Are there any benefits in Portugal for digital nomads? Find out what it's like to work at a distance from sunny southern Europe.

Last Updated on April 24, 2024 by Prince

You’d be surprised to know Portugal won Best Country To Work Remotely in 2022. Discover the best places in Portugal for digital nomads, how you can get a residence permit, and the pros and cons of moving here!

There’s a lot to unpack. The growing interest from digital nomads wanting to live in Portugal has led to the introduction of a New Visa just for them. That’s how powerful this movement is in Portugal.

In this article, our focus will be to help you explore your options for working remotely and making big savings while earning online. Let’s dive into the details and be your guide for the best trip of your life! 

How is Portugal for digital nomads?

There is definitely something magical about Portugal. 

Well, not just something; A lot of things. 

From Lisbon’s booming entrepreneurial tech hub and Porto’s innovative coworking spaces, to Algarve’s exquisite beaches and Madeira’s stunning landscapes. There are plenty of reasons why expats like you have relocated to Portugal – and haven’t looked back since! 

Portugal is ranked #1 on a CNN-endorsed travel website, proving it the best remote work destination. There is no doubt that Portugal has an incredible quality of life and a community that feels like family. Digital nomads explore the beautiful country while working remotely, and there’s nothing better than living their dream. 

The pandemic has ascertained that working remotely and having flexible hours are viable options without affecting work quality. 

Even recruiters have started to prefer employees who can quickly adapt to changes amidst uncertain global conditions.

Of course, we know you want to know more about Portugal than just working; we’ve got you covered. There’s plenty to do within the country, and we’ll tell you all about it. 

Keep reading to know where digital nomads reside, what they do in different cities, and the pros and cons. Finally, read about how you can start your life-changing journey.

Where do digital nomads live in Portugal? 

The best thing about being a digital nomad is that you have the liberty to choose where to stay! You can also keep experiencing new destinations if one doesn’t work out for you. Every part of Portugal has its charm, and it’s okay if you prefer one place to another.

Some parts of the country will help you immensely in networking, while others will allow you to recharge by the beach. Get to know the top 4 places in Portugal for digital nomads!

Lisbon

A tech hub and an entrepreneur’s favorite – the capital of Portugal, Lisbon. 

With a vibrant culture, a thriving startup scene, and a moderate climate, Lisbon has plenty to offer those who are looking to live and work remotely. 

The city has developed tremendously in the last decade and has become a favorite for digital nomads to reside. 

It’s divided into various neighborhoods, each with a unique atmospheric energy that you’ll eagerly explore. Living in Lisbon will also allow you to generate more intellectual leads in the many different coworking spaces in the city.

In addition to its affordability, Lisbon is full of rich history and culture with a lively nightlife, with plenty of bars and clubs to keep you entertained on the weekends. 

Algarve 

Algarve is the perfect place for a relaxed lifestyle in a region with fantastic weather and stunning beaches.

You’ll always find a cafe with a good Wi-Fi connection where you can work while looking over at utopia. Thanks to Algarve’s brilliant bus and train systems, commuting between towns is also pretty easy. 

The region is known for its stunning beaches, rocky cliffs, and picturesque fishing villages. If connecting with nature boosts your productivity, this is undoubtedly the place for you!

The Algarve region is also a great destination for digital nomads thanks to the several coworking spaces and digital nomad communities. Although the cost of living in the Algarve is slightly higher, it’s still affordable compared to other European destinations. 

We have a detailed article on Living in the Algarve, which will help you gain more perspective on the lifestyle.

Porto

Porto – A city that never sleeps because it’s always buzzing with creative digital nomads. It’s a smaller city than Lisbon, but it is still a bustling municipality with plenty of conveniences for digital nomads.

While Porto doesn’t have as many coworking spaces as Lisbon, it has its own charm. Digital nomads prefer Porto since it’s a calmer and more affordable place with most of Lisbon’s perks. 

It allows illustrators, graphic designers, and writers to connect with their creative personas while avoiding the hustling of Lisbon. Porto is a beautiful city with rich culture and historical values that people never get tired of. 

To know more about the fantastic nightlife and leisure, read our article on Living in Porto.

Madeira

If you’ve ever fantasized about living on an island and working remotely according to your schedule – Madeira is your jackpot! 

In 2021, the regional government launched a tester project named “Digital Nomads Madeira Islands” to form a digital nomad village. Following its success, many young professionals from different countries have started developing communities within the region. 

Since its inauguration, the Digital Nomad Village in Madeira has received over 8,000 digital nomads and 15,00 registrations. It’s a safe space for entrepreneurs and freelancers to connect and work with all the necessary amenities. 

Madeira has everything you need for a harmonious quality of life with an excellent social experience. 

Read more about Life in Madeira to know why expats like you love this island. 

Is there a digital nomad visa in Portugal?

Yes! 

With a soaring consumer market and evolving technological structures, Portugal has launched a New Visa for Digital Nomads! It’s been a long time coming, and freelancers couldn’t be happier about it.

