The digital nomad lifestyle is pretty much synonymous with a love of travel and a desire to see as much of the world as possible.
If you do enjoy your current living accommodations, you obviously also have the choice of sticking around in one location for as long as possible. But, the freedom to choose between remaining static for a while or moving around as much as you’d want to is the main reason why people become digital nomads.
If you’re new to the lifestyle and want to start off on the right foot, then we can be your guide on a short trip through some of the most popular and cheapest places for digital nomads that you might like to visit.
Don’t worry; we won’t start talking about the monetary aspect of traveling worldwide right away and how much or how little you’ll need to survive in certain cities. Nor will we start talking about possible job openings that you can take to finance your lifestyle (mainly because we already have an article that covers this topic).
For starters, we want to point out that we’re not focusing on particular cities out of a purely financial aspect. We don’t know exactly what you do or how much money you make in a given month.
Certain digital nomads are known to pull in five-figure sums, while others may even struggle to get to four initially.
All of our recommendations will come from the viewpoint of an average earner and how much they can really be able to afford without breaking the bank.
You’re free to go to Berlin or Buenos Aires if that’s what you choose, but locations in Greece or Mexico might prove to be just as scenic at much more affordable prices.
We’re trying to say that “cheapest places for digital nomads” will have different meanings for different people, so feel free to disagree with our choices.
Another factor in our choices for the best cities to visit (or live in) for digital nomads is obviously going to be the digital nomad community of the city.
Expats are people that live outside of their native country and usually have a community that’s welcoming to outsiders and fellow digital nomads.
Integrating into such a group can help you find potential co-living partners and maybe even lifelong friends. It really helps to have someone to talk to if you’re, for example, an American in Romania, and you can only speak English.
This is that much more of a factor if you move around from country to country frequently, and you can’t be expected to know Spanish, German, and every other European language in existence.
We say European, but the truth is that this would happen even if you live in South America or Southeast Asia.
Going to expat meetups is also a good way to find people that know a bit more about the city, the nightlife hotspots, the best coworking spaces for freelancers, the way that public transport works, and so on.
These sorts of meetups are usually advertised under the expat tag on social media or on the city’s main site.
You can also simply get lucky and come across a poster that’s advertising a meetup like this in the city center or in several free wifi coffee shops around the city.
Alternatively, you can simply join Nomadlist and immediately get involved with an active community of remote workers.
We recommend the last method since it’s the easiest way to contact people, regardless of whether you’re staying in Argentina, Bulgaria, Estonia or pretty much any country.
The living costs in this article are going to be based on the overall monthly Airbnb rent prices.
This isn’t a flawless system, but in general, a big city, or especially a capital city with high rent costs, is unlikely to have an overall low cost of living.
We’ll also do our best to point out a few notable attractions that you might like to visit, which cities are walkable at night, and any notable delicacies or street food that you might want to keep an eye out for.
These tips are just for about your first week, though, since you’ll get a much better grasp of the city than we ever will in no time if you end up working there.
But as long as we’re giving out tips, we’d like to point out that it’s this first week that will enable you to get a good grasp of your quality of life there and how much it’ll set you back each month. This way, you’ll know when you should spend frugally and when you can afford to treat yourself a little.
In general, as long as you avoid fancy hipster restaurants with overpriced menus and don’t take an Uber or a taxi everywhere you go, you should be fine.
If you have $500 to spend on rent, then you’re pretty much able to get any mid-sized apartment in Bangkok, with some going for prices that are in the double digits.
While crime isn’t at an all-time high, it’s still recommended that you don’t go out at night to secluded locations or stray far from the center of the city.
Bangkok is known for the restaurants that serve hot and sour prawn soup and the plentiful cafes with fast internet that you can use to get some work done.
The country doesn’t have different travel visa standards for other nationalities, so everyone can apply by providing the necessary documents.
Housing prices in Budapest start at around $500, but you’ll probably need to spend at least $1000 a month to get an apartment that has air conditioning, decent internet speed, and is in a good location in the city.
There are plenty of coworking spaces that are available in the city, as well as a website that can help you find them and get in contact with the city’s expat community.
