This post (probably) contains affiliate links, including Amazon Associates links, and I may receive a small commission if you click one. This is at no extra cost to you and allows this site to keep running.

Updated on

Thinking of moving to Lisbon? Here’s what you need to know about Europe’s digital nomad hub.

Sunny Lisboa has well and truly been placed on the map, thanks in large part to the various World Travel Awards it’s scooped up in the last couple of years. 

Not only are tourists flocking to see what all the fuss is about, but Expats and Digital Nomads alike are deciding to call this stunning city their home. 

And for good reason, too!

Lisbon has a warm climate, friendly people, fabulous food and a beautiful historic city, not even to mention all there is to explore throughout the rest of Portugal.

No wonder everyone, including Digital Nomads, is falling head over heels in love with Lisbon!

Short on time? Pin this post for later:digital nomad guide to lisbon

 

 

LISBON AS A DIGITAL NOMAD DESTINATION

Not only has Lisbon won numerous travel awards, but the city has also played host a number of notable and global events.

These include the Eurovision song contest two years ago as well as the major tech conference, Web Summit, which has made Lisbon its home. 

This has resulted in Lisbon attracting a very active and busy digital nomad and tech start up community.

With fast and reliable Wi-Fi, a fairly cheap cost of living (compared to other European counterparts), a fantastic climate, a hip food and nightlife scene and the fact that most Portuguese can speak English, Lisbon is an ideal digital nomad city in western Europe! 

 

 

 

Not only that, but Portugal is also regarded as one of the safest and most inclusive countries in Europe, if not the world. 

Thanks to this thriving nomadic and entrepreneurial community, Lisbon has seen tons of co-working spaces pop up. Selina, Second Home, Avilla Spaces and Idea Spaces are just a few of them.

Then, of course, there is a wide selection of coffee shops and trendy cafes. Hello Kristof, Copenhagen Coffee Lab, Fabrica Coffee Roasters are all firm favourites.

And, with their free Wi-Fi connectivity, they have also become uber popular for many nomads to work from. 

Looking to meet other like-minded travellers and digital nomads? Through the Meetup app there are weekly Lisbon digital nomad meet-ups that you can join in on, in order to network and socialise. 

Apart from the regular Meetup events, also be on the lookout for events and socials hosted by the various co-working spaces.

Don’t forget to also have a look at Facebook Events hosted in and around the city, as there’s always something hip and happening taking place. 

 

 

Santa Justa Elevator, Chiado


THE COST OF LIVING IN LISBON

It’s no secret that Lisbon, and in fact Portugal, is still seen as one of the cheaper and more affordable Western European destinations.

This is especially true when it comes to food, dining out, communication costs as well as travelling around the city and country. 

There are plenty of opportunities to stretch your budget if you know where to look. And I absolutely love this about Lisbon.

It’s often the small, obscure bar that attract the crowds as they sell drinks at rock bottom prices.

 

 

 

Or the traditional ‘Tascas’ restaurants that serve delicious food at under €10.

Alternatively, using apps like The Fork or signing up for Zomato Gold allows you to get up to half price off meals when dining out in a pair. 

Unfortunately, the only caveat to becoming an ever increasingly popular destination is that Lisbon’s rental market has seen a sudden and sharp rise in price in a short amount of time.

Despite this, you can still find affordable accommodation whatever your budget. Prices can be more reasonable if you are more flexible with location too. 


Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara Viewpoint


APARTMENTS IN LISBON

At the moment, Lisbon is overrun by Airbnbs. New ones pop up almost every week. As mentioned, the rental market has seen a spike in the last few years. 

This means that a bedroom in a shared apartment in downtown Lisbon will likely set you back around €450 – €500.

On the other hand, if aiming for a studio or one-bedroom apartment to live on your own, you would likely fork out around €1000 and upward in price.

This of course depends entirely on the area in Lisbon you want to stay in. With a little bit of flexibility, you can definitely lower these prices.  

Due to this sudden demand, the market does move fast and you’d be better of renting an Airbnb to start out with and then start the hunt for a rental once here. 

 

 

 

Sites such as Idealista or Imovirtual are extremely useful in showcasing apartments to rent.

