As the cost-of-living crisis deepens and many of us remain working remotely – is it time to consider becoming a digital nomad? Our deep-dive research shows whether the grass really is greener on the other side…
We set out to discover which European city would be the best for people to embrace a location-independent, technology-enabled lifestyle. Our research took us to major cities around Europe including London, Barcelona, Dublin and Paris where we looked at each one’s transportation, cost of living, rent and lodging, quality of life, internet speed and international schools, work permit prices, as well as the city’s food (and coffee) offering.
Here at Martinhal, there’s little surprise that Lisbon continues to be one of the most attractive places for the growing digital nomad community but some of the results might surprise you!
The ecosystem for both start-ups and scale-ups continues to flourish with Portugal outstripping its Iberian neighbour with a total of 7 unicorns in total. A raft of new government initiatives in 2023 and a strong forecasted investment market will further strengthen appeal to international entrepreneurs in the year ahead.
And its popularity it expected to grow further with Portugal’s highly anticipated Digital Nomad Visa which launched on October 30, 2022. The visa permits remote workers from non-EU countries to apply for a temporary-stay visa of up to one year or a residency permit that can be renewed for up to five years. To qualify, applicants must earn at least €2,800 per month – (4x Portugal’s minimum wage).
“What this deep dive has demonstrated is that not only did Lisbon successfully triumph through the past few years from its successful measures to navigate the pandemic but also through a consistent popular set of start-up initiatives– Lisbon stands head and shoulders above the rest as THE place in the new era of digital entrepreneurs,” said Chitra Stern, Founder and CEO behind the award-winning luxury family hotel and residential resorts brand, Martinhal.
According to Nomadific, some 26% of digital nomads have children of which 41% say their children travel with them. Another standout feature for Lisbon is the availability of exceptional international schools all within easy reach of the metropolitan centre such as the United Lisbon International School in the Park of Nations.
For those seeking what The Future Laboratory referred to as regenerative remote working, Martinhal Residences synthesise the elements needed for the optimal work from anywhere experience providing the perfect model for work and play. High speed fibre internet as standard, on-site technical support, 24hr concierge, dedicated office spaces, proximity to transport links and a 10-minute drive to the airport are balanced with wellness amenities, the United Lisbon International School, childcare and the wealth of cultural and sporting options close by.
“Lisbon in particular has been propelled onto the international investment and lifestyle map which is no surprise given its high-yield property landscape, comparatively low living costs, low urban density, affordable healthcare, and growing pool of international schools. It has also established itself as the start-up capital of Europe in response to the billions in capital being deployed all over the city from a geographical, commercial, and leisure standpoint. “Stern concludes.
For more information and bookings at Martinhal Residences, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
First, we needed to know which cities in Europe are the most popular so took a sample of European countries to begin with and based our decisions on data. For popularity, we checked to see which destinations have the busiest airports, the most flights booked, and headed to Google Trends to see which locations are the most popular. We also included areas that we know have low or high living costs, poor or excellent internet, and have contrasts in other factors – to give a balanced overview.
Next, we needed to find out what matters most to digital nomads. We took to blogs and forums to find out and transportation, cost of living, rent and lodging, quality of life and internet speed came towards the top of the list. Other factors to consider were that whilst some people valued world-class food, some were more interested in the price of a daily coffee. But people’s deciding factors were mostly “how hot is it?” and “how expensive is it?”
So, we had our cities – and we knew what we had to find out about them. Then came the big data dig (all sources are available on request).
The biggest value propositions were researched first.
We found our climate data on Wikipedia, for sun and rainfall. Any outliers were found on Statista, weather-and-climate.com, or climatestotravel.com.
Crime stats, living costs, and rent and transport costs all came from either Numbeo, Expatistan, and Budget Your Trip.
Beer prices were sourced from Finder’s pint map. Statista also provided independent coffee shop costs for key cities. The Michelin Guide showed us which cities in Europe are the most gastronomically developed.
All prices were normalised from the native currency into GBP and then converted to EUR for consistency with the Pound, using Google’s currency conversion. This gave us a decent range of quality of living versus cost metrics.
But what about doing the actual work when you get there? Most countries now require work permits for UK nomads post Brexit. So, we sourced work permit data from gov.uk, InterNations, Visa Guide and other local authorities in each region.
Internet speeds were collected from fairinternetreport.com, Broadband Speedchecker, Speedtest.net and Statista – and WeWork’s presence in each location gave us insight into the existing remote and nomadic culture.
All of our data went into a spreadsheet, where we were able to create graphics to demonstrate the best cities in Europe for digital nomads.