Holidaymakers have been told in which of the top 10 most visited European countries they are most likely to be pickpocketed. Pickpocket rates by country can vary, but travel insurance comparison experts at have crunched the numbers to reveal where each of the most popular European holiday destinations rank on their European Pickpocketing Index.


Pickpocketing statistics in Europe

The index ranks the most popular European holiday destinations by the proportion of pickpocketing mentions in visitor reviews of each country’s top five tourist attractions.

Visitors to Italy’s Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and Pantheon in Rome as well as the Duomo di Milano in Milan and the Gallerie Degli Uffizi in Florence mentioned the highest volume of stolen personal items on online travel reviews.

This equates to 478 pickpocketing mentions for every million British visitors to Italy’s top tourist attractions – the highest proportion of any European country.

France is the second most visited country by Brits and also has the second highest number of pickpocketing mentions at 251 per million visitors, with all 5 attractions monitored being in Paris.

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Spain ranked third on the pickpocketing index with Las Ramblas being the worst of the five tourist spots for stolen items.

Closer to home, the index suggests that tourists enjoying a pint at the Guinness Storehouse can feel fairly confident their possessions are safe, with the Republic of Ireland ranking down in tenth with only 7 pickpocketing mentions per million visitors.

Pickpocket rates by country

The European Pickpocketing Index as revealed by

European pickpocketing index

Based on data analysis by

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Greg Wilson, Founder and CEO of, said that unfortunately this new research shows that thousands of people have complained about pickpockets in Europe while experiencing the best that European holiday destinations have to offer.

He said: “Theft can happen anywhere and tourist hotspots are convenient places for criminals to target holidaymakers’ wallets and purses whilst they are busy taking in the sites.

“Iconic attractions like the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Trevi Fountain in Rome are particularly popular with pickpockets as they can move more inconspicuously amongst larger crowds.

“Many holidaymakers are unaware that some of the most popular destinations for Brits have some of the highest incidents of pickpocketing in Europe.

“Our research revealed some surprising results with Italy having the most pickpocketing mentions, yet France and Spain have much larger volumes of tourists.

“It is essential always to remain vigilant, leave valuables, like expensive jewellery, in a safe in the hotel and always travel with a secure cross-body bag with zips to secure phones and wallets or even a money belt.

“Try never to leave personal belongings unattended because travel insurance companies require travellers to take ‘reasonable care’ and could reject insurance claims for theft if items have been left alone.

“It is also important to remember to get a police report for the loss or theft of an item if you’ve been pickpocketed, as this will support the insurance claim. Remember to double-check what is and isn’t covered on the travel insurance policy before heading to these high-ranking destinations, most travel insurance policies cover important documentation such as passports but rarely cover stolen cash and phones. Most providers allow travellers to add on extras that might be needed such as gadget travel insurance.”

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Take a look through the - European pickpocketing index table

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Note – date ranges for total visits by UK tourists compare Q1-Q3 each year, as per data available, above.
**Total mentions on traveller review websites for ‘pickpockets’ or ‘stolen’

This article is intended as generic information only and is not intended to apply to anybody’s specific circumstances, demands or needs. The views expressed are not intended to provide any financial service or to give any recommendation or advice. Products and services are only mentioned for illustrative rather than promotional purposes.

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