Last Updated on October 11, 2022 by Maryam Siddiqui
If you’re a digital nomad or someone who’s actively looking to adopt that lifestyle, this article is for you! You’d be pleasantly surprised to know that there’s more than just one city where you can work remotely in Portugal.
With this free lifestyle, you get to choose where to spend your time. Living in Portugal is amazing. But just like any other country, there are some places fitter to some people than others.
We’re here to give you precious tips we learned from our own experience as expats working remotely in Portugal. Get to know the most amazing cities, villages, and islands that are attracting expats from all over the world to move to Portugal while working from home. Check it out.
The top places to work remotely in Portugal
1. Algarve coast
Leading our list is the sunny Algarve region. Located in the south of Portugal, the Algarve is home to the biggest percentage of foreigners in the entire country. Around 20% of the population of the Algarve are expatriates, while the national average is 5%.
Not only that, but the region also has a strong tourism industry. It’s way more common to find people speaking English here or even attendants who don’t speak a word of Portuguese.
The Algarve is the warmest region of Portugal, with incredible beaches and hot weather. Since the region is so amazing to live in but not so good to work in, having a remote job is perfect! You get to work from a distance and still live in paradise.
It’s also ranked as the #4 destination worldwide, coming in after Miami and Dubai. You’ll never feel out of place because digital nomadism is highly prevalent in this region, and people are always up to make new friends and connections.
- You will also like to read our article Portugal For Digital Nomads: How You Can Join The Movement.
2. Madeira Island
Located in the middle of the Atlantic, the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira is a phenomenal touristic destination. In 2021, Madeira Island decided to bet on a new initiative: a Digital Nomad Village completely for the public in different parts of the island.
Projects like the Digital Nomad Village in Madeira have encouraged more solo nomads to feel at home and fall in love with their new life. For more information, check out the official Digital Nomad Village Madeira website and get inspired by the initiatives!
The center of this community is located in a charming village called Ponta do Sol, filled with working stations and free Wi-Fi.
Madeira Island is also perfect to live in if you want to be close to nature and enjoy mild weather throughout the year. It’s close to the continent and has a large community of expatriates, especially British.
Since it is an island, the peace, privacy, and quiet environment you get here are unmatched. If you’ve ever fantasized about living on an island and earning a living simultaneously, this is your sign!
3. Lisbon area
Of course, Lisbon is a top choice for anyone looking to relocate to Portugal, but it gets even better when you’re a nomad worker. With the possibility to work from anywhere, you can be near Lisbon but escape from the typical city pressures.
Living in Lisbon, you get to be close to Portugal’s best infrastructure but also to live with more peace in Sintra, Cascais, or Setúbal. Many areas around the capital offer an amazing quality of life for a much cheaper cost.
The capital city is by far the best city to work remotely in Portugal. We didn’t make this up; Lisbon is actually ranked as the #1 destination by Bloomberg! This start-up hub has attracted many foreign business owners and nomads, thus increasing the number of coworking spaces and opportunities.
Another reason why Lisbon is a great place to work remotely in Portugal, or live in general, is the low language barrier. Many people speak English, and there are enough foreigners for you to befriend.
4. Alentejo villages
Have you ever thought about living in the countryside? Portugal is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe. The Alentejo region is one of the warmest in the country, located between Lisbon and the Algarve. However, it’s one of the less populated regions of Portugal, with many villages and big plantations.
It is also a fantastic choice for people looking to work remotely in Portugal, especially those looking for peace. There aren’t that many people anywhere, even in the biggest cities, Beja and Évora, but everything is a sight for sore eyes. You won’t regret choosing to live in Alentejo.
It’s also one of the cheapest regions when it comes to the cost of living. You can expect to spend around €1,100 for all your expenses since rent isn’t as expensive as in the Algarve region or Lisbon.
You’ll find a much lower number of foreigners in this region, around 4% to 7%. However, Portuguese people are friendly and welcoming, so you’ll mix in just right. You can enjoy a peaceful day with moderate temperatures and work remotely in this stunning region of Portugal.
5. Central Portugal
The Central Portugal regions have also invested in the Digital Nomadism culture recently. More and more local businesses, previously dedicated to tourism, changed their strategies to receive people who work at a distance.
For example, the Cerdeira Home For Creativity, an initiative for digital nomads, was created in a small village in the region called Xisto da Cerdeira.
The village, which ran the risk of disappearing for a lack of inhabitants, now has more movement thanks to these people. There, people get to stay in small cottages in nature with great internet connections and to work from a fantastic place. Isn’t it inviting?
