Lisbon’s Pickpockets, Sights, Sunshine, How to Spot - Who's Targeted

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Lisbon Sights, Sunshine and Pickpockets

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When writing about travel, it’s often easy to write about all the pretty places, great views, and sites to see. But, that isn’t always what readers need to know. How about all the weird things that happen when traveling? Do the same odd things happen to all tourists? Do things happen to solo female travelers, travelers 50 plus, or students. When I think of my recent trip to Lisbon, I remember Lisbon sights, sunshine, pickpockets and rain. In the winter and spring, it rains a lot in Portugal.

Lisbon’s Pickpockets, Sights, and Sunshine

Let’s start with the pickpockets because it happened to us in Lisbon. First of all, every city and town has pickpockets. Tourists of all ages, sexes, and nationalities are targets. I can say one thing I find interesting, this has happened to me twice in a group. Once in Greece and now in Lisbon.

Lisbon and Our Group

Our group wasn’t getting along well the day the pickpocket struck. We were having control issues, weren’t sticking together, and had stragglers. I think when walking, it’s important to walk with purpose. Can the thief mark you because they see the conflict and control issues? Here is when I noticed we had been followed: Lisbon Video scans the port.

In both of my two experiences, people in the group weren’t getting along; there was a disagreement. I wonder if pickpockets notice tourists traveling with problems? If you look at the photos for the day, to me it’s obvious. Our body language says we aren’t in agreement. Then add one person forgetting to move their wallet from their back pocket and we had a perfect storm for a pickpocket.


We Arrived Vasco de Gamo shopping Center across the street for Lisbon’s main Metro station, Oriente station.

Sights, Sunshine and Pickpockets

We started our second day sightseeing sites by taking the tram. I saw the pickpockets at the National Archeological Museum, Then, again I saw the pickpockets at the fountains and in front of the museums. As we walked through Belem, Lisbon, I worried the pickpockets would get us on the Lisbon Tram. We weren’t paying attention and we were disagreeing about everything.

Sights, Sunshine and Pickpockets

They got us at a square as we got tired.

They followed us the shopping area and to the Food Court. Did they get us there, probably not? They got us at a Square as we got tired.

They followed us the shopping area and to the Food Court. Did they get us there, probably not? They got us at a Square as we got tired.

Missing Wallet

The person discovered it missing when paying for tickets at the castle, Palas del Pene. Did it ruin our day? It caused a disruption, but, the person handled it well. He realized the thief couldn’t use the ATM or credit cards because his is super complicated, a requirement of Saudi Banks. Lucky person.

The only thing the thief got was his cash which was in Saudi currency, which he lost.  Canceling the cards is up to you, but this is how this person handled it and it will all depend on your card and situation.

I was amazed how well he thought through what to do, and how gracious he was under fire. Well done. Great job handling pressure.

Sights, Sunshine and Pickpockets

Who’s Targeted

Pickpockets target anyone who is distracted.  If your backpack isn’t under your arm, if your wallet is in your back pocket, if your cell is exposed – you are a target.

The pickpocket wants your stuff. Guard it or don’t carry it.

I share this story so you are better prepared when you travel. I also hope it makes you know you are equipped to handle anything just like my friend did. Travel makes us all stronger and better able to deal with real-life issues, and people. Not everyone is trustworthy out there, but I think most are good people.

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Kate started traveling for work. Now with grown children, who are travelers, she travels for pleasure looking for great travel experiences. Currently, her home is in Bellevue, WA, and lives with her cat Angelina Jolie. She has a Bachelor's of Fine Arts, Studio Arts and Art History from the University of Colorado, and from City University, Seattle, an MBA and Master of Arts, Management. Her favorite things are exploring cultures, traveling the world, creating a painting and sour foods.