Lisbon during the day is a very safe city, you'll only have to be careful with people selling drugs in the downtown area. They sell bay leafs instead of hash, so don't buy anything from them. As in any other large city be careful with pickpockets, they are everywhere.
At night Lisbon becomes a lot more dangerous specially around the nightlife spots. There are some areas to avoid like rossio and all the downtown area.
Fun Alternatives: Be always very careful with your things and never carry large amounts of money with you.
When leaving the nightclubs take a taxi, you'll have to pay more but some times it's the best (read my tip on taxis). Never go to the areas mentioned at night, on foot.
Nightlife in Lisbon has alot or movement, usualy that gives you a false sence of security, and in most poits of the city that's true but keep an eye out, never, ever leave your belongings unatended and watch out for groups of people, cause in case of emergency 112 will take its time. screem for FIRE (FOGO) if something bad occours.
Unique Suggestions: Bairro Alto,
A neighbourhood on one of the 7 hills Lisbon is on, It's one of the madest places to go out at night i've ever been. From Punk, to techno, to gay life, to fado and new tendencies you have everything, including the crime and drug dealers every 2 minutes, but.... It's well worth the risk
It seems that street crime can be a problem and we were only yards away from a lady in a very crowded square who had her handbag taken. 3 Police Officers were standing only a few feet away as well.
Unique Suggestions: Be very alert. Apparantly distraction tactics are common with thieves working in teams. Spread your valuables about your body or amongst your fellow travellers.
One scam which happened to me may have been because I was stupid here´s how it happened it was near Avenida Liberdade around 8:00pm.
A kid (around 18) came up to me starting talking to me in Portuguese. I started talking back in english. He made a kicking motion with his leg and said, "football". I proceed to make a kick motion, and he stuck his leg in between mine and started frisking me. I pushed him off, and checked myself and realized he stole my wallet.
He realized that I realized that my wallet was gone and gave it back. Then I started hitting him and he ran away.
Fun Alternatives: Needless to say if some kid comes to you speaking don´t talk to him and keep on walking.
When leaving a club make sure u are accompanied or have a car or take a cab since the chances are that you can get robbed like I did once. I was robbed near Bairro Alto.
Unique Suggestions: Make sure you can walk along with a friendly local, never go on alone, especially if you are a woman.
If you take the numer 28 electric street car, wich pass by old parts of the city and has great viwes, take care with the pick-pockets.!
Unique Suggestions: Travel with small amounts of money. Use the front pockets or a travell small pocket under your shirt and never put all teh money on the same place.
Fun Alternatives: Let your documents at the hotel : If you get stolen, it's just money that you loose. Police will understand if you inform where you left the documens and why. Use Visa Electron and if you use Visa, don't loose from your sight your card.
It's true Lisbon can be dangerous at night (especially certain areas) mainly the downtown, but a lot of it is exagerated. I've been to Rossio many times at night (not alone obviously) and have never been mugged, robbed or even close to that. Ok so it was before 11pm... still it was already dark. After 11 would be a different story though, so alays be careful as you would in any large city. I would mainly avoid the Intendente area, where most of the drug addicts and prostitutes are. I wouldn't even go there during the day. Be careful with pickpockets, that's the major thing in Lisbon.
If you go to ROSSIO (a beautiful square, halfway between Marques de Pombal roundabout and the river) try NOT TO LOOK LIKE A TOURIST. This is probably the only unsafe spot in town. Don't go there in your hawaiian shirt and camera... and don't go there by night. If you do this, everything else will be fine.
Leave your passport, driver's licence or any important document at the hotel safe. Only take photocopies with you. Don't put everything in your wallet or purse! Put them separately & inconspiciously.
My purse was stolen from my bag while I was trying on clothes in a crowded fashion store. I put my bag in between my feet, being aware that there're pickpockets around. However, I got distracted when I guy took my coat which I put on a clothes rack just behind me. I stopped him and he just walked away. I think that's the time someone else came and stole my wallet.
The next day up on Santa Justa Elevator, while taking photos, I was alerted by a young man who gestured that someone was trying to pickpcket me. They had verbal exchanges which I didn't undertand except caught the word "Policier".
Be alert all the time when you're a tourist everywhere you go!!!
Lots of people begging for money and many of them use it for drugs, and I know thats everywhere specially here in Puerto Rico. But I felt pretty safe in Lisboa!