Through this New Visa, digital nomads can live in Portugal for up to 1 year with a very simplified process. Unlike other Visas that were previously used for the same purpose, this Visa only requires a few documents. 

Keep reading to know exactly how to go about the process. It has completely changed the way digital nomads obtain a residence Visa! 

Previously, the D2 Visa authorized digital nomads to travel anywhere in Portugal and work with foreign clients globally. However, there’s a significant difference between the two types of Visas.

What are the pros and cons of living in Portugal as a digital nomad?

We know you’re already daydreaming about your life in Portugal as a digital nomad; We don’t blame you! Portugal is a serene place to live in, whether you’re a full-time employee, a freelancer, or on a trip.

However, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea – and that’s completely okay. We want to be honest about what you could be signing up for. Here are some perks and disadvantages of being a digital nomad in Portugal:

The perks of being a digital nomad in Portugal

✔ Serenity 

Nothing beats the views of the Algarve’s beaches and Porto’s sunsets. The growing expat community has added to the peaceful charm of Portugal, nourishing souls and rejuvenating the cities.

✔ Low Cost of Living 

The average rent and grocery expenditures are more affordable than in other European countries. As of March 2023, Portugal’s inflation rate is 8.2%; amid global inflation, prices have risen, but living here is still more affordable than in most European countries.

A solo digital nomad can live a comfortable lifestyle within a budget of €1,500. 

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✔ Unquestionable Security

Our claims are not a hoax; the Global Peace Index of 2022 ranked Portugal the sixth-safest country globally. You will feel safe walking down the blissful streets of Portugal, no matter your gender or the time of the night.

✔ Unmatched Weather 

Located in southern Europe, Portugal benefits from a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and warm summers. The pleasant weather also makes it ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, surfing, and enjoying the beautiful beaches between your meetings.

This is a major reason why many British expats decide to relocate every year. Portugal experiences 300 days of pleasant sunshine and a refreshing winter, making Algarve’s beach parties all the more fun.

✔ High Standard of Living

The low cost of living ensures that people have a high standard of living without compromising on any luxuries. With progressively high economic growth and investments coming into the country, Portugal is all set to become the next European Silicon Valley soon. 

The technological innovation aspect isn’t all; the transport, infrastructure, health, and education are also top-notch. Public healthcare is also free for all legal residents, so that’s another thing you don’t have to worry about. 

Disadvantages in Portugal for digital nomads

❌ Bureaucracy

While there’s so much to love about Portugal, there are a few downsides. Bureaucracy might make governmental processes slightly less efficient than they have the potential to be. 

Government employees prioritize personal and state interests before collective interests; however, they are primarily socialists. If you’re someone who prefers to just live in their element, you’d probably be least bothered about this.

If you need help shifting your belongings, creating a bank account, or registering a tax number, Viv Europe is your one-stop solution! Don’t let bureaucracy come in the way of your dream relocation. 

❌ Taxes

This is a price you pay for the incredible lifestyle of Portugal. Non-residents have to pay a flat 25% income tax annually. So, for example, if you’re earning €1,500 per month, you’d be paying €375 in taxes. 

There are, though, tax incentives for people who change their fiscal address to Portugal that you may take advantage of.

Is Portugal worth it for digital nomads?

Despite the drawbacks, Portugal is undoubtedly worth it for digital nomads; and the number of expats speaks for itself!

Portugal has a community of more than 37,000 digital nomads, and these numbers keep on increasing. People work remotely for U.S.-based companies while living their best life on an island in Madeira. 

One of the best deal-makers is the proficiency in English within the country, which has increased the ease of accessibility. 

The trend of remote working is everlasting, thanks to digitalization, with a diverse range of career possibilities.

As a digital nomad, you can have a career in accounting, designing, HR, marketing, software development, etc. The possibilities for growth are endless, and so are the number of connections you’ll make in Portugal!

The only step left for you to do is to assess whether you want to let this one-of-a-kind opportunity go.

How can I move to Portugal and work remotely?

The first step is to know what documents you’ll need to apply for your Digital Nomad Visa. If you get confused along the way, our team of professionals helps several expats with this process every day. Feel free to contact Viv Europe; we’ll guide you every step of the way. 

Applying for the Digital Nomad Visa, you are required to submit the following, among other standard procedures: 

  • Proof of income for the past three months – minimum €3,040 a month;
  • Tax-residency documents;
  • Contract of employment (or proof of self-employment).

The next step will be based on preferences; Do you pick an enthusiastic entrepreneurial hub or an undisturbed beach house? They’re both excellent options!

And, of course, if you are an EU citizen, you do not need a visa to travel to Portugal.

The last step? Book your ticket and buckle up!

From vision to reality: Let’s get started

If you liked reading this article on Portugal for digital nomads, you’ll love connecting to other digital nomads like yourself. Our Facebook Group – All About Portugal For Expats has a community of more than four and a half thousand expats with inspiring stories. 

Our team will always be available to assist you every step of the way. Without further ado, let’s get started on your Digital Nomad Visa application to kickstart your dream lifestyle! 

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