While there are many advantages to being a digital nomad, most will agree that the biggest and best benefit of the digital nomad lifestyle is the ability to travel more than most people could ever imagine. However, it’s not just about travel – to be a successful digital nomad, you’ll need to pick destinations that are accommodating to digital nomad work.
The best cities for digital nomads around the world include important details, like easy visa policies, fast internet speeds, affordable cost of living, and plenty of things to see and do.
We asked travel experts and long-time digital nomads to share some of the absolute best digital nomad cities they’ve enjoyed while traveling. The top destinations range from tiny towns in tropical rainforests to coastal villages and thriving, bustling cities – so keep reading for inspiration!
What To Look For in a Digital Nomad Destination
You can work remotely from pretty much anywhere, but what makes these cities great for digital nomads? Let’s go beyond the hype and consider the most important things to look for when considering where to stay as a digital nomad, whether it be for one month or one year of remote work.
Digital Nomad Community
Are you looking to be surrounded by other digital nomads? Some digital nomads prefer to avoid digital nomad hubs and find spaces where they can make local friends and immerse themselves in local culture. For others, having digital nomad or long-term traveler friends is crucial.
Great Internet Connectivity
Every digital nomad job is different – some require lightning-fast internet speeds at all times of the day. Others will allow you to altogether drop off the grid for days or even weeks at a time. You’ll need to consider both what you’re interested in experiencing and the limitations and needs of your job.
Decent Cost of Living
If you’re working with a limited budget, the cost of living in these cities may be one of the most important deciding factors when choosing where to travel. Check out the best cities for digital nomads in Asia, Eastern Europe, or Latin America, but keep in mind that the cost of living can vary greatly even within countries in the developing world.
Visas and Work Permits
You’ll need to consider how long you’d like to spend in each country you’d like to travel to, and if visa policies will allow it. Some countries have freelance visas and great visa policies that make it easy for digital nomads to stick around for months or even years. Others have digital nomad visas to attract more digital nomads to spend time there.
Where will each digital nomad destination allow you to explore more fully? Consider where you can base yourself to check off some dream bucket list destinations.
Weather and Climate
If you’re only interested in chasing warm weather, look into exactly when the climate will be what you’re looking for. Do you need to keep in mind hurricane season or monsoon season? These things can impact your travel plans, so do your research before you book travel.
Best Cities for Digital Nomads
Looking for the next digital nomad hub to call home, or just an exciting place to work from for the next few months? These are the best cities for digital nomads around the world to consider!
1. Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City digital nomad life has so much to offer, especially for remote workers who love big cities. The largest city in North America, Mexico City is a great choice for digital nomads for several reasons.
As a major city, you have access to a large international airport that connects to so many other cities. From Mexico City International Airport, you can find direct flights to most cities in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America.
The city also has an online infrastructure good enough to support Zoom meetings, video calls, etc. While fiber internet isn’t readily available, it’s getting more common, especially in new construction buildings and the posh neighborhoods of Reforma and Polanco.
In the more hip and historic neighborhoods, like Roma and Condesa, there are co-working spaces with fiber internet if your apartment doesn’t have it. These are also the best areas for expats in Mexico City, especially those who don’t speak Spanish.
The cost of living is still relatively low compared to other digital nomad hotspots, even other digital nomad destinations in Latin America. You can find nice one-bedroom apartments in great neighborhoods via Airbnb for far less than in any other major city in North America.
Plus, there’s no shortage of things to do in Mexico City itself. Centro Historico (Downtown Mexico City) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Aztec temples and Spanish cathedrals that date back centuries. Foodies will also love Mexico City, which has everything from street tacos to world-class restaurants.
2. Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai is one of the most popular cities in Asia for digital nomads, and for good reason. There is very fast internet and plenty of co-working spaces to connect with other digital nomads.
Also, there are lots of great coffee shops, such as Ristr8o (which is famous in Thailand for its coffee brew) with some of the best coffee in Thailand and a relaxed atmosphere which makes for great places to work online.
The city itself is one of the main reasons that draws online workers to the area as it’s not overwhelmingly large but has everything you could want, plus it’s one of the best places to visit in Thailand with an old city packed with ancient temples and where festivals often occur.
Chiang Mai is also right next to the mountains of northwest Thailand where some of the best hiking in the country can be done, and the highest point in the country can be found at Doi Inthanon National Park which is a one-hour drive away, as well as hikes to tribal areas.
