Portugal is fast becoming one of Europe's digital nomad hotspots. It attracts remote workers for its laidback lifestyle, magnificent landscapes, affordable cost of living, and delicious cuisine. Nomad Girl explores 10 Portugal digital nomads places to work and stay.
Portugal is one of those European countries that launched a digital nomad visa as part of the government's efforts to lure more foreigners into the country. Portugal has two interesting options for digital nomads wanting to stay longer than the 90 days on a Schengen visa. One is the D7 visa, which allows people to stay up to 4 years and can lead to permanent residency and citizenship. The other one is a Digital nomad visa which allows for stays of one year and can be extended for an additional year.
Also known as the D7 visa, the Portugal digital nomad visa allows you to stay up to 90 days in the country, with an option to extend your stay.
One of the most common questions digital nomads have when moving to Portugal is where they should base themselves in the country. While Lisbon is an obvious choice since it's the capital city, there are many other incredible destinations in Portugal to live as a digital nomad. These places offer many beautiful attractions and fun activities, allowing you to enjoy a perfect work-life balance.
So, if you're planning to move to Portugal as a digital nomad, here are the top ten places to consider.
As the country's capital city, Lisbon is an ideal base for digital nomads in Portugal. It's a picturesque city with a growing community of digital nomads, giving you plenty of opportunities to network with other remote workers. Famous for its UNESCO sites like Sintra and its rich Moorish history, Lisbon offers plenty of incredible things for digital nomads to enjoy.
Lisbon has everything you could ever need as a digital nomad. It offers plenty of long-term accommodations, from luxury villas to basic apartments. The cost will vary, but if you prefer to stay in the city centre, a one-bedroom apartment can cost you an average of $1,500 to rent monthly. These apartments have modern facilities and all the amenities you need to take up work, such as internet and a work desk.
On those days when you feel like working outside of your apartment, you'll find plenty of co-working spaces, thanks to the growing community of digital nomads in the city. You will also find plenty of great cafes to work from, with delicious coffee and decent internet speed.
The best part about living as a digital nomad in Lisbon is you'll have plenty of beautiful attractions to explore during your downtime. Ride the iconic tram, stroll through its historic neighbourhoods, indulge in delectable pasteis de nata, and visit the city's bustling markets.
Porto is another fantastic place for digital nomads to live in Portugal. It's a gorgeous city with so much to offer for digital nomads, from extensive history to buzzing nightlife and unique tourist attractions. Famous for its Port wine, Porto has a lively vibe and is an ideal choice for digital nomads who want to spend their weekends partying and indulging in delicious food and wine.
There is a lot to love about Porto as a digital nomad. For a start, it's fairly inexpensive compared to Lisbon. The city is stunning, home to the scenic Douro River, a UNESCO World Heritage site with beautiful scenery. Aside from taking a boat ride along the river, you'll find plenty of fun things to do in Porto. Learn about the city's rich history by exploring its lovely old town and visiting its beautiful ancient buildings.
If you're a wine lover, you'll love Porto even more. You could spend your days indulging in the deliciously fortified Port wine, with the opportunity to visit the city's top wine producers and explore stunning vineyards along the banks of the Douro River.
You will find plenty of affordable accommodations to rent in Porto for the long term. The average cost of a studio in the city centre is $1,000 per month. Like most places in Portugal, Porto has good internet coverage, and you won't have any issues working as a digital nomad in the city.
3. Ponta do Sol – Madeira
If you prefer to stay in a more laid-back place in Portugal while enjoying warm weather all year round, choose Ponta do Sol. Lying along Madeira's south coast, Ponta do Sol is one of the sunniest areas of Portugal and home to many beautiful beaches. You cannot expect to find many digital nomads and tourists in this beach town, allowing you to enjoy calm and tranquillity.
Ponta do Sol got its name from the presence of a rock that juts out into the sea and reflects the sun's rays. While you will probably spend most of your time at the beach, you'll also find plenty of interesting historical and cultural attractions, such as the Lugar de Baixo Palace and Nossa Senhora da Luz, famous for its intricate wood carvings.
Ponta do Sol is also an ideal base for exploring Funchal, the capital city of the Madeira region and only 30 min away from Ponta do Sol. If you want to take a break from work, you can spend a day or two in Funchal, which also has many interesting sights to explore.
Lying in the Algarve region, Lagos is a gorgeous beach town in the South of Portugal offering great weather, beautiful beaches, lots of fun outdoor activities, and good infrastructure. It has everything that a digital nomad seeks, plus spectacular landscape scenery.
Lagos is a compact beach town, so getting around is pretty easy, even without a car. Digital nomads living in Lagos can enjoy a more affordable cost of living, with studio apartments costing an average of $600 per month. If you get bored working in your apartment, take your laptop to the beachside cafes, where you can work surrounded by stunning ocean views.
When taking a break from work, spend your time exploring its walled old town and hike to the nearby cliffs of Ponta de Piedade, where you can enjoy the town's most panoramic views. If you're into outdoor sports, you will certainly not get bored in Lagos. You can go surfing, sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, cycling, mountain biking, and more!
