10 Best Cities for Digital Nomads To Work Remotely
Every travel enthusiast has thought about it at one time or another. It is the dream of every travel lover: to take the big leap, cancel your return ticket home, and become a digital nomad. There’s no better time than now to explore the best digital nomad cities and join the growing digital nomad movement, thanks to the wide availability of free wifi and coworking spaces in cities around the globe.
But how do you choose where to go, when you can work from anywhere in the globe? In this article, we lay out the best options to help you make the right choice.
How to Choose the Right City for You
When it comes to “nomad friendliness”, not all cities are created equal. Each destination must meet a few criteria to be considered one of the top digital nomad cities.
- High-quality internet connection
- Very low cost of living
- Variety of coworking spaces and laptop-friendly cafes
- Interesting activities to enjoy in the region
In addition to the above, there are other factors that you should consider when choosing a destination such as safety, weather, walkability, and nightlife. We recommend reading more in-depth blog posts for your favorite cities and using websites like Nomads List to get a better understanding of these more niche issues.
Without further ado, these are Shelter’s top picks for cities that allow digital nomads to travel.
The 10 Best Cities for Digital Nomads
Chiang Mai, Thailand
This green and mountainous city in northern Thailand is something of a legend in the digital nomad community. It is consistently ranked among the top digital nomad cities – and for good reason. Chiang Mai is home to lush jungles and stunning temples as well as modern coworking spaces and lively night markets. Despite its modern conveniences, it still maintains the charm of a small town. For these reasons, it’s easy to see why Chiang Mai is known as the digital nomad capital of the world.
If you’re interested in relocating to Chiang Mai, get in touch with Shelter Global today for a free consultation.
- Living Cost: $992 Per Month
- Internet Speed: 25 Mbps
- Best Coworking Spaces: Pun Space, Alt_, Yellow
- Upside: Easy to get around, plenty of cafes and coworking spaces, and of course the delicious Thai food
- Downside: Very poor air quality during the burning season
This 2021 study found that Phuket is the most alluring city in the world for digital nomads, with a total score of 290/320. The island’s low average living cost of €950 a month means digital nomads will have plenty of cash to spare when enjoying the numerous relaxing experiences and adventurous activities in the area. Phuket also scored highly on safety with 4 out of 5 points.
- Living Cost: 1,294 USD per month
- Internet Speed: 24 Mbps
- Best Coworking Spaces: Hatch, CocoWorking Space, Garage Society
- Upside: Very safe, lots of fun stuff to do, and a wide variety of coworking spaces and cafes
- Downside: Very sweaty and humid, dangerous roads
While Bali has been a popular holiday destination for decades, the city has recently become one of the top digital nomad destinations as well. Nomad List consistently ranks Canggu high in its rankings of the best cities for digital nomads. The former surf town has become a vibrant expat community. This has led to a boom in popularity, which has seen the opening of many Instagrammable Australian-style cafes and coworking spaces as well as a large and active digital nomad community. There are many networking events, workshops and cafes that offer free services. It’s also a great place for surfing even if you aren’t working.
- Cost Of Living: 1,030 USD per month
- Internet Speed: 22 Mbps
- Best Coworking Spaces: Tropical Nomad, OutPost, Dojo
- Amazing Deal: Fantastic cafes, easy to make new friends, great surfing
- Potential Downside. Traffic, poor walkability, beaches aren’t the cleanest
Ubud is only a short distance from Canggu but has its own unique vibe. You’ll find all the luxuries that you would expect from any city for digital nomads: coworking spaces, fast internet, and excellent cafes. But Ubud has a more relaxed atmosphere than Canggu. Ubud is the perfect place for those who prefer yoga and jungles to surfing and beaches. Make sure to pack enough space for your yoga mat in your digital nomad bag!
- Cost Of Living: 1,052 USD per month
- Internet Speed: 13 Mbps
- Best Coworking Spaces: HUBUD, OutPost
- Upside: World-class Yoga studios less crowded than Canggu and amazing waterfalls nearby
- Downside: WiFi can be quite slow outside of coworking spaces
In the years, Medellin – the city of eternal Spring – is quickly climbing the rankings of best cities to live as a digital nomad. The city has made significant investments in its infrastructure and technology since the days of widespread violence and Pablo Escobar’s death. The city seems to be growing in coworking spaces every month, it is extremely affordable, and one of the best places in South America for digital nomads. There are also plenty of hiking trails in the hills surrounding the city for those much-needed days off.
