This article lists the best cities for digital nomads from around the globe. All of these destinations offer great amenities, a community of like-minded people, fun things to see and do, fast wifi speeds, co-working spaces, great apartments and more!
I’ve been working remotely as a digital nomad since 2013. During that time, I’ve really figured out what I want and need when it comes to choosing a city to live in.
Even though I’ve been living the laptop lifestyle for quite a while, I haven’t lived in many of the common digital nomad cities.
I’ve personally lived in four of the places below for more than two months in each destination.
For the rest of the best cities for digital nomads that I’m listing in this article, I’ve reached out to experts who have lived there themselves — for an extended period of time.
Here are the top 15 best digital nomad cities this year.
Click the city name to jump-to:
- Playa del Carmen, Mexico
- Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
- Medellin, Colombia
- Merida, Mexico
- Oaxaca, Mexico
- Lisbon, Portugal
- Budapest, Hungary
- Tbilisi, Georgia
- Bansko, Bulgaria
- Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Canggu, Indonesia
- Penang, Malaysia
- Taipei, Taiwan
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Bonus! Bangkok, Thailand
- Best Digital Nomad Cities in Latin America
- Best European Cities For Digital Nomads
- Best Places for Digital Nomads in the Caribbean
- Best Cities for Digital Nomads in Asia
What to Look For in a Digital Nomad City
Internet – you’ll be working online, so having a reliable (and fast) wifi connection is a must. Not only that, but you’ll want to pick somewhere that has a good data plan available for when you’re working away from home, or outside of a co-working space.
Community – most digital nomads either work for themselves, or they work remotely for a company. While some people are in a relationship, others are working abroad solo. Regardless, having a community around you is a must. Whether it’s just someone to go and grab a drink with, or people you can collaborate on a project with — don’t underestimate community.
Nature – when working inside and staring at a computer screen, there’s no better way to take a break than by getting out in Mother Nature. A lot of the best European cities for digital nomads, and the ones in Mexico offer mountains and hiking trails nearby, or sandy stretches of sand. Find somewhere with a place to walk, swim and breathe fresh air.
Things To Do – obviously, you don’t want to live somewhere boring. It’s best to choose a destination that offers history, culture, arts, nightlife, events, and activities you can partake in.
Co-Working – while I personally choose to work at home from the comfort of my Airbnb apartment, many people opt to get on their laptops at co-working spaces. There’s a monthly fee, but usually, the wifi is very fast and reliable, and there are ergonomic working spaces.
Fitness Options – unless you’re working out online, or are running, walking or hiking, most digital nomads try to find a destination that offers gyms, yoga studios, pilates, or Crossfit.
Costs – finally, the cost of living. This will vary from person to person as how much you want to spend really depends on how much you’re earning. Just because a destination is cheap doesn’t mean that the amenities are up to par. Similarily, if a destination is expensive, it doesn’t mean it’s great value for money.
Best Cities for Digital Nomads in Latin America
Including Mexico, Central America and South America, these are some of the top cities for digital nomads in Latin America.
1. Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
- WiFi up to 100 Mbps
- Average 1 bedroom apartments from $400/month
- 6 month stay for most nationalities
Written by Dariece Swift
The seaside town of Playa del Carmen is a bit of an anomaly in Mexico. You won’t find much Mexican culture here, and only a handful of people who are actually from here.
With the Caribbean Sea at your doorstep, a younger crowd, and many day trips just a quick drive away, there are many things to see and do in Playa. It’s popular, for good reason.
Nick and I have been living here for 4 months so far, and will be here for a total of 6 months. And while I was apprehensive to come here due to it being a popular tourist destination, I’m very happy with our decision to move here.
Why is Playa del Carmen One of The Best Cities for Digital Nomads?
Playa is one of the best cities for digital nomads due to the fact that it offers all the comforts of home, in a beautiful destination, without the high price tag.
As I said in the beginning, while Playa doesn’t have the charm or tradition of most Mexican cities, it makes up for it with the amenities on offer.
The activities here are endless — kayaking, kite surfing, scuba diving, SUP’ing, or swimming. Outside of watersports, there are numerous gyms, yoga studios, CrossFit, pilates, dance classes and more. Not to mention, it’s a great place for day trips around the Yucatan Peninsula.
You’ll find lots of other remote workers and digital nomads here as well and can immerse yourself in the community by volunteering, or joining meet-ups and other events.
