I am currently in Lisbon for my second stint within the last two months. This time I am visiting as the DNX Conference begins later next week.
Over the last 2 years Lisbon has been spoken about as a top travel destination for city breakers but a great place for Digital Nomads. As well as the DNX Conference this year, Web Summit has made Lisbon it’s home.
My first trip to Lisbon in July was a nice introduction, I truly enjoyed my time wandering the streets, albeit the blistering heat. The plan was to stay in Lisbon until the end of the DNX Conference in September. Prior to my trip to Lisbon I joined a number of Facebook groups and began researching how to find a semi permanent home, in hope of finding something modern and fairly affordable as I heard how Lisbon can be.
Uniplaces & Meetup/Coworking
The number one choice recommended throughout the Facebook groups to find a property was Uniplaces. Uniplaces has a long list of available properties and Lisbon Facebook groups are littered with agents who are eager to help you find your property. Initially I stayed in an AirBnB for the first 7 days while I tried to find a place, the perfect location and right living conditions go a really long way for me settling in to new surroundings.
During this period I did struggle and wasn’t feeling comfortable with the properties available to me. The agents via the Facebook groups for Uniplaces were hugely responsive however there were some major drawbacks of going down this route. My major concern is as follows: they do not let you view the property before putting down your deposit, you only see it on the day you move in. The reason being is they are focusing on helping students moving to Lisbon from abroad who cannot view the property beforehand. I couldn’t quite understand the logic of, if you are in Lisbon, why can’t you check it out? For me this was way to risky to end up in a place I didn’t like for 2 months in a city I didn’t know.
I particularly enjoyed attending an excellent digital nomad meet up. Attended by 60+ nomads in a very cool part of town followed by some very sociable drinks afterwards which was an excellent opportunity to network and met some very nice people. To add to this I spent a day working at Cowork Central which was a very pleasant experience and gave me the excuse to leave my AirBnB and work elsewhere which I often struggle to find the motivation to do.
After spending 8 days in Lisbon, I thoroughly enjoyed it however without finding the right place to stay, AirBnB would become costly to stay for a longer period of time. Maybe if I did not arrive in peak season I would have had more joy and will keep this in mind for the future. Knowing I would be returning in September for the DNX Conference I decided to head back to London and spend my first Summer there in 3 years.
Lisbon has an excellent Meetup and social scene. An ideal place to network, socialise and make the most of some great coworking spaces.
– Wes Cude
Second visit to Lisbon
Second time round and I’m getting a much better feel for why Lisbon is such a popular choice for remote workers. Lisbon is a great size with many different areas with their own unique vibe. Not overly hectic like other major cities but with plenty of options to keep you entertained both inside the city and a short train journey outside to explore the excellent beaches and towns such as Cais Cais to the stunning Unesco Heritage site of Sintra.
While I am only staying here for 2 weeks, I no longer have the hassle of trying to find something more permanent and has allowed me to really enjoy my stay in Lisbon more freely. Lisbon has some fantastic restaurants at affordable prices, rooftop bars to watch the sunset and relaxing beaches only a short journey away.
Having visited Cowork Central on my initial trip in July, I took advantage of a free day pass at Cowork Lisboa, located in the LX Factory. The LX Factory is a tremendous setting, located on a cobbly street, you are presented with chic shops and restaurants running either side of you. I received a warm welcome when visiting Cowork Lisboa and would recommend visiting if you would like a change of scenery to work from.
Personally I do not think I can accurately review any coworking space, I do like to visit them however I really do not make as much use of them as maybe I should. Saying this, I would recommend both Cowork Central and Cowork Lisboa, both nice places and a good way to potentially meet, network and definitely get stuff done.
Overall, Lisbon is an excellent city which definitely grew on me upon the second visit. Next year I am looking to visit again but I have learnt my lessons:
1.) Plan ahead of time and try to find a suitable place to stay
2.) Avoid arriving in July when it is extremely hot and properties are hard to come by
Note: Due to unforseen circumstances, I was unable to attend the DNX Conference.