Thai people are also very friendly which makes for a great community and all the more reason to call Chiang Mai one of the best cities for digital nomads.
3. Lisbon, Portugal
Spend any amount of time in Lisbon and you’d be forgiven for assuming that certain parts of the city had been designed for digital nomads.
In recent years, the Portuguese capital has become known as one of the best cities for digital nomads and an excellent place to base yourself if you work online; as the word has spread, growing numbers of nomads have arrived.
In Lisbon, you’ll never struggle to meet and make friends with fellow remote workers: hipster cafes are saturated with digital nomads on laptops, co-working spaces are available in practically every inner-city neighborhood, and meet-ups with online entrepreneurs take place in sunny parks on a near-daily basis.
So what is it that brings so many remote workers to Lisbon? The simple answer is that it has so much to offer: more than 300 days of sunshine a year, a fantastic food scene, plenty of beautiful parks and gardens, cheap flights to anywhere on the continent, and a wealth of history and culture to dive into.
Portugal isn’t an expensive country, either, relative to other places in Western Europe, so you’ll spend far less on accommodation and food than you might expect.
4. Perth, Australia
Perth, the capital city of Western Australia, is a popular destination among backpackers but also one of Australia’s best cities for digital nomads. The city lies directly on the coast of the Indian Ocean, providing an excellent mix between skyscrapers and lush nature with parks and beaches.
There is also a great variety of cafes with a reliable wifi connection as well as co-working spaces where you can get your work done.
Check out some Facebook groups to connect with like-minded people and travelers from all over the world. Some local bars and pubs regularly host pub quizzes, which is also a great way to meet new people.
Perth and its surrounding areas have lots of things to do and see, which is great to fill some free time from work. The lively beach town Fremantle is very popular among travelers and remote workers. Here you can find cheaper hostels or permanent apartments, which can be rented for longer stays.
5. Rome, Italy
Rome is hands down one of the best cities for digital nomads in Europe. From delicious food to enriching history, it’s a place with endless things to offer, and it’s hard to get bored of this town. While Rome can get quite expensive, there are some great and easy ways to visit Rome on a budget, especially as a digital nomad.
Some of the best areas to stay in Rome as a digital nomad include Testaccio and San Lorenzo. These neighborhoods will allow you to experience local life as a Roman, while also giving you easy access to the famous tourist sights in the historic center.
You can easily get access to the internet pretty much anywhere in Rome, whether it’s hotels, cafes, or co-working spaces. Try Cafe Letterario or Coaster Coworking for a nice atmosphere and a chance to meet other remote workers.
While some of the best things to do in Rome include exploring the world-famous Colosseum and Vatican Museums, don’t miss the hidden gems such as Galleria Doria Pamphilj and the Baths of Caracalla.
Read More: Rome, Italy: Ultimate Travel Guide
6. Hanoi, Vietnam
Hanoi, Vietnam is the perfect place to base yourself to work remotely as a digital nomad. Not only is it incredibly well-connected to the rest of Asia, but it has some of the best internet in Southeast Asia along with super affordable rent.
Of course, there are some downsides to living in Hanoi, such as traffic and pollution. But if you are only planning to base yourself here temporarily, it can be easier to ignore those things and embrace Hanoi for what it is.
One thing that’s for sure, you’ll never be bored in Hanoi. Whether you’re trying some of the best “bun cha” restaurants in the world where Anthony Bourdain and Barak Obama shared a meal, or trying to count how many things someone has stacked on the back of their motorscooter, there is plenty to do here.
There aren’t many places in the world as culturally-rich and naturally beautiful as Hanoi, which is also why it’ll be easy to find a group of expats to meet up with, no matter what you’re interested in.
Using Facebook Groups, you are sure to find some like-minded people near you, especially other digital nomads.
Nearby you have Ha Long Bay, Ninh Binh, Sa Pa rice terraces, plus an international airport that can take you anywhere in the world. Stay for a while in Hanoi, and who knows, you may fall in love and never want to leave.
7. Bali, Indonesia
There is no better place to work remotely than Bali, nicknamed the Island of the Gods, and easily one of the best cities for digital nomads. As one of the most visited island destinations in the world, Bali needs no introduction.
Its gorgeous sandy beaches and lush rice paddy fields have attracted visitors from all around the world to visit, and many even end up calling this place home.
For remote workers, Bali provides a high-quality standard of living for an affordable price. Visitors can stay in a private pool villa in Bali for a fraction of the price they pay for rent in cities like New York City or London.
