Lisbon’s ‘digital nomad’ community – a group of individuals who work remotely while travelling the world – is growing rapidly. The colour-splattered, quaintly-cobbled streets of Lisbon are known, in fact, for housing a large proportion of Europe’s digital nomads; the city has actually been deemed the European freelance hub.
All of this means, of course, that there is no shortage of bright, spacious coffee houses to work from. These are an ideal space to network, build communities, and also keep your mental health in check, whether you’re on the go or moving to a new city. So grab a cup of coffee, flip open your laptop, and get to work! Keep reading for our top picks of the 8 best co-working cafes in Lisbon.
1) HELLO, KRISTOF
This tiny little café, clad in light wood, manages somehow to feel spacious yet cosy at the same time, with a clean-cut, Scandinavian feel. Although there is only space for three two-person tables and one communal bench, Hello, Kristof is the perfect space to settle down and get some work done away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Lisbon.
The café’s owner, Ricardo, is a freelance graphic designer, which means he has a pretty accurate understanding of the concept of a co-working café, and how it should look and feel. It also explains the Ikea-esque décor and the fact that it’s closed at the weekends, giving you a relaxed yet productive office-like vibe.
Hello, Kristof’s niche is its magazine wall, which boasts prints across all genres, from travel guides to fashion bibles. If you need a break from your working day, just grab a copy and leaf through the glossy pages.
An art-lover and foodie’s paradise; by day, Manifest.Lisbon is a light, airy spot, with huge windows that open out onto one of the city centre’s quieter streets. Its mismatched furniture and forest of tumbling plants give this café a laid-back, rustic atmosphere which is perfect for concentration. Gawp at the colourful artwork and marvel at their beautiful tote bags as you settle yourself in for a productive day.
Everything on the menu is stunningly delicious, and its presentation and coffee art are just as stupendous. The cheesecake alone will have you coming back time and time again.
By night, the café doubles up as a cocktail bar and restaurant, with its adventurous dinner menu and a long list of drinks to suit every occasion. Perfect for every evening from a first date to a celebration with friends, Manifest.Lisbon has everything – including the friendliest staff in the city.
Make yourself comfortable, and this coffee spot could see you right through from breakfast all the way to dinner!
Don’t be fooled by this café’s modest exterior: DeBru is so much more than just a coffee house! At first glance, DeBru is small yet trendy, all whitewashed walls and wooden pallet seating. Not only does it have delicious coffee, but also a seemingly endless list of craft beers and snacks.
But as you climb up the stairs, a space filled with tables opens out in front of you – and most of these tables are populated by freelancers and students tapping away at their laptops. The spacious desks and large windows make this a perfect co-working spot for both groups and individuals. Oh, and it’s dog-friendly, too.
The café also doubles as an events space, hosting everything from DJ sets to yoga sessions. For digital nomads, this is the ideal place to meet new, like-minded people in the city.
4) COPENHAGEN COFFEE LAB – ALCANTARA
Although this small Danish chain has a number of coffee houses dotted around the city, the Copenhagen Coffee Lab in the Alcantara area is tough to beat. Upon walking in, you’re greeted immediately by two things: the relief of their powerful air conditioning, and the gleaming cabinet of pastries and snacks.
In that Scandinavian style so favoured by coffee houses around the world, the Copenhagen Coffee Lab is bright, white, and inspiring, with plenty of plug sockets and roomy tables for you to really make yourself comfortable. Like many other spots, this café is a perfect place to meet and network with other freelancers, who tend to spend full days fuelling themselves with caffeine and sugar in this spacious location.
5) WISH SLOW COFFEE HOUSE
Located within the walls of the rugged, bustling LX Factory, Wish Slow Coffee House is an oasis of calm amongst the crowds. Its simplistic furnishings and yummy lunch menu make this a perfect place to base yourself for a day of hard work. Unlike most cafes, Wish actually has a designated area for anyone with a laptop – meaning you can concentrate on your projects without listening in on the conversation next to you.
If you need a break, grab one of their magazines, or step into their adjoining boutique, selling sleek, professional gifts and stationery. For anyone with a sweet tooth, Wish Slow Coffee House not only has a well-stocked pastry cabinet, but a Dutch pancake machine too. Go on, you deserve it.
