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The 101 Best Cities for Digital Nomads in 2022 to Work Remotely

Location, location, location! Your location affects so many that influence how good your life is – the cost of living, the entertainment nearby, the beautiful views you enjoy effortlessly, and more. This idea holds even more true with digital nomads. Location independence makes anywhere in the world possible, while specific needs (strong internet, community, easy visa situation) mean not just anywhere will do.

The best places for digital nomads deliver in happiness, in good infrastructure, in how easy it is to live life, and in how easy it makes finding friends (DNs or not) on the road. But sifting through thousands of cities and pages on the internet isn’t how you want to spend your time – so we’re saving you time, by sharing the cities you need to know as a DN based on the opinions of thousands of other nomads.

Best Cities for Digital Nomads

In this article, we’ll review the best cities for digital nomads. Low cost of living, beautiful views, plenty of amenities and good infrastructure, and quality of life that beats most other locations in the world. Whatever your preferences, you’ll find the perfect nomad city for you, here and now

TABLE OF CONTENTS

MOST POPULAR DIGITAL NOMAD COUNTRIES FROM OUR DN STUDY

Earlier this year, I conducted the first-ever global digital nomad study to understand digital nomads of all nationalities scattered around the world. Who are digital nomads? What do they do for a living? Most importantly for you right now, where are successful digital nomads living these days and what are their favorite locations?

After analyzing thousands of responses, these 5 spots were voted the favorites by global digital nomads of all nationalities:

THE MOST UNDERRATED CITIES FOR DIGITAL NOMADS

However, not every great city for digital nomads makes the headlines or viral social media posts. Some are just beautiful hidden gems with a low cost of living, easy lifestyle, and a welcoming environment. These are the top hidden gems among the best cities for digital nomads

  • Taipei, Taiwan: All the bests of Asia with a high quality of life, low cost of living, and a 3year visa.
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: One of the cleanest, most developed, most livable cities in SEA
  • Penang, Malaysia: A haven for expats, UNESCO world heritage city known for amazing food
  • Istanbul, Turkey: A culture haven at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Food, culture.
  • Krabi, Thailand:
  • Buenos Aires: Economic hardships have made the “Paris of South America” lower cost than ever.
  • Ko Pha Ngan: The Thai Bali – Has the edge on Bali of being surrounded by islands of similar culture and experience
  • Montpellier, France: Low key, college vibe in the south of France. You’ll need a hotspot for cafes and there are few coworking spaces, but its France and southern Europe at its affordable best

(Click to jump to the full list of best places for digital nomads)

WHAT FACTORS ADD UP TO THE BEST CITIES FOR DIGITAL NOMADS?

If you’re new to the DN life, or planning your nomad experience, understanding exactly what makes a city livable, fun, and easy for you to be productive in can be deceptive at first glance. To help you plan better, before we share the 101 best cities for digital nomads, lets talk about (based on the statistics and experiences of hundreds of nomads) what makes the best places for digital nomads exactly that.

The global digital study revealed that 9 of the top 10 preferred locations for digital nomads are coastal countries that are gateways to their region (major airport and intl. flights) and a gross national income per capita that is less than the average budget of a digital nomad translating to a low cost of living.

Portugal was the only location in our top 10 countries that missed one of the criteria (Portugal’s average income per person is $700 more per year than the average DN’s annual budget); however, the correlation is still strong.

All of the top 10 locations for digital nomads had the 10 criteria that the digital nomads in our study cited as most important (in their experience traveling and living as a nomad) for the best cities for digital nomads.

Most important factors in a good city for digital nomads according to digital nomads:

  1. Low cost of living and a relatively high quality of life
  2. Fast, accessible internet and connectivity
  3. Safety (low crime, safe for walking, & healthy environment with low pollution)
  4. Accessible and pleasurable outdoors experiences (mountains, beaches)
  5. Visa accessibility – low cost, easily attained, long stay allowed with multiple entry
  6. Café and coworking culture
  7. Cultural exposure
  8. Low cost, comfortable, accommodation
  9. Walkable with good public transportation options
  10. Central travel hub with a nearby major airport and attractions, other city options

Going further, many digital nomads have a regional preference, due to language, culture, cuisine, and cost of living, so we’ll start by sharing the best cities from our analysis of cost of living, quality of life, quality of infrastructure, and the details DNs care about.

What does this mean for you as a nomad?

As a digital nomad, not every city will be good for you – even if other digital nomads love it. There are factors that please nomads universally – like a low cost of living, high quality of life, and an easy visa situation. However there are other aspects that are personality (introvert, extrovert, optimist, pessimist) and preference dependent. As a new nomad it’s very easy to follow the crowd and end up in a city that’s “ok” doesn’t fit you enough to be fully satisfying.

As you filter through the thousands of possible cities to nomad in, and the 101 on this list, ensure you’re picking a location that delivers on what you need to be happy, and always judge a city on these factors through the perspective of what works for you.

In this list of the best digital nomad cities, we’ve taken the favorite cities of nomads, the results from our study on DN preferences for living, working, and travel, and data across many sources to create this list of the 101 best cities for digital nomads for you to narrow based on your unique preferences and quirks.

A QUICK LIST OF THE TOP DIGITAL NOMAD CITIES BY REGION

(Click on each city to jump to our full review of each)

Best Place for Digital Nomads

WHY DOES PICKING THE RIGHT PLACE, CITY, AND COUNTRY MATTER FOR NOMADS?

Picking the right location as a digital nomad matters for 2 important factors in the nomad lifestyle – happiness and productivity.

By picking the right location you not only get the scenery you love most, but also the food, people, and easy nomad factors (visas, friendliness to foreigners, friendliness to POCs and LGBT community) that all add up to happiness and a better quality of life.

In terms of productivity, having a fast internet connection, workspaces outside of the home, as access to replacement necessities (laptop accessories), and even community can make easier and more natural meaning you can accomplish ( and earn more) in a shorter period.

So, when you’re considering a location for you, don’t just think about cost of living – think about your happiness (quality of life) and productivity, and what you need in a location. To maximize both.

THE FULL LIST OF THE 101 BEST CITIES FOR DIGITAL NOMADS – BY REGION

(Click each region to jump directly to that section)

BEST CITIES FOR DIGITAL NOMADS IN ASIA

UBUD, INDONESIA

Why: Peaceful rice fields and monkey filled forests in a uniquely spiritual place

Tucked in the hilly, rice field country of Bali, Ubud is arguably one of the most peaceful digital nomad hubs on the planet, with a back drop of spiritualists and yogis from around the world. Plenty of coworking space and healthy eating options make Ubud a great place for focused work sprints with tools for self improvement. Additionally, being 1 hour away from the bustling DN surf towns of Canggu and Uluwatu make Ubud, and Bali overall, a great option.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,729
  • Internet Speed: 13mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Bali and Indonesia: 5 Months Or 1 Year | ~$500 Fee For 5 Months
  • Highlights: Peaceful, spiritual, plenty of yoga studios
  • Downsides: The overtly spiritual mindset among westerners can be almost too much for some
  • Resources: https://abrotherabroad.com/ubud-coworking-spaces/

CANGGU, INDONESIA

Why: A former hipster beach village and tiny surf town, now one of the hottest digital nomad locations in the world

This once tiny surf town on the southwest coast of Bali is the cooler, livelier counterpart to Ubud. Packed with trendy cafes, western style and world class restaurants, and a handful of surf breaks, Canggu is a great place for nomads that want to work as much as they want to party, sun on the beach, and try a little surf.

Beyond the surfing and daily parties, Canggu has tens of coworking spaces and DN cafes and a robust community of digital nomads, making for plenty of social events and opportunities to connect. Of all of the digital nomad hubs, Canggu is one of the most popular, most social, and most highly recommended.

ULUWATU / PADANG PADANG, INDONESIA

Why: World class surf mecca with beautiful, reefy beaches

A world class surf location that hosts digital nomads whose lives revolve around the waves. Padang Padang and Uluwatu have hosted many surf competitions, and around the two pro level spots you’ll find dream reef and sandy bottom waves for every level – beginner to advanced. In the cluster of restaurants around Single Fin restaurant you’ll find a comfortable handful of chic yet cheap restaurants, coffee shops for working, cliffside beach clubs, and bars and nightlife. Additionally, monthly rent in “the Bukit” (the area in which Uluwatu and Padang Padang are located) is among the cheapest in Bali.

When you’ve had your fill of the waves, you’re still only an hour motorbike ride to livelier Canggu and quieter Ubud, or a boat ride to 17,000+ islands and some of the best diving in the world.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $770
  • Internet Speed: 10mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Bali and Indonesia: 5 Months Or 1 Year | ~$500 Fee For 5 Months
  • Why: Surf, break from the party scene of DNs
  • Highlights: Surfing, beautiful beaches
  • Downsides: Very few coworking spaces, very few gyms, everyone here is a surfer, internet connectivity can be unstable

KUCHING, MALAYSIA

Why: A new, underrated version of Chiang Mai, cheaper, cleaner, and more livable

Quiet and comfortable yet vibrant and livable and amazingly cheap for what you get, Kuching, like much of Malaysia, is one of the best kept secrets in Southeast Asia. Lots of cafes offer a wide variety of places to work, and plenty of restaurants and bars offer plenty to after hours adding up to a vibe, feel, and balance similar to Chiang Mai in Thailand while being impressively clean and unpolluted – unlike most Southeast Asia hotspots.

The heart of Kuching lies on a beautiful waterfront and is home to a burgeoning expat scene and plenty of digital nomads aiming for a quieter, longer stay, with great quality accommodation for all budgets – hotels, guesthouses, private apartments, AirBnBs, etc. Several coworking spaces and cafes dot the city giving plenty of comfy places to work, and wifi is great throughout.

To boot, Kuching is very safe, day or night. The city has less nightlife than many SEA spots, adding up to a less touristy and quieter life in general that is good for focused periods of work (like Chiang Mai). The waterfront and central of the town (including China town) are enjoyably walkable and not touristy at all, which suits slower moving, relaxed, and introverted nomads. Last, the city is filled with amazing food – Malaysian, Indian, Chinese, distinct and in fusion form, adding up to a cheap and delicious gastronomic scene.

For older nomads, nomads focused on work, and introverted nomads, Kuching is an excellent place to experience SEA and enjoy a great quality of life.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $925
  • Internet Speed: 15mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Malaysia: 1 Year, 5 Years | $720, $2,000
  • Highlights: Quiet, livable, walkable, culturally diverse food, perfect for older, introverted, and relaxed nomads
  • Downsides: Not much nightlife compare to many DN hubs
  • Rating: 3.5/5

PENANG, MALAYSIA

Why: Malaysia laid back and beachy answer to Miami with UNESCO world heritage old town, and one of the top 10 food and street food scenes in Southeast Asia

Penang, Malaysia’s second largest city delivers a balance of development and infrastructure, interesting culture from global influence and being a port city, a robust expat and DN scene making it easier to find the small conveniences, and more that make Penang a great, balanced location to hang your backpack for a period. The small city-island of Penang has been described as some as the low-key Miami of Malaysia (thanks to sunshine, beaches and relaxed vibe) with a large UNESCO world heritage zone in downtown Georgetown (on Penang) ultimately making it popular with expats and domestic vacationers.

All of his infrastructure, history, and culture (Rich multicultural history combined the foods and influences of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and European) comes while being clean, safe, friendly, and delivering amazing food on every corner. Plenty of cafes dot the city and coworking spaces as well for more focused work with strong connect (wi-fi or cell signal) virtually everywhere.

Other major draws of Penang: street food, colonial architecture, street art, beaches, lots of nature (paved and unpaved trails, parks, and greenspaces), hiking into the jungle, beaches

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,085
  • Internet Speed: 19mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Malaysia: 1 Year, 5 Years | $720, $2,000
  • Highlights: Malay, Indian, and Chinese food, cleanliness, infrastructure
  • Downsides: Less nightlife than other SEA nomad hubs
  • Rating: 4/5

TAIPEI, TAIWAN

Why: Great infrastructure, excellent quality of, great value for your money, and a 3 year visa

A progressive, culturally rich, and extremely practical and functional city, I’ve never met a traveler that has experienced Taipei and Taiwan and disliked it. For nomads who like the conveniences and feel of urban metropolises with East Asian flare, Taipei is an excellent opportunity.

