Aisha Preece, the founder and owner of OutandBeyond, explains why Portugal is so attractive to digital nomads.
How To Become A Portugal Digital Nomad (Tips From A Current Nomad!)
Being a Portugal digital nomad is one of the ultimate aims for many digital nomads all over the world (including myself!).
As digital nomad culture is on the rise, Portugal is fast becoming a digital nomad hub, with plenty of digital nomad communities blossoming and even a digital nomad village being built in the country.
The infrastructure in the more popular cities in Portugal is also being enhanced to attract more digital nomads to come in and use Portugal as their digital nomad base.
Why Become A Digital Nomad in Portugal?
At this juncture, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about being a digital nomad in Portugal.
1.Portugal Is Your Gateway To Digital Nomad Europe!
Portugal is frequently referred to as the gateway to Europe. And for good reason too!
Portugal is strategically located in such a way that you can easily travel to the neighbouring European countries.
With this, you can use Portugal as your digital nomad base and easily explore other parts of Europe frequently without having to uproot yourself each time!
2.Portugal Is Rich In History & Culture
Did you know that Portugal has one of the oldest borders in Europe (with Spain), dating back to 1297?
If you are a history buff, you can explore the rich culture and heritage of Portugal and get inspiration to carry out your digital nomad tasks no matter where in this beautiful country you are.
3. Portugal Has A Great Quality of Life For Digital Nomads & Expats
The 2019 InterNations Expat Insider report ranked Portugal as the top country to live for foreigners who are living outside of their home country.
The survey covered a total of 64 countries. Each country had a minimum of 75 respondents. In carrying out the survey, the following factors were taken into account and considered:
- Leisure options;
- Health and well-being;
- Safety and security;
- Travel and transportation; and
- Digital life.
With Portugal ranking at No. 1 on this list, do you really need more reasons to book your flight, pack your bag, and get moving?
4.Portugal Has A Digital Nomad Village!
Portugal is also home to the first digital nomad village in Europe, making it one of the most unique countries in the world for digital nomads to visit.
Located on the volcanic island of Madeira, this quaint little village is called Ponta Do Sol. See here for more details: https://digitalnomads.startupmadeira.eu/about-us/
Once you are there, you can get a free workspace of a desk and a chair and you also get free wifi from 8.00am to 10.00pm.
You have to register in advance though as they can only host 100 nomads at a time.
Cost of Living in Portugal
One of the main reasons why Portugal is the go-to destination for freelancers, independent workers, and retirees is that the cost of living in Portugal is relatively low for digital nomads and expats.
Raw ingredients, fresh produce, fish, and meat are relatively cheap. The same goes for anything that is grown or reared in Portugal.
As such, it is probably more cost-effective for you to cook a quick meal for yourself as opposed to eating out daily.
If you do decide to have a night out, then according to portugalist.com, a typical meal that usually comes with a drink can cost between €5 and €12.
The Numbeo website, (which is the world’s largest cost of living database), provides a detailed breakdown of the cost of living in Portugal.
That being said, like almost anywhere in the world, how much you need every month in terms of cost of living will depend very much on which part of the country you choose to live in.
The popular Portugal digital nomad destinations may have a slightly higher cost of living than if you were to be based at the outskirts and more rural areas of Portugal.
Digital Nomad Visas for Portugal
Portugal is a member of the European Union and is also part of the Schengen Area.
As such, if you are a European Union citizen or if you are a citizen of one of the countries in the Schengen Area, you do not need to apply for a visa to enter Portugal.
However, depending on which European Union or Schengen Area country you are from, if you are planning to stay in Portugal for a long period, then you will be required to obtain registration certificates reflecting your long stay from the relevant authorities.
Additionally, if you are a citizen of any of the following countries, Portugal has special agreements with these countries to allow their citizens to remain in Portugal for 90 days within 6 months without the need for a visa.
These countries are:
- United States
- New Zealand
If you are from any other country however and want to be a Portugal digital nomad, then a Portugal travel visa may not be sufficient.
In such cases, it would be advisable to look into applying for a Portugal long term visa.
Different Types Of Portugal Nomad Visas
With the aim of attracting more digital nomads, Portugal has become one of the countries in Europe to grant long-term visas to freelancers and independent workers.
While it is not expressly called a digital nomad visa as far as official immigration papers and procedures are concerned, the Portugal national visa can broadly be divided into two categories.
Which category you fall into will depend on your intended length of stay in the country.
Top Destinations for Digital Nomads in Portugal
Portugal is made up of some of the best digital nomad cities.
There are plenty of popular destinations for digital nomads in Portugal for you to choose from.
Here’s a quick guide to some of the best cities for digital nomads in Portugal:
- Lagos, The Algarve
Lagos is most certainly a digital nomad hotspot.
Located on The Algarve, which is the stunning southern coastline of Portugal, this place is a digital nomad beach paradise!
The main attraction in Lagos is that the beach is a very short walk from the town center where most digital nomads work. This is great if you need to take a break and recalibrate your mind before heading back to your digital nomad work.
