The 10 Best Destinations for Digital Nomads in 2021

The Covid pandemic opened up the eyes of the world to a concept that has been around for a long time: digital nomadism. Associated with remote work, this concept, for years repudiated by many traditional companies, has suddenly become part of the daily lives of millions of people around the world, out of obligation. In this article, I will show you 10 of the best destinations for Digital Nomads in 2021 so that you can start planning your next adventure.


But what is Digital Nomadism?

A digital nomad is a person who chooses freedom instead of living and working in the same country, same city, and same office all the time. Someone who, taking into account the characteristics of his work, can do it from anywhere in the world, as long as he has access to quality Wi-Fi.

The growth of Digital Nomadism has caused coworking spaces – temporary workplaces with access to good internet speed and the possibility of establishing a good network with other digital nomads – to explode in recent years. In Lisbon, Portugal (my hometown), for example, they are already in dozens, spread a all over the city.

Most Digital Nomads choose not to hold any assets such as a house or a car, for example, in order to be able to travel freely and move from country to country without anything holding them back.


Visas for Digital Nomads

With the explosion of remote work and the decrease in tourism globally, several countries around the world have decided to adapt, issuing special visas for Digital Nomads. These entry visas are special work visas that legalize the status of traveling workers.

Like a tourist visa, the Visa for Digital Nomads is easy to access, does not require much documentation (only a passport and a proof of remote stable income), but allows for longer stays. Holders of this visa are allowed to work in that particular country, without having to apply for a work visa, as long as they do it independently and remotely.


Top 10 Destinations for Digital Nomads in 2021

1. Chiang Mai, Thailand

Melhores Destinos para Nómadas Digitais | Chiang Mai, Tailândia
  • Visa: Smart Visa allows you to stay for up to 4 years, however, many still opt for the tourist visa that allows stays up to 90 days (renewable).
  • Average Accommodation Cost: €360/month (1 bedroom apartment) | €250/month (1 Private Bedroom)
  • Average Coworking Rates: €100/month
  • Average ​​Meal Cost: €2 to €7 per person

Thailand has been a true paradise for digital nomads for several years now. Its vast historical and cultural heritage, delicious gastronomy and dreamy natural landscapes are enough reasons for it to be chosen as a destination for digital nomads from all around the world. In addition, Thailand was considered a reference during the pandemic, having managed to keep infection rates at extremely low levels.

Within Thailand, Chiang Mai, the country’s second largest city after Bangkok, is one of the top destinations for digital nomads. In addition to the countless coworking spaces scattered throughout the city, Chiang Mai also offers several cool cafes with good Wi-Fi, in a perfect blend of modernity and tradition. The cost of living is extremely low, which, of course, is a huge plus.

Although in theory a work visa is required to stay and work for several months in the country, Thailand looks the other way when digital nomads resort to simple tourist visas.


2. Ericeira, Portugal

  • Visa: Visa for Digital Nomads (Temporary Visa) that allows stays up to 1 year (for non-European citizens)
  • Average Accommodation Cost: €1000/month (1 bedroom apartment) | €600/month (1 Private Bedroom)
  • Average Coworking Rates: €150/month
  • Average Meal Cost: €10 to €20 per person

Ericeira, a once small fishing village, located 50 km from Lisbon, has exploded in terms of tourism since it became a World Surf Reserve, the only one in Europe. Since then, many have chosen it as a vacation destination, whether for a short getaway or a longer stay.

Among its most recent fans are Digital Nomads from all over the world. Its relaxed atmosphere, perfect waves for surfing, good Wi-Fi, and beaches of unquestionable beauty, make Ericeira a dreamy destination for a months-long stay.