Low cost of living, great value and quality of life for your money, and an extremely generous and easy to attain 3 year visa and accompanying work permit (Taiwan’s Employment Gold Card) make Taipei a great option for focused nomads.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $2,024
  • Internet Speed: 20bmps
  • Visa Length + Price: Taiwan Employment Gold Card: 1 To 3 Years | $100 To $310 Fee
  • Highlights: Food, infrastructure, ease of living and working in Taiwan legally
  • Downsides: Distance for other DN locations
  • Rating: 4.3/5

KATHMANDU, NEPAL

Why: Experience the Himalayas, live in a one of a kind culture

The UNESCO world heritage site (and city) of the Kathmandu valley is a potential base and gateway to a one of a kind experience – the Himalayas and Everest. For digital nomads that love the mountainous outdoors and trekking, Kathmandu gives the chance to work in a culturally exotic, yet still comfortable, place, while being conveniently based for adventures such as the Everest Base Camp Trek, the Annapurna Circuit trek, and many others.

Due to weather, aiming for a perfect experience is difficult when you’re on a tight timeline, as flights into the Himilayas (such as Lukla Airport) can be confirmed or canceled the morning of. Basing in Kathmandu for a couple of months allows you to wait for clear, sunshine filled skies to launch your dream experience. Additionally, you’ll be able to schedule and plan to stay ahead of the crowds.

Beyond trekking and the Himilayas, Kathmandu has lots of cafes, and decent internet within the city delivering a great. Between working and trekking, you can wander the city to experience the overflowing with temples and stupas, with scattered hipster coffee shops and artisanal crafts in between.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $609
  • Internet Speed: 8mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: 15 Days (30 USD), 30 Days (50 USD), and 90 Days (125 USD) visas on arrival available at Tribhuvan International Airport on arrival for most nationalities (visit the Nepal Immigration’s official visa page for more info)
  • Highlights: One of a kind trekking, experiencing the cultures and religions of the Himalayas
  • Downsides: Infrastructure is less developed than other SEA options, like Bangkok Hanoi, and Kuala Lumpur,
  • Rating: 3.4/5

POKHARA, NEPAL

Why: A lakeside mountain town at the base of the snowcapped Himalayas, filled with cafes, bookstores, and music – smaller, cleaner, and more lovable than Kathmandu

A friendly lakeside city nestled between lush, green hills and overlooked by the snowcapped mountains of the Himalayas. With amazing trekking nearby in the Himalayas and a surprisingly good music scene and decent internet, Pokhara delivers a great, more livable alternative to Kathmandu with a smaller population, slower pace, and a more laidback feel, 5.5 hours and 125 miles away from Kathmandu.

Pokhara sits at the steps of the Himalayas overflowing with temples and stupas, filled with hipster coffee shops and artisanal crafts with bookstores and international restaurants lining the lake’s banks. Among the crowd, hipsters and hikers wander among locals with very few nomads between, so count on plenty of tiny coffee shops and not many (or any) coworking spaces. Anyone who loves the beauty, clean air, and vibes of mountain communities will fall in love with Pokhara.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $642
  • Internet Speed: 8mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: 15 Days (30 USD), 30 Days (50 USD), and 90 Days (125 USD) visas on arrival available at Tribhuvan International Airport on arrival for most nationalities (visit the Nepal Immigration’s official visa page for more info)
  • Highlights: Clean, lakeside mountain beauty, accessibility to epic trekking and hiking experiences
  • Downsides: Remoteness
  • Rating: 3/5

ARUGAM BAY, SRI LANKA

A remote, quiet, and charming surf village on the east coast of Sri Lanka. Far from the bustling capital of Colombo and the string of tourist cities and tourists surf towns is Arugam Bay – a peaceful, off-the-map version of paradise whether you surf or not. A full 7 hour drive from Colombo lies this town so small you can walk its length. Within 3 days you’ll recognize all of the locals and long stayers. Twice a week, everyone in town meets at the same bar or restaurant to party and dance until sun up.

Between work stints you can learn to surf in the body temperature warm (or warmer) water in the shallow bays that surround the town. Beyond the city’s limits, and on breaks, you can explore animal filled national parks rivaled only by African safaris, and the awe inspiring mountain landscapes and tea plantations around Ella, Nuwara Eliyah, and the cultural triangle. In between your mini adventures, return back to Arugam bay to work, surf, and relax in a remote beach escape that looks more like a jungle beach paradise than reality.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $620
  • Internet Speed: 9mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Initially valid for 30 days ($20) and extendable to 6 months (click here for the Sri Lankan Immigration’s official visa page)
  • Highlights: One of the cheapest, most relaxed surf villages in the world with body temperature water beaches, and elephants nearby
  • Downsides: Fairly remote, spotty internet connection
  • Rating: 3.5/5

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

Why: A low cost, big city in central Southeast Asia with quick and easy access to every place on the Banana Pancake Trail

Located at the center of the Indochinese peninsula, Phnom Penh and Cambodia offer an extremely low cost of living with access to all of the attractions of the “banana pancake” traveler trail. From Angkor Wat, to Bagan, to the floating islands in Vietnam, everything in mainland Southeast Asia is a short, cheap hop away.

If you want a central location with good infrastructure to get work done, and easy travel surrounding locations on weekends or between work sprint, consider Phonm Penh

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,024
  • Internet Speed: 8mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Cambodia: 1 Year | ~$300
  • Highlights: Low cost of living, adventure nearby, hub for Southeast Asia travel, good visa situation
  • Downsides:

VIENTIANE, LAOS

Why: A stopping point on the Banana Pancake trail between the amazing adventures in Laos and Vietnam/Thailand, or convenient for visa runs

Sleepy and a larger city, yet still off the beaten path for most, Laos’ capital of Vientiane sits in an odd middle ground that isn’t as adventurous as Luan Prabang and Veng Vieng, yet not as developed as Bangkok or as busy as Chiang Mai, and doesn’t bleed as much French influence as Hanoi. With that said, it bears “little brother” characteristics of all of those places. A low cost of living, larger than normal population in Laos, and being the largest city in Laos make Vientiane a decent stop off while going into or out of overland adventures into Cambodia or rural Laos, or while doing an extended visa run from Thailand.

Vientiane is unlikely to fit most nomads’ or expats’ long term needs, however, the strategic placement between other destinations and adventures and decent infrastructure make it a potential DN “stop off” on the way to other plans.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $964
  • Internet Speed: 6mpbs
  • Visa Length + Price: eVisa valid for 60 days, ~$50 but varies by nationality (Laos visa fee calculator)
  • Highlights: Low cost of living, adventures accessible nearby
  • Downsides: Fewer attractions, and less variety and diversity than other big cities in Southeast Asia

KRABI, THAILAND

Why: The best of what makes Thailand great for nomads in a less populated places that makes both the islands, the big city and the hill country accessible

A fantastic option in mainland Thailand that delivers the food, culture, convenience, and lifestyle that nomads love about Chiang Mai, but closer to the water and more appropriate for DNs that love outdoor adventures – like training Muay Thai at a 1 week camp in the best MMA gym in Asia. Though Krabi doesn’t have many coworking spaces, you’ll still be able to easily find a solid internet connection and a café or restaurant. Beyond the laptop, rock climbing, hiking, and watersports (kayaking, paddleboarding) opportunities abound.

A train or bus from Chiang Mai or Bangkok (~10 hours from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, +~13 hours from Bangkok to Krabi) makes Krabi an excellent counterpart or getaway from the big cities of Chiang Mai and Bangkok, and a stop off before nomading in the Thai islands.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,129
  • Internet Speed: 25mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Thailand: 2 Months + 1 Month Extension | 1,900 Baht Fee (~$60)
  • Highlights: Outdoor adventures, beach life without being on an island, martial arts training, food
  • Downsides: Lacks the numerous coworking spaces and infrastructure specifically for DNs that Chiang Mai has
  • Rating: 3.5/5

CHIANG MAI, THAILAND

Why: Arguably the best place in the world to be productive as a digital nomad. Livable, easy to get around, cheap, and lots of infrastructure for nomads

Chiang Mai is legendary among the digital nomad community, and with good reason – arguably the cheapest digital nomad location in the world with good quality of life and everything you need to work. With plenty of infrastructure for digital nomads – coworking spaces, co-living, and a strong digital nomad community – Chiang Mai is a place where DN’s can legitimately go to live and focus on their hustle with a varied lifestyle, strong wi-fi, and all of the amenities you need to keep moving.

The cost of living is incredibly low, compared to the high quality of living you can have, and western standard malls, food courts, and apartments abound, allowing you to compromise on what you want to while enjoying a few perks.

Many successful DNs I’ve met will spend 2 to 4 months in Chiang Mai solely working to break into a growth phase, and spend the following 1 to 3 months in a more pleasant, less grind oriented location – like Bali – to achieve a full, pleasurable balance.

When picking where to stay, start your stay in “Nimman” as you’ll easily find all of the amenities and resources you need in walking distance – then pick your preferred neighborhood from there.

Resources: The 15 Best Coffee Shops and Coworking Spaces in Chiang Mai

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $989
  • Internet Speed: 30 Mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Thailand: 2 Months + 1 Month Extension | 1,900 Baht Fee (~$60)
  • Highlights: Plenty of coworking spaces, cafes, restaurants, and accommodation at super prices with a robust digital nomad community
  • Downsides: Don’t plan on partying too hard, most nomads are here longer term and heavily focused on work
  • Rating: 3.8/5

KOH LANTA, THAILAND

Why: A Thai island hideaway from all of the other digital nomads…but still with plenty of travelers

A small island off the opposite coast of Thailand as Koh Pha Ngan, Koh Tao, and Koh Samui. Many DNs that pass through here enjoy the island life, but due to its smaller size and population, many recommendations it as a stop off for 1 to 2 months before needing to move on.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,500
  • Internet Speed: 20mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Thailand: 2 Months + 1 Month Extension | 1,900 Baht Fee (~$60)
  • Best Coworking Space: KoHub
  • Highlights: Thai island life
  • Downsides: Too small to stay for an extended period
  • Rating: 3.2/5

BANGKOK, THAILAND

Why: Thailand’s biggest, busiest city with everything you could want, at every level of quality, for dirt cheap

If you’re a digital nomad but love the perks of a big city – limitless places to explore, countless restaurants, large foreign population and varied cuisine, great hospitals, major airport hub for the region, and good public transportation (metro rail) Bangkok is an amazing alternative to Chiang Mai, and as far as big cities go is on rivaled by Kuala Lumpur.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,350
  • Internet Speed: 33mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Thailand: 2 Months + 1 Month Extension | 1,900 Baht Fee (~$60)
  • Highlights: Every level of quality, top 5 food scenes in the world, great public transportation system
  • Downsides: Busy, dirty, horrible air quality
  • Rating: 4.1/5

KO PHA NGAN, THAILAND

Why: The “Bali island of Thailand” gives a pleasant contrast between other islands, and the experience of Bali with Thai level efficiency

This Thai island is playfully known as the “Thai Bali” and was the original full moon party in Thailand and is known for a single, epic party is actually a beautifully peaceful place between full moon parties and quite serene in many corners, even while the single beach of Haad Rin is overrun by tourists. Between full moon parties there are still plenty of EDM parties and a solid Canggu/Ubud vibe abounds.

Because the island is used to hosting massive amounts of tourists for a 4 day period that leave shortly after, you benefit from the internet and infrastructure of a high tourism location, but experience the “low season” 20 days out of the month.

