Starting your journey to become a remote worker and more specifically a digital nomad can be very scary. It requires a lot of planning, research and a skillset that allows you to work from anywhere and afford to travel while you do that. And even though there are a lot of tools out there to help you prepare for this adventure, the digital nomad lifestyle it’s certainly an appealing but challenging goal to have in mind, and one of the trickiest aspects of it could be your financial situation. 

But be aware the digital nomadism can still be for you, you just need to know where to go. Instead of starting your new career in more expensive cities such as Berlin, why not try smaller cities and less well-known places with a lower cost of living but equally great quality of life? As the term digital nomad becomes more popular, more and more places are starting to adapt to this new kind of tourism and you can find nice coworking spaces or highly equipped cafes to work from in the cites you’d least expect. To help new and future digital nomads take the leap and start traveling the world, we compiled a list of most affordable cities for digital nomads out there. 

#1 Canggu, Bali 

Canggu is one of the hottest destinations in Bali right now! Buzzing with liveliness, creative types, surfers, digital nomads and yogis, this former fisherman’s village is a must-visit. It is full of colorful beachfront bars, surf-ready waves, wholefood cafes, hipsters and beach babes. For digital nomads looking to explore every inch of this World, Canggu is the place to be. It’s where rice field vistas meet volcanic black sand beaches and you don’t have to compromise on dining and nightlife.

digital nomad- Canggu, Bali

This incredible vibe between cultures and lifestyles can only be achieved in a place with such a rich history such as Bali. The island has served as a meetup place for generations of surfers, adventure tourists, and laid-back locals. It’s survived terrorist attacks and economic downturns. Yet, up until a few years ago, it wasn’t really on many people’s bucket list destinations to visit. 

Over the years this has changed and Canggu has become something of a legend in the global digital nomad community. It’s got thousands of digital nomads at all times, tons of coworking spaces littered around the city, incredible lush green landscapes, and an easy-going and laid-back summer beach town vibe. This makes it one of the best places to work remotely, and it’s one of the cheapest places to live in the world as a digital nomad.

Digital Nomad tips: 

  1. Average Rent: $300- $400/ month
  2. Food Shopping: $100/ month
  3. Overall Cost of Living: $800/ month
  4. Co-working spaces or nice cafés: Dojo Bali and Coffe and Oven 

#2 Budapest, Hungry 

In case you want to live in a place that will keep you entertained while you work on your digital nomad career, Budapest has an endless array of wonders to visit: The Buda Castle, the Parlament, Fisherman’s Bastion and so much more. Obviously, this creates huge affluence of tourists and prices are also affected. However, in comparison to other touristy European cities, Budapest is still frequently described as a “budget city for digital nomads”. 

Growing digital nomad hub - Budapest, Hungary

This captivating city is split into two parts: Buda and Pest, separated by the Danube River. Buda is more hilly and historical, while Pest is flatter and more modern. You can get lost in the history and culture while you gawk at the city’s beauty after the sunsets.

Besides being a vibrant city, with lots of things to do, Budapest also offers a great variety of places to work. There you can find top coworking spaces for an average price of €100 per month for a semi-permanent spot and there’s also a myriad of nice cafes with good WiFi connection. All things considered, Budapest is a very appropriate city for working as a digital nomad.

Digital Nomad tips: 

  1. Average Rent: $500-$600/ month
  2. Food Shopping: $150/ month
  3. Overall Cost of Living: $1200/ month
  4. Co-working spaces or nice cafés: Kubik and Impact Hub Budapest

#3 Lisbon, Portugal 

If you’re looking for a place that has easy accessibility to Europe and most of the United States, with rent as low as €500/month, Portugal should be on your radar. From port wine and tempura to striking castles and temperate weather that makes southern beach trips possible in March, you’ll quickly find that you don’t really have to go out and search for happenings in Portugal, the whole country is an attraction in and of itself.

Digital nomad and tech vibe - Lisbon, Portugal

Deemed as the “Chiang Mai of Europe” or the “new Berlin,” Lisbon has garnered recent attention with its influx of hip cafes, co-living rentals, and sophisticated coworking spaces. For that reason, Lisbon has wide open arms for digital nomads, with a broad range of workspaces from bohemian cafes to upscale offices. The city also features several ‘Creative Artistic Hubs’ located in places like art galleries, pubs, and museums. You can expand your creativity to balance out all the wine and beer you’ll enjoy.

Digital Nomad tips: 

  1. Average Rent: $700-$800/ month
  2. Food Shopping: $250/ month
  3. Overall Cost of Living: $1500/ month
  4. Co-working spaces or nice cafés: Second Home and Lacs

#4 Playa del Carmen, Mexico 

Recently, Playa del Carmen has been catching a lot of attention for being one of the most popular digital nomad hubs, despite being a touristy city. Besides the obvious draw of the world-class beaches, though, Playa is also easy. And if you want a beautiful place to ease into the Mexican lifestyle, where you can walk to the beach every evening, find cheap and really good food, and those amenities you still can’t live without such as quality gyms and large supermarkets — this is the place to come.

