Exploring Lisbon: A City Guide For Nomads & Expats
Lisbon is an amazing city, full of life, good vibes and culture, and one of the perfect destinations for nomads and expats. If you’re considering a short-term stay, or something more long-term in this city, or just want to know if it’s as good as they say it is, stay tuned.
This article is designed to help nomads and expats to see what is it like to be a remote worker in this city, along with tips to make the most out of their time in Lisbon, as well as recommendations of the best places to stay and eat, and the most interesting sights and activities to experience.
Is Lisbon a good city for digital nomads?
If you’re fancying living in the mild weathered side of Europe, then your best pick is the Iberian Peninsula, with Portugal as a quiet land and an escape from the beaten path of the EU, and with Lisbon being the pulsing heart of this country of course. But the question is, what makes Lisbon among the good cities for a digital nomad or an expat to choose from?
Well to answer that, let’s first start with the basic requirements to work remotely: The high-speed internet, the variety of co-working space options, and the networking opportunities. Does Lisbon check them all green? YES
It also has plenty of quiet cafes, libraries, and green parks to work from, a vibrant startup scene, making it an attractive destination for digital nomads looking to network and collaborate, through tech meetups to group dinners, and a steadily growing digital nomad community to stay connected.
What are the best places to work remotely in Lisbon?
For those who prefer a more relaxed atmosphere, there are plenty of outdoor cafes and parks to work in, offering great views of the city. Cozy cafés such as Copenhagen Coffee Lab and Café da Garagem, where you can sip on delicious coffee while working on your projects.
For those who prefer a more professional atmosphere, coworking spaces like The LX Factory, and Cowork Lisboa are a great pick, offering high-speed internet, comfortable work areas, and other amenities.
If you prefer an even more efficient setting, Impact Hub Lisbon and IDEA Spaces – Sottomayor Palace provide well-equipped workspaces and a supportive community of entrepreneurs and freelancers.
Food and Culture in Lisbon:
Portuguese cuisine is heavily influenced by the country’s diverse history. It comprises of a variety of flavors and ingredients including fish, seafood, olives, potatoes, and spices.
Traditional dishes include bacalhau (salt cod), sardinhas (sardines), and caldo verde (kale soup).
Popular snacks include pasteis de nata (custard tarts), and a variety of pastries and breads.
The city is known for its winding, cobblestone streets and colorful buildings. You can explore the city’s many museums, galleries, and monuments, such as the Belem Tower, Jeronimos Monastery, and the Monument to the Discoveries. There are also plenty of live music venues, theaters, and clubs to explore.
Healthcare in Lisbon:
Lisbon provides a reliable healthcare system that ensures both residents and visitors have access to quality medical services. Hospital de Santa Maria and Hospital de São José are public hospitals and have plenty of healthcare facilities, including emergency care. Private hospitals and clinics like Hospital da Luz and CUF provide specialized services with shorter waiting times. The cost of healthcare in Lisbon is generally affordable for a European city. For example, a doctor’s consultation can range from €30 to €80, while more complex procedures or specialized treatments may have higher costs.
PS: Be smart and don’t leave your house without a travel insurance policy that covers medical expenses, click here to know more.
What locals do in Lisbon:
There are many exciting things to try, that residents escape to in order to unwind after a long work day:
Visit the Oceanario de Lisboa: Check out the largest oceanarium in Europe.
Enjoy the Nightlife: Experience the vibrant nightlife of Lisbon, from traditional Fado bars to modern nightclubs.
Visit the Belem Tower: Take a trip to the iconic Belem Tower, a 16th-century fortress that served as an important port for ships traveling to India and the Americas.
Explore the Castelo de Sao Jorge: Climb the steps to the top of the Castelo de Sao Jorge, a medieval castle offering stunning views of the city.
Wander the Markets: Browse the vendors and stalls of the local markets, selling everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts.
Best time to go to Lisbon:
Lisbon is a beautiful city and one of the best times to visit is in the summer months. The weather is mild and sunny, perfect for exploring the city’s many sights and attractions. Plus, the city comes alive with festivals and celebrations throughout the summer months – so if you’re looking for a lively atmosphere, this is the time to go!
One of the best things about visiting Lisbon in the summer months is the abundance of outdoor activities. During the summer, the city’s parks and gardens come alive with people enjoying picnics and barbecues, or simply taking in the sunshine. Along the banks of the Tagus River, there are plenty of opportunities to go kayaking, fishing, and even swimming. The beaches of the Costa da Caparica are also a great spot for relaxing.
In addition to outdoor activities, Lisbon is host to a number of festivals and events during the summer months. The most popular of these is the Festival do Sudoeste, which is a huge music festival that takes place in July and August. the Festival do Mar in August, and the International Book Fair in September. These events attract visitors from around the world.
Weather in Lisbon:
When it comes to the weather in Lisbon, Portugal, it’s important to remember that the city experiences a Mediterranean climate. This means that the temperature is relatively mild throughout the year, with hot summers and mild winters. The average temperature in the summer months is around 25°C, while in the winter it rarely drops below 10°C.
Lisbon experiences a lot of sunshine, with an average of 3,000 hours of sunshine per year. Rainfall is also common, with an average of 740 mm of rainfall each year, and most of the rainfall occurs during the winter months.
The city is rarely affected by extreme weather events, such as hurricanes or tornadoes, but storms can occur during the late summer months, so be prepared with a travel policy that covers evacuations and natural disasters.
Cost of Living in Lisbon:
Lisbon is an affordable city for expats and digital nomads on a budget. The cost of living in Lisbon is significantly lower than other cities in Europe, with an average monthly rent of €600-€800 for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center.
Groceries, household items, and dining out are also relatively inexpensive. A weekly grocery shopping trip for a single person can usually be done for less than €25, and a meal out in a local restaurant can cost anywhere from €10-€15 depending on the type of restaurant.
Transportation costs are also quite affordable, with a monthly bus & metro pass costing around €30. Additionally, Lisbon is a very walkable city and most of the attractions are within walking distance, so you may not need to use public transportation at all.
Other expenses such as internet, mobile phone plans, and utilities are also quite reasonable. Many mobile phone plans offer unlimited data for about €20 per month, and most internet plans average around €30 per month. Utilities, such as water, electricity, and gas can range from €50-€100 per month depending on usage.
Visa requirements in Lisbon:
Citizens of the European Union do not need a visa to live or work in Lisbon. However, if you are a non-EU citizen, you may need to apply for a visa or a residence permit depending on the duration and purpose of your stay. For digital nomads, Portugal offers a specific visa called the “D7 Visa,” which is designed for independent workers and entrepreneurs. The visa allows you to live and work in Portugal for up to one year. The application process typically requires proof of income, health insurance, and a clean criminal record. The cost of the D7 Visa application is around €90.