More and more people are choosing to make money online – to travel anywhere in the world and make a living along the way. The whole world is your Oyster, but certain cities serve as Digital Nomad “Mecca’s” thanks to their characteristics.
But what makes a city ideal for digital nomads? Everyone has their own preference and criteria, but the most common ones include reliable and fast Wi-Fi connection, low cost of living, a strong nomad community, co-working spaces, agreeable weather, interesting culture, and fun nightlife. With that in mind, here are top 6 best digital nomad cities in the world that are worth a try.
1. Chiang Mai, Thailand
When it comes to the ideal destination for digital nomads, Chiang Mai is undoubtedly the number one option to consider as it offers everything for this lifestyle. Food and accommodation are affordable, Wi-Fi connection is free everywhere, and there are many co-working spaces around the center. Also, the smaller size of Chiang Mai and an extended system of public transportation make it easier to move between different digital nomad communities.
Chiang Mai has more than 800 years of history and features thousands of stunning Buddhist temples around every corner in the city. A number of Thai restaurants and a lot of markets for fresh fruits and veggies also make it a great destination for health-conscious nomads. While the nightlife here is not as exotic as other Asian metropolitans, there are still many activities to do when not working.
2. Medellin, Colombia
Medellin is certainly the top digital nomad city in South America. In fact, it features many of the same facilities which make Chiang Mai, Thailand so popular, including beautiful landscapes, friendly locals, warm weather, and good infrastructure.
In addition, Medellin offers many different features that would attract a lot of digital nomads. First of all, the cost of living here is extremely affordable, which is about equivalent with most Southeast Asian countries. The system of public transportation and co-working space is also a plus. Over 500.000 people use the train system every day, making it easier to move around different areas of the city. What’s more, Medellin is located at 1500m above the sea level, which allows for warmth all year round without freezing winter or intense heat typical of other equatorial regions. Lastly, the country also has the same time zone as Chicago so you can work and co-operate with US-based clients in real time.
Although the city has a stormy past in the 1980s when Pablo Escobar, one of the most dangerous drug lords in the world, was still living here, Medellin has
witnessed a quick development over the last decades. It is actually one of the most fast-growing and innovative cities in the area.
3. Berlin, Germany
For many reasons, Berlin is often regarded as the best destination for digital nomads in Europe. For starters, the city offers many great values. Compared to other major cities in the region such as Paris or London, it is much cheaper to live. Aspiring entrepreneurs, musicians, artists, and students of all sorts are flocking to this beautiful city, which is full of nightclubs, cafes, galleries, and museums, to make their dream come true.
With so many freelancers and startups choosing Berlin as their home over the past few years, more and more co-working spaces have been opened all other the city. Therefore, you will have many options of where to work, have meetings, collaborate, and make connections on projects.
4. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is everything that you would expect in a dream destination for a nomad life. The streets in downtown areas might turn to virtual rivers of bikes during rush hours, seeming like everyone is busy with their jobs. For expats, the metropolis offers extremely affordable housing, delicious street food, busy nightlife, and reliable internet.
The population of Vietnam is now very young, energetic, and forward-thinking as they always wish to put behind the horror of the war. Also, many large and modern co-working spaces are being built around the city over the past few years to meet the growing demands of both local entrepreneurs and digital nomads. And if you want a short break, just drive to the surrounding beach towns like Vung Tau or Mui Ne and enjoy a relaxing weekend.
5. Cape Town, South Africa
In spite of its reputation for extreme violence, Cape Town might be a lot safer than you would expect. This city has mostly been off the radar of many digital nomads, but this is going to change soon with many new policies of the authorities. For starters, having a sandwich between the Atlantic Ocean and the Table Mountains seems to be one of the most memorable moments in life. After a stressful time of working, there are a variety of activities to do here such as wine tasting, rock climbing, whale watching, surfing, and seeing penguins.
If you want to stay in Cape Town for several months in the winter to escape from the freezing colds, a tourist visa is enough to stay up to 3 months. More importantly, South Africa has the same time zone as most European countries so it is much easier to work or have meetings with your clients.
6. Prague, Czech Republic
The last digital nomad city on this list is Prague – the historic capital of the Czech Republic. With hundred years of history, this ancient city features Gothic architecture throughout the corners, making it one of the most popular and beautiful destinations in the world. Just like its neighboring city, Budapest, the costs of living here are relatively cheap and the infrastructures for working are well invested.
When not being busing in your work, you might get lost in a variety of cobblestone lanes and seek out new local bars or small cafes. If you are a beer enthusiast, Prague is undoubtedly an ideal city with a diverse collection of local beers, as well as the Beer Festival, which is often organized for 15 consecutive days.