New Year, New Start! This article runs through the top 10 best locations for nomads in 2021 based on the cost of living, internet speed, fun, safety, and community.
Whether you’re a seasoned digital nomad or a newbie in this unknown yet exhilarating journey, choosing a location that allows you to get the work done and still have fun can be a headache.
Some locations have great internet, but poor safety, while some have the best internet and places but are costly. It can be difficult to find the ‘perfect’ place for digital nomads.
Sure, each location has its own pros and cons, but there are places where you can get almost everything: cost-friendly, good internet, fun to travel, safe to live, and have digital nomad communities.
Here’s the top 10 nomad destinations in Asia and Europe that rank at the top of a digital nomad’s list.
Before we get there, it’s important for you to know how exactly we came up with this list. When you know how to select a great digital nomad location, it’ll be easier to decide your next exciting destination.
When choosing the best locations for nomads, there are 5 primary things to consider:
The cost of living has to match up with your income. It’s best to live in places where you still can save 10 - 20% of your monthly income while living a fairly comfortable life.
Internet is the soul of digital nomads. No internet, no work, no income, you get the idea. When choosing places, make sure the overall internet in the city is at least 10 Mbps.
It’s no fun cooped up in your apartment and work 12 hours a day in a foreign country. The very reason digital nomads became popular because they can work and travel. So look for places that are also fun to travel and live in.
Safety is often out of consideration when deciding where to live for digital nomads, but it is very important to work in a safe country. It’ll drive up your stress hormones if you’re worried about crimes more than work deadlines.
Last but not least, belonging to a digital nomad community, big or small. It’s always good to have like-minded people around because loneliness is reported to be one of the digital nomad’s biggest challenges (1 in 4 nomad). Look for places with digital nomad communities and mingle with them; unless you’re determined to live solo.
One of the best places in Asia for digital nomads, Canggu is a small resort village on the south coast of Bali. It is surrounded by terraced rice paddies and known as one of the best surfing spots in the world.
Nomad Score: 4.35 out of 5
Chiang Mai is one of the best places in Asia for digital nomads to call home. People fly from everywhere for the low living cost, fast internet speeds, amazing foods, unique culture, and active digital nomad community. Chiang Mai is also home to ancient temples, well-preserved national parks, and lively night markets.
Nomad Score: 4.34 out of 5
Singapore is often overlooked by digital nomads due to the high cost of living. However, it has a lot of upsides. Female digital nomads can feel safe because crime is almost non-existent. Singapore also has loads of entertainment and fun activities that will never bore any digital nomad. Do I need to mention their top internet speed and convenient public transport?
Nomad Score: 4.21 out of 5
Taipei is like the best of Bangkok and China melded together. Why Taipei is an amazing place for digital nomads because of 4 reasons: 1) Most digital nomads can get 3-month visas on arrival, 2) people speak English better than in most Asian countries, 3) the locals are open to foreigners, and 4) they have world-class foods and drinks. You’ll also never get short of cafes, coworking spaces, and boba milk teas. And Taipei is also as safe as Singapore.
Nomad Score: 4.16 out of 5
A UNESCO World Heritage site, Penang is a city north of Malaysia that is popular for its street food, colonial architecture, and street graffiti. It has a relaxed island vibe and still a developed city with plenty to offer. It is easy to get a 3-month visa on arrival for most developed nations and has plenty of work-friendly spaces and cafes.
Nomad Score: 4.07 out of 5
Lisbon is the sunny capital of Portugal, located on the western shores of Europe. More and more digital nomads flock to this top nomad destination in Europe because of its mushrooming coworking spaces and nice cafes, the explosion of art and cultural events, colorful buildings, and low cost of living.
Nomad Score: 4.81 out of 5 (ranked as number 1 best city to live in, according to Nomadlist)
Ericeira, on the west coast of Europe, is often considered as the European Bali by many digital nomads. Like Bali, Ericeira has a huge surf scene with a relaxed beach vibe to it. It’s relatively accessible to coworking spaces, cafes, and beaches because it’s a small town.
Nomad Score: 4.46 out of 5
Known as the ‘Island of Eternal Spring’, the temperature always sits between 13 to 28°C (55.4 to 82.4 °F), therefore sunny days are guaranteed. English-speaking locals, low taxes for the consumption of goods, great Canarian foods, and awesome water and land activities have attracted digital nomads around the world.
Nomad Score: 4.34 out of 5
As Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul is the hub for everything and anything including transport, education, tourism, food, culture, nightlife, and shopping. Turkish street food is a big thing, offering cheaper foods and plenty of choices for meat lovers, vegetarians, and vegans. You’ll also get one of the best hospitality in the world.
Nomad Score: 4.32 out of 5
One of the best digital nomad cities in Europe, Prague is a quaint little capital with gothic architecture, arrays of scenic parks, hidden beer gardens, and lively nightlife. There is a lot to see and do in Prague, making it a nice base for exploring the rest of Europe (located right in the heart of Europe).
Nomad Score: 4.23 out of 5
Living the digital nomad lifestyle has great benefits - free to go anywhere you want and not bound by work. Along with these benefits, come a set of challenges. In this article, we highlight the top 7 digital nomad challenges and tips to overcome them.
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