It’s no surprise that the world of remote workers and digital nomads is growing at a rapid rate. With more and more yearning for an independent work environment coupled with the freedom to travel, remote working is on its way to the mainstream field. Not to mention, the ongoing pandemic has especially forced many to reconsider where they are basing themselves. Simply put, remote working is the future, and it’s on its way fast. That’s why we put together a list of the best cities to work from remotely in 2021.
Our core data of affordability and internet access has been gathered from the folks over at Nomad List with many other variables taken into account, including countries that offer specific Digital Nomad visas, and where to find the coolest co-working spaces and expat-friendly communities. Whether you are already living a digital nomad lifestyle, or are aiming for one, this list has you covered.
Lets get right into it with:
10. Prague, Czech Republic
In recent years the Czech Republic has gained a reputation for its lenient “Zivno” visa that caters to freelance/self-employed people outside the EU. Depending on your occupation and funds as a DN, the Czech Republic might be a good fit. After all, who doesn’t want to live in the cobblestoned dream that is Prague’s old town? In addition to being rich in charm and history; the capital is a practical option for expats as it is affordable, well connected and hosts a variety of other expats to connect with.
9. Zurich, Switzerland
Looking for a place to settle down as a remote worker? Zurich may fit the bill. Switzerland is another nation that is consistently ranking high on the list of great places for expats and digital nomads. The alpine nation is famous not just for its chocolate, cheese, and idyllic mountain villages, but also its thriving economy and extremely high quality of life. The fashionable city of Zurich is known for its stellar transportation, ease of access to the outdoors, and comfortability for digital nomads. You can expect consistent, reliable internet of around 28 Mbps, some of the best air quality in Europe, incredible healthcare, social systems, and many other perks.
8. Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town sometimes gets a bad rap for its droughts, iffy wifi, and occasional safety concerns. However, it still manages to reel in digital nomads by the thousands. Despite having a few drawbacks, Cape Town boasts an incredibly connected expat and digital nomad scene from all corners of the globe. The scenery doesn’t hurt, either. Situated right on the water, surrounded by mountains and chockfull of colorful markets and quirky neighborhoods, Cape Town is all about the atmosphere.
7. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest; you vibrant, quirky, historically rich melting pot of capital, you. When it comes to thriving cities for remote workers in central Europe, Budapest is a cut above the rest. The internet zooms at 34 MBPS, coworking spaces abound, and the overall cost of living shouldn’t set up back more than $2,000/month. Often referred to as the “Paris of the East” it’s no wonder that Budapest is also a cultural hub just dying to be explored.
6. Santiago, Chile
Speaking of Chile, the Chilean capital of Santiago has become quite a hotspot for digital nomads. Not only are its central location and affordability big draws for people looking to work abroad and travel at the same time, but it’s also home to one of the best standards of living on the continent and is considered to be South America’s happiest country. When it comes to getting around, Santiago is extremely walkable and well connected via public transport. There are also a huge variety of insta-worthy cafes throughout the arts district perfect for sipping some brews while working. You will need a bit of Spanish to get by, but the low rent, ease of visa, and networking opportunities way make up for it.
5. Quito, Ecuador
While not nearly as well known as other South American hubs like Peru, Medellin, Santiago and Buenos Aires, Quito is just as good an option for remote workers. Home to colourful Ecuadorian streets, vibrant markets and a super charming old town, you’ll never get bored. The Ecuadorian capital is also home to several coworking spaces and a very connected expat group to get you settled right in. Fun fact; Quito is the second-highest capital in the world soaring at 9,350 feet. Don’t worry though, the hardly $1,400/month cost of living far outweighs any initial dizziness.
4. Madrid, Spain
Spain’s capital may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of ideal spots around the globe to work remotely but hear us out. Madrid has incredible walkability, general safety, good air quality, and tons of well-known coworking spaces like Impact Hub, The Shed, and Colabora. In addition to an average internet speed of 20 Mbps, the city is chockfull of free-wifi spaces and charming cafes perfect for “long days at the office.” Additionally, it’s a great base for exploring the rest of Spain. After all, you can reach Barcelona, Valencia, and the Canary Islands without really lifting a finger.
3. Antigua and Barbuda
Last fall, the dual-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda announced that they are now welcoming remote workers under their brand new Nomad Digital Residence Program which is just a fancy way of saying ‘digital nomad visa.’ Thanks to this, as long as you can meet their income requirements and prove that you are self-employed, you can live it up in the Caribbean for two years. Spend your days working from white sand beaches and spend your evenings sampling the local rum varieties; then, on the weekends hit up a hiking trail or a cooking class. The world, or, two islands at least, are yours. Curious about how the digital nomad visa works? Read more here.
2. Ljubljana, Slovenia
Despite its tongue twister of a name, Ljubljana is extremely convenient and practical for foreign remote workers. Located just a few hours from some of Croatia’s most stunning beaches; vibrant Italian cities and Slovenia’s majestic countryside; it’s a prime location for a home base in Europe. In the capital city, you’ll find loads of affordable accommodation that shouldn’t make you cough up more than $500 bucks per month. Best perk for remote workers? According to Nomad List, the average speed in Ljubljana is 50 Mbps.
1. Berlin, Germany
Famous for its gorgeous Bavaria region down south, the vibrant beer scene, and bustling art mecca – aka Berlin; it’s no wonder Germany is a massive pull for tourists and expats alike. Thanks to Germany’s comparably lenient freelancer visa, it’s a great option for those digital nomads to relocate long-term. Moreover, Germany’s standard of living, economic security, and quality of life is one of the best Europe has to offer. Learn more about the freelance visa, or “Frierberufler” here