3. Madeira Island, Portugal

Melhores Destinos para Nómadas Digitais | Madeira, Portugal / Best destinations for Digital Nomads
  • Visa: Visa for Digital Nomads (Temporary Visa) that allows stays up to 1 year (for non-European citizens)
  • Average Accommodation Cost: €750/month (1 bedroom apartment) | €550/month (1 Private Bedroom)
  • Average Coworking Rates: €150/month
  • Average ​​Meal Cost: €7 to €15 per person

The island of Madeira is another Portuguese destination that has been increasingly becoming more popular. Long sought after as a tourist destination due to its mild climate throughout the year, excellent gastronomy and incredible natural landscapes, Madeira is now also seen as a top destination for Digital Nomads.

Recently, the municipality of Ponta do Sol inaugurated the first Nomad Village in Europe. A free workspace for Digital Nomads, located at the John dos Passos Cultural Center, with free daily Wi-Fi access from 8 am to 10 pm, several social events and activities, and a community on Slack.


4. Canggu, Bali

Melhores destinos para nómadas digitais | Canggu, Bali, Indonésia  / Best destinations for Digital Nomads
  • Visa: Tourist Visa includes stays up to 30 days, extendable for another 30 days
  • Average Accommodation Cost: €800/month (private 1 bedroom apartment/house) | €300/month (1 private bedroom)
  • Average Coworking Rates: €150/month
  • Average ​​Meal Cost: €7 to €15 per person

If, in addition to digital nomadism, you add vegetarianism, yoga and surfing to your list of preferences, then Canggu, on the island of Bali, Indonesia, is a must-go-to destination to include in your list of best destinations for Digital Nomads. While this is not the place where you’ll discover the true Indonesian essence (Canggu has become extremely Westernized in the past few years), it is still a cool place to spend some time working.

Scattered throughout the village are several coworking spaces, as well as countless cafes where you can work on your laptop, as long as you buy something, of course. There are always many social activities and events taking place, from yoga classes, surf lessons and much more, so your life will definitely not be all about work.


5. Lagos, Portugal

Lagos, Portugal  / Best destinations for Digital Nomads
  • Visa: Visa for Digital Nomads (Temporary Visa) that allows stays up to 1 year (for non-European citizens)
  • Average Accommodation Cost: €800/month (1 bedroom apartment) | €650/month (1 private bedroom)
  • Average Coworking Rates: €150/month
  • Average ​​Meal Cost: €9 to €25 per person

Lagos, in the Algarve, is an emerging destination for Digital Nomads in 2021. Located within walking distance of some of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal, this city has been witnessing the explosion of several coworking spaces in recent times.

In addition to a delicious gastronomy, a great climate practically all year round (300 days of sunshine a year) and a beautiful historic center, Lagos also offers quick access to the Algarve’s west coast, where you’ll find some of the best waves in the country , perfect for all surf lovers out there.


6. Split, Croatia

Split, Croatia  / Best destinations for Digital Nomads
  • Visa: Visa for Digital Nomads that allows stays up to 1 year (for non-European citizens)
  • Average Accommodation Cost: €500/month (1 bedroom apartment)
  • Average Coworking Rates: €150/month
  • Average ​​Meal Cost: €9 to €20 per person

For those looking for destinations where they can not only work remotely but also discover some of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe, Croatia is undoubtedly a choice to consider. And Split, located on the country’s Dalmatian coast, is a must-go-to place when it comes to the best destinations for Digital Nomads. Its rich historical heritage and proximity to some of the best Croatian beaches are some of the characteristics that justify this choice.

Members of the European Union do not need a visa to stay as long as they want in Croatia. However, other citizens who do not belong to the European Union, will have to apply for a visa.

The country recently launched a Visa for Digital Nomads, a special visa that allows stays of up to 1 year. To be eligible, you’ll need to show your passport, proof of health insurance, employer’s document or proof that you’re self-employed, a bank statement or other proof of minimum monthly income of 16,142.50 Kunas, as well as your criminal record and proof of stay in Croatia.


7. Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia  / Best destinations for Digital Nomads
  • Visa: Visa for Digital Nomads that allows stays of up to 1 year (for non-European citizens)
  • Average Accommodation Cost: €700/month (1 bedroom apartment) | €500/month (1 private bedroom)
  • Average ​​Coworking Rates: €200/month
  • Average ​​Meal Cost: €10 to €25 per person

With a historic UNESCO Heritage city center that contrasts with a modern atmosphere and a wide variety of restaurants, coworking spaces, cultural spaces and more, the city of Tallinn, Estonia, is often the place of choice for digital nomads from around the world.