Besides the excellent standard of living, Bali has become a community for digital nomads and remote workers.
It is easy to find people with the same ambitions and mindset to hang out with through the abundant networking events and coworking spaces on the island. Even if you are alone in Bali as a remote worker, you can easily find other people to socialize with.
When you are not working online, spend some time exploring the island’s best waterfalls and rice paddies. Take a day trip to Nusa Penida, where you’ll find unspoiled nature, epic rock formations, and pristine beaches! With affordable scooter rentals and taxis, it’s easy to get around in Bali on a budget.
8. Belgrade, Serbia
Serbia is often overlooked as a travel destination compared to its neighbor Croatia, especially for digital nomads. However, Serbia also offers many things to explore as a traveler, and lots of opportunities if you work remotely, making Belgrade one of the best cities for digital nomads.
Although the country is still yet to offer a digital nomad visa like some other countries in Europe, Serbia has a few advantages for digital nomads with a relatively low living cost.
Belgrade is the best place to live in Serbia if you work remotely. It offers excellent working conditions for digital nomads with relatively stable internet connections and there are many options for coworking spaces in Belgrade.
Take some time to work from one of the coworking spaces in Belgrade, so you can connect with fellow digital nomads or even local startup workers.
As a capital city, Belgrade also has the best infrastructure compared to other cities in Serbia. The public transportations in Belgrade are well-connected, making it easy for you to explore the best places to visit in the city, including St. Sava Church, Museum of Yugoslavia, Kalemegdan, and Belgrade Fortress.
9. La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Many visitors to Costa Rica rush to coastal hotspots like Nosara and Tamarindo, skipping out on this country’s lovely interior. But you won’t want to skip La Fortuna if you’re traveling in Costa Rica as a digital nomad!
Tucked away in Costa Rica’s lush rainforests and sitting at the foot of the Arenal Volcanos, La Fortuna is an awesome place to work remotely as a digital nomad, thanks to its affordability, social vibe, and endless nearby adventures.
While Costa Rica is not as affordable as some of its other Central American neighbors, you’ll still be able to live there quite inexpensively, using either Airbnb or local listings for midterm stays and farmer’s markets, with impossibly fresh (and cheap!) fruits and veggies, to enjoy.
Further, while getting reliable internet in Costa Rica was once a bit iffy, it now boasts the second-best Internet coverage in Latin America – so you should have no problem finding accommodations that can support Zoom calls, uploading content, or whatever other professional needs you may have.
There are also a few coworking spaces, like Selina, which not only offers 24 desks, high-speed internet, and meeting rooms but also amenities, like a pool, to foster a more social atmosphere with other digital nomads.
Best of all, there are tons of awesome things to do in La Fortuna. If you’re looking for a free adventure, consider heading to the El Salto Rope Swing, where you can swing from a cliff and drop into an impossibly turquoise pool fed by two waterfalls.
Or if you need some relaxation, head to one of the town’s many hot springs, ranging from a free thermal river to an incredibly swanky spa experience at a resort.
Whether you plan to base yourself in La Fortuna as a digital nomad for a while or just add La Fortuna to your Costa Rica itinerary as you visit a variety of places, this beautiful destination is a must!
10. Dalat, Vietnam
Dalat is a highlight in Vietnam. It’s a 6-hour drive northeast of Ho Chi Minh City or a half an hour’s flight. It is loved for its amazing cool weather, the abundance of trees and hiking trail, and is the location of many coffees, tea, and chocolate farms.
Rent in Vietnam in general is quite affordable compared to its neighboring countries. This is only one of the few reasons why digital nomads are moving to Vietnam. Many accommodations to rent are available from month to month and almost all of them already include internet, water, and even electricity bills.
Since there is no need for an air conditioner, the electricity bill here is quite low and many landlords prefer to include it in the total rent.
The city itself is quite small, but there are plenty of things to do such as hiking, white water rafting, and even strawberry picking. There are a few places that are owned by expats which are great spots to meet other digital nomads and foreigners living in Dalat.
There is an airport half an hour away, which will take you to almost any part of the country while international flights are planned to resume soon.
11. Berlin, Germany
Berlin is among the best cities for digital nomads in Europe. Though it’s certainly more expensive to live in Berlin as a digital nomad than it is in other cities on this list, Berlin has all the qualities you could want in a city for digital nomads, making it more and more attractive for remote workers.
