5 Low-Cost Cities Perfect for Digital Nomads

Old Town architecture in Tallinn Estonia

Written by Jane Chertoff on

Jane Chertoff is a freelance lifestyle writer who enjoys traveling and exploring with her Chihuahua, Cesar. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

Old Town architecture in Tallinn Estonia

If you can work from anywhere, you might as well choose to live somewhere the rent’s affordable, leaving you plenty of cash for all your travel, coffee, and post-work beer needs. These five countries around the globe are digital nomad hotspots because they offer the perfect balance of affordable cost of living and high quality of life.

When you’re a digital nomad, the entire world is your office. You can set up shop (or you know, your laptop) anywhere there’s a strong Wi-Fi connection. But if you hunker down in a high cost of living city like San Francisco, London, or Sydney, the exorbitant rents can eat up your entire hard-earned budget.

Luckily it’s easy to relocate your operation to somewhere more affordable. The best digital nomad cities offer somewhere you can travel, live, and buy as many lattes from internet cafés as you want without worrying about all your funds going poof. Well, go ahead and pack up your international duffle, an organizer for your power cords and adapters, and buy your plane ticket. These five countries have an affordable cost of living and established digital nomad communities where you’ll feel right at home.

1. Thailand

From tropical beaches and islands to vibrant city life in Bangkok, to the center of the co-working café world in Chiang Mai, Thailand offers the dream lifestyle for many digital nomads. You might think all that luscious scenery and all the delicious noodles your heart desires would come at a premium price tag. Thailand can be extremely affordable for digital workers, though, as long as you don’t need a luxury apartment in the center of town. Plus, cities like Chiang Mai are home to endless co-working spaces and coffee shops. Bring your backpack with a laptop sleeve that you can easily transport from your apartment to the café to that weekend trip to the Thai islands and you’ll be living the digital nomad dream.

2. Mexico

Don’t want to go too far from home, but still want to experience life in a different culture? Many digital nomads from the U.S. head south across the border and choose to work remotely in Mexico. Cities like San Miguel De Allende and Puerto Vallarta are home to large expat communities where you’ll find plenty of fellow remote workers to enjoy a few cervezas with after work. Plus Mexico City is quickly becoming a hot spot known for its chic co-working spaces and artsy vibe.

3. Estonia

Estonia might not be the first place you think to set up shop, but for digital nomads, this small Northern European country has a lot going for it. For one, it recently became the first country in the world to offer a “digital nomad visa” that allows you to live in the country for a full year and another European country of your choice for 90 days after. If you love history and dream of picture book Europe villages, you’ll find yourself right at home in Tallinn. The rent prices there are going up, but if you move soon you can still score a great deal on housing and experience a low cost of living overall.

4. Serbia

If your dream is to travel Europe on the weekends while working remotely, forget about living in London, Paris, or Milan. Serbia is a much less expensive option that still puts you in the heart of Europe so you can explore without spending all your hard earned dollars on rent. Search for apartments in Belgrade, which is home to several cool co-working spaces, creative hubs, and an international population that is beginning to attract a growing number of global digital nomads.

5. Columbia

Columbia has gone through a big transformation over the past few decades. Now, many cities offer a relatively safe place to live and are home to a vibrant digital nomad community. The cost of living remains low in cities like Medellin and Bogota. Plus there are endless options to hike, go to the beach, and experience the rich culture and amazing nightlife when you aren’t working.

Now that you’re ready to relocate, be sure to look into visa requirements for remote workers, which are different in each country. Then pack your bags and get ready for the biggest working adventure of your life.

Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):

Working Remotely: What Is the Digital Nomad Lifestyle?

The Do’s and Don’ts of Thailand

How to Work Remotely in Mexico