For digital nomads who want to spend their free time riding the waves, you should consider staying in the small town of Ericeira, dubbed Europe's surf capital. It boasts eight kilometres of coastline and is home to many gorgeous beaches famous for their world-class waves.
Aside from surfing, digital nomads will find plenty of fun activities to enjoy in Ericeira during their downtime. You can chill out at the beach of Praia do Sul, explore the lovely Old Town lined with colourful buildings, and feast on mouth watering seafood dishes!
The cost of living in Ericeira is a bit on the higher side, which is expected, as it's a popular tourist destination. However, you will find plenty of affordable accommodations to rent long-term. You can expect to spend around $1,200 monthly for an apartment in the city centre.
Ericeira is an ideal base for exploring other beautiful places in Portugal. If you want to escape the town during the weekend, you can take day trips to Lisbon, Sintra, or Cascais.
Portimao is one of the larger cities in the Algarve region and an ideal base for digital nomads in Portugal. Lying along the banks of the Arcade River, Portimao is a popular holiday destination with amazing views, gorgeous beaches, a lovely marina, and historical attractions.
As a large city, digital nomads will find plenty of things to enjoy in Portimao. If you want to relax at the beach, visit Praia da Rocha, a 1.5 km beach with a vast swathe of soft white sands, giving you plenty of space to lounge around. For a peek at the city's culture and history, visit the Museu de Portimão, Megalithic Monuments of Alcalar, and the 17th Century Igreja do Colégio.
In terms of places to stay, Portimao has plenty to offer, depending on your budget and preferences. If you want to base yourself in the city center, expect to spend around $600 per month on accommodation.
Portimao has a growing community of digital nomads, so it's not hard to find a co-working space in the city if you feel like working outside of your apartment for a change of scenery.
7. Funchal – Madeira
Funchal, the capital city of Madeira island, is another place to consider if you want to become a digital nomad in Portugal. It boasts warm weather, beautiful beaches, and several historical monuments and museums you can explore while on a break from work.
If you're fond of history, head to the city centre of Funchal, where you'll find the Cathedral of Funchal, one of the city's historic landmarks. Stroll along the Old Town, where you'll find shops, restaurants, and cafes. On those days when you feel like eating out, check out the many great restaurants in the Old Town serving delectable local dishes.
Many digital nomads have moved to Funchal in recent years. Because of this, you will find many great co-working spaces and cafes you can work from. In fact, the city hosts digital nomad events from time to time, making it a perfect place to build your professional network.
8. Armacao de Pera
With breath taking scenery and great weather year-round, Armaçao de Pera is another place in the Algarve region that's becoming a popular base for digital nomads in Portugal. It's much quieter than more popular cities in the Algarve, such as Albufeira, Lagos, or Faro, which makes it an ideal choice for digital nomads who prefer to live and work away from the tourist crowd.
Despite being slightly off the beaten path, Armaçao de Pera has all the amenities digital nomads need. It has high-speed internet and affordable accommodations well-suited for digital nomads. You will also find numerous grocery stores, shops, and restaurants. During your work break, you can relax at the beautiful beaches or hike along its scenic hiking trails, taking you through stunning cliffs and picturesque rocky coves.
Armaçao de Pera is an ideal base for exploring the Algarve region. You can rent a car and spend your weekends driving around the region, visiting the nearby cities of Albufeira, Faro, or Lagos.
Cascais is a lesser-known city in Portugal, about 40 minutes west of Lisbon. It's a charming city and one of Portugal's hidden gems. Digital nomads living in Cascais will enjoy a slower pace of life, beautiful beaches, and plenty of fun things to do during a break from work.
Cascais is home to many beaches, where you can relax or swim between working. The most popular beach is Praia do Guincho, famous for its rugged beauty. In winter, the beach enjoys strong winds, making it an ideal spot for surfing. The other beaches worth visiting in Cascais are Praia Da Rainha and Praia do Tamariz.
The historic downtown of Cascais is a joy to explore. Its charming streets are pedestrian-friendly and home to great restaurants, bars, and cafes. If you want to go hiking, head to Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, where you'll find the scenic spot called Boca do Inferno.
Cascais is slowly gaining popularity in the digital nomad world, so it's not surprising to find plenty of coworking spaces and cafes in the city full of digital nomads.
Braga is a picturesque city in northern Portugal famous for its lovely churches and traditional monuments. While it's not the most popular city for digital nomads in Portugal, it's an ideal choice for digital nomads looking for a more affordable place to live in Portugal. The cost of living in Braga is cheaper than in the major cities of Lisbon and Porto, and you'll find affordable accommodations to rent for as low as $500 per month.
As one of the oldest Christian cities in the world, Braga is full of churches and religious sites, which you can explore during your downtime. Some notable attractions worth a visit are the Braga Cathedral, Biscainhos museum, and Centésima Página, a lovely bookshop housed in an 18th Century Baroque-style house called Casa Rolão.
Take your laptop to the gorgeous Santa Barbara Gardens, where you can relax and take up work surrounded by beautiful flowers. Check out the nearby stone palace that used to house the Archbishop.