Street crime, Lisbon
the "drugs" pushed on tourists actually are fake! its a scam with the ingredients being soap and other chemicals/herbs. this is why these "dealers" operate out in the open and police doesnt do anything about it.
Lisbon is a very safe city, but...
As everywhere, crime may be present, and tourists are the main targets to pickpockets. The official report of 2013 has been announced, confirming that idea.
They act mainly in public transport, and the typical trams of Lisbon demand extra care.
Be cautious (avoid paranoia) and you will have a nice stay.
cassiodoro theres no "islands" across the ferry u typical ignorant ourist.. check a map to see if theres islands there.. on the other side of the river there is a city called Almada, is where u can see the "cristo rei" statue.. Almada is so much better than lisbon yet we dont want no tourists around here check out costa de caparica its a beach area just near Almada and then u have beautful sights and no grey streets like in lisbon.. but u pale northern tourists should avoid here because we dont like ignorant zombies here
We were in Lisbon recently and the first thing we did was to take an overview of old Lisbon by taking Tram 28 from its terminus in Martim Moniz all the way to the terminus in Estrela. Since we boarded at the terminus, we were able to have seats. It was a leisurely ride passing through the historic sites like the Porta del Sol, Se' cathedral, Santo Antonio church, Alfama, Baixa, Chiado etc. I noticed though that the tram started getting crowded as tourists started boarding along the way. Passengers tend to stoop down to see the sights and this is perfect for a pickpocket in a crowded tram. On the return trip, we alighted in Porta del Sol to see the views of the River Tagus and the Pantheon then boarded another Tram 28 back to Martim Moniz. My advice to visitors, take the Tram 28, it's a great and cheap way to get oriented with old Lisbon. Board it at the terminus so yet can sit down, enjoy the sights and not be a pickpocket target.
My wife and I were in Lisbon recently and it was totally "incident" free. Of course it helped that we took the standard precautions of leaving travel documents, cash, credit cards and other valuables in the hotel safe. Also, just a lot of common sense and awareness. We are Asians so obviously will not blend with the rest of the crowd no matter how hard we try. We were all over Lisbon - we too Tram from Martim Moniz to its western end and back, walked around the Cathedral Area, went up to Castelo San Jorge, walked around Martim Moniz, Placa Figueira and Rossio, up the Santa Justa Lift, down Carmo St. to have bacalao lunch near the train station, up Gloria elevator to Jardin Alcantara and even the ferry/bus to Cristo Rei on the other side of the Tagus River. We also took the metro several times to and from our hotel in the Ave. Roma area. No problem. Just be alert and keep your belongings (cameras, bags etc.) close. Lisbon is nice and quite historic.
This route is purely for tourist and passes Castelo Sao Jorge, skirts the narrow streets of Alfama, the high view point of the river Tejo and charming district of Graça and the historic district of Graça.
As the streets are so narrow and steep the only trams able to make the rout are the old traditional yellow trams.
This route is very popular with tourists and can be standing room only during the middle of the day, for a relaxed journey plan to take the tram either early or late in the day.
This tram route attracts pick-pockets due to crowded nature and number of tourists.
So keep an eye on your wallet and bags
Avoid the high side of Parque Eduardo Setimo at night.Prostitution area.
Avoid to walk alone in Alfama, Mouraria and Castelo area at night.
Bairro Alto is a relative safe area at night.
Malls are safe so as most of the Metro stations.
Intendente ( night prostitution area) and Avenida da Liberdade so as the non car trafic streets that take you from Rossio to Tejo river area should be avoid at night.
Avoid to buy drugs. It's a crime and justice takes time in portuguese penal system. Don't buy any mobil phone or photographic machine that may be offer you in the midle of the street: or it is stolen or it is empty, without nothing that makes it work inside.
Hospitals are for free for UE citizens.
Just in case, make an insurance before.
