is Lisbon safe

Is Lisbon Safe for Tourists in 2024? (What You Need to Know)

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Last Updated on: 2nd February 2024, 10:25 am

Is Lisbon safe?

The city is known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and picturesque landscapes.

But the question that pops up often on travel forums and discussions is – ‘Is Lisbon safe?’

Well, we’ve got you covered!

My parents emigrated from South Africa to Portugal a few years ago, so it’s one of the European countries we return to quite often. From our numerous trips there and interactions with locals as well as other tourists, we have gathered valuable information that will help answer these queries.

We’ve spent a lot of time in Lisbon (and even fallen for a scam) so feel that we can confidently answer the question: “Is Lisbon safe?”

We also understand that safety isn’t just about crime rates but extends to various other factors.

So, stick around as we unravel the layers of safety in Lisbon based on real-life experiences.

Key Takeaways

  • Lisbon is a safe destination for most tourists including solo female travelers and family travel.
  • Lisbon is safe at night but just like in other cities, you need to take precautions to avoid dangers.
  • There are some common scams that travelers need to be aware of in Lisbon.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of them I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you, which allows me to keep this blog up and running!

Is Lisbon Safe?

Yes, Lisbon is generally considered a safe city for tourists, with low crime rates and a welcoming atmosphere. However, like any urban area, it’s wise to take standard precautions to ensure your safety while exploring.

But you should follow some common sensible precautions:

It’s easy to get lost while exploring the vibrant streets of Lisbon but you’re safe in most tourist areas.

Is Lisbon safe?

How Safe is Lisbon?

Lisbon, the vibrant capital of Portugal, has a reputation for being one of the safest cities in Europe.

With its picture-perfect streets lined with ancient architecture and bustling markets, it’s no wonder many ask: “Is Lisbon worth visiting?”

Well, we can confidently say that yes, it absolutely is!

But let’s get down to brass tacks – just how safe is Lisbon?

In terms of crime rates, they are significantly lower compared to other major European capitals. This doesn’t mean you should throw caution to the wind though; petty crimes such as pickpocketing do occur especially in crowded tourist areas.

However, if you remain vigilant and take sensible precautions, your trip should go smoothly without any hitches.

Is Lisbon safe?

Lisbon Crime Rate

When we’re asked, “Is Lisbon safe?” it’s important to consider the city’s crime rate. Compared to other European capitals, Lisbon has a relatively low crime rate.

According to a Global Peace Index 2023 report, Portugal ranks seventh in terms of safety worldwide!

That’s pretty impressive, isn’t it?

However no matter how safe statistics portray a country to be; personal vigilance should never take a backseat while traveling anywhere including the safest places like Lisbon.

Most crimes reported are non-violent and involve theft or pickpocketing rather than more serious offenses like assault or robbery. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t any risks at all, but it does put things into perspective.

Lisbon is generally considered safer than cities like Barcelona or Rome.

The view of Lisbon from the rooftop of Hotel White Lisboa.

Is Lisbon safe?

Is Lisbon Safe for Tourists?

Yes, tourists can generally breathe easily when it comes to safety in Lisbon. The city has a reputation for being one of the safest capitals in Europe.

This is largely due to the low crime rate in Lisbon, Portugal compared to other European cities.

Of course, like any popular tourist destination, there are instances of petty crimes such as pickpocketing and bag snatching especially in crowded areas or on public transport.

While Lisbon safety is typically high, you shouldn’t let your guard down completely. It’s always important to stay alert and be aware of your surroundings no matter where you are traveling.

Don’t flaunt expensive items or leave belongings unattended as this could attract opportunistic thieves. Use common sense just like you would at home – lock up valuables in a hotel safe if available and avoid walking alone late at night, especially through unfamiliar areas.

Despite these minor concerns about the crime in Lisbon Portugal, we have found that locals are incredibly friendly and willing to help should you find yourself lost or needing assistance.

Many people speak English fluently which makes communication easier too!

Want to explore beyond Lisbon? Check out our guide for the ultimate Sintra day trip!

Is Lisbon safe?

Is Lisbon Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

As frequent visitors to Portugal, we’ve found that Lisbon is generally safe for solo female travelers. Like any other city in the world, it has its share of issues but overall, it’s a welcoming and friendly place.

