Not only do today’s globe-trotting, remote working professionals have the freedom to work anytime, anywhere but the earning potential of these digital nomads is great.
When you take the first bold steps towards becoming a digital nomad, knowing where to travel or spend your time can seem daunting.
Many seasoned remote professionals decide to spend months or even years dwelling in one location, soaking up the local culture while experiencing life as a local. But, while some cities are perfectly suited to this lifestyle, others aren’t so accommodating.
To help you make an informed decision on your work and travel plans, let’s look at some of the world’s best cities for ambitious digital nomads.
There are certain attributes that make a city suitable for a digital nomad. Essentially, it should offer a healthy work-life balance while offering plenty of excitement during your stay. Here are the main attributes that make a city an attractive option for digital nomads:
A solid mix of housing or accommodation options as well as a low cost of living is one of the most important factors for digital nomads looking to spend time in a city. The availability of flexible short-term rentals is a big plus-point for any city as it presents more accommodations for those looking to adopt a digital nomad lifestyle.
Did you know? According to a survey from FlexJobs, 51% of digital nomads live in hotels, 36% rent Airbnb, and 21% reside in cars, camper vans or RVs.
Read: Airbnb: Welcoming the World, Transforming Travel for an insight into this leading brand’s marketing initiatives.
One of the cornerstones of being productive and successful as a digital nomad is having a swift, reliable internet connection. That said, cities with a wide range of co-working spaces, nomad-friendly cafes, and reliable internet infrastructures are considered the best and most accommodating to professionals with remote working, globe-trotting lifestyles.
From medical centers and tourist information hubs to parks, beaches, pubs, restaurants, cultural landmarks, and beyond, a city’s sights as well as its amenities are vital to its status as a digital nomad-friendly city (these are the things that make a city worth visiting, after all).
Destinations with plenty of community groups and events are also good for networking and socializing. When spending time in a new city, connecting with other travelers or digital nomad will not only help you get the most from your new temporary home and make meaningful memories, but it will also open up further opportunities for creative collaborations or networking.
Now that we’re up to speed with what makes a digital nomad-friendly destination, let’s look at some of the world’s best cities for digital nomads. These destinations are vibrant, inviting, and meet all of the above criteria.
With a surprisingly lower cost of living compared to many other cities in Western Europe, beautiful beaches on the doorstep, and a wealth of iconic cultural landmarks to explore, Lisbon is a popular place for English-language teachers as well as digital nomads. Lisbon’s wealth of internet-friendly cafes and bars as well as its affordable transportation system also make it an incredibly attractive option for digital nomads.
Best for: Transportation & cafe culture.
Framed by several UNESCO World Heritage sites, Istanbul is an inspirational place to live and work. In addition to a wealth of flexible and affordable short-term accommodation options and an excellent remote work-friendly cafe culture, Istanbul also offers the advantage of cheap internal flights to many other stunning Turkish destinations—the perfect hub for exploring this most majestic of nations.
Best for: Short-term accommodation & weekend trips.
Without doubt, Prague is one of Europe’s most iconic cities. Clad with jaw-dropping Gothic, Baroque, and Romanesque architecture and small cobbled lanes with hidden cafes, bars, and authentic Czech restaurants, Prague is a place where every digital nomad should spend a little time exploring. Plus, the Czech Republic also offers an attractive digital nomad visa scheme for anyone looking to lay temporary roots there.
Best for: Cultural exploration & professional support for digital nomads.
Based in the hills of Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is a vibrant city with a laid back feel. Emerald green mountains and forests frame the city borders, making it perfect for weekends or evenings exploring nature. Unlike some other destinations in south-east Asia, Chiang Mai’s infrastructure is excellent—and while accommodation isn’t as cheap as it once was, it’s still in the affordable bracket. Plus, the street food is cost-effective and out of this world and if you stick around for the city’s annual Songkran celebrations, you will not be disappointed.
Best for: Internet infrastructure & access to nature.
Boasting warm Argentinian hospitality, striking landmarks on around almost every corner, and a depreciating currency making every living expense cost-effective, Buenos Aires is becoming an increasingly popular destination for digital nomads. Another big draw for Buenos Aires (apart from the food and dancing) is the fact that this bustling city offers hundreds of modern co-working spaces. The best accommodation in terms of space and affordability is based just outside the heart of the city, but the local transportation system is very reliable.
Best for: Overall affordability & co-working opportunities.
In addition to these five stunning digital nomad destinations, here is a list of some other cities that are favorable to remote working travelers:
In today’s boundless tech-driven world, there is no end of potential for digital nomads looking to expand their professional prospects while embarking on a life of adventure.
As digital nomadism rises in popularity, more cities will develop to meet the needs of traveling professionals—and for now, these destinations will provide plenty of memorable experiences. All you need to do is take those first bold steps towards becoming a digital nomad and choose your next big adventure. Good luck.
If you’re looking to get out there and start exploring, read our essential guide to landing rewarding digital nomad jobs.
“Travel expands the mind and fills the gap.” Sheda Savage, Author