Keeping your stuff
safe in the hotel and in the streets
Cuidando tus pertenencias en el
hotel y en las calles
Granada is a fairly safe city and there are hardly any worries of violent or major crime. Petty theft is the general proble, if there is one. As with most cities you should be more careful in train and bus stations and around toursit attractions.
Two areas where there is more petty theft would be the Albaicin and Sacromonte, and as with any places the chances are generallt greater at night. Still, I would guess that 99.9% of you will be fine! Just be aware of what you are doing so you won't be the 0.1%.
If you are staying in a hotel and it has a safe for valuables
use it. Stash your passport and maybe one extra credit card
in there in case you lose your wallet while your out.
If you plan to use it keep your wallet in your front pocket
and not your back. I've heard of some carrying a dummy wallet
in their back pocket, but must ask why? Unless your idea of
a good time is attracting the local pickpockets. Although
I don't personally like them I do recommend using a money
belt. Always have a back-up plan so you have a credit card
or traveler's checks located in another place - be it your
bag, your hotel safe or someone else traveling with you.
Keep a small lock on any pockets of your backpack with valuables.
Decide whether locking every pocket or zipper is wise - would
it really be the end of the world if someone stole your sweatshirt
or a pair of socks? These locks are easy enough to cut if
you lose the key, but think about keeping an extra one in
your hotel room or apartment.
When at a cafe or bar on the street with your camera (or other)
bag try placing one leg of your chair through the strap. Now
anyone taking of with it has to drag you and your chair with
them. Keep you bags on your lap, or in your direct line of
sight while you are sitting. Try keeping at least an arm or
something through a strap on the bag.
Take a glance around you before taking out money, and put it away safely at the ATM, not as you are walking away. Don't withdraw a lot of money from an ATM at night. If you
need to take money out at night have a friend accompany you
or just be aware of who is around you when make the transaction.
Choose a location on a main street with a lot of light.
Don't carry your passport with you at all times. Do take it
with you if you need to exchange money. Carry a copy of it
with you in your wallet when not exchanging money. When using
a credit card almost all establishments will accept a driver's
license or other form of ID in place of a passport.
Many visitors are tempted to take advantage of the siesta
to take photos or see more of the city. But why not relax and eat
lunch, take a nap and then head out at 5pm with everyone else. Some streets are desserted during these hours which make you an easier target. Remember most thieves prefer not to draw attention to themselves and the less people, the less witnesses.
Cars and Taxis:
Never, ever leave anything in your car whether it is the trunk,
glove box or under the seat. Taxi drivers are generally nice
folks but to be safe remember you don't have to put your camera
or computer bag in the trunk. You're camera will thank you for not being
jostled around in the back, your hard drive will thank you for not having to withstand jolts of the cobblestone streets, and any driver who insists on putting
either in the trunk can be politely ignored.
Theft to look out
Maneras de robar
Variations exist of the examples below.
A common theft involves 1 or 2 people on a scooter who target
the bag hanging over your shoulder. They zip by and one grabs
your bag and then they race off. This is common in the smaller
and winding streets where they can easily get away. I was
witness to one in Seville during the month of July where the victim lost everything except
her passport. I was witness to another in November where the
person lost only come cash and a few personal items. Wear
both straps on your backpack and keep your purse or camera
straps over the shoulder and around your neck. If you do carry
a bag on one shoulder try making it the shoulder which is
opposite the road.
Especially in tourist areas
keep your hands on your bags. A camera in the seat next to
you or on the table is an easy target. If you must place a
bag on the ground try lifting up your seat and placing the
strap underneath one of the legs of the chair and then sit
down. It's much harder for the thief to drag the bag with
you and the chair holding it down.
Especially for women, keep an eye on your purse. Keep it over on your shoulder and around your neck. Be aware
of people quickly making friends with you, too. One student
met four "friends" and had a good amount to drink
with them. After heading to another bar the four decided they
liked his expensive watch and fought him until they could
take it along with his wallet.
These spontaneous street
and plaza parties are where a lot of alcohol is consumed make
for easy prey. Watch your bags and other valuables.
