Whether you are a traveller looking for authenticity out of the typical tourist route, or a digital nomad looking for an idyllic location with great Wi-Fi that hasn’t adopted an over-inflated cost of living (yet). Everyone wants to know where the next best place is to be.
You’ve heard of Chiang Mai. But what’s next after Thailand? Is it Taiwan, Mexico, Indonesia or Colombia?
Read this guide to discover the most up and coming digital nomad hubs for 2018.
- Medellin, Colombia
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Santiago, Chile
- Playa del Carmen, Mexico
- Austin, USA
- Portland, USA
- San Diego, USA
- Krakow, Poland
- Sofia, Bulgaria
- Porto, Portugal
- Taipei, Taiwan
- Canggu, Indonesia
- Ko Lanta, Thailand
Digital Nomad Hubs in Latin America
Let’s start here.
You might have heard of Medellin thanks to Pablo Escobar, or the Netflix series Narcos. But Medellin is far from what you would imagine. The city is a glowing example of how Colombia is changing, and fast. Digital nomads are swarming here to experience the latin “vibe” in a progressive and entrepreneurial city.
Aptly named the “City of Eternal Spring” thanks to temperatures in Medellin remaining relatively stable throughout the year at an average of 72 F or 22 C. It has a cheap cost of living, lots of small towns to discover and new, quirky restaurants and cafes popping up on every corner. Medellin is high up on my list for 2018!
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Although Asia has always been popular amongst digital nomads, South America has definitely risen to join its popularity. Buenos Aires, is another up and coming destination for online entrepreneurs looking to work as they travel. It is quickly becoming recognised all over the world as having a vibrant digital nomad community, inviting residents and bursting with culture. Their numerous working cafes and excellent internet is attracting more and more entrepreneurs yearly. Apparently, it is not uncommon to see locals hit the streets with some tango or other fun activities. A great place to work hard and play harder!
Santiago has a booming economy and is currently a rapidly growing city. Local amenities are in most areas and accommodation is easy to find. It has an expanding working cafe culture, a buzzing nightlife as well as numerous cultural attractions to see. The cost of living is not as cheap as areas in Asia or even in neighbouring countries, but it’s not hard to find places with cheap eats and drinks. The city has been attracting more and more digital nomads and you will not find it hard to find some like-minded expats here.
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Playa Del Carmen, Mexico (or just Playa by most residents) is a digital hub just waiting to be inundated. The climate is hot, the cost of living is decent, good wifi is available in the built up areas and you can experience anything from whale sharks, sea turtles to ancient Mayan ruins. Not many digital nomads have flocked to the city as compared to places such as Chiang Mai and Bali. Granted, there are not many places to work from yet and the city offers few co-working spaces. However, with the city on the up, you can be sure that this will soon become a buzzing entrepreneurial haven.
Digital Nomad Hubs in North America
Austin is the home of many internet marketing entrepreneurs that are more inclined to look for a base to work from. It’s a city jam packed with co-working spaces and events like South by Southwest. With long, warm summers and short winters, it’s an ideal place for digital nomads looking to escape the winter. Although still a popular location for other Americans, it is slowly becoming a location that is attracting a more international crowd.
Portland is a slightly more expensive than Austin, but it still has a huge entrepreneurial appeal. The landscape and weather are very liveable. You can experience four very distinctive seasons. Portland is famously the host of the “World Domination Summit” for unconventional thinkers which could confirm the city’s growing digital nomad mindset.
San Diego, USA
If you want to escape the steep prices of San Francisco, but you still want incredible weather and the Californian lifestyle, then look no further than San Diego. Some refer to it as a “digital nomad paradise” due to its sunny climate all year round, buzzing creative energy and hip cafes and bars. It’s definitely high up there on the list for the States!
Digital Nomad Hubs in Europe
Southern Poland, near the border of Czech Republic, Krakow is slowly being recognised as a great place in Europe to start off your business. It doesn’t have most appealing climate for sun-chasers, but it is extremely cheap! The affordable nature of the city is attracting bootstrapping entrepreneurs who are looking to grow their businesses. Food is delicious and cheaply available everywhere and affordable accommodation is easy to find. Wi-Fi speeds are decent and being Europe, there is some familiarity of the English language and cafe culture.
Sofia is evolving every day with cafes, restaurants and bars popping up regularly. You can experience a great summer in Sofia with a hot, sunny climate and very mild winters. However, one of the best and most notable things about Sofia is that it has some of the fastest internet speeds in Europe (all at around €10-15 per month!). If you are looking for a city where you can be at your most productive with almost every cafe having excellent internet, this might be the place for you.
You are probable aware of Lisbon, being one of the best European destinations for online entrepreneurs, but have you thought about Porto? This up and coming Portuguese city has quietly risen to digital nomad friendly status over the last few years. Not only is it excellently cheaper than its bigger sister, the city itself is stunning! You can watch the sun go down every night by the bridge of Dom Luis, walk down the winding, cobbled streets and admire the traditional hand-painted building tiles.
Digital Nomad Hubs in Asia
Taipei has huge potential as a digital nomad hub. It is a fast paced, 24 hour city that is always on the move. The climate can be quite humid with very high temperatures in summer and rainy winters. The Taiwanese culture is pretty open-minded and the city has attracted many overseas workers (mostly English teachers) over the past 5 years. One of the best things about Taiwan as a destination for online entrepreneurs is the Visa. There is no need to apply for a visa of you are from most European countries and the US. All you have to do is turn up and you can enjoy 90 days in Taiwan hassle and Visa free. If you would like to stay longer, you can apply for an extension of 90 days at your local immigration agency. I spent 6 months travelling around Taiwan last year!
Canggu has recently been put on the map by digital nomads looking for a coastal area of Indonesia. Ubud offers one of the larger nomad hubs in Asia, but Canggu is for people looking for an up and coming location that is closer to the beach. There are visibly more modern buildings popping up monthly but there are still uncrowded streets, beautiful weather and an array of quiet cafes and places where you can work form.
Ko Lanta, Thailand
If Chiang Mai is a little crowded for your liking, you might want to consider Ko Lanta. With one large co-working space (KoHub), it has a considerably smaller nomad scene in comparison to Chiang Mai. The general atmosphere is a lot less “co-working” with less conversations surrounding business and entrepreneurship, drinking coffee and living the poster “digital nomad” lifestyle. It is laid back, approachable, humble and still very cheap. Business in a peaceful and beautiful environment.