Portugal is a secure and excellent country to live or to visit. The culture, its beaches, and the landscapes make this destination a perfect place, but your safety when traveling, whether alone, with your family and kids, always comes first.
Whether your destination is Lisbon, Porto, Algarve or otherwise, you should always keep in mind some of the following suggestions.
According to the Global Peace Index, Portugal is considered the 4th safest country in the world based on 23 indicators such as violent crime, political instability or criminal perception, ahead of countries like Canada, Finland or Norway.
The Portuguese people are known to be one of the most welcoming in the world, and like all places, special care must be taken in some areas of the country, but in general, you will not have many worries.
Is Portugal a safe country to live?
Yes, no doubt about that. I say it from my own experience.
Portugal is a great country to live in, it has excellent weather conditions and is a safe and politically stable country.
Of course, there’s no perfect country, but this piece of land near the sea can be proud of being one of the safest countries to live in.
It’s not a rich country, but the existing conditions ensure the well-being of the resident population, as is the case of the health system, the security forces or the low unemployment rate.
The Portuguese public health system is one of the best in the world, according to the Euro Health Consumer Index.
Portugal ranks in 13th place in the ranking of European countries, which proves its quality and care in providing health services.
Is it safe to travel to Portugal?
Whenever we travel to a foreign destination, it is good practice to keep in mind the risks we face and what steps we must take to avoid them.
The biggest cities like Lisbon or Porto or the more tourist regions like the Algarve are those that become the preferred targets of those who intend to commit a crime.
It is common in these places to have pickpockets who are looking for an easy target, someone who is more careless and draws attention, so always keep in mind the recommendations we give you to avoid finding yourself in an unpleasant situation.
Portugal is a safe country, but you must maintain the habit of protecting yourself and safeguarding your assets.
The big cities cause the most concern to tourists and the capital Lisbon does not escape that rule.
The most famous areas of the capital, such as Alfama or Chiado are visited by thousands of tourists from all over the world, and this attracts some unwanted people such as pickpockets.
These go unnoticed in the crowd, often disguised as tourists and practice their acts in a relaxed and fast way.
In spite of their ability, the most frequented areas of the city are also those most frequented by the police, who know these pickpockets and their methods.
Public transport is the most used means of transportation within cities, and the areas most frequented by tourists are also those most sought after by pickpockets, so be careful of your belongings and avoid bringing wallets or valuables in sight.
Take travel insurance for yourself and your family
It is good practice to have insurance that protects you when you travel. There are many solutions you can count on; here are two suggestions you can consult:
Avoid having a lot of money and keep your assets secure
Certainly, you will need to bring money with you, but avoid bringing lots of money and opt to use credit cards whenever possible, as not only is it more practical, but it’s safer.
If you bring valuables such as jewelry, cell phones or cameras, use a backpack (link to amazon with backpacks) to keep them safe.
Always have your embassy contacts with you
It is a practice that you should always keep in mind when traveling outside your country.
Keep your embassy contacts on your mobile phone and on paper and notify them of your presence in Portugal.
This will make it easier to get help if necessary.
Collect information on the existing transport network
Collect information about the existing transport network in the country to ensure secure and simplified travel.
You will find in Portugal a complete transportation system where there is no lack of the usual public and private passenger transport, like Uber or Cabify to move within the main cities, such as Porto or Lisbon.
In other regions, you can choose the bus or taxis.
Avoid less recommended places or places with not many people
It is important to keep in mind that whatever region you are visiting, you should avoid areas that are not recommended or are isolated.
Always prefer tourist areas where safety is visible, and there are always people nearby.
Do not become a target and avoid being careless
Certainly, you agree that being a target or drawing attention is the worst way to expose yourself in a place that you don’t know.
Avoid doing it and be subtle without drawing too much attention.Have local emergency contacts with you
No less important is to ensure that you have your local emergency contacts with you. In Portugal, the national emergency number is 112. Keep this contact visible on your phone.
Is it safe to travel to Portugal alone?
When traveling alone, you will need to pay special attention to your safety. Large cities such as Lisbon or Porto are the most visited by tourists which makes it easy to socialize with other travelers.
Although Portugal is a peaceful and good country, there are always additional measures that you must take when you depend on yourself.
Look for places with more people
This is a very important recommendation to keep in mind, walking alone in unknown locations is dangerous anywhere.
