A laptop and an internet connection are all that’s required for some work these days. But as digital nomads, we often stay in one place for a few weeks or months at a time, plus we have unique needs when seeking out a place to call home – reliable wifi, low cost of living, flexible visas and good places to work out from.
Not sure where to head to next? Here are the top city in each continent, except Antarctica, that fulfills all of our digital nomad needs.
Low cost of living, culture and lots of cafes/coworking spaces make Chiang Mai the top digital nomad hub in Asia.
Digital nomads love the relaxed lifestyle that the city offers, the friendly locals, as well as a good infrastructure for digital nomads. There is a huge community of digital nomads living in Chiang Mai, many who have been living in the city for years. The city is also very safe for women digital nomads, and you are unlikely to encounter harassment from local men.
The city is small enough to get around easily, and local transportation starts from 20 baht/USD0.50. If you want to get out of town and explore the nearby mountains and other towns, you can easily rent a motorbike, or buy a cheap bus ticket from the Arcade Bus Station.
While the city has seen an increase in construction and modern malls in recent years, you can still experience the traditional Thai way of life.
Short term apartment rentals are easy to come by and inexpensive. Many digital nomads either reside within the Old Town, or along the hip Nimmanhemin Road where many cafes and coworking spaces are located along the stretch.
Hemmed in by the harbour and the curve of Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and Signal Hill, Cape Town is a city that’s buzzing with colour, creativity, culture and music.
The infrastructure is amongst the best in Africa, and there are many networking opportunities for digital nomads and entrepreneurs, especially for tech startups. It is also on the same timezone as Europe, which makes it easier if you are working with European companies.
During your free time, explore the beautiful coastline and the numerous activities you can do within an hour drive from the city. Hiking up Table Mountain is a favorite activity for many, and if you are in search for a little more adrenaline pumping activity, then you must try shark cage-diving in Gansbaai, just outside of Cape Town. If you like checking out local graffiti, check out the murals just off Victoria Road in Woodstock, and around the edges of District Six and The Fringe.
South Africa as a whole gets a bad rep for crime, but women travelers will be able to travel around without encountering problems if you follow universal common sense. This city is a lot safer than you think!
As New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington has a lot to offer digital nomads. In fact, the city has more cafes, bars and restaurants per head than New York City! The vibrant bar scene is mostly due to a pretty young population and the universities in town.
If you are a nature lover, you would want to hike up Mt. Kaukau located just a short drive outside the city. As the highest peak in Wellington, the peak rewards you with an amazing view of the city. You should spend time checking out the several bays and beaches curving around the coast, where you might even spot some marine animals that frequent the harbour.
With plenty of international restaurants, outdoor activities and a vibrant nightlife, the city offers a high quality of life for digital nomads.
The best time to visit would be during the shoulder season bridging February to March. If you are love a hot, sweltering weather, then the summer months of December, January and February are the best time to visit. The winter season runs from June through August, and tends to be both wet and windy in addition to the cold.
As one of Europe’s cheapest cities, Budapest attracts many digital nomads yearly with the abundance of free wifi in cafes, low cost of living, efficient public transportation and the vibrant bar scene. Budapest has no lack of good choices when it comes to clubbing, and many popular clubs are located in the Basilica area of the fifth district.
The weather is generally good until November, when winter begins and snow is common. Summer is from June to August, and can be very hot and dry. If you want the sunshine but not the crowd, come during the months of March through May and September through November.
For accommodation, District 5 and 6 are great options for those that like to have everything close by or if you like checking out the nightlife. District 7, Erzsébetváros, is also popular thanks to its abundance of hostels and co-working spaces, including the recently opened Impact Hub Budapest.
Mexico City gets a bad rep due to its bad history, and is one of the most underappreciated and misunderstood cities in the world. While kidnappings, murders, and gang violence were common in the past, the city has cleaned up its act and has become an amazing place to visit.
The streets are full of life, and there is a lot for digital nomads to do in this metropolis of 20 million people. Mingle with the locals at the many markets – Mexico City is often described as “the city of markets” due to the abundance of markets (or mercardos), or line up at a popular tacos shop.
Condesa and Roma are two neighborhoods best suited for digital nomads. Away from the frantic downtown, trendy Condesa and Roma are where all the cool kids, hipsters, expats, and middle-to-upper class locals live and hang out. Explore the beautifully restored Art Deco architecture, have a café con leche (coffee with milk) or cerveza (beer) in a cafe, and enjoy your surroundings. If you are staying short term, AirBnB is a great option to find accommodation.
The best time to visit Mexico City is between March and May, even though the streets are pretty crowded this time of year. Months from June to October see tropical downpours, usually limited from around 4 p.m. until the early evening.
Medellin has an unfair reputation of being a dangerous country for travelers.Thankfully, much has changed since the 90s after the death of Pablo Escobar and the disbandment of the so-called Medellín Cartel who virtually took over the city during that time. In the last 20 years, Medellín has undergone a huge transformation. In addition to big improvements in public safety, there’s been a huge surge in urban development projects and public transportation.
In fact, the city is gaining popularity with digital nomads who often compare Medellin to Chiang Mai. The paisas (locals) are incredibly friendly, cost of living is low, short term accommodation can be easily found, free wifi in many cafes and there are a few coworking spaces too.
El Poblado is the most expensive neighborhood in the city, and is probably the most developed part of Medellin, lots of tall buildings and expensive shopping malls. The neighborhood is popular with expats and digital nomads, but expect to pay more for living in this area. Another neighborhood popular with digital nomads is Laureles, an area with diverse restaurants, clubs and bars.
The climate is spring-like year round, due to the city being set in a valley surrounded by tall green mountains.
Medellin has a vibrant nightlife, and you’ll find tons of bars, clubs, restaurants and hostels in the Parque Lleras neighborhood. There are also a lot of other places to party in the city outside the Poblado neighborhood.