We’ve roamed the streets alone at different times of the day and felt quite secure.

While Lisbon is known for its vibrant nightlife and beautiful historic sites, there are some areas that might be best avoided especially if you’re traveling alone late at night.

Some parts of Mouraria or Intendente may feel a bit sketchy after dark due to increased activity from locals hanging out on the streets or homeless people seeking shelter. But don’t let this deter you – these neighborhoods also offer rich cultural experiences during daytime hours!

Just stay alert when navigating through unfamiliar territory!

Is Lisbon safe?
I’ve always felt perfectly safe while exploring Lisbon.

Is Lisbon safe?

Is Lisbon Safe for Families?

Lisbon is a city that we’ve found to be very family-friendly. The Portuguese people are known for their warm hospitality and this extends to the youngest visitors as well.

From its beautiful parks and gardens to engaging museums, Lisbon offers an array of activities suitable for kids of all ages.

In fact, most families who visit Lisbon find themselves falling in love with not just the safety aspect but also its vibrant culture, delicious cuisine, and stunning architecture.

Of course, like any other major city around the globe, there are certain precautions you should take while traveling with your family.

Is Lisbon safe?

Is Lisbon Safe at Night?

Safety during the night hours in Lisbon is a concern for many travelers, and rightfully so.

From our frequent trips to this beautiful city, we can tell you that while it’s generally safe. But like any other major city, there are certain areas and situations where caution should be practiced.

When planning your travel to Lisbon Portugal, be prepared for an exciting nightlife scene filled with lively bars, restaurants, and clubs. However, keep in mind that these bustling spots also attract opportunistic thieves who prey on unsuspecting tourists enjoying their evening out.

It’s important not to let your guard down even as you immerse yourself in the vibrant Portuguese culture after dark.

Remember – common sense goes a long way when ensuring safety!

Is Lisbon safe?

Is Public Transport in Lisbon Safe?

While Lisbon’s public transportation system is generally safe, it’s essential to keep a few key points in mind for a secure journey:

Daylight Travel: Like many European cities, it’s advisable to use public transportation during daylight hours. Evenings can bring a different crowd, including locals attempting to ride without tickets. Crime rates, including muggings and theft, tend to rise on public transportation during nighttime.

Avoiding Station Hangouts: Be cautious about lingering near train and trolley stations longer than necessary. Metro stations and tourist areas where tickets for Tram 28 are purchased can attract pickpocketers and thieves. These opportunistic criminals often target tourists at busy stations.

Ticket Purchase Caution: Scams can occur, so it’s essential to be vigilant. Never buy tickets from unofficial sellers on the street. Only trust authorized personnel at train stations, Tram 28, or metro stations. Ensure that your ticket comes from an official kiosk to avoid potential scams.

By keeping these safety tips in mind, you can explore Lisbon’s public transportation system with confidence and enjoy a worry-free visit to this vibrant city.

Traveling to other parts of Portugal? Consider visiting the medieval village of Obidos!

Is Lisbon safe?

Are Taxi’s & Ride Share (Uber) Safe in Lisbon?

Getting around Lisbon, Portugal, efficiently is essential, considering its size. While it’s not as vast as some European cities, traversing the entire city on foot could consume upwards of three hours.

So, understanding the safest modes of transportation is invaluable. Your choice of transportation may depend on whether you’re traveling during the day or at night.

In daytime hours, public transportation options like the metro or tram are reliable and secure. However, as previously mentioned, it’s advisable to avoid public transportation during the evening, when safety concerns may arise.

During the day, you can also opt for a leisurely walk, as Lisbon is generally safe to explore on foot. For those in a hurry, renting a bicycle is an option, but remember to secure it with a lock when unattended, as petty theft can occur.

When navigating the city at night, considering a taxi or Uber is a wise choice. However, there’s a caveat to keep in mind.

Avoid flagging down just any taxi. Instead, contact your hotel, inquire with a bartender, or visit another hotel and ask the host to arrange a taxi. Local establishments typically have reputable taxi companies at their disposal, reducing the risk of scams or potential security issues.

It’s essential to note that the likelihood of such incidents in Lisbon is generally low. However, maintaining caution is advisable in any destination.