You’ll also find many affordable restaurants and cafes in Central Portugal since locals take their gastronomy seriously.
Nazaré is a popular town among expat communities, so you can explore that region if you’re interested in working remotely in Portugal. Coimbra and Aveiro are also excellent choices.
Why should I consider moving to Portugal and keeping my remote job?
There are several reasons! From the low cost of living to excellent facilities for digital nomads, there are multiple attractive factors for you to consider moving here.
To help you understand in more depth, let’s dive into the details of how things work here.
Wages in Portugal are low, but the quality of life is excellent
When compared to the rest of Europe, Portugal does not have a very inviting minimum wage. In 2022, it is €705 per month. Also, the labor market in the country is very competitive. Finding a job in Portugal can be quite challenging.
However, the country is world widely famous for its amazing quality of life. It is one of the safest countries in the world and a perfect place to raise a family or just enjoy a peaceful day under the sun.
By working remotely in Portugal, you get to save a lot more money than you used to since rent is cheaper than in most European countries. In fact, you’ll be spending a lot less and benefiting from the inexpensive lifestyle.
By choosing to live in Portugal while working remotely, you’re also choosing to spend more quality time with those you love in a beautiful country. One of the many perks that the Portuguese way of life can get you.
The nomad community is stronger every day
Ever since the pandemic forced people to work from home, Portugal, a very traditional country, has developed a way better view of this modern lifestyle.
Even among the locals, more and more Portuguese people are moving back to smaller cities in the countryside thanks to remote work. This is also a promise of larger families in the future.
Coworking spaces are seen more often, and people are applying for visas to live in Portugal thanks to this possibility of working from home.
There are incentives for remote workers that move to less populated areas
Portugal’s population is shrinking. In the 2021 Census, it was shown that, even with all the foreigners relocating to the country lately, there were 2% fewer people living in the country than in 2011.
A decrease of 214,286 inhabitants. The shocking news reminded Portugal of its need to bring more people into its economy. That’s when the immigrants come in.
As we pointed out, over the last year, many initiatives popped up across Portugal to incentive digital nomads from around the world to relocate here.
While before the pandemic, Portugal’s main focus was the tourists, now the Government itself is realizing the importance of growing the economy with different sources.
By accepting this way of life and attracting foreigners, the Portuguese population is also investing in a brighter future for themselves.
Do I need a visa to live in Portugal?
Now you already have an idea of where to live in Portugal while working remotely, it’s time to consider how to legally relocate.
If you are not a European citizen and wish to live in Portugal, yes, you need a visa in Portugal. There are many types of residency visas that give you permission to live and work in the country. And you should know all about visas in Portugal.
Here are the most famous ones:
- Golden Visa: For investors in Real Estate or business;
- Passive Income Visa: Especially for retirees;
- Study Visa: For college students;
- Work Visa: For people looking to work in Portugal;
- Startup Visa: for entrepreneurs looking to invest in a new business in the country.
Which Visa allows me to work remotely in Portugal?
A common question we get is regarding which visa digital nomads need to apply for in order to work remotely in Portugal.
Digital nomads usually move to Portugal with the Business Visa (D2 Visa), and there are several perks to that. However, people are lately getting a residence visa with the Passive Income Visa (D7 Visa).
The D2 Visa allows entrepreneurial nomads to set up their businesses and apply for Portuguese nationality after 5 years of living here. They might not necessarily come with the intention of staying here for such a long time, but a lot of people end up falling in love.
On the other hand, with the D7 Visa, you’re not required to set up an entire business or transfer capital investments. You only need to show proof of income and declare the services you offer.
Neither of these is competitively easier to obtain. It depends on the validity of your documents, proof of exact income, and contract compliance. If you’re confused about how this process works, feel free to get in touch with professionals at Viv Europe.
When are you coming to Portugal?
It might be a bit daunting to turn into a digital nomad at first, but you’ll soon fall in love with the process! Knowing where to work remotely in Portugal, how to make it possible, and what documents to show can be confusing to understand.
You’re definitely not one of the first ones to go through this, and you’re not alone. Viv Europe and our team of experts are here to help you in your relocation process every step of the way. We provide unconditional support from visa appliances to real estate investments and getting children enrolled in school.
Contact us today to start building your dream life just as you envision it! If you’re confused at any point, be sure to consider the advice of expats who’ve been through it all. Join our Facebook Group – All About Portugal For Expats, and ask as many questions as you want. See you soon!