How to Find Apartments in Playa del Carmen
You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to finding a place to stay in Playa del Carmen. I always recommend booking a place on Airbnb first. Stay for a few days and get a feel for the different neighbourhoods before choosing your long-term apartment.
You can find places to stay on Airbnb or on Facebook groups.
For digital nomads, the best neighbourhoods in Playa del Carmen are Tohoku, Zazil-Ha, the northern end of Gonzalo Guerro or the southern end of Colosio. These areas are basically from Calle 24 Nte. to Calle 70 Nte., between Avenida 30 and the beach.
Unless you’re looking to be right in the action, I don’t recommend Centro area as it’s way too touristed and loud.
WiFi Speed in Playa del Carmen
At 91 Mbps download speed and 29 Mbps upload speed, the wifi in Playa del Carmen is some of the fastest we’ve ever had at an apartment.
Not all places are created equal, however, so it’s important to speak with your landlord before renting. I even recommend doing a speed test yourself. Finally, if the wifi isn’t up to par, you can always ask the landlord to upgrade it for you (for a fee).
Data is readily available as well, so if your wifi drops out you can tether to your phone. Packages are around 200 pesos ($10) for 4 GBS, valid for 30 days.
Co-working Spaces in Playa del Carmen
There are quite a few co-working spaces in Playa del Carmen. Find one that suits your vibe, and is in your area. A couple of great options are The Nest ($13/day or $180/month), and Bunker (from $5/day or $165/month).
If working from home or from a coworking space isn’t your thing, try Inti restaurant on the beach which has a great area at the back for working, or one of the cafes (Choux Choux is a good option).
Cost of Living in Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen is great value for money. It’s not as cheap as other parts of Mexico, but it does have a lot of accommodation options, international fare, great beach clubs, and bars and restaurants. Even if some things are a bit pricey, the quality is high.
Apartment costs vary here. You can find a 1 bedroom apartment for around $400/month, all the way up to $5,000+. A good average would be around $1,000 – $1,500/month for a 2-bedroom place with a shared pool.
If you eat tacos and local food, expect to spend just a couple of dollars per meal. If you’d rather go out for sushi, steak or pasta, your meal will be closer to $10-$15 per plate. Groceries are very affordable with Walmart, Mega and Chedraui on offer.
Taxis are 50 pesos ($2.50) pretty much everywhere around Playa, or you can walk or rent a shared bike.
We live quite comfortably here in a top-floor, 2-bedroom apartment, and spend around $4,000 per month, including day trips, nights out, etc. Although, it’s definitely possible to spend much less.
Pros of Living in Playa del Carmen
- Location right on the Caribbean Sea
- It’s flat, so walking is easy
- Delivery services are available (Rappi, Uber Eats, Amazon, etc.)
- Comforts of home and western amenities (Walmart, Costco, etc.)
- Great weather, except for the hurricane season
- Large digital nomad population and like-minded expats
Cons of Living in Playa del Carmen
- A lack of Mexican culture
- The seaweed (sargassum) that shows up on the beach, which happens often
- Lots of construction
- It’s very touristed
- Tourist pricing – if you don’t speak Spanish (or, even if you do), you’ll usually pay more if you’re not Mexican
What’s the Visa Situation in Playa del Carmen?
Citizens of 69 countries (including all of the EU, Canada and the USA) are able to stay 6 months in Mexico, visa-free, making Playa del Carmen a great digital nomad city.
☞ READ MORE: Digital Nomad Guide to Living in Playa del Carmen
2. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
- WiFi around 70 Mbps
- 1 bedroom apartments from $500/month
- 6 month stay for most nationalities
Written by Sasha Savinov
Puerto Vallarta is a coastal city in Mexico’s Banderas Bay. My wife and I moved here in February 2017 when we started teaching English online and we’ve spent 6-7 months out of every year here since then.
It’s a beautiful place with the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Sierra Madre mountains on the other. While there are plenty of luxury condos and shopping malls being built, you can still very easily find the traditional side of PV by walking the cobblestone streets, eating at the taco trucks, and perusing the local markets.
Why is Puerto Vallarta a Great City for Digital Nomads?
There are plenty of reasons why more and more nomads are choosing to call PV home. The community has been growing consistently over the past few years.
The Puerto Vallarta Digital Nomads Facebook group currently has over 800 people, for example. There are big meet-ups once a month as well as co-working days and other smaller events from time to time.
