The Top 3 Cities in Portugal for Digital Nomads

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Posted by The Savvy Retiree on August 6, 2020 in Portable Incomes, Remote Working

The way we work is changing dramatically before our eyes, as the coronavirus has compelled companies in virtually every country and industry to embrace remote working. Once we emerge from this pandemic, this is going to open up the benefits of the digital nomad lifestyle to countless new workers.

As a professional writer and blogger, I’ve enjoyed the freedom to work from anywhere for some time. And the place I’ve chosen to pursue my digital nomad lifestyle is Portugal.

In my experience, Portugal is one of the best places in the world to work remotely. Excellent infrastructure and affordability aside, this laidback country in Western Europe is home to sandy surf spots, beautiful, historic cities, and a welcoming culture. In normal times, it’s also a major destination for tourists, retirees, and surfers, as well as RV dwellers such as myself, since it offers legal parking in hundreds of places along the coastline plus numerous camping spots.

As any digital nomad will tell you, however, traveling in a place is one thing, working remotely there is quite another. If you have deadlines to meet and commitments to adhere to, then a tourist town, while beautiful, may not make the ideal home base. Having traveled up and down Portugal, I have firsthand experience of working from countless locations, from its major cities to its small beachfront communities. Here are my top three locations for full-time remote working in Portugal.

Ericeira: Known as the surfing capital of Europe due to its incredible coastline, waves, and beaches, the thriving town of Ericeira is also a spectacular place to live and work. Only 40 minutes (by train or car) from Lisbon, it offers a way to soak up the country’s spectacular coastline while giving easy access to the business opportunities and international travel convenience of the capital. It is also home to numerous coworking spaces along with a variety of laptop-friendly cafés.

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Rental can be a little pricy in the center of Ericeira by Portuguese standards. Three- or four-bedroom houses can rent for €1,000 ($1,185) per month for a one-year lease. However, if you choose to live in nearby Lagoa, just 10 minutes by car, you can cut these costs significantly while still having easy access to this spectacular coastal community.

Porto: Portugal’s second-largest city, Porto offers much of what you’ll find in Lisbon, while being more laidback. This beautiful cobblestoned city has an established digital nomad community, with regular meetups and coworking events happening throughout the year.

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The cost of living in Porto is lower than in Lisbon and southern Portugal, which is one of the many reasons remote workers continue to flock to it year after year. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city runs only about $700. All in, you can live well on $1,550 a month. Moreover, with the efficient local airport and fantastic rail links, Porto offers easy access to the rest of Portugal and Europe.

Lagos: If year-round sunshine is your thing, then Lagos in Portugal’s famed Algarve region is the spot for you. Although a popular tourist draw, it offers an authentic small-town Portuguese living environment. This community of 22,000 is also blessed with a year-round moderate climate, with average temperatures ranging from 52 F in winter to 75 F in the summer.

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There are a whole host of digital nomad friendly café spots that offer extremely affordable coffees and refreshments along with reliable internet connections. Need a screen break? The beach is a two-minute walk from the center of town. Rentals in Lagos are affordable for the Algarve, about $900 for a two-bedroom apartment. The southern coast of the Algarve also hosts a large community of expats from the U.S. and Europe.

By Helen Victoria