Skip to main content

A study says these European countries have the most pickpockets

Know the European countries that have the most pickpockets

Tourists in France taking pictures in a busy spot.
Mika Baumeister/Unsplash / Unsplash

When Americans travel outside of the U.S., one concern is always safety. We don’t want to stand out and scream tourist or do anything to let a pickpocket know we’d be easy prey. To curb that happening, you should know a few safety tips — and it doesn’t hurt to know the tourist spots that pickpockets target most.

Travel insurance comparison experts at have revealed the results of their European Pickpocketing Index. They analyze the top five tourist attractions in each country, and rank each country by the proportion of reviews that mention pickpockets. (Always read those online reviews before you go.)

A couple stopping to check where to go in Italy.
Alessia Cocconi/Unsplash

The top places pickpockets love to snatch and grab

What countries topped the list?

The places with the most mentions of pickpockets

  • Italy
  • France
  • Netherlands
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Spain
  • Portugal
  • Turkey
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Poland

Especially watch out at the popular tourist attractions (no matter what country you’re in). Just because it’s a busy spot doesn’t mean it’s safe for your valuables. In fact, it could mean the opposite. mentioned these popular spots in particular: 

Be extra careful at these high-traffic sites

  • Italy’s Colosseum
  • Trevi Fountain and Pantheon in Rome
  • The Duomo di Milano in Milan
  • The Gallerie Degli Uffizi in Florence
  • The Eiffel Tower in Paris

Why do these attractions also attract thieves? Because there are so many tourists and people everywhere, it’s easier to grab your items and blend right back into the crowd. We’ve all seen Ocean’s 11; we know how it works — one bump and you’re missing your wallet.

A couple taking a selfie at a busy tourist spot.
Michel Stockman/Unsplash / Unsplash

Tips for avoiding pickpockets and keeping your valuables safe

Having insurance isn’t a guaranteed way to get your stuff or money equivalent back. It’s best to know ways to make sure your items don’t get nicked in the first place.

Protect your wearables

The easiest way to keep items like jewelry safe is to not wear them. Don’t bring them, don’t have them on you. There is no need to wear your most expensive watch to see the Trevi Fountain. Leave it at home or in the safe at the hotel.

Wear a crossbody bag that has zippers

If you need to carry a bag, make sure it securely fits across your body. You may not feel a backpack being opened or a wallet lifted out of your back pocket. And zip the bag all the way up, even if you need to get your phone out every five minutes to check where you need to go.

Leaving items out is a rookie mistake

Don’t leave your bag or other personal items just sitting on a table or chair and then walk away to do something like go to the bathroom. 

Check your travel insurance policy thoroughly

If you purchase travel insurance, read what it covers — but more importantly, what it doesn’t cover. If you take fancy electronics with you, you may need additional insurance for those specific items. You don’t want to be surprised, and it might help you decide if you should bring certain items or not.

Go see the sites with the knowledge needed so you won’t become a victim of pickpocketing during your fun European travels. We want you to experience the gorgeous sites without the experience of being a crime statistic in a new country. That’s not a spot anyone wants to win on their Bingo card.

Editors' Recommendations

Dannielle Beardsley
Dannielle has written for various websites, online magazines, and blogs. She loves everything celebrity and her favorite…
TSA is about to demand Real ID for most travel, and 32% of Americans don’t even know how to get one: Report
Spoiler: You need to contact the DMV
A suitcase open at home being packed with travel documents nearby

Navigating the airport can be a daunting experience, especially when it comes to ensuring you have the necessary documents. For international flights, keeping up with your passport is crucial, but for domestic flights, simply having your standard-issue driver's license will suffice — though not for much longer. Starting May 7, 2025, passengers will be required to have a Real ID in order to fly in the United States. The problem? Many Americans have no clue how to obtain one.

What is a Real ID?
Real ID is a government-issued identification card or driver's license that meets enhanced security standards established by the Real ID Act, required for domestic air travel and access to federal facilities. A Real ID can be identified by a gold star in the upper right-hand corner of a driver's license, driver's permit, or identification card. Beginning May 7, 2025, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) can only accept a driver's license or identification card that meets these standards. 

Read more
From 4×4 Jeeps to exotic sports cars, Turo is where to score your next rental car
Skip the traditional rental car counter on your next vacation, and find a car you actually want to drive
Toyota 4Runner Turo car rental parked on a dirt road in Utah.

Most travelers don't like renting a car. But it's a necessary evil to be able to get around while we're on vacation, visiting family halfway across the country, or needing a way to get from the conference to the hotel and back again on our latest work trip. Whatever the reason, the process is rarely fun. It's tedious, time-consuming, and usually involves a lot of legalese-laden paperwork most of us never read or understand. Something about not taking the car to Mexico or driving it into the ocean, I think?

Some big-name rental agencies caught onto this recently. Years ago, Hertz began offering special Hertz Collection vehicles, like its Premium Collection (which includes BMW convertibles, Infiniti sedans, and Mercedes SUVs) and the Adrenaline Collection (full of supercharged Mustangs and Camaros). But those are only available at limited airports, and the rental process is still a hassle and very expensive. Unless you're renting a fancy car for your wedding or another special occasion, the cost is probably a factor.

Read more
Your travel bag probably doesn’t have an Apple AirTag, but it needs one — here’s why
AirTags are tiny, and make losing baggage almost impossible
Apple AirTags in carrying cases

Anyone who has ever had to replace a lost suitcase full of clothing on vacation understands the hassle it can be. Oh, and don't forget about the shoes, toiletries, and accessories — the cost adds up quickly. Plus, who wants to spend their hard-earned vacation days schlepping to a store to buy a new wardrobe? I feel like I'm not alone in saying that precious time is much better spent enjoying the fruits of your trip planning, relaxing, or exploring. But that's only one of the reasons why every travel bag you have needs an Apple Air Tag.

Whether your wayward bag is buried beneath a massive pile of lost luggage in a foreign airport or accidentally left behind in the back seat of your Uber, tracking an AirTag may be the best bet you have to track it down. The concept is super simple and nearly foolproof. Slip an AirTag in your suitcase, and you'll almost always be able to find out where it is. Above and beyond the obvious, there are plenty of great benefits to keeping an Apple AirTag in each piece of luggage when you travel — both checked bags and carry-ons. 

Read more