Ko Pha Ngan has the amazing Thai food Thailand is famous for stunning nature with tens of waterfalls and endless beaches. Though there aren’t many coworking spaces you’ll find plenty of DN friendly, hipster cafes with wifi and aircon. If you do feeling like running away during the full moon party, Ko Pha Ngan is sandwiched between two easily accessible and pleasant islands – Ko Tao (quite, backpacker-ish dive location) and Koh Samui (high end resort island – by SEA standards).

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,024
  • Internet Speed: 21mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Thailand: 2 Months + 1 Month Extension | 1,900 Baht Fee (~$60
  • Highlights: Laid back, Bali-like lifestyle, easily accessible, easy to explore other Thai hotspots, growing group of people focused on food, fitness, and digital hustles
  • Downsides: Lacks the higher end apartments and living common in Bali and Chiang Mai, needs more coworking spaces
  • Best Coworking Space: Koh Space
  • Rating: 4.3/5

DA LAT, VIETNAM

Why: A cool, highlands respite from the tropical and humid Vietnamese lowlands

A quiet place to wind down, Da Lat is a coffee town in the cool highlands of Vietnam. Don’t count on tons of nightlife, lots of foreigners, or a robust dating scene, but if you’re after peace and quiet in cool temperatures with great coffee and a low cost of living, Da Lat may be a good place to stop and focus amid a wider Vietnamese nomadic travel experience.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $978
  • Internet Speed: 13mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Vietnam: 1 Year (Us Citizens) Or 3 Months Multi-Entry + 3 Month Extension | $135 Fee
  • Highlights: Cool weather, hill country, coffee
  • Downsides: Very little nightlife, not many sites, attractions, or social life
  • Rating: 3.1/5

HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM

Why: Vietnam’s counterpart to Bangkok – big, diverse, and filled with everything you could want or need even cheaper

Big, bustling, and a major hub of Southeast Asia. If you like big cities and love the Vietnamese food, culture, and hustle, the former city of Saigon may be a great options.

Great for small budgets, but the sky is the limit for what you can find. Hundreds of cafes, hidden restaurants, and breweries, and more, topped off by an easy visa situation. Ho Chi Minh city joins

Bangkok as one of Southeast Asia’s DN friendly mega cities.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $961
  • Internet Speed: 13mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Vietnam: 1 Year (Us Citizens) Or 3 Months Multi-Entry + 3 Month Extension | $135 Fee
  • Highlights: Low cost of living, big city living, hustle oriented city
  • Downsides: Food scene is not nearly as robust as Thailand or Malaysia,
  • Rating: 3.6mbps

DANANG, VIETNAM

Why: The second “big city” in Vietnam, nestled on the coastline with plenty of beaches and a high quality of life for the price

Da Nang has been described as the Chiang Mai of Vietnam among the digital nomad scene or social scene for foreigners, mostly due to the level of productivity one can achieve here. Mountains and beaches nearby, plenty of coffee shops to work at, and cheap living make Da Nang a good place for a focused work sprint.

However, nomads have noted that they felt targeted for their money and a strong divide between foreigners and locals and most foreigners are either short term tourists or English teachers. Chock up Da Nang as being a great city in infrastructure, amenities, and cost of living but if you want to socialize with other DNs and locals aim for elsewhere.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,026
  • Internet Speed: 14mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Vietnam: 1 Year (Us Citizens) Or 3 Months Multi-Entry + 3 Month Extension | $135 Fee
  • Highlights: “You may feel like a walking wallet”, lacks a social scene
  • Downsides: Most expats and travelers will be English teachers and making local friends will be tougher than in other parts of Southeast Asia
  • Rating: 4.2

HANOI, VIETNAM

Why: Beautifully Vietnamese yet French influenced, livable, and comfortable, with a robust and friendly expat and nomad scene on the “expat side of town” with plenty to see and enjoy everywhere

Interesting architecture, endless neighborhoods with local bars (tiny chairs on the street with local brew, restaurants that combine classical, French influenced, and more, cafes that are local yet fantastic, and access to the beautiful hills of Northern Vietnam make Hanoi a wonderful city to base in balancing and unique and fun daily experience, good and accessible infrastructure, make this a city that many nomads love.

To boot, Hanoi is walkable and filled with parks and sites that one could enjoy by day or night.

Be sure to adventure to the North into Sapa, the Ha Giang Loop, and the floating islands as weekend adventures.

If you want a more international vibe, aim for the Tay Ho district which is where most expats and nomads live.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $960
  • Internet Speed: 16mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Vietnam: 1 Year (Us Citizens) Or 3 Months Multi-Entry + 3 Month Extension | $135 Fee
  • Highlights: Cheap, beautiful in a northern Thailand sense, robust expat scene
  • Downsides: Polarizing – you love it or you don’t
  • Rating: 3.5/5

HOI AN, VIETNAM

A UNESCO world heritage with fantastic Vietnamese and international cuisine, great hotels and accommodation at a good price, and a very peaceful vibe. The Ancient Town adds a touch of flair to the experience. The entire experience of Hoi An adds up to a place where many people end up staying much longer than intended.

Female solo travelers and nomads all report loving the city for it’s peacefulness, walkability, and safety. Bike to the beach, through rice paddies, or through the countryside for fun. Dig into a robust art scene. Relax or work at the many cafes. And if you stay longer, dig deep to discover a potent expat community.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,037
  • Internet Speed: 13mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Vietnam: 1 Year (Us Citizens) Or 3 Months Multi-Entry + 3 Month Extension | $135 Fee
  • Highlights: Peaceful, charming, romantic, and beautiful
  • Downsides: Better suited to introverted nomads and traveling couples if staying for longer periods
  • Rating: 3.5/5

VANG VIENG, LAOS

Why: Peaceful, on the edge of rural Southeast Asia, and near tons of jungle adventures

Cheap, off the beaten path, and adventurous, Vang Vieng is a great digital nomad base for the right type of nomad – adventurous and able to manage working with a slower internet connection. Jungle hikes, river floats, and exotic cultural sites and experiences abound in a place that sees much less tourism than most bigger cities in Asia. If you’re interested in using your time as a DN for long stays in cultural exotic locales, Vang Vieng, and Laos in general are options I would recommend.

On the downsides, don’t count on extremely fast internet, or the high quality of life you’ll find in Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur. Life will be cheap, if living just above a local standard, however, if you want a nice hotel and to eat a nice western meal, the experience will be more expensive than in the rest of Southeast Asia, but cheaper than the west

In exchange you’ll wake to calm, quiet mornings with the cool, crisp air rolling off the mountains, the site of monks walking the street, and a “backpacker” style and pace of life that is missing from many areas. Don’t count on coworking spaces, but you will find cafes and restaurants with friendly workers and owners happy to have you if you return the vibe.

Laos: not for your average digital nomad, but slow traveling adventurers that work online will find it entertaining charming, and satisfying

Also consider: Luang Prabang

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $981
  • Internet Speed: 5mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: eVisa valid for 60 days, ~$50 but varies by nationality (Laos visa fee calculator)
  • Highlights: Adventures, jungles, river floats, motorbiking adventures through rural Laos
  • Downsides: Lower standard of accommodation for the price relative to other SEA destinations, potentially spotty internet connection

OTHER POTENTIALLY GREAT LOCATIONS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

GOA, INDIA

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,369
  • Internet Speed: 10mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Tourist e-Visa valid for 30 days, 1 year, or 5 years available via the Indian e-Visa application page, | prices – 30 day ($35), 1 year ($40), 5 year ($80)
  • Highlights: Diverse DN scene, variety of bars and a one of a kind culturally experience
  • Downsides: Deep immersion in pollution and poverty

MALE, MALDIVES

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,256
  • Internet Speed: 6mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: 30 day visa granted free on arrival (Maldives Immigration’s visa page)
  • Highlights: You can rent your own island cheaply, excellent diving
  • Downsides: Small, expensive on the larger, resort centric islands, and the smaller cheap islands will have few bars and restaurants

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BEST DN CITIES IN EUROPE (SCHENGEN)

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

High quality of living, clean, friendly, and great public transportation at one of the lowest costs of living in all of Europe. Plenty of restaurants, plenty of cafes to work from, strong internet, lots of short term accommodation, lots to do and explore, and a very strong expat scene. Aim for the summer time.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $2,215
  • Internet Speed: 38mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Czech Republic: 1 Year | ~$160 Fees Fee or Schengen visa exemption
  • Highlights: Castles and cobblestone roads, high quality, European standard life for relatively cheap
  • Downsides: Your experience with the locals (friendly or closed off) may very
  • Rating: 4.5/5

TALLIN, ESTONIA

Why: A European destination that is livable, walkable, affordable, and cultivating itself for nomads with a 1 year digital nomad visa

High quality of life, walkable, and filled with great public transportation making an easy life possible without a car. High speed internet and plenty of DN friendly cafes abound. The location also offers easy and cheap access to some other great and interesting countries – Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Russia – cheaply and easily to add variety to the stay.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $2,119
  • Internet Speed: 32mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Estonia: 1 Year | €100 Fee or free 3 month Schengen visa exemption
  • Highlights: 1 year digital nomad visa, great internet infrastructure and connectivity, a hub for European travels
  • Downsides: Can become monotonous, difficult to befriend locals,
  • Notes: Check out the area of the city “Telliskivi ” home to hipsters and DNs.
  • Rating: 4/5

TOULOUSE, FRANCE

A small and inexpensive town in France that allows nomads to enjoy French culture and lifestyle at an affordable price. Many nomads would be bored in Toulouse after a month however if you are in the mood for peace, quiet, and a little taste of France, Toulouse is a wonderful place to base for a period.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $2,348
  • Internet Speed: 27mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Free Schengen visa of 90 days per 180 shared with other Schengen countries (more Schengen visa info here)
  • Highlights: One of the most cost efficient towns in France, enjoyable, friendly
  • Downsides: Small – most nomads run out of things to do fairly quickly
  • Rating: 3.5/5

LYON, FRANCE

The third largest city in France and popular tourist destination has managed to remain off the radar of international travelers, allowing you to have a big city experience that, unlike Paris, still feels uniquely French. This city of over 1 million people and has the walkable layout of a city established in 43 AD (by Rome) with architecture , UNESCO heritage sites, and plenty to do.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $3,079
  • Internet Speed: 26mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Free Schengen visa of 90 days per 180 shared with other Schengen countries (more Schengen visa info here)
  • Highlights: A French experience that isn’t popular with travelers yet, very historical architecture and vibe
  • Downsides: You will need to speak French to max out your experience
  • Rating: 3.1/5

MARSEILLE, FRANCE

Why: Experience coastal France in a way that blends the country of France, with the region – of southern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East

A coastal French city that many French say “isn’t French” – but that doesn’t change its great French seafood, livability, and complexity. Established in 600 BC and occupied by the Greeks, Turks, and later having many Italian Spanish, and other nationalities immigrate and settle after WW2 to African and Middle Eastern immigrants more recently contributing to Marseille’s patchwork of culture. Beyond Marseille, the south of France and coastal France (all within reach) offer a much different experience than Paris and the “France” that most foreigners think of.

For digital nomads living in Marseille, don’t count on a lot of digital nomad infrastructure – coworking spaces, co-living spaces, and cafés with supercharged wi-fi. However, this is a place that you can comfortably explore and enjoy with plenty of unique experiences and a high quality of life between work bouts.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $3,229
  • Internet Speed: 27mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Free Schengen visa of 90 days per 180 shared with other Schengen countries (more Schengen visa info here)
  • Highlights: Cultural melting pot, coastal town, convenient to many other Mediterranean destinations
  • Downsides: Lack of infrastructure for digital nomads, such as coffee shops suitable for working, or coworking spaces
  • Rating: 3.5/5

STRASBOURG, FRANCE

Though pricier than other options in France (and the world), and the city has few co-working spaces or coffee shops with wi-fi, this city popped up often as one of the best nomading options in France. Cosmopolitan with great food and coffee, wonderful architecture, a great layout (very walkable), and located just over the border of Germany from other wonderful, walkable cities, Strasbourg was repeatedly praised as a great option.

