Nighttime shot of chaos in Lisbon's Santos neighbourhood

Despair as thousands of rowdy young people destroy another weekend’s sleep in downtown Lisbon

Residents and businesses in downtown Lisbon are in despair, due to the continued crowds of late night revellers that descend on the area every weekend, making normal life impossible.

The trouble kicks off once the bars close at 2am and continues all through the early hours in the areas known as Santos and around Cais de Sodré.

This is ‘nothing new’: the phenomenon has evolved since lockdown ended with a moratorium still in place for discos and other venues that would have accommodated late-night revellers.

Incidents of violence are commonplace: stabbings, particularly.

Indeed, on a national basis, there were stabbings in Porto, Lisbon and Faro last weekend – all in the context of late-night ‘get togethers’.

But the worst issues remain in the capital’s downtown neighbourhoods. Last weekend, a 20-year-old died after being shot twice in the head (click here); this weekend a 30-year-old man is in hospital from serious stab wounds following what reports describe as “an argument at the end of a night’s drinking”.

As police trawl through CCTV images – trying to identify the guilty parties – residents have told SIC television news that they have no option but to rent alternative accommodation, just to get some sleep.

Business owners too are struggling. Said Tiago Leitão, “this never happened before Covid”.

PSP police meantime have stressed that they have upped their patrols in Lisbon, and have intervention teams ready to act at weekends.

[email protected]