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The following is a guest post from Brittany Loeffler, a digital nomad and co-founder of Nomads Embassy.
Finding the best digital nomad destinations can be a bit overwhelming, especially with so many fantastic countries openly welcoming remote workers.
Becoming a digital nomad offers the luxury of exploring multiple of exploring multiple destinations each year while earning a sustainable income just from a laptop and a solid WiFi connection. However, finding a destination that meets the needs of a traveling remote worker can be challenging.
Choosing a country or city as a digital nomad isn’t like choosing a place to vacation. You must consider if the destination will support the lifestyle.
So, what makes a destination digital nomad-friendly?
A digital nomad destination should have the following features:
- Reliable wifi connection
- Ideal weather
- Good walkability
- Convenient public transportation
- Coworking spaces or cafes with wifi
- Digital nomad community
Whether you’re just starting your digital nomad lifestyle or have been on the road for a couple of years now, you’ll find this article helpful when planning your travels for 2023.
What is a Digital Nomad?
First things first, let’s dive into what exactly is a digital nomad.
A digital nomad is someone who earns a sustainable income from their laptop while traveling the world. They can work as a remote employee for a company, own their own business, or work as a freelancer with various clients.
The digital nomad lifestyle really took off in 2020 as companies switched to a remote work model during the COVID-19 pandemic. As many people decided that the office life wasn’t for them, they ventured out in the world and started a minimalist, traveling lifestyle.
Digital Nomad Destinations to Visit in 2023
Maybe you’re a digital nomad who likes to be on the move every few months, or you’re looking to settle down for a while with a digital nomad visa.
No matter what kind of lifestyle you want, the digital nomad destinations on this list are suitable for your lifestyle and welcome remote workers with open arms. All of these destinations meet the requirements for a digital nomad lifestyle, and some even offer long-stay visas specifically for remote workers.
The gorgeous South American country of Colombia has been a long-time favorite destination for digital nomads. Bogota and Medellín are two of the best digital nomad cities in South America and are hotspots that digital nomads flock to due to their remote worker communities.
Not only will you find beauty and reliable wifi in Colombia, but you’ll also experience some of the most magnificent sites and enjoy the most incredible food. You’ll definitely fall in love with adding dishes like arepas, pan de boco, and chocolate Santafereño to your diet during your time in Colombia.
While the country has had a questionable past with violence, there have been improvements. Many digital nomads who have lived in Colombia have great things to say about the cities. Always remember to travel smart and be aware of your surroundings!
One of the most attractive things about this destination is the affordable cost of living for a quality lifestyle. You could easily live in Medellin for around $700 per month, including rent.
If you’re one of the many digital nomads who fall in love with Colombia and want to extend your stay, the country is offering a 2-year digital nomad visa to remote workers.
Start learning some Portuguese and make your way over to the largest country in South America, Brazil. Home to the Amazon rainforest, digital nomads love the adventure and excitement this country has to offer.
With such vast landscapes and cities, visitors have the opportunity to try different lifestyles and find a place that’s right for them. From the major city of Rio de Janeiro to islands like Florianopolis to the country’s first digital nomad village on the beach in Pipa, Brazil is full of digital nomad-friendly options.
Brazil is definitely not for the faint of heart, though. While it has all of the amenities necessary to live a successful digital nomad lifestyle, this is a destination for more experienced nomads.
The small yet exciting country of Montenegro in the Balkans is a definite up-and-coming digital nomad destination that you should add to your travel plans. Cities such as Kotor, Budva, and Podgorica are popular spots for digital nomads to set up their temporary homes.
Montenegro is an excellent hideout for those travelers who would like to stay around Europe without overstaying their Schengen visa. So, you can wait out in Montenegro for a bit until you can enter the area again.
As one of the safest destinations in the world, Montenegro is perfect for new digital nomads and solo female travelers. English is also widely spoken, making it easy to get around the country and make connections. It’s also very affordable and has a lower cost of living compared to other European countries.
While the digital nomad community is small right now, it’s expected to grow larger with the introduction of Montenegro’s 2-year digital nomad visa.
If you need inspiration for what to do while you’re there, check out my lists of things to do in Budva and things to do in Kotor.
With 300 days of sun in the year, Malta is an excellent digital nomad destination that is worth visiting in 2023. This small island in the Mediterranean is full of remote workers and accommodating coworking spaces and cafes with free wifi.
