The 16 Best Places For Digital Nomads To Live In 2022

Last updated on: 12 March 2022
The best places and cities for digital nomads to live

Expat- and digital nomad cities

The last two years have forced people to embrace remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a result, we are likely to experience a rise in the digital nomad movement in 2022. 

The world has changed at a rapid pace and it has become the new normality to combine travel and work; as a digital nomad. Plenty of people is taking advantage of this by working online and travelling from city to city because they can. While some people thrive best in a 9-5 office job, with fixed routines and more “safety”, others love the feeling of being in constant change and being able to manage their work-life balance. So much so that it might become a permanent lifestyle for them hence the term digital nomads. 

With our experience and knowledge, we have curated a list of the best places for digital nomads to live. It should guide you towards the city of your dreams when embarking on your digital nomad journey or help your choose the next city to experience as a travelled and experienced digital nomad. 

The benefits of working remotely

If you are searching for the best places to live as a digital nomad, you are probably intimately aware of the benefits of working remotely. On the other hand, you might be dreaming about changing your current lifestyle, so let’s go over the most common benefits of working remotely:

  • First of all, the advantages of working remotely can vary depending on your work constellation. Most digital nomads either have a remote contract with a company, a freelance career with several clients, or their own business. Your situation defines your flexibility and work hour policy.

    As a freelancer, you got more control over your workload and office hours. You are free to choose the time of the day you feel most productive rather than what office timings would dictate. On the other hand, having a remote contract with a company gives you more safety and a consistent workload, so you don’t have to worry about your income on a month-to-month basis.

  • There is no place on earth you can’t work from. (spoiler alert: as long as it has high-speed WIFI) Once you find the best places for digital nomads to live in, you can get your work done in your home, at a coffee shop, at the park, or even while traveling; granted that you have a reliable internet connection.

  • You no longer have to spend your time or money on commuting. There is no need to wake at ungodly hours and show up physically at an office. It also makes for less stress in your life when you aren’t running to reach somewhere in time every morning.

  • You no longer have to spend your time or money on commuting. There is no need to wake at ungodly hours and show up physically at an office. It also makes for less stress in your life when you aren’t running to reach somewhere in time every morning.

  • You can establish a healthy work-life balance. You can plan your work schedule based on any personal commitment, so you never miss out on both. By choosing your own destination, you can also get the most out of your free time when you finish up crushing it at work!

Now that we know the benefits of working remotely, it’s time to find a destination to explore – The world is waiting for us as digital nomads! Discover the 16 best cities for digital nomads below.

The 16 Best Cities For Digital Nomads To Explore

1. Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon recently jumped to the number one spot at the popular online resource and community; Nomadlist – a website that ranks the best cities for digital nomads and expats.

Stying in Lisbon as a digital nomad will cost you around 2.000$/month, which is an expected price range for a European capital. However, Lisbon offers great value for money, compared to other popular digital nomad hubs in Europe, such as Barcelona and Paris. 

Portugal has a rich culture which is showcased very well by the ancient colorful streets of Lisbon, the delicious culinary scene, and the friendly atmosphere. The city is built on hills, which gives you plenty of good viewpoints and lovely rooftop restaurants. If you’re into surfing, Lisbon is the right place for you. Just outside Lisbon is a string of Atlantic beaches that offers some of the best surf spots in Europe

Last but not least, the city is doing a great job in attracting digital nomads and startups. There are plenty of meetup groups and interesting events such as the Web Summit. With plenty of coworking spaces and cool cafes, you will not have any trouble finding a place to get work done and meet like-minded people. Even though the local language is Portuguese, you will experience that English is widespread, so the city attracts an international crowd. 

  • Cost of living per month: $2.000 
  • Internet speed: 25 Mbps

2. Melbourne, Australia

A study done by Nestpick established Melbourne as the clear winner among 75 cities for digital nomads. The cost of living is manageable for a country like Australia. 

Melbourne is Australias second-largest city, and globally it is recognized as one of the best student cities. It is particularly famous for its number of cafes, but that’s not what earns it its number 1 ranking. Although, the cafes always come with Wifi and the highest internet download speed in the city is known to reach 52.53 Mbps. 

However, it is the cultural aspect of Melbourne that makes it so attractive. The vibrant city with a rich cultural scene attracts foreigners from all around the world. students, tourists, expats, and digital nomads.

