions such as the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, and Pantheon in Rome. Along with Milan's Duomo di Milano and Florence's Gallerie Degli Uffizi, there were mentions of pickpocketing in 1,906 online travel reviews. This means a whopping 463 pickpocketing mentions for every million British visitors to Italy's most cherished tourist spots.

eu pickpocketing index

Following closely is France, with Parisian attractions taking the spotlight. For every million visitors, there are 283 mentions of pickpocketing.

Interestingly, the Netherlands, which is only the ninth most visited country, ranked third on the pickpocketing index. Spain, despite its massive influx of tourists and Barcelona's notorious reputation for pickpocketing, surprised many by being sixth on the list, with significantly fewer mentions than Italy.

For those visiting the Guinness Storehouse in the Republic of Ireland, the chances of a pickpocketing incident seem minimal. With only 30 mentions per million visitors, it ranks ninth, assuring tourists of a relatively safer experience.

Greg Wilson, Founder and CEO of, reflects on these findings, emphasizing the universal truth that theft can occur anywhere. Tourist hotspots become ideal places for pickpockets, especially in locations with larger crowds like the Trevi Fountain or the Eiffel Tower.

He stresses the importance of remaining alert. Leaving valuables such as jewelry in hotel safes and using secure cross-body bags with zips or even money belts are recommended. It's crucial never to leave belongings unattended, as most travel insurance companies could reject theft claims in such cases.

Furthermore, securing a police report if you fall victim to pickpocketing is essential. It not only aids the insurance claim process but also ensures that such incidents are documented, helping future visitors stay informed.

In conclusion, as you immerse yourself in Europe's myriad attractions, arm yourself with the knowledge of potential pickpocketing hotspots. By being cautious and informed, you can ensure your European journey remains filled with beautiful memories, free from unwanted incidents. Safe travels!


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