The concept of traveling and working internationally as a digital nomad is a fantastic dream for most people — but in reality it has never been more attainable. Imagine a foreign destination where rent and food costs are less than half your current expenses, with great wifi connections and nearly unlimited new sights and activities to experience.
Whether you have the ability already or are finding a way to make it happen, remote work is the foundation of becoming a digital nomad.
Thanks to the widespread adoption and expansion of technology around the world, freelancers, entrepreneurs and corporate remote workers have the ability to travel and work on demand via their laptops. Whether you have the ability already or are finding a way to make it happen, remote work is the foundation of becoming a digital nomad.
We've compiled a list of 11 cities from all around the world that could be your next digital nomad paradise. The locations vary widely from continent to continent but they share a few similar qualities that make them great for digital nomads:
1. Low cost of living with a high quality of life.
2. Excellent access to wifi and good internet speeds.
3. Experiences that will entertain you for months or years to come.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
If you've been searching for digital nomad destinations, you may have come across this one already. Located in the center of northern Thailand’s mountainous region Chiang Mai is the perfect entry point into a work/travel international lifestyle.
There are an abundance of affordable short term rentals available by the month or week. Packed with hundreds of religious temples, rivers and lush greenery, the whole town has a peaceful, laid-back vibe. But this isn’t just a sleepy mountain town: there’s a bustling nightlife, a strong tourist presence and unlimited things to in and around the city. When it comes to working, Chiang Mai has great wifi speeds and state of the art coworking spaces with 24/7 access so you’ll never miss a deadline.
Siem Reap, Cambodia
A relatively short trip south from Chiang Mai will bring you to the Kingdom of Cambodia, which is a truly amazing place. The cost of living in Siem Reap is about as low as it gets, while its quality of life is very high. A two bedroom apartment with air conditioning near downtown can be had for a few hundred dollars per month, and food can range from one dollar per meal at street vendors up to ten dollars per meal at high end restaurants.
The cost of living in Siem Reap is about as low as it gets, while its quality of life is very high.
Siem Reap is also a major cultural hotspot due to its close proximity to the incredible temple of Ankor Watt, which is considered to be one of the seven wonders of the world. And there's plenty of accessibility to wifi: literally every public place has it. Internet speeds here vary widely, but you will quickly find the places with high-speed connections.
Formerly a popular destination for expat English teachers, Taipei is now an up-and-coming hotspot for digital nomads. The modern metropolis of about three million residents is fast-paced and active 24 hours a day, and boasts some of the best internet access in the world. With easy access to China, Japan and Southeast Asia, this is a great place to stop over for a few nights or weeks and enjoy the comforts of city life. You’ll never have enough time to explore all of the city, so there will always be something new to see or try.
Live modestly and save or spend a little more and live like royalty.
Many people imagine lush tropical forests, white sand beaches and turquoise blue water when the word paradise is mentioned. That’s what you get with Ubud: a small-town feel and beautiful environmentl. You’ll stay active with tons opportunities for yoga, paragliding, surfing, snorkeling and much more. There’s quite a low cost of living here but a variety of options for digital nomads: live modestly and save or spend a little more and live like royalty. It’s not all play though: Ubud is a known remote worker destination, and there are coworking spaces to support those with projects and deadlines. If you love the beach and tropical environment this destination is a must-do.
Seoul, South Korea
This is paradise for the high-speed internet connoisseur. In fact, South Korea is frequently ranked number one for having the fastest internet speeds in the world. The city routinely ends up on the top cities in Asia for technology professionals. Seoul is an expansive super modern city with excellent public transportation and beautiful coworking spaces. While there is a higher cost of living here than some of our other cities, it's possible to survive and thrive affordably. With a booming cafe culture, there are endless places you can work all day on just a coffee purchase. For animal lovers, make sure to visit a cat or dog cafe where you can hang out with dozens of animals while you work.
One of Europe’s most affordable capital cities, Budapest is full of trendy cafes and coffee shops with great wifi. Architecturally the city is a treasure trove, with a rich history dating back to Roman times and museums to satisfy every history buff. They don’t call the city of baths for no reason: there are 118 bubbling hot springs and baths in Budapest where you can hop in and enjoy a soak in the relaxing mineral pools. Walkability in town is very easy, especially since you can affordably live right in the center of town. This makes Budapest very attractive to remote workers without dedicated transportation. With coworking spaces and dive bars that dot the city, there's always something to do day or night.
Berlin has an active entrepreneur and startup community, and there are plenty of great coworking spaces to check out.
Many people are attracted to Berlin for the food and history, but digital nomads typically decide to stay for the strong startup and freelancer culture. With world class museums, excellent transportation, cheap eats and affordable accomodations this is one capital city you can get comfortable in. Most people also speak English, but it’s highly recommended to learn and memorize common questions and phrases. Berlin has an active entrepreneur and startup community, and there are plenty of great coworking spaces to check out. Weekend trips here are a must, as there are many interesting places nearby. Be sure to spend some time in southern Germany and explore the neighboring countries of Poland and the Czech Republic.
This one is for the winter sports lovers. Situated at the base of the Pirin Mountians, Bansko rests at a cool 3,035 meters in elevation. If you aren’t already a pro, snowboarding and skiing lessons are quite cheap and come with great instructors who often speak English. This town is a mix of two worlds: you have modern skiing and snowboarding resorts on one side and cobbled streets and homey restaurants on the other. If you go in the summer there’s plenty to do, including horseback riding, climbing, rafting and hiking. This is an off the beaten path destination for digital nomads, but they do have solid wifi access and one coworking space in the middle of town, so you can keep up a healthy work/explore balance.
Central and South America
Chile has some of the best high speed internet access in all of South America, which is ideal for any digital nomad. The dynamic capital city of Santiago has a little bit of everything. It’s positioned conveniently between the coast and the mountains, which gives you access to rafting in the Andes, exploring the Patagonian wild or surfing the Pacific. The cost of living is relatively low, and rent in a good neighborhood can be found for around $500 per month. With a very active social and nightlife scene, you're sure to make friends and feel at home very quickly.
There are numerous coworking spaces across the city for those looking for a more office-oriented vibe.
This gem is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a cultural hub in southern Mexico. Oaxaca is an art and food destination with picturesque colonial streets paved by cobblestone, and you'll really feel the history as you wander around the city. Many North American remote workers choose Oaxaca because it is closer to home than alternatives. There are markets selling local goods, art and fresh food to explore on your off time. When it comes to working, wifi access is plentiful, but speeds may vary from place to place. There are numerous coworking spaces across the city for those looking for a more office-oriented vibe.
Medellin is a major up-and-coming digital nomad city that is littered with an array of coworking spaces to feed the local entrepreneurship and startup scene. It has year-round beautiful weather, endless options for cheap eats, unique restaurants and an exuberant nightlife. Medellin is a huge city: just stick to the popular areas and you'll be just as safe as if you were in your own hometown.
These 11 cities are just a few of the hundreds or thousands of great options for the adventurous digital nomad. Hopefully some of these have inspired you make your career mobile, start an online business or find a job you can work remotely. You can find remote work online and start working from anywhere with a wifi connection. Or you can start your own ecommerce store with Volusion and run it anywhere abroad.
If you could be a digital nomad, where would you live? Let us know in the comments!