It’s pretty common to work remotely in Berlin, and there are lots of coworking spaces and office space you can rent for work. Even if you just need a desk, you can find an office to share or a decent coworking office to join.
If you prefer to work in a cafe, you can easily find several within walking distance from your apartment that have free wifi.
If you’re looking to make friends or connections while you’re in Berlin, there are tons of meetup groups for various interests. There are expat/foreigner groups, freelancer groups, groups for different activities, and much more. Search on Facebook and Meetup, and you’ll find some that fit your interests.
It’s a big city, but getting around Berlin is easy with its extensive public transportation network. You can easily rent a bike or scooter to get around, so you won’t need to worry about having a car.
12. Istanbul, Turkey
With its rich history, low cost of living, incredible cafe culture, and exciting social scene, the sprawling, multicultural city of Istanbul is a fantastic city for digital nomads.
Those who love to work from cafes will be spoiled for choice as Istanbul’s cafe scene is second to none. Many young Istanbulites also work remotely, so you will find numerous unique cafes with fast Wi-Fi, great tea and coffee, and plenty of outlets! If you prefer somewhere quieter, Istanbul also has a number of cool co-working spaces all around the city.
Istanbul’s dynamic social scene also makes connecting with other digital nomads and expats a breeze. Yabangee, an organization that aims to connect foreigners in Istanbul, holds weekly events such as quizzes, summer picnics, language exchange meet-ups, and club nights that are great for meeting people.
The city’s nightlife scene is also incredibly varied: from restaurants, clubs, and bars to late-night cafes. When you’re not working there’s plenty to do in Istanbul! From exploring the many ancient historical landmarks such as the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia to taking an idyllic ferry ride across the Bosphorus to the Asian side of the city or further on to the picturesque Princess Islands, there’s enough to keep you occupied.
Istanbul is a very affordable city, particularly for remote workers from the US or the EU teaching English abroad, and is one of the cheapest cities in Europe. You’ll find some fantastic places to stay in Istanbul that suit every budget, from affordable apartments and hotels to hostels and B&Bs.
Visitors are issued a 90-day visa upon arrival in Istanbul. If you end up wanting to stay longer, applying for a short-term residence permit is a pretty simple process.
13. Essaouira, Morocco
Perched on the Atlantic coast just 3 hours west of Marrakech, the laid-back coastal town of Essaouira is a great choice for digital nomads, with its friendly vibe, variety of restaurants (including Moroccan, Western, and even Asian), affordable accommodation, and good WIFI.
A month’s stay in a decent 2-bed house in the medina costs around £800. Fresh bread, eggs, fruit, and vegetables can be purchased around the markets of the medina. But if you need Western food items such as pasta, cheeses, and cereal, there’s a large Carrefour supermarket on the main road into town.
This romantic coastal destination is the setting of many movies and books set in Morocco, and you’ll love the opportunity to experience it like a local. In between work, there are so many things to do in Essaouira. Take a stroll through the working fishing port or along the beach, try quad biking or camel riding, or perhaps surfing.
With the strong winds off the Atlantic, Essaouira is one of the top places in the world to learn how to kite surf. If you’re looking to wind down, perhaps experience a traditional hammam after an afternoon shopping around the medina.
Don’t think about traveling without a good VPN (Virtual Private Network). Using a VPN while connecting to the internet is an easy way to keep your personal information safe from hackers and trackers. We’ve used NordVPN for years and couldn’t recommend it more – it’s a must for safety online, at home or abroad.
14. Tbilisi, Georgia
Georgia might be a small and still relatively obscure country, but it’s fast gaining popularity as one of the most desirable places in Europe for digital nomads and remote workers. Its capital city, Tbilisi, has become a haven for entrepreneurs and creatives alike.
Tbilisi is a tiny city of just over one million people. Located in the South Caucasus region where Europe and Asia meet, it has forever been a dynamic, multicultural hub.
Georgia’s generous visa-free policy – which allows passport holders from more than 98 countries to live and work in the country for one full year without a visa or any special permissions – is a huge part of the appeal.
Low taxes (1% for small business owners who are eligible to register as individual entrepreneurs) and the relatively modest cost of living are also huge bonuses. Internet infrastructure is advanced, with reliable 4G coverage around the country – good news if you want to go on a work retreat in the Greater Caucasus mountains!
Tbilisi’s digital nomad scene is steadily growing and with it the number of coworking spaces and meet-ups. Because the city is so small, it’s quite easy to integrate and meet people, including locals, making it among the best cities for digital nomads in the area. English is widely spoken, but learning a bit of the Georgian language goes a long way.
