Digital Nomad Guide to Lisbon, Portugal
Whether you’re brand new to digital nomadism or a seasoned nomad, Lisbon, Portugal is a perfect destination to live and work. It’s a popular destination for digital nomads, and for good reason. The city has great weather: mild winters, long summers, and about 300 days of sunshine! There’s amazing reasonably priced food and drinks of all types, and most importantly for digital nomads, reliable and fast wifi is plentiful throughout the city. Plus, there’s a wealth of cafes where remote workers can buckle down with their laptops.
The tech, start-up, and digital nomad scenes are all booming in Lisbon, making it an excellent choice for remote workers, no matter their industry. Based on Nomadlist scores, Lisbon is one of the best cities in Western Europe for digital nomads, and the 9th best digital nomad destination in the world! All of this makes for a community where you’ll be sure to form plenty of connections, both personal and professional. “Work hard, play hard” is the lifestyle that Lisbon digital nomads lead.
Here’s some tips and recommendations for you if you’re planning on spending some time as a Lisbon digital nomad.
Cost: Is Lisbon cheap?
As far as European countries go, Portugal is on the more affordable side, making it even more attractive to digital nomads who want to spend some time in Western Europe! Nomad List estimates the monthly cost of living in Lisbon to be $2,558, which is less than the cost of living in other nearby European cities like Barcelona, Paris, or London.
Safety: Is Lisbon safe?
Portugal is considered to be a very safe country, and Lisbon has great safety scores. You are at very low risk for major crimes in Lisbon, however, you should always keep an eye out for pickpockets. Hold on to your valuables when riding the tram, as this is where pickpockets tend to target tourists.
Getting Around Lisbon & How to get to Lisbon
Lisbon is an extremely walkable city. You’ll want to walk because the streets are so vibrant and charming. You never know what adorable cafe or cool boutique you might come across around the corner. The metro is very affordable, easy to navigate, and is the fastest way to travel longer distances in the city. It’s also one of the cleanest metros in Europe! The bus is another option, though not as speedy as the metro. Of course, you can also get around by taking the famous tram, for a more tourist-y experience. Uber is also readily available.
Visas for Portugal
For US citizens, no visa is required for stays under 90 days. For Europeans, Portugal is part of the The Schengen Area, making it extra simple for citizens from Schengen Area counties to travel to Portugal.
Digital Nomad Culture in Lisbon
There are a lot of digital nomads in Lisbon looking to foster a great community. You can meet fellow Lisbon digital nomads at Outsite, whether you’re staying as a guest or working in the coworking space. There are a bunch of other coworking spaces throughout the city where remote workers plant themselves to work, and these spaces often hold networking events that are open to people who aren’t members of the coworking space. The Lisbon Digital Nomads group on Meetup organizes events ranging from casual meet ups to coworking days to nomad parties! Not to mention, you’re bound to meet other nomads in coffee shops while you’re working from there.
Best cafes in Lisbon
This café was opened by freelance graphic designer Ricardo Galésio who wanted to create a café that was accommodating to remote workers. The simplistic nordic-inspired decor will inspire you to get to work, and there’s a great selection of international magazines on display to flip through for inspiration or when you need a break from your computer screen.
If you’re looking for high quality third-wave coffee and a place to work with reliable wifi, look no further than the Copenhagen Coffee Lab. It’s also a great spot for breakfast, snacks, and lunch. This one’s a favorite among Lisbon digital nomads!
The Mill is another great spot for third-wave coffee and wifi. The menu options are Portuguese with an Australian twist...and they offer all day brunch! Wifi is fast and there are a bunch of power outlets so you can plug in and stay a while. Heads up - this place is popular for brunch, so head later in the day to take advantage of the Wifi.
A small upstairs area with even more seating makes this spot great to buckle down and work at. Boa vida means “good life” in Portuguese, and here at Boavida you’ll be getting good vibes and good coffee. Plus, there’s a selection of seasonal food options, and of course, wine.
