The dark side of the sultry sun and sand – it’s funny how different crime rates are in the Algarve versus the Lisbon area (for foreigners and unwitting locals, that is). I spotted this article warning us to be even more cautious during the season of joy.
Explanations I suppose are seasonal employment, many immigrants, and heavy concentrations of tourists oblivious to everything but the beach. But crimes against foreigners in Lisbon are comparatively rare. Yes, you have to watch out: pickpockets especially on the “electricos” and in crowded neighborhoods with plenty of tourists (Baixa & Chiado). …and if you’re out after hours on an empty street especially in the Bairro Alto or Santos nightclubbing areas. …and the red light district, Intendente-Martim Moniz. Gypsies too – gangs of kids will watch you withdrawing money at the multibanco ATM. After you’ve entered your pin, they’ll shove you aside and withdraw the maximum cash.
Above all, beware parking your rental or foreign car – don’t leave anything visible.
Otherwise the Lisbon area is extremely safe for foreigners. After all, Portugal’s rated 16 on the global peace index. That’s right behind Germany and ahead of France. And you’ll know why when you hear the locals warn you with their exeedeing caution (“don’t carry your wallet in the back, hide your camera, clutch your purse!”