For years, Paul and I have heard about Lisbon being one of Europe’s most digital nomad-friendly cities. So, when the opportunity came to move there for two months and ride out winter, that’s what we did!
Sure, we’ve spent a few days in Lisbon prior to our move so we were kind of familiar with what to expect from the bright, sunny city. But living somewhere is very different than visiting!
During our digital nomad life in Lisbon, we were able to explore much deeper than before.
I made a list to save all my favorite places to visit, cafes to work at, and all my tips from exploring and discovering the city for two months, which I share with you down below.
Keep reading to get the scoop on living in Lisbon as a digital nomad!
The Digital Nomad’s Guide to Lisbon
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Cost of Living in Lisbon as a Digital Nomad
How much does it cost to live in Lisbon? More than you might expect, but less than you’d imagine. A tad confusing, maybe?
While Lisbon is touted to be cheaper than most European cities, it’s still fairly expensive.
Plus, the gap between the locals’ wages and the expats’ salaries is causing trouble for the locals; pushing them further out of the heart of the city to the suburbs to make room for higher-earning foreigners to take up residence in the historic part of town. Please be conscious of who you are renting from and for how much.
So, what can you expect to spend as a digital nomad living in Lisbon for a couple of months?
Here are a few prices to take note of:
- Monthly Rent: Expect to pay no less than €900–1200+ in Alfama, Bairro Alto, and Baixa/Chiado neighborhoods. We paid €875/month for a very tiny but well-lit studio in the heights of Bairro Alto.
- Uber/Lyft: A ride across town will cost around €5–6 Euros, and upward of €10+ to the airport and back or Belém and back.
- Metro ticket: €1,50
- Coffee: €0.90 espresso, €2-€5 for cappuccinos and lattes in specialty coffee shops.
- Cocktail: €5–€10
- Portuguese Restaurant: €7–€10 lunch/dinner per person.
- International Restaurant: €15–€40 lunch/dinner per person.
- Coworking Spaces: €10+ for a day pass or €200–€300 to secure a monthly desk.
Do You Need a Digital Nomad Visa for Lisbon?
If you have a valid passport with at least three months of validity after your entry date into Portugal, you can stay within the country for up to 90 days (as per Schengen rules) without a visa.
If you wish to stay in Lisbon as a digital nomad for more than 90 days, then you can consider applying for the D7 Visa. Also known as the Portugal Digital Nomad Visa or Portugal Passive Income Visa, the D7 Visa allows non-EU citizens to live in Portugal for up to two years.
Best Time to Move to Lisbon
Lisbon is one of those rare places you can visit year-round, with mild winters and warm, sunshine-filled summers.
The off-season to visit Lisbon is from November to March, but don’t let that deter you. In fact, you’ll want to be living in Lisbon when there are fewer tourists. (You’ll get annoyed real fast by crowds.)
Weather-wise, the best time to visit is from March to October, when the days are warmer and sunnier. Of course, that means higher prices across the boards, long waiting times, and lots of crowds.
As is the case anywhere we go, we tend to find the shoulder season the best for living in a popular destination versus the high season.
Transportation — Getting Around Lisbon
While the Lisbon Card is great for 24–72 hours stays, you’ll end up not using the public transportation system all that much when based there.
Unless you live outside the city and need to commute via metro, you’ll mostly get around on foot. This is particularly the case if you have landed an apartment somewhere in the Alfama, Bairro Alto, Baixa/Chiado neighborhoods.
In any case, here are all the transportation options for easily getting around during your time in Lisbon.
- The metro runs from 6:30 am to 1 am every day and serves 4 metro lines and 55 stops. It costs €1,50 per ticket one-way, but you can save with a fixed monthly plan or 30-day pass.
- Buses cost €1.85 and run all over Lisbon. You can grab a yellow Carris bus practically anywhere in the city.
- If you want a fun way to get around the Cais do Sodré, you can rent a scooter.
- You will see yellow trams shrieking through the historic, winding alleys and streets. They cost €1-€3 per ride and are best for getting up one of Lisbon’s seven hills.
- Walking on foot is the best way to get around the heart of Lisbon. Expect 20–30 minutes to walk from Bairro Alto over to Alfama.
Lisbon’s Best Neighborhoods for Nomads
As I mention in my guide on where to stay in Lisbon, the best areas for convenience purposes will fall within the Santa Maria Maior district which encompasses the most central and interesting neighborhoods of Baixa/Chiado, Sé/Alfama, and Bairro Alto.
Of course, these neighborhoods are going to be the best for nomads in terms of:
- Coworking spaces & cafes with wifi
- Nightlife and bars
- Proximity to activities
- Shops, restaurants, and more
Being in the center of it all is, of course, ideal. But rent prices skyrocket as soon as you search in the center. The further you are from the heart of Lisbon, the cheaper the apartments will be. When Paul’s brother was living long-term in Lisbon as a student and, eventually, a digital nomad, he stayed way back from the city center in the Alvalade neighborhood; relying on metro and Uber/Lyft to get around.
Finding Short & Long-Term Apartment Rentals in Lisbon
How did we find our cool little 4th-floor studio in Lisbon that overlooked the Castelo de São Jorge?
Our process for renting apartments abroad always is more/less the same. We search online meticulously; through Facebook groups, Airbnb, and local websites for housing.
We ended up responding/applying to about 50 listings on Idealista.pt before landing the sweet studio in Bairro Alto. We paid €845 for 30 days, which included all our water, electric, etc. Plus, it had decent wifi (which was a must since we both work online).
Lisbon’s Internet Speed
Speaking of the internet, Lisbon’s is pretty fast and reliable in most places with an average of 30 mbps.
