Portugal Digital Nomad Guide: 23 Things You Need to Know
Portugal, the oldest country in Europe: a country of wine, trendy cities and amazing surf.
Over the last few years, people have started to realize just how incredible this country is. Every year, more and more digital nomads are flocking to this idyllic western European nation.
But what makes it so great for working remotely? and what do you need to know before you arrive? Don’t worry, we have you covered.
Here is our extensive Portugal digital nomad guide!
Top 3 Things To Do In Portugal
Portugal Digital Nomad Guide
In this guide, we’ll tell you the most important things you need to know before you move to Portugal, which is in our opinion the best country in Europe for digital nomads!
The list below is in no particular order, but all combine to give you everything you need to know before you arrive.
By the end of this post, you’ll see why so many other digital nomads are choosing to live and work remotely here.
Table of Contents
What’s the Weather like in Portugal?
Portugal has fantastic weather with more than 200 days of sunshine per year and an average temperature of around 20 degrees celsius.
Lisbon is also Europe’s sunniest capital city, boasting an average of around 2800 hours of sunshine per year – beating Athens which has around 2770 hours of sun a year.
Is Portugal Safe?
The Portuguese take safety very seriously. In fact, in the Global Peace Index, Portugal ranks as the 3rd most peaceful country in the world!
If we compare that to its neighbors, Spain is 30th, Italy ranks 38th, and France is 61st.
There is one thing you will notice almost immediately compared to the more popular tourist destinations around Europe. It feels very, very safe for remote workers.
Portugal is a country that roots itself in common respect for one another. It’s part of their culture.
Does Portugal Have Beautiful Cities?
There are so many great Portuguese cities for digital nomads to explore, from Porto to Lisbon to Coimbra to Sintra.
This old country is full of cobbled, charming, aesthetically pleasing towns and cities.
If you’re going to be exploring the country, whether you’re heading for the national parks or wine country up north, you will also have so many beautiful cities to visit along the way.
Each of them has their own unique charm and are comparable to some of Europe’s major cities.
There’s so much to discover in this gorgeous country!
What Language Do They Speak in Portugal?
Portuguese is the predominant language spoken in Portugal.
However, there are also a number of other languages spoken in the country, including Spanish, Catalan, and Galician.
There is also a good level of English, as Portugal has many international tourists and English is taught in schools here.
Is Portugal Cheap?
The cost of living in Portugal is ranked among one of the lowest in western Europe. This could be perfect for someone that is just starting out as a digital nomad.
If you’re coming from anywhere where the currency is weaker than the euro, this can be incredibly helpful to your daily costs. It means you can do more with less, including dining out and experiencing the nightlife.
Even car rentals cost a fraction of what they would elsewhere.
Everything from grocery bills to a monthly rental will run you significantly less than other European countries, making it extremely attractive for many digital nomads.
Living here may actually enable you to save money to travel through the rest of Europe!
Flights to Portugal are also relatively cheap from most of Europe and you can even find great routes to North and South America!
READ MORE: The Best Countries To Live And Work
Does Portugal Have Good Beaches?
The beaches in Portugal are second to none.
Considering the coastline is nearly 500 miles long, You’re bound to find a beautiful spot to park yourself and take in some beautiful sunshine.
The country has also become very well known for its ideal surf conditions.
After all, the world’s largest wave was caught by a Hawaiian surfer at 90 ft!
A lot of surf accommodations have on-site instructors too, starting at around €15-30 a night for the bed with instruction included.
It’s a great option if you’re wanting to learn and still get that awesome community vibe.
What Continent is Portugal in?
This may be a no-brainer, but you might be wondering where exactly Portugal is located.
Portugal is located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. It is bordered by Spain to the north and east, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south, and Morocco to the south.
Portugal is a member of the European Union and is in the continent of Europe.
READ MORE: 7 Best Countries to Work Online
What is Portugal’s Countryside Like?
If you drive away from the coast and start going deep inside Portugal’s tiny villages, you’ll notice that the countryside is one of this country’s most stunning beauties.
If you happen to explore the remote villages, you’ll notice that the people are extremely welcoming and happy to see new faces.
You should definitely also venture out and visit Northern Portugal, beyond Porto and up to the beautiful town of Braga.
This is a great opportunity to escape city life, which can be overwhelming if you’re new to the country and spending all your time within cities.
Does Portugal Have Good Nightlife?
Nightlife is one of the most important aspects of ranking digital nomad hotspots and fortunately, Portugal doesn’t disappoint in this respect.
From the streets of Lisbon and Porto to the pumping seaside resorts of the Algarve. Portugal’s love for a night on the tiles is no secret.
Less known, however, is the country’s growing affection for afro house, which is being imported from Africa like it’s going out of fashion. The genre has found fertile ground in Lisbon’s clubbing scene but it’s poised to spread across the entire country.
Does Portugal Have Good Sunsets?
Portugal is famous for some of the best sunsets in the world.
Thanks to its west-facing beaches, remote workers here can see an amazing sunset pretty much every single day of the year.
And because Portugal is full of beautiful spots, you’ll never get bored of finishing work to watch the sunset over the ocean.
This is part of what makes Portugal’s relaxed lifestyle so appealing. You can walk straight from your co working space to enjoy a spectacular sunset over central Lisbon.
What is Portugal’s Coffee Scene Like?
The relationship between coffee and digital nomads is an obvious one. Remote workers generally need good coffee and great places to work from!
Luckily, Portugal has you covered.
This association might not be immediate, but Portugal colonized countries all over the world – like Brazil, Angola and East Timor – produce some of the world’s finest coffee.
So of course it makes sense that Portugal also has great coffee!
Does Portugal Have Good Coworking Spaces?
Besides the coffee shops, there are also lots of coworking spaces to choose from.
