Best Digital Nomad Cities for Working Remotely
Where are the best places to work remotely in 2019? In choosing good cities for remote work, take into account the cost of living, opportunity for meeting other nomads and of course, fun. Do you know how to find good cities for working remotely? We’re sharing 21 cities that have proven to be popular choices for working remotely. We’ve worked remotely from some of these cities, and for the ones we haven’t been to yet, they’re on our list!
Among all the factors we’ve considered in creating this list are features of cities like friendliness to foreigners, cost of living, availability of coworking spaces, access to culture and great food, annual weather and communities for digital nomads and remote workers.
All cities listed below have a plethora of cool coworking spaces, cafes where remote work is allowed and a local population that welcomes foreigners. Are you working in any of these cities this year, or do you plan to in the new year? Let us know!
It’s not what your parents would immediately think of when you say, “I’m moving to South America for a little bit to work remotely,” but in recent years, Medellin has become a hotspot and hub for digital nomads.
Among features of this city are its year-round warm weather (drier around February and rather wet between September and November, but with short daily showers), affordable cost of living (street food for under a US dollar - si, por favor!) and the very recent history of a city that transformed itself. We were lucky to have been introduced to Medellin by Remote Year, which has had operations for remote workers since around 2016.
Medellin for expats and travelers is known for being ‘a lot of fun,’ and that’s because the Poblado neighborhood has a variety of bars and clubs, parks, restaurants, cafes and pop-up markets. You can often find free WiFi throughout the city, and the metro system of Medellin makes for ways to get far, from neighborhood to neighborhood, in the vast valley of Medellin.
While petty crime exists (mostly pickpockets who want smartphones), safety is otherwise a high priority for Medellin, and there’s even a noise curfew in most apartment buildings. Cowork from Selina Cowork or Pergamino Cafe, among lots of other choices for coworking in Medellin.
Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City is a giant metropolis with an exceedingly affordable cost of living for a city that’s so cosmopolitan. Among the draws of Mexico City are its big parks, proximity to the rest of North America for those who are based there or return frequently for business and incredible food scene.
Mexico City’s high rating among nomads is due in part to great walkability, friendliness to expats and travelers, moderate weather during winter and growing cafe and cowork scene. Cafes in Mexico City that are ideal for getting some work done are Blend Station and Chiquitito Cafe. Coworking ranges from innovative workspaces like Centraal and the downtown Homework, to ImpactHub which calls its members Hubsters, and El 3er Espacio near the beautiful Parque Mexico.
Want to try co-living for a little while? Mexico City’s Selina has apartment-style living (private rooms like studio apartments, minus the kitchen, which is comunal and located downstairs) and a Cowork membership to their massive two-story coworking space within the hostel property.
Peru’s biggest city has more to offer than its cliffside coast, surfing and food scene (although these are all great) - it’s becoming a center for coworking. Choose from workspaces like Comunal, which has two locations in each of Barranco and Miraflores, and the trendy Liberal Coworking.
Don’t forget that Lima is an excellent jumping-off point for enjoying the rest of this magnificent country - flights from Lima to Cusco, Huaraz, Mancora and other points north and south can be as low as $60 one-way.
Chile’s capital city is known for outstanding walkability in its center, good air quality, safe streets and friendliness to foreigners. Among the variety in its places to work from are cafes like Tea Connection, coworking spaces like [STGO Maker Space], aimed more at the creator than the startup-er (it has workshop stations!) and Urban Station - The Golf, where you can work in open space, get a locker and enjoy the modern design.
Most would look past Quito, Ecuador, the capital city of one of South America’s less-famed countries on the Pacific coast. Why choose Quito? Located at a relatively high altitude of 2850 meters (9350 feet), you may get a little dizzy at first, but once you delve into Quito’s neighborhoods, you will stay for a while. Quito’s Old Town is a colorful area of hilly streets, shops and old cathedrals and squares, where you can get a view of the city and admire the hills.
In La Mariscal, you’ll find nightlife and travelers, and beyond here is La Floresta, the hipster vibes, food options and weekly markets, where you’ll never be bored. All this comes for an affordable price tag, at no more than $1400 per month, according to Nomad List. Bigger spaces like WorkingUp offer day passe starting at $15 per day, with an option for coming in for 40 hours during one month for only $60.
Torno Co Lab began as the idea of a group of young professionals, and now offers day passes for $10. Among offerings at this workspace are workshops and events for members.
Tenerife, Canary Islands (+Nine Coliving)
The Canary Islands are an archipelago of small islands located closer to Morocco than the rest of Europe, but for this reason, they are known as the warmest place to go ‘in the EU’ during winter months. European passport holders can easily arrive in the Canaries, as they’re part of Spain, and you’ll feel like you’ve arrived in a more tropical island version of the mainland Spain you’ve experienced before.
Tenerife, one of two main islands in Spain’s Canary Islands, may not be an obvious choice for your next digital nomad destination, but if you look past the beach resorts on the south side and the big cities of the north on this volcanic island, you’ll find options like Nine Coliving in a beautiful historic town of 40,000 called La Orotava. Our experience at Nine allowed us to explore this island! When you’re not working, you can hike Spain’s tallest point, El Teide, a volcano in a national park, and visit the other islands by plane or by boat.