  • Cost of living per month: $3.200 
  • Internet speed: 50 Mbps

3. Chiang Mai, Thailand

It’s hard to think of a year where Chiang Mai has not ranked high on The NomadList. It has been a digital nomad hub for years for good reasons. The cost of living is estimated at $950 per month, while the internet speed is about 25 Mbps. You get incredible value for money in Asia, hence why many choose this continent when embarking on their digital nomad journey.

A busy night market, temples, and jungles make Chiang Mai a city with plenty to explore. It also has plenty of coworking spaces and good restaurants, all of which you won’t be able to experience in just one lifetime.

  • Cost of living per month: $950
  • Internet speed: 25 Mbps

4. Canggu, Bali, Indonesia

Canggu has quickly reformed from a holiday destination to a digital nomad hotspot. The city has plenty of coworking spaces, cafes, events, and workshops, tailored for the digital nomads.

Canggu has always been a popular destination among surfers. It is one of the most developed destinations for people looking for a beach-town vibe and consistent waves.

The internet speed is estimated at 25 Mbps at places with low connections, and the cost of living is about $1,350 a month. Transport can be an issue since the infrastructure can’t keep up with the increase in population and traffic.

  • Cost of living per month: $1.350
  • Internet speed: 25 Mbps

5. Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Ubud is less than 30 km from Canggu. Yet, the vibe is completely different. The pace of life is relaxed, with more greenery, nature, and wildlife. It is a hotspot for yogis and a great place to find balance busy in your digital nomad lifestyle.

The coworking spaces and cafes are still present, but people adopt a laid-back attitude. $1,200 per month for living and 20 Mbps seems like a good trade-off for the peace the place brings. The WIFI can be a bit unstable outside of coworking spaces, though.

  • Cost of living per month: $1.200
  • Internet speed: 20 Mbps

6. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

The $950 per month overall cost of living makes it especially attractive to digital nomad lifestyle beginners. It has everything digital nomads could ask for, in addition to 20 Mbps speed. You will meet a lot of like-minded young creatives in Vietnam’s largest city. The city has a fast pace, the nightlife is solid, but most importantly, Vietnamese cuisines are among the world’s best.

  • Cost of living per month: $950
  • Internet speed: 20 Mbps

7. Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town is one of those cities that just have it all. A big city, surrounded by mountains and astonishing nature, beautiful beaches that provide good conditions for the surfers.

An apartment in the middle of Cape Town for one person could cost you around $644 and the expected monthly cost of living is about $1.800. The city is packed with cafes, coworking spaces, Airbnb apartment choices, and a lively cultural scene. It is also a big plus that English is the official language of South Africa.

  • Cost of living per month: $1.800
  • Internet speed:  Mbps

8. Budapest, Hungary

If you want to experience Europe without breaking the bank, Budapest is a great choice! The monthly cost of $1,460 combined with a 40 Mbps internet speed is hard to match.

The nightlife and food are certainly enjoyable. If you go out for a lunch break, the city presents you with new opportunities on every corner, and for only $30, you’re able to get a Michelin dining experience.

The old city has a lot of charm. Enjoy a river cruise on the Danube, or try one of the many thermal baths that Budapest is known for.

  • Cost of living per month: $1.450
  • Internet speed: 40 Mbps

9. Berlin, Germany

Berlin is diverse and has great energy. You should expect the monthly cost of living to be around $3.000. The internet is super fast throughout the city and provides an average of 50 Mbps.

Berlin has gone through changes over the years, and it is a city filled with history and culture.

The city is bussing with creative minds and artistic people, that get work done in one of the many coworking spaces in town. During the weekend, people go out to blow off steam in one of the 24-hour clubs. Berlin might not be particularly pretty but it’s unique and alive.

  • Cost of living per month: $3.000
  • Internet speed: 50 Mbps

10. Barcelona, Spain

Architecture, culture, beaches, and tapas are some reasons why tourists and digital nomads are so attracted to Barcelona. The city’s energy is unmatched, and it is one of those places that keeps you stuck longer than you initially planned. The narrow streets of the city center are full of boutique shops, historic buildings, and cozy cafés.

The increasing amount of people flocking to the city affects the overall price range and makes it cost you around $3.000/Month. However, the popularity of the city guarantees a top-class nomad scene with plenty of cool coworking spaces, events, and meetup groups. The beach and the weather are other unique selling points of the metropolitan city. It also has a lot of green areas, good infrastructure, and the characteristic architecture of Gaudí.

