No matter how careful visitors are when holidaying abroad accidents can happen, and being able to deal with emergencies tests the composure of even the most levelheaded of travellers.
In Lisbon it’s rare to hear of any serious mishaps befalling tourists. Portugal does not have a serious crime problem and the country enjoys a reputation as a safe and peaceful destination.
But don’t be complacent. The usual precautions should always be adhered to: watch out for pickpockets, especially in crowded areas and on public transport – the city’s trams are favourite hunting grounds for light-fingered thieves. Here are a few travel tips.
If you do fall victim, Lisbon has its own Tourist Police Squadron stationed at Palácio Foz, in the Restauradores area. Here, English-speaking officers can file a report and provide hapless tourists with a copy (an essential document that all policy-holders will need to present in the event of an insurance claim). Unfortunately, it’s unlikely the police will ever make an arrest unless the perpetrator is caught red-handed.
If a passport is stolen, a replacement can only be applied for at the embassy that represents the nationality of the victim. American nationals will need to contact the US Embassy, located in Avenida das Forças Armadas. UK nationals should note that the British Embassy in Lisbon cannot issue new or replacement passports any longer. Instead, this process is undertaken in Madrid, Spain.
The number to call in an emergency is 112. Callers need to ask for the service required – police (polícia), ambulance (ambulância), or fire brigade (bombeiros). Most operators speak English.
Lisbon has several hospitals located in and around the city centre and any medical treatment is undertaken at the casualty department (serviço de urgência). For minor ailments look for a drug store, or pharmacy, indicated by a green cross sign, usually flashing.