The best cities in Portugal to live as digital nomads


In the last two years, more and more foreigners have moved to Portugal permanently, taking advantage of the opportunity to obtain a residence permit for “digital nomads”. This was also facilitated by the tightening of the conditions of the Golden Visa program, which also became temporarily unavailable to Russian citizens.

At the end of 2021, Portugal took fourth place in the ranking of the best countries to live for “digital nomads” and the only representative of Europe in the top ten. It has a number of advantages, the main of which include a favorable climate, affordable prices for basic goods and services, a developed transport network, high-quality medical care, a low crime rate, rich gastronomic traditions and the presence of all the necessary infrastructure for a comfortable stay for families with children. The low cost of renting housing is also important, since one part of the “digital nomads” plans to buy housing in Portugal, while the other is not going to stay in one place for a long time and therefore intends to limit itself to renting an apartment or house here.

Despite Portugal’s small size, there are many places that are best suited for foreigners, and in some of them, citizens of other countries make up a significant proportion of the population. Thus, Americans, Brazilians, British, Germans and French prefer to settle in Lisbon; Cascais and Porto, located half an hour away, are also chosen by the Spaniards, and quite a lot of Dutch and people from Scandinavian countries live in the resorts of the Algarve.

The choice of location is largely determined by the lifestyle that foreigners are accustomed to leading. For lovers of solitude, peace and quiet, Madeira, the Azores or small towns on the Algarve coast are suitable, and for those who are accustomed to an active, eventful life – Lisbon, Porto or Coimbra. Taking all these criteria into account, Nomad List has compiled a list of the best cities in Portugal to live as digital nomads.


1. Lisbon

Pros:

  • the world’s best destination for expats and one of the best for real estate investment;

  • low crime rate;

  • availability of everything necessary for the life of families with children;

  • a large number of educational centers.

Minuses:

The average cost of living (per month) is 1254 euros.

Average cost of 1 sq.m. housing – 5004 euros.

Average rental cost (per month per 1 sq.m.) – 15.2 euros


2. Porto

Pros:

  • quality medical care;

  • low crime rate;

  • a wide range of employment and business opportunities.

Minuses:

The average cost of living (per month) is 1100 euros.

Average cost of 1 sq.m. housing – 3108 euros.

Average rental cost (per month per 1 sq.m.) – 11.9 euros


3. Braga

Pros:

  • good location (30 minutes to the beaches, 15 minutes to the mountains and forests and 40 minutes to the border with Spain);

  • quality medical care;

  • developed transport network.

Minuses:

  • cold winters;

  • lack of sufficient knowledge of the English language among the majority of the population.

The average cost of living (per month) is 834 euros.

Average cost of 1 sq.m. housing – 1519 euros.

Average rental cost (per month per 1 sq.m.) – 6.8 euros


4. Funchal (Madeira Island)

Pros:

  • almost complete absence of organized crime;

  • warm weather throughout the year;

  • Availability of living conditions for families with children.

Minuses:

  • the routine typical of life on the island;

  • limited opportunities for employment and running your own business.

The average cost of living (per month) is 1118 euros.

Average cost of 1 sq.m. housing – 2532 euros.

The average rental cost (per month per 1 sq.m.) is 10.8 euros.


5. Ponta Delgada (Sao Miguel Island, Azores)

Pros:

  • good environmental conditions;

  • ensuring a high level of security;

  • Availability of living conditions for families with children.

Minuses:

  • the routine typical of life on the island;

  • insufficiently developed transport network;

  • limited opportunities for employment and running your own business.

The average cost of living (per month) is 1449 euros.

Average cost of 1 sq.m. housing – 1957 euros.


6. Aveiro

Pros:

  • proximity to Port;

  • low crime rate;

  • a measured pace of life without a large number of tourists.

Minuses:

  • location away from the coast;

  • lack of sufficient knowledge of English among the majority of the population;

  • low level of medical care.

The average cost of living (per month) is 1449 euros.

Average cost of 1 sq.m. housing – 2370 euros.

The average rental cost (per month per 1 sq.m.) is 8.6 euros.


7. Coimbra

Pros:

  • good location and transport links with other cities;

  • low crime rate;

  • high quality medical care;

  • a large selection of places to spend your leisure time.

Minuses:

The average cost of living (per month) is 1059 euros.

Average cost of 1 sq.m. housing – 1977 euros.

The average rental cost (per month per 1 sq.m.) is 8.1 euros.


8. Portimao

Pros:

  • proximity to some of the best beaches on the Algarve coast;

  • good transport links with other cities in the region – especially Faro and Loule;

  • the prevalence of English due to the large number of immigrants from around the world.

Minuses:

  • influx of tourists during the summer months;

  • limited opportunities for employment and running your own business.

The average cost of living (per month) is 1,725 ​​euros.

Average cost of 1 sq.m. housing – 2262 euros.

The average rental cost (per month per 1 sq.m.) is 10.2 euros.

The “pioneer” in Portugal in terms of attracting “digital nomads” was the city of Ribeira Grande (population: about 32,000), on the island of Sao Miguel. Local authorities have launched a special Internet platform “Digital Nomads RG”, which provides all the necessary information for financially independent foreigners who want to move to Portugal. In particular, it contains not only standard information about attractions, the most significant events in the life of the city, places of culture and recreation, but also useful tips on integration into local society.



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