More and more workers have come to appreciate the flexibility of working remotely, and many have taken the opportunity to explore new parts of the world! Governments have noticed the
interest of travellers to work remotely from other countries, and a lot have implemented a special visa for digital nomads. Spain and Portugal joined the list of 42 countries that already have special visas for remote workers in place with their Digital Nomad Visa initiative.
With sunny weather, delicious food, amazing landscapes and a rich culture, it’s not surprising that there was a high demand for a Digital Nomad visa for both Spain and Portugal. Who doesn’t want to spend a couple of months discovering these amazing countries without having to use all your annual leave? The only decision that you need to make is where to go!
Spanish holiday rental experts Spain-Holiday joined forces with the holiday rental portal Holidu to bring you the best cities on the Iberian Peninsula for digital nomads! These cities all rank high on the Workation Index, which ranks cities according to several factors that are important to digital nomads. It takes into account the monthly cost of a one-bedroom apartment, the WiFi speed, the cost of after-work drinks, the average hours of sunshine and much more. In short, they are amazing destinations where you can both work hard, and play hard!
The best Portuguese and Spanish cities for digital nomads
1. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is not only the best city on the peninsula for digital nomads, it takes the top spot in the European standings as well! Whilst Portugal’s capital didn’t rank in the top 10 for any of the individual categories, its culmination of relatively high scores across the board has earned it its top position.
And for good reason too. Lisbon is many things – home of the delicious pastel de nata, great cheap wine, and buzzing with energy as the sounds of Fado fill the streets. The city also offers remote workers easy access to a number of beaches just outside its parameters, perfect for an early morning or late afternoon dip with taxi’s costing just the equivalent of £0.40 per km.
2. Barcelona, Spain
Spain’s second-biggest city takes the second spot of the Iberian and the European rankings! The city’s unique architecture from designers like Gaudi has earned it a position in the top 10 cities for Instagrammability with over 62 million photos having been posted with #Barcelona. Gaudi’s impressive buildings such as the Sagrada Familia and Park Guell are truly worth seeing, along with the 2,737 other 4-star and above rated things to do in Barcelona.
For cracking on with work, the city had the second-biggest number of co-working spaces in Europe after London with 136 dedicated co-working spaces. The internet speed in Barcelona is also impressive considering its population of over 5 million, with the city offering remote workers an average of 37 Mbps.
3. Madrid, Spain
With a reputation for attracting expats from all around the world, it’s not surprising that Madrid is a digital nomad paradise. Madrid is a treat for anyone loving culture, with many world-class museums such as the Prado among the almost 2000 top-rated things to do. And with 2,769 hours of sun per year, the city is a great destination for anyone looking to escape from grey skies. Get your work done at one of the 125 coworking spaces in the city, and enjoy socializing during lunch or happy hour while you enjoy some delicious tapas. During the weekends you can take advantage of Madrid location and hop on a train for a day or weekend trip to nearby cities
Toledo and Segovia.
4. Porto, Portugal
One of Portugal’s most important and most beautiful cities is also an amazing destination for digital nomads. Porto is famous for its architecture and of course for its port wine. The city is very budget-friendly, and offers many excellent restaurant options for vegans and vegetarians. With the average price of a meal at £5.96, you won’t be able to resist trying out the all the delicious local dishes of the city.
The city is especially attractive for digital nomads because of the many things to do and see: you can explore the city either on foot or by taxi, and discover stunning buildings, hidden gardens and amazing views of Porto. Take some time after work to enjoy a drink with a view of the Douro river and soak up the atmosphere of this vibrant city.
5. Valencia, Spain
Next up on the list is Valencia. This city on the Costa Blanca has a nice, moderate climate with warm temperatures all year round, which makes it a great home base for any digital nomad wanting to spend some time living in Spain. The city is the birthplace of the paella and the home of the Fallas, one of the country’s most vibrant celebrations that takes place every March.
Digital nomads can easily work from anywhere in Valencia, whether that’s from a coworking space, your rented apartment or a café on the beach. Talking about beaches, almost every beach on the Costa Blanca has been awarded with a Blue Flag to signal their outstanding quality and cleanliness, and they are easy to reach from Valencia by public transport or even by taxi, at only £0.85 per km.
6. Malaga, Spain
Also called the “Barcelona of the South”, Malaga offers all the perks of a large city with a small town feel. The city is a paradise for all sun lovers with a whopping 3,364.87 average hours of sunshine per year: perfect weather to take advantage of its amazing city beaches. Add to this cheap but delicious food, beautiful monuments and affordable museums, and you have plenty to explore and discover during your stay.
As an expat hub, Malaga is a great digital nomad destination if you’re looking to make connections. Attend one of the many meetups and language exchanges to enjoy an after work drink and network with other digital nomads! Malaga is also perfectly located if you want to
explore the Costa del Sol and the south of Spain, with excellent train connections to cities like Cordoba and Granada.
7. Seville, Spain
Seville is an amazing city for digital nomads that would like to save money while they live abroad. This city is the cheapest in Spain for accommodation (an average £561.28/month for a one-bedroom apartment) and food (£7.66 on average for a meal and £1.21 for a coffee). Out of the many things to do in the city, a lot of museums and other activities are free, and there are
plenty of stunning outdoor spaces where you can spend the time if you want to soak up some sun.
From the Moorish Alcazar palace to the artsy Triana neighbourhood, there are plenty of places for you to explore once you log off for the day. And while Seville is a landlocked city, it’s very easy to reach the famous beaches of Cadiz and Tarifa. Only an hour by bus and you are at some of the best beaches in Spain for surfing.
8. Faro, Portugal
As the capital of the famous Algarve region, Faro is a great choice for digital nomads that love to relax on the beach after a hard day’s work. There are many sandy coves waiting to be discovered, all of them extremely beautiful and Instagrammable.
Thanks to the 3,036 hours of sunshine per year, you will be able to visit each and every one of them. Thanks to the fast internet connection that the city of Faro offers, with an average of 70 Mbps, digital nomads won’t have to worry about connectivity problems at all. On top of that, Faro is also a very cheap city for accommodation (£509.68 per month on average for a one-bedroom apartment), which will save you plenty of money to spend on sightseeing and trying the delicious seafood that Faro is known for.