As long as you either don’t need to work at a coworking space or café constantly or can do part of your work offline and do the remainder connected at home, you will likely enjoy the quality of life and experience of living in Strasbourg, France and exploring the nearby cities in Germany as well as Alsace, France.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $3,426
  • Internet Speed: 27mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Free Schengen visa of 90 days per 180 shared with other Schengen countries (more Schengen visa info here)
  • Highlights: Posh, enjoyable, and a quintessentially French experience as many nomads want to experience France
  • Downsides: Pricey, lacks infrastructure (workspaces) for nomads
  • Rating: 2.9/5

NANTES, FRANCE

Why: The young, hip, tech capital of France

Praised by the French as being the “tech city of France” with a young, vibrant population and delivering the French experience people hope to find in Paris (but without the snobbish undertone), Nantes is one of the best options in France for digital nomads.

The downsides: Note that Nantes is truly French and, as such, you will need to learn a little French to enjoy life as many people do not speak English, but many nomads cite this as being part of the charm of the experience. Additionally, Nantes can be a pricey city but, compared to what you will pay elsewhere in Europe, is worth the experience.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $4,437
  • Internet Speed: 42 mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Free Schengen visa of 90 days per 180 shared with other Schengen countries (more Schengen visa info here)
  • Highlights: Techy, young, and lively
  • Downsides: Expensive, difficult to navigate without speaking French
  • Rating: 2.6/5

MONTPELLIER, FRANCE

Why: A French university town that is enjoyable for the exact reasons you’d expect a university town to be enjoyable, but with a French touch

One of the most popular cities in the south of France for digital nomads. Walkable, clean, and very affordable with a “college town” feel and few tourists which make it easier to get in with the locals. Tiny bistros with terraces abound for eating and working (don’t count on wi-fi everywhere though).

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $2,429
  • Internet Speed: 15mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Free Schengen visa of 90 days per 180 shared with other Schengen countries (more Schengen visa info here)
  • Highlights: Cheap, intimately small, young and vibrant population, low key but still fun
  • Downsides: Don’t count on wi-fi in any of the cafes, bring your phone to hotspot instead
  • Best cafes to work from: Coffee Club, Cafe Latitude, and Napoleon Dynamite
  • Rating: 3.3/5

ATHENS, GREECE

A bustling metropolis with plenty to see and do by day or night with plenty of coworking spaces, a growing digital nomad scene, and a generally great lifestyle. Thousands of cafes with wi-fi, cheap eats and coffee (both good) abound, and mountains, beaches, museums, historic sites, and markets will keep anyone entertained endlessly. People and food are the highlights of this big, busy, and ancient city.

However, do yourself a favor and grab yourself a SIM card or wifi router for the adventure as Greece’s wi-fi (in cafes) is notably unreliable.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $2,888
  • Internet Speed: 13mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Free Schengen visa of 90 days per 180 shared with other Schengen countries (more Schengen visa info here)
  • Highlights: Ancient, filled with places to work, packed with culture
  • Downsides: Weak internet in most places
  • Neighborhoods of Note: Pagrati, Koukaki
  • Rating: 4/5

THESALONIKI, GREECE

Why: The Greek cultural and festival capital

Greek’s second largest city is renowned as both the Greek cultural capital, thanks to festivals, cultural events, and remnants of 3,000 years of history, and a university town which helped it rank as one of the top party cities in the world as ranked by Lonely Planet.

The population is young and active and there is a very active culture of getting outside and enjoying the outdoors. As Greece increasingly becomes more of a hub for entrepreneurs and digital nomads, due to the low cost of living, great food, cafes and places to work, and actions being taken by the Greek government for nomads (new visa, tax concessions) Thessaloniki will rise as another great digital nomad hub in Europe.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $2,429
  • Internet Speed: 15mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Free Schengen visa of 90 days per 180 shared with other Schengen countries (more Schengen visa info here)
  • Highlights: One of the most culturally rich places in Greece, lots of places to work and things to do any time of day or night
  • Downsides: Huge, confusing, and it takes more than a few days to get to know the city
  • Rating: 3.3/5

PALERMO, ITALY

Why: One of the cheapest locations in Italy while still delivering a true, livable, and enjoyable Italian experience

Perfect weather year round, cheap accommodation (by European standards), welcoming locals, Italian food and culture, and plenty of great bars, restaurants, and welcoming places to hang make Palermo a great DN base in Italy.

Note: Wi-Fi can be hit or miss throughout the city, so plan accordingly and bring a hotspot option

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $2,469
  • Internet Speed: 29
  • Visa Length + Price: Free Schengen visa of 90 days per 180 shared with other Schengen countries (more Schengen visa info here)
  • Highlights: The Italian lifestyle is one of the best in the world
  • Downsides: The internet signal can have Italian level efficieny
  • Rating: 3.3/5

KRAKOW, POLAND

Why: One of the cheapest nomad hubs in Europe, yet more culturally rich than most places in the world

One of the lowest costs of living in the European Union while delivering all of the quality of life you could want with great nightlife, safety (for solo female nomads), plenty of great cafes with wi-fi, loads of other digital nomads, and beauty throughout the city.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,574
  • Internet Speed: 43mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Free Schengen visa of 90 days per 180 shared with other Schengen countries (more Schengen visa info here)
  • Highlights: Safe for solo female nomads, cheap, rich with culture, amazing quality of life
  • Downsides: Picking between Krakow or Warsaw is tough
  • Weekend Travel Spots: Wieliczka, Energylandia, Zakopane, Auschwitz.
  • Rating: 4.4/5

GDANSK POLAND

Why: Smaller, cleaner, and more hipster (per capita) than Krakow and Warsaw

The best city for digital nomads in Poland that want to live near the water, the miles of powdery, sandy beach on the Baltic Sea may be chilly but are wonderful in the summertime and the Old Town and surrounding hipster bars buzzing with nightlife offer social life and something to do year round.

Great, high quality, and cheap apartments sit right along the waterway adding to quality of life and walkability. This “smaller” city of around 500k delivers a less busy, less polluted alternative experience to the larger Polish cities of Krakow and Warsaw topped with a vibrantly rich cultural scene – from hipster art shows to opera.

Also consider: Gdynia, Sopot (Rest of the Tri-city area)

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,635
  • Internet Speed: 26mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Free Schengen visa of 90 days per 180 shared with other Schengen countries (more Schengen visa info here)
  • Highlights: Livable, manageable, great nightlife
  • Downsides: Gets cold, which makes it difficult to enjoy the sea
  • Rating: 4.1/5

WARSAW, POLAND

The “New York of Eastern Europe” with a more hustle and bustle and corporate vibe than Krakow. Warsaw itself is safe, clean, and modern throughout with strong startup cultural and community and a large expat community. Public transportation is great (convenient, reliable, and cheap). The Warsaw locals are friendly, much more than one could expect for such a large, fast paced city. Additionally, the accommodation and overall cost of living is incredibly low for how great this city is.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,874
  • Internet Speed: 30mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Free Schengen visa of 90 days per 180 shared with other Schengen countries (more Schengen visa info here)
  • Highlights: A mega city delivering the perks, quality, and infrastructure that come with
  • Downsides: Difficult deciding between Warsaw and Krakow
  • Rating: 4/5

PONTA DELGADA, AZORES, PORTUGAL

Though this island cluster off the coast of Portugal (the Azores) may seem remote, the cheap, $35 flight to Lisbon are the start of what make it an excellent option. Rural, outdoorsy, and interesting. This island chain is joked about by locations as experiencing 4 seasons in a day, and the (obvious) beaches combined with the 9 volcanic islands in the chain add up to a very unique nomading opportunity with plenty of hiking and exploration.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $2,781
  • Internet Speed: 32mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Free Schengen visa of 90 days per 180 shared with other Schengen countries (more Schengen visa info here)
  • Highlights: A great European Island option for EU citizens
  • Downsides: Most DNs in Europe are better off using their Schengen stay for cities, and heading to a more accessible island between Schengen visa stays
  • Rating: 3.5/5

LISBON, PORTUGAL

Why: Arguably, one of the digital nomad capitals of the world, with an extremely high quality of life, and everything you need by day or night

Lisbon is quickly becoming one of the “digital nomad capitals,” attracting nomads from around the globe and delivering a near perfect living and working environment. This big city with a small city vibe that is a tech and startup hub too. High quality of life, plenty of music, art, food, and wine to explore, and friendly locals make Lisbon a very easy place to live. Coworking spaces, co-living cafes, and bars & nightlife abound, so there is always an opportunity to explore and connect at your level of comfort and desire.

Nearby, Ericera, and Madeira present more of the same, in a good way, with Porto being a highlight a bit further away.

Additionally, Portugal is taking steps to make long term visas and tax concessions specifically for digital nomads and remote workers, so do your research on Lisbon, and Portugal, as a potential DN hub for you.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $2,033
  • Internet Speed: 26mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Free Schengen visa of 90 days per 180 shared with other Schengen countries (more Schengen visa info here)
  • Highlights: Food, music, general quality of daily life, digital nomad communities, cost of living (relative to the rest of Europe), surfing nearby
  • Downsides: Schengen visa limitation, cool winters
  • Rating: 4.8/5

PORTO, PORTUGAL

Why: The cheapest wine and food destination in Europe that delivers to this level, with plenty of music, arts, and culture on the days between.

An amazing city built on a heritage of wine and food and whose hilly nature and architecture make for amazing views throughout. International food, trumped by amazing local food and wine, and countless pockets within the city – with bars, culture, and friendliness – make Porto even more comforting and livable than Lisbon. A friendly, educated, and widely English speaking population, and a low cost of living relative to the rest of Europe and North America make Porto one of the best places in the world to live and nomad.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,969
  • Internet Speed: 33mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Free Schengen visa of 90 days per 180 shared with other Schengen countries (more Schengen visa info here)
  • Highlights: Food, wine, culture, music, arts, pace of life
  • Downsides: Nearly nothing
  • Rating: 4.4/5

LJUBLANA, SLOVENIA

Why: One of the greenest and most peaceful cities in Europe, also making the visa friendly Balkans very accessible

Romantically peaceful and walkable with old world, Baroque architecture throughout. Ljubalana is a secret gem, selected as the greenest city in Europe previously and still maintains its place as one of the most charming cities in Eastern Europe. Walk along riverside to one of the many cafes – that feels more classically European and comfy than DN hipster – and enjoy a quieter, more peaceful pace of life with incomparably beautiful backdrop in both nature and architecture.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $2,203
  • Internet Speed: 56mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Free Schengen visa of 90 days per 180 shared with other Schengen countries (more Schengen visa info here)
  • Highlights: Beautifully green, peaceful, walkable, and romantic
  • Downsides: Very small for long stays unless you are in a couple, older, or an introverted nomad
  • Rating: 4/5

BARCELONA, SPAIN

Why: One of the richest qualities of life in the world, right on the beach in a big, beautiful, and accessible city

Beautiful weather, walkably compact but still with great transportation, amazing food (yes tapas, wine, and more), never ending nightlife a short ride from the beach (or on the beach), large expat/DN/traveler scenes, and mountains a short drive away. Countless coworking spaces, coliving spaces, hipster cafes with strong wifi, and strong wifi everywhere else Barcelona delivers everything you could want in a single location.

For all of this, the cost of living is EXTREMLY low, and budget options and accommodation are plentiful.

Tip: Join Barcelona accommodation groups on Facebook for the best accommodation options

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $3,017
  • Internet Speed: 36mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Free Schengen visa of 90 days per 180 shared with other Schengen countries (more Schengen visa info here)
  • Highlights: Beaches, food, great bar and nightlife scene, tapas, and robust expat scene
  • Downsides: May take some time to make local friends
  • Rating: 4.2/5

MADRID, SPAIN

More bars per capita than anywhere in the world, countless neighborhoods – each with their own distinct personality (posh, hipster, young, etc.), countless restaurants with amazing food, and never-ending nightlife of all styles makes Madrid an enlivening place to live and a pleasure to all the senses.

