Portugal for the Digital Nomad
Often compared to Chiang Mai as the perfect place to work from and still enjoy day to day life, and to San Diego in terms of climate, Lisbon has already caught the eye of many digital nomads that seek a cheap cost of living, fast internet, great accesses and a safe and fun environment.
Porto, Portugal’s second biggest city, is a hidden gem in the world of digital nomads but one that is slowly being discovered as an even more affordable version of Lisbon.
Portugal, a country of 10 million inhabitants, is one of the safest countries in the world. It still has old world glamour with short winters, warm summers and it is the sunniest place in Europe.
Due to attention that it has received from classic digital nomad’s websites, coworking spaces are a growing business and networking events are common. There are also quite a few local cafes with fast and reliable Wi-Fi that allow you to work in exchange for a healthy meal. Cheap housing in Lisbon and Porto has also resulted in many digital nomads working from their own apartments.
As of 2016, Lisbon hosts the Web Summit every year (and several other international tech related events).
Portugal’s strategic location is not only great in terms of its time zone* but it also allows digital nomads to fly directly to most European countries, the Middle East and North and South America. Public transportation is cheap and easy to access and Uber, Cabify and other apps are used without most of the usual restrictions that tend to exist in Southeast Asia.
*Same time zone as London, 1 hour behind most European countries, 2 hours behind Moscow, 3 hours behind UAE and 4/5 hours ahead of New York and São Paulo.
Another major plus is the flexible visa regulations. Citizens from the European Union can stay indefinitely and digital nomads from North America and Australia are granted a 90-day tourist visa on arrival.
Several options for residency are available creating synergies with the non-habitual residency scheme, considering the tax incentives that were put in place to attract investors and businesses. For this reason, Portugal can be used as your tax residency base, without paying more taxes because of it.
Other options such as the golden visa might also be interesting to check.