There are tons of things to keep in mind when you’re moving to a new country: paperwork, what to pack, finding a place to live, etc., and there are so many things one doesn’t even know about before they move into a new country. So we thought we’d put together a small summary of some tips for digital nomads who are getting a mid-term rental in Portugal.
Portugal has islands
You should consider whether you want to live on the mainland of Portugal or if you want to enjoy your few months living in, for example, Madeira Island or Ponta do Sol. Island life is sweet and warm, with beautiful nature and bustling city life. Unfortunately, most countries in the EU won’t give you such an opportunity, so consider if part of your journey to Portugal shouldn’t also be a stay on the “island of eternal spring”.
Lisbon is great, but you don’t have to live there
Lisbon is the perfect place for any digital nomad. It is affordable (compared to other western countries in the EU). It is multicultural, and it has a vast number of coworking spaces and remote workers communities for you to enjoy. But that does not mean you have to live there. Right outside of Lisbon, there are many coastal towns and villages where the price of living is even lower, and the connection to and from Lisbon is solid. This way, you can enjoy the affordances of Lisbon while having the calm and peace of a small coastal town.
Look out for visas
Visas are complicated, no matter where you go. If you are an EU citizen or your country is part of the Schengen agreement, you don’t need a visa at all. You can arrive in Portugal with either a passport or an ID and go right in. You don’t even need a work permit or anything of the sort to find a job in Portugal. For non-EU citizens, the process is more complicated. It would help if you had a visitor visa (sometimes called a Schengen visa) or a work visa. If you’re unsure how to obtain these or don’t know which would be a better fit for you, contact your nation’s embassy in Portugal for more details.
You are eligible for subsidised healthcare
Portugal has thoroughly socialised its healthcare in a true European fashion to make it accessible to all its citizens. However, what you may not have known is that it extends to foreigners as well. As long as you have residency in Portugal and you pay into the system through either a cut of your salary or some other way, you too can enjoy the benefits of social healthcare. It does not usually mean full coverage, but your co-payments should be sensible. A broken tooth will no longer bankrupt you.
Know when to move
Portugal is a highly sought-after destination for tourists who seasonally drive up accommodation prices in some areas of the country. In the south, the Algarve, islands, and other tourist centres, accommodation prices rise significantly between June and September. The rent won’t be as bad as in the UK even after the mark-up, but consider moving during the late autumn, winter, or early spring if you want the best deal.