Chances are you’ve seen the term ‘digital nomad’ online of late – the ubiquitous name for freelancers who take their work on the road. From graphic designers to entrepreneurs to software developers, many professionals are trading in their 9-to-5 office gig for something different, working instead from coffee shops, co-working spaces, trendy Airbnbs and beachy vistas.
Once you’ve ensured you’ve got the right tools and have thoroughly read up on visa restrictions and other legal fine print, it’s time to decide where to go. Where are the other nomads?
Here are 7 popular destinations where you’re likely to find fellow workers on the road.
Image credit: Richard Schneider via Flickr Creative Commons
It wouldn’t be an article about digital nomads without giving Bali a shout out. Tropical, picture-perfect Bali is ideal for tourists, hipsters, yoga enthusiasts and nomads alike, and Canggu has become one of the top destinations for workers on the go.
Compared to Ubud and Seminyak, Canggu is a cheaper and quieter village: according to Nomadlist, the ‘Nomad Cost’ for Canggu is about $955 per month, while Ubud is $1,395 and Seminyak is $1,638. The co-working community in Canggu is centred at Dojo Bali, and they regularly have BBQs, workshops, networking events and more social meet-ups – perfect for those looking to connect up with other nomads.
Read more about life in Canggu as a nomad:
The city of Porto has curated a considerable nomadic scene, thanks to its beautiful weather, relatively inexpensive cost of living and chilled-out vibe. Considered a smaller, more affordable version of Lisbon, Porto is the ideal place to work and explore.
Porto i/o, a co-working space with a location in downtown and another near the riverside, is the best place to check out the local nomad scene. With plenty of events like coffee meetings for entrepreneurs, coding groups, information sessions and networking events, you can easily find some fellow travellers.
Read more about Porto as a co-working city here:
Budapest is another hub for digital nomads and rightly so. Often cited as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Budapest has something for every kind of traveller – ruin bars for evening fun, incredible architecture for daytime wandering, traditional Turkish baths for relaxing, and so much more.
The city’s fast, reliable Wi-Fi, the inexpensive cost of living and co-working spaces are the major selling points for this as a hub for nomads. According to Nomad List, the average cost for a nomad for one month is about $1,448 – not as cheap as Canggu or Chiang Mai, but very affordable for Europe. Greenspaces and Loffice are two popular options for co-working spaces, but there are also a number of coffee shops perfect for working in, such as Tamp & Pull Espresso Bar and Madal Café.
Read these blog posts by nomads for more info about living in Budapest:
Chiang Mai, Thailand
One of the most popular cities for digital nomads – in fact, arguably the most popular – is Chiang Mai. With gorgeous beaches, incredible temples and pristine forests, it’s not difficult to see why many nomads flock to the largest city in northern Thailand.
Chiang Mai’s incredible value for money attracts nomads from all over the world: according to Chris the Freelancer (an Australian nomad, blogger and YouTuber), a typical sit-down meal for 4 was around $8.50 AUD, or just £5. There is also an abundance of coffee shops (like Ristr8to) and co-working spaces (like Punspace) ideally suited for nomads.
Read more about experiencing Chiang Mai as a nomad (including Chris’s experiences):
Seoul, South Korea
Often overlooked on nomad lists for beachier destinations, Seoul has a bustling freelance and start-up community. Renowned by foodies for its incredible cuisine and by techies for its position as the world’s most wired city, Seoul is ideal for nomads.
One of the best things about this capital city is its availability: 24-hour cafes with reliable Wi-Fi are perfect for those who like to make their own hours, and Seoul’s transport system will get you pretty much anywhere you need to go. If you’re looking to connect with other nomads, check out hip co-working space Hive Arena.
Read more about what makes Seoul ideal for nomads:
Croatia has long attracted travellers for its breath-taking beaches, beautiful forested trails and affordable living, and Split is no different. Croatia’s second-largest city, located on the Dalmatian Coast, is a historical testament to Croatian culture, with ancient Roman ruins next to trendy shops and bars. From the start of spring until about late October, Split is full of tourists enjoying the culture, so if you’re looking for a quiet place, opt for the off-peak season.
Image source: VV Nincic via Flickr Creative Commons
Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City is a destination that is often overlooked due to its reputation for crime and corruption; however, many nomads beg you to reconsider. This capital city attracts workers on the road by its delicious food, cheap cost of living, vibrant culture and fantastic selection of Wi-Fi-equipped places for work. From the sprawling park of Chapultepec to the ancient Mesoamerican Pyramid of the Sun, Mexico City’s incredible history is woven into its modernity.
With no shortage of cafes to work from, Mexico City also boasts a number of co-working spaces where you can connect with other nomads, including Urban Station, Impact Hub and more. Local marketplaces provide the perfect spot for grabbing affordable, authentic eats.
Read more about life as a nomad in Mexico City here:
For more information on becoming a digital nomad, read our resource guide ‘How to become a digital nomad’. It’s got everything from to general advice on preparing for life abroad to gear recommendations – a laptop equipped with videoconferencing software is a must, especially GoToMeeting’s screen share feature – incredibly useful for nomads to clearly communicate with clients and customers on the road).