It’s possible to get fiber optic internet at home here now, and there are a few excellent co-working spaces if you prefer that.
We find that Puerto Vallarta gives you all the comforts of a big city and the excitement of a popular tourist destination. At the same time, it retains much of its charm and tradition — something we find lacking in places like Cancun and Playa del Carmen.
When you’re not working here, you can go surfing, SUPing, hiking, scuba diving… the list of activities in Puerto Vallarta goes on and on. There’s a vibrant culture here as well as an exciting nightlife scene. Best of all, living here is quite affordable!
How to Find Apartments in Puerto Vallarta
These days, your best bet for finding accommodation in Puerto Vallarta is through various Facebook groups. People are posting places for rent every day, so you can start to browse listings well before you even land.
A good idea is to rent an Airbnb for a week or more so you can do a proper apartment hunt.
Most digital nomads look to the Romantic Zone (heart of the nightlife), Centro (home to the church, main plaza, shopping), 5 de Diciembre (local neighborhood with great restaurants and cafes), or Versalles (up and coming residential area with a booming culinary scene) neighborhoods.
I recommend checking all of them out to figure out which one you like the best, then posting in a FB group with your requirements. You’ll have dozens of offers before you know it and can then go look at places in person to find what’s best for you.
Most places will want at least a 6-month commitment, though. If you’re only staying for a few months, you can just stick with Airbnb or VRBO.
WiFi Speed in Puerto Vallarta
There’s fiber optic internet available in most of the central areas of PV these days, which is great. Our home internet connection just gave results of 65 mbps down and 20 up when I ran a speed test.
We work at home and rarely have any issues. It drops out for a few minutes from time to time, so we make sure to have data on our phones to use as a hot spot when that does happen.
Co-working Spaces in Puerto Vallarta
Vallarta Co-Work is a great option as it’s located in Centro right near the Romantic Zone. They have a variety of options, from hot desks to private office space. It costs 1,160 pesos ($58) for a week or 2,900 ($145) for a month for a hot desk. The price is 3,100 ($155) if you want your own dedicated desk.
It’s a good community of remote workers and they often have events. If you end up living in Versalles, Natureza is a good option. We’ve never used their co-working space but have taken our computers there for lunch and coffee to work for a few hours and quite enjoyed it.
Their options are a bit cheaper, as you can get a monthly membership for just 1,900 pesos ($95). There are also dozens of nice cafes where you can plop down with your laptop for a few hours to get some work done.
Cost of Living in Puerto Vallarta
When it comes to the cost of living in Puerto Vallarta, it really depends on you and your tastes.
It’s possible to find a decent studio apartment for as little as 5,000 pesos ($250) a month. You could also pay upwards of 30,000 ($1,500) if you want to live in a fancy condo with rooftop infinity pools.
It only costs 10 pesos to ride the bus anywhere in town, while taxis cost between 50-100 ($2.50 – $5) for short trips. You can eat some of the best tacos ever on the streets for just a few bucks, or you can sit down to a 9-course tasting menu in a fancy restaurant for closer to $100.
A domestic beer in a bar usually only costs 30-40 pesos ($2), but cocktails will set you back closer to 200 ($10). This year we’re splurging a bit on one of those fancy condos. We’ve also been going out quite a lot and doing big tours that have been on our bucket list for a while.
Even with all that, we’re spending between $2,400 – $3,000 a month. It’s definitely easy to get by on $1,000 a month or less here, though.
Pros of Living in Puerto Vallarta as a Digital Nomad
- Beach and mountain access
- International airport with good options
- High-speed internet readily available
- Amazing selection of restaurants, cafes, and bars
- Tight-knit community of young expats and digital nomads
Cons of Living in Puerto Vallarta as a Digital Nomad
- “Gringo pricing” (i.e. always being treated like a tourist)
- Lots of construction these days
- Can be very crowded in the winter months
- Getting more expensive
- Bus system is confusing and always changes
What’s the Visa Situation in Puerto Vallarta?
Most people can stay in Mexico for up to 180 days as a tourist. This is enough for most digital nomads, who travel home or to another country at least once a year.
They rarely even ask how long you’re staying upon arrival at the PV airport. You can apply for a temporary residence permit at a Mexican embassy or consulate in your home country if you think you might want to stay longer and potentially become a resident.