Lagos is also slowly working on its infrastructure to make it more digital nomad friendly. Lately, there have been more up-and-coming coworking spaces as well as several digital nomad-friendly cafes.
If you are planning to be a digital nomad in Lisbon, then you can rest assured that you are bound to have a wonderful time!
Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal. Rich in architecture and cultural heritage, Lisbon also has many museums for you to visit.
With a vibrant nightlife and social scene, Lisbon is the perfect digital nomad destination for those who are starting out in their digital nomad career as there is a huge digital nomad community in Lisbon.
Porto is another popular digital nomad destination in Portugal. It is the second-largest city after Lisbon. Porto is a great place if you want the feel of a city but not the hustle and bustle of the same.
The cost of living is also relatively lower than most Portugal digital nomad destinations and this is helpful when it comes to looking for properties to rent.
Porto is also a digital nomad favorite because it is home to plenty of coworking spaces.
If ocean views bring you peace, comfort, and focus, then Ericeira should be the top digital nomad destination on your list.
While Ericeira is popularly known as the surfing capital of Europe, it is fast becoming a digital nomad hub as well.
Like in other destinations around Portugal, there has been an increase in the number of digital nomad coliving and coworking spaces.
More importantly, Ericeira is within easy travel distance from Lisbon. So you can choose to be based in either place and travel quickly for a change of scenery if you need it.
If stunning architecture and beautiful gardens take you to your happy place, then Coimbra is the place to be as a digital nomad in Portugal.
It is a quiet town with all your essential digital nomad facilities.
You will not find any hustle and bustle here!
There are beautiful places to rent for your accommodation as a digital nomad in Coimbra. They are well-maintained and affordable.
Cool Coworking Places for Digital Nomads in Portugal
With Portugal slowly but surely becoming the digital nomad hub of Europe, coworking spaces are gaining popularity.
Coworking spaces are essentially shared workspaces that you can use if you need certain facilities like a heavy-duty printer or uninterrupted wifi.
Most coworking spaces have daily, hourly, or monthly charges depending on your needs and budget. You can also choose from hotdesk options, a dedicated desk, or even your own office suite.
Common facilities such as pantries and meeting rooms are also available at these coworking spaces.
Here is a list of some of the most unique coworking spaces in Portugal Some of them even have gyms, recording studios, and a host of restaurants nearby.
Popular coworking spaces in Portugal include:
- Cowork, Funchal
- Avilla Spaces, Lisbon
- Workup, Lisbon
- Cowork, Cascais
Best Places For Digital Nomads To Stay in Portugal
There is no shortage of digital nomad Portugal accommodation here! There are plenty of options to choose from and most of them are relatively affordable, depending on which location in Portugal you prefer to be based in.
- Co-Living Spaces
This concept is increasingly becoming a popular accommodation option for digital nomads in Portugal.
In a co-living arrangement, a group of people shares a living space. They each have their own bedroom but the common facilities are shared. This works best when like-minded people get together and share the space.
In fact, there are real estate agents and property management firms that specialize in co-living spaces.
Here is a great list of co-living spaces that have recently opened that have gained popularity among digital nomads in Portugal.
You can also check out coliving.com for detailed rates and to choose a co-living space in Portugal by city or town.
This accommodation giant needs no introduction!
Whether you are looking for long-term or short-term stays, Airbnb is bound to have something that works for you.
The flexibility of Airbnb is a huge plus and you may just end up with the accommodation of your dreams!
Some accommodations such as homestays may also have a cute cat or a dog living with you. Now that’s perfect!
3. Rental Properties
There are many private homeowners in Portugal who are looking to rent out either the whole or part of their properties.
This is a wonderful digital nomad option if you are looking to stay in a particular place for a long time. This is primarily because rentals such as these usually require a long-term commitment of at least 6 months to a year.
As such, if you are a digital nomad that is on a strict budget and constantly on the move every few days or every week, this may not be the best option.
Some of the more established rental agencies in Portugal that you can check out include:
If you are a Portugal digital nomad on a budget or if you are constantly moving around, then hostels are probably the most viable option for you.
Hostels in Portugal usually involve multiple beds in the same room, as such, there is unlikely to be any privacy. However, you will end up meeting plenty of new people!
If you are looking for a hostel in Portugal, HostelWorld is a great place to start.
If you are thinking about making Portugal your digital nomad base for the long-term, then there are certain facts about this beautiful country that you should be aware of!
Foreign Residents Are Entitled To Subsidized Healthcare
Portugal’s fully socialized healthcare system extends to foreigners as well.
Once you have sorted out the formalities of your residency, then you as a digital nomad are entitled to subsidized healthcare as well.
It may not be fully paid for but it is still undoubtedly a huge burden that is taken off your shoulders, knowing that any potential medical expenses will not come up to exorbitant amounts.
Foreigners Can Buy Property In Portugal
Compared to other countries, foreigners can easily purchase property in Portugal.
Portugal only requires you to have a personal fiscal number. This can be easily sorted out at the local tax office.
This is a great option if you are thinking of remaining in Portugal for the foreseeable future and are looking for a stable digital nomad base to work from.
Full article and links available at https://outandbeyond.com/portugal-digital-nomad/