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A Complete Guide To Portugal for Digital Nomads (& Remote Workers)

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If you are longing for amazing weather, beautiful beaches, and want to friendly people, then Portugal is the place for you.

Portugal for digital nomads

Portugal for digital nomads is becoming more popular by the day, it has amazing places to set up your laptop and work and has a fantastic infrastructure setup for remote workers.

Portugal, located in southern Europe, is the oldest country on the continent. It’s even home to the oldest bookstore in the world. Portuguese locals love their coffee and wine. Fun fact: Portugal is the world’s largest cork producer.

Travelling to or living in Portugal should be on every digital nomad’s bucket list. Keep reading to learn all about remote working in Portugal.

Five Reasons Portugal is Great for Digital Nomads

Portugal is the ideal spot for digital nomads. Let’s take a look at what draws remote workers to this spectacular part of the world.

  1. It’s affordable. It’s known to have one of the lowest costs of living in Western Europe. From groceries to accommodation, budgets don’t have to be too high when working in Portugal.
  2. The weather is amazing most of the year. Portugal’s weather is typically warm throughout the year, with winter being the wet season. There is an average of 5-6 hours of sunshine per day. 
  3. There is reliable internet. Portugal features a high-speed internet infrastructure with WiFi hotspots throughout the country.
  4. It’s easy to communicate. Not only do many Portugal natives speak English, but they’re also very friendly. It doesn’t take much for digital nomads to feel welcomed and comfortable when they arrive in Portugal.
  5. There’s a strong foreigner community. Digital nomads can easily connect with other travellers in many Portuguese cities like Lisbon, Porto, and Braga.

Read More: How to Travel Through the Schengen Visa Free as a Digital Nomad

Best Cities for Digital Nomads: Deciding Where to Live in Portugal

Portgual for digital nomads is perfect for so many reasons and many cities offer the best of Portugal. Here are our top 3 cities where digital nomads are coming together. 

Lisbon

portugal remote workers lisbon

Portugal’s capital, Lisbon, is vibrant and filled with culture. It’s the perfect destination for digital nomads who enjoy working in cafes and coworking spaces (keep reading for the best ones). There’s a Meetup group for Lisbon Digital Nomads. It offers a great way to get together with like-minded people and explore Lisbon together.

While you’re in Lisbon, make sure you explore some historical sites. A couple of noteworthy ones are The Lisbon Cathedral and the Carmo Convent and Church.

For some mouthwatering Portuguese food, check out Time Out Market Lisboa. At Time Out, You can enjoy cuisine from over 40 different restaurants. 

Porto

Smaller than the capital, Porto offers a homey and cheerful vibe. Digital nomads are attracted to Porto because it offers a great quality of living. Also, its infrastructure continues to grow and it’s an excellent place to network.

Like much of Portugal, Porto offers a lot to history buffs. It’s even home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ribeira riverside. There are also museums and music concerts. 

For a quick day trip from Porto, Duro Valley is recommended for wine lovers.

Minho

Last up on our list of best cities in Portugal for digital nomads is Minho, the first Portuguese city. Like the rest of Portugal, it’s an affordable place to live and travel from.

If you love exploring stunning nature on your time off, Minho is the place to be. It’s located close to Peneda-Gerês National Park, Portugal’s only national park. If you’re a foodie and wine lover, Minho has you covered. 

Tip: DigitalNomads.PT is an excellent resource about Portugal for digital nomads.

Cost of Living in Portugal

As we mentioned, Portugal is becoming more noticed and visited by digital nomads. A top reason for this is its low cost of living.

While prices vary from city to city, costs are generally low no matter where you go. In fact, Portugal has been determined as having the lowest cost of living in all of western Europe.

  • Costs of accommodation: The average monthly rent inside the city is about 700 USD and outside the city is about 550 USD. Of course, there are prices outside of these averages.
  • Costs for food and drink: The average meal cost about 10 USD and coffee typically cost less than 2 USD.
  • Costs for transportation: The average one-way ticket for local transport is less than 2 USD and 50 USD for a monthly pass. Taxis are also available at an affordable price.

Cafes and Coworking Spaces in Portugal

As Portugal for digital nomads is becoming more popular, cafes and coworking spaces are booming. Check out some prime spots to work in the cities mentioned above.

  • Comoba Cafe, located in Lisbon’s city centre near Tejo River, offers delicious coffee and food. It’s laptop friendly and offers fast internet.
  • Mesa 325: Claimed to offer the best coffee in Porto, this cafe has a lot more to offer! The vibe is relaxing, there’s highspeed WiFi, and plenty of seating options to settle in and do some work.
  • Second Home Lisboa: This is a co-working space where entrepreneurs, innovators, and digital nomads come together in Lisbon. There are tons of plants that give a calming, jungle vibe and there is ample space to get your work done. 
  • Porto i/o: Offering 4 different co-working spaces throughout Porto, Porto i/o buildings are all uniquely historical. They each provide a network of digital workers to collaborate and work alongside one another.

Read more: 10 Best Websites For Finding Online Work Now

Downsides of Remote Working in Portugal

Portugal for digital nomads certainly has more advantages than disadvantages. However, here are a few potential downsides to be aware of.

  • Unless you want to become a tax resident and pay taxes in Portugal, you must limit your time to 183 days or less. If you don’t want to do this, 6 months is plenty of time to spend in and explore Portugal.
  • The language can be difficult to learn, but a few words go a long way. (We’ll discuss this more in a moment!)

Read More: A Guide to Romania for Remote Workers & Digital Nomads

Is Portugal LGBTQ+ Friendly?

This is an ideal choice for LGBTQ+ remote workers as Portugal has repeatedly been named one of the most queer-friendly countries in the world. Being the capital, Lisbon is the epicentre if you want to get involved with the local gay nightlife, clubs, or live in one of the particularly gay districts (Arroios and Misericórdia).

There are also laws protecting people of the LGBTQI+ community and while there is still some social conservatism within the general population, overall people are incredibly welcoming and friendly.

Do I Need to Learn Portuguese?

As mentioned above, learning Portuguese can be difficult compared to other languages. Some say it takes the same time and effort as learning Spanish. There are nine vowel sounds in Portuguese and several silent letters. 

The fact that many Portugal locals speak English makes communication very simple in Portugal. It never hurts to learn a few basic words and phrases. This allows you to experience the culture. Not to mention, locals appreciate it when you show any interest in their language (even if you don’t speak it perfectly).

Here are a few basic Portuguese phrases:

  • Olá – hello
  • Tchau – informal goodbye
  • Adeus – formal goodbye
  • Por favor – please
  • Tudo bem? – How are you?
  • Quanto custa? — How much does this cost?
  • Sim – yes
  • Não – no

Final Thoughts

Portugal for digital nomads is an excellent idea for many reasons. It’s a picturesque country that’s becoming a remote worker’s hub. There are so many ideal cities that are beautiful, affordable, and offer plenty of workspaces.

Read about European countries offering visas for freelancers, (Portugal is on the list).

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