Remote working setups allow digital nomads to work and see the world at the same time. In fact, even offbeat destinations such as the Pacific Coast Road in Australia and Oman, the Land of Frankincens, are possible places of work. Having said that, some of the best locations for digital nomads are metropolitan cities, where there are amenities for work, like reliable internet connection and coworking spaces, along with unique city experiences. Six of the best cities are the following:
USA – Chicago
Rebuilt from the ground up after a fire ravaged the city’s business district in 1871, Chicago is a young and more affordable city relative to other city giants like New York or Los Angeles. The median cost of living across the city can be around $1,029 per month, and being a Midwestern hub for US culture, it’s perfect for digital nomads who want to better understand the country. Not to mention, Industrious points out that Chicago is a global economic powerhouse with over 200,000 businesses, many of whom are turning to the flexibility of remote work and utilizing coworking spaces. This grants digital nomads plenty of opportunity to network and meet people from all walks of life. Digital nomads can also expect an average internet speed of 47 Mbps, and take their pick from a range of coworking spaces and cafés all around Windy City. Then, there are the never-ending food options, the diverse culture, and the pulsating city life — things that make Chicago even more appealing to digital nomads.
USA – Kansas City
Work-focused blog Overheard on Conference Calls (OCC) ranked Kansas City as the most remote work-friendly city in the US. The OCC, in particular, gave Kansas City a high mark in work factors, which takes into account coworking spaces and coffee shops per capita, as well as average WiFi speed (upwards of 100 Mbps). It scores high in other areas, too, like accommodation (affordable), food choices (diverse and delicious), and nightlife (low-key but relaxing).
Czech Republic – Prague
According to Forbes, Prague is often ranked as among the best places for digital nomads, with its rich history, vibrant culture, and low cost of living (around $970–$2,420 monthly, with restaurant meals as low as $6.30). Not to mention, the city offers fast internet, coworking spaces, and affordable accommodation (around $50 a night on an Airbnb). Prague is also clean and tourist-friendly, with a range of activities (e.g., exploring Old Town Square, strolling across Charles Bridge, visiting Prague Castle, etc.) to ensure after-work relaxation. Just as important, many of the locals actually speak English, and the neighborhoods aren’t that far from the city center. Truly, it’s no wonder Prague has been a destination of choice for remote workers for several years now.
South Africa – Johannesburg
This former gold-mining settlement is now one of Africa’s largest and wealthiest cities — and is an enticing destination for digital nomads too. Not only does the city offer some of the world’s cheapest coffee (starting at $1.88 a cup!), but it’s also home to plenty of coffee shops and coworking spaces where remote workers can congregate, network, and get reliable internet. Johannesburg has something for everyone, from new restaurants and never-before-seen art exhibits to boat rides on Zoo Lake and live jazz music in downtown Jozi. Granted, Johannesburg isn’t as popular as, say, Prague or Chicago, but it is definitely worth visiting and is starting to make a mark among remote workers worldwide.
Thailand – Bangkok
Bangkok is a thriving metropolis similar to the likes of New York and Los Angeles, but sans the exorbitant cost of living. It offers all the amenities for work (fast internet, Airbnb accommodation starting at $44 a night, coworking spaces, and cafés) and work-life balance (malls, food, spas, and lively bars). Aside from that, living in Bangkok isn’t too overwhelming despite its 10 million or so population. That’s because the city has a considerable expat community and hospitable locals, who make Bangkok even friendlier to tourists and digital nomads passing by.
New Zealand – Wellington
In 2018, home rental company Spotahom named Wellington as one of the best cities for digital nomads in New Zealand. It was tied with Auckland at number 1 in migrant acceptance, and placed 6th in coworking spaces and 5th in green spaces and parks. Today, Wellington remains a noteworthy destination for digital nomads, as the city gives migrants a warm welcome, and now has more coworking spaces to offer. Its internet connection, at 14.7 Mbps on average, continues to be reliable as well, making the city a worthy destination for digital nomads.