Cafes for working are found in the larger cities on the island like La Laguna and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the biggest city. Coworking options range from Coworking in the Sun and the cute MyPlace Tenerife, where you can start with a free one-day trial and sign up for one month at a price of EUR 100.
Lisbon is a favorite of ours, but we’re not alone - this is Portugal’s capital city, full of life, culture, food, visual delights and excellent views. It seems that nearly every street in Lisbon is charming, and the landscape of hills is excellent for toning your legs.
Lisbon is a digital nomad favorite because of its relatively moderate cost of living, all things considered with Western Europe, and it’s rising as a center of design, startups, communities for young people and draw as a midpoint for accessing the rest of Portugal.
With new coworking spaces popping up all the time, there’s no shortage at all for where to work comfortably in Lisbon. Pick from spaces like Second Home, branded as both a workspace and place for well-being, Rockethub, a workspace for freelancers and startups and Cowork Central, regarded as “the hub for creative, independent minds situated in the heart of Lisbon.”
Would you believe that Madrid scores excellently all-around for digital nomad satisfaction? Coming in with average internet speeds of 20 mbps and lots of free WiFi throughout the city, Madrid tops out with high scores in walkability, traffic safety, general safety, quality of life, hospitals and air quality.
Although landlocked, Madrid is a great place from which to explore the rest of spain, with quick flights to Barcelona, Valencia and the Canary Islands (part of Spain!). If you like museums, parks, a vibrant bar scene, lots of events and good coffee, Madrid has got you covered.
Work from coworking spaces like The Shed Coworking, Impact Hub in five different locations and Colabora, which offers flexible plans such as 10 hours per week or 55 hours per week at a hot desk (“mesa colectiva”).
Tallinn is a fascinating place to be right now. Steeped in a long history of domination from the USSR and serving as a crossroads between the Baltic region and Scandinavia, Tallinn is an interesting mix of culture, language and tradition.
Tallinn’s Old Town looks like a fairytale, where you can climb steps that lead to old churches and medieval fortress walls, and the revitalized Kalamaja has a food market where you can get everything from trendy and foreign foods to fresh Estonian produce. What’s more, Tallinn is known as Eastern Europe’s startup capital!
Although Estonia’s capital city is small - smaller than most capital cities in Europe - it has loads of cafes to work in relative to its size, along with several coworking spaces such as LIFT99, Spring Hub and Regus. If you spend summer in Tallinn, you can enjoy 10:30pm sunsets, mild temperatures, festivals and a peaceful and respectful culture.
It goes without saying that Porto is absolutely beautiful. Often overlooked by visitors to Portugal who head straight southward from Lisbon or visit Lisbon alone, Porto is - could you guess? - the home of port wine and is home to an overwhelming number of wineries that are great to visit when it’s cold or rainy. When it’s beautiful outside, catch a sunset on the bridges across the river and hang out at parks in Gaia for views of Porto itself.
Why do nomads love Porto? The city is very walkable and its center is compact, females feel safe here, there are lots of places to work from and the air is clean and fresh. Work from cafes like Combi Coffee, where they really know coffee, and where you can stay a while and it’s OK! Work from the leading coworking spaces, Porto.io, the motto of which is ‘cowork/community/coffee,’ and OPO Lab, where a day pass will run you EUR 10.
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is a favorite in Central Europe, known of course for beer and sausage, but did you know its hip neighborhood Vinohrady is pastel-colored? Hit up Prague during summer time for late sunsets, tons of daylight, cafes with outdoor seating and gardens and sunsets on the Charles River.
Explore Prague’s neighborhoods through its cafes, and some are great to work at, like La Boheme. Nomad reviews of Prague list super-fast internet (29 mbps), amazing nightlife, great walkability, friendliness to females and foreigners and general peacefulness and safety.
Cowork from top-rated spaces like [K10 Coworking], housed in an old mansion next to a beautiful park, and Locus Workspace, where prices start at CZK 400 ($17.80).
Valencia has risen to popularity for nomads because of its safety, low crime rate, friendliness to foreigners and variety of choices for coworking. Only four hours from Barcelona by train, Valencia has a lot to offer on its own, including culture, a location on the coast of the Balearic Sea and proximity to other destinations in Spain.
When you’re not in the office, enjoy beautiful architecture, moderate weather and a great number of parks in which to chill out. Check out Wayco, A2 Coworking Valencia, Botanicoand Vortex Coworking - day rate of EUR 15! - before you make a choice on which one to call your office for the week or month.
Tel Aviv (and Jerusalem), Israel
Tel Aviv is a metropolitan city that blends Europe with the Middle East and various other influences. It’s a melting pot and a crossroads, and with the Mediterranean Sea at your fingertips, along with temperate weather all year, Tel Aviv is the best city in the Middle East for remote work and networking in the Israeli startup scene.
Add in Jerusalem as a viable option (that now has a brand new WeWork) within a 45-minute drive or a ride on the brand new high-speed train that opened in mid-2018, and you can begin your remote work stint in Israel.
We spent a month in Hanoi, Vietnam, and there’s a reason why people come here and stay here! First off, the cost of living can’t be beat - with banh mi sandwiches for 25K VND (around 1 USD) and smoothies and noodles everywhere, you can eat til your heart’s content and not break the bank…ever.
We also found excellent WiFi at several cafes that we came to love, namely Tranquil Coffee & Books, Blackbird Coffee & Joma Bakery, all near the popular Old Quarter. There are more, too, so check out our guide to Hanoi, Vietnam.
Taipei, as well as the rest of Taiwan, present the traveler and digital nomad with lots of opportunity and benefits. Among incredible safety, walkability in cities, friendliness to foreigners and peaceful locals, you can find free WiFi through many Taiwanese cities and enjoyable weather as well!
Taipei tends to be a digital nomad favorite because there aren’t too many things to complain about. Do you want a cute cafe to work in? There are many. Looking for a coworking space in Taipei? Choose from lots of locations, all over the city.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
If you’ve been to Vietnam, you know that this is where you can get a bang for your buck. Ho Chi Minh City (also known as Saigon, to some) is a big metropolis in the country’s south, and it’s popular with travelers and nomads alike. Its biggest draws are its low cost of living, excellent local food and markets, walkability and choices of places to work from.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Why should you pick Kuala Lumpur as your next stop on your digital nomad journey? It’s full of culture, surprisingly affordable and it’s a crossroads for Southeast Asia. Lots of available accommodation, peaceful locals and cafes popping up that function as coworking spaces.
Nomads like Kuala Lumpur for its free WiFi throughout the city, lively nightlife and growing number of startups like Happy Bunch, Hermo and Bookish Bundle.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai is not as big a name as Bangkok in terms of Thai cities, but if you visit, you may fall in love. Chiang Mai is Bangkok’s northern capital of culture, and among the temples, giant food and crafts market and nice neighborhoods, you’ll find 3000 digital nomads calling this city home.
There are now six coworking spaces scattered through Chiang Mai, such as Punspace Nimman and Punspace Tha Pae Gate, and a big availability of housing.
Why is Bali a favorite among digital nomads for so many years in a row? Places like Ubud have become home to nomads because of so many cafes and now coworking spaces that make it still ideal for nomads.
At a very affordable price per month for living expenses, Bali is safe, peaceful, friendly to women, open to foreigners and has some exotic landscapes to see.
Bangkok is the center of Southeast Asian backpacker culture, but it is an okay place to work remotely from? The answer is yes, and if you go to Bangkok nowadays, you’ll find a huge amount of coworking spaces occupied by digital nomads from all over the world.
Thailand is very open to foreigners who come through its doors, and for this reason, expats and remote workers enjoy friendliness to LGBT communities, lots of cultural activities, tons of ways to get around the rest of the country from trains to buses and bustling nightlife.
Seoul, South Korea
Seoul has a nice reputation as a digital nomad city due to its large range of places to work from, safety for women, high-quality hospitals and free WiFi throughout the city.
Seoul has recently opened a fair share of coworking spaces, from WeWork to Fab Lab, Garage, Fast Five and Cow & Dog.
While the cost of living is on the higher end, if you can afford to live in Tokyo, you will enjoy exceptional safety, food, nightlife and internet speeds of 21 mbps. Tokyo is a city with fantastic public transportation and a metro system so large that it’s overwhelming.
Consider Tokyo your doorway into the rest of Japan, which is full of outstanding scenery, some of the kindest people on earth and awesome culture. Tokyo also has its share of coworking spaces - for example, Creative Lounge has both day passes and longer memberships such as a monthly membership at 23,000 Yen (208 USD).
We hope this list helped you figure out your next move for some of the best cities worldwide for digital nomads. The digital nomad scene is changing rapidly, with more nomad-friendly cities hitting the tops of the lists all the time.
Looking for more resources? We recommend the following for helping you with stats, information and FAQ along your digital nomad journey:
Apps to help you work remotely
Check out Becca’s favorite apps for working remotely and traveling!
Foursquare helps us check reviews of cafes and coworking spaces before going! It pays to do your research, to determine if WiFi is available in cafes and if others have had successful experiences in coworking spaces around the world.
Workfrom is a remote worker community that allows you to discover great spaces to get work done and also provides recommendations of work-friendly cities. Membership is free.
Coworker helps find coworking spaces all over the world and provides reviews as well. You can find desks, offices & meeting rooms in 9000+ coworking spaces with friendly communities in 158 countries.
Nomad List provides digital nomad experience reviews about various cities worldwide based on data provided by real digital nomads. Each city gets a rating based on a list of factors, and you can surf city by city to determine what’s right for you and what to expect in finding the best place to live and work remotely.
Teleport can help you figure out where to live. With 266 cities listed, Teleport helps you compare stats and figure out, based on data, where’s right for you to live and work remotely.