If you are on search for country to stay while working remotely, Portugal is a popular digital nomad hub in the world in the last decade. Who would not love this European country in the Mediterranean, with lots of spectacular beaches and delicious cuisines, on top of working remotely? The digital nomad Portugal visa consists of two forms – one where you can apply for 1 year stay or a visa stay for a longer period (5 years), in which you can later on apply for permanent residency and Portuguese citizenship. To know more about this visa program, you can check out this link. Regardless of the options you choose, both are great for starting a stay in Portugal and Europe in general. But before you decide whether Portugal is the right place for you to start remote working, do you research well. Having visited this country three times while touring two main cities (Faro and Lisbon) and going on a short visit to Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal, I will compile in this blog my observations of the country, including the pros and cons for those who plan to ,live the Portugal digital nomad life.
What to expect when living as Digital nomad in Portugal
There are many benefits and of course downside of living as digital nomad in Portugal. Below are the reasons you should consider when deciding whether to choose Portugal as the digital nomad hub or not.
1. Costs of living in Portugal is cheaper compared to other European countries.
The Costs of Living Allowance (CoLA) in Portugal, as compared to other European countries such as Norway, Finland, Sweden, or even Germany and The Netherlands, is cheaper. The costs of property are in general cheap particularly if you choose to live outside the city centre. Food is also cheap, in fact three times cheaper to what we could get in the Netherlands. For example a cup of cappuccino in the Netherlands costs around 3 euros, while you can get one in Portugal for 1.00-1.50 euros depending on the place where you buy your coffee. Similarly, public transports such as bus costs only 1.10 cents while the Netherlands will charge 4 euros for the same distance. A taxi will cost less than 10 euros, in which you might pay 25-30 euros for the same distance in the Netherlands. The CoLA is definitely the main reason that makes Portugal an attractive option for those who want to set foot in Europe.
2. Many beautiful beaches and historical places for digital nomads in Portugal.
In addition to the CoLA, Portugal also boosts many of its beautiful beaches. Situated along the Mediterranean in its southeast as well as the Atlantic Ocean in its west, Portugal has many beautiful coast lines and amazing cliffs. If you are a fan of culture, architecture and history, of course, Portugal is also rich on this as can be seen in many of its cities. If you are interested to visit a Portuguese city even just for one day, you can check my blogs on: Lisbon Portugal one day itinerary, One day itinerary in Faro Portugal, and Faro Portugal: Spend winter holidays. Most beaches and cities are accessible via metros and bus. If you like driving, you can also
3. Portugal digital nomad hub is a good start for travelling to many European countries.
Portugal is a neighbour of Spain, which is directly connected to France in the northwest and leads to Italy in the northeast. Of course, other European countries are accessible by trains and by plane since many European cities are connected to major airports of Portugal. Being in Portugal can be a start of European tour, and a nice place to begin with is the Andalusia region of Spai Looking for inspiration? Check out these blogs: Andalusia Spain-Portugal roadtrip, Sevilla Spain: Enjoy winter holidays, and Granada Spain: Experience Grandeur.
4. Plenty of sunshine throughout the year, extreme heat during summer.
Since Portugal is located already in the south of Europe close to Africa, the temperature is in general warm with plenty of sunshine. Well, it’s good for those who want to escape dark, cold winter days. The downside however is that the summer can be very hot and can reach up to 47 degrees Celsius. This can be inconvenient especially on times where there long ques in the stores, busy in the metros, or during traffic hours.
5. Hospitable people, yet some theft in busy places.
Portuguese people are quite hospitable, but this trait does not extend in most places. Since you will see a strong division between rich and poor, thefts are common in many places and there are dishonesty in prices (e.g. street vendors will put higher mark-up on the prices of goods that they are selling if they know you are a tourist).
6. Not everyone speaks English.
Another thing that digital nomads should consider when moving to Portugal is the language. Not everyone speaks English, such as those in stores, restaurants, or taxi’s. Luckily, there is a google translate that can be useful when communicating to people, in case they are not speaking English.