Portugal : Safety by City
Portugal is a country that shares with Spain the Iberian Peninsula at the south-western tip of Europe. This country boasts a unique culture, picturesque cities that stay in your memory for years to come and fantastic countryside.
Back in the day, Portugal was one of the poorest countries in Western Europe, due to dictatorship that ruled the country before 1974, but with its end, and the start of Democracy which ultimately lead to its incorporation into the European Union in 1986, it has blossomed into a country people can’t wait to experience and its prosperity increased immensely.
Today, it is probably one of the most desired tourist destinations in Europe.
The reason for this is Portugal’s incredible diversity when it comes to landscapes and holiday opportunities.
You can see vast green mountains in the North and explore its trees and species for days, then move on to rocky mountains, with breathtaking slopes and falls in the Centre, and continue the trip in the near-desert Alentejo region and end it at the beach holiday destination Algarve.
Warnings & Dangers in Portugal
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Overall, Portugal is very safe to travel to. Its crime rates are very low, and pickpockets are the biggest concern you'll have to deal with while on a holiday there. Have your wits with you and be vigilant at all times.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Transportation and taxi services are very reliable and safe in Portugal. Watch out for pickpockets in public transportation and avoid entering empty metro carriages.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH
There is a high risk of encountering a picpocket, since this is a top tourist destination. You should be extremely careful when it comes to your valuables, keep them safe in your accommodation or at least don't carry them all in one place. Be especially vigilant on public transportation.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
There are no serious threats when it comes to natural disasters in Portugal. Occasional floods have been a recurring natural disaster the last century, followed by earthquakes, but those are unlikely to happen.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
When it comes to mugging, it is not common, though there is a certain degree of risk when it comes to this issue. You should avoid empty, deserted or poorly lit streets, and in such an occasion, hand over your possessions immediately and never resist.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
Although there haven't been any terrorist attacks in Portugal's recent history, they shouldn't be ruled out, so be aware of your surroundings at all times.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
As in any tourist destination, and especially a top tourist destination such as Portugal, there is a heightened risk of getting scammed. Check every change twice, negotiate everything beforehand and never give your money before you receive the service you're paying for.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Portugal is, in general, very safe for women traveling solo. Apart from a few precaution rules you should apply in order to minimize your chances of something going wrong, if you avoid poorly lit and deserted streets and follow your common sense, your trip should go smoothly.
So... How Safe Is Portugal Really?
Portugal is very safe to visit, and though it’s not without its dangers, some basic precaution rules might save your trip. Violent crime rates are pretty low, including conflicts, gang related crime or drug issues, and all violent crime is generally related to particular neighborhoods. Also, you can be safer at night than in majority of European countries, since in Portugal, there is a general lack of drunken people stumbling around streets after a boozing party in the city.
As everywhere, there are some areas, especially in Lisbon and Porto that are best avoided at night. Also , bear in mind that Portugal is not a pickpockets-free country, and that they tend to roam around the city and tourist-frequented areas. Be careful with your valuables and keep them in a safe place. The most usual places where they operate are crowded train stations, airports and shopping areas. If you’re using the subway, make sure you sit next to someone and avoid empty carriages. Pickpockets trying to steal any type of purse, luggage or shopping bag is a serious issue in Portugal, and there is even a voice message reminding people of this in most metro and train stations.
- Visas - For many countries, visas are not required for any stays shorter than 90 days. Any longer than that, you might have to obtain a visa. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months from your planned date of return. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
- Currency - Europe is the official currency in Portugal. Portugal is cheaper than most top destinations in Europe, but it's similar to Spain, so plan on spending between 50 and 70 euro a day including accommodation. ATMs are widely available and credit cards accepted in most establishments.
- Weather - Portugal is one of the warmest countries in Europe. It has a temperate moist forest climate, characterized by wet winters and dry summers. July is the hottest month in Algarve with an average temperature of 24°C and the coldest month is January at 12°C with as much as 12 hours of sunshine in August.
- Airports - The busiest airport in Portugal is Humberto Delgado Airport, sometimes referred to as Lisbon Airport and Portela Airport. It is located 7km from the city centre of Lisbon, Portugal's capital.
- Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Portugal, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems, but also theft and loss of valuables.