27 Best Cities for Digital Nomads | Live and Work in Style

The digital nomad lifestyle has exploded in popularity over the past few years, with more and more people choosing to work remotely while traveling the world. This trend shows no signs of slowing down, so I thought I’d compile a list of the best cities for digital nomads to live and work in.

First, for the last 2 years, I have been working and living like a digital nomad. Mostly in South and Central America. I’ve made a few major mistakes in terms of picking a good destination and learned that there are a ton of job opportunities and great experiences out there.

However, picking a good destination and a set-up that works is key!

But first, let’s discuss some factors to consider when choosing a digital nomad city and afterward, dive into the best ones.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Digital Nomad City

Cost of Living

One of the most critical factors to consider when choosing a digital nomad city is the cost of living. This includes expenses such as accommodation, transportation, food, tax, and entertainment. It is important to find a city that matches your budget, allowing you to maintain a comfortable lifestyle while working remotely. Keep in mind that while some cities may have a higher cost of living, they may also offer higher-paying job opportunities or better amenities.

Internet Connectivity

Reliable and fast internet connectivity is crucial for digital nomads, as their work often depends on being connected to clients, colleagues, and resources online.

This was the first mistake I did when I did not think of high-speed wifi when I was choosing a destination.

Believe it or not, Patagonia does not have a good internet connection.

When selecting a city, research the quality of internet service available, as well as the availability of coworking spaces and cafes with reliable Wi-Fi connections. Additionally, consider investing in a mobile hotspot or local SIM card for added connectivity assurance.

Safety

Safety should be a top priority when choosing a digital nomad city. Research the crime rates, political stability, and natural disaster risks of potential destinations. It’s essential to feel secure in your new environment and have peace of mind when working and exploring. Don’t hesitate to join online forums and digital nomad communities to gather firsthand experiences and insights on safety in different cities. Lastly, always have your digital nomad travel insurance in order.

Visa Regulations

Visa regulations vary by country and can greatly impact your ability to live and work in a specific location. Research the visa requirements and procedures for your desired destination, taking note of the maximum duration of stay, renewal processes, and any restrictions on working remotely. Some countries offer digital nomad visas or special permits designed for people working and traveling, which can simplify the process.

In other places, you might have to do a visa run every 3 months or so.

Lifestyle and Culture

The lifestyle and culture of a new city will play a significant role in shaping your overall digital nomad experience. Consider your personal preferences, such as climate, local customs, language barriers, and access to leisure activities. It’s essential to find a city that aligns with your values and interests, allowing you to feel at home and thrive in your new environment.

Best Cities for Digital Nomads in Europe

Europe offers a mix of history, culture, and modern amenities, making it an ideal destination for digital nomads. Here are some top European cities to consider:

Lisbon, Portugal

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Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, is known for its sunny weather, stunning architecture, and affordable cost of living. The city boasts a vibrant digital nomad community, with numerous coworking spaces and networking events available. Portugal offers a temporary residence visa for remote workers, making it easier for digital nomads to stay long-term. While this is one of the cheapest countries in Europe, Lissabon offers a great destination and new home for digital nomads.

Pros:

  • Affordable cost of living
  • Sunny weather
  • Stunning architecture
  • Vibrant digital nomad community
  • Temporary residence visa for remote workers

Cons:

  • Hilly terrain

Berlin, Germany

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Berlin is a diverse, creative, and bustling city, attracting digital nomads with its thriving tech scene and rich history. Germany offers a freelance visa for those looking to work remotely, but the application process can be quite complex. The cost of living in Berlin is moderate, but the city center’s excellent public transportation system and abundant cultural offerings make it a top choice for digital nomads.

Pros:

  • Diverse and creative city
  • Thriving tech scene
  • Rich history
  • Moderate cost of living
  • Excellent public transportation

Cons:

  • The tedious freelance visa application process

Barcelona, Spain

blog post about the best cities for digital nomads

Barcelona, a city rich in history and culture, is an attractive destination for digital nomads with its sunny Mediterranean climate and vibrant art scene. Spain offers a non-lucrative visa for remote workers, allowing them to stay for up to one year. The cost of living in Barcelona is relatively affordable, though slightly higher than in other Spanish cities. With excellent public transportation and an active expat community, Barcelona is a top choice and also a good option for new digital nomads with no experience.

