It’s something that every travel lover has dreamt of at least once: taking the leap, canceling that return ticket home, and becoming a digital nomad. And thanks to widespread access to free wifi and coworking spaces opening in cities all around the world, there’s never been a better time to join the digital nomad movement and explore the best cities for digital nomads.
But how do you decide where to go when you can work remotely from anywhere in the world? To sum it up and to help you decide where to book your one-way ticket, here are the 9 best digital nomad cities around the world.
How to Choose the Best Digital Nomad Cities
Not all cities are created equal when it comes to ‘nomad friendliness’. To be considered one of the best digital nomad cities, each destination must check a few key boxes.
- Quality internet connection
- Relatively low cost of living
- Ample availability of coworking spaces and laptop-friendly cafes
- Fun and interesting things to do in the region
Of course, there are a number of other factors to consider when selecting a destination, such as safety, nightlife, weather, healthcare, and walkability. To get a better feel for these things, we suggest reading in-depth blog posts from other digital nomads as well as using sites like Nomad List.
So with these factors in mind, here are our picks for the best cities for digital nomads.
What Are The Best Cities For Digital Nomads?
1. Chiang Mai, Thailand
This northern Thai city is a sort of legend in the digital nomad world. It consistently tops lists of the best digital nomad cities and for good reason. Chiang Mai boasts everything from lush jungles, breathtaking temples, modern coworking spaces, and vibrant night markets. Add in Thailand’s low cost of living and it’s no wonder that Chiang Mai is a legendary digital nomad city.
- Cost of Living: $950 per month
- Internet Speed: 23 Mbps
- Best Coworking Spaces: Pun Space, MANA
- Great Deal: Easy to get around, ample places to work from, delicious Thai food
- Potential Downside: Extremely poor air quality during burning season
2. Canggu, Bali
Bali has long been a holiday destination, but over the last few years, it has made a name for itself as a near-perfect digital nomad destination. Canggu consistently ranks high on Nomad List’s rankings of best cities for digital nomads. This former surf town is now a booming expat area. The massive surge in popularity has brought Instagrammable Australian-style cafes, amazing coworking spaces, and a vast and very active digital nomad community. This means that there is no shortage of networking events, free workshops, and cafes with plenty of outlets. Plus, when you’re not working, it’s still a great place to surf.
- Cost of Living: $1,350 per month
- Internet Speed: 18 Mbps
- Best Coworking Spaces: Tropical Nomad, OutPost, Dojo
- Great Deal: Amazing cafes, easy to make friends, great surfing
- Potential Downside: Traffic, poor walkability, beaches here aren’t the cleanest
3. Ubud, Bali
Though only a stone’s throw from Canggu, Ubud has a unique vibe all its own. Here, you’ll find all of the expected luxuries of any of the best cities for digital nomads - coworking spaces, excellent cafes, plenty of fellow nomads - with a more laid back feel. If you’re into jungles and yoga instead of beaches and surfing, Ubud is the place for you. Just make sure you have room for a yoga mat on your digital nomad packing list.
- Cost of Living: $1,200 per month
- Internet Speed: 18 Mbps
- Best Coworking Spaces: HUBUD, OutPost
- Great Deal: World-class Yoga studios, less crowded than Canggu, amazing waterfalls nearby
- Potential Downside: wifi can be spotty outside of coworking spaces, far from the beach, lack of nightlife
4. Medellin, Colombia
The city of eternal spring is rapidly climbing the charts of best cities for digital nomads. With the dark days of widespread violence and Pablo Escobar behind them, the city has invested heavily in its technology and infrastructure. New coworking spaces seem to be popping up monthly, the city is just highly affordable as some of Southeast Asia’s best cities for digital nomads, and there are plenty of nature hikes in the surrounding hills for your days off.
- Cost of Living: $1,035 per month
- Internet Speed: 15 Mbps
- Best Coworking Spaces: Selina
- Great Deal: Great for nature lovers, large digital nomad community, spring-like weather
- Potential Downside: though much safer now, crime still remains an issue
5. Lisbon, Portugal
This may be the most expensive destination on our list of best cities for digital nomads, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t tremendous value to be found in Lisbon. The cost of living here is still relatively low and the infrastructure is modern. Thanks to the beautiful weather, a large expat community, and amazing food, Lisbon has seen a huge spike in digital nomads flocking to the city in recent years.
