With an artsy, hipster vibe and plenty of coworking spaces, Porto is catching up to Lisbon as a digital nomad hotspot in Portugal. Porto is much cheaper though, and if you aren’t a sun-seeker you won’t mind the chillier winters. The coworking spaces here offer lots in the form of features, amenities, and networking events, so if you’re a social butterfly you’ll want to check them out.
In this Porto Digital Nomad guide, you’ll see why it’s becoming such a hot spot.
1. What’s so great about Porto for digital nomads?
Growing digital nomad scene
Although Porto isn’t as popular as Lisbon, it’s growing in popularity among digital nomads. There are plenty of great coworking spaces which offer a variety of networking events, and a few groups where you can connect with other local digital nomads who are staying in Porto.
Portugal is known for having good weather. This doesn’t mean you should expect it to be sunny and hot all year though; winter does get cold. If you aren’t a sun-worshipper and prefer to experience winter once in a while, you’ll love Porto.
Don’t worry too much about walking down the street at night, or leaving your laptop unattended while you grab another cup of coffee. Porto is very safe. You should still exercise common sense, but locals are friendly and fairly helpful.
Porto is a small city with a robust public transportation system. You can get just about anywhere you’d like, very quickly. This allows you to explore the whole of Porto fairly easily.
A fast, steady connection is the standard in Porto. Most places have a great Wi-Fi connection, so if your work relies on the internet like many other digital nomads, you won’t run into too many problems in Porto.
2. Where to live in Porto
Although you don’t want to stay directly in the center of the city, as it has a lot of tourists and therefore higher prices, you don’t want to venture too far away either. The farther away you are from the center of Porto, the more you’ll encounter rundown houses and people with poor living conditions. It’s also farther from Porto’s great public transportation system.
- Airbnb: explore hundreds of possible options for your stay in Porto; the average cost is about $48 per night, but long-term stays may find better rates
- TrustedHousesitters: stay somewhere for free, in exchange for petsitting or housesitting while the homeowners are away
- NomadX: aimed entirely at digital nomads, this site lists homes and home-shares in Porto; if you don’t mind having a roommate, this is a great option to network with other freelancers and save on the cost of accommodation
3. Where to work in Porto
With the price of a cup of coffee at around $0.74, you’ll probably want to work from a coffee shop when you can. Although you will see cafes all over, many of them are not what you might expect. You can grab a cup of coffee and continue on your way, but don’t plan to sit and work while you caffeinate. There are just a few places where you can enjoy your coffee and work:
- Combi Coffee: great wifi and available outlets
- Royal Rawness: wifi is decent, but don’t plan on doing a Skype call from here
- Brando Casa do Cafe: great wifi, lots of outlets, and plenty of tables to work from
- Mesa 325: a steady internet connection and a hot spot for locals to work from their laptops as well
When it comes to working in Porto, you’ll have much more options with coworking spaces.
- Porto i/o: with free beer, a kitchen, beanbag chairs, and the option to bring your dog or cat to work with you, this is a very popular choice.
- CRU Cowork: located in the middle of the art district, this cowork place offers a ping-pong table, a kitchen, a dedicated Skype room, and is both cat-friendly and dog-friendly.
- Synergy Coworking: whether you want to work, relax, or network, this is a great place to do all three. High-speed wifi, a yoga studio, and regular events make Synergy Coworking a place you have to check out as a digital nomad in Porto.
4. Where to network with other digital nomads in Porto
There are two Facebook groups where you can connect with other Digital Nomads in Porto:
There are also meetups and events where you can network with local digital nomads in your industry:
- Porto Digital Nomads Meetup
- Porto Startup Coffee for entrepreneurs in Porto
- Founders Founders hosts events on scaling your business, growth hacking, and working in the tech industry
The coworking space Porto i/o is a great spot to network with other digital nomads. There are community events, workshops, community lunches and community drink events hosted here often, and members also have access to a Slack channel and Facebook group.
Synergy Coworking also hosts multiple types of events for members. Like Porto i/o they have community lunches and drinks, workshops, and other events. Members can keep in touch or connect through their Facebook group or Slack channel. Synergy also hosts pitching events and has a mentorship program.
5. TL;DR: Which type of Digital Nomad is Porto for?
If you have your heart set on Portugal but Lisbon is too expensive and populated for you, head to Porto before it’s cool. Social digital nomads who love to attend local events and network with like-minded individuals will appreciate the large number of events and workshops hosted by the coworking spaces in Porto. The city is small and fairly easy to navigate, so it suits digital nomads who are looking for a short-term place to stay before heading onto another city to explore.