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Related Post: How to Pick Destinations, Handle Visas, & Book Travel As A Digital Nomad – Chapter 10
As a “digital nomad” (someone who travels the world while working online), people always ask me how I pick the places that I live in.
The main answer is that I use NomadList.com and personal recommendations from other nomads.
The one-piece of critical data on NomadList that isn’t easily accessible though is how many nomads are in each place.
So to publicize some of NomadList’s hidden popularity data, I decided to create a top ten list for summer destinations based on NomadList member check-ins!
What Digital Nomad Destinations Tend To Have In Common:
1. Cheap Living
2. Fast Wifi
3. English is Common
4. Great Nightlife
5. Expat Friendly
6. Easy Visa Situation
The 10 Most Popular Digital Nomad Destinations of Summer 2018:
Note: I’ve only including places with cost of living indexes under $3,000/month. Cost of living includes all living expenses (housing, food & other misc. expenses). Also, NomadList’s data (cost of living, wifi, etc.) tends to be relatively unreliable so take everything with a grain of salt.
1. Berlin, Germany
“For young creatives and startups, Berlin is the current place to be. It’s the city on everyone’s mind and for good reason. It’s effortlessly cool, raw and electric and a great destination for digital nomads! Berlin is a melting pot of cultures and has a distinctly cool, sociable expat crowd. Berlin has something for everyone. With world-class nightlife, more museums than rainy days, and intensely interesting history you will find it hard to get bored in this dynamic city.” -Digital Nomads Media
Cost of Living: $2,918/month
2. Budapest, Hungary
“Budapest, Hungary’s capital, is an eclectic, vibrant, and characteristic city full of life and contradictions. [It’s known for] its international atmosphere, gorgeous architecture, delicious street food, unique nightlife, and interesting people. From rooftop yoga sessions and movie nights to little cafés and bookshops, there’s always something interesting to discover, taste, hear or touch.” –Explorista
Cost of Living: $1,822/month
3. Lisbon, Portugal
“Dubbed as Europe’s San Francisco and the next Berlin, with a growing tech scene but retaining its local spirit, the budget-friendly Portugal capital has been drawing more and more tech professionals over the past few years.” Other reasons why Lisbon is amazing: beautiful weather, laid-back lifestyle, lots to explore, European culture, great food, large nomad community, fantastic surfing. –Breathing Travel
Cost of Living: $2,268/month
4. Chiang Mai, Thailand
“Chiang Mai offers a mix of affordability, infrastructure, and quality of life that’s difficult to find elsewhere. Monthly accommodations in Chiang Mai range from $100 to several thousand dollars a month, depending on budget and preferences. Dining options range from $1 street food dishes to gourmet cuisines. Travel + Leisure recently named Chiang Mai the best city in Asia and second best in the world, thanks to its relaxed atmosphere, good food, and historical significance.” –Forbes
It should also be noted that Chiang Mai is frequently referred to as the Digital Nomad capital of the world because of its huge nomad community, great nightlife and ease of living (housing, wifi, making friends, etc.).
Cost of Living: $947/month
5. Bangkok, Thailand
“Bangkok is a really friendly, affordable and popular choice amongst Digital Nomads. Being the capital of Thailand, it has an abundance of nightlife and a great co-working environment. These co-working spaces act as a great medium for digital nomads to meet and network. There are also cafe and bars which make socializing easy with other foreigners and English speakers.” –Moving Nomads
Cost of Living: $1,368/month
6. Canggu, Bali, Indonesia
Canggu is known for being the most popular cheap beach destination for nomads. After visiting about nine different major nomad hubs, this is my favorite destination by far. It has world-class surfing, a laid-back/friendly vibe, phenomenal food, and a thriving community of nomads and backpackers.
Cost of Living: $1,252/month
7. Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam
“Located in the southern part of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon) is the commercial hub and the largest city in Vietnam. It’s an emerging economic destination, the start-up capital of Southeast Asia, and is peppered with design-oriented cafes and co-working spaces linked up to hyperspeed internet from Singapore making it the ideal spot for digital nomads. The best thing about Ho Chi Minh City is the energy – it’s so dynamic and that dynamism is palpable!” –Female Digital Nomads
Cost of Living: $993/month
8. Valencia, Spain
“Valencia might not have the “wow effect” that some other cities have, but you won’t need that here. Friendly people, affordable prices, great internet and lovely weather make Valencia a perfect and easy place for expats and digital nomads.” –Digital Nomad Soul
Cost of Living: $2,301/month
9. Medellin, Colombia
“The digital nomad scene has grown exponentially in the past few years, and few places have embraced it quite like Medellin. Previously dominated by cities in Southeast Asia and Europe, Medellin finally put South America firmly on the map of digital nomad hotspots. This is due to Medellín’s low cost of living, inexpensive real estate, good climate and good infrastructure.” –Medellin Living
On a personal level, Medellin is one of my favorite cities because of its lively dancing and nightlife, sizeable nomad community and ease of living.
Cost of Living: $1,252/month
10. Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
“Ubud has overtaken Chiang Mai as our favorite digital nomad destination in the world. Where else can we afford to rent a house with a pool and rice field view? Add to that beautiful scenery, an incredible vegetarian food scene, plentiful yoga classes, a fascinating culture, and friendly people. It’s a very easy place to live and a difficult place to leave.” –Never Ending Voyage
Cost of Living: $1,296/month