Portugal Warnings and Dangers
There are plenty of reasons why Portugal should make your travel bucket list. But like any travel destination, there are also some potential warnings and dangers to be aware of before you visit.
Street Crime in Portugal
Portugal is no stranger to pickpockets and savvy thieves looking to take advantage of tourists. If you’re planning to spend the day walking around and stopping at the various attractions, leave your valuables back at the hotel. Your jewelry, watches, laptops, and cameras are best kept in the hotel safe. Having these items on display while you’re traveling in Portugal will make you a target. (Another tip: Don’t carry a lot of cash with you.)
If you just can’t travel the city without your favorite bracelet or camera to document your trip, just make sure you’re being smart and are always aware of your surroundings. Trains can be particularly bad when it comes to pickpockets, and bag snatchers are known to hang around central Lisbon.
Dangerous Places in Portugal
It’s not uncommon for homeless people, drug dealers, and mischievous youths to hang around popular tourist destinations. The area surrounding Porto Cathedral can be particularly seedy. The area behind Sao Bento station and the streets in Vila Nova de Gai are other areas to avoid if possible.
As you travel through Portugal, keep an eye on the time. If it’s getting late and the sun is starting to go down, it might be best to leave the rest of your itinerary for another day. And no matter what time of day it is, stay in pairs. Wandering the city alone is never a good idea.
Pushy Drug Dealers in Portugal
The drug dealers in Portugal can be a little pushy with tourists. Don’t be surprised if one of them tries to offer you something as you walk down the street, even in broad daylight. Simply ignore them and move on. Sometimes saying “no thanks” can egg them on.
More from SmarterTravel:
- Where to Stay in Portugal: Lodging Tips
- Getting Around Portugal: Transportation Tips
- Portugal Travel Guide: What to Do in Portugal
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about areas to avoid in Portugal.
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