  • Cost of living per month: $3.000
  • Internet speed: 35 Mbps

11. Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain

Escape the European winter in the Canary Islands, where you get a warm and sunny climate year-round. Gran Canaria is friendly, relaxed, and in tune with nature. Restaurants, coworking spaces, and coffee shops certainly add points to the city, but it’s also very affordable. The island isn’t too small, so there are plenty of things to explore. You get 45 Mbps internet speed, and the cost of living is about $1.800.

  • Cost of living per month: $1.800
  • Internet speed: 45 Mbps

12. Río De Janeiro, Brazil

Río De Janeiro is known for its beauty. A city located in between mountains and beautiful beaches. The Brazilian people are warm, and you will experience their energy at the yearly carnival or in their love for football. Río is also a mix of social classes as it is home to some of the world’s most infamous favelas. However, the city is safe for foreigners when staying in the right neighborhoods.

Río provides the perfect balance between local culture and international atmosphere. Enjoy everything Rio has to offer, from Carnaval and samba to football and world-class beaches. As a digital nomad, you’re able to live in Río for only $1.500/month, and in most areas of the city, you will find 25 Mbps internet speed.

  • Cost of living per month: $1.500
  • Internet speed: 25 Mbps

13. Medellín, Colombia

Medellín has left its dark past behind and become the new hot topic in South America for tourists, digital nomads, and expats. The El Poblado neighborhood is the digital nomad hub of Medellín and it is buzzing with life. Spend your days working at some of the many coworking spaces or cafés and your nights enjoying the top-class restaurants before heading to the lively salsa clubs. The Colombian people are super charismatic and welcoming, and that’s something that will attract you to the city from the moment you arrive.

The region is very lush and the city is surrounded by nature. Medellín is known as the city of eternal spring thanks to its perfect climate that never gets below 65º Fahrenheit.

For a South American country, the infrastructure is quite good, and the Paisas – as the Medellín residents are called, were proud to be the first city on the continent with a metro system. It’s also easy to get around the city with services like Uber, where prices are very competitive.

In Medellín, you’re looking at 15 Mbps internet speed and a monthly cost of living at $1,050.

  • Cost of living per month: $1.050
  • Internet speed: 15 Mbps

14. Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Santa Teresa has become a hot topic among digital nomads in recent years due to its laid-back surf vibe, good restaurants, and coworking facilities. It is a place for digital nomads who wants nothing to do with metropolitans and feel themselves breathe better surrounded by lush mountains and jungles. 

The infrastructure hasn’t developed at the same pace as the hype of the town, so most people get around by foot or on ATVs as the roads are unpavedHowever, this is what makes Santa Teresa unique to most people and makes it preserve its contact with nature. 

The hype around Santa Teresa has affected prices and demand a lot. Accommodation usually has to be booked several months in advance and your monthly cost can easily end up at $3.000, which is expensive for this part of the world. The strong community, good surf spots, and super-fast internet speed of 75mbps are what justify the price point for most nomads. 

  • Cost of living per month: $3.000
  • Internet speed: 75 Mbps

15. Tulum, Mexico

With $1.800/Month and a 25 Mbps internet speed, the tropical beaches, and crystal clear water are the main appeals of this city. It has easy access to the rest of Mexico and the US. There are also ruins from Mayan times that a digital nomad can spend time exploring. The vibe is laid-back and you can cover most of the beach town by bicycle. There is a lot of artistic coworking and co-living spaces and the culinary scene is outstanding.

  • Cost of living per month: $1.800
  • Internet speed: 25 Mbps

16. Austin, Texas, United States

Culture, arts, and music are major points that draw digital nomads to Austin. The internet speed might be another factor as it is well-known for surpassing 100 Mbps download speed. It can cost around $3.500 for a single person living in Austin as a digital nomad, and that is pretty fair for a US city.

  • Cost of living per month: $3.500
  • Internet speed: 150 Mbps

It's a wrap!

With the best cities for digital nomads narrowed down, it’s up to you to pick your favorite destination. Below you will find a list of things to consider when choosing the right nomad destination for your needs.

How to Choose The Right Digital Nomad City For Your Needs

There certainly isn’t a lack of best cities for digital nomads once you begin searching. There are endless unique destinations to explore, so how would you know which one is the best for you, though? 

While the beauty of working remotely is that it allows you to work from anywhere, you still have to consider your needs and requirements for a temporary home. You have to consider a lot of things such as cost of living, internet speed, etc. 

There are certain characteristics that cities should be able to tick off to be considered among the best places to live for digital nomads. We have considered those aspects as reference points when curating our list of the 20 best cities for digital nomads. It includes things like: 

Communication Issue

It is always important to consider any language barrier before moving to a new city, as well as your desire for social interactions. Extroverts might find themself unhappy if they’re not able to have deep conversations with the locals, while introverts might be okay with a few close relations with other expats.

