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What are the best cities to live in as a 'digital nomad'?

Access to wifi, cost of living, entrepreneurial network...

11 Answers

top answer by

I would reommend Penang for this.

Malaysia has much stronger wifi than it's neighbours, exept for Singapore which is very expensive.

And the general cost of living is very low as long as you do not go out drinking too often.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Penang (city)
4 thankscomments (4)

answered by
Jinny from Los Angeles

My home town: Seoul, the capital city of the country with the World's Fastest Internet and the World's Largest Bandwidth. 

It's also a huge economically booming city. Think of NYC, but cleaner, safer, better parties, 24 hour EVERYTHING, and public transportation that gets you to EVERY CORNER of the city (I kid you not on this. You'll get there either by cheap taxis, uber, subway, bus or mini bus). 

Rent is on the pricier end, but everything else is relatively cheap (food, tourism, travel, etc. is VERY affordable). 

People are friendly and a big majority of the younger population can speak English. 

There's also an area called Itaewon, that is just all international and expats. There's a lot of international parties here and almost all the businesses here are owned by expats and a great way to network. 

I've been to dozens of meetup events in Seoul and a lot of them are either geared towards international/expats or business networking.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Seoul (city)
  2. Itaewon (attraction)
4 thanks

answered first by
Christopher from Melbourne

I could list a whole bunch of places but has a very good list that is constantly updated.

As of today, the top 5 is:

  1. Chiang Mai
  2. Prague
  3. Phuket
  4. Florianopolis
  5. Pai

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Chiang Mai (city)
  2. Prague (city)
  3. Phuket (attraction)
  4. Florianopolis (city)
  5. Pai (city)
4 thankscomments (3)

answered by
Denise from San Diego

These 4 spots in Asia are known to have large digital expat communities, reliable internet, and cheap cost of living: Chiang Mai, Ubud, Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok

Outside of Asia I heard Istanbul, Berlin, Medellin, San Jose are also good alternatives. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Asia (attraction)
  2. Chiang Mai (city)
  3. Ubud (attraction)
  4. Ho Chi Minh City (city)
  5. Bangkok (city)
  6. Istanbul (city)
  7. Berlin (city)
  8. Medellin (attraction)
  9. San Jose (city)
3 thanks

answered by
Marina from Riga, Latvia

I'm doing series of interviews with remarkable digital nomads - entrepreneurs and startups about their experience of working on the road. The interviewees share places, costs, advantages as well, I think it's a good source of practical info and inspiration. First of the interviews is with traveling startup Maptia:

2 thanks

answered by
Nathaniel from Boston

I've interviewed some amazing digital nomads on and the places you can find most of them are:

Chiang MaiUbud, Ho Chi Minh CityBerlin and Medellin.

Each of those are drastically different, although all have ex-pat or western entrepreneurial communities into which you can plug in seamlessly.

Honestly, it depends on what YOU are looking for, in the way you spend your non-working time and the experiences you have beyond the business, because all of these cities have the amenities to support your bootstrapping.

It's the business opportunity that might compel you to move there but the culture that will determine whether you stay.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Chiang Mai (city)
  2. Ubud (attraction)
  3. Ho Chi Minh City (city)
  4. Berlin (city)
  5. Medellin (city)
2 thanks

answered by
Andy from San Francisco

This is the website you're looking for:

In my opinion, Manila in the Philippines is one of the best city to live and work. I lived there for 3 years between 2006-2009 and lived on less than $1,000/month. On that budget I was able to travel around the country on weekends, go out most nights of the week, and live a very active lifestyle. 


You can live in downtown Makati City in 1 br apartment in a nice condo for less than $600/month. If you live further away from downtown you can reduce that amount to less than $300/month. If you want to go real budget you can even go below $200/month. Food:

Food is super cheap in Manila. You can have a great meal at a nice restaurant for around $10, or you can eat a meal at a fast food restaurant for less than $2. Food is so plentiful and cheap that I didn't cook much at all. But if you enjoy cooking, you can save even more money. 


