8 of The Cheapest Places For Digital Nomads To Work & Play

Thanks to this list of the cheapest places for digital nomads, you can work remotely while travelling the world long term! The whole point of the digital nomad lifestyle is to earn money to fuel your adventures, so it’s vital you choose locations that won’t drain your finances but are bucket list worthy. That’s where we come in!

Work. Save. Travel. Repeat. For decades these words meant a gruelling 9-5 job with long commutes to earn minimum wage and limited holiday allowance. Now, thanks to working remotely, it is possible to blur these lines and work whilst you travel, save while you travel and repeat whenever you feel like it.

Before you hop on a plane, laptop in hand, it is vital you do your research as not all countries welcome digital nomads with open arms. You should also consider internet availability (and speed) as well as visa costs and the cost of living. 

Lucky for you this guide to the cheapest digital nomad destinations will help you swap your boss for a backpack ASAP. Most importantly, it’ll help you create a sustainable lifestyle that lasts long term, not just a month or two.

solo woman with laptop and mug gazing at trees around her

How to Become a Digital Nomad

A digital nomad is someone who travels the world while making money online. It’s a lifestyle that is the dream of many, but only the most determined can make it a reality. This is because living the dream can involve burnout and loneliness.

It can also mean uncapped earning potential, complete freedom to travel and the opportunity to work doing something you love, not just tolerate.

If you want to quit your job to travel the world and become location independent, our beginners guide for digital nomads covers everything you need to know. Sending your resignation is the easy part however, the hard part is making the dream last long term.

This means finding the cheapest places for digital nomads so your finances stretch as long as possible. Why not work from a campervan in Portugal, or from a beach in Bali? Let’s turn your digital nomad dreams into reality and discover cheap places to work remotely that are also bucket list worthy.

Accommodation Tips

Before we dive into the best places for digital nomads, it’s important to note the type of accommodation to go for in these destinations. It’s great arriving in a country that’s affordable, but not so great if you book a party hostel where you’ll get no peace to work.

Your surroundings are your sanctuary and selecting good accommodation will maximise your productivity which is important if you want to be a successful digital nomad.

💡 Did you know we have hosts that accept digital nomads? On our find a host section, use the accommodation info drop down and select “digital nomad friendly”. This means you will have a home away from home, as well as a host that accepts you need a little quiet time to get the work done.

Other accommodation tips to consider:

  • Coworking spaces nearby or even libraries & cafes that accept digital nomads
  • Desk in your room or a co-living space with a table you can use
  • Fast & reliable internet included in your accommodation costs
  • The time zone of your location – will this interfere with deadlines, calls or routine?
  • Supermarkets or local markets nearby or will you need to budget for public transport?
three digital nomads working in an office together with laptops open

Digital Nomad Visas

Another vital thing to note is that not every cheap destination is digital nomad friendly. It is technically illegal in most places to work while on a tourist visa. Tourist visas are also only short-term (valid for around 1-3 months) so if you want to stay longer, you may need a different type of visa.

Before you begin researching cheap places for digital nomads, check the type of visa you will need and how much it will cost. You may also need to pay a certain amount of taxes per month which can affect your budget for accommodation and living expenses.

To give you a head start, all the locations on this list are from countries with digital nomad visas. This means they specifically want to entice travellers to work there as it can contribute to their economy while you get to live and work in a beautiful destination – a win, win for both parties!

Cheapest Places For Digital Nomads

1. Colombia

Alongside being home to 10% of the Amazon rainforest, the start of the epic Andes Mountain Range and some of the friendliest locals you will ever meet, Colombia is one of the cheapest places for digital nomads.

Medellín in particular is one of the most popular digital nomad cities thanks to an abundance of cafes and coworking spaces with people from all over the world working remotely. A one bedroom apartment in the centre of Medellín costs around $285 a month making it affordable for those travelling on a budget.   

Alongside the low living costs, many people find Medellín one of the best digital nomad destinations because of the weather, so much so that the city is aptly nicknamed “The City of Eternal Spring.”