Lisbon is an especially attractive spot for Europeans that work remotely thanks to their status as a member of the E.U.
- Cost of Living: $1,908 per month
- Internet Speed: 33 Mbps
- Best Coworking Spaces: Second Home, Rocket Hub, Cowork Central
- Great Deal: Very walkable, safe, plenty of things to do when you’re not working
- Potential Downside: Many cafes aren’t worker-friendly and close early
6. Bangkok, Thailand
Because Chiang Mai often takes top spot when discussing the best cities for digital nomads, Bangkok sometimes gets overlooked. But if you’re looking for the total digital nomad package, Bangkok is hard to beat. The cost of living, while more expensive than Chiang Mai, is still very affordable. The city is filled with coworking spaces, massive air-conditioned malls, cheap street food, and a modern transit system. And if you want to treat yourself to a nice dinner or a cocktail at a Skybar after signing that new client, Bangkok is the perfect place to do that.
- Cost of Living: 1,000 per month
- Internet Speed: 25 Mbps
- Best Coworking Spaces: WeWork, Hubba, Spaces
- Great Deal: Great nightlife, delicious Thai food, large expat community, easy to find comforts from home
- Potential Downside: air quality is a concern, the city can get oppressively hot, the size of the city can make things feel spread out at times
7. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
While Vietnam and Thailand have a distinctly different vibe to them, Saigon, as the locals call it, can be most closely compared to Bangkok. As Vietnam’s main financial hub, Saigon has a much more modern feel to it than other parts of the country.
Vietnam as a whole is a very low-cost place to live, making Ho Chi Minh city one of the best cities for digital nomads that are just starting their journey. There are plenty of coworking spaces throughout the city, a solid community of digital nomads, and cheap, delicious eats abound. Plus, Vietnam has a huge appreciation for coffee, so you’ll never be far from a cafe.
- Cost of Living: $950 per month
- Internet Speed: 18 Mbps
- Best Coworking Spaces: Dreamplex, Spiced
- Great Deal: delicious and cheap street eats, affordable cost of living with big-city amenities, solid nightlife
- Potential Downside: The city can be quite noisy and even chaotic at times, the hot months are extremely hot.
8. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is one of the best cities for digital nomads that are looking to swap Southeast Asia beaches in favor of Latin American flare. Offering a mix of European, North American, and Latin American influence, the city is rich in culture. In addition to plenty of spaces to plug in and work, Buenos Aires also offers plenty of things to do when you’re not working on your business.
You can learn to dance the Tango, take advantage of the vibrant nightlife, attend a futbol match, or enjoy the incredible weather in one of the city’s many parks.
- Cost of Living: $980 per month'
- Internet Speed: 19 Mbps
- Best Coworking Spaces: Huerta, Manawa, Urban Station
- Great Deal: incredible food, great walkability, vibrant nightlife
- Potential Downside: Safety can be a concern in some areas.
9. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest has all of the beauty, history, and charm you’d expect from a European city without the high price tag. You’ll have plenty to explore here, as the Danube river splits the city in two both physically and culturally. On one side sits the hilly, historic section of the city. On the other, you’ll find the modern side of Budapest.
If a burgeoning food and nightlife scene doesn’t convince you that Budapest is one of the best cities for digital nomads, maybe the thermal baths will. Budapest more than lives up to its reputation as ‘The City of Baths’, offering over 120 hot springs in the city to unwind once you close your laptop.
- Cost of Living: $1,460 per month
- Internet Speed: 40 Mbps
- Best Coworking Spaces: Kaptar, Loffice, Impact Hub
- Great Deal: Very walkable, relaxing spas for unwinding on your day off, dynamic nightlife and food scene
- Potential Downside: Freezing cold winters, can become crowded
With an ever-growing list of great digital nomad jobs and destinations, it’s a great time to be a remote worker. And if you’re still having a hard time deciding which of the best digital nomad cities is the right spot for you? Well that’s the great thing about being a digital nomad! You’ll just have to see them for yourself.
BY: ZACH ANDERSON, CONTENT MARKETING & FLIGHT EXPERT
Zach is a digital marketer, copywriter, and flight deal expert at Dollar Flight Club where he helps 1 million people travel more. As a digital nomad, he is deeply passionate about location independence, Thai food, and helping others see the world affordably.