Many variations on this tactic. A person
may come up to you in the street to ask you a question or
for directions while another is behind ready to take something
from you. I've even heard of a water pistol being used to
squirt a tourist with water. It took them by surprise, and
as they looked to see where it came from another person quickly
grabbed the person's bag and ran off.
Thriving in crowded areas the old bump
and grab the wallet is common. Especially during Semana Santa
when you have little choice but to wedge yourself between
people to get to your destination. On a crowded bus
beware of people looking for wallets or putting their hands
in purses. Also beware of hanging your jacket over a chair
if you have anything valuable in it.
No parecer tan guiri
Sometimes avoiding trouble means disguising yourself a
bit from the people who prey on tourists. What I'm not saying
here is that you should avoid walking the streets doing
these things, change your hair color or height, and buy
new shoes. What I am saying is in the list below are several
things which, to varying degrees, can make you stand-out
. Some of them are in conjunction
with others. Example: wearing shorts does not always make
you stand out, but shorts with
blonde hair and
a baseball cap will make you an obvious foreigner.
One small recommendation - if you can stand a day without
your camera, your day-pack and water bottle you can sometimes
enjoy yourself more. Take a day off from taking pictures
and just wander around feeling "light" and see
what you may encounter.
- baseball caps, especially if worn backwards, in different
languages or one recently purchased with something
about Granada, toros, etc. Ok, I guess that's
just about any baseball hat.
- tourist t-shirts (similar to above baseball hat types)
- Nike (or other popular brands) cross-trainers, running shoes, hiking
boots, Teva-type sandals and sometimes flip flops when
worn outside of summer months.
- city maps and big guidebooks
- fanny packs
- camera bags
- large backpacks with the ever popular wear the smaller
backpack on your chest.
- constantly staring up at everything that amazes you
(i.e.: not keeping your eye on the people around you in
- height - sorry for the taller travelers, but they will
notice a 6' 6" person every place you go.
- blonde hair
- speaking loudly in English or other foreign languages
- behaving too carefree, as in being drunk and not paying
attention to your surroundings
- eating, drinking and shopping in the "touristy"
If you're a victim
Si te han robado
If you have been the victim of a crime the first thing
you should do is contact the local police. You can do so
by calling the number 092 from any phone. You will be required
to make a denuncia, or an official police report
about the crime. If your car has been broken into it is
wise to call and wait for the police to arrive on the scene.
If you have been robbed and are unharmed you should visit
the nearest local police office to file a report. If you do not speak Spanish
there is normally a telephone line in the office where you can give
your report over the phone in English and a few other languages.
Or you may be lucky and there may be someone there who speaks your language and can take the report. The report may then be given to an officer and you will
confirm the details. The latter is more difficult as the
officer may not speak much English. 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. For U.S. and many other citizens replacing
a passport means a trip to Madrid. They will not be able
to replace the passport at the consulate in other cities if you
are a U.S. citizen. The wait in Madrid could be several
weeks, so this can really ruin a trip, especially if you
are without financial resources. To limit the damage to
your vacation follow these three simple rules:
- Passport: Avoid carrying your original passport with you unless
you need it to exchange money or for proof of ID. Carry
a copy with you instead. If you need to have your passport
with you store the copy in another location. Always keep
- Credit Card: Keep one credit
card in a separate location. If possible make sure you
have a sufficient amount of credit to last you a week
or more. Make sure you have a PIN for the credit card
so you can withdraw cash from a machine without needing
to provide identification in a bank (they may not accept
a copy of your passport as ID).
- Telephone numbers:
Always keep handy the numbers to call your bank and cancel
your ATM or other credit cards.
