Are you tired of long British winters or seeking to stretch your money a little further? Maybe you’ve been dreaming of travelling the world and immersing yourself in other cultures but can’t afford to take any time off work. If this sounds familiar, you could consider life as a digital nomad.

Digital nomads are remote workers who use their freedom to travel and live in foreign countries. With jobs that are 100% online, they can set up office wherever there’s an internet connection – whether that’s a coworking space in Oslo or a beach cafe in Bali.

Living abroad also allows many digital nomads to get more for their money, as they often choose destinations with a cheaper cost of living than the UK. But with so many alluring locations worldwide (many offering specific digital nomad visas), deciding where this flexible lifestyle will take you can be tricky.

With this in mind, we’ve pulled together some of the best countries for digital nomads.

1. Portugal

Portugal

Portugal is a popular choice for digital nomads looking to live lavishly in the sun. In fact, rental platform Flatio interviewed 1,200 remote workers worldwide about their experiences, and Portugal emerged as the most desirable spot (however, it’s worth considering that Flatio specialises in Portuguese accommodation).

Portugal may be blessed with balmy weather and vibrant culture, but it also has a relatively low cost of living. For example, Expatistan tells us it’s 52% cheaper to live in Lisbon than London. Combine this with a booming tech scene and relative safety (it consistently ranks in the top 10 safest countries in the world), and Portugal is a winner for anyone looking for a slice of the Southern European lifestyle.

2. Thailand

Thailand

While many people still see Thailand as a place for student backpackers and beach parties, it’s also a popular haven for remote professionals due to its year-round sun and cheap cost of living. Travel company Club Med even nominated it as the world’s best country for digital nomads in 2021, according to things like cost of living, internet speed, and available activities.

There are some difficulties with being a digital nomad in Thailand, though – the biggest being the high income needed to get a digital nomad visa. According to the BBC, many people choose to do ‘visa runs’ instead, staying and working for a short time between trips to nearby countries. So, if you’re a digital nomad looking to move around while you work, Thailand is a great stop along the way.

3. Norway

Norway

While some digital nomads want to escape to tropical climes, others may be interested in a slightly different experience. Norway’s fantastic fjords, majestic mountains, and lush valleys beckon outdoor enthusiasts looking to spend their downtime hiking, skiing, and wild swimming.

Despite its ruggedness, Norway is surprisingly well-connected when it comes to the internet – with excellent mobile data signal, lots of co-working spaces and internet cafes, and plenty of public Wi-Fi. Even some of the country’s most remote locations are good for digital nomads. For example, Svalbard, a windswept archipelago in the Arctic Circle (where polar bears outnumber humans), was recently ranked as the sixth-best destination for digital nomads by Remote.

4. Argentina

Argentina

This year, VisaGuide.World, a free information resource for visas, published a list of the best countries for digital nomads, awarding Argentina second place. A few of the most alluring aspects of life as a remote worker here are the low cost of living (which Expatistan tells us is 63% cheaper than the UK) and the decent healthcare system.

However, there are plenty of other reasons to work in Argentina. A mix of European, Latin-American, and indigenous cultures makes the atmosphere truly unique. Plus, as the second-largest country in South America, it offers expats plenty of variety. Downtime can be spent traversing the rugged terrain of the Andes, exploring Edenesque lakes, tasting the world’s finest steak, or immersing yourself in the lively barrios of Buenos Aires.

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5. South Africa

South Africa

Compared to other continents, Africa doesn’t offer many options for getting a digital nomad visa, which is a shame. There are endless cultural and natural treasures to discover here – from awe-inspiring Big Five safaris to ancient historical sites. However, the exciting news is that South Africa has recently revealed plans to introduce one – opening up a world of opportunity for remote workers.

Despite the lack of an official nomad visa, South Africa has been regularly listed as one of the best countries for remote workers abroad – especially the gorgeous coastal capital of Cape Town. As well as relatively affordable living expenses, it boasts stunningly diverse landscapes (from dizzying mountain peaks to the rolling Winelands) and an even more varied culture. Plus, it’s only two hours ahead of the UK, which can be an attractive prospect for digital nomads.

6. Croatia

Croatia

In recent years, Croatia has become a hotspot for digital nomads, largely due to its efforts to attract them from around the world. Back in 2021, the Croatian National Tourist Board ran a campaign called ‘Croatia, your new office!’ – and it was one of the first countries to introduce a long-stay visa for digital nomads.

Besides the warm welcome, Croatia has plenty to offer remote workers. The capital of Zagreb presents lots of opportunities for delicious dining and cultural experiences – plus, it’s slightly more affordable than similar options in Western Europe. Or, if you’re more interested in sea and sand, head down to the Dalmatian Coast – where you can relax in palm-tree-dappled sunlight between dips in the sparkling waters of the Adriatic.