Beyond the nightlife and eating, plenty of parks and pedestrian friendly activities, along with everything you could think of doing in a big city. On par with San Francisco, Stockholm, and any large world class city with more vibrance and a lower cost of living.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $2,845
  • Internet Speed: 34mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Free Schengen visa of 90 days per 180 shared with other Schengen countries (more Schengen visa info here)
  • Highlights: Bars, nightlife, eating, drinking, countless varied neighborhoods, and everything you could want
  • Downsides: This city is hard not to love
  • Rating: 3.9/5

VALENCIA, SPAIN

Valencia is growing in popularity, more in terms of expats moving to a city for years than for digital nomads- however, Valencia is still another great option in Spain. The city offers a great quality of life for cheaper than Barcelona and Madrid with a touch less of the vibrance, sensuality, and DN/tech remote worker community that you’ll come across in Madrid and Barcelona.

Also note that Valencia will be slightly more difficult to navigate as an English speaker not speaking any Spanish.

If you’re an expat looking for a new home in Spain and less concerned with nightlife and social life, Valencia may be a good option for you.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $2,535
  • Internet Speed: 32mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Free Schengen visa of 90 days per 180 shared with other Schengen countries (more Schengen visa info here)
  • Highlights: Big yet walkable and bike friendly, good public transport, great food that’s affordable, lots of cafes
  • Downsides: Polarizing and often better for long term expats, you either like it or you don’t
  • Rating: 4.1/5

TENERIFE, SPAIN

The largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, just of the coast of West Africa is emerging as an escape destination for DNs looking for island life and constant sunshine close to Europe.

Despite its remoteness, the sunshine and vibe attract a good crowd of both tourists and nomads with an active DN community. DNs usually organize meetings once per month. DNs that need a destination that delivers the popular vibe and climate of Southeast Asia in a European timezone will appreciate the Canary Islands as a whole and Tenerife.

Most DNs reported 2 to 3 months here to the sweet spot of satisfying and having seen everything

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $2,135
  • Internet Speed: 22mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Free Schengen visa of 90 days per 180 shared with other Schengen countries (more Schengen visa info here)
  • Highlights: Island life for EU citizens
  • Downsides: Better places for DNs to spend their Schengen time, and cheaper islands throughout the world
  • Rating: 4.4/5

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY

This former capital of the Roman Empire is more international and entertaining than most DNs expect. Big and beautiful with architecture, parks, cafes,bars, and more to keep you entertained whether you prefer peaceful days or rowdy nights A great food scene with local and international cuisine for foodies, carnivores, and vegetarians alike. Am interesting fusion of eastern European food and Turkish food is popular in a unique and addictive way.

The nightlife scene is strong here, hence why it is a popular runaway for British bachelors. Be sure to learn a little Hungarian when ordering at the bars so you don’t get lumped in with British bachelor parties. Nomads have dubbed Budapest as “the Bangkok of Eastern Europe” for positive and negative reasons.

Though this city is fantastic, the locals and can be somewhat closed and closed off to foreigners, but the strong expat and travel scene mean you’ll have no shortage of people to socialize with. Don’t count on groceries, museums, and common attractions to be “Eastern Europe cheap”

Aim for the spring and autumn to experience Budapest at it’s best.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,542
  • Internet Speed: 38mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Free Schengen visa of 90 days per 180 shared with other Schengen countries (more Schengen visa info here)
  • Highlights: Big, culturally rich, large expat scene
  • Downsides: Divide between locals and foreigners is hard to overcome, one dimensional food scene, frequent stag parties can disrupt nightlife
  • Rating: 4.4/5

BEST DN CITIES IN EUROPE (NON-SCHENGEN)

SOFIA, BULGARIA

A city of amazing food, and a strong locavore scene, with a cheap cost of living to boot. Great parks and coffee shops are quite common.

However the bar and nightlife scene is average as best and many nomads (and locals) have cited a high level of homophobia and dirty (as a black man that hung out with a lesbian the entire time, I witnessed neither problem). As well, one some people describe as a “gritty feel” that adds to Sofia’s charm of old buildings, other nomads used to pristine metropolises may describe Sofia as ditty.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,401
  • Internet Speed: 27mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Up to 90 days every 180 days. Visits to Bulgaria do not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit in the Schengen area. Bulgaria is an EU country but is not in the Schengen zone (Bulgaria Visa Information)
  • Highlights: Strong foodie scene, low cost of living, hipster dive bars, good quality of life
  • Downsides: Not many sites and attractions for the long term
  • Rating: 4.1/5

BANSKO, BULGARIA

Nearly a ghost town in summer, but in the winter this mountain town is a budget friendly snowboarding and skiing hub – arguably one of the best for powder loving nomads and developing quickly in response to nomad needs. Coworking spaces, gyms, bars, and cafes. For nomads that prefer mountains over beaches, Bansko is a top option.

Don’t In summertime, count on their being fewer nomads and expats in general, but plenty of nature, mountains, lakes, and nature parks, to enjoy cheaply.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,428
  • Internet Speed: 30mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Up to 90 days every 180 days. Visits to Bulgaria do not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit in the Schengen area. Bulgaria is an EU country but is not in the Schengen zone (Bulgaria Visa Information)
  • Highlights: Mountain town vibes for DNs, cheapest skiing and snowboarding in Europe
  • Downsides: Nearly dead in summertime
  • Rating: 3.9/5

TBLISI, GEORGIA

Why: An emerging DN location with a free 1 year visa that is home to fiery locals and the birthplace of wine

An adventurous summer destination great for single nomads, with a low cost of living, warm and friendly locals, and a large expat population. Plenty of parks and greenspaces, unique, rich, and addictive food, and the birthplace of wine.

Additionally, Georgia has welcomed digital nomads in recent years with a free 1 year visa on arrival.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,238
  • Internet Speed: 13mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Georgia: 1 Year | Free
  • Highlights: Visit Vera Park, Mtatsminda mountain, Lisi Lake, Mziuri and Vake for great parks and beautiful spaces
  • Downsides: Many nomads reported issues with rental agencies, not a great place for vegetarians or vegans, not LGBT friendly
  • 4.4/5

KOTOR, MONTENEGRO

A small, beautiful city nestled between the high mountains of the southernmost fjords in Europe. A UNESCO world heritage, walled old town lies at the center of the city, and affordable accommodation is strewn around. Kotor is absolutely one of my favorite cities in the Balkans and Europe for nomading.

Single travelers and nomads will find this place great for a week of relaxation and low key nightlife. Couples and nomads focused on a long stint of work could happily stay here longer.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $2,079
  • Internet Speed: 17mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Montenegro is not part of the Schengen zone, and a free 90-day visa is offered on arrival for each 180 day period 
  • Highlights: Unique beauty, peaceful setting, great cost of living
  • Downsides: Small – solo travelers may get bore soon.
  • Rating: 3.4/5

SOCHI, RUSSIA

Russia’s “summer capital” and “Pearl of the Black Sea” is a Russian vacation destination on the Black Sea and the place you absolutely must stay at during Russian winters. Year round, Sochi offers plenty as a more hipster, calmer, and lighter alternative to Moscow and St Petersburg. In Russia’s harsh winters, Sochi will be the place you want to escape to as temperatures “only” drop to 3 degrees Celsius / 37.5 degrees Fahrenheit , but you’re still an hour away from snow filled ski resorts.

To boot, Sochi’s quality of life is high while cost of living is extremely cheap and offers all the perks that an international and domestic tourism destination offers.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,374
  • Internet Speed: 14mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Russia: 3 Years | $198
  • Why: Russia’s “summer capital”
  • Highlights: Extremely low cost of living
  • Downsides: More of a language barrier than in Moscow and St. Petersburg
  • Rating: 2.9/5

ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA

A beautiful, cultured, and extremely livable city dubbed “the biggest small city in Europe.” Great public transportation, endless restaurants, cafes, and coworking spaces. Ask many Russians and St. Petersburg will commonly be their favorite city in Europe. With Ste. Petersburg’s historical center being Russia’s first UNESCO world heritage site, it is arguably among the most beautiful places in the world filled with museums, treasure filled palaces, and plenty of cultural experiences

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,628
  • Internet Speed: 15mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Russia: 3 Years | $198
  • Highlights: Low cost of living for high quality of life, variety, lots of nightlife
  • Downsides: Red tape if you want to stay longer than a year continuously, harsh winters, finding apartments can be difficult
  • Rating: 4.2/5

BELGRADE, SERBIA

A very underrated city with endless nightlife (floating on the river) and plenty of restaurants (local and international cuisine) and bars large and small. Strong café culture and good wifi makes for plenty of places to relax, chat, and work. Belgrade’s raw and gritty feel adds to its charm, visible everywhere and even experienced with the locals giving an endearing “what you see is what you get” connotation to everything in the city. Stay near the city center (near Republic Square) and you’ll experience a perfect balance between the conveniences and walkability of a big city, and the welcome of a smaller town.

Locals are genuine and hospitable in their interactions and easy to meet and get to know.

Many nomads are pleasantly surprised that Belgrade essentially offers a western European lifestyle and cityscape on an Eastern European budget.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,537
  • Internet Speed: 34mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Serbia is not part of the Schengen zone and offers a free 90-day visa for most visitors
  • Highlights: Nightlife, food, café culture, lots of parks and greenspaces
  • Downsides: Plan on smoking everywhere, slightly more polluted than most cities, winter can be torturous
  • Rating: 4.4/5

KIEV, UKRAINE

A wonderful summer city, walkable with lots of nature, numerous parks and greenspaces, an interesting patchwork of neighborhoods, reasonable public transportation (good metro, cheap taxis, cheap rideshare), and lots of fantastic restaurants, bars, and cafes. The restaurants are a highlight delivering gourmet and world class international and cuisine for a fraction of the prices further west in Europe. The speakeasy and craft cocktail scene is strong, impressive, and cheap. By day, plenty of stylish and hipster cafes abound as well as cheap but enjoyable coworking spaces.

The architecture is beautiful and varied between neighborhoods, and the locals speak enough English to make navigating daily life easy.

For nomads outsourcing, there is a large population of talented local freelancers in Kiev that work remotely for companies in North America and Europe, but will happily work with you locally on projects – so – if you’re in need of a low cost, high quality team to work in person with for a period, Kiev is a great option.

The only struggle you may find in Kiev is finding a good apartment for cheap. If you manage that you’ll have an amazing stay.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,619
  • Internet Speed: 27mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Short term (C) visas allow for 30 day e-Visas ($25) (available on the Ukrainian MFA e-Visa application page) a total of 90 days within any 180 day period (Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affair’s visa page)
  • Highlights: Café, bar and restaurant scene is amazing, Endless international and fusion restaurants, craft cocktail bars, and speakeasies for 1/3 the price of western Europe
  • Downsides: Finding a good apartment at a reasonable price is tough, winters are rough – stick to spring, summer, and early fall, supermarkets don’t have the best/cheapest selection, high prices for western goods
  • Rating: 3.8/5

BRASOV, ROMANIA

A cheap tourist city with all of the infrastructure and options that come with that reputation, but surrounded by mountains and loads of hiking opportunities as well as cheap ski destinations in the winter.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,316
  • Internet Speed: 34mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Short stay visa allows a stay of 90 days maximum in a 180 day period, granted on arrival at any border crossing (Romanian visa info)
  • Highlights: Cheap, great hiking just outside of the city
  • Downsides: LOTS of tourists
  • Rating: 4/5

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA

An underrated city with lots to do. Lovely for walking and calm by day, late parties by night. Plenty of cafes, lots of parks and small greenspaces, and safe to explore

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,674
  • Internet Speed: 57mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Short stay visa allows a stay of 90 days maximum in a 180 day period, granted on arrival at any border crossing (Romanian visa info)
  • Highlights: Cheap, emerging destination for DNs
  • Downsides: TBD
  • Rating: 4/5

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BEST DN CITIES IN SOUTH AMERICA

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA

The “Paris of South America” has everything you could want – nightlife, food, culture – in a uniquely gritty and South American package that is part of the city’s charm, with late eating, socializing, and nightlife culture. A good metro system allows you to get anywhere in this huge city cheaply and easily across this amazing city. A strong coffee scene translates to lots of cafes throughout the city. Argentine “asado” culture is almost one of a kind in the world (matched by Uruguay and Brazil) however, the vast number of Argentine BBQ restaurants in BsAs make for a beef lovers paradise – amazing barbeque and great wine for insanely cheap, accented by an extremely low cost of living.