Wish, or, Wish Slow Coffee House in LX Factory is a light, minimalist vibe cafe with plenty of seating and a good amount of power outlets. You’ll often find digital nomads coworking here. Hang out here all day or head to another café in the LX Factory.
Where To Eat in Lisbon
You might recognize this spot’s famous Instagrammable pink menus and pink lattes from your feed, and staying in Lisbon is your chance to go yourself! The menu consists of all things breakfast. You can satisfy your breakfast food craving all day long here. Dear Breakfast is definitely worth the hype.
This huge market with over 30 food stalls is a must for foodies. There’s something for everyone here, including vegetarians and vegans, but we’d say seafood is probably the most plentiful option. You can even taste some Michelin-starred chefs’ foods at this market. There’s plenty of seating inside the food hall, but you can also take the food to go and eat over by the river. With several bars inside, this is a great spot to get your night started, too. (Plus, it’s just around the corner from Outsite!)
This Mexican restaurant is a favorite amongst locals and tourists alike. Get your taco fix here and score lunch special deals, like €8.50 for 3 tacos, coffee, and a fresh juice! Vegetarian taco options are available. They also have a great cocktail menu with strong tequila and mezcal drinks that pair perfectly with your tacos.
If you’re vegan, or just looking to try some vegan food, Ao 26 is the place for you. Many Trip Advisor reviewers claim they’ve had some of the best vegan food in Lisbon here, and some even say it’s the best vegan food they’ve ever had! You’ll find lots of vegan versions of traditional Portuguese dishes, even seafood ones. From vegan burgers to salads to desserts, they’ve got you covered.
Nightlife in Lisbon
Pink Street, which is literally a pink street, used to be Lisbon’s red light district. Now, it’s the home of plenty of clubs and bars perfect for bar hopping. Check out quirky Burlesque style Pensao Amor, Music Box for live music and guest DJs, and 4 Caravelas for specialty cocktails. With the wide array of bars on this street, you’ll be sure to find something that suits your fancy.
Bairro Alto is arguably the most popular neighborhood for going out in Lisbon. They’ve got something every type of music lover, from mellow jazz clubs like Paginas Tantas to o 36 which is one of Lisbon’s best spots for hip hop. For late night dancing head to Cheers Irish Pub & Disco, where you can get your groove on from 11PM until 4AM.
Nightclubs in Lisbon
In general, Lisbon is pretty big on nightclubs, and you have no shortage of spots to choose from if you’re looking to dance all night. At most of these clubs, the action won’t get started until after midnight. Some of the most famous and popular club are Lux Fragil (AKA Lux) and Incognito which have both been Lisbon nightlife staples for years.
Day Trips from Lisbon
Whether or not you’re a history buff, Sintra is a must see. You’ll be able to check out palaces, castles, and underground “initiation wells” in this magical city that feels a world away from Lisbon, even though it’s just about an hour train ride away. There are so many amazing architectural and historical structures to check out here that you can easily spend a full day getting lost. Sign up for guided tours if you want to learn everything about what you’re seeing, or just buy your admission tickets and stroll around yourself if you’d like to take things at a more leisurely pace.
Another great spot that’s also just about an hour away from Lisbon is the coastal city of Cascais, which has a laid-back beach town feel. There’s plenty to do outdoors here – rent a bike and ride along the coast, suntan on the sandy beaches, stand up paddle board, or surf. The waves here are good for beginners and intermediate level surfers, but you can also find spots with bigger waves if you’re more advanced.
Wineries & Vineyards
If you’re a wine lover, venture out of the city to check out some of the vineyards and wineries that Portugal has to offer. While Italian and French wine often get all the hype, Portuguese wine is absolutely delicious, and there’s a lot to learn about it! Sign up for a tour of wineries in the Setabul Region which is south of Lisbon, or travel a little bit further to explore a few of the many vineyards in the Alentejo region, which produces some of the best Portuguese wine.