Is it safe to travel to Barcelona at the moment?

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Spain has had its fair share of issues over the summer. It was hit with two terrorist attacks in August one in Barcelona and one in Cambril.

And at the beginning of October, things came to a head between the Catalans and the police in Barcelona when Catalan voters showed up to vote in a referendum to gain their independence. The Spanish constitution states that the country is indivisible, and so the Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy condemned the vote as illegal.

The resulting violent clashes when police raided regional buildings and polling stations and removed voters by force have left some

barcelona travel
Catalonians are demonstrating for independence. Picture Credit: Getty Images

travellers wondering whether it’s safe to travel to this popular holiday destination.

The general advice from is to exercise caution. It is thought that further demonstrations are likely to take place, but avoiding central squares and potential voting stations is advised – this could include Las Ramblas (specifically the Guarda Civil and City Hall buildings) and Montjuic.

Demonstrations are likely to cause disruption and delays to public transport services, but all incoming and outgoing flights are running as normal. Check on transport timetables with tourist information representatives in the city and with your tour operator before using public transport.

It seems the Spanish are keen to continue as normal and to welcome tourists to their city. Frank Brehany, a travel consumer rights commentator told The Independent “Most Catalonians are supportive of their tourist industry and so at this time I would advise that you should continue with your travel plans but maintain a continued assessment of the situation.”

The consensus then, is to travel smart but not to be deterred. The Spanish and the Catalans aren’t interested in creating problems for tourists, and standing defiant in the face of terrorism is essential where safe and appropriate. An Australian Daily Telegraph travel writer put it well when he wrote “I almost felt duty bound to carry on as normal out of respect to terrorism’s victims, for that’s what I would want everyone else to do.”

If you’re looking for inspiration on things to do outside of Barcelona, why not check out our travel guide on a day in Madrid?


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