As a starting point, aim for the Palermo SOHO neighborhood which is filled with cafes, bars, nightlife, and a young population of locals, nomads, and expats that are eager to share experiences – also consider Hollywood or Belgrano for a more low key experience.

When you tire of the city life, escaping to the wine region (Mendoza), the lake districts (Bariloche), and Patagonia add balance to the posh yet adventurous experience that is Argentina.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $733
  • Internet Speed: 23mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Argentine visa exemption is valid for 90 days
  • Highlights: Power of foreign currency due to economic situation
  • Downsides: Economic situation has been tough on locals, “not everything will work” in Buenos Aires
  • Rating: 4/5

Tip: Use the Rappi rideshare and food delivery app

USHUAIA, ARGENTINA

The world’s southernmost might not seem like a digital nomad’s paradise (its not) but basing oneself here for a period presents unique opportunities to explore Antarctica and Patagonia – two of the world’s most exotic, and adventurous, and beautiful destinations.

Count on this remote town to not have strong Wi-Fi, coworking spaces or plentiful cafes. If you can tolerate that and have a taste for adventure, this opportunity may be perfect for you. This city is an 8 to 11 hour drive from several Patagonian National parks that have great multi-day hikes (4 to 11 days) through the Patagonian front country and backcountry for views that you’re only likely to see again in New Zealand. For those that love hiking and exploring nature, Ushuaia sets you up as a base for weekend, or week long, hikes through the best of Patagonia between working. Or even better – Antarctica.

Tour boats to Antarctica commonly run out of Ushuaiia, and when booked out of providers in Ushuaiia, spare open seats on boats sell for a fraction of the price they do online. However, you usually need to be in Ushuaia for a couple weeks to spot an opportunity. Stay in Ushuaia a while and wait and you may catch a cheap boat to the true southernmost point in the world.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,664
  • Internet Speed: 13mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Argentine visa exemption is valid for 90 days
  • Highlights: A base for exploring Antarctica and Patagonia
  • Downsides: Not the most DN friendly city
  • Rating: 3.3/5

FLORIANOPOLIS, BRAZIL

A small island off the coast of Brazil known to travelers as “the Miami of Brazil” but far more affordable and relaxed. White sands beaches with hiking trails in between, plenty of watersports (surfing, kitesurfing), and a comparatively low cost of living topped of with bonfires and all the parties you’ll need.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,215
  • Internet Speed: 13mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Brazil has a reciprocal visa policy, 90 days fee free for US citizens and many other nationalities (click here to view Brazil’s visa policy)
  • Highlights: Brazil for cheap, beautiful beaches, social life and parties
  • Downsides: Alcohol can break the budget here
  • Rating: 3.7/5

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL

A vast city of contrast and comparatively a South American New York or Los Angeles with its glamor, size, and variety. 12,500+ restaurants with cuisines from 50 different countries, free art events and museums, and plenty of coworking spaces with events offer lots to do and a great public transportation system offers an easy way to get between them. Due to infrastructure and convenience, Sao Paulo may be the best city in Brazil for nomads that like city life.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,234
  • Internet Speed: 19mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Brazil has a reciprocal visa policy, 90 days fee free for US citizens and many other nationalities (click here to view Brazil’s visa policy)
  • Highlights: Sao Paulo has everything you could want
  • Downsides: Cost of living can become high if you don’t moderate your tastes/spending, safety can be a concern – especially for women
  • Rating: 4.2/5

PORT ALEGRE, BRAZIL

Noted for some of the best food in Brazil and plenty of nature, Port Alegre is a great stop off for culture and a lower cost of living than the rest of Brazil.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $867
  • Internet Speed: 12mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Brazil has a reciprocal visa policy, 90 days fee free for US citizens and many other nationalities (click here to view Brazil’s visa policy)
  • Highlights: One of the cheapest and most accessible destinations in Brazil
  • Downsides: Tends to be to small and lest interesting than other locations in Brazil for nomads
  • Rating: 3.6/5

MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA

A fantastic alternative to Buenos Aires – cheaper, cleaner, and functioning very well, this beautiful “city of eternal spring” boasts a climate that stays around 70 degrees / 22 Celsius year round, amazing views of the mountains surrounding the valley that cradles the city, food that varies from posh and fusion to local using some of the freshest ingredients you’ll find in South America, culture that isn’t uniquely “Medellin” and everything else you could want in a location to make it livable, comfortable, and entertaining.

Numerous neighborhoods throughout the city deliver cafes, restaurants, bars, clubs and public spaces that feed any need or vibe. From the posh Beverly Hills styled Poblado, to gritty and revitalized Comuna 13, to Patio Bonito, Belen, El Centro and more, Medellin is filled with pockets of flavor, culture and experience that is perfect for a week, a month, or a year delivering arguably the highest quality of life in South America for one of the cheapest among large South American cities.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,052
  • Internet Speed: 9mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: 90 days without a visa is allowed with one 90-day extension possible for 100 nationalities (visit official Government of Colombian visa page)
  • Highlights: Perfect weather year round, luxurious living, beautiful people inside and out, low cost of living
  • Downsides: Understanding which few barrios are best left alone
  • Rating: 4.1/5

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA

A big, busy, and sprawling city that is the financial hub of Colombia, delivering the pockets of neighborhoods, culture and variety you’ll from a global city like New York, but on a much smaller scale. If you like busy and big cities surrounded by suburbs you’ll live easily in Bogota, with a touch of Latino and Colombian flare.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,054
  • Internet Speed: 9mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: 90 days without a visa is allowed with one 90-day extension possible for 100 nationalities (visit official Government of Colombian visa page)
  • Highlights: Delivers all of the perks of a big city with some of the best infrastructure in Latin America
  • Downsides: Safety can be a concern
  • Rating: 3.2/5

SANTIAGO, CHILE

Home of the Startup Chile program, aiming to draw tech startups to Chile and bolster them, Santiago epitomizes the non-nature side of Chile. Quiet, functioning well, and fairly uneventful. If you are looking for an uneventful base to exist and focus without much disruption, Santiago may be good for you. Be sure to spice things up by traveling south to Valparaiso, Pucon, and further south into Patagonia as that’s where the highlights of Chile are.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,358
  • Internet Speed: 12mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: 90-day visa free stay for 90 nationalities – an extension for an additional 90 days is possible at immigration offices. Visit https://chile.gob.cl/[YOUR-COUNTRY] for visa details for your country or Chilean Immigration Department
  • Highlights: Tech hub of Chile, quiet, friendly (though conservative) locals
  • Downsides: Much more expensive than most Latin American cities, too boring for some
  • Ratings: 3.7/5

VALPARAISO, CHILE

Valparaiso is a Bohemian and hilly port city on the coast of Chile, west of Santiago. The charm of the city, and the experience, comes from roaming the hilly streets covered in graffiti, and staying in a place where all accommodation has an ocean view.

Think of Valpo less as a long term home and more of a short and quiet stop off from the Chile backpacking circuit with steady wi-fi and time to focus.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,558
  • Internet Speed: 15mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: 90-day visa free stay for 90 nationalities – an extension for an additional 90 days is possible at immigration offices. Visit https://chile.gob.cl/[YOUR-COUNTRY] for visa details for your country or Chilean Immigration Department
  • Highlights: Hipster port city with lots of university kids, and enroute to Patagonia
  • Downsides: Food scene is less robust than other cities, the entire city is “up hill both ways”
  • Rating: 3.2/5

GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, ECUADOR

Unknown to most people – the three inhabited islands of the galapagos -Santa Cruz, Isabella, and San Cristobal – are filled with secret sites to experience animals that are 100% free and locals tend to keep to themselves. Additionally, if you want to see a specific animal (penguins, hammerhead sharks, sea lions in a place you can snorkel) its valuable to be aware that they often leave the archipelago for days or weeks, and when they DO come back, the locals know.

By staying in Galapagos for extended period you’d give yourself a once in a lifetime opportunity to hang around long enough to see every animal for that season, without the expensive cruises, and ultimately at a fraction of the cost. Also, by being on the island with no schedule, you can easily book epic tours cheaply – think $30 to $50 to snorkel with sea lions and hammer heads. In between you can ride your bike to explore lava tunnels and snorkel with playful penguins and iguanas 10 minutes from your guest house.

By night you can live another dream while eating local and enjoy the fresh (and sustainably) caught lobster, fish, and prawns for $10 a plate, with some Galapagos craft brews.

Galapagos is a perfect opportunity to use location independence to maximize travel and adventure – a once in a lifetime opportunity to live among exotic animals.

Note that each island in the Galapagos archipelago has a distinct personality:

San Cristobal: The posh island, great infrastructure, and the most expensive. If you want a resort you’ll find it here

Santa Cruz: Best for a long, budget stay. Centrally located with great evening seafood markets.

Isabella: The largest and most remote island with the most adventure. Very little infrastructure, but centrally located for some must do experiences

Ultimately, spend time on all three islands

The internet and Wi-Fi throughout the archipelago isn’t strong, but plan accordingly around this and you’ll have an epic stay.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,363
  • Internet Speed: 17mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Ecuador: 2 Years | $450
  • Highlights: One of a kind experience living among animals, extended stays allow for a “cheap” Galapagos experience, seafood everyday
  • Downsides: The small and remote nature of the islands is only manageable for so long (but worth it)
  • Rating: 3.5/5

QUITO, ECUADOR

A big, low cost South American city with conservative yet friendly locals, a calm vibe, and most of the amenities you could ask for. Beyond the city limits, you’ll be able to experience one of the most biodiverse cities on the planet by weekend, with hot springs, volcanoes, mountains for hiking, the Amazon, and more

Check out the neighborhood Zona Rosa for a balance of posh living and nightlife.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $989
  • Internet Speed: 10mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Ecuador: 2 Years | $450
  • Highlights: Chill Ecuadorian living a stone’s throw from volcanoes and the Amazon in one of the most biodiverse regions of the world, easy 3 year visa and permanent residency
  • Downsides: TBD
  • Rating: 3.6/5

LIMA, PERU

Big, busy, and stimulating. Lima is a big city on all scales, delivering nightlife, the best food scene in all of South America, and plenty of art and culture. For those who want a rich, busy, urban experience on a daily basis, without the New York or London price tag and with Latin American undertones, Lima is a great option.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $942
  • Internet Speed: 14mbps
  • Visa Length + Price:**
  • Highlights: Best food scene in South America, nearby surfing, big city vibes and perks
  • Downsides: Safety in some areas
  • Rating: 3.8/5

CUSCO, PERU

A high-altitude destination that is more likely a stop off than a base, for nomads that are more adventurous than stable, Cusco makes a great stop off for weeks or months. Offering a light, but still satisfying, version of Lima’s food scene in a smaller package, with nightlife and Peruvian cocktails, Cusco is undoubtedly livable and entertaining. Cusco could also be considered “walkable” in its encapsulated neighborhoods, but count on a stairway and unintended exercise accompanying the walk anywhere.