3. Medellin, Colombia
- WiFi up to 100 Mbps
- 1 bedroom apartments from $350/month
- 90 day stay for most nationalities
Written by Sasha Savinov
When it comes to digital nomad hubs in Latin America, it’s hard to beat Medellin. Colombia’s Spring City is an innovative, forward-thinking city.
With an ideal climate, low cost of living, and an abundance of coworking spaces, it’s no wonder nomads flock here. We’ve spent 6-8 weeks in Medellin on a few occasions and plan to keep returning to this amazing city.
Why is Medellin a Great City for Digital Nomads?
Medellin is a great choice for nomads for a variety of reasons. It’s got the amenities of a big city but is way more relaxed than others.
The weather is great (it’s called the City of Eternal Spring), there’s super fast WiFi and a ton of co-working spaces and cafes. Plus there are numerous things to do here, and the nomad community is huge. It’s probably the DN capital of Latin America.
How to Find Apartments in Medellin
There are plenty of apartments available. I recommend staying at a place like Selina for a few days, jumping on the FB groups, and scheduling visits.
Poblado and Laureles are the most popular neighborhoods for nomads and expats. There are tons of places on Airbnb if you prefer to use that to start, with solid discounts for monthly stays.
WiFi Speed in Medellin
Generally speaking, the WiFi in Medellin is excellent, especially in the neighborhoods where nomads are. You can get a super-fast home connection at around 100 Mbps/second.
The speeds are great at most of the co-working spaces and even many cafes, which are quite used to DNs by now. You can also get a local SIM card and load it with data for $10 or so to have a backup.
Co-working Spaces in Medellin
There are so many co-working spaces and cafes it’s kind of overwhelming!
We enjoyed working at La Casa Redonda in Laureles and Selina’s space in Poblado is great. As for cafes – Pergamino, Cafe Zeppelin, and Hija Mia are some of our favorites. See more top co-working spaces in Medellin here.
Cost of Living in Medellin
If you’re willing to stay in a studio or shared space, your rent can be as little as a couple hundred bucks. We’ve paid closer to $750-800 both times we’ve rented on Airbnb for a month, and then negotiated a lower price for extending our stay.
You can spend over $1,000 if you want a luxury place with a rooftop pool, gym, and all that good stuff. Getting around is very affordable with the metro, bus, scooters, and bikes.
It’s easy to find a cheap meal and going out won’t break the bank if you stick to beers. We spent about $3,000 total for a month, which included going out a lot and several tours/activities.
Pros of Living in Medellin as a Digital Nomad
- Spring-like weather year-round
- Super nice locals
- Choice of co-working/cafes
- Excellent public transport
- Lots of free activities
Cons of Living in Medellin as a Digital Nomad
- “Gringo pricing” — especially for apartments
- Still a bit dangerous
- Sleazy vibe in Poblado
- Repetitive night life
- Food is mediocre
What is the Visa Situation in Medellin?
For nomads from about 100 countries, you can get 90 days in Colombia on arrival. This can be extended for another 90, but you can’t exceed 180 days in a calendar year.
Some nomads move there in July, extend their visa in October, make a visa run in January, and start over again to get a full year.
☞ READ MORE: Digital Nomad Guide to Living in Medellin, Colombia
4. Merida, Mexico
- WiFi around100 Mbps
- 1 bedroom apartments from $250/month
- 6 month stay for most nationalities
Written by Nathan Aguilera
Merida, Mexico has been my on and off base for more than three years now. Merida is located in the Mexican state of Yucatan in the north part of the Yucatan Peninsula — famous for cenotes, beaches, and Mayan ruins.
Why is Merida One of The Best Places for Digital Nomads?
Merida is a great digital nomad city because of the low cost of living, how safe the city is (safest city in all of Mexico), well connected international airport, fast wifi, and the plethora of things to see and do located nearby.
There is also a growing digital nomad scene in Merida, with many nomads coming for weeks or months at a time.
Combine the low cost of living and impressive internet speeds with some of the friendliest locals in the world in a gorgeous city full of unique culture, and you can see why so many digital nomads have taken notice of Merida.
How to Find Apartments in Merida
Most nomads tend to book Airbnbs for shorter stays but for those wanting to stay longer you can find reasonably priced accommodation on Facebook Marketplace, in Facebook groups such as Merida Casitas for Rent.
I’ve had the best luck by finding the neighborhood I want to rent in and hitting the streets looking for “Se Renta” signs.