Pros:

  • Sunny Mediterranean climate
  • Vibrant art scene
  • Affordable cost of living
  • Excellent public transportation
  • Active expat community

Cons:

  • Slightly higher cost of living compared to other Spanish cities

Tallinn, Estonia

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Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is a tech-savvy city with a growing digital nomad community. Estonia was the first country to introduce a digital nomad visa, making it an attractive destination for remote workers. The cost of living is affordable, and the beautiful city itself offers a mix of historic charm and modern conveniences. However, the weather can be cold and dark during the winter months, which may be a downside for some.

Pros:

  • Tech-savvy city
  • Digital nomad visa available
  • Affordable cost of living
  • Historic charm

Cons:

  • Cold and dark winters

Budapest, Hungary

blog post about the best cities for digital nomads

Budapest is an affordable, picturesque city known for its stunning architecture and thermal baths. With a reasonable cost of living and a growing digital nomad scene, Budapest offers numerous coworking spaces and networking events. Hungary has a residency permit for remote workers, but the application process can be time-consuming. Despite this, the city’s charm and affordability make it a great option for digital nomads.

Pros:

  • Affordable cost of living
  • Stunning architecture
  • Growing digital nomad scene
  • Thermal baths

Cons:

  • Time-consuming residency permit application process

Best Cities for Digital Nomads in Asia

Asia offers a unique blend of ancient traditions and modern technology, creating an exciting environment for digital nomads. Here are some of the best cities in Asia for remote workers:

Chiang Mai, Thailand

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Chiang Mai is a popular destination for digital nomads due to its low cost of living, warm weather, and the friendly local community. The city offers a reliable internet connection, a plethora of cafes and coworking spaces, and a laid-back atmosphere. Thailand provides a tourist visa that allows visitors to stay for up to 60 days, with the possibility of extensions. However, it’s essential to be aware of the local customs and respect the local culture while living and working in Chiang Mai.

Pros:

  • Low cost of living
  • Warm weather
  • Friendly local community
  • Reliable internet

Cons:

  • Need to be aware of local customs and respect the culture

Canggu, Indonesia

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Bali is an island paradise with a growing digital nomad community, particularly in the towns of Ubud and Canggu. This tropical destination offers affordable living, beautiful landscapes, and a strong focus on wellness and personal growth. Indonesia has a social visa, allowing digital nomads to stay for up to six months, but it requires sponsorship from an Indonesian citizen. While Bali’s infrastructure can be challenging at times, its unique charm and laid-back vibe make Bali a top choice for remote workers.

Pros:

  • Affordable living
  • Beautiful landscapes
  • Focus on wellness and personal growth
  • Social visa for up to six months

Cons:

  • Requires sponsorship from an Indonesian citizen
  • Challenging infrastructure

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

blog post about the best cities for digital nomads

Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is a bustling metropolis with a low cost of living and a thriving expat community. The city offers reliable internet, numerous coworking spaces, and a vibrant street food scene. Vietnam has a business visa that allows digital nomads to stay for up to one year, but it requires sponsorship from a Vietnamese company. Traffic can be chaotic in Ho Chi Minh City, but its energy and affordability make it a top choice for most digital nomads here.

Pros:

  • Low cost of living
  • Thriving expat community
  • Reliable internet
  • Vibrant food scene

Cons:

  • Chaotic traffic
  • A business visa requires sponsorship from a Vietnamese company

Taipei, Taiwan

blog post about the best cities for digital nomads

Taipei is a modern, cosmopolitan city with a low cost of living and excellent infrastructure. The city offers a strong digital nomad community, plenty of coworking co-living spaces, and a diverse culinary scene. Taiwan has a visitor visa that allows remote workers to stay for up to six months, but it requires a visa run every 90 days. Taipei’s subtropical climate can be hot and humid, but its friendly locals and high quality of life make it an appealing option for digital nomads.

