Last Updated on 1 February 2024 by Brittany
Portugal is one of the most popular digital nomad destinations in Europe in 2024. This is not only thanks to the great weather and Portugal’s digital nomad visa but also because of the best cities for digital nomads in Portugal.
Located in Western Europe with a long coast along the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal is famous for its stunning beaches, surfing, seafood, Port wine, and gorgeous cities. It’s no wonder why so many digital nomads flock to the country to work remotely.
One of the most important aspects of the digital nomad lifestyle is finding a great city with everything a remote worker needs. Whether it’s walkability and transportation, coworking spaces, or an affordable cost of living, Portugal is home to many cities ideal for digital nomads.
The Nomads Embassy team spent an entire month traveling through the country, scouting out the best cities for digital nomads in Portugal. With firsthand tips and recommendations, this article will help guide you on where you should call home in Portugal during your stay.
Why Digital Nomads Choose Portugal
Of all the beautiful digital nomad destinations in Europe, why do so many digital nomads plan to stay in Portugal?
Aside from some of the best digital nomad cities being in Portugal, there are plenty of other reasons why this country is a preferred destination for remote workers.
Affordable Cost of Living
For digital nomads originating in Western countries, such as the United States and Canada, coming to Portugal can be a relief on their wallets. Even some countries within Europe, such as Germany, can experience a lower cost of living in Portugal.
For a single person living in Portugal, the average cost of living is around 1,567€ per month, including a one-bedroom apartment in a city center.
Of course, there are certain cities for digital nomads in Portugal that will have an increased cost of living due to their popularity.
There is a growing trend of foreigners relocating to Portugal to live and create beautiful lives in the country. In 2022, there were 800,000 reported foreigners living in Portugal, which is double the amount from ten years ago.
Having international communities flourish in Portugal offers digital nomads opportunities to meet people from all over the world and experience new cultures all in one place.
Portugal is home to a great railroad network, allowing digital nomads who do not wish to rent a car to travel throughout the country. In just three hours, you can travel from the center of Lisbon to the center or Porto or from Lisbon to the Algarve.
Within cities, especially Lisbon and Porto, there are reliable metros, trams, and buses.
Additionally, rideshare apps like Bolt are readily available and affordable to take you wherever you may need to go.
Portugal is known for having impeccable weather, especially in the southern region of the country. In Lisbon and the Algarve, the winters are sunny and mild, making it a great winter destination for digital nomads.
Digital Nomad Visa
One of the top selling points for Portugal as a digital nomad destination is the official digital nomad visa.
For those remote workers meeting a certain income requirement and want to live in Portugal for one to two years, this is the perfect opportunity for them.
Entire families can relocate to Portugal with this visa!
Portugal’s digital nomad visa also leads to permanent residency after five years of living full-time in the country.
Best Cities for Digital Nomads in Portugal
As we’ve determined that Portugal is in fact a great digital nomad destination, let’s dive into the best cities for digital nomads in Portugal.
In 2023, there were around 16,000 digital nomads living in Lisbon. As the country’s capital, Lisbon is one of the best cities for digital nomads in Portugal.
Thriving with cafes, restaurants, nightlife, coworking spaces, and international communities, Lisbon has so much to offer remote workers. Plus, the reliable public transportation will take you virtually everywhere you need to go!
With over 300 days of sun each year, Lisbon has some of the best year-round weather, making it great for digital nomads who enjoy being active and exploring. Just be prepared to walk up those sloping hills!
The food options in Lisbon will surely keep you full and satisfied. With traditional Portuguese cuisine readily available, there are also plenty of international restaurants, with plenty of Asian options around.
Lisbon may just be the most expensive city for digital nomads in Portugal, but it is truly one of the best.
Heading up north to the second largest city in Portugal, we have Porto. Smaller and more manageable than Lisbon, Porto is my favorite of the best cities for digital nomads in Portugal.
The city is full of historic churches, museums, and towers to admire while you’re dining out at delicious restaurants or setting up for the day at a digital nomad-friendly cafe in Porto.
Equipped with a metro, trams, buses, and regional train lines, exploring Porto is easy and convenient. Plus, the center of the city is very walkable.
Porto is also more affordable than Lisbon, while still offering the same vibes and excitement as its sister city in the south.
Just between Lisbon and Portugal is another one of the best cities for digital nomads in Portugal. Coimbra is the fourth largest city in Portugal and is built around an ancient university. With hundreds of years of history roaming through the streets of this hilltop city, Coimbra is a quaint and quiet destination for digital nomads.
For those remote workers who don’t want the hustle and bustle of a major city, but still enjoy having things to do and events to attend, Coimbra may be the perfect spot for you.
