I moved to Lisbon in January for the year, and it’s now almost April! The time has flown by and I think it’s because of all the experiences I’ve jumped into and all the amazing new connections I’ve made. Many people are curious about the digital nomad lifestyle, especially trying it out solo. It can be scary to move to a new city on your own, aligning to a new time zone, and create a new routine.
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Lisbon is a hot spot for digital nomads for a reason. The city is small enough to not feel overwhelming, there are lots of cool day trips to take if you need to get some nature time in, and the city fosters a great digital nomad community.
Join the Lisbon Digital Nomad Facebook Group
Lisbon has a fantastic digital nomad scene and hosts many events each week. The most popular group, the Lisbon Digital Nomad group, is a great resource for information and connection point for new people in the city.
I met Dide on this group, we ended up messaging and then went for dinner that same day. We became good friends and ended up spending almost every day of the next 3 weeks together.
Find a Short to Long Term Apartment
The apartment hunt in Lisbon for a short-term rental can be slightly daunting and challenging, but possible. In the past few years, due to an influx of digital nomads, prices for short-term apartments have gone up. Lisbon isn’t as affordable as it once was, but its a similar trend across all major cities.
I found my apartment on idealista.pt. Facebook Marketplace is also a good option to keep an eye on for apartment options. There is a website called Hoodpicker that is designed to help you determine what neighborhood you might want to live in. I live in Santos, which I think is a perfect location. My apartment however is not perfect. It’s an older Portugese building that keeps all the warmth out, and after spending a few weeks living here, I know some small luxuries that I will be looking for when I find a new apartment later this year. If you are anything like me, you’ll want to look for the following things:
-natural light (especially if you are working from home)
-bathtub (who doesn’t like to unwind on a Sunday with a nice bath)
-AC/heater – the bigger the better
-kitchen appliances like a toaster and a blender
Take Advantage of the City's Free Walking Tour
I’ve always enjoyed joining the free walking tour in any city that I am new to. It’s always led by an enthusiastic local who is generally funny and a good storyteller. It is also filled with other people who are either new to the city, or travelling, which in my experience means that they are open to new friends and connections.
Dide and I went on the free walking tour on the second weekend I was in Lisbon, and it was the best decision we made. We met Evan and Lee, two Canadian boys, who turned into two of my best friends living in Lisbon.
Work from Cafes, But Don't Overstay Your Welcome
You may come across a few blogs on the best cafes to work from in Lisbon, and I have to say, they lie. Many of the cafes here are not designed to spend hours working from and have signs on the tables (no computers). If you are looking at a place to work from for a couple hours a day, but not to use an extension of your daily office, here are some options. Otherwise, if you do need a more permanent working station, look into the many coworking spaces offered around the city.
My experience in Lisbon over the last 2 months has been a whirlwind, but I have so many positive memories from all the experiences I’ve had. I am still adjusting to life in a new city, but I feel like I have a stable base here to continue to grow and develop.