However, if the hilly streets of Medellín aren’t your vibe, Cartagena is also considered one of the best digital nomad cities thanks to its beautiful beaches and vibrant cultural, food, and nightlife scenes. The weather is also slightly warmer and more humid than in other parts of Colombia.

As a tip, if you plan to visit Colombia, learning a little Spanish will make your trip much easier. You could either find a host in Colombia (total immersion is the best way to learn!) or use one of these resources to learn a language in no time.

Digital Nomad Visa For Colombia

As well as being one of the cheapest countries in South America, Colombia is also one of the most welcoming to digital nomads. For those who want to stay in Colombia longer than a traditional visa will allow, the country’s new digital nomad visa permits you to stay for up to 2 years as well as set up a bank account and provides a pathway to residency.

To qualify for Colombia’s digital nomad scheme you will need to earn around $684 (£567) per month which is considerably low compared to other countries with DNV schemes. The application process only takes around 30 minutes and can be done here.

pair of workawayers enjoying a meal in a treehouse while one is feeding parrot on shoulder

2. Costa Rica

From laid back vibes to volcanoes, incredible surf spots to lush jungle it’s easy to imagine why Costa Rica is one of the best places for digital nomads. The political stability, strong healthcare system and wellness lifestyle are simply a bonus!

In particular, the picturesque town of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca ticks all boxes for those who want peace to work but also love to party! Located on the Caribbean Sea you can expect beautiful beaches as well as amazing wildlife but when the working day is done, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is one of the best digital nomad destinations to let your hair down.

Samara is also a favoured digital nomad location especially with those who love surfing or yoga. Located just two hours from the Liberia International Airport, this very accessible seaside town is ideal for those in search of the ultimate work-life balance thanks to coworking spaces such as locoworking.

Digital Nomad Visa For Costa Rica

Applicants need to demonstrate proof of a stable monthly income of at least $3000. In return, digital nomads are exempt from income tax as well as other benefits such as being able to open a national bank account and validation of your home country’s driver’s licence. All details can be found here.

  • Average Internet Speed: 64 Mbps
  • Average cost of living per month: $1500
  • Coworking Spaces: Puerto & Co. in Puerto Viejo, LoCoworking in Samara and Selina CoWork can be found in San Jose, Jaco, La Fortuna and Saint Teresa.
pair of workawayers on their phone and iPad while enjoying sun in a garden

3. Czech Republic

If the temperatures of Colombia or jungles of Costa Rica are not your idea of paradise, perhaps the cobbled streets of a European destination are? With its historical towns, fast internet and stunning scenery the Czech Republic is considered one of the best places for digital nomads on a budget. 

It is also considered one of Europe’s safest countries and thanks to its central location you can easily explore the neighbouring countries of Germany, Poland, Slovakia and Austria. Rental costs range from €280 to €500 per month or alternatively, you could check out one of our digital nomad friendly hosts in the Czech Republic.

Although one of the more expensive destinations on this list, Prague is considered one of the best digital nomad cities thanks to an abundance of coworking spaces and cheap, world-famous beer! Even the hostels in Prague cater to digital nomads with relaxed, communal spaces and speedy internet.

Digital Nomad Visa For Czech Republic

The Czech Republic offers a freelancer visa called the Zivno which costs around €100 and is valid for 12 months, however, can be extended. It’s a little more complicated than the other digital nomad locations on this list but you can use an agency to assist you or you can apply here. Once accepted, you then need to pay around 1,800 Kč ($80 USD) per month in local taxes.

  • Average Internet Speed: 74Mbps
  • Average cost of living per month: $2000
  • Coworking Spaces: Wework in Prague or Regus
two travellers sightseeing in Czech republic with sunset background

4. Estonia

As one of the cheapest countries in Europe, Estonia was the first country in the world to have an official digital nomad visa. With over 50% of the country covered in forest and one of the lowest population densities in Europe, it is one of the best places for digital nomads who like nature and tranquillity.