In both Lisbon and Porto, you’ll find a huge remote worker scene and you won’t need to look far for a new co working space. There are usually also weekly community events for new digital nomads to enjoy.
Because Portugal is still a growing digital nomad destination, you’ll also find there that is lots of free working space in the co working spaces here.
READ MORE: Co-Working Space vs. Coffee Shops
Does Portugal Have a Digital Nomad Visa Program?
If you’re looking to relocate to Portugal, you may be wondering if there are digital nomad visas available. Unfortunately, at this time, there is no Portugal Digital Nomad Visa available.
However, there are a few other visa options that digital nomads may be eligible for.
For example, the Schengen visa allows digital nomads to stay in Portugal for up to 90 days.
Alternatively, digital nomads could also apply for a residency permit, which would allow them to stay in Portugal for an extended period of time.
There is also the golden visa, which we will explain further below.
Whichever visa option you choose, be sure to do your research and consult with an immigration lawyer to ensure that you meet all of the eligibility requirements.
For more information, check out this great resource on moving to Portugal – Rebase.co/Portugal
What is the Portugal Golden Visa?
The Portugal Golden Visa was introduced in 2012 as a way to attract foreign investment into the country. To qualify for the visa, investors must make a minimum investment of €500,000 in Portuguese property or €1 million in a Portuguese company.
The visa allows holders to live and work in Portugal for an initial period of one year, after which it can be renewed for two-year intervals.
Holders of the Portugal Golden Visa also have the option of applying for permanent residency after five years, and citizenship after six years.
The visa has been particularly popular with digital nomads and other remote workers who are looking for a place to live and work that offers a high quality of life at an affordable cost.
How Big Is Portugal?
Portugal as a whole is a rather small country, both by land size and population. It is only the 19th largest country on the continent and the 17th most populated at just over 10 million.
It’s small enough for a digital nomad to easily travel across the entire country, but not to the point where it’s too small and everything can be done in a single day or weekend.
TLDR – It’s small but not too small.
Is Madeira in Portugal?
Yes, Madeira is in Portugal! You’ll just have to get a flight there.
Madeira, often known as the floating garden or the pearl of the atlantic, has been a vacation haven for British people for a long time.
Now it is also becoming a haven for digital nomads!
Madeira has a variety of rare attractions that you need to see to believe.
The island boasts turquoise coastlines, huge ancient valleys and epic mountains where the plant life is abundantly diverse. Add this to your Portugal bucket list.
Is Cristiano Ronaldo Portuguese?
Firstly, do not ask this question to a Portuguese person.
Cristiano Ronaldo is a cultural icon in this country and is most definitely Portuguese. But, you’ll be forgiven for not knowing that if you’re not a football (soccer) fan.
He is also widely regarded as the best footballer in the world.
This is most definitely something you need to know before visiting Portugal, as football is an institution here.
There is even a statue of Ronaldo in Madeira!
Do People Speak Good English in Portugal?
In general, the Portuguese speak fantastic English.
As with most countries, it is more likely that a younger person will speak better English than the older generation.
As a rule of thumb, if you’re struggling and need to ask for directions for example – find someone young.
But overall, people speak a good level of English in Portugal and basic conversations should not be a problem. This is great for networking as a digital nomad in a new country!
Interestingly, the Portuguese language itself is the ninth most spoken language in the world with over 230 million speakers.
So it could also be a great chance to learn a new language.
Are the Azores in Portugal?
The Azores islands often described as the Hawaii of Portugal.
The Azores will make you glad to be in Portugal for one. The Zorro’s hasn’t been overrun with expats so you’ll see some form of authentic Portuguese living with nine different islands to visit.
There are all equally stunning in their own way located in the north atlantic along 600 kilometers of ocean.
These islands not only feature world class beaches but also kinds of activities including geo-tourism bike tours, kayaking, golf, scuba diving surfing, paragliding, and even whale watching.
It is impossible to run out of things to do on your trip here.
How Busy Does Portugal Get?
Overall, Portugal is not as touristy or oversaturated as some other European countries.
This doesn’t mean that Portugal is completely tourist free.
However, in comparison to other countries such as Spain, it is well and truly less saturated.
Over time, this is likely to change, and already there is a growing remote worker / digital nomad scene – especially in Lisbon – so try to visit Portugal as soon as you can!
Does Portugal Have Airbnb?
Yes! Portugal has great options for both Airbnb and longer-term renting.
The Airbnbs generally have fast internet and usually set up with digital nomads in mind. In Lisbon for example, they will often display the internet speed within the listing.
They can be expensive however, as more and more remote workers with foreign wages move into the Portuguese capital.
There are also incredible hostels that are more like hotels, hostel dorms located in the heart of Lisbon range from as low as €10 to €20 per night, depending on what you are looking for.
Porto falls into the higher end of that range. Perhaps the best part about hostels is that they often include breakfast!
Does Portugal Have Good Roads?
Portugal has some fantastic roads and is a great country for road trips!
The roads are well maintained and very clearly marked. The locals are respectful and everyone seems to be able to share the road at an easy pace.
Renting a car doesn’t cost very much either. It’s the perfect recipe for a great road trip!
You can make your way along the coast of Portugal from Lisbon to Pharaoh in about 10 days and see a whole world of landscapes in between.
So there we have it!
Portugal Digital Nomad Guide Conclusion
These are our 23 things digital nomads need to know before coming to Portugal.
In our humble opinion, Portugal might currently be the best country in the world for digital nomads.
Of course, just like any other country in the world, Portugal is not perfect. It does have some drawbacks. However, the positives of this stunning country easily outweigh the negatives.
It’s also a country that is constantly getting more and more popular – so get to Portugal as soon as you can!
Thank you so much for reading.
What do you think of Portugal for digital nomads? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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