The Athens metro has the second worst reputation for pickpocketing in the world according to Tripadvisor reviews, a new research reveals.
The study, conducted by online financial comparison service money.co.uk, analyzed the total number of Tripadvisor reviews for popular attractions and transport stations around the world and compared this to the number of reviews that mention pickpockets to reveal the world’s worst tourist spots in terms of pickpocketing.
According to this analysis, the Greek capital’s subway ranks second in pickpocket complaints.
The Athens metro is only second to the Municipal Market of Benidorm, Spain, which tops the pickpocketing list.
Places such as markets and crowded metro stations attract the most pickpockets, the research comments, and the Athens subway comes in second.
Although it is a quick and convenient way to get around this beautiful city, it seemingly has a bit of an issue when it comes to pickpocketing according to Tripadvisor traveler comments, as 88 out of a total 579 reviews on the site mentioning pickpockets.
That accounts for a concerning 15.20 percent of all reviews, which is quite a difference when compared to the 11.65 percent seen in the historical Colon Street of Cebu City in the Philippines. This destination is third in terms of pickpocketing issues.
Named after Christopher Columbus (Cristobal Colon in the local language), it is the country’s shortest and oldest national road. Cebu is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, and this crowded street used to be home to fashionable shops and movie theatres. However, with much of this activity moving further inland, the area has become run-down and crowded, making it a good target for pickpockets.
How to avoid being pickpocketed
According to a guide by money.co.uk on how to avoid falling victim to pickpockets, travelers should ensure that all of their valuables are tightly zipped away in a bag or purse when they are in tourist areas. Zips on bags should also face inwards where possible or be hidden under layers of clothing to make them harder to access.
Bags and garments specifically designed to counteract pickpockets, with secret pouches and compartments, such as money belts, are another good idea. Even if a pickpocket knows the victim is wearing one, the hassle of trying to steal from it makes them less likely to try.
The guide also suggests not wearing a backpack where possible. Unfortunately, backpacks are perhaps the easiest thing for pickpockets to target, as the wearer can’t always keep an eye on them. The fact that the opening to the bag isn’t touching the wearer’s body also makes them easier to steal from, as the wearer won’t be able to feel something being removed.
Last but not least, the guide advises that travelers avoid advertising themselves to pickpockets and that they remain alert. They should also avoid exposing valuable jewelry, items, or cash when visiting European cities.