“The rising cost of living and too many tourists in Lisbon have led to a sharp rise in prices, and the city is no longer an attractive destination for nomads,” laments Gonçalo Hall, one of the founders of the Digital Nomad Association (DNA) Portugal.
Portugal is currently home to around 19,000 digital nomads, mainly in Lisbon, but other locations are gaining in importance, such as Ericeira, Lagos and Funchal. The capital has lost followers and is increasingly seen as an expensive city. This is the diagnosis of Gonçalo Hall, one of the founders of the Digital Nomad Association (DNA) Portugal. “The rising cost of living and too many tourists in Lisbon have led to a sharp rise in prices, and the city is no longer an attractive destination for nomads”, he laments.
The capital, which for some time topped the rankings drawn up by Nomadlist (a website for digital nomads that collects information on the various places chosen by its members), now occupies 13th position and, although it scores positively with 82% of members, with good marks in areas such as air or internet quality, suitability for families with children or safety, it gets a negative mark when it comes to costs. Most members put the city in the red, considering it expensive, with monthly costs estimated at nearly four thousand dollars.
Accommodation will be one of the most negative aspects, as digital nomads “mainly use local accommodation due to the lack of medium-term accommodation projects in Lisbon, unlike in Berlin [9th in the ranking] for example”, explains Gonçalo Hall. The head of DNA estimates that Lisbon, which used to have an average of 14,000 to 15,000 digital nomads, now has around 8,000.
However, Gonçalo Hall explains that the association’s statistics only take into account people who travel relatively frequently, and who stay no longer than two months on average. We don’t take into account remote nomadic workers who settle in Portugal, who are ‘expats’ or digital immigrants,” he stresses.
While Lisbon has fallen back in the Nomadlist rankings, other cities, such as Porto (which currently boasts some 3,500 nomads), Funchal and Lagos, have risen. The prize goes to Ericeira, in third place worldwide, ahead of only Ko Pha Ngan and Bangkok, Thailand. According to Gonçalo Hall, “arrivals were stable at between 800 and 1,000 nomads”. Lagos is 12th and Porto 19th. Madeira is 6th. Not surprisingly, none of the Portuguese cities is as expensive as Lisbon – Ericeira, for example, has average monthly costs of USD 3,485 and Lagos USD 2,550.
Gonçalo Hall is also the creator of Madeira’s “Nomad Village”, a partnership with the regional government, created in the midst of the pandemic with the aim of attracting digital nomads to Ponta do Sol, in Funchal.