10 Best Digital Nomad Destinations in 2021
by Kelsey Krahn
The digital nomad lifestyle means the world is yours to explore. Travel to the unspoiled areas of Europe. Discover lively cultures spanning the globe. Enjoy working amid the sweet-salty sea air, fresh mountain breezes, and vibrant cities.
Of course, none of this is possible without a good WiFi connection, right? And it helps to stay in a sport where you can meet other like-minded individuals, too.
So where are the best places to live as a digital nomad? Which cities will lead you to other remote workers, will provide solid WiFi, and have a low cost of living? Read on for in-depth descriptions of the best places to visit and live in 2021.
1. Prague, Czech Republic
Let the rich history, fairytale-like scenery, and abundance of WiFi-friendly locations sweep you off your digital-nomad feet in Prague! It feels as if this European city was tailor-made for digital nomads who love to work amid stunning architecture by day and dance by night.
Expect top-notch WiFi here! If you’re having trouble connecting, go work at a cafe or coworking space—several options span across the lovely Czech Republican city.
Visa Requirements for the Czech Republic
Digital nomads can apply for the Freelance Visa. All you need to do is prove that you have at least $5,600 in your bank account. It also costs $217 to actually get the visa.
Estimated Monthly Expenses in Prague
Numbeo estimates that you can survive Prague by only spending around $640 per month without rent. Apparently, it’s 51.06 % cheaper to live in Prague than in New York! That’s not so bad, right?
Prague contains numerous living options. The cheapest option? Renting out a one-bedroom apartment, which costs around $770. Or you can look into co-living space, which can cost between $785-$1,560 per month. But remember that co-living spaces come equipped with WiFi and a kitchen, so you can easily work from home and save some dollars.
What about transportation? Well, if you live in the city center, you can walk everywhere. But you’ll be happy to know that it only costs $1.10 for a single ticket for public transport.
Like most cities, Prague contains an array of cheap (but delicious—it’s Europe, after all) dining options, too. A cheap meal may cost you around $6, but if you have a kitchen, you can always concoct your own tasty dishes.
2. Koh Phangan, Thailand
Koh Phangan: where a sparkling shoreline, moped-friendly roads, a thriving international food (expect to find an abundance of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options) and party scene, and fiber-optic WiFi create the ultimate tropical island digital nomad paradise. Oh yes, it kind of has it all.
If you want to experience laid-back island vibes working in one of Koh Phangan’s many coffee shops, food spots, or coworking spaces (Beach Hub) amid ex-pats, travelers, and digital nomads, Koh Phangan is for you!
Side note: yogis, and health and wellness folk generally flock to Koh Phangan.
I remember walking through Koh Phangan, without a SIM, and connecting to various coffee shops and restaurants I’d visited during my time there. The point? There’s speedy WiFi everywhere!
Some may find the surplus of tourists overwhelming, especially when there’s a Full Moon Party, but it’s definitely a digital-nomad hot spot.
Visa Requirements for Thailand
Thailand is starting to crack down on visa requirements for digital nomads. The country recently introduced the Thai SMART Visa, but one blogger unveils its irrelevance to digital nomads. Therefore, it may be best to get a six-month multi-entry visa before you go. Beware: living in Thailand will have you doing a lot of border bounces.
Estimated Monthly Expenses in Koh Phangan
Expect to buy delicious Thai food for super cheap in Koh Phangan! I remember eating the most amazing food for only $2 a plate. Plus, if you’re really hungry, you can always stop at 7/11 for a cheap toastie.
You can also rent a place with WiFi, a living room, one bedroom, a kitchen, a bathroom, and A/C for around $360 a month.
What are some other expenses to consider? Scooter (or you can take a songthaew, but these don’t run as frequently in comparison to Koh Samui—the island just across the sea), gas, groceries, and phone costs. However, in total, Anna, a blogger, estimates that it costs around $530 per person per month. Not bad for a tropical paradise, right?
3. Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Who can say no to beautiful beaches, a foodie’s paradise, and a relatively low cost of living? Playa del Carmen may attract thousands of tourists every year, but it’s also a top-notch spot for digital nomads, especially ones from America. It’s nice to work in a similar time zone as your employers, isn’t it?
Visa Requirements for Mexico
Mexico has one of the best visas for digital nomads. The temporary resident visa grants you the chance to stay for a year. The best part? You can extend your stay three times, giving you four years in the country.
