Before coming to Portugal, I heard only good things about the country. So you can imagine my surprise when it surpassed my expectations as an open, friendly, growing and vibrant country.
It’s true that the expat community in Lisbon is quite large and very connected. Below are some recommendations for coworking spaces, wifi cafes, professional events, fun events, good coffee, yoga and making new friends in Lisbon.
I attended a Personal Branding on Social Media talk there and connected with several people, all at different levels of online involvement. It was set up as a workshop space when I was there but they also have coworking space.
Av. Casal Ribeiro 28, 1000-092 Lisboa, Portugal
Bus Routes 720, 726, 767
I spent an early morning here for the monthly Creative Mornings event which is held in over 180 cities worldwide on the same day each month. Bright Pixel hosted the month of April, with Commitment as the theme. This location is close to the metro but beware – the hill up is a killer! Make sure to give yourself a few minutes extra for stops to catch your breath. (Update: The Bright Pixel team reached out to tell me that there is an easier way to arrive – take the metro to Baixa-Chiado and the walk is downhill!)
Rua da Emenda 19, 1200-169 Lisboa, Portugal
Cais do Sodre or Baixa-Chiado Metro Station
I was able to attend the Service Design Drinks – Lisbon monthly meeting here and it is a lovely, large space. They offer daily space rental as well.
Rua Braamcamp 84, 1250-052 Lisboa, Portugal
Marquês de Pombal Metro Station
Google maps: link
I attended a UX for Social Good Meetup workshop here during my first week in Lisbon. It is located in the complex that houses the trolly cars and Technology Museum but it is by no means easy to get to. They did have signs for volleyball on Wednesdays though – that sounds fun. They also have daily open-office space rental.
Rua 1 de Maio 103, 1300-472 Lisboa, Portugal
Bus Route 15E
Good Coffee & Wifi
After being in Greece and discovering their great coffee culture, I didn’t expect to find anything close to it – but I have to say that Lisbon is definitely a competitor. The only bad coffee I’ve had while I’ve been here is the cup I accidentally burned while making it at home.
This is such a nice, eclectic place. The coffee is GREAT and the space is comfortable and cosy. It is a little north of the center but not too far a walk and the closest metro station is only about 10min.
Rua das Portas de Santo Antão 136, 1150-269 Lisboa
Rossio Metro Station
This is such a unique little place, about 15 min walking from the center. It is worth a visit for the good food and coffee. It is first-come-first-serve, however, so there is no guarantee you’ll find a spot.
Rua de Moçambique 2 Lisbon, Portugal 1170-245
Anjos Metro Station
This one is right in the middle of central Lisbon and has a very lively, yet relaxed, atmosphere. The large arm chairs make it easy to get comfortable for a few hours – their wifi is strong and their staff is pleasant.
Rua da Vitória 88, 1100-571 Lisboa, Portugal
Rossio Metro Station
This is the only yoga studio I’ve been to in Lisbon and I liked it so well, I didn’t want to try any others. The classes are in English and a good mix of locals and foreigners practice here.
Rua das Portas de Santo Antão 27 Floor 1, 1150-264 Lisboa, Portugal
Rossio Metro Station
I’m only able to catch a few of these but they are all anyone can talk about since I’ve been here. Summer is a fun time to be in Lisbon.
March/April: Semana Santa (Holy Week)
May: Holi Festival of Colors (This is typically celebrated in February but due to the heavy rains that month, they moved it to May)
May/June: Lisbon Under the Stars
July: Jazz Festival
Online Community Groups
One of my favorite ways to find things to do when I’m in a new city is to look on meetup.com for groups in my area. I found two UX, one Design Thinking and one Digital Nomad group in Lisbon and attended 4 events in my first couple weeks. And there are still more I didn’t have a chance to look at.
This may sound like a strange one to include but I have really enjoyed the slack community I’ve found in Lisbon. This may not apply to all, but if you are into Service Design/Design Thinking, then join the convo!