Sandokan (please refer to DAO's post " THIS PICKPOCKET ROBBED ME" is still active. I met him on tram 12 leading to the Castle exactely a week ago. If you look at the pictures posted by DAO you will easily recognize him. He had a black hat, sunglasses and a training jacket put on his shoulders exactely as shown in the picture. He seated beside the entrance door (front door) just opposite the ticket validation machine. I did not notice anyone else souspicious with him.
Anyway, I've never felt in danger while staying in Lisbon, so in my opinion basic safety rules are enough to enjoy that beautiful city.
Just two weeks ago my family had hopped on the Tram #15 towards Belem for the day.
At the stop there was not many people waiting, but when it arrived at the Cais Sodré stop it seemed like they came out of nowhere.
My wife and daughter boarded ahead of me and my son. They got on with standing room only, but stood between the entrance doors. My son and I were stuck standing near the doors/ticket scanners. We were sandwiched in there like sardines or (sardinhas) within 2 to 4 minutes we stopped at the next stop and they ran off.
Moments later after the Tram got on its way, then I noticed my wallet had been lifted.
This was a group of 7 men that encircled my son and I. We are lucky that it was only my wallet, I had my mobile phone in the opposite pocket. And my son was carrying a camera.
I thought my wallet would have been safe in a cargo pocket lower on my pants, other than any other pocket. Guess not!!
Be careful with public transportation Metro, Tram and buses.
Photo: What did I expect?
I slippied my camera into my coat pocket rather than returning it to my handbag as we ran (hobbed in my case - I'd recently had knee surgery) to catch a tram to Belem on our first day in Lisbon. BIG MISTAKE!!!
The tram wasn't too crowded and I got a seat butby the time we got to Belem there was a group of youths crowding the exit. Being more concerned about getting off safely without hurting my knee, I didn't even think about the contents of my pocket - but someone on the tram obviously did because, just minutes later, I realized my camera was gone. Not a good way to start a holiday, though I suppose at least it was only the replacaeable camera I lost - at that point I hadn't actually taken any photos.
The Portuguese police were a model of courtesy and efficiency when I reported the loss, my insurance company covered the full cost of the lost camera and the spare memory cards and battery that were with it. My main regret is probably that the photos we have of Lisbon capture the city almost exclusively through MrL's eye -
"Take that," I asked him, pointing to the lovely wine-red and white facade of the Teatro da Trinidad.
What did I get? The Anglo-Portuguese Telephone Company building next door!!
(Anyone who knows MrL and his addiction to the telephone would not be the least surprised by this - I just didn't notice at the time!)
I thought I was a savvy traveller, I know pickpockets are an ever present threat in touristy places, I'm usually very careful - but I still got caught. I guess the lesson is - be very, very careful , it can happen to anyone - and travel insurance is definitely a worthwhile expense.
There are more and more skilled Gypsies in Lisbon now. There´s even Gypsy Mafias. The more hostile, mafia linked professional gypsies that work in groups work on trams (especially Trams 15 and 27, the one to the castle...or was it 24...one of those). BE AWARE of a pack of people that get on the tram last minute (they usually get on overcrowded trams or metros). usually, the men or boys will make a distracting scene, push through the crowded people, shoving and touching everyone (stealing and picking pockets), as the girls or old women stay up by the driver area, leaning close into people. I had one girl shove her hand into my purse (I felt THAT) as another one unzipped my jacket pocket (I don´t know how I didnt feel that) and take money out, zipping my jacket back up, so I only focus on my purse (where nothing was missing). I didn´t realize I was missing money until later.
CRUISE SHIP TOURISTS especially, BEWARE: As a huge mass of tourist get off the cruise ships (typically by the main square; I forgot the name, but it´s by the ocean and close to the suspensions bride. Huge open space), there are gypsies spread out, some dressed as tourists, some "pregnant" women gypsies, and gypsies with a coat or some sort draped over their forearm (so you don´t see them stealing) waiting to get between the crowds of tourists to pick pocket.
