We live in the age in which modern technology facilitates remote work and where a flexible lifestyle allows us to combine work and traveling. And because our work setup has a huge impact on the quality of work, we put together a list of most popular places for working remotely around the world based on the cost of living, self-employment rate, availability of coworking spaces, annual weather, friendliness to foreigners, networking opportunities, and more.
Before we dive in, let’s go over a few things you should research and look into before picking a place to work from:
- Visa/passport requirements.
- The average cost of living including the exchange rate for your currency, rent, and the cost of goods like groceries and going out.
- Access to fast and reliable internet.
- Coworking spaces.
- Things to do and places to see in your free time.
- Time zone.
Canggu, Bali has become a true center for freelancers and digital nomads, mainly because of high living standards and low maintenance costs. A dynamic community of entrepreneurs is growing at a steady rate. Local companies and businesses, stimulated by this trend, are doing their best to meet all expectations. And that's why there are plenty of cafes with Wi-Fi and workspaces with fast internet. In Bali, you will find a tropical climate, great weather, lush nature, breathtaking views, and a wide range of activities that will provide you with the perfect fuel for productive workdays. Think surfing, hiking, spa, crafts, workshops, etc.
Over the last few years, Oakland has emerged as an economic and cultural powerhouse of its own. Closely located to one of the most expensive and full of opportunities cities in the United States, San Francisco, Oakland is the second-best freelancing city in the country. With an average of 12.6% self-employment rate and a 4.8% job growth, Oakland has an abundance of amenities that help power a strong freelance culture.
Four words that will make every freelancer smile: No state income tax. With a low cost of living and a 9.9% self-employment rate, this is an ideal Texas city, alongside Fort Worth, El Paso, and Houston, to choose for your freelancing career. While plenty of major companies are open to many options for remote workers to choose from, the ability to work remotely is increasing. This city’s unique culture will keep you hooked, and faster than average internet speeds will keep you productive.
Barcelona is one of the top 3 most visited cities by freelancers and digital nomads. This city is full of history, has amazing architecture, and beautiful weather almost all year round. Barcelona, the city of freelancers and creatives, is filled with networking events and houses over 300 coworking spaces which have exploded in popularity. We promise you, you will never be bored in this city.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai attracts freelancers and digital nomads like a magnet. This city has many things to offer: perfect weather, low maintenance costs, good Wi-Fi, and friendly people. Chiang Mai is a popular meeting place for the digital nomad community during winter when the cold and long evenings in other parts of the world encourage sunny trips around Asia. For this reason, many cafes in Chiang Mai are practically indistinguishable from coworking spaces. It is a tourist-friendly country in which it is easy to find oneself thanks to the Thai kindness and their willingness to help make you feel at home. During your free time, you'll definitely find something to do.
Krakow hits the spot with its beautiful old town center, small cobbled streets, infamous history, its proximity to the mountains for skiing and hiking, and friendly locals. This Polish gem is easy to get around and is a popular place for traditional tourists and abroad studies, which accounts for its energetic and young vibe, despite some of its traumatic histories.
The low average cost of living makes Krakow one of the most affordable cities. With plenty of places to connect to free Wi-Fi, and coworking spaces offering free resources, such as yoga or networking activities, Krakow is a thriving city for freelancers and digital nomads to network in.
For a lesson in what work-life balance means, heading to Germany is a great start. Berlin’s unique creative and trendy vibe is perfect for freelancers and digital nomads looking for inspiration. The German heart of culture and the capital may be the most freelancer-friendly city on the European continent. When you have little time, you'll have a lot to discover, from the world-famous street art, a diverse culinary scene, and top-rated museums. The capital of Germany is well-connected by public transportation, has a thriving nightlife, and affordable apartments.
Lisbon has become one of the top European capitals that attract freelancers and people from creative industries. It is a city where fast and reliable internet takes the coworking scene to a new level. Unique workspaces and cafes will make you immediately feel productive, inspired, and easily establish contact with a young international crowd of entrepreneurs who make up 18% of the population. As for the western capital, the cost of living is relatively moderate and you can often find accommodation at a good price. Lisbon is a city where tradition combines with elegance and in which vibrant colors and the coast bring inspiration every day. Portuguese culture is friendly and hospitable, and there are plenty of great restaurants, cozy cafes, and bars in the city itself.
Out of the four eastern economies that boasted enormous growth rates and financial strength in the 1960s and 1990s, including Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan - Taiwan may be the most remote-friendly workplace. Its capital, Taipei, is modern, clean, and safe, remaining extremely accessible, given the overall top quality of life. You can find plenty of coworking spaces and cafes to work from in the city. Fun fact: Taipei recently has become one of the largest coffee cities in the world! In your free time, explore Taiwan's famous night markets and go hiking on the many scenic routes that are located within the city limits. With the world’s fastest internet, low cost of living, and no visa requirement, Taiwan is becoming one of the top destinations for people working remotely.
New York, New York
While New York City may not be the cheapest place to live in the world, the sheer amount of business opportunities for freelancers and remote workers is a plus. And with recent laws like the Freelance Isn't Free Act, freelance workers are largely protected.
When it comes to work and life balance, New York City makes sense for digital nomads, providing amazing perks for their careers and personal lives. It’s a perfect combination of opportunities with startups companies, flexible living options, cultural pursuits, and self-development, all making this city the place to be. It’s easy to find coworking spaces in New York that offer a community, networking events, reliable internet, and so much more.