With winding narrow streets, cute cafes, and grand cathedrals and churches, Coimbra has a history that is unlike any other.
While the hilltop medieval village is the central point for Coimbra, the town spreads out across and along the river. You’ll find cafes, restaurants, commercial centers, and parks throughout the town.
Coimbra offers a relaxing residential vibe with a medieval town backdrop. It’s great for digital nomads relocating to Portugal who want a sense of community but without the overwhelming feeling of a large city.
Just a 45-minute train ride south of Lisbon is the small fishing town of Setubal. For digital nomads who wish to experience a more authentic Portuguese city, then this is for you!
With a cute downtown near the water and a lively market open during the week selling fish, bread, pastries, and produce, there is a slower pace of life in Setubal.
There are a handful of cafes that are good for working remotely. During my time in Setubal, I frequented the modern coworking space Sitio a couple of times too.
The sunny weather in Setubal makes it convenient to explore the beautiful parks, small streets, and sandy beaches. There’s also a small peninsula across the way you can reach by ferry with white sandy beaches, golf clubs, and hotels.
Located in the northeast of the country is another one of our best cities for digital nomads in Portugal, Braga.
Braga is a medieval town close to Porto with gorgeous architecture, cathedrals, and castles. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants and even a couple coworking spaces for remote workers to join.
Full of character and history, Braga is ideal for digital nomads who want a slower pace of life while still having access to history, museums, and things to do. There are also plenty of outdoor activities, such as hiking and relaxing on river beaches.
Lagos, which is located in the Algarve is another one of the best cities for digital nomads in Portugal. Home to stunning beaches, rock formations, and a friendly expat community.
In fact, many people who decide to retire in Portugal choose Lagos to call home due to its ideal weather and proximity to the beach. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants throughout the city to enjoy. The city is also equipped with a public bus system and trains to help you travel throughout the country.
During the winter months the town grows quiet as tourists don’t frequent the area too much during this time of year. For digital nomads who want to focus on their work and lifestyle while in a beautiful and affordable destination, Lagos may be just what you’re looking for.
For the young digital nomad or family of digital nomads, Portimão may be the preferred city in the Algarve to stay and visit.
With some of the best seafood restaurants in the world, stunning beaches, outdoor activities, and a thriving nightlife, Portimão is often overlooked when it comes to finding the best cities for digital nomads in Portugal.
While small in size and population, it is a friendly and residential beach town that offers beautiful views and a relaxing lifestyle year-round.
While Madeira isn’t a city, it’s still one of the best places in Portugal for digital nomads. Madeira is a Portuguese island off the coast of Morocco and home to the world’s first digital nomad village in 2021.
Madeira has stunning landscapes and ideal weather year-round, perfect for the adventurous digital nomad. The dedicated village in Ponta do Sol also comes with community events, coworking spaces, and networking opportunities for the digital nomads who stay there.
From water activities to hiking to simply relaxing and enjoying island life, Madeira is arguably one of the best options for digital nomads in Portugal.
Where is the Best Place for Digital Nomads to Live in Portugal?
There is not one best place for digital nomads to live in Portugal. In fact, we just shared a handful of the best cities for digital nomads in Portugal above!
However, if you’re looking for the most popular place for digital nomads to live in Portugal, the answer would be Lisbon. With thousands of remote workers flocking to the country’s capital city to settle down, the thriving city has everything a digital nomad could ever want or need.
How to Move to Portugal as a Digital Nomad
There are many places that allow digital nomads to permanently move there, but Portugal is one of them.
With the Portugal digital nomad visa, remote workers can live in the country for one year with the visa or two years with the residence permit. This temporary residency can eventually turn into permanent residency after five years of living in Portugal and meeting additional requirements.
To be eligible for Portugal’s digital nomad visa, you must meet the following criteria:
- Have a valid passport
- Work remotely
- Earn 3,280€ per month
- Earn 4,100€ per month if applying as a couple
- Earn 4,316€ per month if applying as a family of three
- Have a clean criminal record from the last five years
- Can obtain international health insurance
You must also have to be willing to go through the visa application process, which must take place in your country of residence.
Learn more about the requirements and helpful tips for your Portugal digital nomad visa application.
Meet with an Immigration Lawyer to Start Your Portugal Digital Nomad Visa Application
Is Portugal calling your name? Are you ready to move to one of the best cities for digital nomads in Portugal?
You can start your Portugal digital nomad visa application with the help of Nomads Embassy’s hand-selected local immigration lawyers.
With our Done-for-You Digital Nomad Visa service, you’ll experience a seamless application process with legal advice and instruction to ensure your documents are compliant and you all of your questions are answered.
Request your free digital nomad visa eligibility assessment to get started today!