Top 10 Countries for Digital Nomads in 2020
Finding the right location to work remotely as a digital nomad is about more than just finding a beautiful landscape. A digital nomad needs reliable internet, affordable cost of living and coworking spaces to be able to network with others.
This article will help you narrow down your search with the top countries for digital nomads in 2020.
What Makes a Country a Great Place for Digital Nomads?
When evaluating where to work as a digital nomad, you need to consider 5 important criteria:
- No Internet, No Party. As a digital nomad, the internet is likely your utmost priority. After all, you can’t do your job well if you don’t have a stable internet connection.
- Affordability. Finding a place that offers a low cost of living is key. This is especially the case if you are just beginning your digital nomad career and are living on a strict budget.
- Great Community. Finding a destination with other digital nomads and great coworking spaces will help you enjoy your day to day and meet people easily in your new space.
- Easy Immigration. By informing yourself about the specific visa requirements of each country you make sure not run into trouble with the law.
- Safety. Some countries are more secure than others. Before choosing your next destination make sure to check up-to-date travel warnings.
Continue reading to discover the places that matched our criteria and therefore made the list for 2020.
Top Countries for Digital Nomads
Arguably, Bali is the Mecca for digital nomads.
When working remotely first started to become popular, hordes of digital nomads flocked to Bali. As a result, there are lots of coworking spaces, especially in Canggu and Ubud. These cities also offer affordable accommodations with prices ranging from $204-280 USD for a one bedroom apartment depending on location.
The large expat communities in Canggu and Ubud make networking for digital nomads easier. In fact, there is a popular coworking space called Hubud set up in Ubud to help introduce digital nomads to each other by hosting events, retreats and programs.
U.S. passport holders can stay in Bali for 30 days by paying $35 USD for a visa. There is an option to extend that stay by another 30 days for an additional $35.
Another popular destination in Asia is Thailand.
Because the cost of living is cheap in Thailand, many digital nomads don’t have to sacrifice their lifestyle when working here. The average cost of a meal is $1.85 USD and an apartment outside of the city can cost around $271 USD per month. Visa requirements for digital nomads vary depending on what you plan on doing in the country, but U.S. passport holders can stay up to 30 days visa free.
Don’t forget to take advantage of the epic beaches in Thailand (like Railay Bay, Ao Manao or Freedom Beach) on your weekends or down time.
Digital nomads are starting to choose Taiwan as a destination to live because of its safety, delicious (and cheap) night markets, and cleanliness. As an additional benefit, United States passport holders can even stay in the country for up to 90 days with proof of a return airline ticket.
Taipei is the best place to settle as a digital nomad because it has some of the best coworking spaces like Markerbar Taipei and Hun. The average rent costs in Taipei range from $364-550 USD a month depending on where in the city you choose to live.
Taiwan also boasts excellent public transportation which will make it easier for you to explore the country during your down time. You can get around with the Easycard which can also be used as a form of payment at many supermarkets and convenience stores.
This country in Southeast Asia is becoming increasingly popular among digital nomads.
Besides its ancient capital city, Hanoi, Vietnam is known for its diverse culture, exotic nature (such as the spectacular Ha Long Bay), street food, French heritage, and the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City.
Talking about Ho Chi Minh City: previously known as Saigon, this 9 million megacity is THE place to be for digital nomads. The city is the financial hub of Vietnam and home to many international businesses. Not surprisingly it features a large number of co-working spaces (such as Spiced, CirCO Hoang Dieu or The Hive) as well as work-friendly cafes.
Depending on your location, cost of living in Vietnam is rather cheap. However, rent for a 1 bedroom apartment in the center of Ho Chi Minh City can get as high as $510 USD per month. On the plus side, even in the city, other expenses are quite reasonable – a three-course meal for 2 in a decent restaurant will not cost you more than $22 USD.
In contrast to the above-mentioned countries, US citizens are required to apply for a visa to enter Vietnam for tourism and business purposes.
Quickly rising on the digital nomad scene is Estonia which has become one of the best tech startup destinations on the continent. As a result, there are a number of coworking spaces and networking opportunities for people working remotely, life Lift99.
Tallinn is the most popular city in Estonia for digital nomads who can live off an average of $44 USD a day.
Estonia was the first country to list the internet as a basic human right and made it readily available to its citizens. Additionally, Estonia was the first country to offer e-Residency which allows digital entrepreneurs to manage their business entirely online from anywhere.
Digital nomads with passports from the United States can stay in the country for up to 90 days without a visa.
Ever dream of wandering the colorful streets of Lisbon and venturing to the Algarve for the weekend?
Portugal has welcomed digital nomads by creating an entire website that helps you navigate how to live and work in the country. It’s important to note that U.S citizens can enter Portugal for travel or business for up to 90 days without a visa.
Lisbon and Porto are the top cities to settle in as a digital nomad but if you are interested in taking advantage of coworking spaces then Lisbon has plenty of great options. Porto is a good option for budget-conscious workers because it costs on average $46 USD per day to live compared to an average of $54 USD per day in Lisbon.
The Czech Republic borders Germany, Austria, Poland and Slovakia, making it one of the top destinations for adventurous digital nomads. Cheap flights and rail tickets make it easy to explore all of the neighbouring countries.
Prague is the most popular city for digital nomads to choose to work from. It has fantastic public transportation (one of the best in Europe) that covers most of the city and its outskirts, making it easy for digital nomads to get around. A monthly pass for transportation costs roughly $22 USD a month.
For those looking to take advantage of coworking spaces, Paper Hub Coworking space is favored by creative digital nomads.
As with most countries of the European Union, U.S. citizens may enter the Czech Republic for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa.
Although this country may not be the first one to come to mind for digital nomads, it should definitely be considered.
Digital nomads from the United States like Hungary because they can stay up to 90 days without a visa.
Budapest is the preferred option for digital nomads when settling in Hungary. The low cost of living and nightlife make Budapest a fun place to live and work. The average cost of rent is very affordable at $390-527 USD per month depending if you plan to live in or outside or the city.
Steaks, red wine, football and mate. What better way to describe Argentina?
Due to the country’s rich culture, Argentina is becoming one of the hotspots for digital nomads. Especially Buenos Aires and Cordoba are locations of choice. Cordoba even made our list of the best places to live in South America.
Rent is highly affordable, ranging from $187 – $358 USD per month for a 1 bedroom apartment, depending on the city and the neighbourhood. A bottle of wine in the supermarket rarely costs more than $5 USD and a 3-course meal for 2 in a decent restaurant will not exceed $40 USD.
Buenos Aires and Cordoba offer both a wide range of co-working options to choose from. For mingling with locals and expats alike, our favorites include La Maquinita (Buenos Aires) and Loop Coworking (Cordoba).
For US citizens, no tourist visa applications are required for stays shorter than 90 days.
Colombia is on the best way to leave behind its violent past and became nowadays a real option for digital nomads.
Especially Medellin has established itself as the go-to destination for expats and digital nomads alike. More than 25 years after Escobar’s death, the city has become one of the most attractive markets and incubators for startups of all sizes and industries. Digital nomads can choose wide range of coworking options such as Tinkko or CBox.
As with Argentina, US travelers don’t need a tourist visa for stays of 90 days or less.
There are so many places to choose from as a digital nomad it can feel overwhelming.
Our tip: make a list of the things that are most important to you to help you narrow down your choice.
It is also a good idea to consider what other cities or countries you’d like to visit during your time traveling and how accessible these places are from your chosen destination.