Uber is often recommended over traditional taxis. With Uber, you can prepay the fare, eliminating the need for haggling, which can be especially helpful if there’s a language barrier. Additionally, you can monitor the route on your phone.

For added safety measures, verify the driver and vehicle before entering and share your location with friends, family, and even your hotel while en route.

While both taxis and Uber are typically safe in Lisbon, Uber offers additional security features, making it the preferred choice, especially when catching a ride late at night.

Is Lisbon safe?

Travel Safety Tips for Lisbon

If you’re planning an exciting trip to Lisbon and want to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, consider these 21 invaluable safety tips for navigating the vibrant city.

While some may appear as common sense, the excitement of exploring a new country can sometimes make us overlook the simplest precautions.

  1. Opt for secure backpacks or purses, avoiding open flaps or magnetic closures.
  2. Choose comfortable and supportive walking shoes to prevent foot and ankle injuries.
  3. Stick to well-lit, densely populated areas when exploring at night.
  4. Exercise caution when interacting with strangers.
  5. Be vigilant against common scams.
  6. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
  7. Avoid venturing into residential neighborhoods on the outskirts of town.
  8. Decline drinks from unfamiliar sources.
  9. Watch the bartender prepare your drink.
  10. Exercise caution when taking late-night taxis with other passengers already on board.
  11. Keep valuable items out of sight in hostel dormitories.
  12. Don’t leave valuables unattended on restaurant tables or at bars.
  13. Keep your valuables in front pockets, avoiding back or unzipped jacket pockets.
  14. Be mindful of bike lanes while walking.
  15. Plan your route considering Lisbon’s numerous hills.
  16. It’s customary for hotel hosts to hold room keys, but don’t leave valuables in your room.
  17. Avoid purchasing attraction tickets from street vendors.
  18. Use official currency exchange services, not street vendors.
  19. Minimize your time spent at metro and train stations.
  20. Stay vigilant on trams, trains, and trolleys, as tired tourists are often targets.
  21. Trust your instincts; if something feels off, it probably is.

While these tips are meant to ensure your safety, it’s essential to remember that Lisbon is generally a very safe city.

We love wandering the streets of Lisbon – day and night!

Is Lisbon safe?

Dangers in Lisbon

While Lisbon is generally safe, it’s always wise to be aware of potential dangers.

So you might ask, are there areas to avoid in Lisbon?

Well, some neighborhoods such as Chelas and Martim Moniz have a reputation for being less secure than others. These districts can become quite deserted at night and the risk of petty crime increases slightly.

However, during the daytime, these places are bustling with life and totally fine to explore.

Now onto the next question – what should I be careful of in Lisbon?

The most common issue tourists face here is pickpocketing especially on trams or crowded tourist spots. Also, while enjoying your time at restaurants or cafes make sure not to leave your belongings unattended because snatch-and-grab thefts do happen occasionally.

If you’re renting a car, traffic can also be tricky. Plus finding parking in Lisbon can be difficult; especially in or around the Old Town. Drivers here are known for their fast pace so always double-check before crossing roads.

So why is Lisbon so safe despite these risks?

It all comes down to the vigilant policing and community spirit that prevails among locals. The Portuguese police force (PSP) has an active presence throughout the city which acts as a deterrent for serious crimes.

Plus, people living in this city look out for each other creating an environment where everyone feels secure.

I have spent hours wandering around the narrow streets of Lisbon without a problem.

Is Lisbon safe?

Common Scams in Lisbon

When it comes to scams, every city has its fair share and Lisbon is no exception. Most visitors have a trouble-free experience, but there are still some common tricks that you should be aware of.

Here are some common scams you may encounter and tips on how to steer clear of them:

The Petition Ploy: If you encounter individuals carrying clipboards and soliciting your signature or information, it’s wise to walk away without engaging further. Sometimes, these petitions are deceptive, aiming to collect personal details for scams or distractions that can lead to pickpocketing. While some may genuinely seek positive change, it’s challenging to distinguish honest requests from scams, so it’s best to decline them all politely.

The Picture Trap: Locals offering to take your photo or requesting you to photograph them near famous landmarks may have ulterior motives, often operating in coordinated pickpocketing groups. Politely decline such offers. It’s safer to ask fellow tourists for assistance in photography, as they share similar concerns about safeguarding their belongings.