It’s a small and safe city that you can cross on foot within an hour. Estonia also provides a visa for Digital Nomads that allows stays of up to 1 year.


8. Da Nang, Vietnam

Da Nang, Vietnam / Best destinations for Digital Nomads
  • Visa: Tourist Visa with a stay up to 30 days or Work Visa with option 30 days, or 90 days
  • Average Accommodation Cost: €250/month (1 bedroom apartment)
  • Average Coworking Rates: €30/month
  • Average ​​Meal Cost: €2 to €9 per person

Vietnam, along with Thailand, is another Asian country that has shown great effectiveness in combating the pandemic, which allowed it to open its borders faster than other countries.

Although many prefer the hustle and bustle of other larger Vietnamese cities like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh, Da Nang, due to its central location and close proximity to excellent beaches is, without a doubt, a must-add to this list of the best destinations for Digital Nomads. The Wi-Fi speed is good, the cost of living is quite low and there are several coworking spaces around the city.


9. Penang, Malaysia

Melhores destinos para nómadas digitais | Penang, Malásia  / Best destinations for Digital Nomads
  • Visa: Single entry visa allows for stays up to 90 days
  • Average Accommodation Cost: €450/month (1 bedroom apartment) | €200/month (1 private bedroom)
  • Average ​​Coworking Rates: €60/month
  • Average ​​Meal Cost: €2 to €6 per person

Penang, a small island located a short distance from the west coast of Malaysia, has been a favorite spot for tourists and digital nomads for years.

With an extremely low cost of living, a vibrant cultural life, incredible gastronomy (for me, the best in Southeast Asia), a high level of security and a high amount of coworking spaces spread throughout the city, Penang and, more specifically, the city of George Town, is clearly a destination to consider.

There are two types of visa to Malaysia: a single entry visa that allows stays up to 90 days and a multiple entry visa, valid from 3 to 12 months and suitable for those travelling to Malaysia on business.


10. Medellín, Colombia

Melhores destinos para nómadas digitais | Medellin, Colombia / Best destinations for Digital Nomads
  • Visa: There is a Colombian Freelance Visa (Migrant Visa – Type M), suitable for independent remote workers, which allows stays up to 3 years
  • Average Accommodation Cost: €500/month (1 bedroom apartment) | €250/month (1 private bedroom)
  • Average ​​Coworking Rates: €130/month
    • Average ​​Meal Cost: €4 to €10 per person

Gone are the days when Medellín, in Colombia, was ruled by criminals and drug dealers. Nowadays, Medellín is a city that has managed to reinvent itself and attract not only tourists but also digital nomads who chose it as a long-term destination.

There is a greater sense of security, when compared to other South American cities, as well as a large amount of coworking spaces frequented by a vast community of entrepreneurs and remote workers. The food is delicious and the cost of living very affordable.


What do you think? Is there a place that particularly appeals to you on this list of 10 of the best digital nomad destinations in 2021? Are there any that you have already visited? Leave your comments below!

For more useful tips, photos and videos, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

This post may contain affiliate links.

PLAN YOUR TRIP WITH THE HELP OF THESE LINKS

Accommodation:
For accommodation bookings, I always use Booking or Airbnb.

Flights:
For the best flight options, I recommend Jet Radar

Travel Insurance:
For safe travels, hire travel insurance with World Nomads 

Tours and Activities:
For tours and activities' bookings in several destinations around the world, I recommend Get Your Guide or Viator

Car Rental:
For car rentals, I always use Rentalcars.com

Transport:
For transport tickets in Asia, I recommend 12go.asia or Baolau

Maria João Proença

Born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal, but in love with the world. I love sharing my travel stories, photos and videos and inspire those who are just as fascinated with exploring the world as I am.

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