Lisbon is considered to be one of the safest European capitals. Pickpocketing is the most common crime, especially in crowded tourist areas and public transport such as the popular tram 28. Violent street crime is rare.
However, it’s important to use common sense and take a few precautions to ensure you avoid hassles on your trip to Lisbon.
Here are a few basic tips to explore the city safely. In case of an emergency, call 112.
1. Plan ahead
Planning your trip is the first step for a safe stay. Chiado, Baixa and Avenida da Liberdade are some of the best areas to stay in Lisbon, close to everything, and with plenty of hotels. The Saldanha neighbourhood, which is 15-minute away from major attractions, is also a quiet and safe area.
2. Don’t carry too much cash
A good idea is to use a money belt to keep your money and passport safe. Have in your purse or wallet only the money you need for the day. Pickpockets on public transport, especially on tram 15 to Belém and the scenic tram 28, are known to be a problem. As such, you should pay attention to your personal affairs.
3. Use cashpoints in well-lit and busy areas
Particularly after nightfall, avoid ATMs that are inside the Bank’s premises. Check that the ATM hasn’t been tampered with.
4. Stick to main streets at night
We’d like to say it’s 100% safe to walk at night in central Lisbon, but as in any big city caution is warranted in some areas at night, and when travelling alone.
While Anjos, Intendente and Martim Moniz are perfectly safe neighbourhoods to walk during the day, and even to stay during your Lisbon trip – these areas have witnessed some gentrification in recent years – you should avoid dark streets and alleys late at night. The Intendente area, between Anjos and Martim Moniz, has at times been known to be the site of prostitution and drugs. In addition, stick to well-lit streets in the historic neighbourhoods of Alfama, Mouraria, Graça, and Bairro Alto.
5. Learn to say no
This tip may be especially helpful when walking on Rua Augusta, the main commercial street in the Baixa area, where you may be annoyed by pushy hash offers at any time of day. Bairro Alto at night is another area where you might to be approached, especially at night. The right way to deal with these characters is to firmly decline any offer.