Digital Nomads in Portugal

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Digital Nomads in Portugal

Do you love explorative lifestyles and work in IT, creative industries, online education, or digital marketing?

This article is for you.

In the evolving landscape of work culture, the term ‘digital nomad’ has emerged as a significant phenomenon. Digital nomads are professionals who leverage technology to work remotely and lead a location-independent lifestyle. This concept, gaining momentum since the early 2000s, aligns with the growing emphasis on work-life balance and technological advancements enabling remote work.

Where do Digital Nomads come from and where are they going?

Typically, digital nomads hail from countries with strong digital infrastructures, such as the United States, Canada, and various European nations. They often choose destinations that offer a blend of cultural richness, affordable living, and robust internet connectivity. Countries like Thailand, Indonesia, and recently Portugal have become hotspots for this demographic.

Why Portugal? Key Attractions for Digital Nomads

Portugal, with its mild climate, scenic landscapes, and vibrant culture, has become a sought-after destination for digital nomads. What attracts them the most are factors like affordable living costs, a friendly expat community, and a well-established digital infrastructure. Cities like Lisbon and Porto offer a perfect mix of historical charm and modern amenities, making them ideal for a nomadic lifestyle.

Portugal has emerged as a highly attractive destination for digital nomads for several reasons:

  • Climate and Geography
    Portugal offers a pleasant climate year-round, with mild winters and warm summers. Its diverse geography, from the stunning beaches of the Algarve to the verdant hills of the Douro Valley, provides a picturesque backdrop for remote work.
  • Cost of Living
    Compared to other Western European countries, Portugal has a relatively lower cost of living. This affordability extends to housing, food, and transportation, making it an economically viable option for digital nomads.
  • Connectivity and Infrastructure
    Portugal boasts excellent internet connectivity, crucial for digital nomads. Major cities like Lisbon and Porto have numerous coworking spaces and cafes with reliable Wi-Fi, catering to the needs of remote workers.
  • Cultural and Social Life
    The country has a rich cultural heritage, evident in its architecture, music, and cuisine. Cities like Lisbon are known for their vibrant social scene, offering plenty of opportunities for networking and socializing.
  • Safety and Stability
    Portugal is consistently ranked as one of the safest countries in the world. This sense of security is a significant draw for digital nomads, who often prioritize safety in their choice of destination.
  • Friendly Visa Policies
    The Portuguese government offers visas and residency options that are favorable to non-EU citizens, including digital nomads. The relatively straightforward process to obtain legal residency is a huge plus.
  • Quality of Life
    Portugal scores high on various quality of life indices. The healthcare system is robust, public transport is efficient, and there is a strong emphasis on work-life balance, aligning well with the lifestyle of many digital nomads.
  • Language and International Community
    While Portuguese is the official language, English is widely spoken, especially in larger cities and tourist areas. There’s also a growing international community, providing a sense of familiarity and ease for expatriates.
  • Sustainability and Environmental Consciousness
    Portugal is increasingly focusing on sustainability, with initiatives to promote renewable energy and eco-friendly practices. This aligns with the values of many digital nomads who are environmentally conscious.
  • Food and Gastronomy
    Portuguese cuisine, known for its seafood, wines, and pastries, is a delight for food enthusiasts. The country’s culinary diversity adds to its appeal as a destination where one can explore new flavors while working remotely.

In summary, Portugal combines the practical aspects necessary for remote work (like good internet connectivity and affordable living costs) with the enriching experiences of its culture, safety, and natural beauty, making it an ideal spot for digital nomads.

The ideal home for a Digital Nomad

When it comes to real estate, digital nomads prioritize flexibility, affordability, and connectivity. Properties that offer short-term leases, furnished accommodations, and high-speed internet are highly preferred and Portugal’s real estate market has adapted to these needs, offering a variety of options from urban apartments to serene countryside homes.

Professional Landscape of Digital Nomads

Digital nomads often work in sectors like IT, creative industries, online education, and digital marketing. They tend to be professionals who can perform their job roles entirely online, such as web developers, graphic designers, and content creators. This flexibility allows them to seamlessly blend work with their explorative lifestyles.

