Neighborhoods to avoid in Lisbon and how to behave in dangerous areas
On the west coast of the old continent stands a city that we have compared to San Francisco, due to its similarities with the American metropolis with its” cable cars “, the steep hills, the welcoming atmosphere … not to mention the huge suspension bridge!But are there also neighborhoods to avoid? Unfortunately yes, as in every big city it is better to avoid some neighborhoods in Lisbon, or at least be particularly careful in some dangerous areas of Lisbon, at least potentially.
Neighborhoods to avoid in Lisbon and dangerous areas
First of all, it must be said that the Portuguese capital is one of the safest cities in Europe and that the neighborhoods to be avoided in Lisbon are substantially far from the tourist places and it is therefore very likely that visiting the city you will not find yourself in any of these.
Lisbon has always had a serious problem with pickpocketing and some areas, then, that is very much targeted. Some pickpockets are organized by the Romanian mafia so much as to have requested collaboration between the Portuguese and Romanian police in the past to resolve the problem. It turned out that even thieves are organized on a network that moves systematically throughout Europe with low-cost flights to make identification difficult.
Trams and the metro to Belem are a typical hot spot in this regard. Pickpockets often work in groups to distract you, or they are beautiful girls, even well dressed or as students, so as not to arouse suspicion.
Other districts in which to pay close attention, to avoid turning alone especially in isolated streets and at night are Intendente, Mouraria, Cova da Moura, Bairro Alto. Violent crimes are very rare in Lisbon, fortunately, but in these areas, it can often happen to meet “strange” people like drug addicts, drunk people or “pusher” who offer to sell drugs, often fake.
The peripheral areas around Lisbon are also potentially dangerous, such as the neighborhoods next to the train stations of Sintra (tourist city, but absolutely worth a visit) and Amadora.
Neighborhoods to avoid in Lisbon: areas in which to pay attention anyway
Especially when you are in the center and in the particularly tourist areas (and maybe in Lisbon it is more difficult to find non-tourist areas) you need, as in all the big cities, to always follow the rules of common sense, keeping your eyes open, beware of small scams, to the too insistent beggars (who could be fake poor who try to distract you to have you picked up by an accomplice) and the pickpockets themselves. I don’t know if you understood it (I repeated it only a dozen times so far …) but the biggest problem, similarly to other European capitals, is precisely the risk of pickpocketing. Particularly in the very crowded areas such as the typical, characteristic and fascinating markets (one of all the “ Feira da ladra”- literally” fair of thieves “).
However, it is very important not to walk alone at night even in areas where there are many bars and clubs to avoid problems with those who have raised their elbows too much.
You will then find some abusive parking attendants, which perhaps it is better to satisfy with a small tip rather than risk unpleasant consequences. For the rest, the insistent sellers represent the maximum danger. If we exclude the fact of falling so much in love with this wonderful city, its hospitality, its climate and the food we want to stay forever! And this too is a danger not to be underestimated!
Seriously, however, when traveling, keep in mind some general safety rules.
- Try not to express the fact that you are an easy prey with the typical clothing and attitude of a tourist.
- Adopt all common sense behaviors that are held in big cities, such as not showing off valuables, leaving nothing in view on the dashboard of your car, holding your bag or backpack in front of you when passing through crowded areas or at risk of pickpocketing , don’t show the money, keep the wallet in the front pocket and so on.
- Do not keep documents and money in the same place.
- Always contact authorized personnel and official taxi drivers.
- Behave in a respectful manner and avoid grumpy discussions and attitudes.
And so on.
Don’t be too scared Lisbon remains a very safe and above all very interesting city! Follow the general rules you’ll be okay!