Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, bordered by Spain on one side and the Atlantic on the other side.
It is blessed with pristine beaches, incredible landscapes and beautiful weather. All this makes it one of the most desired destinations for travelers from all over the world but…
Do you ever wonder if Portugal is safe?
How safe is it for a lone female traveler? And what about pickpocketers? Will I need to be careful with my belongings?
Well, I can tell you it is a very safe country to visit.
According to the Global Peace Index, Portugal is ranked the 3rd safest country in the world.
In this article, we will discuss safety in Portugal and how you can have a safe trip to Portugal.
How safe is Portugal? Why?
It is very safe. Just to put it in clearer terms, on the global peace index, which takes into consideration factors like:
- political stability,
- potential for terrorist acts,
- internal and external violent conflicts and,
- Societal Safety and Security,
Portugal ranks above countries like the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France, and the US.
It is safe to say Portugal is more secure than your home country, except if you are from Iceland or New Zealand.
Is Portugal a safe country to visit or travel to?
Portugal is a safe country to travel to and explore without too many hassles. The only major issue is the prevalence of pickpockets in touristic areas, crowded streets and on public transport – especially the trams.
Regarding being mugged or kidnapped the chances are quite low. However, be as careful and as vigilant as possible.
For beach lovers, your belongings may not be stolen. But you may drown from strong oceanic currents, as some of the beaches are known to have powerful ocean flows. Also, don’t leave your belongings unattended at the beach.
If you rent a car, please do not leave valuable items inside it, as some thieves occasionally steal from parked cars on the streets, so make sure you keep your valuables hidden.
As you can see, these are general precautions you should take anywhere. If you do this, you will be fine.
Also, according to Skyscanner, Portugal is part of the top ten safest countries to visit in the world.
This might also interest you: Top 20 Portugal Travel Tips Every Visitor Should Know.
Is Portugal safe to travel alone?
If you’re traveling alone to Portugal, you will not encounter too many problems, as the Portuguese are generally hospitable.
However, as any other touristic place, there may be people trying to scam you. Beware of groups of teenagers acting strangely or trying to distract you, and people offering help with your luggage.
Is Portugal safe for a woman who is traveling alone?
The truth is that women face greater obstacles, especially when traveling alone. However, Portugal is generally very safe for women travelers.
However, take necessary precautions if you must, to feel safer. Also, occasionally some men in the streets make inappropriate remarks to ladies (this is now a crime, according to Portuguese laws). Aside from this, you should have a good solo trip.
Is Portugal a safe place to live in?
As I mentioned earlier, it is one of the safest countries to visit in the world. Besides this, it is also a very safe country to live in.
Also, in the past few years, Portugal has continually been ranked in the top five safest countries in the world, as well as one of the best countries in Europe and the world to retire in.
In addition to Portugal being a safe country, the weather, low cost of living and rich Mediterranean cuisine are reasons why immigrating and retiring in Portugal have become popular in the past few years.
Are there natural disasters in Portugal?
You might have heard about the great Lisbon earthquake of 1755, which almost destroyed the whole city and neighboring areas. To date, that is the most devastating natural disaster to have happened in Portugal.
With that, one can say Portugal is less prone to natural disasters. However, there are frequent wildfires/forest fires in the south of Portugal.
Flooding is also another thing which happens in Portugal, and recently there was a cyclone too.
That said, always be up to date with the weather news for any destination you are traveling to.
Is Portugal safe from terrorism?
Portugal is a very safe country with respect to terrorist threats. However, it is totally impossible to predict where and when terrorist acts will be perpetuated.
But in terms of the likelihood for it to happen, it’s low when compared to other popular tourist destinations like France, Germany, London, and Spain.
Nevertheless, please be vigilant and report any suspicious activity or movement to the authorities.
Is the water in Portugal safe to drink?
This a common question people ask in Portugal. The answer is simple. The tap water in Portugal is safe to drink.
However, it is common to find people in Portugal buying bottled water to drink. This is only due to personal preference and not because the tap water is not safe to drink.
Is Portugal safe for American and EU tourists?
I would say Portugal is a safe country for visitors from most countries if not all. However, tourists from America might want to be careful when driving in Portugal because the roads are very narrow. Also, as a rule, it is better to work in groups especially at night.
Criminality in Portugal
In terms of both petty and violent crimes, Lisbon and Porto are probably the cities where they occur the most, especially pickpocketing and scam tricks. The Azores and Madeira have some of the lowest frequencies of crimes in Portugal.
If you are ever a victim of a crime, please report to the nearest police department. The national telephone emergency number is 112. This number is used throughout the entire European Union.
Safety in Lisbon Portugal
Just like in Porto, the major problem is pickpocketing. So, try to guard pouches or purses as well as you can and avoid walking in poorly lit streets at night.
Also, if unfortunately, you are robbed as a tourist, please report to the Tourism Police in Lisbon for crimes like pickpocketing, loss of items, etc. It is located at Praça dos Restauradores – Palácio Foz, 1250-187 Lisboa.
There is also a Cascais Tourist Police Station. If you encounter some problems in that area you should contact them. The address is Largo Mestre Henrique Anjos, S /N 2750-000 Cascais.
Safety in Porto Portugal
As I mentioned earlier, the crimes in Porto are usually related to pickpocketing, bag snatching, and scams. By taking the necessary precautions as you will in your home country, you will be able to avoid danger.
Is Portugal Safe?
In conclusion, after living in Portugal for a few years I consider it to be a safe country. For most parts, many areas are safe, while some other areas are notoriously unsafe – especially at night.
As a tourist, most of the locations you will be visiting are safe and you probably won’t feel unsafe, but you must keep an eye out to avoid pickpockets.
Some Safety Tips
- Avoid using automatic teller machines (ATMs) in isolated or poorly lit areas.
- Always book your accommodation through reputable vendors
- Do not go around with lots of cash
- Avoid dark streets and alleys
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I’m a freelance writer, who’s very passionate about economics and everything that is related to business. I’m pursuing a Masters Degree in Management in Portugal, where I live. I love photography, traveling and experiencing new cultures.