The most popular cities for digital nomads in Malta include the country’s capital Valletta, Sliema, St. Julian’s, and Victoria, which is located on the sister island of Gozo. Malta has a unique and interesting history and culture that can be witnessed and studied simply by walking around the ancient cities.
What digital nomads love most about Malta is the 5G connection and the large digital nomad community. It’s never been easier to meet like-minded people. Plus, English is an official language in Malta, which makes it even more convenient to connect with locals and find your way through the islands.
Malta is another country that offers a digital nomad visa. Known as the Nomad Residence Permit, digital nomads can live in the country for one year with the possibility to renew it twice.
Do you want the crystal clear waters of Greece but for a fraction of the price? That’s exactly what you get when you visit Albania.
For digital nomads on a budget or who want to save as much as possible while traveling, Albania is one of the best cheap digital nomad destinations to visit. With an extremely affordable cost of living with a high quality of life in the Mediterranean, you’ll quickly fall in love with this country.
You’ll find many digital nomads living in the capital city of Tirana, as well as beachside towns like Durres, Sarande, and Korce.
With excellent wifi connection, coworking spaces, and cafes with a laptop-friendly culture, Albania is a must-visit digital nomad destination in 2023.
If you’re searching for a budget-friendly destination in the European Union, look no further than Hungary. With the capital city of Budapest being a top digital nomad destination, you can’t go wrong by setting up your base here for a couple of months.
The wifi is strong, and the coworking spaces are plentiful. Plus, with a large digital nomad community hosting events and meetups, you’ll have a ton of opportunities to grow your network and meet new people.
Hungary is also well connected with other countries that you can explore. Take a weekend trip to Poland or hop on a budget airline flight and explore the rest of Europe as you please.
If you fall in love with the country and its friendly people, you can apply to live there for one year with Hungary’s digital nomad visa too.
A popular digital nomad destination in 2023 will surely be Romania. With outstanding and intricate architecture lining the cities’ streets, affordable cost of living, and a large tech community, this country is welcoming digital nomads left and right.
The most popular places for digital nomads in Romania are Bucharest, Sibiu, Brasov, and Timisoara. There are many coworking spaces and cafes with free wifi throughout the country. You’ll get to experience a great contrast between walking through streets dating back thousands of years while carrying your laptop in your backpack.
If you’re someone who thrives in the winter and loves watching the snow fall, then Romania is the perfect destination for your travels during the colder months.
Maybe you’re not one for the cold and prefer a warmer climate instead. If that sounds like you, then Indonesia definitely needs to be on your travel list. Bali is a much-loved destination for digital nomads, spirituality seekers, and yoga lovers.
With colorful greenery, exceptionally friendly locals, a plethora of activities, and some of the most majestic beaches and landscapes you’ll ever witness, Indonesia is perfect for digital nomads. There is such a large community of remote workers from all over the world that making friends and connections is as easy as sitting in a cafe and striking up a conversation.
They say that Indonesia, especially Bali, provides such a unique spiritual experience that many people claim to “find themselves” during their time here. Plus, the low cost of living definitely helps take away some of the stress you may be feeling as a digital nomad.
In other great news about the destination, digital nomads can live in Bali for up to six months with the B211a e-visa instead of the limited 60 days with a visa on arrival.
For those remote workers who have to keep a meeting schedule with their North American countries, then Mexico is an excellent option as a digital nomad destination. With warm weather, affordable prices, and incredible food, Mexico is a long-time favorite place for those looking to get a little more excitement out of life.
Popular destinations for digital nomads in Mexico include Mexico City, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Puerto Vallarta. You’ll find many nomads setting up their laptops in cafes or taking advantage of the various coworking spaces throughout the country.
It’s also extremely easy to travel around the country and check out other unique cities and destinations with a reliable bus system and flight routes. Let’s also not forget that you’ll see some of the most stunning sunsets over the ocean and get the chance to learn about ancient civilizations and massive monuments throughout the nation during your time there.
If you’re looking for a beautiful coast along the Mediterranean sea, incredibly beautiful ancient and Medieval towns, and delicious dishes and seafood, then look no further than Croatia!
Many digital nomads stick to visiting main Western European countries and end up missing out on Croatia’s gorgeous coastline and history. Not to mention, there is so much to do and see in the country. From the Plitvice National Park with jaw-dropping waterfalls to walled cities like Dubrovnik and Split to the thousands of islands scattered off the coast, you’ll never get bored being a nomad in Croatia.
The wifi is impeccable. The transportation is spot on. The cost of living is low compared to other Mediterannean destinations. It’s also an incredible destination to visit year round as the southern part of the country has fairly mild weather during the winter.
If you enjoy your lifestyle in Croatia, you can apply for the country’s digital nomad visa and live there for one year to get the full experience.
Another digital nomad destination you should definitely check out in 2023 is Thailand. While it has been a popular destination for a while, it shows no signs of slowing down.
With such a large community of digital nomads, you’ll surely find a great community of like-minded people during your time here. Travelers will get to experience various landscapes including islands, cities, and mountains. Some of the most popular destinations are Koh Phi Phi, Koh Samui, Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Pai.
It’s easy to get around Thailand thanks to the ferry system, private transfers, and flight routes. However, you can always rent a scooter and do some exploring on your own too.
The cost of living in Thailand is surprisingly affordable, even less expensive than Indonesia in some places. You’ll find a great balance between fun and productivity thanks to the strong wifi and activities to partake in.
Are you craving that pura vida lifestyle? Then look no further than Costa Rica!
With some of the most stunning beaches in the world, Costa Rica is quickly becoming one of the best countries for digital nomads to live in. You’ll absolutely fall in love with the nature and rainforest. From ziplining through bright greenery to learning how to surf to simply lounging on the beach, there are so many things to do in Costa Rica that digital nomads will never want to leave this gorgeous country.
While the cost of living is a bit higher compared to other nearby countries, Costa Rica is definitely worth budgeting a visit. Some of the most popular destinations for digital nomads in Costa Rica include San Jose, Playa Hermosa, and Santa Teresa.
In 2022, the government introduced Costa Rica’s digital nomad visa, allowing remote workers to live in the country for two years tax-free. That’s right! You can live in Costa Rica and not pay any income tax. Plus, you can import your car tax-free too for even easier traveling.
How does living on an island in the Mediterranean experiencing two different cultures sound? When you visit Cyprus as a digital nomad, that’s exactly what you’ll get!
With mild weather year-round and bright sunshine, digital nomads love working from Cyprus. You’ll also have a chance to experience both Greek and Turkish culture depending on which side of the island you wish to stay. Many digital nomads enjoy staying in Paphos and Limassol due to their locations near the sea, cafes with wifi, and transportation network.
It’s also a great option for those looking to get out of the Schengen area for a while but still stay in Europe. Since Cyprus isn’t part of Schengen, you can come and spend some time there before going back.
Cyprus is also a great place for entrepreneurial digital nomads searching for a favorable destination to open their companies. With enticing tax rates, Cyprus is a a great place to do that.
Speaking of great tax rates, digital nomads can move to the country for one year and take advantage of these rates with Cyprus’s digital nomad visa.
Where Will You Go in 2023?
So there you have it – a full list of the best digital nomad friendly countries for 2023.
Whether you’re a digital nomad searching to set up your new temporary home or you’re simply searching for a new destination to explore and fall in love with, you won’t regret visiting any of the countries named on this list!
Book Your Trip
Don’t forget travel insurance: Heymondo is the best travel insurance company and offers affordable policies. Safetywing is perfect for long-term travelers and digital nomads.
Book your flights: Find cheap flights using Google Flights, Skyscanner or Kayak. To get travel deals sent straight to your inbox, sign up for Scott’s Cheap Flights or Jack’s Flight Club. Use the Hopper app for their AI powered price change predictions.
Booking your accommodation: I use Booking.com to book all my hotels. Their Genius loyalty program allows you to earn reward credits no bookings and 10%-20% off hotel prices. You can also try Google Hotels and TripAdvisor to search prices across a variety of sites. Agoda is the best site for booking hotels in Asia.
Travel on a budget: Staying in hostels is a great way to meet people and is best if you’re on a budget. You can find plenty of awesome hostels with Hostelworld.
Find Tours: For day tours and multi-day trips I always use GetYourGuide and Viator.
Rental Cars: Search the best rental car deals on Rentalcars.com or Discover Cars.