Is Portugal a Safe Place to Live

Tricia Pimental I’ve been living in various areas of Portugal for the last six years and find it incredibly safe. In fact, the Global Peace Index, which rates 163 countries for safety, ranks Portugal number three.

The U.S. State Department rates Portugal a Level One, meaning take normal safety precautions. Some of this is obvious: don’t leave expensive items in view in your car, be mindful of your wallet/backpack/handbag on public transport, etc. In tourist areas in big cities, there will always be those looking to commit a crime of opportunity. Don’t leave your belongings on the beach and go off to swim or have lunch for hours. (Yet I’ve done this and never had a problem.)

Although terrorist threats can never be ruled out, Portugal is low on that danger list. The same applies to natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes.

One danger here is extremely strong ocean tides. There’s a reason Portugal has some of the finest and most dramatic surfing venues in the world. Each year people die by drowning because they ignored warning flags or swam in areas that have been marked unsafe.

I’ve lived around much of the United States and traveled in many parts of the world, and have never felt more secure than in Portugal. So breathe easy and consider visiting or relocating to this marvelous country.”

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Comments (2)

  1. Hey Tricia,

    You’re so right about Portugal. It really is a safe place to live if you mind yourself and become self aware. It’s the same no matter where you are in the World.

    I lived in the Algarve, Porto and Lisbon during my time in Portugal. Safety is always going to be a concern and because these are larger tourist area’s there is going to be a slight increase in theft.

    I’d still feel 100% safer in Portugal than I did in my native New York. It’s mainly kids involved in most of the crime and gun related incidents aren’t as prevalent as the US.

    Drug Related Safety?

    There is a very relaxed drug laws in Portugal too, that’s mainly why the crime statistics are so low. In fact drugs were decriminalised in Portugal since 2001.

    1. Hi Samantha,
      Thanks for reading and for your comment. I agree with you in every respect. And in fact, I was mugged twice in my native Brooklyn–at the ages of 10 and 16! Being a tough New Yorker, I emerged unharmed, but oh, how nice to live in peace and safety. Best to you.


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