Street crime, Lisbon
I know people have told you this a hundred times but we still fell for it. As we were getting on the #15 tram from Belem back into Lisbon we got pickpocketed.The tram was very crowded and a man on crutches got off so I made way for him . It was clearly a distraction cos a moment after that my husband's wallet was gone from his shorts pocket! Not nice at all. Fortunately the people at the Pensao were incredibly helpful. We went to the tourist police and they said it is really common on 2 routes the 15 and the 28 to the Castle. You have been warned.
I got jumped by a bunch of black guys Saturday night, right after Marchas de Lisboa, in a busy nightlife area - Bairro Alto. It was brutal. They took my phone and gold chain from my mom, cut my head open and tried to take my wallet but I bit them. It was a night from hell. Could've been worse if they had knives or maybe they did. They didn't stop until I was covered in blood, there were police a block away and didn't do ANYTHING. After I got several stitches in the hospital I went to the Police Tourist Office to press charges. The agent tried to omit the fact that police officers were there and didn't help me. Their police seem completely corrupt!Believe it or not but I had a feeling something like that was going to happen. The city is very crime-ridden. I didn't see cops patrolling the streets anywhere, no security at museums and cathedrals, strangers trying to sell you drugs on EVERY corner...
I just got back from Lisbon (my 4th trip) and unfortunately had to witness a bag snatch.
We were sitting in a cafe in the north west corner of Rossio Square, just behind the taxi in this photo
There is a short skinny black guy who hangs about long enough for someone sitting at the edge of the cafe to snatch bags. The couple he targeted left their bag on a chair next to them ... he hangs around just long enough for the target to have a lapse in concentration and then he goes for it.
He was scoping us first but my friend and I both clocked him straight away, he has no reason to hang around on that spot so it's obvious he's up to something. I wanted to say to the couple that he's going to take their bag in a minute but you don't want to stick your nose in, do you?
Anyway, the guy went for it but he got caught by a couple of locals just meters away from the cafe. The couple got their bag back, the cafe waitresses came out to tell them to keep a hold of it, they told him to go...but he guy came back two minutes later and started hanging around on the same spot!
He's got no problem trying again...and nobody bothers to call the police though there are plenty of witnesses. He probably does this all day long until he gets lucky! And obviously it happens so much the locals don't bother calling the police. What was even more amazing the couple carried on with their lunch with the guy hanging just meters away from them!
So if you sit down especially at the edge of any street cafe, keep hold of your bags, best to wear a over the body strap one and don't leave things like cameras on the table.
Lisbon is a great city and as long as you keep a look out for anybody hanging around for no reason, you'll be OK. Don't have all of your valuables in the one bag either, keep monies, camera etc in a pocket, just have the bag for maps and a bottle of water- if it IS taken...no great loss.
It's like any city: use your head and you'll be fine. As I said this was my 4th time and it was the first time I've seen a street crime. I don't personally go to central Lisbon a lot though, I like to explore the "real" Lisbon and also tend to eat lunch and dinner in the suburbs.
It's not really a danger, but it's definitely one of the areas in central Lisbon where you should be a bit more careful - the Avenida Almirante Reis it's a long avenue that starts on Alameda and goes down to Martim Moniz(near Rossio), through the way it passes by some of the most difficult areas in central Lisbon: Anjos e Intendente. These 2 neighborhoods in particular have some problems with drug addicts and prostitution.
During the day there are always loads of people in the street, but it should be avoided to walk around by night, or at least be very aware of what's going on.
It's not that loads of things happen there, it's just that for a tourist it wouldn't be nice to fall into that place by mistake.
Have just come back from a 4 day break in Lisbon. Decided to get the airport bus (no 91) from Avenue Da Liberdade to the airport. As the bus arrived, 2 or 3 guys appeared from nowhere - one shoved in between myself & my wife & then helped her put her suitcase on the platform, I then put my suitcase on the platform which effectively meant my access to the bus was blocked. One (older) guy was very close behind me and holding a carrier bag which I assume he would drop any stolen items into. As I boarded the bus the 3rd guy slipped his hand into my (front) pocket where my wallet was situated, luckily I felt it and turned and pushed him away. They then disapeared as quick as they arrived. Most of the forums mention the pickpockets on tram 28 but beware they operate on the buses as well!
