The Portuguese capital has put itself firmly on the map for entrepreneurs and urban nomads: here’s why Lisbon is a must-visit destination in 2017.
It’s no secret that Lisbon is one of the latest destinations on the entrepreneur’s start-up map. Called the ‘Silicon Valley of Europe’ by some, there’s a growing network of co-working spaces, incubators and accelerators in the city. As a result, Lisbon has been attracting entrepreneurs and digital nomads from across the world. The government is setting up more structures to attract start-ups and a knowledge economy – part of a wider move to bring economic regeneration to Portugal more widely.
Lisbon start-ups and co-working
The city has also famously hosted Web Summit since 2016, after poaching it from Dublin, which had hosted the summit for several years beforehand.
Co-working spaces in Lisbon include Second Home, the fourth space of London tech entrepreneur Rohan Silva. The other three Second Home locations are in London. The Lisbon space has something that could never be achieved in London however: a VW camper van available to transport co-workers to the beach – just a quarter of an hour away – to surf on lunch breaks.
Of course, the Lisbon lifestyle is a major pull factor too. Lisbon is all about balmy days bathed in sunshine, chill-out sessions by the sea and the Tagus River (sometimes visited by pods of dolphins) and low-key evenings in cobbled neighbourhood squares sipping wine from a kiosk. Or high-energy evenings in Bairro Alto: watch out for ship-loads of sailors who occasionally descend to party until the early hours!
Rent is cheaper than many other European cities, there’s a concentration of tech talent perfect for start-ups, and many people in the tech and start-up community speak English, the international language of business.
What’s not to like?
This year, there are some new additions to the cultural and social scene in Lisbon, as well as much-loved festivals and events. Here are some of our top tips for things to do in Lisbon in 2017:
- The 25 de Abril Bridge suspension bridge is opening a new viewing platform this year, ideal for stunning views of the city.
- Hospital do Desterro – the city’s former hospital – will be re-opening as a new experimental space with restaurants, shops and cool hotels.
- The Francisco Fino Gallery – loved by artists, curators and art fans – is settling in a permanent Lisbon location this year, following five years of hosting pop-up exhibitions across the city.
- The Volvo Ocean Race will pass through Lisbon during the spring, with the different sailing teams racing for weeks through all conditions.
- Festas de Lisboa celebrates Lisbon’s patron saint, Santo António, throughout June, with a huge street party on Santo António Day on 12 June.
- Music festivals are making the city a top destination this year too, with the Red Hot Chili Peppers performing at Super Bock Super Rock and Depeche Mode playing at NOS Alive. The month long Jazz em Agosto also makes August a chilled-out affair celebrating all things jazz.
We think 2017 is going to be Lisbon’s year!