Manila is an incredibly easy place to make friends. There is a rather large community of expats and foreign students and there are social events throughout the week to meet new people. The expats often arrange group trips out of town and that can be a great way to make new friends and see the country. 


Partying in Manila can get expensive if you like to go clubbing. Some places charge cover but you can usually get yourself on a guestlist and get in for free. Beers at restaurants go for about $.50 and up to $2 at clubs. You can have a pretty awesome night out for less than $20. 


Traveling within the country is very cheap. You can fly from Manila to Cebu CityBoracay Island, or Palawan for less than $200, and you can find cheap hotels and hostels for less than $20. If you are willing to travel by bus, you can save even more money and see more of the country. 


I'm not sure how the quality of the internet compares to the other cities in Asia, but I never had problems with it while I was living in Manila. There can be occasional brownouts but that's usually not a problem in the nicer areas of the city. 


Not only is Manila a cheap place to live and work, it is also a great place to make new friends and enjoy a new lifestyle. I highly recommend giving the Philippines a serious look if you plan to work abroad. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Makati City (city)
  2. Cebu City (attraction)
  3. Boracay Island (attraction)
  4. Palawan (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Yaniv from Tel Aviv

I might be biased, but I would say Tel Aviv. Let's get one thing out of the way - the cost of living. Israel, and especially Tel Aviv, is expensive compared to the US and Europe. Some better plan, budget and come prepared. That said, mobile and internet is super fast and cheap.

Free WIFI is everywhere - restaurants, bars, cafes, buses, trains.

Tel Aviv is a 24-hour city, meaning people are out at all times of the day, everyday. It has a very cool vibe and the people are fun. Compared to other metropolitan areas in the world, and contrary to what the media sells you about Israel, Tel Aviv is extremely safe.

Israel is definitely one of the best hi-tech scenes in the world. Tel Aviv, and other close by cities like Herzliya, are hi-tech heaven. There are tons of entrepreneurs, developers, startups, etc. for you to develop your entrepreneurial network.

Jaffa is at the southern part of the city. If you want a change of scenery, how about a 3000+ year old port?

Other tips

  • Getting around is very easy on a bicycle
  • Tel Aviv and Jaffa have great food
  • The weather is great, but in July/August it gets pretty hot
  • There are plenty of beaches

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Tel Aviv (city)
  2. Jaffa (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Breanna from Los Angeles

Berlin is gaining a lot of attention lately for becoming a major tech hub and entrepreneur magnet in the world. This article I wrote for Entrepreneur explains it a little better and talks about Hong KongTokyo and Tel Aviv District as well:

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Berlin (city)
  2. Hong Kong (attraction)
  3. Tokyo (city)
  4. Tel Aviv District (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Emily from Los Angeles

I would suggest Eastern EuropeRiga, Budapest, Sofia, Timisoara etc. are all great, interesting cities (though Sofia has some pretty grim architecture), with excellent value for the money.  They have all the modern conveniences for a fraction of the price, and you're close to the rest of Europe, western Asia, and North Africa. What also strikes me is that much of the population (the younger part anyway), is hungry for purpose and success - a great community.  After all, Skype was started in Estonia.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Eastern Europe (attraction)
  2. Riga (city)
  3. Budapest (city)
  4. Sofia (city)
  5. Timisoara (attraction)
  6. Estonia (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Robson from Istanbul

Hi Billy,
My vote goes to Chiang Mai
I'm writing from a nice coffee shop, sharing a table with 12 fellow digital nomads. Great place for networking. 
Food is delicious and incredible cheap. Weather is great. I feel safe walking around late in the night. Plenty of choices for acommodation,the list goes on...
Other cities that I would like to live : MalagaValenciaIzmir and Istanbul.
Just one tip regarding cities in Brazil, prices are rising and rising! 
Safe travels!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Chiang Mai (city)
  2. Malaga (city)
  3. Valencia (attraction)
  4. Izmir (city)
  5. Istanbul (city)

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