It’s also ideal for those who like adventuring outdoors from skiing to hiking, camping to sunbathing, there is so much to do after a hard day’s work. Best of all during the Summer months you can expect 18 hours of daylight so there is plenty of time to enjoy the stunning scenery.

Most digital nomads head for the country’s capital – Tallinn. As this is where over a third of the population reside, it’s also home to the most coworking spaces. To hot desk at a coworking space in Tallinn will cost you around 20 Euros per day and a one bedroom apartment around 300-500 Euros per month. 

When you’re finished working for the day, enjoy exploring the Old Town. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tallinn’s Old Town is often said to be the best preserved mediaeval city remnants in Europe!

Digital Nomad Visa For Estonia

Fun fact, Estonia has more start-ups per capita than any other country in Europe making it one of the most innovative digital nomad destinations. Established in June 2020, Estonia’s digital nomad and freelancer visa allows foreigners to work remotely for one year. 

The application process is quite straightforward, simply fill out the online form, sign it, and make an appointment at your nearest Estonian Embassy/Consulate to submit it in person.

girl being licked by husky on the mouth while out in the snowy woods

5. Hungary

If Estonia sounds too peaceful, head to Hungary! The combination of a rich and exciting culture with a low cost of living makes it one of the best places for digital nomads on a budget. Hungary is also home to the largest lake in central Europe as well as acres of vineyards so there’s plenty to do (and drink!) during your time there.

Once two separate cities, Budapest is one of the most vibrant and affordable digital nomad cities. The Danube river runs through the middle with hilly Buda to the West and the flat streets of Pest to the east. A beautiful 19th-Century chain bridge connects the two.

Budapest is one of the best digital nomad cities thanks to its many co-working spaces. Impact Hub is one of the most popular and operates in over 60 countries worldwide. Membership cost around 15,000 HUF (approx. $40 USD) for 20 hours a month up to 54,000HUF (approx. ($150USD) per month for unlimited access.

For those who crave the perfect work life balance, there are over 100 bath houses built around the city’s thermal hot springs. These healing waters are the perfect way to rejuvenate after too much screen time and wash away the week’s stress. 

While Budapest is the Mecca of digital nomads, places such as Debrecen and Szeged are ideal for those who prefer a slower pace of life. Did we mention we have over 70 hosts in Hungary who are digital nomad friendly?

Digital Nomad Visa For Hungary

Launched in 2021, the digital nomad visa for Hungary is known as the White Card. It permits you to live and work in Hungary for one year with the ability to renew for another year. Unfortunately the DNV for Hungary is not open to citizens of an EU or EEA country and you must earn a minimum of €2,000 per month. Full application details here.

solo traveller looking at the parliament of Hungary

6. Portugal

Portugal is a haven for digital nomads who enjoy surfing the internet and the waves. Thanks to its world famous surf culture, wonderful food and of course, affordable cost of living it is one of the most popular countries in Europe for digital nomads.

Whether you head for the vibrant cities of Porto or Lisbon, the striking coastline of the Algarve or the incredible islands of the Azores you will be guaranteed excellent weather all year round and affordable living costs. Not to mention the world-famous wine, late-night lifestyle and pastel de nata. To be honest, it's worth visiting Portugal for those little custard treats alone.

While there are many ways to meet travellers on the road, the island of Madeira is one of the best places for digital nomads to connect with each other. This is because of the launch of their Digital Nomads Village. As well as exclusive events, accommodation and work spaces the project aims to create a unique community with remote workers from all over the world. As it has now become one of the most popular places for digital nomads in Europe, the program has been extended for another two years.

Portugal is also very popular with those embracing van life with a huge digital nomad community working and living from their home on wheels. As the country borders Spain with easy access to countries such as Morocco, France and the UK it is ideal for those who want to find a travel buddy and hit the road.

Living in a van not your idea of fun? We have hundreds of hosts in Portugal offering places for digital nomads to stay.

