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Lisbon Safety: Am I Safe to Travel to Lisbon, Portugal in 2024?

Planning a trip to Lisbon? It's a vibrant capital rich in culture, history, and landscapes. Like any city, it has safety concerns to consider.

Tobi Miles
March 31, 2024
Lisbon Safety: Am I Safe to Travel to Lisbon, Portugal in 2024?

Fear not, though. Lisbon is generally considered safe for tourists, with a low crime rate compared to other European capitals. But it's always wise to stay informed and cautious. In the next few lines, we'll dive into what you need to know about safety in Lisbon, from pickpocketing hotspots to navigating the city at night.

Key Takeaways

  • Lisbon is generally safe for tourists, with a lower crime rate than many other European capitals, making it a good choice for travelers interested in culture, history, and landscapes.
  • Petty theft, particularly pickpocketing, is the most common safety issue for tourists in Lisbon, so it's essential to keep valuables secure and stay vigilant in crowded tourist areas.
  • Tourists are advised to explore well-lit and populated areas at night, stay informed about the neighborhoods they visit, and adopt safety tips such as using anti-theft bags and RFID-blocking wallets.
  • Certain areas like Intendente, Martim Moniz, and Cais do Sodré have higher petty crime rates, so extra caution is advisable, especially after dark.
  • It's crucial to have access to emergency contact numbers in Lisbon, including the general emergency number (112), health line (808 24 24 24), and the Lisbon Tourist Police Station number (+351 21 342 1634), to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.
  • Always engage with local news, stay updated on travel advisories, and possibly engage with locals for up-to-date safety information, enhancing the overall safety of your visit to Lisbon.

Crime Rate in Lisbon

When planning your trip to Lisbon, it's essential to look at the numbers to understand the city's safety level. Lisbon's crime rate is significantly lower than that of many other European capitals, making it a relatively safe place for tourists and residents alike. According to the most recent statistics, Lisbon has seen a decline in general crime rates over the past few years.

Here are some figures to consider:

Type of Crime

Incidents per 100,000 Inhabitants

Petty Theft


Violent Crime




Though petty theft, including pickpocketing and bag snatching, is the most common issue tourists might encounter, these numbers show that more serious crimes, such as violent attacks, are relatively rare.

Being vigilant can greatly reduce your risk of becoming a target. Popular tourist areas, public transport, and crowded spots are pickpocket hotspots. Keep your belongings secure, stay aware of your surroundings, and avoid flaunting expensive items.

At night, Lisbon remains a city where you can feel secure walking the streets, thanks to the well-lit roads and the constant presence of people. However, it's always wise to stick to well-traveled routes and avoid isolated areas.

Remember, while data is reassuring, it doesn’t eliminate the need for common sense. Whether it’s day or night, staying informed about the areas you plan to visit and adopting a cautious approach will further ensure your safety in Lisbon. In doing so, you'll not only protect yourself but also ensure that your trip is as enjoyable and worry-free as possible.

Safety Tips for Tourists

Navigating a new city always comes with its challenges, and Lisbon is no exception. Despite its lower crime rate compared to other European capitals, it's crucial to stay vigilant to ensure your visit is as safe and enjoyable as possible. Research shows that informed tourists are less likely to encounter issues during their travels. Here, we outline essential safety tips tailored for tourists visiting Lisbon.

Keep Valuables Secure
Often, tourists fall prey to opportunistic crimes like pickpocketing, especially in crowded or tourist-heavy areas. In Lisbon, iconic spots such as Tram 28, Baixa, and Chiado are notorious for such incidents. It's advised to:

  • Carry bags in front of you or use anti-theft backpacks.
  • Avoid flashy jewelry or displaying expensive gadgets openly.
  • Use RFID-blocking wallets to protect your credit card information.

Stay Alert in Tourist Areas
While Lisbon's historic streets invite exploration, they can also be a haven for petty thieves targeting tourists. Areas like Alfama, Bairro Alto, and near the São Jorge Castle require extra attention, particularly at night. Ensure you:

  • Are always aware of your surroundings.
  • Stay in well-lit and populated areas after dark.
  • Preferably explore in groups during late hours.

Responsible Nightlife Enjoyment
Lisbon's nightlife is vibrant but enjoying it responsibly is key to your safety. Overindulgence can make you a soft target. To stay safe, it's crucial to:

  • Keep an eye on your drink at all times.
  • Opt for licensed taxis or ride-share services when returning to your accommodation.
  • Share your whereabouts with someone you trust.

Public Transport Safety
Public transport in Lisbon is generally safe, but staying cautious is advised. When using buses or trams:

  • Keep your belongings close, especially during rush hours.
  • Be mindful of pickpockets in crowded conditions.
  • Validate your ticket to avoid fines and confrontations.