If you don't have the numbers to call your specific bank
to cancel credit cards you can use the numbers below. Don't
worry too much about whether you bought into that credit
card protection plan: in almost all cases you will only
be responsible for up to $50 of fraudulent charges, then
the bank covers the rest. This is why I never pay the fraud protection my credit card companies offer. It doesn't do much to protect me and the cost will quickly be higher than the amount I would be responsible for if my card were stolen and used.
| Card type
||915 720 303
||900 971 231
||900 974 445
in Seville and Emergency Medical Care
Hospitales y centros de urgencias
Like any hospital in the U.S. or other parts of the world
every hospital in Granada also has an emergency room for urgent
care needs. An alternative to public hospitals are the private
clinics, or clínicas. Most of these are for specific private insruance providers - a hospital or clinic for those who have contracted medical insurance through the provider. There are also some
separate emergency care facilities or centros de urgencias, in the city. The
address and telephone for the four largest hospital facilities are below. These are the most likely destinations for urgent medical care in the city of Granada.
Main hospitals in Granada
Hospital Clínico Universitario San Cecilio
Tel: 958 023 259
Address: Avenida Doctor Oloriz, 16
Hospital Nuestra Señora de la Salud
Tel: 958 808 880
Address: Avenida Nuestra Señora de la Salud
Hospital San Juan de Dios
Tel: 958 022 904
Address: calle San Juan de Dios
Hospital Universitario Vírgen de las Nieves
Tel: 958 020 002
Address: Avenida Fuerza de las Armadas, 2
Knowing where to pick up a prescription after a doctor's
visit or when you are suffering from the flu is of course
very important. It's not always as easy as the U.S., where
you can head out to the local drugstore
or even a 24 hour pharmacy. What the farmacias can do better (in most cases) in Spain is give more advice
than the pharmacy back home. They do a good job making sure
you get what you need and don't start taking something that
can do you harm. Many over the counter medications in the
U.S. and other countries will only be found in a farmacia or a parafarmacia. A parafarmacia offers
these over the counter drugs, but no prescription drugs,
along with a lot of the basics like shampoo, soap, etc..
Most farmacia locations in Granada are open on
the regular business schedule of mornings, then a break
for lunch and then open again in the afternoons. If you
are looking for something between 2-5pm or after 8:30pm
you may need to take a map with you. In this case each neighborhood
has a rotating system of Farmacia de Guardias,
where each pharmacy location within a region of the city
takes on the responsibility of being the all-night or all-day
pharmacy. A list of these by date and neighborhood is provided
on the front window of every pharmacy or in local newspapers.
It's important you know your location (i.e. - what neighborhood
you're in) to determine the nearest one. When you arrive
be prepared to ring the bell and do business from the street
through a gate or window, as these locations generally keep
their doors locked for security reasons.
There are some farmacias which are always open (24 hours) as well as some which are 12 hour pharamcies (ie: 10-20:00 pm). Below a list of extra hours farmacias
Calle Reyes Católicos, 5
Tel: 958 262 664
Puerta Real, 2
Tel: 958 263 113
Calle Recogidas, 48
Tel: 958 251 290
Avenida Dílar, 16
Tel: 958 811 806
Calle Periodista José Mª Carulla, 8
Tel: 958 154 949
Safety and health also means access to social services
for emergencies, counseling and other assistance. Below
are two telephone numbers for organizations which can help
with specific issues. I hope to add more in the near future.
|Child abuse hotline
||900 210 966
|Women's abuse hotline
||900 100 009
Unfortunately most travelers need to contact their consulate
only in the case of a lost or stolen passport. Your consulate
can of course be of help for visa or legal issues as well.
In Granada there are very few, and for many courntries the closest consultae may be in Seville or Malaga.
If you want to locate any embassy/consulate anywhere in
the world then I recommend you visit Embassyworld.com
||958 251 631
||Carlos Pareja, 5, bajo
||958 521 037
||San Matías, 15
||958 224 861
The numbers below are helpful in emergency situations or
when you have been a victim of crime. With all of these
numbers it can get quite confusing about who to call. The
first three numbers are the most important. If you have
an emergency situation and are not sure which to call use
the 112 number.
|Emergency (as in 911)
||in case of fire
||minor crime; city traffic
||accidents outside of cities
|Red Cross (Cruz Roja)
||958 137 336
|Farmacia de Guardia
||locate 24 hr. pharmacy/chemist
||900 171 727
||lost or stolen card
||915 720 303
||lost or stolen card
||900 971 231
||lost or stolen card
||900 974 445