Estimated Monthly Expenses in Playa del Carmen
You wouldn’t expect a tourist attraction like Playa del Carmen to be cheap, but it’s definitely affordable. Munch on authentic tacos and burritos for just $3-5 (my dream food life). However, American-influenced restaurants will cost you around $20.
When you aren’t meandering Playa del Carmen on foot, you can opt to take a taxi or a bus for cheap. For example, a taxi around the central area will cost between $1.50 to $3. While a bus ticket will only cost $0.40.
What about living expenses? You can rent a private apartment for around $650 a month.
4. Taipei, Taiwan
If you want a clean, safe metropolis, Taiwan is your ideal destination. Expect to pay more money per month in comparison to the cities listed above, but the WiFi-friendly city will certainly appeal to your digital-nomads needs.
Visa Requirements for Taiwan
Residents from Canada, Chile, America, the EU, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan can get a 90-day visa on arrival. Luckily enough, Canadians and UK citizens can easily extend their visa for up to 180 days.
Estimated Monthly Expenses in Taipei
Taiwan may be more expensive than the cities listed above, but you can always shop for cheaper options. Don’t be afraid to stop by Taiwan’s vibrant street markets where satisfying street food comes in abundance.
What about when it comes to living expenses? Well, one blogger noted that it cost him $660 to rent a decent apartment with his wife. $330 isn’t a bad price to pay per person at all. The same writer unveiled that utilities cost him around $93 a month and he spent $665 on food, but he says he tries to eat super healthy and that it would be easy to chop the price in half. Including all expenses, he estimates that he dished out just over $1400 a month.
5. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
“I got a pocket, got a pocket full of sunshine!” Does anyone remember that song by Natasha Bedingfield? Good times. And now it’s probably in your head. Anyways, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has lovely weather year-round. It usually stays between 60°F to 81°F in the charming Spanish city.
Not only does the city boast of pleasant temperatures, but it has great WiFi too. On average, the internet runs at 27mbps. The canary islands have become a hot spot and a hub for digital nomads across the globe, thanks to its co-working spaces, relatively low cost of living, and vast scenery.
Visa Requirements for Spain
International travelers can live off the three-month Tourist Schengen visa, but Europeans can stay for however long they desire. Lucky, right?
Estimated Monthly Expenses in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Numbeo estimates that it will cost a single person $646.66 to live in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria for a month. But this price doesn’t include rent. Another source notes that it may cost around $500 to rent a single bedroom apartment.
What about transportation? If you travel within Las Palmas, public transport costs around $1.66. If you want to go south, you will have to dish out around $7.44. But you can also easily take up the eco-friendly option and bike the island!
6. Hoi An, Vietnam
To this day, Vietnam remains the cheapest country I’ve ever visited. Everything is affordable, from rent to utilities to phone bills to transportation to food. I remember buying a phone plan that gave me 60GB per month for 90,000 VND ($3.88). If the internet failed or the power went out, I used my phone as a hot spot. It was great. One of Vietnam’s most beautiful towns? Hoi An!
The quaint town encompasses an ancient center, a colorful riverfront, a sparkling beach, stark green rice fields, and more. You can find numerous restaurants and food markets that will suit dietary needs, too. When it comes to WiFi spots, you can either stop at one of Hoi An’s many cafes or check out their new coworking space.
If you want a relaxed environment, Hoi An is tailor-made for you.
Visa Requirements in Vietnam
Some nationalities can enter Vietnam on a 15-day visa, but if you want to stay longer, it’s best to apply for a visa ahead of time. Travelers can either get a one month or three-month single entry visa or a multi-entry visa. It’s a super easy process. Don’t forget to bring cash (USD) to pay for your visa at the airport.
Estimated Expenses in Hoi An
Not only is Vietnam cheap, but it’s an easy place to settle. One blogger suggests waiting to find a place to rent in Hoi An until you arrive. She notes that she landed a two-bedroom apartment for $500 within 24 hours of arriving (this price includes utilities).
Most people in Vietnam get around by scooter, and you can rent one for around $45. But a word of caution: no one knows how to drive. People signal left when they turn right. Drivers will pass you on your left or right side. Expect to see scooters driving along sidewalks to avoid rush hour. It may not be as hectic in Hoi An, but the main cities can be crazy!
Depending on where you live and what you eat, your monthly costs may range from $500 to $700 per person.