Pros:

  • Low cost of living
  • Excellent infrastructure
  • Strong digital nomad community
  • Diverse culinary scene

Cons:

  • A hot and humid subtropical climate
  • Requires a visa run every 90 days

Seoul, South Korea

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Seoul is a high-tech city with a rich history and a strong digital nomad community. The city offers fast internet speeds, numerous coworking spaces, and a unique blend of modern and traditional cultures. South Korea has a tourist visa that allows visitors to stay for up to 90 days, but there is no specific visa for digital nomads. The cost of living in Seoul is moderate, and the language barrier can be challenging, but with its lively atmosphere and cutting-edge technology it is an attractive option for remote workers.

Furthermore, I lived in Seoul for 6 months while studying at the university. It is an incredible cultural travel destination that offers endless unique Korean activities.

Pros:

  • High-tech city
  • Rich history
  • Strong digital nomad community
  • Fast internet

Cons:

  • Moderate cost of living
  • Language barrier
  • No specific visa for digital nomads

Best Cities for Digital Nomads in the US

The United States offers a variety of cities that cater to the digital nomad lifestyle. Here are some of the top options:

Austin, Texas

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Austin is a vibrant city with a booming tech scene, making it an ideal destination for digital nomads. The city offers a low cost of living compared to other major US cities, a diverse food scene, and plenty of outdoor activities. The only downside is that you will need a car to get around, as public transportation options are limited.

Pros:

  • Vibrant city
  • Booming tech scene
  • Low cost of living compared to other major US cities
  • Diverse food scene

Cons:

  • Limited public transportation

Denver, Colorado

blog post about the best cities for digital nomads

Denver is a popular choice for digital nomads due to its beautiful mountain surroundings, active lifestyle, and thriving startup scene. The city has a slightly higher cost of living but offers a wealth of coworking spaces and networking opportunities. If you enjoy outdoor activities, Denver is an excellent choice for you.

Pros:

  • Beautiful mountain surroundings
  • Active lifestyle
  • Thriving startup scene
  • A wealth of coworking spaces

Cons:

  • Slightly higher cost of living

Portland, Oregon

Portland is a quirky, eco-friendly city with a strong focus on sustainability and a thriving digital nomad community. The city offers a moderate cost of living, numerous coworking spaces, and a vibrant arts and culture scene. As it is in the United States, there are no visa requirements for US citizens. However, the weather can be rainy, and public transportation is limited compared to other US cities. Despite these drawbacks, Portland’s unique charm and progressive mindset make it a top choice for many digital nomads.

Pros:

  • Quirky, eco-friendly city
  • Strong focus on sustainability
  • Moderate cost of living
  • Vibrant arts and culture scene

Cons:

  • Rainy weather
  • Limited public transportation compared to other US cities

San Francisco, California

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San Francisco is a hub for technology and innovation, making it an attractive destination for digital nomads. The city boasts a diverse food scene, numerous coworking spaces, and an active startup community. However, the cost of living in San Francisco is among the highest in the United States, making it a less affordable option for many remote workers. As a US city, there are no visa requirements for US citizens. The weather can be unpredictable, with cool temperatures and fog, but the city’s innovative spirit and beautiful surroundings make it a sought-after destination for digital nomads.

Pros:

  • Hub for technology and innovation
  • Diverse food scene
  • Numerous coworking spaces
  • Active startup community

Cons:

  • High cost of living
  • Unpredictable weather with cool temperatures and fog

Best Cities for Digital Nomads in Central America

Central America boasts a variety of cities with unique charms and attractions for digital nomads. Here are some of the top cities in the region, along with their pros and cons:

Antigua, Guatemala

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Antigua is a picturesque city known for its well-preserved Spanish Baroque-influenced architecture and vibrant cultural scene. The city offers a lower cost of living and a growing digital nomad community, making it an attractive destination for remote workers.

Pros:

  • Low cost of living
  • Beautiful architecture and historical sites
  • Growing digital nomad community
  • Friendly locals

Cons:

  • Spanish language barrier
  • Limited coworking spaces

San José, Costa Rica

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San José, the capital of Costa Rica, is a bustling city surrounded by lush green mountains. With a stable economy, high quality of life, and numerous coworking spaces, San José is a popular destination for digital nomads.