My favorite neighborhoods for living are Santa Ana, Santiago, Santa Lucia, or Garcia Gineres if you want a bit of a more local experience.
Many traveling as a family or with children choose to live in the north side as it feels a bit more like home to them — large malls, Sam’s Club, Costco, chain restaurants, etc. I prefer to stay in the Centro area as it has more of a local feel.
Co-working Spaces in Merida
Coworking spaces in Merida are available but are not as prevalent as in other nomad cities. You can however work from most cafes with no problems.
WiFi Speed in Merida
WiFi in Merida is fast and stable. The cafe I’m working from now has speeds of 117 down and 100 up, which is not uncommon.
Cost of Living in Merida
The cost of living in Merida is one of the main reasons nomads are flocking to the city. I have previously rented a 1 bed 2 bath house in a great neighborhood for as little as 5000 pesos or about $250 USD.
Prices can be even less if you look outside of Centro. I’m currently renting a 2 bedroom, 2 bath house with a private swimming pool with all bills included (even electricity, which is rare to find) for $10,500 pesos or about $530 USD.
I have friends renting large houses with bigger pools and detached guest houses for about $750 USD per month. I don’t know many people paying more than $1000 USD a month and that is for a large family house in a gated neighborhood.
Food costs can vary depending on your tastes.
Street tacos will set you back about 10 pesos or $0.50 cents each, simple but delicious lunches in a cocina economica cost about $2.75 for a large serving of meat, beans, rice, and tortillas or you can splurge on a 10-course tasting menu for $150 USD.
Local beers cost about $0.50 USD each and there are craft cocktail bars that will set you back $10-12 USD per drink. Have a look at this post about the best restaurants in Merida.
Pros of Living in Merida as a Digital Nomad
- Cost of living — you get so much for your money here. If you are earning an American wage it goes so much further.
- The weather — most of the year is better than back home. It’s January and I’m currently sitting outdoors in a cafe writing this up in shorts and a t-shirt.
- Incredibly friendly locals who are very proud of their city. This likely has a lot to do with why Merida is continually voted the safest city in all of Mexico and the second safest city in all of North America.
- The growing expat and digital nomad scene. When I first arrived in Merida nearly four years ago the DN scene was a fraction of what it is now. The nomad scene is steadily increasing with interesting people from around the world who are usually happy to network and collaborate.
- The international airport is one of the busiest in all of Mexico which makes it affordable to explore other parts of Mexico or even to get back to the USA or Canada.
Cons of Living in Merida as a Digital Nomad
- The same weather that I usually love can get unbearably hot from April to late June or July with temperatures regularly topping 100° (37 C).
- The beach is about 45 minutes from downtown Merida and while they’re nice enough if you want a beach day they are not the stunning beaches found on the Caribbean side.
- For many that are not used to it, Merida can be very noisy, especially for those of us living downtown. Neighbors whose party doesn’t start until midnight, buses, firecrackers — it can take some getting used to.
- The rainy season here can cause streets to flood and all the moisture can bring huge mold problems. This year was the first year I had mold issues in my house and it was a huge pain.
- It’s easy to get “trapped” here. I, like many of my friends, came years ago just passing through and ended up staying for much longer than we intended. The city is just so easy to live in and modern conveniences like Uber and Rappi make leaving a challenge!
What is the Visa Situation for Living in Merida?
5. Oaxaca, Mexico
- WiFi speeds vary, average 20 Mbps
- 1 bedroom apartments from $150/month
- 6 month stay for most nationalities
Written by Ian Ord
Oaxaca City, located in the state of the same name, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, surrounded by the endless mezcal farms and mountains.
Oaxaca has some of the best food in Mexico, and varied indigenous groups — this is one of the more traditional and authentic areas of the country.
I’ve been basing myself in Oaxaca since 2016. Due to the city’s vibrancy, colourful buildings, welcoming locals and expat community, it’s one of my favourite cities in the world!
Why is Oaxaca a Top City for Digital Nomads?
There are many reasons why Oaxaca is one of the best cities for digital nomads.
The main reasons being the tight community of remote workers, how affordable the city is when compared to other Mexican destinations, the many amenities on offer and things to do, and the easy access to nature and historical sites in the area.
How to Find Apartments in Oaxaca
There are many amazing places to rent in Oaxaca, ranging from long term co-living spaces and basic studios, to deluxe private colonial houses, and even a few modern condos. Have a look at Airbnb or this Facebook group to find a place to stay in Oaxaca.
