If you had no obligations in life and nothing tying you down to one spot, why wouldn’t you circle the globe? As a digital nomad, you find a tribe that makes more sense than the 9-5 crew you left behind. They may come and go, but the cool part is you usually see them again in other destinations at random times. Having the ability to live in exotic and interesting locations means that when you’re not working, you’re exploring a culture that isn’t your own.
Some cities make it really easy to work as a digital nomad. They have co-working spaces, western style accommodation, good food, and reasonable prices. There are great meet up groups too, because many expats come to the top seven cities. Not only do you experience the culture of the country you’re residing in, but you also get to meet people from all over the world. They are doing what you’re doing. Your kindred spirit speaking another language. Here are the top seven places to work as a digital nomad based on how easy, cheap, and exciting it is to live there.
1. Phuket, Thailand
Phuket is the largest city down in the South of Thailand. It has easy access to some of the most stunning beaches in the world. The movie, “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio was filmed in this region. To live here is like a dream come true, and many flock to this area for water sports fun, beach time, and great food in the interior part of the city.
For the digital nomad, you can stay fit with western style gyms, sea kayaking, paddle boarding, and more. There are plenty of Buddhist temples to walk to if you’re taking a break, and you don’t have to go very far to find a fresh food market. You can make your own food at home or hit up a market and pay $2-$4 for a meal.
Phuket has a variety of co-working spaces that look brand new. They even have a co-boarding space, which is where you go aboard a yacht and work on it. There are also a lot of great cafes for working in.
Cost-about $1,200 U.S. per month. Maybe a little less if you opt to live Thai style instead of staying at a hotel.
2. Bali, Indonesia
If you’ve looked on Instagram, you’ve probably seen a lot of shots of Ubud with the yoga crowd. It’s a stunning backdrop actually. Westerners felt the good vibes in bustling Ubud, and with so many social functions to keep you busy, it’s a very fulfilling experiencing to spend some time here. It may even inspire your work. The Internet can be touch-and-go sometimes, so you’d have to learn to be more flexible. There are co-working spaces in Ubud, and the price of living is pretty reasonable. For about $1,000, you should be able to live a good life of chilling and working.
3. Berlin, Germany
Berlin is one of the best digital nomad spots in all of Europe. It’s a cheap city for food and accommodation. It’s a melting pot for people from around the world, so you’ll constantly be learning about new cultures. There are a lot of students, artists, and entrepreneurs doing all sorts of things here, making it a great place to collaborate. It will cost about $2,000 U.S. per month to live and work here. The Internet is lightning fast and reliable.
4. Chiang Mai, Thailand
Thailand gets two mentions in this list because I am living here right now and because it’s just about the cheapest place on earth. That doesn’t mean you’re living in squalid conditions either. I am here in Chiang Mai, and it is a digital nomad’s dream come true. There are brand new condos popping up all the time, and you can pay a lot to be in the middle of the action or pay a little for an identical condo outside a little bit.
There are a variety of co-working spaces in a bunch of different areas. They are bustling with other entrepreneurs, so it’s easy to connect with likeminded people. I recommend making friends with locals too, because they’re also great people. It’s safe, and the city still has remnants of its 700 year old history. The nightlife is great, the food is wonderful, and people are really living here like locals.
On average, it will cost about $1,000 per month to live here, but you really could do it for $500 if necessary.
5. Ho-Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City is a thriving metropolis, so there is plenty to offer the digital nomad. It’s really cheap to live here, and the Internet is reliable. The street food is cheap and really tasty. The nightlife is busy, so if you like to let your hair down after work, this city gives you that. In Vietnam, the population is young and focused on the future, no longer wanting to think of the war.
This has created a digital movement, so there are a lot of co-working spaces where a digital nomad and Vietnamese entrepreneurs can work on their start-up. One of the examples of this is WORK Saigon. The nice thing about Ho-Chi Minh City is there are some beach towns just a few hours away for when you need a breather.
You can live quite comfortably in Ho-Chi Minh City for about $750 U.S. per month.
6. Medellin, Columbia
Medellin is the top place to be as a digital nomad in South America. It’s similar to Chiang Mai in many ways. Beautiful views of mountains, nice locals, and good weather. It’s a city of innovation which can be seen in their transportation options. There are metro cable cars that bring people to and from surrounding hills into the city for work.
Medellin is a cheap place to live, and you’ll be in good company because there are a lot digital nomads there. It’s warm all the time without being too intensely hot. There are co-working spaces, and the time zone is conducive to your North American clients.
For a good standard of living, you can expect to pay about $1,000 per month U.S.
7. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague in the Czech Republic is said to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world due to the Gothic architecture. There are plenty of cafes and small local bars, so you always have an option to just walk around on the cobblestone lanes and find a spot that’s calling your name. In May, there is a beer festival that lasts for 17 days and features over 120 different beers. If you happen to enjoy alcohol and meeting new people, this city is your city.
The digital nomads that come here are interested in history, old world Eastern Europe charm, and drinking. As so many digital nomads are coming to Prague now, there are a lot of co-working spaces to choose from. It costs about $1,700 per month U.S. to live in Prague.