Don´t keep any valuables or cash in your purse or jackets. Keep you purse tightly tucked under your arm or under the layer of your clothes. Keep your passports and other valuables locked in a safe in your hotel room. Don´t keep anything in your pockets (unless you want to fool these terrible gypsies with fake monopoly money or something), Keep your eyes on anyone that you dont recognize or looks like a gypsy (or looks suspicious) and be aware of everything around you.
You also dont need to give money to beggers, children beggers, street sales people that hassle you, beggers with dogs, etc for they´re usually all the same gypsy community (gypsies are usually Romanian, if that helps). Don´t feel bad. They´re trained to take money from tourists in any way possible. They will even beat each other up to look more impaired for sympathy change. Remember, these are professionals.
If you do get pick pocketed, file a report at the Tourist Police station and give a full description of the gypsies that you encountered. The police only returns personal belongings and not money.
We parked outside the Museum of Tiles in Lisbon, adjacent to a public bus station on this well traveled street, thinking (mistakenly as it turns out), that it was a safe place.
When we returned to our car after our visit to the museum it had been broken into, the rear side window broken and one of our backpacks stolen.
Having problems with the language we called our friends Carlos and Gloria. Carlos helped us over the phone with the authorities and then later came to our hotel to meet us and see if we needed anything else, THANKS CARLOS, you were a fantastic help.
BE CAREFUL where you park in Lisbon, after we had the car and stolen items appraised and all the police forms filled out the kind tourist policeman who helped us informed us that this was an almost everyday occurence.
I recently visited Lisbon. I was walking with my husband and son along the main shopping street (near to United Colors of Bennetton) and turned to find a woman (one of three) with her arm inside my rucksack. I turned around in reaction slapped her on the arm. She pulled it out at once. She was with two other woman. They were small and dressed in what I can only call a "gypsy" style. I got the feeling that they were not Portugese. not sure which language they were speaking but she tried to speak German (badly) to me to deny her crime until they realise that I was English. They could only speak a few words of English. The other two stood behind her talking to her saying I was crazy. They disappear very quickly soon after and in the opposite direction to the one we had all been walking in . As there were no witnesses and no police to be see there was nothing I could do. At least she didn't not get my camera. I had no purse in my bag. BEWARE Lisbon is a hot bed for attacks on tourists.
A friend visiting Lisbon last year had her bag slashed in the same area.
Be very careful when travelling the ferry and/or train from Lisbon to the islands directly accross the harbour. DO NOT wear any jewlery, keep your laptops, cameras and cellular phones in the hotel safe. They begin with travelling the trains, find a target and then continue to follow you on to the ferry. They communicate with one another by texting as they check you up and down to see what may or may not interest them, or may ask you a question to see if you are a tourist (trying to find out what language you speak). You may reply and be in danger or, you may ignore, I suggest you ignore. We were followed from the train onto the ferry and on to the streets of Lisbon, no police officers or security in sight. Lucky for us, a taxi stopped at the end of the street, we jumped in and asked to be taken to the hotel. The sad part is that the gang members make it very obvious that they were ready to attack, they truly were stupid making so obviously that they wanted something from us (fyi, they were male and female Portugeese and Brazilians). Be alert and check your sourroundings!
Beware, eating outside in restaurants, particularly the tourist areas. Gangs of ''professional' thieves roam AND may be getting inside information (from either waitors or roaming buskers) on seating positions and potential targets. It certainly appeared to be common as indicated by the queue of 'victims' at the tourist police station all reporting similar incidents. One instance occured on a tram and another happened in front of us whilst dining although no-one saw the actual thief/team. My wife had her handbag pinched (amongst a group of eight friends)and its an annoying thing to happen. Use the hotel safe for everything, but try to avoid taking a handbag at all but also be aware of pickpockets. Its rife, and we will not go back to Portugal again, although the police were helpful in the incident report, i dont expect a happy ending.