Contrary to other big cities, safety in Madrid is relatively high. You will rarely have any problem in the areas most people visit.
However, you should be wary of pickpockets in the center and particularly around Plaza del Sol, on the Metro (pay attention when taking line 8 connecting the city with Barajas airport) and around the main tourist landmarks.
Madrid pickpockets are not violent but they can ruin your trip if your wallet or smartphone is stolen. Cancelling credit cards or going to the Embassy to get a new passport can be a long and annoying process. And you will need a copy of the report to make any kind of insurance claim (travel, auto, etc.) or to receive a new passport in the case that it was stolen.
Although you should be careful, don’t be paranoid. The large majority of people travelling to Madrid visits and return home safe and sound. Act like you would do at home and everything should be fine.
Follow some simple advice in terms of safety in Madrid and save yourself lots of trouble.
The most important thing after realizing you have been robbed is not to panic. Steady your nerves or you won’t think clearly and act efficiently.
Have a quick look at your personal belongings and check the damages. Ask yourself what is missing.
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 embassy or consulate and ask for help. The officials will tell you what to do.
Then, go to the nearest police station, the best place to go if you are concerned about your safety in Madrid. Look for Policía Nacional stations and make a formal complaint. You can also call the 24h report hotline: 902 102 112.
Madrid has a special bureau offering assistance to foreign visitors who, for whatever reason, need to go to a police station. The Foreign Tourist Assitance Service (Servicio de Atención al Turista Extranjero or SATE) is located at Madrid’s central police station:
c/ Leganitos, 19 (next to Plaza de España)
Opens every day of the year from 9:00 to 0:00.
Telephones: 915-488-537 and 915-488-008
The SATE’s purpose is to attend to your needs if, during your stay, you are 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.
Additionally, the OAC (Oficina de Atención al Ciudadano or Citizen’s Assitance Offices) mobile units are run by Madrid’s Municipal Police. Here, they will help you with
These specific offices are located at Puerta del Sol, Almudena cathedral, Museo del Prado, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, the corner of calle Serrano with Jardines del Descubrimiento, Chamartín train station, Santiago Bernabeú Stadium, Madrid-Barajas airport T-4 (arrivals) and Plaza Tirso de Molina, on Rastro flea market days.