Pros:

  • High quality of life
  • Stable economy
  • Numerous coworking spaces
  • Beautiful natural surroundings

Cons:

  • Higher cost of living compared to other Central American cities
  • Spanish language barrier

Panama City, Panama

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Panama City is a modern, cosmopolitan city with a thriving business scene and a growing digital nomad community. With its impressive skyline, rich history, and affordable living costs, Panama City is an attractive destination for remote workers.

Pros:

  • Affordable cost of living
  • Thriving business scene
  • Growing digital nomad community
  • A rich history and cultural attractions
  • Specific and affordable digital nomad visa

Cons:

  • Spanish language barrier
  • Safety concerns in some areas

Granada, Nicaragua

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Granada is a charming colonial city located on the shores of Lake Nicaragua. Known for its colorful architecture and laid-back atmosphere, Granada offers a low cost of living and a relaxed lifestyle for digital nomads.

Pros:

  • Low cost of living
  • Charming colonial architecture
  • Laid-back atmosphere
  • Friendly locals

Cons:

  • Spanish language barrier
  • Limited coworking spaces

Best Cities for Digital Nomads in South America

South America offers a diverse range of cities for digital nomads, each with its unique charm incredible food, culture, and lifestyle. Here are some of the best cities in South America for digital nomads to spend time, along with their pros and cons:

Santiago, Chile

blog post about the best cities for digital nomads

Santiago, the capital of Chile, is a modern city with a thriving startup scene and a growing digital nomad community. The city offers a high quality of life, excellent public transportation, and beautiful natural surroundings. Finally, Chile is one of the safest countries in South America and should be high on any traveler’s bucket list.

Pros:

  • High quality of life
  • Thriving startup scene
  • Excellent public transportation
  • Beautiful natural surroundings

Cons:

  • Spanish language barrier
  • High cost of living compared to other South American cities

Lima, Peru

Lima is a bustling city with a rich history and a diverse food scene. With affordable living costs and a growing digital nomad community, Lima offers numerous coworking spaces and networking opportunities.

Pros:

  • Affordable cost of living
  • A rich history and diverse food scene
  • Growing digital nomad community
  • Numerous coworking spaces

Cons:

  • Spanish language barrier
  • Traffic congestion

Montevideo, Uruguay

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Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, is a charming coastal city known for its laid-back atmosphere, historic architecture, and friendly locals. The big city also offers a good quality of life, affordable living costs, and a growing digital nomad community.

Pros:

  • Good quality of life
  • Affordable living costs
  • Friendly locals
  • Laid-back atmosphere

Cons:

  • Spanish language barrier
  • Limited coworking spaces

Other Popular Digital Nomad Cities

In addition to the major cities previously mentioned, there are several other popular destinations for digital nomads, including cities in Australia, New Zealand, and beyond. Here are some highlights:

Melbourne, Australia

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Melbourne is a vibrant, multicultural city known for its arts, music, and food scenes. With excellent public transportation and a growing digital nomad community, this city is a top choice for remote workers.

Pros:

  • Diverse cultural scene
  • High quality of life
  • Excellent public transportation
  • Thriving digital nomad community

Cons:

  • High cost of living
  • Visa restrictions for non-Australians

Sydney, Australia

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Sydney is a stunning city with world-famous landmarks, gorgeous beaches, and a bustling business scene. Its diverse population and thriving startup ecosystem make it an attractive destination for digital nomads.

Pros:

  • Beautiful natural surroundings
  • Strong startup ecosystem
  • Diverse population
  • Numerous coworking spaces

Cons:

  • High cost of living
  • Visa restrictions for non-Australians

Wellington, New Zealand

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Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, is a picturesque city with a friendly, laid-back atmosphere. Known for its stunning landscapes, creative culture, and strong tech industry, Wellington is an ideal destination for digital nomads.

