04 September 2014 by Anna Staford
Breathtaking landscapes, incredible period architecture, unspoiled beaches, and mouth-watering cuisine – these are the things that you will experience when you go to Portugal. It’s no wonder that this country has been the favourite of tourists around the world.
But even with such lovely and tempting attractions, you would be foolish to not think about your safety while experiencing all these wonderful things. Yes, there are many things to see and do in Portugal, but only if you take proper care of yourself. Your safety (as well as your family) should always come first, especially when you’re in a foreign country.
Thankfully, the crime rate in Portugal is low compared to other European countries. But petty crimes such as pickpocketing, theft from cars and handbag snatchings are not uncommon, especially in tourist areas. You should be alert at all times whenever you are visiting these sites. Keep your personal things such as cameras, cell phones, and handbags close to you or within easy reach. Don’t leave them just anywhere you like or some nifty hands will get hold of them and you’ll never see them again.
When using public transport in Lisbon, especially the very popular 16 and 28 trams, be especially vigilant. These trams are often crowded and the possibility of being a victim of pickpockets and handbag snatchers is very high. It’s best to not carry all your valuables and cash in just one place. Put some of them inside your shoes, or any place in your body where they are safe, until you reach your destination.
If you are using a rented car for touring, never leave anything inside the car. They will attract the eagle eyes of car thieves. Petty thieves in Portugal know that those who drive rented cars are tourists who often carry lots of money with them.
In case you have been victimised by a petty thief, report the incident immediately to the local police and get a police report with 24 hours. You need this report for insurance purposes. It is therefore important for you to familiarise yourself with the location of the local police near your lodging or hotel, in case anything like this happens.
By being alert and safety conscious, you will be able to enjoy Portugal unscathed. All it takes is a bit of common sense but you never know what’s round the corner so you should have comprehensive travel insurance.