- Cost Of Living: 1,049 USD per month
- Internet Speed: 13 Mbps
- Best Coworking Spaces: Selina
- A great deal: Great for nature lovers, large digital nomad community, balmy weather
- The Downside: Although it is safer now, crime remains a problem
Although Lisbon is the most expensive city on our list, that doesn’t mean there’s no great value in Lisbon. It is relatively affordable to live here, and it has modern infrastructure and convenience. Lisbon has experienced a significant increase in digital nomads in recent years due to its beautiful weather, large expat community, and delicious food. Lisbon is a great spot for Europeans who work remotely, thanks to their membership in the E.U.
- Living Cost: 2,154 USD per month
- Internet Speed: 26 Mbps
- Best Coworking Spaces: Second House, Rocket hub, Cowork Central
- A great deal: Very walkable, safe and plenty to do even when you’re not at work
- The potential downside: Too many cafes don’t work for workers and close too early
Bangkok is sometimes overlooked because Chiang Mai and Phuket are usually listed as the top cities for digital nomads in Thailand, but this famous capital city is an excellent option if you want to be a digital nomad. In fact, Bangkok recently ranked as the most popular city in Asia for digital nomads, according to a 2021 study by Resume.io. Although it is more expensive than Chiang Mai for living, the cost of living in Bangkok is still quite affordable. It is home to many coworking spaces, large air-conditioned shopping malls, inexpensive street food, and a modern transportation system. Bangkok is the ideal place to enjoy a nice dinner and a cocktail at Skybars after signing a new client.
If you’re interested in relocating to Bangkok as a digital nomad, get in touch with Shelter Global for a free relocation consultation.
- Living Cost: 1,336 USD per month
- Internet Speed: 30 Mbps
- Best Coworking Spaces: WeWork, Hubba, Spaces
- Amazing Deal: Great nightlife and delicious Thai food, large expat community, big-city conveniences
- Potential downside: Air quality can be a concern. The city can get too hot and can feel hectic at times
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Although Thailand and Vietnam have distinct vibes, Saigon can be compared closely to Bangkok. Saigon, Vietnam’s financial capital, has a more modern feel than other areas of the country.
Vietnam is an eminently affordable country, and Ho Chi Minh City in particular is one of the most popular cities for digital nomads who are starting their journey. You will find plenty of coworking spaces in the city, there is also a strong community of digital nomads, and you can get cheap and delicious food. Vietnam is world-renowned for its love of coffee which means you will never be far from a café.
- Living Cost: 967 USD per month
- Internet Speed: 13 Mbps
- Best Coworking Spaces: Dreamplex, Spiced
- The Great Deal: Delicious street food, low cost living, great nightlife, big-city amenities
- Potential downside: The city can be noisy and chaotic, and it is extremely hot in the summer months
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is a great city for digital nomads who want to escape the beaches of Southeast Asia and embrace Latin American culture. The city has a rich culture, with a mixture of North American, European, and Latin American influences. Buenos Aires offers many places to work and plenty of activities for those who don’t want to be working. Learn to Tango dance, enjoy the lively nightlife, watch a futbol match, or simply take in the amazing weather at one of the many beautiful parks around the city.
- Living Cost: 709 USD per month
- Internet Speed: 20 Mbps
- Best Coworking Spaces: Huerta, Manawa, Urban Station
- Amazing Deal: Incredible food, great walkability, vibrant nightlife
- Possible Downside: Safety may be a concern for some areas
Budapest offers all the charm, beauty, history and charm that you would expect from a European capital – without the expensive price tag. There is plenty to do in Budapest, since the Danube divides it culturally and physically. The historic, hilly section of Budapest is located on one side of town, while the modern side of Budapest is found on the other.
If Budapest’s vibrant nightlife and food scene do not convince you that it is one of the most desirable cities for digital nomads, the thermal baths might. With over 120 hot springs available to relax once you shut your laptop, it is no wonder that Budapest is called “The City of Baths”.
- Living Cost: $1,460 per Month
- Internet Speed: 40 Mb/s
- Best Coworking Spaces: Kaptar Loffice Impact Hub
- Amazing Deal: Walking, tranquil spas to unwind after a long day, vibrant nightlife, and a great food scene
- Potential downside: Freezing cold winters
Now more than ever, with an increasing number of digital nomad jobs and locations to choose from, it’s the perfect time for remote workers to relocate abroad. If you still have trouble deciding which of the top digital nomad cities to live in, we recommend doing additional research into the cities you are most interested in, using Nomad List as a reference.