7. United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates

Hot on Argentina’s heels on VisaGuide.World’s rankings is the United Arab Emirates (UAE). As one of the only Middle Eastern countries offering a digital nomad visa, the UAE is home to a flourishing community of expats. The shimmering capital city of Dubai provides cutting-edge modernity, fascinating culture, lavish comforts, and year-long sun.

As well as a first-rate healthcare system, English is spoken by around 75% of residents in Dubai, which might be an alluring prospect for some digital nomads. Yet, the official language of Arabic can offer a unique learning opportunity if you’re interested in boosting your language skills. It’s worth noting, though, that while there are many positives to working remotely in Dubai, the cost of living is relatively high.

8. Spain

Spain

Spain is another top choice for people looking to work abroad – being crowned the best country in the world by VisaGuide.World and featuring on many other lists. Beyond its sun-kissed Mediterranean climate, rich culture, and mouthwatering cuisine, Spain offers a high quality of life for its residents.

According to Numbeo’s Quality of Life Index, Spain ranks 13th globally – way ahead of the UK, which sits at 26th. This index takes into account factors like safety, healthcare, and purchasing power, so it’s a good indicator of what life’s like. Plus, Spain’s close proximity to the UK makes navigating time zones and coordinating work with people back home relatively simple. After you’re done working, you can relax under the shade of an olive tree and sip some sangria.

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9. Malaysia

Malaysia

Famous for its delectable cuisine, breathtaking landscapes, and unique wildlife, Malaysia has long been a popular spot for holidaymakers. But, recently, due to its low cost of living, exotic climate, and excellent internet infrastructure, it’s begun attracting more and more digital nomads from around the world.

Malaysia also offers a more realistic option for a long-term stay than other popular Asian countries – like Thailand and Japan. Part of this is because the salary barrier for digital nomad visa qualification is much lower. For example, in Malaysia, it’s $24,000 (currently £19,055), while in Thailand, it’s $80,000 (currently £63,519). And, when you’re not working, you can explore chattering rainforests, sun-soaked beaches, and towering cityscapes.

10. Mexico

Mexico

There are plenty of reasons why more and more digital nomads head to Mexico every year. As well as the warm temperatures and cheap cost of living (47% cheaper than the UK, according to Expatistan), Mexico’s location is a convenient base for anyone with untapped wanderlust. Sitting on the border of North and South America, your options for exploration are almost endless!

Mexico City is an excellent choice for those looking for an urban life. It’s cheaper than any other capital city in North America and bursting with rich culture – its 173 museums will surely keep lovers of learning occupied. But if you picture yourself stretched out on the beach when you aren’t working (perhaps with a margarita in hand), why not check out Playa del Carmen, Tulum, or Puerto Vallarta, where you can swim, surf, and snorkel to your heart’s content?

11. Romania

Romania

For anyone who hasn’t visited Romania, you might be surprised to see it on this list. However, this varied and spellbinding country consistently features in the top 10 rankings for the best countries for digital nomads (including Flatio’s and VisaGuide.World’s). Aside from the cheap cost of living and stunning natural beauty, Romania has the fastest internet in Central and Eastern Europe – beating Estonia, another popular destination for remote workers abroad.

Many digital nomads head to the buzzing city of Bucharest – where rich history mingles with modern conveniences. Between work, you’ll surely enjoy strolling through the cobbled streets and along the banks of the Danube – or grab a traditional covrigi for lunch at one of the markets. However, you might prefer the mythical region of Transylvania, where you can make your base in quaint medieval towns and explore the conifers of the Carpathian Mountains.

12. Indonesia

Indonesia

If you decide to head to the sun-kissed shores of Indonesia as a remote worker, you certainly won’t be alone. In Bali (undoubtedly the most popular spot), there are thousands of digital nomads living, working, and thriving! Draws to this island paradise include an easy visa process, friendly locals, a cheap standard of living, and a laid-back atmosphere that places a premium on wellness. And that’s not to mention the beautiful weather and breathtaking natural scenery!

Because there are so many remote workers here, opportunities for networking and mingling with like-minded individuals abound. Who knows, you could even meet your next business partner in a beach bar over a couple of cocktails. And when you’re not working, why not spend your time riding the region’s famous waves or practising yoga with some of the best instructors on the planet?

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Final thoughts…

Whether you want to immerse yourself in vibrant culture, escape to tropical climates, or simply make your money stretch a little further, we hope you’ve found this list of the best countries for digital nomads helpful.

For some more advice on becoming a digital nomad, take a look at this article from Tunex Travels. And, for more inspiration for places to visit worldwide, head over to our travel section. Alternatively, you can browse this week’s top travel deals using the button below.

Are you considering becoming a digital nomad? If so, where would you like to go? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.