Is Porto Alegre Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On November 7, 2023
Porto Alegre, Brazil
Safety Index:
* Based on Research & Crime Data
User Sentiment:
* Rated 54 / 100 based on 7 user reviews.

Porto Alegre is the state capital of Rio Grande do Sul and the biggest urban agglomeration of southern Brazil.

It is considered to be the perfect blend of Brazilian and Portuguese cultures.

It used to be safe but in the recent past everything changed and now it’s a city that isn’t exactly beloved by tourists.

The cultural houses are in bad condition – at least all the public ones.

You can see drug addicts and homeless people a lot more than ten years ago, and there’s a general feeling of unease.

Health and education are also in a big crisis right now.

Warnings & Dangers in Porto Alegre

Overall Risk


Porto Alegre is mostly unsafe and you should take precaution on the streets of major cities, and after dark. Be wary of pickpockets and bag snatching and keep your valuables safe by your side. Never carry all your money in one place or leave your valuables in plain sight in a car or at a beach when swimming.

Transport & Taxis Risk


Public transport is generally safe in Porto Alegre, though it has its dangers. Be careful on buses and bus stops since that's where pickpockets and petty thieves operate.

Pickpockets Risk


Pickpockets are a common occurrence on the streets of Porto Alegre and tourists are recommended to remain vigilant at all times when on the street. Make sure you don't flash your valuable possessions on the street, or better yet, leave them in your accommodation.

Natural Disasters Risk


There are some natural threats in Porto Alegre, such as dangerous insects and diseases they carry, and floods. Be on the lookout and follow the authorities' instructions.

Mugging Risk


Mugging is not altogether uncommon in the streets of Porto Alegre. In such a situation, hand over all your possessions immediately and do not resist. Avoid poorly lit and deserted areas.

Terrorism Risk


Although there haven't been any terrorist attacks in Porto Alegre's recent history, they shouldn't be ruled out so remain vigilant at all times.

Scams Risk


Scams are very common in Porto Alegre, so double check your change, never pay anything upfront and negotiate everything in advance. Be very careful around ATMs and be wary of people trying to distract you. Also, be careful around children as they're probably trying to distract you too - they are skillful pickpockets.

Women Travelers Risk


Traveling to Porto Alegre is somewhat unsafe for solo women, but bear in mind that you should always hike in the company, never alone. Stay away from poorly lit and deserted streets and areas and from people that are visibly intoxicated or under the influence.

So... How Safe Is Porto Alegre Really?

Porto Alegre is a city in one of the most criminalized countries in the world, and therefore, it is not the safest choice.

But if you keep your wits with you and follow rules of precaution, you will minimize the chances of something going wrong.

The golden rule in any Brazilian city – and by extension Porto Alegre too – is never to wear bling in public, or anything gilded, diamond-encrusted or oversized.

Avoid downtown after 7 p.m., never stay in your parked car at night, even if you’re just waiting for someone to come out of their house, watch out when stopping at red traffic lights everywhere after 10 p.m. – there are just some normal precaution rules for Porto Alegre.

There are some safe areas, of course, like Moinhos de Vento, Bela Vista, Três Figueiras, if you can afford to live there.

You are advised to always keep a small amount of cash with you (preferably cleverly hidden, concealed in a money belt under your clothes, in secret sewn-in pockets, or your shoes) and to avoid carrying bank cards.

Pickpockets have a bunch of creative diversions to distract you long enough for them to steal your wallet.

Never carry all your money in the same place and keep your belongings close to you at all times.

How Does Porto Alegre Compare?

CitySafety Index
Porto Alegre21
Rio de Janeiro43
Sao Paulo45
Belo Horizonte48
Calgary (Canada)82
Vancouver (Canada)82
Toronto (Canada)81
Buenos Aires (Argentina)60
Montreal (Canada)81
Cordoba (Argentina)61

Useful Information



Brazil has a reciprocity standard when it comes to issuing visas and the rule goes like this: whatever restriction or visa prices apply to Brazilians when traveling abroad, also apply to foreigners from these countries. If you are not sure about your visa status, contact your local Brazilian embassy for further information.



Brazilian Real is the official currency in Porto Alegre. ATMs are available throughout the city and are the easiest way of getting cash. Keep in mind that they sometimes don't work for non-Brazilian cards.



Located within the tropics, Porto Alegre is wonderful to visit all-year-round as it has four distinct seasons, each with its gorgeous charms. It has a humid climate with an average annual temperature of 19ºC.



Salgado Filho International Airport is the airport serving Porto Alegre, Brazil. It was originally called São João Federal Airport, after the neighborhood where it is located.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Porto Alegre, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Porto Alegre Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 25° C
Feb 25° C
Mar 24° C
Apr 21° C
May 17° C
Jun 15° C
Jul 15° C
Aug 16° C
Sep 17° C
Oct 20° C
Nov 22° C
Dec 23° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Brazil - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Belo Horizonte48
Porto Alegre21
Rio de Janeiro43
Sao Paulo45

Where to Next?

7 Reviews on Porto Alegre

  1. G
    Guilherme says:

    Used to be safe, not anymore

    I grew up in Porto Alegre, my hometown used to be safe and a nice and relaxing place to live, now it’s been ruled by drug lords and youth gangs. Porto Alegre is very dangerous, I would only recommend visiting if you know someone from there, otherwise choose somewhere else.

  2. Unfair

    Porto Alegre is a vibrant city with great people, great cultural life and great environment in general. It is an old city by Brazilian standards and it has some feeling of better days in the past (such as Buenos Aires), but it is a cool melting pot of different people. As any metropolitan area of 5 million in Brazil, it obviously poses danger to visitors and locals alike, and there are many issues concerning robberies and muggings.

    Nevertheless, it is simply not fair to point Porto Alegre as a highlight of crime of danger among Brazilian cities. Despite said by colleague above, things have been improving in the last 10 years and i assume the risk to say the city, today, is safer to the ordinary walker than any of the biggest Brazilian metropolitan spaces.

    The general feeling is somewhat more relaxed there if compared to São Paulo or Curitiba, not to mention Rio or the northeastern state capitals. Of course, as one goes farther from the city core, things tend to be worse, this also applies to the very city center, but generally in manageable levels.

    1. A
      American Tourist says:

      He's a local and full of bs

      It’s… not.

    2. M
      M. White says:

      Having gone to Porto Alegre 7 times in the last 15 years, I can tell you it is not safe. There are MAJOR issues that have yet to be addressed dealing with crime, drugs, you name it. I only went here because I had to for business otherwise you could not pay me. I was never able to sleep when I went so it was a bad experience made even worse for me. Thankfully the trips were short (usually only 3 days).

  3. H
    HUE HUE HUE says:

    Why is that?

    Porto Alegre is in the South, and the south is safe, but why is Porto Alegre so dangerous? This is bad. Porto Alegre isn’t hue’d. In fact, the city is fun.

    1. huh?

      what is that supposed to mean?
      The city can be fun AND dangerous. Just because it’s in the South doesn’t mean in safe (quite the opposite)

  4. M
    Marcelo says:

    Porto Alegre is now becoming safe again.

Porto Alegre Rated 2.71 / 5 based on 7 user reviews.

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