Flexibility, Affordability, and Connectivity.
When you think about digital nomads, remember these keywords.

Who are they?

The typical digital nomad is often portrayed as a young professional in their late 20s to mid-30s, although the demographic is diversifying. Both men and women are equally represented, with a common denominator being their pursuit of a non-traditional work setting and a culturally enriching life experience.
The demographic profile of digital nomads in 2023 illustrates a group that is predominantly from the United States, with a significant representation of Millennials in their 30s. There is a diverse gender distribution, with a slightly higher proportion of males.
Digital nomads generally possess a high level of education and work predominantly in professions that allow remote work.
Their economic impact is notable, with considerable incomes and contributions to the economies of their host countries through various forms of spending and taxation.

Who are the Digital Nomads in Portugal


The majority of digital nomads, about 52%, are from the United States, followed by the United Kingdom (8%), Russia (5%), Canada (4%), Germany (3%), and France (3%).

Age Distribution

Approximately 47% of digital nomads are in their 30s, with Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) making up 47% of the population. Gen Z (aged 18-26) constitutes about 17%, Gen X (aged 43-58) around 23%, and Baby Boomers (aged 59-77) approximately 13%. The average age of a digital nomad is 32 years, with many beginning their nomadic lifestyle around the age of 29.

Gender Distribution

About 58% of digital nomads are men, 41% are women, and 1% identify as transgender.

Professional and Educational Background

Digital nomads work in a variety of fields, predominantly in IT, creative industries, online education, and digital marketing. A significant portion, about 90%, have completed higher education.

Economic Aspects

The majority of digital nomads earn an average of $123,500 a year. However, the median income ranges between $50,000 and $99,999, indicating a broad spectrum of earning levels. Approximately 70% of digital nomads work for 40 hours a week, while 33% report working more than 40 hours weekly.

Economic footprint of digital nomadism

The influx of digital nomads has a multifaceted economic impact. Locally, they contribute to the economy through spending on housing, dining, and entertainment. Nationally, Portugal benefits from the international exposure and the potential attraction of long-term foreign investment and talent. This phenomenon has prompted Portugal to consider policies and infrastructure that further support remote workers.

In 2023 there were 35 million digital nomads spread across the world.
47% come from the USA.

How to be a Digital Nomad in Portugal?

For those who wish to work remotely from Portugal, it is possible to obtain a temporary stay visa and residence permit to work for an employer based outside of Portugal.

What is the digital nomad visa?

The digital nomad visa is granted for a maximum period of one year and is valid for multiple entries into the national territory.
It is only mandatory to obtain a digital nomad visa if the period of stay is longer than a tourist visa, which in most cases allows you to stay in the country for up to 180 days. It is also possible for the family members of the nomadic worker to also request a temporary stay or residence visa, which will allow the family to join together on national territory.

Do you want to leave the city? Digital nomads with support if they go to the countryside

There is currently support for remote workers who choose to settle within the country. The measure covers digital nomads. Anyone who is in Portugal on a temporary stay visa or residence visa and decides to move to the interior of the country will benefit from “Emprego Interior Mais” support, as long as they work remotely, regardless of whether the employer is Portuguese or foreign.

Necessary documents for Digital Nomad Visa

The Portuguese authorities request the following documents to issue a residence visa to carry out professional activities provided remotely outside the national territory / Digital Nomad:
In subordinate work situations, one of the following documents:

  • Work contract; or,
  • Declaration from the employer proving the employment relationship.
  • In situations of carrying out independent professional activity, one of the following documents:
  • Society contract; or,;
  • Contract for services; or,
  • Document demonstrating services provided to one or more entities.
    Proof of average monthly income earned while carrying out subordinate or independent professional activity in the last three months of a minimum amount equivalent to four guaranteed minimum monthly wages;
    Document certifying your tax residence.

Necessary documents for Digital Nomad Visa

The trend of digital nomadism, particularly in Portugal, underscores a shift towards a more flexible, technology-driven work culture. Portugal’s rise as a preferred destination for digital nomads is not only reshaping its urban landscapes but also its economic and cultural fabric. As the world continues to embrace remote work, Portugal stands out as a prime example of how countries can adapt to and benefit from this global movement.


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