Digital Nomad Visa For Portugal

Before Portugal launched their digital nomad visa in 2022, most remote workers applied for a visa called a D7. Now thanks to the new Digital Nomad Visa remote workers can live and work in Portugal for up to one year. 

It is also designed to make applying for residency easier. To be eligible for the new digital nomad visa applicants need to be earning around  $2,750 (€2,836) per month. Learn more about Portugal’s digital nomad visa here.

pair of travellers relaxing with morning drinks and enjoying clear weather outdoors

7. Thailand

When it comes to the cheapest places for digital nomads, there is a reason Thailand is a favourite. With paradise islands, incredible food, friendly locals and a low cost of living it’s easy to see why.

Chiang Mai is one of the most popular digital nomad cities in Thailand thanks to an abundance of coworking spaces, laid back vibes and stunning mountainous surroundings. You can live comfortably in Chiang Mai for around $600-$700 per month.

This includes rent, groceries, utilities, transportation, and entertainment. However it would be even more affordable, if you stay with a Workaway host in Chiang Mai including the incredibly cool bubble house resort!  

Other popular places for digital nomads in Thailand include Bangkok, Ko Phangan, Ko Samui and Pai. Scooter rental in these places costs as little as £3 a day so it's super cheap to travel around and explore. As a tip, don’t forget travel insurance for Thailand even more so if you plan on renting a scooter as accidents are common and medical fees are expensive!

Digital Nomad Visa For Thailand

There are many options of visas for remote workers in Thailand. Most recently, the government released a LTR visa (long term resident visa) that allows remote workers to stay for up to 10 years. Read this guide to determine which is the most relevant to your situation and plan from there.

solo female traveller on Krabi rock cliff of Thailand

8. Malaysia

Malaysia was actually my own first taste of the digital nomad lifestyle and after nearly five years working remotely, I have yet to find a co-working space as welcoming as the ones I used there. 

If you’re travelling Southeast Asia on a budget the most popular places for digital nomads in Malaysia are Georgetown on Penang Island (a colourful UNESCO World Heritage Site) or Kota Kinabalu which is surrounded by the rainforests of Borneo.

If the laid back vibes are not for you and you prefer a metropolitan lifestyle, Kuala Lumpur is another cheap destination for digital nomads. As well as being incredibly affordable to work and play here, it borders Thailand and offers easy access to Singapore so is an ideal base to explore more of Asia.

The food scene in Kuala Lumpur (and Malaysia in general) is unrivalled thanks to the blend of Malay, Chinese and Indian cuisines with street food proving the most popular. This means entire meals such as Assam Laksa or Nasi Kandar cost just $1.50. 

Alongside incredible food, Malaysia offers political stability, excellent healthcare, an average living cost of around $500 per month and is one of the least densely populated countries in Asia. What’s not to love?

Digital Nomad Visa For Malaysia

If you plan on staying in Malaysia for more than 90 days, you will need to apply for a long-stay visa such as the digital nomad visa. Officially called DE Rantau, the Malaysian government introduced the digital nomad visa in October 2022. It allows you to work remotely from Malaysia for up to one year but can be extended. There is a minimum income of $24,000 per year. More details here.

  • Average Internet Speed: 106Mbps
  • Average cost of living per month: $800
  • Coworking Spaces: CommonGround in Georgetown, Colony or Komune in Kuala Lumpur, GA Space or Opis in Kota Kinabalu

While the privileged position of being able to work from anywhere may make you want to venture to a paradise island, if you opt for one of these cheap places for digital nomads you’ll be able to save money. By sticking to countries that have a cheaper lifestyle than your own, you will be able to work, save, travel and repeat forever.

group of locals and travellers taking a selfie after street food meal
digital nomadremote work

About Lauren

Growing up in a small coastal village in Scotland inspired Lauren to seek adventure and challenge the norm. Armed with just her backpack and trusty travel companion Darren, she quit her day job to liv... show more...

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