Ideal for citizens of the world with restless feet.
Lisbon boasts a reputation as being one of the best places for digital nomads to live in Western Europe, with a low cost of living, fantastic local food, loads of sunshine and a super fast internet (17th in the world, if you’re asking). What’s more, the socialist identity of the country and the openness of its citizens lends itself to a convivial way of life which welcomes in remote workers with enthusiasm.
Should you be planning on moving to the Portuguese capital and make the most of the laid back life in the City of Seven Hills, then first, you should read these; our 5 tips for digital nomads moving to Lisbon, IDEAL for citizens of the world with restless feet.
If you’re a member of the European Union, you don’t need a visa to visit Portugal. But if you are in the country for longer than 150 days you need to register as a resident. If you’re from outside the European Union, check the applicable regulations that apply to where you’re from, though in general, Portugal is very amiable to foreign residents making it their home. UK citizens are advised to follow Brexit developments closely, as for now, residency is set to become a lot more complicated when 2020 ends.
If you have the funds, there are investment programs, such as the Golden Visa in Portugal. The scheme allows travellers to experience the best of both worlds, granting them residency rights in the country but allowing them to travel freely in and out. This includes access to the Schengen states due to Portugal’s EU membership, so opportunities really are unlimited for this type of traveller. This type of visa can be achieved via a €350,000 property purchase or investment in the country.
Another huge benefit of the Golden Visa, as real estate experts Property Lisbon advise, is that it ‘’grants family reunions in Portugal – investors may bring family members, provided they fulfil certain conditions. This includes parents and in-laws, provided the Visa holder can prove they are responsible for their financial support’’. Digital nomads looking to settle down more permanently may benefit hugely from such a scheme, as it allows easy and comfortable access to residency and can facilitate the convenient, consistent travel which defines that nomadism.
MEDIUM TERM STAYS
Speaking of property, finding somewhere to live in Lisbon can be challenging. Lots of flats have been taken over by Air Bnb, which could work to your advantage if you’re looking for somewhere temporary and transient at first, prior to finding somewhere to settle.
Behere is a useful app that links up folk looking for medium length stays with landlords of verified, serviced apartments, as well as co-working spaces, gyms and other amenities ideal for newbies in a city. They have a strong presence in the Portuguese capital.
Nomadix and Spotahome are also platforms offering rentals for medium length stays.
WHERE TO LIVE
In terms of where you should be looking to settle, Lisbon is a diverse place, with a whole host of neighbourhoods catering to different needs and types of people. Alcantara is a great area for digital nomads, a little cheaper on the rent and cost of living than more central neighbourhoods, and is home to LX Factory, which boasts hipster cafes, shops and one of the city’s best coworking spaces. It’s also served by the metro (on the red line) which makes jaunts into other areas easy as custard pie.
Alfama is also a popular neighbourhood for digital nomads, with the widest range of accommodation on offer. It’s connected to two Blue Line Metro stations, Terreiro do Paço and Santa Apolonia, the latter of which offers a launchpad to the rest of Portugal, should you be wanting to explore further! Alfama also boasts perhaps Lisbon’s most beloved landmark, Sao Jorge Castle, which sits atop the hill of the same name, and offers the finest views of the city and River Tagus.
Portugal’s healthcare system is one of the best in the world, and was ranked 12th globally by the World Health Organisation at the start of the millennium. The good news for folk moving to Lisbon is that healthcare in Portugal works much like the NHS. Named the Serviço Nacional de Saúde (SNS), accidents and emergencies, consultations and standard treatments are generally free, or at least, heavily subsidised.
For those under 18 and over 65, the service is completely free of charge, but a small fee is required for GP appointments and prescriptions. Dental work is generally free, too. You’ll have to register at your local medical centre in Lisbon once you’ve confirmed residency. For temporary stays, a European Health Insurance Card, which you can apply for via the NHS for free, can be used to gain access to healthcare.
MEET OTHER NOMADS
There’s a huge digital nomad community in Lisbon, and it’s both one of the most sociable and network-friendly scenes around. You can meet fellow digital nomads at Outsite Lisbon, or at one of the many brilliant coworking spaces in the city. Aside from the aforementioned LX Factory, there’s also the Second Home workspace, perched on top of the Mercardo da Ribeira, which is a firm favourite of ours.
The Lisbon Digital Nomads group on Meetup is another great platform for finding fellow freelancers and creatives. All in all, it’s an incredibly hospitable city for those who love to do work remotely. Lisbon’s superb cafe culture certainly helps that; the Copenhagen Coffee Lab in Principe Real and Comoba in Cais do Sodre are two brilliant places to do work and enjoy some superb coffee and pastries.
Whether you’re a copywriter or computer programmer, if you have an online-based job and enjoy working remotely, then Lisbon is a brilliant place to be a digital nomad.