The best neighbourhoods to look at for digital nomads are Jatalaco and Xochimilco, which are close to the historic center, numerous cafes, parks and restaurants as well.
WiFi Speed in Oaxaca
The wifi in Oaxaca isn’t the greatest, which makes it a bit of a challenge for digital nomads. Fast wifi does exist, it’s just difficult to find!
I’ve experienced everything from 0.8 Mbps – 150 Mbps download speeds. Make sure to speak with your landlord about the wifi before renting an apartment. Or, work from one of the co-working spaces.
Co-working Spaces in Oaxaca
Here are three great co-working options in Oaxaca:
- Convivio Oaxaca – the longest-running co-working space in Oaxaca and with the fastest wifi as well. Costs range from $10/day to $90/month. See this article for a full review of the Convivio co-working space.
- Work Coffe Inc. – their internet ranges from 50-100 MBS depending on the package you buy. Costs start at $5 USD per day – $45 USD per month
- Selina – while this is a popular co-working chain in Mexico, for some reason the wifi here is pretty slow. But, the attraction is the community of people, the rooftop bar, and location. Day passes are $10.
Cost of Living in Oaxaca
Oaxaca is a great budget city for digital nomads. You can find tacos for $0.50, sandwiches for $1, and a plate of food for around $5. If you want to splurge, you can also find fine dining for $100 a meal.
Accommodation is half the cost of other places in Mexico (such as Playa del Carmen or Puerto Vallarta). Rentals range from 3000 pesos ($150 USD) to 20,000 pesos+ ($1000 USD+) per month,.
The average cost of a private, centrally located furnished apartment is around 8,000-10,000 pesos ($400-500/month).
You could easily get by in Oaxaca for between $1,200 – 1,400 USD per month, including everything, and live VERY comfortably.
Pros of Living in Oaxaca as a Digital Nomad
- Oaxaca is a foodie paradise, with some of the most delicious and diverse cuisine in Mexico!
- One of the prettiest and safest towns in the world
- Walkable and packed with places to go and things to do
- It’s got an amazing expat and remote working community
- The locals are kind, humble and welcoming
Cons of Living in Oaxaca as a Digital Nomad
- It’s not uncommon to see protests or disruptive street blockades. They are usually always peaceful
- Though very safe, and free from cartel and mafia activity, Oaxaca is a poor state, so petty crime such as pickpocketing does exist
- Oaxaca is far from the beach
- Due to rapid growth in exposure and popularity, Oaxaca it runs a high risk of growing without solid infrastructure. Visit responsibly, and try to shop and support locally, and keep things sustainable.
What is the Visa Situation for Oaxaca?
While it depends on your nationality, most visas (either applied for in advance, or a Visa on Arrival) are for 6 months, and are free. This makes for one of the best visas in the world.
☞ READ MORE: Digital Nomad Guide to Living in Oaxaca
Honourable Mentions for Digital Nomad Cities in Latin America:
Best European Cities for Digital Nomads
1. Lisbon, Portugal
- WiFi speeds vary, average 20 Mbps
- 1 bedroom apartments from $845/month
- 90 day stay for most nationalities
Written by Dariece Swift
Set on the Tagus River, the picturesque city of Lisbon has become a hotspot with digital nomads over the years. With an open-minded attitude, electrifying vibe, an abundance of things to see and do, and numerous events and meet-ups, Lisbon is a true gem.
Nick and I spent 4 months living in Lisbon and really got to know the city well during that time.
Why is Lisbon One of The Best Cities For Digital Nomads?
Lisbon truly has everything a digital nomad could want or need. Numerous co-working spaces, an abundance of apartments, an entrepreneurial atmosphere, numerous cafes, gyms, yoga…the list goes on.
Not to mention, Lisbon is a great hub for going on day trips nearby.
As Portugal is such a small country, you can be in the stunning Algarve region within 2 hours, the National Park in the north within 4 hours, or just a quick 30-minute drive brings you to the oceanside town of Cascais.
How to Find Apartments in Lisbon
Lisbon’s accommodation scene has exploded in recent years. There are numerous ways to find a place to stay, with Airbnb always being my choice. Being able to read reviews and have something booked when we land is what Nick and I prefer.
There are also Facebook groups for digital nomads in Lisbon where you can find apartments listed. Just be aware of scams, and if you’re going this route, always wait to see the apartment in person when you arrive rather than booking ahead.
