NomadCities – Lisbon

It's here! Our first official episode of NomadCities! Johannes Tvedt takes us on a tour of beautiful Lisbon, Portugal with travel blogger Pink Lemonade ft. coliving/coworking spaces by Outsite.Next episode: Barcelona #nomadcities #digitalnomad #locationindependent

Posted by SafetyWing on Wednesday, August 8, 2018


Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal, sitting on the eastern coast of the Tagus River estuary.

The city can trace its roots back to the Stone Age, as it now takes its place as one of the most modern and bustling cities in Europe.

Because of Lisbon’s leadership in finance, business, education, arts, entertainment, and international trade, the city’s booming industries have helped nomads and expats recognize that the lifestyle found in Lisbon is among the best in the world.

Why Do Digital Nomads Love Lisbon?

History – Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in Europe with origins stemming back several thousand years. It underwent a harrowing series of transformations over the years through wars, trade, and revolutions in order to form what is now one of the most important cities in the region. This rich history is reflected in every neighbourhood, in every monument, and in every one of its many UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Arts + Culture – Each one of Lisbon’s neighbourhoods is unique, with various offerings for its residents. From ancient palaces to sprawling cathedrals to modern art galleries to overarching concepts of Fado — an 1800s genre of music that captures the spirit of the human condition — Lisbon is bursting with artistic representations of its unique and diverse culture.

Food – Apart from being the capital city, Lisbon is also the food capital of Portugal. Being on the coastline, Lisbon is notable for its myriad of seafood offerings. But Lisbon’s food culture really shines in its snacks, street food, and pastries. Stuff down a whole crab, gorge on some food truck Bifana, and then finish off with Lisbon’s classic pastry — Pasteis de Nata.

Nightlife – One of the defining characteristics of Lisbon is its thriving nightlife scene. Hundreds of bustling bars, clubs, restaurants, discos, and Fado houses line the streets in the areas around Barrio Alto and Cais do Sodré. Said to be one of the best nightlife scenes in Europe, Lisbon fully comes alive once the sun goes down.

Weather – Lisbon’s warm-temperate subtropical climate keeps the city pretty comfortable all year. While it can get a little cold and rainy in the winter months, it’s mild enough not to be too much of a problem. And the warm, dry summers are ideal for lounging around one of the many beautiful coastal beaches. Daytime temperatures in January don’t typically drop below 10 °C (50 °F) and daytime August temperatures don’t usually go above 32 °C (90 °F).

NomadCities Ratings – Lisbon

Average Cost of Living: €1,661 EUR/month ($1,778 USD)

Lisbon is a relatively cheap place to live in, especially for western Europe.

A one bedroom apartment in the city center averages about €850 EUR ($968 USD). If you’re on a tight budget, this cost can be mitigated by staying in hostels and cheap hotels which average around €9 EUR/night ($10.21 USD).

Food in Lisbon is also relatively cheap. A lot of times you may find it’s cheaper to eat out than it is to buy and cook food yourself. A typical meal out costs around €8 EUR ($9.11 USD).

Factoring in rent, utilities, meals, transportation, internet costs, and a never-ending supply of pastries, the typical digital nomad can expect to spend around €1,500 EUR ($1,708 USD) each month in Lisbon.

Transportation: Great

Lisbon is a highly walkable and easy to get around city.

Lisbon has a great public transportation system with a high-quality and reliable network of trains, trams, and busses.

Average Internet Speed: 21 MB/s

Lisbon might not have the fastest internet speeds in Europe, but the average Wi-Fi is more than suitable enough for most internet-based jobs.

The Wi-Fi in Lisbon is found in abundance. Many street cafes, bars, restaurants, and other establishments offer free Wi-Fi for public use.

Overall Safety: Good

In general, Portugal — which ranks 4th in the world in the 2018 Global Peace Index — is a pretty safe place.

Most people feel comfortable walking alone in Lisbon as the threat of violent crime is pretty low.

Naturally, as with any big city with a large amount of tourism, it’s necessary to keep valuable items safe and secure to protect against petty theft.

Foreigners are usually seen as easy prey and can fall victim to pickpockets, touts, and scams, so make sure to stay smart and savvy.

English Levels: Above Average

Lisbon is an international city with a lot of English speakers.

While it’s definitely appreciated if you at least try to speak Portuguese, getting around with just English shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

Coworking Spaces: 25 – 75

Lisbon is definitely friendly to the coworking concept.

While it’s far from the biggest city in Europe, it still contains a relatively large number of coworking spaces for its digital-based workforce.

The price of a coworking membership in Lisbon averages around €100 – €150 EUR/month ($113 – $169 USD) with many day-pass options for around €10 – €15 EUR ($11.30 – $17 USD).

Here are some cool coworking spaces in Lisbon:

Espaço 3D – This pet-friendly, highly-rated coworking space in the heart of Lisbon is  committed to giving its workers a great experience. The space itself is housed in an old, charming building which has been carefully crafted to be both inviting and conducive for productivity. In addition to high-quality internet and free coffee, Espaço 3D also offers meditation and yoga classes to help its members wind down after a long workday.

The Sea Office – Technically located across the Tagus in Almada, this unique coworking space offers a 3-in-1 experience: Sleeping, working, and having fun. You can rent out one of their bedrooms, work in their coworking space, and go surf at the nearby beach. If you’re looking for a place right on the coast which has great internet and super awesome vibes, then The Sea Office is where you need to be.

Workup – Workup is a wonderful coworking space right in the city center of Lisbon. Apart from the crazy fast internet (1GB/s), Workup has a swimming pool, an audio recording studio, a washer/dryer, a full kitchen, 24hr keycard access for members, and beds for when you need to take a midday nap during your lunch break.

Where to Meet Fellow Lisbon Nomads

Expat Meetups in Lisbon – Lisbon’s Expat Meetup Groups are great ways of connecting with fellow expats through Meetups around things like wine tasting, language exchange, and bringing together expats and locals. One popular group — HighFive Friending — designed for finding new Lisbon friends even created their own app to go along with their Meetups.

InterNations Lisbon – InterNations is a global community of expatriates with a focus on living and doing business around the world. They organize networking events for business-minded expats to connect with each other. In addition to networking events, InterNations Lisbon also has live music groups, dinner groups, and wine tasting groups.

NomadList – NomadList helps connect you with other digital nomads in your area while giving you lots of useful information about your nomadic destinations. When you sign up for a membership, you’ll be allowed to contact other members via the platform’s Slack chatrooms.

Facebook – Facebook Groups are great ways to connect with fellow expats around the world. Here are a few good Lisbon expat groups to join:

Lisbon is the vibrant and culturally explosive capital city of Portugal.

It’s interesting, fun, safe, cheap, gorgeous, and a great place to gorge on a lot of delicious pastries.

More and more digital nomads are starting to realize that time spent in Lisbon is not only fruitful, it’s also really fun.

Lisbon has a great, hip vibe as it embraces the digital age while still managing to maintain its unique and fiery edge. That’s why it’s been making its mark as one of the best NomadCities in the world.