Stay Informed
Lastly, keeping abreast with local news and any travel advisories issued by your embassy can provide insights into areas to avoid or recent scam trends. Knowledge is power and being informed is your first line of defense in unfamiliar territories.

Areas to Avoid

While Lisbon is renowned for its charm and vibrant street life, like any major city, it has areas that might be riskier, especially at night. Understanding which neighborhoods to be cautious about can significantly enhance your safety during your visit.

Intendente and Martim Moniz are two areas where tourists should be particularly alert. Once considered edgy parts of the city, they've seen considerable improvements in recent years. However, these areas still experience higher petty crime rates compared to other parts of Lisbon. It's not that these areas must be completely avoided, but extra caution after dark is advisable.

Cais do Sodré is another area that demands attention. Famous for its nightlife, Cais do Sodré attracts not just party-goers but also pickpockets and petty criminals, especially late at night. Stay vigilant if you're enjoying the bars and clubs here.

Recent data highlights these concerns. The Lisbon Police Department's report indicates a slight uptick in reported incidents in these areas, with the following statistics:


2021 Incidents

2022 Incidents




Martim Moniz



Cais do Sodré



Bairro Alto, while widely regarded as safe, transforms at night. The narrow, crowded streets become a haven for opportunistic theft. Enjoy the area's lively atmosphere but remain mindful of your belongings.

Bear in mind that generalizations about "dangerous areas" can be misleading. Lisbon's safety climate is dynamic, and areas undergo changes with city initiatives and community efforts. Always stay updated on current travel advisories and engage with local news to make informed decisions about your travels within Lisbon. Engaging with the locals can also provide you with up-to-date information regarding which areas to steer clear of during your visit.

Emergency Contacts in Lisbon

When exploring Lisbon, knowing who to call in an emergency can give you peace of mind. Portugal's emergency services are efficient and responsive, ensuring help is always a phone call away. Here are the crucial contacts you should have on hand during your stay.

National Emergency Number: Regardless of the nature of the emergency, the number to remember is 112. This number connects you to police, fire, and ambulance services. Calls are free of charge and can be made from any phone, including mobile phones without a SIM card.

Health Emergencies: If you require medical attention, SNS 24 at 808 24 24 24 is your go-to number. This health line provides medical advice and can direct you to the nearest health facility. For non-urgent medical consultation, SNS 24 ensures you receive the necessary guidance without needing to visit a hospital immediately.

For tourists, understanding local practices regarding health emergencies is essential. While all are entitled to receive emergency care, having health insurance that covers international travel can alleviate potential costs.

Tourist Assistance: Should you encounter any situation that compromises your safety or security, the Lisbon Tourist Police Station is specifically equipped to assist tourists. Located conveniently in the city center, they offer support in multiple languages. Their contact number is: +351 21 342 1634.

Type of Emergency

Contact Number

General Emergency


Health Line

808 24 24 24

Lisbon Tourist Police Station

+351 21 342 1634

Lastly, embassies and consulates can be vital resources in emergencies, especially for lost passports or legal issues. It's advisable to have the contact details of your country's embassy with you.

Equipped with these emergency contacts, you'll navigate Lisbon more confidently, knowing you're prepared for any situation. Remember, while Lisbon is generally safe, being informed and prepared is key to a worry-free visit.


Lisbon stands out as a beacon of safety for tourists, blending its rich cultural tapestry with a secure environment. By arming yourself with essential emergency contacts and understanding the city's support systems, you're setting the stage for a hassle-free adventure. Remember, having health insurance for international travel isn't just recommended; it's a cornerstone of smart travel planning. With this knowledge in your pocket, you're well-equipped to soak in all the beauty and excitement Lisbon has to offer, knowing help is just a call away if needed. So, pack your bags with confidence and embark on your Lisbon journey with peace of mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Portugal's National Emergency Number?

Portugal’s National Emergency Number is 112. It connects you to the police, fire department, and ambulance services, ensuring immediate assistance during emergencies.

Can I get medical advice over the phone in Lisbon?

Yes, you can receive medical advice over the phone by calling SNS 24 at 808 24 24 24. This service provides guidance in health-related matters.

Is there a dedicated police station for tourists in Lisbon?

Yes, the Lisbon Tourist Police Station offers specialized assistance to tourists. They provide support in multiple languages, catering to the needs of international visitors.

Should tourists have health insurance while visiting Lisbon?

It is highly recommended for tourists to have health insurance when traveling internationally, including to Lisbon. This ensures you’re covered for any medical emergencies.

How can embassies and consulates help in emergencies?

Embassies and consulates offer crucial assistance during emergencies by helping with lost passports, offering advice in legal situations, and more. Always know the location and contact information of your country’s embassy or consulate when abroad.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 31, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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