For sure, all the coworking spaces have decent, fast wifi (because that’s their specialty), but we found that some of the popular coffee shops for digital nomads more than disappointed us! More on that below.
Coworking Spaces in Lisbon
Coworking spaces in Lisbon are super trendy, but damn they can be expensive!
One of Lisbon’s coolest coworking spaces is none other than the plant-filled, jungly loft known as Second Home. It is housed inside on the second floor of the eclectic Time Out Market.
It has such a cool space and vibe (really, go check it out), but there is so much demand for a hot desk that there’s a long waitlist. We waited the whole two months without getting contacted back about a seat. Not to mention, monthly membership started at €235. I would maybe consider it if I planned on working outside each day, but the wifi at home was plenty enough for us to get our work done while saving some cash.
Other coworking spaces to check out in Lisbon:
- Cowork Central — €15/day, two locations: Cais do Sodré & Principe Real
- Outsite — Coffee house and coworking space meet; €15/day
- Village Underground — Sweet coworking space inside a shipping container village. A bit far from the center of Lisbon, though, as it’s in the Alcântara neighborhood (nearby the trendy LX Factory).
You can find 16+ more coworking spaces in Lisbon here.
Best Cafes with Wifi in Lisbon
As I mention above, some of the cafes we went to in Lisbon to work on our laptops turned out to be duds.
Either they were packed, the wifi sucked, or they “banned” nomads with laptops taking up the tables. I get it—I really do! A lot of nomads come in and don’t make their time worthwhile for the business. It would be a lot different if everyone would just be more considerate of others.
At any rate, the cafes with wifi have either been spoiled by tourists, heaps of students, and remote workers or don’t have the right balance of ambiance + fast wifi.
I love a cafe that has great wifi, great food/drinks, and great light!
Here are some notes on the cafes we went to work on our laptops:
- Copenhagen Coffee Lab: There are several locations in Lisbon and we tested out 3. The best in terms of space/ambiance is by far the one in Alfama (but the wifi sucks). The best in terms of wifi is the Cais do Sodré location, however, it’s always the busiest (and it’s kinda dark and noisy).
- Tease: Our favorite, secret spot to work on our laptops. It’s the most underrated coffee shop with wifi. They make awesome pastries and delicious brunch too. Lots of space, and light, and it’s off the beaten path.
- Marquise: The food and atmosphere can’t be beaten. The wifi? Eh, yeah, not the best, but the cinnamon roll makes up for it.
Favorite Restaurants in Lisbon (On a Nomad Budget)
Nomads have all varying budgets and food preferences, but I wanted to share our favorite spots to eat nonetheless! Some of these are true gems and hit the spot just right.
- Lupita — Incredible, naturally-leavened pizza. Go early.
- Nood — Ramen and dumplings that will knock your socks off!
- Aura Dim Sum Lab — Dim sum and dumplings to die for.
- Fauna & Flora — awesome, plant-filled brunch spot in Lisbon.
- Coyo Taco — Delicious tacos and micheladas (but pricey)!
- Time Out Market — You got to eat here at least once! The burgers (veg and turkey) are simply drool-worthy.
- The Green Affair — the best vegan food in Lisbon!
And not to mention pretty much any restaurant inside the LX Factory.
Let me know if you discover more awesome ones during your nomad life in Lisbon to add to the foodie bucket list!
Healthcare in Lisbon — Nomad Insurance
I was fortunate enough to never have to go to the hospital, or health center, or even step inside a pharmacy because I was sick in Lisbon (I did need to get a covid test to leave the country though).
But if something serious were to happen, I would be covered by my digital nomad travel insurance SafetyWing.
You can read more details about SafetyWing in my review or go ahead and check out their affordable and flexible coverage ($40/4 weeks) on their website.
Just a quick note about SafetyWing before you go — you buy once you’re abroad and can cancel anytime! Perfect for nomads whose plans change monthly.
If you have an emergency while in Portugal, you can call 112 for the police, fire department, or ambulance. More info here.
Fun Activities to Do While Nomading in Lisbon
Digital nomads will love Lisbon for its myriad activities, nightlife, and fun day trips! There wasn’t one weekend where we found ourselves with nothing to do.
Read more about the unmissable things to do in Lisbon in my guide!
- 8 Best Sunset Spots in Lisbon, Portugal
- How to Spend the Perfect 2 Days in Lisbon
- Where to Find THE Best Brunch in Lisbon – Top 11 Brunch Spots
- The Ultimate Guide to Lisbon’s Trendy LX Factory
- Where to Stay in Lisbon — Best Hotels & Neighborhoods
Other Destinations in Portugal for Digital Nomads
Besides Lisbon, where else you can live in Portugal as a digital nomad?
For a hot minute, we were contemplating moving to Porto, Portugal instead of Lisbon. It’s a charming, historic city that is much smaller than Lisbon but with ample things to do and see.
You could easily fill up your Porto itinerary in a matter of days/weeks, but nothing beats getting to really know a place by slow traveling.
Other cities in Portugal that are popular among digital nomads are:
- Maderia (Portuguese island)
Just keep in mind that Lisbon or Porto are the two most popular and will therefore have a larger digital nomad community.
Is Lisbon a Good Place for Digital Nomads?
All in all, with a cost of living that’s low for Europe (but high compared to Latin America or Asia), Lisbon is a pretty amazing city to live in and travel in for a couple of months as a nomad!
With everything at your fingertips — good food, coworking spaces, cute coffee shops, fun activities, etc — there’s not much you can’t help but love about Lisbon!
If you have any questions about digital nomad life in Lisbon, feel free to reach out! Even though we have left already, we will be glad to see the bright and sunny city again in the future.
📌 Save this Digital Nomad Guide to Lisbon for later!
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