You’ll be able to acquire a month-long tourist visa, and you’ll be granted the option to extend it at the end of each month for the duration of your stay.
The average apartment prices start at around $300, with the slightly more confined or less appealing choices going for a staggeringly low $100 a month.
Native residents of the US, UK, and Canada can receive a month-long tourist visa upon arrival into the country, with the option for a single month-long extension.
Bali also has its own expat or coworking site where you can go to see if there are any upcoming meetups or events that you can attend.
The monkey forest and the rice terrace are some of the most striking locations that you can visit in this region, but we’d recommend not visiting any poorly lit locations at night.
Due to the fact that this is a pretty popular tourist and honeymoon destination, the rent prices can be pretty steep, with the average being around $1500–$2000.
Keep in mind that there will also be off months (usually during the fall or winter months) when the tourists won’t be so plentiful, and the prices will go down significantly.
The same sort of travel restrictions and regulations apply as our previous entry, but with new sights to see and exotic food to find.
Due to the fact that it’s thought of mostly as a tourist hotspot, the expat community is not quite as prevalent as in Ubud, and there aren’t quite as many coworking office options either.
For the most part, the apartments in Ho Chi Minh are available for less than $400, with the larger ones coming in at below $1000.
You’ll have access to plenty of coworking spaces, as well as a very large community that can help you get a better hand at the sprawling landscape of the city and its transport system.
The crime rates are pretty average, with the city itself being neither the safest nor the most dangerous region in the country. However, we’d mainly still recommend a decent amount of caution and taking precautions when it comes to unlit roads at night.
People that just know Vietnam for its conflict with the US are in for a surprise when they see the breathtaking natural beauty that the country has to offer.
Apartments in Lisbon can go for anything between $1500–$2000; however, you’ll also have small one-room options for around half the standard price.
Any American citizen that’s planning to stay in Lisbon for less than three months or 90 days doesn’t need a travel visa. Keep in mind that this only applies to anyone who has a valid passport for more than six months beyond your stay.
The crime rates in Lisbon and Portugal are pretty high, so it’s recommended that you take precautions if you decide to give this location a shot.
The average rent in Chiang Mai is usually just below $500, meaning that it deserves its place on our cheapest places for digital nomads list.
The city also has a large expat community and a site that you can visit to keep up to date on all of the frequently organized meetups for newcomers. The site also gives you access to the most important locations in the city as well.
This way, you’ll easily be able to find the best food spots, the coworking and private offices that you can rent out, and access to a lot of other helpful information as well.
The rent prices in Taipei are all over the place, and you can easily find an apartment for anything between $500 and $2000.
Short-term visitors that don’t plan to stay for more than 90 days are free to enter without a visa, and there are no extensions.
If you’re a resident of the US planning to stay for a longer period of time, you’ll need to apply for a visa and have a passport that’s valid throughout the duration of your stay.
Taipei is a great tourist destination, but it lacks in terms of digital nomad communities.
The rent prices vary around the $1000–$1500 mark, with perks like air conditioning and a fast internet connection usually being the root cause of the price difference.
Colombia is pretty notorious for its high crime rates, and while Medellin isn’t as bad as certain other regions, you should still try to avoid going out at night with heavy pockets.
Travel visas are valid for half a year, after which you’ll need to leave the country for at least two weeks before being able to re-enter.
Those that decide to take a chance on the city will find that it’s a beautiful place, with a thriving expat scene and plenty of places where a full-time digital nomad can get some work done.
Apartment prices gravitate around the $500 mark, but you can also find much cheaper alternatives, as well as more luxurious accommodations.
Residents of the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (so pretty much every native English-speaking country) are only required to obtain a travel visa if they plan to stay for longer than a year.
You won’t find nightlife on the level of New York, but the natural beauty of the city and the local delicacies have a different sort of charm to them.
As we said before, these are only our suggestions, and there are plenty of other beautiful locations that you can go to which are very reasonably priced.
Whether you decide to go to Spain or Cambodia is up to you, but even though many of them have flaws, the ten cities on our list are still a pretty good choice for any digital nomad.
The 10 Cheapest Places for Digital Nomads: