Discover the 10 best places for digital nomads to live in 2023, As the trend of remote work continues to grow, digital nomads and expats are on the hunt for the best cities to call home. With so many options available, making the right choice can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the top 10 cities for digital nomads, hand-picked by the digital nomads’ community worldwide.
Our guide takes you on a journey through the world of digital nomads and expats, showcasing the top 10 cities for remote work as chosen by the digital nomads’ community. From outlining the key benefits of working remotely to addressing the visa requirements, we’ve got everything you need to make an informed decision.
So, join us as we explore the 10 best cities for digital nomads and expats to live and work in, as selected by the digital nomads’ community!
And don’t forget to check out our article about Digital Nomad Packing List: Essential items to pack in 2023 that will help you get ready. Before you go, review our final checklist to ensure you have everything you need for your nomadic journey.
Discover the Exciting World of Digital Nomads & Expats:
A Guide to the Best Cities for Remote Work
COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way we work, and the rise of digital nomads is proof. These individuals have embraced the flexibility of remote work and combined it with their love for travel, moving from city to city while maintaining their careers.
Whether you’re looking for a change of scenery or seeking a permanent lifestyle shift, our expertly curated list of the top 10 cities for digital nomads will guide you on your journey. These destinations offer the perfect balance of work and play, allowing you to experience new cultures, meet like-minded individuals, and achieve your ideal work-life balance. So get ready to embark on your digital nomad adventure and explore the world like never before.
5 Key Benefits of Working Remotely as a Digital Nomad and Expat
- Flexibility and work-life balance: One of the biggest benefits of working remotely as a digital nomad or expat is the flexibility to work from anywhere at any time. This allows for a better work-life balance, reducing the stress of commuting and long hours.
- Increased autonomy and self-discipline: When working remotely, you have to be self-motivated, organized and disciplined, which can help you become a more productive and confident individual.
- Reduced costs: Without the need to commute or work in an office, you can save money on transportation, meals, and other work-related expenses.
- Exposure to different cultures: As a digital nomad or expat, you have the opportunity to live and work in different countries, exposing you to different cultures and experiences.
- Better focus and fewer distractions: Without the typical office distractions like noise, interruptions, and meetings, you can focus better on your work and get more done in less time.
Embrace the Freedom of Remote Work: Explore the Top 10 Cities for Digital Nomads
How to choose the best city to work remotely as a digital nomad?
Relative cost of living:
The cost of living can vary greatly between cities, so it is important to consider this factor when picking a location. You should factor in the cost of accommodation, food, transportation, and other essentials when comparing cities.
Safety should always be a top priority when deciding to a city, especially for solo travelers. Consider the crime rate, and whether the city is known for being safe for solo travelers and expats.
A city with good infrastructure and well-connected transportation options is essential for digital nomads, as they may need to move around the city often. Additionally, a city with efficient healthcare facilities and ample work and leisure opportunities will ensure a high standard of living for remote workers.
A fast and reliable internet connection is key for digital nomads who work online. Make sure to research the internet connectivity in your prospective city and the availability of Wi-Fi hotspots before you move there.
Availability of coworking spaces or laptop-friendly coffee shops:
Coworking spaces and laptop-friendly cafés are crucial for digital nomads who work remotely. These spaces not only provide a place to work, but also help to create a sense of community and provide opportunities for collaboration.
A thriving community of like-minded people will provide support and inspiration for digital nomads. Look for cities that have numerous expats and digital nomads, and where there are plenty of opportunities for networking and socializing.
Other factors to consider:
Time zones, friendly locals, nightlife, language, weather, healthcare, food, and local culture are all factors that can have a big impact on your overall experience as a digital nomad. Take the time to research these factors and think about what is influential to you when making your choice.
Read more about The Essentials of Digital Nomad Life, What to pack, how to find accommodation, how to manage your money and other essential things that you should consider before making any moves.
Picking the right city to work remotely as a digital nomad can be a challenge, but with the right information and a clear understanding of your priorities, you can find the perfect destination for you.
10 Best Cities For Digital Nomads & Expat To Explore
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city that appeals to both tourists and expatriates alike. Known for its stunning French architecture, bustling streets, friendly locals, world-renowned nightlife, and delicious steak, this city truly never sleeps. With a rich history as a former hub for immigrants in the early 20th century, Buenos Aires offers a unique mix of both luxury and humility. From upscale neighborhoods like Palermo and Puerto Madero to more modest areas like La Boca, the city exudes a charm that makes visitors feel right at home.
However, it’s not just the art, gastronomy, and architecture that make Buenos Aires such a desirable destination. Its people are truly what sets it apart. Whether you’re exploring the city’s vibrant nightlife, strolling through its stunning parks, or simply sitting at a café, you’ll be charmed by the warmth and hospitality of the Buenos Aires locals.
So, if you’re looking for a city that truly embodies the essence of art, culture, and history, Buenos Aires is the place for you. This city is a must-visit destination that will leave you feeling both fulfilled and enchanted.
Average Cost of Living: Affordable: $1,861 / mo
Safety Score: Good – 4.15/5 (Rank #1)
Great Deal: Cultural hub, co-working spaces, affordable
- Mobile: 27.21Mbps
- Fixed Broadband: 99.48Mbps
Thailand, known as the Land of Smiles, offers a warm and hospitable culture for digital nomads seeking a perfect work-life balance. With its tropical weather, diverse landscapes, and bustling metropolis of Bangkok, the country attracts many people who want to live and work from anywhere in the world.
Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is a dynamic city that draws visitors with its street food, culture, and nightlife. As the digital nomad lifestyle has grown in popularity, the demand for co-working spaces and café culture has increased. To meet this demand, Thailand has seen a rise in the number of coworking spaces, cafes and restaurants that cater to digital nomads. This has made it an ideal destination for those who want to escape the fast pace of Western life and find a peaceful environment that offers a perfect balance of city and tropical living.
Average Cost of Living: Affordable: $2,174 / mo
Safety Score: Good – 4.13/5 (Rank #2)
Great Deal: Street food, affordable, digital nomad hub
- Mobile: 40.57Mbps
- Fixed Broadband: 225.41Mbps
Discover the vibrant city of Lisbon, the stunning capital of western Portugal, and why it’s becoming a top destination for digital nomads. With its sunny weather, rich culture, and affordable cost of living, Lisbon offers a perfect balance of work and play. This city of 500,000 is attracting digital nomads from around the globe with its thriving community and a bustling co-working scene.
As a digital nomad in Lisbon, you’ll have access to countless opportunities to network, learn and grow as a professional. The city offers a vibrant arts and culture scene, friendly locals, and a wide range of bars, restaurants, and breathtaking viewpoints, all within walking distance of most neighborhoods. Lisbon already has a huge digital nomad community with regular workshops, skill-sharing events, and social gatherings, it’s easy to integrate into city life and feel right at home.
With 300 days of sunshine each year, Lisbon provides the perfect balance of work and play for digital nomads. Join the bustling community and experience why this city is quickly becoming a favorite among digital nomads everywhere.
Average Cost of Living: Pricey: $3,454 / mo
Safety Score: Good – 4.08/5 (Rank #3)
Great Deal: Mild weather, architecture, vibrant nightlife
- Mobile: 93.38Mbps
- Fixed Broadband: 98.91Mbps
Discover why Bali, the Island of the Gods, is becoming a top destination for digital nomads. With its unique culture, stunning beaches, and ideal climate, this Indonesian island is a haven for work and play.
Bali boasts a wide range of attractions, from scenic rice terraces to world-class surf spots, and ancient temples to bustling nightclubs. Its reputation for yoga and meditation, combined with its lively nightlife scene, make it a dynamic destination. Luxury resorts and upscale restaurants coexist with relaxed surf spots and backpacker hubs, making it a perfect place to find a balance of work and play.
Although the tourists and nomads can be a bit “too much” in some spots (I’m looking at you, Changgu!) and not only locals fear the over-impact, there is a reason why this is happening: Bali is just stunningly beautiful an affordable.
Embrace the magic of Bali and make it your permanent home. With its beautiful landscapes, favorable climate, and vibrant culture, it’s easy to see why this island is a favorite among digital nomads everywhere.
Average Cost of Living: Affordable: $1,962 / mo
Safety Score: Good – 4.03/5 (Rank #4)
Great Deal: nature, affordable, relaxed lifestyle
- Mobile: 25.34Mbps
- Fixed Broadband: 30.06Mbps
Gran Canaria, Spain
Gran Canaria offers a perfect blend of work and play, making it a top destination for digital nomads and remote workers. With its subtropical climate, relaxed lifestyle, friendly locals, and growing coworking spaces, it’s an ideal location for those looking for a change of pace. The island’s capital, Las Palmas, is easily accessible and has everything you need to work and live comfortably.
In addition to its modern amenities, Gran Canaria also offers a wealth of outdoor adventures, from exploring stunning beaches to hiking in the mountains. With its rich Spanish culture and warm weather, it’s a true paradise for those seeking a change of scenery. Whether you’re a seasoned remote worker or just starting out, Gran Canaria is a great option for those seeking a balance between work and leisure.
Average Cost of Living: Affordable: $1,923 / mo
Safety Score: Good – 3.81/5 (Rank #5)
Great Deal: Surfing, nature, relaxed lifestyle
- Mobile: 31.04Mbps
- Fixed Broadband: 82.62Mbps
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai is what you could call “the mother of all digital nomad destinations” – a unique and attractive city for digital nomads and remote workers. This vibrant city boasts a rich cultural heritage, a thriving nightlife, some of the best food in the world, stunning natural scenery, and a warm, welcoming community. With its low cost of living, high-speed Wi-Fi, and huge number of coworking spaces, Chiang Mai offers everything needed for digital nomads to work and live comfortably. So many people started their nomad life here. Also it’s very easy to find furnished apartments on monthly basis. Whether you are seeking adventure, spirituality, or just a change of pace, Chiang Mai has something to offer, making it an unforgettable experience for anyone who visits.
Average Cost of Living: Affordable: $1,352 / mo
Safety Score: Okay – 3.8/5 (Rank #6)
Great Deal: Affordable, digital nomad hub, relaxed lifestyle
- Mobile: 35.94Mbps
- Fixed Broadband: 188.00Mbps
Discover why Madeira, the stunning Portuguese island, is fast becoming a top destination for digital nomads and remote workers. With its sunny weather, breathtaking landscapes, and relaxed lifestyle, it’s easy to see why this island is on the rise. Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, Madeira offers a perfect balance of work and play.
Take advantage of its modern amenities, including a variety of co-working spaces and cafes with high-speed internet. Stay productive while immersing yourself in the island’s stunning natural beauty, from its breathtaking landscapes to its vibrant cultural scene. And with a low cost of living compared to other European destinations, Madeira is an affordable option for those looking to work remotely.
So why not join the growing number of digital nomads and remote workers choosing Madeira as their home? Embrace its magic and experience the perfect balance of work and play in this stunning island paradise.
Average Cost of Living: Affordable: $2,201 / mo
Safety Score: Good – 3.79/5 (Rank #7)
Great Deal: Nature, mild weather, relaxed lifestyle
- Mobile: 93.38Mbps
- Fixed Broadband: 103.26Mbps
Timișoara is a thriving city located in western Romania, considered the “Little Vienna” of the country. It boasts a rich history, elegant architecture, and a progressive atmosphere, making it the perfect destination for digital nomads seeking a balance of peace and excitement. The city was even the first in Europe to have electrical street lighting in the late 1800s.
With its bustling music and theater scene, Timişoara offers a cosmopolitan atmosphere that is perfect for those who want to embrace the energy of a large city. Its low cost of living and progressive mindset make it an attractive destination for digital nomads looking for an affordable and forward-thinking environment. Embrace the spirit of Timişoara and make it your next destination.
Average Cost of Living: Affordable: $1,616 / mo
Safety Score: Okay – 3.63/5 (Rank #8)
Great Deal: Affordable, up-and-coming digital nomad destination
- Mobile: 60.87Mbps
- Fixed Broadband: 200.59Mbps
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
With its mix of urban life and natural beauty, Kuala Lumpur additionally is also a city of diversity and contrast, blending modern skyscrapers with ancient temples, and lush rainforests with bustling city life. Its rich heritage is reflected in the architecture, culture, and cuisine, making it a truly unique destination, but you’ll be surprised how modern the city is on the other end. With its ample opportunities for outdoor activities, like trekking in the jungle, exploring temples, and visiting cultural landmarks, there’s never a dull moment in KL. Moreover, the city offers a safe and welcoming environment for everyone, making it an attractive destination for solo travelers, families, and couples alike. So, come and experience the vibrant city of Kuala Lumpur and its fascinating mix of cultures and traditions.
Average Cost of Living: Affordable: $1,822 / mo
Safety Score: Okay – 3.57/5 (Rank #9)
Great Deal: Affordable, foodie destination, digital nomad hub
- Mobile: 44.92Mbps
- Fixed Broadband: 91.38Mbps
With its blend of urban energy and natural beauty, Belgrade is a great destination for digital nomads who want the best of both worlds. With fast Wi-Fi, an affordable cost of living, and a growing number of coworking spaces, Belgrade provides the perfect work environment for remote workers. From its bustling nightlife, rich cultural heritage, and outdoor adventures, to its welcoming community of expats, Belgrade has something for everyone. Whether you’re a foodie, adventurer, or just seeking a change of pace, this dynamic city is sure to captivate you. So come and explore all that Belgrade has to offer and discover why it’s a must-visit destination for digital nomads.
Average Cost of Living: Affordable: $2,220 / mo
Safety Score: Okay – 3.44/5 (Rank #10)
Great Deal: Affordable, up-and-coming digital nomad destination, vibrant nightlife.
- Mobile: 49.91Mbps
- Fixed Broadband: 85.32Mbps
Read more about the issues you might face as a Digital Nomad In this article.
Do digital nomads require work visas in these countries?
Buenos Aires‘s Efforts to Offer Digital Nomad Visas
The Argentine government is in the process of creating a visa category for digital nomads, but it is not yet available. To obtain the Argentina Digital Nomad Visa, a valid passport, proof of digital nomad income, rental agreement, background check, and health certificate are required. This visa is only open to digital nomads who reside in countries that already offer tourist visas upon arrival to Argentina. The exact list of documents required for the visa application is yet to be confirmed. Argentina has recently joined other countries in offering digital nomad visas as a means of promoting economic growth post-COVID.
Chiang Mai & Bangkok: The Lands of Endless Opportunities for Digital Nomads
Thailand welcomes digital nomads who can enter the country with a tourist visa or long stay visa, without the need for a work visa. However, those looking for work opportunities in specific sectors can apply for the SMART-Visa, which comes with a Digital Work Permit. To be eligible for the SMART-Visa, digital nomads must have a valid passport, earn $80,000/year or more, and their company must either be listed on the Public Stock Exchange or have generated 150 million baht in revenue. The visa application process has four steps. An alternative option is to use the 60-day tourist visa and extend it for an additional 30 days to spend up to 90 days in Thailand without a work permit, as long as they are conducting business activities.
Lisbon‘s Pathway for Digital Nomads
A work visa is required for digital nomads to live and work in Lisbon, Portugal. The Portugal Digital Nomad Visa is designed specifically for remote workers and mandates proof of a remote job and income of at least four times the minimum wage, which is €2,800. Since the program’s launch in October 2022, Portugal has approved 200 digital nomad visas.
The required documents for the visa application include: a valid passport, two recent passport photos, proof of accommodation and reservations, three months of bank statements for income proof, tax residency documents, and either an employment contract or proof of passive income. Note that applicants must be from outside the EU and EEA.
Bali Welcomes Digital Nomads
Currently, digital nomads in Bali, Indonesia, can apply for a temporary visa such as the Visa on Arrival. The Digital Nomad Visa, which will be known as the Second Home Visa, is expected to become available at the end of 2022 and will require proof of funds and other documents. The requirements for the Indonesia Digital Nomad Visa include a passport valid for at least six months, proof of funds, and a remote job based outside of Indonesia. The Second Home Visa will allow digital nomads to stay in Bali for up to five years, and a single-entry visitor visa application requires a passport valid for at least 12 months.
Gran Canaria Opens Doors for Digital Nomads
Also Spain is introducing a new visa for digital nomads, which allows non-EU citizens to reside and work remotely in the country. The visa will simplify the process of obtaining a visa and residence permit for those who want to work from Gran Canaria. Which is one of the popular locations in Spain for digital nomads along with Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Malaga, and Gran Canaria. To be eligible for the Gran Canaria digital nomad visa, applicants must either be employed by a company outside of Spain or, if self-employed, have no more than 20% of their income from Spanish clients. The visa requirements for EU citizens are different, and they can live and work in Gran Canaria without a visa. Non-EU and non-EEA citizens will be able to apply for the Digital Nomad Visa once it becomes available in 2023.
Get Your Digital Nomad Visa for Timişoara Adventure!
Romania offers a digital nomad visa for remote workers looking to stay in the country for up to 12 months. Popular cities among digital nomads in Romania include Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca.
To be eligible for the Timişoara digital nomad visa: applicants must earn an average income of 3x the gross monthly average salary in Romania and provide a residence permit application form, original passport, photocopy of the passport, and proof of health insurance. The visa can be applied for at a local Romanian embassy or through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
Kuala Lumpur‘s Open Door for Digital Nomads: Get Your Work Visa Now!
Digital nomads are required to obtain a work visa in order to reside in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for an extended period of time. The country has introduced the Digital Nomad Visa, which enables remote workers to stay for up to 12 months with a minimum annual income of $24,000. Another option for digital nomads is to work on a Malaysia tourist visa. It permits stays of 30–90 days, depending on the applicant’s nationality. Additionally, digital nomads whose jobs allow them to work remotely using digital means may apply for the DE Rantau pass.
In order to apply for the Malaysia Digital Nomad Visa: applicants must have a valid passport with at least 14 months of validity. Proof of employment in the digital sector with an annual income of $24,000 or more, and other required documents such as a copy of their passport and proof of health insurance. Furthermore, applicants must be at least 18 years old and employed by a digital company. The DE Rantau pass is also an option for digital nomads who meet the criteria for remote work.
Belgrade‘s Future for Digital Nomads: Opportunities and Requirements
Serbian government is still considering introducing a Digital Nomad Visa for remote workers, with the minimum monthly income requirement estimated to be around $3,500. As of now, digital nomads don’t need a work visa in Belgrade, Serbia. However, they can register as a ‘preduzetnik’ with the tax authorities within 15 days of arrival in Serbia. For those who plan to stay in Serbia for a longer period, a Temporary Residence Visa is available, which allows for stays of more than 3 months.
Additionally, a Long-Term Visa (Visa D) that enables stays up to 180 days is also available. The Digital Nomad Visa application process should be started three months prior to the planned travel. The passport/travel document must be valid for 90 days at the time of departure. The visa processing time takes at least 30 days and applicants must provide an official form, passport/travel document valid for 3 months after the intended departure date, and other necessary documents as required by the Embassy of Portugal in Serbia.