Crime Information for Tourists in Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau is rated high for crime due to the frequency of crimes committed and lack of law enforcement resources and capabilities. Foreigners are primarily the targets of crimes of opportunity to include, petty-theft, pick-pocketing, theft of valuables from vehicles, and minor assaults. In particular, low-level criminal activity occurs in crowded areas such as the Bandim Market and port in central Bissau. Criminals take advantage of foreigners attempting to navigate through the crowded markets. Exercise good personal security practices to reduce the risk of being victimized. Keep a low profile, remain vigilant, and avoid potential conflict situations. Do not wear flashy clothing or jewelry, and be cautious about displaying any amount of currency in public.

To avoid theft do not walk alone in isolated areas, particularly at night, and lock all doors and close all windows when driving. Do not walk on dark streets at night, even in groups. To minimize inconvenience in the event of theft, carry copies, rather than originals, of your passport and other identification documents. While some of the larger hotels may accept credit cards, Bissau is largely a cash based economy and it is therefore recommended that travelers plan for and bring appropriate amounts of currency. Valuables should be stored in hotel safes.

In conjunction with the high crime rate, the poor infrastructure and lack of lighting at night also present a more opportune environment for criminals to exploit. It is recommended to arrange for transportation and limit walking around Bissau at night to reduce the risk of being a victim of a crime. In addition, banditry also occurs with some regularity on the main highways throughout the country after dark. The U.S. Embassy recommends that travel be completed during daylight hours only and, if possible, in convoy.

The unstable security environment and high rates of unemployment strongly influence criminals to go to extreme measures to achieve their goals. While most criminals in Guinea-Bissau seek crimes of opportunity with low risk of confrontation, they are not afraid to exert violence. In many cases, criminal elements in Bissau operate in small, loosely affiliated groups to perpetrate a crime. Criminals use one or two individuals to cause a distraction or remain on lookout, while the others commit the crime.

While violent crime towards foreigners are not common in Guinea-Bissau, the increase in narcotics trafficking has contributed to an increase in criminal activity and aggressive assaults among the local population in more rural areas of Guinea-Bissau.

The Bandim market and other vendors in Bissau offer a wide variety of illicit and counterfeit goods. While the items are widely available, all travelers are urged to not purchase any illicit items to prevent breaking local laws and U.S. laws if brought back to the United States.


You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.

All Countries
Afghanistan Akrotiri Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory British Virgin Islands Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burma Burundi Cabo Verde Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Clipperton Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Cook Islands Coral Sea Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curacao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Dhekelia Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Eswatini Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia Gabon Gambia, The Gaza Strip Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Holy See Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Jan Mayen Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, North Korea, South Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Macedonia Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Islands Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Reunion Romania Russia Rwanda Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Sudan, South Suriname Svalbard Sweden Switzerland Syria Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela Vietnam Virgin Islands Wake Island Wallis and Futuna West Bank Western Sahara World Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe
2019 edition