Then there’s also NomadX, a company / site designed by nomads for nomads in order to help with this particular problem. It offers apartments, bedrooms or co-living spaces for rent, aimed particularly at the nomad community.

Do consider that many apartments in Lisbon are very old and may not have an elevator, so keep mobility in mind if you do struggle with stairs.

Insulation is another factor to bear in mind. It is mostly during the colder winter months when this may pose a challenge. 

Either way, as tough as it may seem to find a place to stay, it isn’t impossible. With some networking and sourcing through the web, you’ll no doubt be able to find your perfect Lisbon nomad pad in no time.


TimeOut Market, Lisbon


LISBON FOOD PRICES

Food in Lisbon is not particularly expensive at all and naturally depends on where you dine out.

Thankfully, you will be spoilt for choice as there is a myriad of amazing, quirky and hip restaurants to choose from all over the city.

From vegan / vegetarian to seafood to Asian through to traditional Portuguese, there really is something for everyone to enjoy in Lisbon. 

When dining out, you can easily expect to pay under €20 for a main course and a drink at many restaurants within Lisbon, and even less at some! 

As previously suggested, you can also make use of the free Fork app where you can get discounts of up to 50% at select restaurants, or sign up for the paid Zomato Gold program offering free meals or drinks at select partner restaurants. 

 

 

 

Supermarket prices are generally inexpensive. Thankfully, there is a selection of different retailers to buy from, ranging from budget to higher end.

Of course, if doing your shopping at one of the many organic/bio markets, you can expect to pay more in comparison to your mainstream supermarkets. 

The real trick to saving on grocery shopping is through the various food markets throughout Lisbon. For example, the Mercado 31 de Janeiro market is fantastic and has a wide selection of stalls selling fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood and meats.

I’ve often found it far cheaper to shop this way versus buying these products at the local supermarket. 


Brick Cafe - A great Lisbon brunch spot


TRAVEL EXPENSES

Lisbon is a fairly compact city, making getting around by foot fairly easy to do.

But, depending on where you will be based within the city, you may opt to make use the public transport system. Currently a monthly travel pass, that includes travel on the metro, buses, trams and elevators located within the inner Lisbon city area, costs only €30.

If you don’t plan on making use of these too often, buying a re-chargeable ‘Zapping’ card would work best. It costs a one-off 50 cents.

 

 

 

You are able to top-up set values and simply pay per journey you use. A single trip on the metro on Zapping will set you back a mere €1.34.

Given the city’s relatively small size, getting around in Lisbon by making use of cab hailing services is another inexpensive way to travel.

This may in fact work out cheaper, especially when travelling in a group. Consider services such as Uber, Bolt or Kapten, all of whom have fantastic fares.


READ NEXT: Insurance for digital nomads


OTHER EXPENSES

Another expense worth considering would be signing up to a gym. There are various budget friendly gyms available throughout Lisbon, some of them offer membership from as little as €5.00 per week.

These include gyms such as Fitness Hut or Lemon Fit. If you prefer a more higher end gym, then Holmes Places would be your best bet, but will be considerably more expensive.

Do double check with your gym regarding the contract and cancellation terms. 

 

 

 

Joining a co-working space could set you back quite a bit. Thankfully, through the Croissant app, you are able to try out different co-work spaces all through the one application.

Simply sign up for one of their membership options. This will allow you a set number of monthly hours so you can check in and check out of the different co-works as you make use of them.


Chiado, Lisbon


LISBON BUDGET FOR ONE MONTH

If you’re moving to Lisbon and planning to stay a while, then knowing exactly how much to budget is crucial. Yes, Lisbon may be regarded as fairly cheap, but this all depends on the lifestyle you prefer. 

For many living in Lisbon, a budget of €1200 is considered very good if renting in a shared apartment. It can definitely afford you a very comfortable life. 

If you plan on living on your own and want to travel and enjoy Lisbon life a tad more, then you’d definitely need to increase that figure slightly.

 

 

 

Lisbon is a truly fantastic and beautiful city to live in.

With so much to see, do and explore and at a fairly low cost of living compared to other European neighbours, it’s no wonder it is top of many digital nomads’ travel bucket list. 

Enjoyed this post? Save it for later or forward it to a friend: 

lisbon for digital nomads