Nestled into the high, curved ceilings of this typically Portuguese building, Comoba manages to team modernity with tradition. With its huge bar counter, which almost runs the length of the entire room, and its white marble detailing, this café is inspiring in its simplicity.
A large, communal table towards the back of the room is the perfect location for individuals and small teams of people to set up their work spaces for the day, underneath the hanging lights, and right next to the enormous window that opens onto the small terrace. Famous mainly for their innovative range of hot drinks – such as their matcha and beetroot lattes – Comoba is a cool, crisp location for any freelancer, with the harshness of its white edges softened by the greenery of their numerous plants.
Doubling as one of the city’s top brunch spots, this café has an exciting menu, featuring dishes such as their chia porridge and matcha pancakes (they do love their matcha).
7) FABRICA COFFEE ROASTERS
Although found in what is possibly Lisbon’s busiest tourist area, Fabrica is tucked away down a side street, making itself a quiet haven for freelancers to work. It is hugely spacious, giving you enough room to spread yourself out across one of their smooth, wooden tables.
If you enjoy their rich, creamy coffee, you can actually buy bags of their home-roasted blend to take away – that is, after all, what they’re so well-known for! Here at Fabrica, coffee is king, and the owners make sure to oversee every step of the roasting process.
8) BOWLS AND BAR
If poké bowls and monochrome marble are your ideal setting, then set your work station up at Bowls and Bar – one of Lisbon’s hippest food and coffee stops. With an extensive menu boasting ingredients such as bio eggs and slow-fermented artisanal bread, you’ll be well-fuelled for a day of working after a hearty breakfast at this spot.
Just around the corner from Lisbon’s parliament building, it’s in a pretty inspirational area, too. Settle yourself down towards the back, or perch at one of the street-facing tables – and if the going gets a little tough, there’s a pretty long wine list to help quench your thirst.
WHERE TO STAY AS A DIGITAL NOMAD IN LISBON
Sometimes, looking for hostels and Airbnbs in Lisbon can be overwhelming – especially when you’re searching in a city you’re not familiar with! For digital nomads, building a community is important whilst travelling. It can introduce you to like-minded people to pass your free time with, yet who simultaneously understand the work/travel lifestyle. It can also present you with new business opportunities. So where do these freelancers stay during their visits to Lisbon?
- Selina Secret Garden Lisbon
Possibly the hippest hostel in the city, Selina doubles also as a co-working office. It’s a social hub for nomads in the city, who can often be found lounging around the pool area. The rooftop bar hosts freelancing meet-up events, too. They have both private rooms and dorms available, with varying levels of luxury and price.
- Outsite Coliving
Describing itself as ‘flexible living for the modern traveller’, this collection of serviced apartments offers private bedrooms and living spaces with communal kitchens and socialising areas. It’s also in one of the city’s most well-connected neighbourhoods, Cais do Sodre. For frequent travellers, the company own a number of other sites around the world, including in Bali, Chile, France, Puerto Rico and the USA (to name a few).
- Home Lisbon Hostel
This city-centre hostel offers a free co-working space for its guests, along with communal relaxing areas. Although there are no private rooms, the dorms are small and cosy, with traditional wooden decor and views out onto the heart of Lisbon.
WHY COWORKING CAFES ARE GREAT FOR DIGITAL NOMADS
We can’t deny that being a “digital nomad” is a pretty perfect lifestyle, allowing you to make a living from absolutely anywhere across the globe. However, when working as a freelancer, your work space and surroundings are hugely important. It’s easy to lose motivation and feel lonely at home – especially for those who move around frequently.
While co-working offices are springing up left, right and centre, these can sometimes be costly for anyone on a budget – and everyone needs a change of scenery sometimes. These 8 great coworking cafes in Lisbon solve this problem, allowing you to be social while also getting some work done and enjoying great food!
We hope that this article has helped inspire you to visit Lisbon’s coworking cafes. If you have any questions about the destination or have your own travel tips to share please leave these in the comments below.
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