Great adventure and outdoor opportunities nearby to explore adds a layer of depth to nomading in Cusco, allowing you to see hidden locations and experiences that most tourists on the quick path, hiking the Inca trail and visiting Macchu Pichu then leaving, never experience.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,144
  • Internet Speed: 11mbps
  • Visa Length + Price:**
  • Highlights: Trekking and adventure opportunities, one of a kind cultural experience in the cradle of the Incas
  • Downsides: High altitude living and uphill both ways no matter where you walk
  • Rating: 3.3/5

OTHER GREAT SOUTH AMERICA OPTIONS

Montevideo, Uruguay

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BEST DN CITIES IN CENTRAL AMERICA

ANTIGUA, GUATEMALA

Compact, filled with history, and loaded with fun for virtually any traveler, Antigua delivers an enjoyable and slightly adventurous Latin American experience with the unbridled nature Central America is known for very nearby. At the same time, an influx of tourists and expats has triggered setting up more of the infrastructure that nomads and long stay travelers need. This ultimately makes Antigua comfy and livable while being one of the most budget friendly cities in Central America.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,297
  • Internet Speed: 6mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: No visa required for a day of 90 days or less for most nationalities (Guatemalan Immigration)
  • Highlights: One of the cheapest places in Central America, outdoorsy
  • Downsides: Growing popular with tourists
  • Rating: 3.6/5

PUERTO VIEJO, COSTA RICA

A string of small, Caribbean, costal villages dotting the beaches of east Costa Rica (in the Limon area) deliver an Afro-Caribbean culture and experience equally filled with European expats and traveling runaways living the tropical dream delivering some of the best surfing in the world, buzzing beachy nightlife, and the laid back lifestyle you’d expect from a Rostafari foothold.

In Central America and Caribbean, for those looking for a tropical escape filled with surfing and a backpacking vibe with a beach party scene to dabble in, Puerto Viejo is a great place to start.

Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $2,380

Internet Speed: 9mbps

Visa Length + Price: Costa Rica: 2 Years | $50 Fee

Ratings: 3.1/5

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BEST DIGITAL NOMAD CITIES IN NORTH AMERICA

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO

Cheap, fun, and vast. Mexico City is packed with amazing food, and great nightlife, with a heavy touch of Latino vibrance that few others cities in North America can match. Most nomads come expecting a Netflix series but are pleasantly surprised and leave in love with the food and locals.

Essential Mexico City Tip: Be sure to Uber everywhere at night and treat safety like any big city

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,489
  • Internet Speed: 20mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Mexico: 1 Year, Renewable For 1 To 3 Years | ~$300 Fee
  • Highlights: FOOD!!
  • Downsides: Notably bad air quality
  • Neighborhoods: Condesa, Roma, Coyoca, Polanco, Coyocan, Doctores, Guerrero
  • Rating: 4.5/5

SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE, MEXICO

As a UNESCO world heritage site, San Miguel de Allende is one of Mexico’s most picturesque cities, with cobblestone streets, contrasting colored houses make walking anywhere in the city a joy. The weather stays between 60 and 80 degrees F daytime year round making it a easy to enjoy. Plenty of bars, restaurants, outdoor activities and expats around the city with a very young and active Mexican at the touches that all of the best cities in Mexico offer – the only thing you’ll be missing is the beach, but Playa del Carmen is a short and cheap 1 hour ride away.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,368
  • Internet Speed: 19mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Mexico: 1 Year, Renewable For 1 To 3 Years | ~$300 Fee
  • Highlights: Charming, small, filled with amazing food, cooler climate than other Mexico destinations
  • Downsides: Not many. Fly 1 hour to Playa del Carmen if you crave a beach
  • Rating: 3.8/5

PUERTO ESCONDIDO, MEXICO

One of the cheapest beach towns in Mexico with great nightlife, excellent food, plenty of surfing, and a handful of coworking spaces making it pleasant and entertaining for long stay with a vibe similar to Tulum without the prices or crowds (for now).

Nomads that need a strong Wi-Fi connection may struggle here, and plan to spend a little extra on high quality accommodation than you may in other parts of Mexico.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,750
  • Internet Speed: 19mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Mexico: 1 Year, Renewable For 1 To 3 Years | ~$300 Fee
  • Highlights: Cheap, good nightlife, good surfing
  • Downsides: Expensive accommodation relative to quality for Mexico, weak wifi
  • Rating: 4.2/5

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO

Bali and Thailand vibes in North America. Though PDC doesn’t bring as many coworking spaces or a cost of living as low this is still a great, cheap spot to base. Avoid the tourist traps streets and find the beautiful hidden spots and PDC is one more place that offers the no fluff lifestyle that most DNs look for in a nomad base.

Essential PDCMX Tips: Avoid renting bikes or purchasing anything on 5th Avenue as it is a tourist trap central, connect with other nomads via Facebook

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,370
  • Internet Speed: 11mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Mexico: 1 Year, Renewable For 1 To 3 Years | ~$300 Fee
  • Highlights: Easy to get around as everything is tightly packed and easy to get around by bike, friendly locals, easy to get around in English
  • Downsides: Few coworking space options that are far outdone by Bali, Thailand, and Portugal, slight touristy
  • Rating: 3.9/5

TULUM, MEXICO

The “Bali of Mexico” has become increasingly popular with digital nomads, the conscious crowd, and travelers in general over the last two years. Tons of fun, beautiful beaches and great weather year round, . Expect the Southeast Asia island and backpacker vibe, in an environment that makes living in English easy, is slightly more expensive, but brings a whole new level of food experience. Though Tulum is popular with the DN crowd, Wi-Fi and coworking spaces are a few years behind the hotspots of Bali and Chiang Mai. However, for those that prefer the Latin American / Euro vibe with the perks and highlights of Southeast Asia (beaches, warm weather, backpacker/nomad scene) Tulum is a great option.

If you arrive and find Tulum doesn’t feel livable enough for you, hop over to Playa del Carmen and you’ll likely find the perfect balance.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $2,167
  • Internet Speed: 13mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Mexico: 1 Year, Renewable For 1 To 3 Years | ~$300 Fee
  • Highlights: Beaches, Bali in Mexico
  • Downsides: Price is 3x to 4x Southeast Asia, Tulum is becoming increasingly tourist, weak wifi and cell
  • Rating: 3.9/5

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BEST US CITIES FOR DIGITAL NOMADS

AUSTIN, TEXAS

Lovingly referred to as “Silicon Hills,” and with a city motto of “keep Austin weird,” Austin, Texas is a burgeoning duplicate of silicon valley in middle America with heavy hipster undertones surrounded by cowboys on the outskirts of the city. Few places in the Americas will deliver the culture clash of Austin in such a pleasing way. From Eyore’s birthday parade to frequent marathons, and a lake that runs through the town and welcomes paddleboarders, Austin has something for a style and taste.

The downtown and warehouse district areas offer more bars per capita than anywhere in the US while also being home to many tech startups, startup incubators, and second homes to the mega tech companies that run the world (Facebook and Google). South and East of the high dollar hub are hip, hipster, and grungy neighborhoods with bars, more live music than anywhere else in the US (rivaling Nashville), and food trucks at every corner that will destroy your diet goals.

Once you’re in the center city hub of downtown, the warehouse district, South Congress (SoCo), and East Austin the city is walkable, and a solid, clean, and on time public transportation system (city bus) make it easy to get around during traffic.

Austin, Texas is unique and charming like few other places in the US, and the world, and is an excellent place to spend (at least) a few months.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $4,402
  • Internet Speed: 77mbps
  • Highlights: Plenty of nightlife, live music, weird in a charming way
  • Downsides: Cost of living, growing popular by the day
  • Rating: 4.3/5

SAN DIEGO, CA

The quintessential US beach city (not town) is big yet feels small, with tons of villages dotting its cost from north to south – from Carlsbad Village, to Pacific Beach, to Ocean Beach, to Gas Lamp district. San Diego is simple and almost cut off from the politics and events of the world with life revolving around tacos, micro breweries, beaches, and surfing. That’s it. San Diego isn’t necessarily an exciting vacation destination, but it is one of the most comfortable beach “cities” to live in the world.

Though there aren’t many coworking spaces outside of downtown San Diego, cafes, kitschy restaurants, and (honestly) taco shops and microbreweries are a great place to setup shop. One week in San Diego and you’ll fall in love.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $4,313
  • Internet Speed: 77mbps
  • Highlights: Beaches, tacos, disconnection from reality
  • Downsides: Cost of living, there isn’t a whole lot to do…but that’s part of the charm
  • Rating: 3.6/5

LAS VEGAS, NV

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Simple as that.

If you want to experience this extended state of amnesia, it would absolutely be worth it. During long stays, the cost of living is a lot lower and the Vegas lifestyle morphs as you blend in with “Vegas locals,” the service industry, and going out on non-peak nights.

Anyone nomading through the US should take at least a couple of weeks to explore and experience this Sin City oasis. From there, some will depart, and some will fall…deep. I can’t tell you why, you’ll just have to experience for yourself why Vegas is one of the original nomad hubs in the US

Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $3,789

Internet Speed: 48mbps

Highlights: What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas

Downsides: What happens in Vegas can leave you broke

Rating: 3.6/5

OTHER GREAT DIGITAL NOMAD FRIENDLY CITIES IN THE US

Asheville, North Carolina

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $3,414
  • Internet Speed: 43mbps
  • Rating: 3.3/5

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BEST DIGITAL NOMAD CITIES IN AFRICA

CAIRO, EGYPT

For high efficiency digital nomads seeking convenience, comfort, and a super fast wifi connection, Cairo likely isn’t for you.

However, DNs working remotely that can tolerate a week wifi connection but are aiming for a stint of adventurous urban travel, Cairo may be perfect for you. This sprawling city is perfect to camp out and explore, appearing to combine the best of African and Middle Eastern culture in a way that almost assaults the senses in a way travelers will love. Markets aplenty, countless neighborhoods with very different personalities, history, culture, museums filled with ancient artifacts that belonged to the people that own the museum, hundreds of outdoor spaces and beautiful mosques. If you can handle chaos and are in search for adventure, a short stint of nomading in Cairo may deliver that traveler adrenaline rush you’re looking for.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $853
  • Internet Speed: 6mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: 6 months for 100 USD
  • Highlights: History, culture, museums and ancient artifacts, the pyramids
  • Downsides: Traffic, pollution, pure chaos.
  • Rating: 3/5

DAHAB, EGYPT

Nestled on the Red Sea, just south of Israel, Dahab delivers a laid back vibe, extremely cheap, and filled with great food, hip cafes and restaurants, and friendly, welcoming people. Dahab is a gem in Egypt that few are aware of, delivering some of the best SCUBA diving and freediving in the world and much safer than you probably expect (which means very safe, arguably the safest in Egypt). If you count on not having an extremely strong wifi connection or cell signal, Dahab is one of the cheapest and comfiest locations for DNs in the area of the Middle East and North Africa.

