Portugal Travel Advice

Security travel advice for Portugal

How safe is Portugal?

Threat level: Low-Medium
The current travel advice for Portugal is to be cautious of petty crime, especially in popular tourist destinations. Portugal is a modern European country with very good security, medical and communication infrastructure.

In the 1990s, Portugal saw a sharp rise in crime of which now has significantly lowered, following the immigrant influx during the 2000s there had been a another peak in incidents involving tourists in the Algarve area. To date there has been limited security incidents, however as with most European countries at this time it is at a heightened threat of attacks from radical groups such as ISIS.

Although the general crime levels of Portugal is low, Portugal does have its problems with petty crime around the tourist areas, which is on the rise. There is some organised crime and pickpocketing, handbag snatching and theft from cars and holiday properties are common in major tourist areas. Some caution is advised to the surrounding areas of Lisbon cathedral. Also notable locations are Moorish Castle and Pena Palace in Sintra and beachfront areas of Guincho, Ericeira, Cabo da Roca, Boca do Inferno, and in the Algarve.

Personal drug use is legalised in Portugal, and as such the levels of dealers are high. It appears that offers of marijuana and cocaine are offered quite blatantly to tourists, to the point of harassment. This is particularly prominent in Lisbon.

2016 finds itself to be election year, and as such leading up to the October vote it is anticipated that possible demonstrations may occur. This in part is related to the austerity the country has faced over the past few years and rise in unemployment. Lisbon and Porto are the locations where most demonstrations occur, please be aware that transport and public services can be affected by such public gatherings.

As in the UK and other European countries, there is a rise in Portuguese nationals joining the Jihad with Al-Qaeda or ISIL. The FCO warns of “an underlying threat from terrorism. Attacks, although unlikely, could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers”.

Portugal's International Relations

Portugal is a primarily neutral country, having good ties to Europe. A founding member of NATO, United Nations, European Union and many other trade and international organisation agreements historically it has had Territorial disputes with Spain, however current relations between them is of favourable nature, as it is with much of the Iberian Peninsula.

Travelling around Portugal

Taxis scamming tourist is often an issue in Lisbon. It is often safer and easier to organise a pick up via your hotel. Caution is advised on public transport for petty crime, of which criminals will work in very well-organised groups. Transport such as the E28 tram to the Castle of Sao Jorge, E25 tram to Prazeres and E15 to Belem have been noted of prominent places to remain vigilant.

Extreme weather in Portugal

Portugal is subject to forest fires during the Summer period. It is recommended to monitor local media and look up the Portuguese Met Office website to check on potential risks during your visit to the country.

Emergency services in Portugal:

Police emergency: 112
Medical emergency: 112
Health line for emergencies available 24/7: 808 242 424
Sea Rescue: 214 401 919
Maritime Police: 210 911 100
Fire Service: 112
Forest Service: 117

Portugal Overview

Capital: Lisbon
Official languages: Portuguese
Religion: Christian (Roman Catholic)
Currency: Euro (€) (EUR)
Time now in Lisbon:

Consular information for Portugal

U.S. Embassy Lisbon
Avenida das Forças Armadas,
Telephone: +351 21 727 3300 or +351 21 094 2000
Fax: +351 21 726 9109
Email: conslisbon@state.gov
Email: lisbonweb@state.gov

British Embassy Lisbon
Rua de São Bernardo 33
PO Box 507,
Telephone: +351 21 392 40 00
Telephone: +351 21 392 40 21
Email: ppa.lisbon@fco.gov.uk
Email: portugal.consulate@fco.gov.uk

Visa requirements for Portugal

Citizens of the European Union, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Romania and Switzerland need only an identity card to enter Portugal.

Citizens from countries not mentioned above need a visa to enter Portugal, which may be requested at the Portuguese Embassy or Consulate of their country for stays of up to 90 days.

Citizens of the European Union, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Romania and Switzerland need only an identity card to enter Portugal.

Healthcare and Immunisations

It is advised that visitors to Portugal are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. It is further recommended that most travellers also get a Tetanus vaccination. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.

E.U. members are able to use their European Health Insurance Card to receive state-provided healthcare as a citizen of Portugal would. You should still purchase travel insurance as the EHIC does not cover you for all medical requirements such as evacuation. Non-E.U. visitors will have to pay for any medical assistance prior to treatment.

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      You are responsible for your own safety abroad and for making the decision to travel.

      The information contained in this Travel Advice for Portugal is provided for information only. Whilst care is taken to ensure that this country brief is as up-to-date and accurate as possible, it is provided on an "as is" basis without any representation or endorsement made and without warranty of any kind, express or implied. Intelligent Protection International Limited does not assume responsibility and shall not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.