15. Medellin, Colombia
As one of the biggest digital nomad hubs in Latin America, Medellin, Colombia is more attractive than ever to remote workers. Drawn to this vibrant city by a lower cost of living, plenty of incredible things to see and do, and incredible travel potential across Colombia, more and more visitors are sticking around in Colombia – a trend that looks likely to continue with Colombia’s new digital nomad visa.
There are plenty of things to do in Medellin, from mountain hikes to cultural activities and partying at rooftop bars, but the travel potential throughout Colombia is a majorly attractive factor for digital nomads. Head to Colombia’s Caribbean coastal capital of Cartagena or embark on the four-day Ciudad Perdida trek through the jungle to Colombia’s very own “Lost City.” It’s all more affordable than you’d expect.
While the energetic Medellin neighborhood El Poblado is certainly “the place to be” in Medellin, rents can be quite expensive compared to the rest of the city. Stick to more residential areas like Envigado and Laureles for more affordable bargains.
Internet is quick and affordable, coworking spaces are popping up everywhere, and it’s never been easier to connect with other remote workers. The benefits of spending a few months working from Medellin are truly unending.
16. Tallinn, Estonia
As the first country to announce its intentions to launch a digital nomad visa, Estonia has long been at the forefront of remote work, pulling out all the stops to make its capital of Tallinn one of the best cities for digital nomads in Europe and beyond.
Wedged between Russia and Scandinavia with a long coastline on the Baltic Sea, Estonia is home to medieval cities, vast forests, quaint cafes, and modern amenities that make it the perfect destination, one of the best cities for digital nomads looking for somewhere to spend several months calling home.
Summer is by far a favorite time to visit, but if you’re interested in spending some time here in the winter, you’ll certainly feel like you’re living in a winter wonderland while in Estonia.
Tallinn is packed with coworking and coliving spaces and is home to a good number of remote workers despite being a smaller and more relaxed city than many of its European neighboring capitals. You’ll love the amazing mix of historic charm and modernity in Tallinn, which has plenty of things to see and do.
17. Penang, Malaysia
While Penang might not be the most well-known among the best cities for digital nomads in Southeast Asia, it has plenty to offer for remote workers, making it somewhat of a hidden gem among digital nomads in the region.
The island of Penang has a surprising amount to offer beyond just the largest city of Georgetown, which is home to most digital nomads that settle here – Batu Feringghi is another more relaxed but popular and more affordable area. The botanical gardens, incredible views from Penang Hill, and stunning temples are just a few spots to escape to after a day of remote work.
Penang offers a great quality of life for digital nomads, including plenty of cafes and coworking spaces, excellent and readily-available wifi, and great affordability and safety. While it’s not as cosmopolitan as Kuala Lumpur about 4 hours to its south, it offers a lifestyle and affordability that are perfect for digital nomads.
18. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Long known as of the best cities for digital nomads in Latin America due to its lax visa policies and affordable cost of living, Buenos Aires is pulling out all the stops to make it a certified digital nomad hub in Latin America. A new digital nomad visa and even a “digital nomad benefit package” available in the Buenos Aires airport including discounts and transportation cards are just the start.
Coworking spaces and fast internet make the city an ideal place to work, and an unending array of cool cafes, restaurants, and cultural events make every day something different when living in Buenos Aires. Take weekend trips to Uruguay, nearby beaches, or South America’s premier wine region in Mendoza, Argentina. After six months of living in Buenos Aires, I still feel like I barely scratched the surface.
For such a vibrant capital city, Buenos Aires is extremely affordable – almost unbelievably so. Part of the city’s affordability comes from the decade of high inflation of the Argentine peso, meaning that foreign currencies like USD and Euros really go a long way here. You can live comfortably on less than $1,000 in Buenos Aires in one of the city’s more residential neighborhoods – it’s a steal.
Carley Rojas Avila is a bilingual New York-based travel writer, editor, content marketer, and the founder of the digital travel publications Explorers Away and Home to Havana. Carley is an expert on all things Latin America, the Caribbean, and Cuba, having lived and worked in four different countries in the region. Her writing has appeared on the Associated Press wires and in Travel + Leisure, Yahoo, MSN, Euronews, The Weather Channel, and more. When she's not writing about her travels, find her front row at a Bad Bunny concert, befriending street cats, and taste-testing every pizza in Havana.