The Street Game Scam: When you come across individuals or groups engaged in roadside dice or card games, it’s advisable to continue walking. In many cases, these games involve trickery, with apparent onlookers colluding in the scam. The games often feature rigged dice or cards, and they may demand payment upfront or unexpectedly afterward.

Streetside ATM Caution: Never use streetside ATMs not affiliated with local banks. Scam artists in Europe sometimes attach devices to these ATMs that are invisible to users but capture credit card information. To ensure your safety, only exchange currency or withdraw money from ATMs located inside banks. Look for ATMs that require card swiping for entry, and ensure there are visible security cameras aimed at the machine before conducting transactions. This precautionary measure can protect your financial information during your visit to Lisbon.

Once you know what scams to look out for in Lisbon, you can easily avoid them.

Is Lisbon safe?

Preventing Pickpocketing in Lisbon

Pickpocketing can be an unfortunate reality in any popular tourist destination, and Lisbon is not exempt from this. While the city is generally safe, it’s always smart to stay vigilant, especially in crowded tourist areas where pickpockets tend to operate.

We’ve learned over time that a little bit of precaution can go a long way.

We have some tried-and-tested strategies for keeping your belongings safe while exploring the city.

First off, keep your valuables close at all times – consider investing in a money belt or neck wallet that you can tuck under your clothes.

Also, remember to avoid flashing expensive items like cameras or smartphones around busy streets and markets as this could attract unwanted attention.

Another tip we swear by is having travel insurance which covers theft – it gives us peace of mind knowing we’re covered if anything does happen. It might seem like an unnecessary expense but trust us when we say it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Remember though, even with insurance you should still take precautions; don’t let a false sense of security make you complacent about protecting your belongings!

Is Lisbon safe?

Where to Stay in Lisbon

Lisbon is a city with many different neighborhoods, each offering its own unique charm and character.

We’ve found that the best places to stay are those that are close to public transportation. This not only makes it easier for you to explore the city but also ensures you can quickly get back to your accommodation at any time of day or night.

When choosing where to stay, safety should be one of your top considerations.

Baixa, Chiado, and Principe Real are all great choices as they’re central and well-lit at night. For female travelers especially, these neighborhoods offer a sense of security due to their bustling atmosphere even after dark.

For families looking for quieter spots while still being in proximity to Lisbon’s attractions, we recommend considering Alfama or Belem. These areas have less nightlife activity which means fewer crowds and noise during late hours.

Plus, these districts have plenty of family-friendly accommodations options available too!

Remember though – no matter where you choose to stay in this beautiful city always follow basic safety tips like keeping an eye on your belongings and staying aware of your surroundings.

We loved staying at Hotel White Lisboa in Saldanha.

One of our favorite hotels is Hotel White Lisboa. Read the review here!

Is Lisbon safe?

Best Time to Visit Lisbon

Choosing the best time to visit Lisbon can depend on what you’re looking for in your trip.

If you’re a fan of warm, sunny weather and don’t mind the crowds, summer is an excellent choice. The city comes alive with various festivals and events during this period. However, keep in mind that it’s also peak tourist season which means higher prices and crowded attractions.

On the other hand, if you prefer cooler temperatures and fewer tourists, consider visiting during spring or fall. These seasons offer mild weather perfect for exploring the capital city without dealing with extreme heat or cold.

Plus, rates are more affordable compared to summer months making it a budget-friendly option as well.

However, any time could potentially be considered as ‘the best’ time to visit Lisbon!

We enjoy Gelato daily when visiting Lisbon in the summer months.

Is Lisbon safe?

Do I Need Travel Insurance for Lisbon?


Travel insurance is one of those things we often overlook, but it’s crucial when visiting Lisbon or any other destination.

It acts as a safety net that protects us from unforeseen circumstances such as trip cancellations, lost luggage, medical emergencies, and even natural disasters. The cost of travel insurance depends on the coverage you choose and your age but believe us, it’s worth every penny if something goes wrong.

We 100% recommend SafetyWing for all your travel insurance needs!

We’ve had experiences where our flights were delayed for hours due to bad weather conditions causing us to miss our connecting flights. Without travel insurance, we would have been stuck in an unfamiliar city with extra expenses like hotel stays and meals while waiting for the next available flight.