In my opinion, the best place to stay for digital nomads are the Bairro Alto or Principe Real neighbourhoods. Many nomads live in Estrela, which is another good option.
It’s best to be close to everything, including the water, yet far enough away from the crowds.
WiFi Speed in Lisbon
Wifi in Lisbon is fast and readily available. We did experience some times when our wifi would drop out, but it was only down for a second or two. On average, download speeds are 20 Mbps, but we experienced faster than that at our Airbnb.
Co-working Spaces in Lisbon
There are numerous coworking spaces in Lisbon — which offer fast and reliable wifi, comfortable chairs and tables, and digital nomad events as well.
Check out Heden which has 3 locations around Lisbon. This company also hosts numerous events and workshops. It’s €250 per month for a flex desk. The best option is to search for a coworking place near to where you’re staying.
Or, you can always pack up your laptop and head to one of the many cafes.
Cost of Living
According to Nomadlist, on average, studio apartments are around €700 ($845) per month, while a 1 bedroom is around €1,400 ($1,690). Meals out range from €10 – €20 ($12 – $25).
Wine is very cheap with a good bottle costing only €2.50 ($3). Groceries are also very affordable. You can walk to most places, which is free, or take the metro or an Uber.
For two people, we spent around €2,900 ($3,500) per month while living in Lisbon. But, we stayed in a large, 2-bedroom place, and ate and drank quite well.
Pros to Living as a Digital Nomad in Lisbon
- Large entrepreneurial scene
- Lots of things to see and do (including day trips)
- Great restaurants, bars and nightlife
- Very safe city
- Lots of amenities for DNs (apartment options, coliving, coworking, etc.)
- Great weather almost year-round (it can get cool and damp in December/January)
Cons to Living as a Digital Nomad in Lisbon
- Lisbon is in the Schengen Zone (90-day allowance for many passport holders)
- It’s more expensive than other cities for digital nomads
- Beaurocracy can be a challenge and difficult to understand (when dealing with the government, banks, immigration, etc.)
- The city is very hilly — which could be a pro or a con
What’s the Visa Situation in Lisbon?
Portugal is in the Schengen Zone, meaning many passport holders are only granted 90 days in Lisbon. If you’re from a country in the EU, Lisbon is a great option for you.
2. Budapest, Hungary
- WiFi around 175 Mbps
- 1 bedroom apartments from $530/month
- 90 day stay for most nationalities
Written by Sarah Hughes
Budapest, the capital city of Hungary, has seen a huge increase in popularity and tourism in recent years. The mix of gorgeous architecture, historic sites, dynamic nightlife, and a tasty food scene make it a great tourist destination.
But, as we found out, after calling Budapest home for several months, it’s also a very liveable city and a decent location for digital nomads.
Why is Budapest a Top City for Digital Nomads?
Aside from the appealing attributes listed above, Budapest also has a pretty laid back lifestyle, good public transportation, lots of fun things to see and do, plus numerous cafes and co-work spaces.
How to Find Apartments in Budapest
We’ve always used Airbnb for our stays of 3 months or less and have usually been able to negotiate a reasonable monthly rate.
But, if you’re not limited to the 90 days Schengen stay you’ll no doubt find much better long-term rental rates on the ground. I would advise going through an agent when looking for longer rentals in Budapest.
As far as where to stay in Budapest it really depends on your budget and priorities. The first thing to decide is whether to live in Buda or Pest. This is a pretty easy decision since the two areas are quite different.
The Pest side is home to the city center and is, therefore, busier and noisier but is more convenient, vibrant, and interesting.
The hilly Buda side is quieter, classier, and more residential with lots of green space. Cost-wise, Pest tends to be more budget-friendly than Buda.
Of the 23 districts of Budapest, the most popular districts are V, VI, and VII on the Pest side and District I on the Buda side.
WiFi Speed in Budapest
For the most part, Budapest ranks quite well with an average fixed broadband download speed of 175 Mbps and upload of 83 Mbps. However, as with anywhere, this can vary so it’s always good to check your rental’s speed — especially if you plan to work from home.
Co-working Spaces in Budapest
There are more co-working spaces on the Buda side. Kaptar Coworking often tops the list with its central location, energized atmosphere, and variety of seating and workspaces.
Impact Hub Budapest is part of a massive worldwide chain that offers a “coworking passport”. It’s easy to reach by public transit, is reasonably priced, and has a great commu