7. Lisbon, Portugal
Over the years, Lisbon has gained a reputation as a digital nomad hot spot, thanks to its sprawling European-styled metropolis, temperate climate, and budget-friendly cost of living. However, it’s important to note that the cost has gone up slightly.
Get connected to both WiFi and other like-minded individuals in Lisbon’s many coworking spots scattered across the city.
Visa Requirements in Portugal
European citizens can chill in Portugal for however long they so desire. Some citizens from specific countries can enter Lisbon for 90 days visa-free, but others may need a visa. It’s essential to check out visa requirements before you travel.
Estimated Expenses in Lisbon
In comparison to other popular European cities, Lisbon boasts of inexpensive, tasty food dishes, but if you’re used to prices in Asia, you may find it expensive. If you avoid tourist spots, you can fill your stomach for around $9.50.
A coworking space will cost around $120 month, while a one-bedroom apartment will cost $900. It’s slightly more expensive than other spots, but it’s definitely cheaper than other attractive, tourist-centric European cities. You can also find co-living spots and beautiful, furnished apartments in Lisbon.
When it comes to getting around Lisbon, a public transportation pass costs $42, which is definitely worth it if you plan on traveling from one end of the city to the other end a lot. However, Lisbon is super walkable, too.
8. Belgrade, Serbia
Let the friendly vibes of Belgrade envelop you! Digital nomads who have spent time in Belgrade say that it’s one of the most welcoming destinations for remote workers. In Belgrade, you’ll find a collection of coworking spots, fast-speed WiFi, and chill locals.
And when you’ve finished working, you can enjoy Belgarde’s energetic nightlife.
Visa Requirements in Serbia
American citizens can enter Serbia for 90 days without a visa, but if you wish to stay longer, you can always apply for a temporary residence permit while you’re in Serbia.
Estimated Expenses in Belgrade
For a European city, Belgrade is surprisingly cheap. You can rent a single bedroom apartment for $400. Whereas a monthly pass for a coworking space can cost you around $150. You can also munch on a decent meal for around $6.
9. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Get ready for Buenos Aires to enthrall you with its seamless combination of Latin American vibes and European-influence. It’s the city that fails to sleep, that entertains, and that will inspire the “work hard, play hard” mantra.
Expect to connect to WiFi anywhere. Get online in public parks, coworking spots, and coffee shops. In the midst of working, don’t be afraid to test out the delicious food spanning Buenos Aires. A meal may be more expensive than other Latin American cities, but you can still find cheap options ($6.50 a meal).
Visa Requirements in Argentina
Citizens from specific nations (like America and Canada) can enter Argentina for 90 days without applying for a visa beforehand. However, other nations will have to check out regulations for entering Argentina before departing.
Estimated Expenses in Buenos Aires
You can find a one-bedroom apartment in the city center for $400. However, if you only plan on staying for a month or less, you can always look for hotels or hostels, which may cost more. It’s advised to look for places to stay in safe neighborhoods like Recoleta and Palermo.
It costs nothing to get around Buenos Aires! A monthly public transport pass only costs $13.
If you enjoy coworking spaces, you can book a fixed desk for between (and around) $115 to $235 per month. Not bad, right?
10. Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Plovdiv, the city where ancient history, fascinating architecture, and hipster-approved galleries and coffee shops will satisfy any visitor. Not only will Plovdiv’s hilly scenery enchant digital nomads and travelers alike, but its speedy and affordable WiFi will make your remote work life that much easier.
Visa Requirements in Bulgaria
Travelers from certain countries do not have to apply for a visa before entering Bulgaria, and these tourists will get to stay for up to 90 days! It’s important to note that Bulgaria is outside of the Schengen area, so that may help to prolong your trip if you’re hopping around Europe.
Estimated Expenses in Plovdiv
It doesn’t cost much to live in Plovdiv! A nice apartment may have you dishing out just $280 a month. Feel free to check out hostels and hotels if you don’t want to stay long-term.
Numbeo estimates that it costs just $451.94 to live in Plovdiv (without rent). So if you add 451.94 and 280, you get $731.94! How cheap is that?!
Where is your favorite place to live? Feel free to discuss your ideal digital nomad destination with fellow remote workers and travelers in the comments below!
Where to next? Find flexible month-to-month rentals across the globe on Anyplace.
Freelance writer and globetrotter—Kelsey will only travel and work in places where she can watch hockey online (basically anywhere in the world). A content writer since 2017, she covers topics related to being a digital nomad or hockey.