But thanks to our comprehensive travel insurance policy, all these unexpected costs were covered!

Visiting Lisbon is generally safe and enjoyable but there are always potential risks involved when traveling abroad – accidents can happen anywhere at any time!

Having travel insurance gives you peace of mind knowing that should anything go wrong during your trip; be it falling ill or losing valuable items like passports or electronic gadgets; help is just a phone call away.

So yes, securing a good travel insurance policy should definitely be part of your pre-travel checklist!

Rossio Station at night.

Is Lisbon safe?

Emergency Information for Visting Lisbon

When we’re on the move in Lisbon, it’s always good to have some handy emergency information at our fingertips.

The main emergency number you should remember is 112.

This toll-free number connects you to police, fire, and medical services all over Portugal, including Lisbon. Don’t worry if your Portuguese isn’t up to scratch – operators are usually able to communicate in English.

If you need specific assistance like reporting a crime or lost property, there are dedicated numbers too.

For instance, PSP (Public Security Police) can be reached at +351 21 765 4242 while GNR (National Republican Guard) is available at +351 21 7500-000. If you lose something during your travels around Lisbon, hit up the Lost & Found service by dialing +351 808208208.

We also recommend noting down contact details for your home country’s embassy or consulate in Lisbon just in case of any unexpected situations that may arise during your stay here. It might seem unnecessary now but trust us when we say it could prove invaluable later on!

Remember though, these resources are for emergencies only so use them wisely and responsibly!

Is Lisbon safe?

Is Lisbon Safe FAQs

Is it safe to walk at night in Lisbon?

Yes, Lisbon is generally considered safe for walking at night, especially in well-lit and crowded areas like the city center. However, it’s always wise to take common-sense precautions, such as staying in groups, avoiding poorly lit or deserted areas, and keeping an eye on your belongings.

Is Lisbon friendly to American tourists?

Yes, Lisbon is known for its warm and welcoming hospitality to tourists from around the world, including Americans. The locals are generally friendly and accommodating to visitors.

Are there areas to avoid in Lisbon?

While Lisbon is a safe city, like any urban area, it has some neighborhoods where tourists should exercise caution. Areas like Martim Moniz and Intendente are known for occasional petty crimes, so it’s advisable to be vigilant in these regions, especially at night.

What should I be careful of in Lisbon?

While Lisbon is safe, travelers should be cautious of pickpocketing in crowded tourist areas and public transportation. Additionally, watch out for common scams involving petitions, unsolicited offers for assistance, and street games, and avoid using streetside ATMs not affiliated with local banks.

Why is Lisbon so safe?

Lisbon’s safety can be attributed to effective law enforcement, low crime rates, and a generally friendly and welcoming local population. The city’s emphasis on tourism also contributes to its safe environment.

Is Lisbon a dangerous city?

Lisbon is not considered a dangerous city for tourists. It has a reputation for being safe and welcoming to visitors. However, like any major city, it’s essential to exercise typical urban safety precautions.

Is Lisbon friendly to foreigners?

Yes, Lisbon is known for its friendliness toward foreigners. The locals are generally welcoming and accommodating to visitors from all over the world.

Do they speak English in Lisbon?

English is commonly spoken in Lisbon, especially in tourist areas, hotels, restaurants, and among the younger population. While Portuguese is the official language, you’ll likely find English speakers who can assist you during your visit.

Is Lisbon worth visiting?

Absolutely! Lisbon is a remarkable destination with a rich history, stunning architecture, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality. It boasts picturesque neighborhoods, scenic viewpoints, delicious cuisine, and a relaxed atmosphere that captivates travelers from around the world. Whether you’re interested in exploring historic sites, enjoying the coastal beauty, savoring delectable Portuguese dishes, or simply strolling through charming streets, Lisbon offers an array of experiences for every traveler. With its safety measures in place, Lisbon is not only worth visiting but also an enticing and memorable destination.


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Is Lisbon safe?

So, Is Lisbon Safe?

Lisbon, like any major city, has its fair share of risks. However, it’s generally considered a safe place for tourists to visit.

We’ve been there multiple times and each trip was nothing short of amazing!

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