What languages do you speak fluently? Or at the least have a basic understanding of? Are those languages useful in the destinations you are considering? Do you know enough to buy groceries and take care of daily other activities?

If not, how much effort are you willing to put into learning a new language? English is widespread in some parts of the world, and it may not be necessary to know the local language. But in other places, it can be a necessity. However, moving abroad is a fantastic opportunity to brush up on a foreign language, so don’t let it scare you off. Just remember to bring an open mind and willingness to learn.

Time-zones

If you have a remote contract or your freelance expertise demands a lot of communication; like virtual assistance or a customer support specialist, then you need to consider the time zone.

It needs to be convenient for your clients to work with you despite your remote location, so you need to fit into their timezone and office hours.

Affordability

Affordability is an important factor for many when choosing their destination. Is the city affordable overall? Can you pay for rent and still have enough left for food, entertainment, and other activities? Maybe the digital nomad life treats your bank account well, but that doesn’t mean you will live better in an expensive city. You need to find a place that provides a healthy work-life balance for YOU, and if you can save some money, why not?

Ultimately, you want a city that allows you to live comfortably and stress-free. Research everything about the cost of living in the city. Consider things like rent, food, laundry, general shopping, furniture, movies, coworking spaces, sports activities, and so on.

Quality Of Life

If we look at the best cities for digital nomads, it tends to be major cities. However, you need to consider your priorities and needs for a good quality of life. Some cities with a large population can have a sleepy, artsy atmosphere. Others are more vibrant and have a busy nightlife. You need to find out what appeals to you and hove you want to live your life. Maybe you would rather be somewhere secluded, at the beach or in the jungle. The possibilities are endless once you crack the code to remote work.

The quality of life is dependent on what the city has to offer and how it fits with your lifestyle? Do you enjoy shopping? Are you playing any particular sports? Would you prefer the ocean view or the cityscape? Are you into art and culture? Does are some of the questions you have to ask yourself.

Flight availability could be another aspect to consider. Despite working from home, your job might require you to travel a lot. It could also be that you like taking sudden trips, going home for family birthdays, etc. A city with good flight connections always attracts many digital nomads and tourists in general.

Internet Connection

Digital nomads can’t ignore the digital part, am I right? Not only do you need an internet connection, but you also need it to be reliable and as fast as lightning.

You should not only check the internet connection, cost, and availability of your accommodation. You need to check the overall internet connection of the city. Are there enough WIFI hotspots available? Are you able to work from coffee shops & café? Are the mobile connection providers working well throughout the city?

The internet speed required depends on your workload and tasks. For example, you will need a faster connection if you are doing a lot of online presentations or video calls. You should also consider the time you spend online in your spare time. Things like gaming and streaming do also require a fast internet connection.

Community

You can’t exactly predict how the community is going to be. Whether you will like it or not will be determined after living there for some time. However, it’s possible to do some proper research nowadays with the internet. Often you can find digital nomad groups for a specific city on social networks. You can also lookup apps like MeetUp, to find groups of like-minded people. Last but not least, it’s a good idea to check if there are any coworking or co-living places in the city, it will reveal a lot about the cities popularity among digital nomads and expats.

In the end, it all comes down to what you expect from a digital nomad community. Are you looking for friends to socialize with after work, are you looking for a network where you can find potential clients, or do you value people who share your passions for sport or outdoor lifestyle? Once you know your priorities, it becomes easier to pick a city.

Infrastructure

Infrastructure is often a factor that people forget about in the decision-making process. Internet speed is not the only thing you should have in mind.

A city with good infrastructure will make your daily life so much easier and cheaper. So ask yourself, does the city have a good metro or public transport system? Are there good alternatives such as city bicycles or scooters? Is it easy to cover the city center on foot? Is it affordable to rent a car for a weekend trip? Those are the things you will need to consider in terms of the city’s infrastructure.

Climate

The weather might not be a big deal-breaker for you, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to research. For example, some tropical destinations have a rainy season, so why not avoid such times?

Some digital nomads love relocating now and then. Maybe you would enjoy leaving a city just as it is about to fall into the extremes of summer or winter. Some seasons may also affect the overall costs of living, and as digital nomads, we have the opportunity to avoid these periods.

Final Thoughts

We just presented you with some of the most common things to research before moving to a new place, and each one of them will have different priorities depending on who you ask. So now it’s up to you to consider what’s most important for you. Let’s go!

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