Before the trip, most people look like little children, not only because they are overwhelmed with joy, but because we have a lot of questions in our head that we must find answers to before the trip. When we are planning our trip, first of all we want to know if the country of our destination is safe.
The safety depends on different factors: the level of education, wealth and health of the population, the corruption and mentality, the speed of emigration and the number of road accidents, etc. Let’s estimate Portugal according to these parameters.
Criminal gangs and night walking
They do not exist in Portugal at all. You can walk calmly during all day and night in any area of the country and don’t afraid of meeting with group of robbers and hooligans. That is why you don’t need a stun gun in your pocket. Basically, you don’t have to afraid of walking at night. But in some areas of the big cities, such as Lisbon and Porto, the walking at night can be uncomfortable more than unsafe. There sometimes people may come up to you with an offer to buy something prohibited, especially if you look like a tourist. It is better for you not to walk in the back streets alone.
All the world lives in fear to meet face to face with this anti-human act. Usualy this conflict is based on political interests. Attacks could be anywhere, including places, that are mostly visited by foreigners. Portugal keeps neutrality in all political disputes and doesn’t participate in wars. As a result, doesn’t have enemies in the world stage.
The only terrorist act in the history of Portugal happened in Lisbon on the 27 of July in 1983 on the territory of Turkish Embassy.
Here in Portugal verbal harassment is illegal, what means that foreigner, who travels alone, is protected by the law. Sometimes it happens, but more times it depends on our personal understanding of situation and behavior. Abuser knows the price of his act and you have to show that you know your rights.
Gipsy and Slip-and-Fall Gipsy Scam
Gypsies are not aggressive, but they can try to fool you. You should not take anything from them, because as soon as you do it, the gypsy will take your hand and begin to predict your future. It can be funny, when she promises a lot of good things and then asks to pay for the good news. But sometimes she says that tragedy await you in the future, so you have to pay her to change your fate.
Even if you do not pay her and do not lose money, such predictions will ruin your mood. If an elderly woman suddenly falls on you, after helping her, do not rush to let her go, but check your pockets, watches, jewelry and handbag. Her unexpected fall distracts you from your personal belongings, so it is easy to steel them.
Emigrants and discrimination
Some tourists may be scared by expats from Asian countries, trading on the streets of major cities in Portugal. Do not forget that these people fled from cruelty and troubles in the search of a better life, and not in order to rob and harm tourists.
Portuguese Constitution prohibits all types of discrimination. Among them are sex, age, language, religion, political conviction, sexual orientation and others. Foreign people who were the object of a crime have the same rights as any Portuguese citizen. They can receive medical and psychological support and report about de fact of violence to the law enforcement agency.
Natural Disasters, Epidemics and pandemics
Portugal is not marked by serious natural disasters. The biggest problem in this area is forest fires in summer. The territory of Portugal is also considered to be seismically active, but the only serious earthquake occurred in 1755. Today the tremors are so rare and weak that they are easily overlooked.
Recently, the whole world was experiencing a coronavirus pandemic. Portugal was not included in the list of undesirable countries to visit, and the spread of the disease was quickly taken under control. In addition, possible peddlers of infection, such as rats and homeless animals, are very rare in Portuguese cities.
Pickpockets and petty thieves
They are the main danger that can await tourists during the trip. Most often, these criminals operate in crowded places, where congestion of foreigners are observed: transport, queue at the ticket office, places of interest.
Ordinary beggars on the streets are not pickpockets to be feared. At least because they openly declare that they need your money. It would be foolish to try to steal your wallet after this confession, because you are already on the alert.
In Portugal, animals are treated with care. You will never meet fighting dogs on the street or on the beach, and you will not see an owner, who beats his dog. Therefore, pets are non-aggressive for the strangers and you don’t have to be afraid of animal, even if you suffer from a cynophobia. There are very few stray animals on the streets. The government controls this issue and accepts complaints from citizens. Neither humans nor animals in Portugal hurt each other.
Road accidents and murders
The highways in Portugal are perfect. Traffic rules are rarely broken. The rare exception is speed violation. In cities, the streets are narrow and drivers drive slowly and carefully. In 2016, the homicide rate in Portugal was 0,6 per 100,000 population. In 2016, 63 murders were committed in Portugal with a population of the country about ten million people.
Portugal is super safe for tourism and living despite pick-pocketing. The level of violence and terrorism is very low. It is also unlikely that you will face discrimination, robbery or suffer in a terrorist act. You can feel safe. The threat of crime, terrorism, natural disasters or health problems – all this is very unlikely – the only thing you really need to worry about is petty thefts. Just be careful, take care of your valuables.