Lisbon is among the most secure capital cities in Europe, and tourists are not exposed to dangers or hardships in general. The city is tolerant, liberal and diverse, thus perfectly safe for women, sole backpackers, and the elderly. That said, the biggest threats in Lisbon for foreigners are from experienced & well-disguised pick-pockets and the numerous encounters with “drug dealers”.
Portugal is a politically stable country, and the Portuguese are a welcoming and pleasant people. Tourism is crucial to sustain Portugal’s complacent economy, and the country invested huge chunks of money in the infrastructure and the training of high-qualified people who work within the sector. The popular sightseeing destinations in Lisbon are very safe, with active and respondent police presence during the daytime. Thus, crime-rates against tourists are very low. As long as you remain responsible, avoid excessive drinking and keep your common sense intact, you won’t have a problem.
Unlike many other European tourist destinations, tourists will not be subjected to continuous financial exploitation. You don’t have to drive in Lisbon too; public transport has well-coverage and cheap fares, while taxis are safe and inexpensive as well. By the way, English is widely spoken.
Tap water can be drunk, but the pipework in older buildings may cause problems. Choose carefully. Quality of food is always great due to strict regulations, and the healthcare is well-facilitated for emergencies.
Tourists to Lisbon should beware of the high presence of pickpockets in crowded and hefty areas, especially on the tram routes like Tram 28. These shady people are highly skilled but they much rely on opportunistic means, so target tourists who are being negligent. While on the trams, keep your valuable items in your visible pockets instead of backpacks, always wear neatly knotted rucksacks on your front, and be as attentive as you can when the stop is nearby. Almost always coming from Eastern Europe, these criminals do not necessarily fit in other visible stereotypes. They can be casually-dressed women.
Portugal has a very reformist and tolerant approach to drug use, classifying it as a medical problem instead of a criminal issue. While casually roaming around the central Lisbon, you will be approached by people offering drugs many times. However, the law enforcement is unable to arrest them directly or deal effectively with them as the mentioned “drugs” they are selling are little more than crushed herbs like marijuana. Just do not mind them.
Generally, central parts of Lisbon is safe & sound, and this includes the Baixa and Chiado districts with the area that encircles the Avenida da Liberdade as well. Lisbon’s most risky estates are located in the northwestern end of the city. That part hosts suburbs without any tourist spots to be seen. The districts of Intendente, Mouraria and Anjos (which is in the course of the green metro line) are considered as ghettos for the immigrants’, so it’s not advised to book a hotel in those areas. The Cais do Sodre district has now become a lively hub of the city from a very deprived condition. This area can be great for a careful night out, but one should be aware of the continuing elements coming from its shady past.