If you like Dahab, or the idea of Dahab, also consider: Sharm Al Sheikh

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,019
  • Internet Speed: 9mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: 6 months for 100 USD
  • Highlights: Amazing diving and freediving, extremely cheap, cost of living, eternal summer, warm weather
  • Downsides: Internet caps, wifi speeds
  • Rating: 3/5

NAIROBI, KENYA

Great infrastructure, a good quality of life, and one of a kind nature and wildlife experiences nearby (Karura Forest, Nairobi National Park), Nairobi is not only a great place to live and explore, but is also the economic hub of East Africa as well as the tech hub of East Africa. This means that you’ll find comfort, adventure, and plenty of other nomads, remote workers, and entrepreneurs, and everything they (and you) need to thrive. Whether you’re considering Nairobi for a long stay in Africa or a short stop as a base to explore nature and wildlife on the weekends, Nairobi is one of the best places for digital nomads in Africa.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,228
  • Internet Speed: 9mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Kenya: 1 Year or 3 Months + 3 Month Extension | $101, $51
  • Highlights: One of a kind nature and wildlife experiences, easy to navigate, great cost of living, good quality of life
  • Downsides: Getting to other places in Africa will be relatively pricey
  • Rating: 3.4/5

MARAKESH, MOROCCO

Morocco at its finest. Modern and old, cheap yet comfortable, and filled with amazing food and accidental cultural experiences. While Marakesh is slightly touristy, this bends to the favor of expats and nomads as you’ll more easily be able to get around in English (if you don’t know French), the cultural customs are more lenient hear, and you’ll be able to find more of the wifi and nice accommodations that make a stay comfortable. Between work stints, count on near every moment in Marakesh being an explorative cultural experience.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,906
  • Internet Speed: 8mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: 90 day single or multiple entry, must be attained in advance from the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Highlights: Low cost
  • Downsides: Blazing hot summers, hustlers everywhere looking to take advantage of tourists, stomach bugs are common, alcohol is strictly controlled
  • Rating: 3.44/5

TAGHAZOUT, MOROCCO

A laid back fishing village and surf town southwest of Marrakesh and on the coast of Morocco. If you’re a nomading through the region and need a surf, or just want to get off the beaten path, head to Taghazout.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,169
  • Internet Speed: 7mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: 90 day single or multiple entry, must be attained in advance from the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Highlights: Surf, laid back fishing town vibe
  • Downsides: Lower quality of living than other places in Morocco, very little infrastructure for remote workers and DNs
  • Rating: 3.7/5

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

Surf, sun, amazing nature nearby, and a laidback balanced life in arguably the best location for digital nomads in Africa. Countless great coffee shops, restaurants, and coworking spaces, and a cheap cost of living for the high quality of life you get in return.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,738
  • Internet Speed: 9mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: 90 day visitor visa
  • Highlights: Beach life, arguably the best digital nomad city in Africa
  • Downsides: Safety can be an issue, so be smart, internet quality isn’t great and can dip when the electric grid overloads
  • Rating: 4.3/5

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

Great restaurants, nice coffee shops, low cost of living, good quality of life, and good physical infrastructure makes Jo-burg a great option for DNs in Africa. Be warned that the internet is fairly slow, as is common in much of Africa. Don’t count on meeting many “digital nomads” that move frequently, however remote workers and long stayers with online businesses are fairly common.

However, be warned that safety in Johannesburg is a very real concern. Don’t count on walking by yourself anywhere, especially not at night. Also, connect with a trusted local on arrival to understand better how to be safe during your stay.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,961
  • Internet Speed: 12mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: 90 day visitor visa
  • Highlights: Rich experience
  • Downsides: Safety can be a concert so be smart when moving around,
  • Rating: 3.6/5

TUNIS, TUNISIA

All of the North African charm of Marakesh and Morocco in general while being much more developed, livable, and tourist friendly. A low cost of living and plenty to do make for an experience that some travelers appreciate between quieter stints while being enough to make some expats stay indefinitely.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,112
  • Internet Speed: 6mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Not required for stays under 90 days for most countries
  • Highlights: The North African experience
  • Downsides: Adapting to a relatively conservative culturally, adapting to begging and scams
  • Rating: 3.2/5

OMMITTED, BUT STILL GOOD OPTIONS

  • Casablanca, Morocco: A place for travel and adventure, lacking the infrastructure and comforts needed for nomading and “expating”
  • Accra, Ghana: Developed and interesting for travel, but a high cost of living and lack of other remote workers and DNs correlates with a lack of infrastructure for nomads and remote workers

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BEST CITIES FOR DIGITAL NOMADS IN THE MIDDLE EAST

BEIRUT, LEBANON

Beirut is arguably the hub of art, culture, cuisine, and ideas in the Middle East. With different neighborhoods and districts ranging from posh, to bohemian and hipster, to intellectual, Beirut is possibly the most culturally diverse and charming city in the Middle East. Plenty of bars, restaurants, and clubs will keep you entertained, as they’re a favorite among young Lebanese people among the most liberal attitudes toward drinking and nightlife in the region. If you crave a mix of the familiar (French, European) and the exotic (Arabian) on the shores of the Mediterranean, Beirut just might be your city.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,835
  • Internet Speed: 4mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: Most citizens receive a 30 day visa on arrival (Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  • Highlights: Experiencing the Paris of the Middle East and its young, openminded population
  • Downsides: Overcoming preconceived notions about the region to eventually “just relax”
  • Rating: 3.4/5

IZMIR, TURKEY

A liberal, university city nestled at a central point of Turkey’s coast, Izmir is much better for long stays but still great for short stays. One of the lowest costs of living you’ll find in the world for a livable city, great, friendly, and open minded locals. A great coastline and equally great bar and nightlife scene. Nearby, an easy and fun train ride away, the most well preserved city in the world from the Roman Empire sits amongst wine country and olive groves. On long weekends, cheap travel to places like Cappadocia (the fairy kingdom) and Bodrum (Mediterranean riviera) make for an extremely balanced, nature filled, culturally rich, and budget friendly travel and living experience.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $685
  • Internet Speed: 19mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: 90 day multiple entry e-Visa available at www.evisa.gov.tr
  • Highlights: Most liberal city in Turkey, low cost of living, good bar scene, nearby sites
  • Downsides: Summers can be uncomfortably hot
  • Rating: 3.5/5

ISTANBUL, TURKEY

Cafes, restaurants, greenspaces, historical sites, parks and amazing museums make up a HUGE city with more to experience than you’ll ever be able to. Walkable but with good, navigable public transportation. Bridging the divide between Asia and Europe, Turkey’s Asian side delivers the exotic experience of the Middle East while the European delivers a uniquely Turkish and equally historical experience through food, lifestyle, nightlife, and Roman ruins almost everywhere. All of this comes EXTREMELY cheaply for the infrastructure and quality of life you get. Whether you are visiting for a short stay or choosing a base for travel to other places, Istanbul is a great option.

  • Avg. Cost of Living Per Month: $1,067
  • Internet Speed: 12mbps
  • Visa Length + Price: 90 day multiple entry e-Visa available at www.evisa.gov.tr
  • Highlights: Good metro and public transportation
  • Downsides: Difficult to meet people as there are few DNs and locals are less interested in making friends
  • Rating: 4.5/5

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A NOTE ON THE SCHENGEN VISA

Any Schengen zone country that follows the Schengen Zone Standard allows 90 days per 180 days shared with all other Schengen zone countries. Use this Schengen Zone Visa Calculator to see how much time if left on your 90 day visa exemption.

FAQ

What is a digital nomad?

A digital nomad is a remote worker, either employed, self employed, or a virtual business owner, that uses their locational independence to travel while working by virtual means along the way to pay for their travels

Where is the best place to be a digital nomad?

The “best” location for each nomad depends on preferred time zone, living preferences, and language and cultural preferences, however, the top countries for digital nomads in each region are Mexico, Portugal, Thailand, South Africa, Croatia and Colombia

The best cities in the world for digital nomads right now are Playa del Carmen and Tulum, Mexico, Lisbon and Porto, Portugal, Chiang Mai, Thailand, Cape Town, South Africa, and Medellin Colombia.

What is the best job for a digital nomad?

The best job for being a digital nomad is dependent on your skills, preferences, and passion to account for staying motivated through the startup and transition phases – from employee to self-employed and from home based to traveler.

In our study of digital nomads across the globe, the top 5 job fields for digital nomads were digital marketing, information technology & software development, digital design, copywriting & content writing, and e-commerce small businesses.

Digital Nomad Jobs | Digital Nomad Statistics | ABrotherAbroad.com

Read more in our list of the 52 most common jobs among successful digital nomads.

Where are digital nomads living?

Though the 35 million digital nomads are scattered across the globe, the largest populations of digital nomads are in Mexico, Portugal, and Thailand.

WHAT KIND OF LIFESTYLE DOES THE COST OF LIVING LISTED ENTAIL

For the cost of living, the monthly cost of living is based on a short-term rental (3 months+) in the middle of the city and eating out 3 times per day. You can account for a lower cost of living if you sign a longer-term lease (1 year+) and cook at home. However, increase your budget for tourism activities, alcohol, or if you will sign a short term lease for 1 month or less.

TIP: Add 25% to 50% to live like you’re at home, eating and drinking the foods and beverages you want from home, and buying items not available in the region you are a nomad in. The more you live like a local, the cheaper life is. The more you live consuming imports, whether imported goods, skills, or designs, the more your standard of living will cost

HOW THIS LIST OF THE 101 BEST CITIES FOR DIGITAL NOMADS WAS CREATED

This list was created by a process of analyzing and combing of existing data on cost of living, internet speed, livability (walkability scores, transportation ratings, size and population), conversations with hundreds of digital nomads that have, and my own experience traveling and working virtually as a nomad through over 50 countries over the last 4 years.

When I first started traveling, I left home (Dallas, Texas at the time) with two cities in mind that were listed as having costs of living lower than $3,000 – Quito, Ecuador and Lisbon, Portugal. I visited both these cities, and I loved them!

But in the hundreds of cities I’ve visited in the last four years I realized there are hundreds of cities with cost of living below $2,500, livable, walkable neighborhoods, great food, deep culture, and all of the amenities you could want. No matter your tastes or budget, there is a perfect city in the world for you.

This list is curated based on my own experience for hunting for that perfect home and base for my travels.

Not all of the cities on this list will fit every nomad, but every nomad (or aspiring nomad) will find a handful of cities that almost perfectly fit their budget, interests, preferred cityscape, and language/cultural preferences

THE POWER OF NOMADING: USING LOCATION INDEPENDENCE FOR GEOARBITRAGE, “DEEPER TRAVEL”, AND FINDING YOUR PERFECT PLACE

GEOARBITRAGE

Arbitrage is the act of taking advantage of the difference between prices for a single thing in two different markets. In the case of digital nomads, “Geoarbitrage” is the important benefit, or using the differences in cost of living between two cities or countries to get the same (or better) quality of life for cheaper.

Using the strength of your home currency for a higher quality life elsewhere – or make USD/EUR to boost the value for your money. The result is more money saved or fewer hours worked for a good life.

Even better, there’s the opportunity for deeper travel through more strategic, slower travel.

DEEP TRAVEL

Most travel experiences happen over two week vacations and involve either traveling too fast, attempting to fit an entire country into two weeks, or sitting in a single spot (a resort perhaps), never experiencing the actual destination at all.

Though I enjoy and respect the attempt to see an entire country in two weeks, both experiences miss quite a lot. Moving so quickly, or not at all, it becomes difficult to connect with the destination, to connect with the locals, to understand the culture, and to spend ample discovering and experiencing the hidden gems.

Deep travel remedies those problems, but requires time. Deep travel is the act of moving slowing as we travel and experiencing each destination thoroughly, learning the history, the food, a little of the language, the hidden spots, and more.

A good city for digital nomads offers that opportunity in spades. The best DN hubs, such as Chiang Mai, Porto, Buenos Aires, and more, are all short rides from weekend travel experiences, thus allowing us to spend several chunks of time (weekends or weeks carved out) to explore a single city, park, or experience deeply and unrushed – “deep travel.”

EXPLORING TO FIND YOUR PERFECT PLACE AND SITUATION

Use your location independence to live in a place that offers what you need in terms of travel, adventure, and satisfaction BUT also ese your location independence to pick a place that supports your lifestyle and delivers what you need to be more productive while still being healthy (a variety of workspaces, community, entertainment).

You can additionally find your perfect summer destination and pair it with your perfect winter destination to create a split home. Or you could find one home north of the equator, and one home south of the equator, allowing you to experience eternal spring/summer.

Time your stays in the locations you choose, based on seasonality and alternating the factors you need – whether that is in your work/recover/travel cycle, the time of year, or the seasonality of your job/clients/business. Stacking locations for 3 to 6 months can create the perfect all-around situation

Example: 3 months in Bali (Beach and party) + 3 months in Chiang Mai (Productivity)

Example: 3 months in Buenos Aires (metropolitan) + 3 months in Ushuaia (Outdoors and adventure)

Example: 3 months in Porto (food, wine, culture) + 3 months in Bansko (Mountains, skiing)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carlos is an adventure traveler, Crossfit Trainer, and Strength & Conditioning Coach dedicated to helping others travel better to far off destinations for pure adventure experiences, and stay fit and adventure-ready along the way. Click here to learn more about Carlos's story.