Best Countries for Digital Nomads to Settle In (And the Worst!)

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Do you want to move abroad and work remotely as a digital nomad? Do you want to start a traveling lifestyle and country-hop as you go?

For these kinds of decisions, it’s always important to identify the best countries in the world so that you can make a well-informed decision for where you will be setting off to. To determine these places, the sample factors that you would surely want to know as dependent on your goals and preferences are the cost of living, the safety ‘score’, the weather situation, and the internet speed (especially for digital nomads).

However, it could be such a dizzying experience to do all that research for yourself, most especially if you want an up-to-date and unified resource. Fortunately for us though — the traveling and working nomads — this is where the ultimate guide, NomadList, comes to play!

Curated by digital nomads and perpetual travels around the globe, NomadList has come up with a comprehensive website that showcases all the details that you would ever want to know! The data on their site are easily filterable by a mix of the criteria below:

  • Places (cities, countries, or regions)
  • City-Type (small city, big city, or mega city)
  • Visa-Free Places (as based on your nationality)
  • Cost of Living (low to high as applied to locals, long-term expats, or short-term nomads)
  • Overall Weather and Temperature (cold, mild, warm, humid, dry, or comfy)
  • Internet Speed (mbps)
  • Safety Rating (can rank places that are female-friendly)
  • Traffic (as measured by TomTom’s index)
  • Air Quality (as measured by AQI index)
  • One Way Airplane Ticket Price (from where you are located)
  • Community (English-speaking, friendly, fun, or good nightlife)

Isn’t it amazing? Because I think that it definitely is! They even have an algorithm: NomadScore™ that ranks the places based on the summation of the metrics (like cost, weather, etc.). And as a bonus, their website also has a hub for all traveling and working nomads around the world given their dedicated forum and meet-up sections. They also have a lot of other features in store! In fact, the team behind the platform are constantly coming up with new apps and systems to help all the wandering souls out there, so come and visit their site:

Visit NomadList NOW!

To summarize their data…

[box_title class=”” subtitle=”” subtitle_font_size=”15″ font_size=”23″ border_color=”#ed2665″ animation_delay=”0″ font_alignment=”center” border=”around” animate=”” ]Best Countries In the World for Traveling & Working Nomads[/box_title]Take note though that this is a summation of all their metrics; which means that it’s not only based on cost but also the weather, internet speed, safety, etc.

[two_fourth class=”” last=”no” ]

  1. Czech Republic
  2. Hungary
  3. South Korea
  4. Rwanda
  5. Bosnia-Herzegovina


[two_fourth class=”” last=”yes” ]

  1. Croatia
  2. Portugal
  3. Thailand
  4. Serbia
  5. Armenia


If you rather want to know the best cities (since by country takes the area as a whole), then the top-rated ones would be:

[two_fourth class=”” last=”no” ]

  1. Chiang Mai, Thailand
  2. Bangkok, Thailand
  3. Phuket, Thailand
  4. Florianopolis, Brazil
  5. Prague, Czech Republic


[two_fourth class=”” last=”yes” ]

  1. Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
  2. Taghazout, Morocco
  3. Las Palmas, Spain
  4. Oaxaca, Mexico
  5. Budapest, Hungary


[separator color=”#cdcdcd” margin_top=”10″ margin_bottom=”20″ style=”dashed” ]

Now, if you want to know the cheapest and most expensive countries in the world in order to know what you should take note of and what you should avoid, I will be making use of the data of Numbeo — the world’s largest database of user-contributed data on costs and prices around the world.

[box_title class=”” subtitle=”” subtitle_font_size=”15″ font_size=”23″ border_color=”#ed2665″ animation_delay=”0″ font_alignment=”center” border=”around” animate=”” ]Countries With The LOWEST Cost of Living[/box_title]

  1. India
  2. Nepal
  3. Pakistan
  4. Tunisia
  5. Algeria
  1. Moldova
  2. Egypt
  3. Macedonia
  4. Syria
  5. Colombia
  1. Bangladesh
  2. Indonesia
  3. Georgia
  4. Morocco
  5. Philippines


[box_title class=”” subtitle=”” subtitle_font_size=”15″ font_size=”23″ border_color=”#ed2665″ animation_delay=”0″ font_alignment=”center” border=”around” animate=”” ]Countries With The HIGHEST Cost of Living[/box_title]

  1. Switzerland
  2. Norway
  3. Venezuela
  4. Iceland
  5. Denmark
  1. Australia
  2. New Zealand
  3. Singapore
  4. Kuwait
  5. UK
  1. Ireland
  2. Luxembourg
  3. Finland
  4. France
  5. Belgium

DISCLAIMER: Numbeo’s data above is as of January 2015 (which is unlike NomadList’s data that is updated regularly). Numbeo also compiled this list with a traveling and working nomad in mind; NOT a person who is looking for an office job abroad, etc. It is also per country as a summary, so chances are, some of the cities or towns in the countries listed above could have a cheaper or more expensive cost of living than that of the above.

With this in mind, it helps then to mainly refer to NomadList’s data! And if I may add, if you really want to know the best place to start your nomadic lifestyle, start thinking of ASIA. It’s a known fact that most of the countries in this continent do not only have good conditions but very low cost of living as well. What’s more is that you’ll find a LOT of your fellow nomads there!

TIP: If you’re a digital nomad, heed NomadList’s advice and head out to Chiang Mai in Thailand! In my opinion, it really is the BEST place for a remote worker like you and me!

• • •

Best Countries for Digital Nomads


• • •

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  1. David Shcholka

    Greetings from Georgia (country), I advice to visit Georgia, country with stunning views, sights, hospitable people and villages wrapped in myth..

    Thanks for this post.

  2. Hurricane Kellie

    I just recently moved to Nicaragua and now realize truly how important having some of this information would have been prior to moving. Next I’m heading to Chaing Mai, the internet in Nica is terrible in case anyone wants to come here. The culture is cool, very interesting and beautiful country for a true vacation, don’t count on getting any real work done. As a chocolate diva, I’m happy to see racial tolerance on the list. Very cool

    • Aileen

      I’m sorry to hear that your move wasn’t as good, but indeed the community in Nomad List will really help you tons when relocating to someplace else. :D I wish all the best in your nomadic journey, Kellie!

  3. Vicki

    As new found digital nomads this has been incredible to read- really insightful and a great resource for anyone considering a location dependent lifestyle. Thank you Aileen x

    • Aileen

      I’m happy to hear that Vicki! You’re welcome. All the best for your digital nomad life ;)

  4. Maki

    I think Florianapolis is calling me :) Thanks for this post, I’m actually in the process of seriously thinking about where to go, so this is very helpful.

    • Aileen

      That’s great to hear, Maki! And Florianapolis sounds great. I wish all the best for your travel plans, Maki.

  5. Gloria @NomadicChica

    Loved this article! I’m becoming a digital nomad and had no idea about this NomadList site before! Will be taking a look at it! I agree with Thailand, it’s on my first places I could stay for few months…would be there only for the food!!! Keep having happy travels!

    • Aileen

      NomadList is really awesome! :D I hope it helps you Gloria. And yes, I loooove Thailand! I totally miss the food back there too!

      And thanks; I wish the same for you!


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