Digital Nomad Hub - Playa del carmen, Mexico

Compared to much of the world, the cost of living in Playa Del Carmen is cheap. It sits well below costs in the US, many European countries, and Australia. It is even cheaper than much of South America. 

“And what about the wifi?”- you might ask, as there’s no question more important to digital nomads than this one, and when it comes to Mexico, the waters are a bit murky. Most guides about living and working in Mexico are slightly outdated, claiming the wifi isn’t up to par for online-working-needs. Fortunately, that’s not true anymore in many of the larger cities like Playa Del Carmen. Here, for the most part, you can expect speeds of around 10 Mbps!

Digital Nomad tips: 

  1. Average Rent: $300-$400/ month
  2. Food Shopping: $200/ month
  3. Overall Cost of Living: $1000/ month
  4. Co-working spaces or nice cafés: Nest and Cowork In 

#5 Tallinn, Estonia 

Estonia’s nomad visa and space-age digital infrastructure are set to make Tallinn more attractive to digital nomads than ever. The country launched an e-Residency program, a government-issued digital identity that enables digital entrepreneurs to establish and manage a trusted global company entirely online – no matter where you are in the world. And with just over 400,000 people who call Tallinn home, the city is full of culture and history without feeling crowded or overwhelming. Even the busiest streets during rush hour seemed to have plenty of room for walking comfortably.

Tech Hub for Digital Nomad - Tallinn, Estonia

And if you’re looking to include a bit of culture into your day to day travels as a digital nomad, in 2011, Tallinn shared its Capital of Culture title with the Finnish town of Turku and organized over 250 cultural events, including theatrical, audiovisual, literature, sports and other projects throughout the year. The capital of Estonia was also voted as the best protected and intact medieval city in Europe. 

Digital Nomad tips: 

  1. Average Rent: $500-$600/ month
  2. Food Shopping: $400/ month
  3. Overall Cost of Living: $1500/ month
  4. Co-working spaces or nice cafés: Lift99 or Spring Hub 

#6 Bucharest, Romania 

The next city on our list is Bucharest, capital of Romania. The city is known for its friendly people and a busy nightlife, where you can walk through the old town at 1 am and find people just sitting down to dinner. As the streets are brightly lit, it makes Bucharest a great place for women traveling solo. For digital nomads, Bucharest is very affordable – you could find an awesome city center apartment for less than $30/night, and a fast internet connection can be found everywhere, as there are many coffee shops that act as a great workplace.

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest is also another great place to be based if you want to explore Europe a little more, with dozens of cheap flights to other European cities. But you don’t even have to go far, you can travel around the country quite easily too, as Bucharest has cheap train tickets and so much to experience. Hop on a train and in a few hours, you could be at the Black Sea, the Carpathian Mountains, Dracula’s castle or even volcanic mudflats.

Digital Nomad tips: 

  1. Average Rent: $350- $450/ month
  2. Food Shopping: $300/ month
  3. Overall Cost of Living: $1100/ month
  4. Co-working spaces or nice cafés: Casa M60 and Grand Cafe Van Gogh

#7 Penang, Malaysia

This is one of the best places digital nomads who also have a deep love of good food. Located just south of the Thailand-Malaysian border, Penang Island is a former British colony and multicultural hub. George Town, its charming capital, is packed with history and crumbling colonial architecture.

George Town, Penang- Malaysia

But the biggest draw of Penang is its culinary diversity. Foodies will be really happy as the range of incredible food is mind-blowing: Indian, Malay, Chinese and Thai cuisines have influenced Penang’s food culture. Quirky cafes are dotted around town offering free wifi and freshly brewed coffee to boost productivity. 

Digital Nomad tips: 

  1. Average Rent: $300-$400/ month
  2. Food Shopping: $120/ month
  3. Overall Cost of Living: $800/ month
  4. Co-working spaces or nice cafés: MSOGO and Scoopoint

#8 Koh Phangan, Thailand

Chiang Mai offers everything a digital nomad could wish for, except for one thing: there’s no beach. You’d be crazy not to use the beach as your office for at least some of your time in Thailand – a country famous for its white sandy beaches and turquoise waters – which is why I spent nearly four months working from Koh Phangan in the Gulf of Thailand.

Thailand's new digital nomad hub

If you look past the buckets of cheap cocktails and parties, you will find a beautiful island with a laid-back vibe that is fast becoming a magnet for digital nomads. The island is quickly learning to cater to its freelancer community, with a growing number of hostels and cafes offering fast Wi-Fi, plus two co-working spaces. But if what you need is a bit of inspiration, then what could be better than a hammock on the beach. Koh Phangan is just a weekend trip away from the amazing islands of Langkawi, an archipelago of 99 islands in the Andaman Sea. 

Digital Nomad tips: 

  1. Average Rent: $300- $400/ month
  2. Food Shopping: $120/ month
  3. Overall Cost of Living: $800/ month
  4. Co-working spaces or nice cafés: BEACHUB and Kohspace