The Rua Augusta is a pedestrian zone full of shops, cafes and a few street performers. While in that area once, a lady came to me holding a map apparently to ask for directions. Her modus operandi was to put the map over the belt bag I was wearing to cover her other hand to open the bag's zipper where my camera was. Fortunately, my eye was quicker than her hand and I caught her sneaky hand. Of course I cursed her and shouted aloud that she was stealing so other tourists in the area who understood English would see and avoid her.
As tourists, we all carry maps from time to time and we do need to ask around occasionally. But one should be suspicious if a person who approaches you with a map looks like a local as they're suppose to know the place better than a tourist. Of course it's easy for a local to use a foreign language and pretend that s/he's a visitor too, or foreigners can be pickpockets as well.
Therefore in high-risk areas, always use a neck pouch for your wallet, money, credit cards, etc.
I felt safe in Lisbon.
However there seems to be a bit of a pickpocket problem. We saw it happening (little boy acompanied by someone like an older brother) in the trolleys when they are very crowded.
Nevertheless normal commonsense should prevent you from this.
Afterall i feel Lisbon as a safe city, but not everywere and not for everyone.
Lisbon as most of the capitals is getting more dangerous.
I wouldnt recomend anyone to walk in late hours in streets like Martin Moniz, Intendente, Casal ventoso, or Cais do Sodre hiding bars.
Those arent the only dangerous places, just perhaps the more known for prostitucion and drug trafic, so my advice is to avoid walking alone or in small groups at night, wherever you want to go becouse tourists attract robbers.
Isolated central areas are dangerous in Lisbon at night, stay in public areas where lots of ppl are.
During the day you are free to go everywhere.
The most common crime in Lisbon is theft from hire cars. Should you leave your car overnight in the street, there is every chance that your car will be broken into. Do not leave anything of value in your car. Use the safe that is on offer to you by your hotel.
Pickpockets and bag snatchers are also a problem and they have got their act together. Beware of people that brush up close to you or jostle you and don't leave bags and camera equipment unattended for even a moment. Avoid dingy, empty city alleys and back streets or anywhere else for that matter that doesn't feel right at night.
If you are the victim of theft, you must report it to the police and get a report copy, if you want to make an insurance claim. If your Passport is taken or gets lost, you must contact the consulate to get a replacement issued.
Lisbon is full of crime everywhere you go, I saw people getting mugged on the streets daytime, getting food poisining etc.. the city is danger by day and night so not recommended if travel alone. lots of people carrying a knife hanging out and looking for victims to use it on. weather wise if you travel on July or August ure risking your skin by getting burned as temp are very high and u cant even breathe normally. all in all, lisbon is pretty much like Chicago. if u can AVOID.
Lisbon very much wants to be a picturesque tourist attraction with beautiful buildings, great shopping and a happening nightlife. And, in general, it is. But there is another side to the city (any city really) and petty crime seems to run rampant here. I was mugged in Bairro Alto and no one really seemed surprised about that. So, here's my advice: don't talk to strangers in dark alleys, don't lend them your lighter, don't tell them what time it is, don't give them a cigarette! On a side note, smoking seems to be a sort of hazard here. If you don't want to be bothered, don't smoke in public. I had a homeless man come up to me while I was eating at a cafe and demand I give him a cigarette. Not, ask, he DEMANDED one. At first I resisted, but then I realized the only way he would leave was if I gave him one (and the staff certainly weren't going to kick him out). Even after that, he walked a few feet away and starting angrily stammering something about cigarettes.
Crime is generally low in Portugal, but petty theives are everywhere. I watched it happen in Porto (the theif was apprehended) and I saw a theif looking for a target in Belem. The worst places are any crowded tourist destination and public transportation. The crowds make it easy to escape detection. Don't take all of your money with you everywhere, use a hotel safe and make sure you have backup copies of your passport, birth certificate, etc in case you become a victim. Using common sense is the best defence.
It´s not difficult to get lost walking arond the narrow streets of old Lisbon.
Be careful if you are walking in Cidade Baixa, you could appear in Alfama. It´s no serios danger during the day, but i wouldn´t recomend to go there at night, it´s a marginal neightbourhood.
I think that it´s being 'cleaned'.
If you go from Praça do Comercio to Dom Pedro IV square on foot, you´ll be probably be offered any kind of drugs, from marihuana and hash to cocaine.
Just smile and say 'Nao obrigado' (no thanx) and continue walking, or even better, just continue walking without saying nothing.