Pros:

  • Scenic landscapes
  • Friendly locals
  • Growing tech industry
  • Relaxed atmosphere

Cons:

  • Remote location
  • High cost of living
  • Visa restrictions for non-New Zealanders

Auckland, New Zealand

blog post about the best cities for digital nomads

Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, is a diverse and vibrant destination with a strong focus on innovation and sustainability. Offering a high quality of life and easy access to nature, Auckland is a great choice for remote workers.

Pros:

  • High quality of life
  • Diverse cultural scene
  • Focus on innovation and sustainability
  • Easy access to nature

Cons:

  • High cost of living
  • Visa restrictions for non-New Zealanders

Medellín, Colombia

blog post about the best cities for digital nomads

Medellín is a city with a growing digital nomad community, thanks to its affordable cost of living, pleasant weather, and friendly locals. The city has made significant strides in safety and infrastructure in recent years, making it an increasingly attractive destination for remote workers.

Pros:

  • Affordable cost of living
  • Pleasant weather
  • Friendly locals
  • Improving safety and infrastructure

Cons:

  • Spanish language barrier
  • Some safety concerns still exist

Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Buenos Aires, known as the “Paris of South America,” is a vibrant city with a rich cultural scene and a growing digital nomad community. With a low cost of living and an abundance of coworking spaces, Buenos Aires is a popular choice for remote workers. The capital offers endless activities and can be enjoyed at all times of the year.

Pros:

  • Low cost of living
  • Rich cultural scene
  • An abundance of coworking spaces
  • Growing digital nomad community

Cons:

  • Spanish language barrier
  • Economic instability

Tips for Digital Nomads

Balancing Work and Travel

One of the most significant challenges digital nomads face is striking the right balance between work and travel. It’s essential to establish a routine that allows you to stay productive while also making time to explore and enjoy your new surroundings.

Set a daily schedule, prioritize work during your most productive hours, and allocate time for sightseeing, relaxation, and socializing. Remember that flexibility is key and that your routine may need to adapt to different time zones, workloads, or travel plans.

Networking with Other Digital Nomads

Connecting with other digital nomads can provide valuable support, friendship, and professional opportunities. Join local coworking spaces, attend networking events, and participate in online forums or social media groups dedicated to digital nomads. Networking with fellow digital nomads and remote workers can offer insights into the local lifestyle, and job opportunities, and help you adapt to the challenges of the digital nomad life.

Staying Productive on the Road

Maintaining productivity while traveling and working remotely can be challenging, but it is crucial for success as a digital nomad. Establish a dedicated workspace, whether it’s a coworking space, café, or a comfortable setup in your accommodation. Invest in the necessary tools and equipment, such as a reliable travel laptop, noise-canceling headphones, and ergonomic accessories. Lastly, set clear boundaries between work and personal time, ensuring that you can fully focus on your tasks and avoid burnout.

A Final Note on the Best Cities for Digital Nomads

To sum it all up, the best cities for digital nomads offer a mix of affordability, quality of life, and opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Whether you’re drawn to the rich history and culture of Europe, the dynamic energy of Asia, or the diverse landscapes and bustling cities of the United States, there’s a perfect city waiting for you to call home.

All you need is a good laptop and the willingness to deep dive into your new lifestyle and adventure.

As usual, feel free to add any comments or questions down below!

//Josephine

FAQs related to the best digital nomad cities

What is a digital nomad?

A digital nomad is someone who works remotely while traveling the world, often using technology to perform their job.

How do digital nomads make money?

Digital nomads typically make money through freelancing, remote work, or running their own online businesses.

Can I become a digital nomad with my current job?

It depends on your job and your employer’s flexibility. Some jobs can easily transition to remote work, while others may not be suitable.

What are some common challenges faced by digital nomads?

Common challenges include staying productive while traveling, maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and dealing with visa regulations.

How can I find a community of digital nomads?

You can find digital nomad communities through online forums, social media groups, coworking spaces, and local meetups in the cities you visit. Networking with other digital nomads can provide valuable support, friendship, and collaboration opportunities.

The article may include affiliate links, meaning that I may receive affiliate compensation at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. Read more in my Affiliate Disclosure.
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