According to a study by the European Safety Observatory, Lisbon is among the safest capitals in Europe, with very low rates of violent crimes like gang-related crimes or conflicts, and many tourists don’t come across a lot of problems when in the city.
However, as it continues to grow and become a tourist destination, the high population of tourists has encouraged a rise in some crimes. So, is Lisbon safe for tourists?
Main Crimes In Lisbon
According to some tourists, it’s safer to walk around Lisbon even at night than in other European capitals.
This is one of the leading crimes tourists encounter when visiting the city. Many tourists lose their cell phones and wallets daily, especially in crowded areas like public transport, hotel lobbies, and airports.
Most pickpockets work as a group, and some even use children. Therefore, when you travel to Lisbon, you should always look around you and be wary of any suspicious people around you.
Bag snatchers will wait for a chance when you have your bag down, or they may even snatch it as you walk on the streets.
Always have your bag insight and a place where someone cannot access it easily, especially if you are eating in a restaurant or on public transport. Also, when walking, have it in front of you instead of on your back. An even better idea would be to find some bag storage in Lisbon while you’re exploring. Stasher is a great choice for secure and fully insured luggage storage!
Criminals will approach you as a new person to the area and scam you by pretending to sell you something. Some of the most common scams in Lisbon include;
- Fake tickets: One of the main scams is selling invalid discounted tickets to attraction sites like Torre de Belem. Other scammers may also try to convince you to book a reservation for your hotel with them. Ensure you only book reservations through the hotel’s official sites.
- Restaurants: You could also get scammed in a restaurant when a waiter presents you with a false menu showing slashed prices, but they bring a bill with the original prices when it’s time for you to pay. For this type of scam, waiters do their best to convince the tourists of how good the food is and its benefits. Others could place an appetizer on the table, but at the end of your meal, you have to pay for it.
- Petitions: Some scammers could also bring you a petition and ask you to sign, and in the process, they end up pickpocketing you.
- Broken taxis: While transportation is safe around Lisbon, you might get into a taxi and hear the driver say that the car’s meter is broken. Afterward, they charge you more than you had agreed upon.
Car thefts are slowly increasing, especially in parking lots near large tourist hotels, restaurants, and attractions. Before leaving your car, ensure that you have locked all the doors and windows.
You should also remove any stickers on your rental car that would identify it as one.
Places To Avoid Around Lisbon
There are no areas you cannot visit in Lisbon as a tourist, but there are some areas that you should avoid, especially at night. Some of those areas include Martim Moniz, Intendete, and Anjos, which are identified as almost becoming a red-light district.
While it’s gradually improving and developing, there are some crimes related to social exclusion and poverty.
You should also avoid the downtown parts of the city because of the high rates of drug dealers. While they are harmless, their population could make it easy for you to get pickpocketed.
Safest Places To Stay
If you want to avoid the petty crimes around Lisbon, some of the safe places you can book a hotel and stay during your visit include;
- Avenida Liberdade
Tips To Stay Safe
If you want to enjoy a safe and crime-free visit to Lisbon, here are some of the tips that will keep you out of danger.
- Don’t carry around a lot of cash. If you want to carry cash around, ensure it is only what you need. You should also consider having a money belt that you should wear on the front under the clothes.
- Anytime you want to withdraw extra cash, use a cashpoint in a busy and well-lit place. That makes it hard for anyone to snatch it from you.
- Be careful with your bag. Always have an eye on your bag if you don’t have it on you. If you have a backpack, carry it on the front, and ensure it has strong straps. If you carry a shoulder bag, it should also have a strong strap, and it should be across your chest.
- Don’t have expensive and visible jewelry. Thieves will not hesitate to snatch your expensive watch or necklace even if you are wearing it.
- Always walk on the main streets, especially at night, and if you are alone.
- Be careful who you ask for directions. Some people will lead you to some deserted areas and steal your money or possessions. Ensure you ask only a security guard or a shop attendant. Also, do not read your map on the streets because criminals will have to perfect chance to pick-pocket you or take your other possessions while you concentrate on the map.
- When you visit a club or restaurant, buy your drinks and keep them close to you. Do not accept drinks from strangers because they could drug you.
- If you visit Lisbon with your friends, always stick together, especially in crowded areas.
- Research and plan before you visit Lisbon. That way, you know the safe places for you to stay and the neighborhoods not to visit.
- If you run into any trouble, call the emergency number, 112, immediately and report it.
Native New Yorker. Travel addict. Hardcore thinker. Analyst. Pop culture fanatic. I live in Queens with my wife Linda and our dog Clemenza.