If you have to travel alone, try to do it during the day and never at night
Like the previous suggestion, walking alone in unfamiliar places can be dangerous, but doing it at night is even worse.
If you have to make a trip, choose your hours and avoid doing it during the nighttime.
Try to make friends in the places you go and in the hotels you stay in
This will not only make your stay safer but more interesting.
Making friends wherever we are make the travel more beneficial, and we end up meeting interesting people with very different backgrounds and cultures.
It is a way to enrich our knowledge and to spend some pleasant moments.
Choose to make group trips to more isolated areas and enjoy the moment to socialize
If you want to make local trips and see new points of interest, you can always do so using public transportation or city tour guides.
You can take guided and group visits, taking advantage to get to know new people and make new friends.
Never tell strangers where you are staying
This is a basic principle, but telling strangers where we are staying is not safe, as we never know their intention and to be safe, we have to ensure the confidentiality of where we are.
Avoid talking to strangers in isolated locations
While it is enriching to meet new people, you should be especially careful when and where you do it.
If you meet someone and are having a pleasant time with a stranger, always do so in a public place and avoid giving confidence or going to some isolated or private place.
Avoid drinking too much or losing control and becoming careless
It’s usual that you enjoy the time of your stay to have fun, and I ensure you that there are many places where you can do it, but you must pay special attention to the amount of alcohol you drink and make sure you stay sober and controlled.
Is it safe to travel to Portugal with family and kids?
When we travel with the family and bring children, we should pay close attention to them too.
There are hotels that are specific to families (put links to hotels with family filter on booking) where there are better conditions where activities are appropriate for children.
Always choose a hotel that offers these conditions to make your stay more pleasant and safe.
When you have to travel to a beach or visit a monument, avoid doing so during hot weather and more traffic.
During the summer months and particularly in the Algarve region, it is always very hot, so, therefore, avoid prolonged exposure in the hottest hours between 11 am and 5 pm.
Whenever you want to take a swim on the beach, be aware of the children’s movements when they play near the sea.
Here are the main recommendations for staying safe.
Always keep children under constant surveillance
Whatever the circumstances, never leave children unattended. Keep them safe and under the watchful eye of someone you trust.
If you need to travel alone, make sure that the hotel you are staying in is able to take care of your children while you are away.
Avoid crowded places and rush hours
Whenever you need to make trips or want to do sightseeing, avoid doing it during busy times and during the hottest period; the children will thank you!
During the summer, Portugal is a very hot country and for your safety and the safety of your family, manage your travel in advance.
Be careful in the hottest hours of the day, particularly in summer
In Portugal, a significant part of the tourists look for the beautiful beaches, and the summer months are those that provide the best conditions for this type of activity.
Enjoy the best that this country can give you, but avoid prolonged exposure in the hotter periods between 11 am and 5 pm.
Keep children’s belongings safe
When traveling with children, in addition to their belongings, you should also safeguard your children’s belongings, such as cell phones or other small objects that are easy to steal.
When traveling on public transportation, you should be careful where they sit and should prevent them from showing the goods they bring with them.
Is Portugal safe from terrorism?
Today, unfortunately, there is no country that can assure itself of being safeguarded from terrorist acts, but there are certainly some countries where it is less likely but not non-existent.
According to the official information provided by some government agencies, we can consider that Portugal runs some risk of being targeted with acts of terrorism.
Terrorist attacks in Portugal cannot be ruled out. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including places visited by foreigners.https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/portugal/terrorism
“Credible information indicates that terrorist groups continue plotting possible near-term attacks in Europe. All European countries, including Portugal, remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations.”https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Portugal.html
There are European countries that have already suffered terrorist attacks like France or Spain and for this reason, no European country is safe from such action.
According to statistics from the Global Terrorism Index published annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), it is clear that the risk to Portugal is among the lowest in the world.
This index is based on the data collected for the Global Terrorism Database which includes the incidents that have occurred since 1970 and is maintained by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) of the University of Maryland, College Park in the United States.
SoI hope you’ll able to gather a set of suggestions and measures that will help you to answer your questions about security in Portugal.
Whether traveling alone or visiting Portugal with your family and children, I believe that your stay will be unforgettable.
Take the safety measures expressed here, and relax in a country that has a lot to give you!