Digital nomads: top 7 destinations to live, work & play

Man sitting on ledge above a city on his computer during sundown.

Wanderlust is at an all-time high. Although the pandemic is well behind us, 12.7% of full-time employees are still working from home, and around 32.6 million Americans are predicted to work from home in 2025. With companies like Hims and Shopify hiring employees who are open to remote work, it should be no surprise that many are opting out of office life for a laptop beachside. 

And what’s better than being able to work from everywhere?

For the 17.3 million Americans who called themselves digital nomads in 2023, nothing. For many, working, living and playing in a new location is priceless. Not to mention, a growing number of countries are further enticing remote workers with special visas and tax exemptions. 

After weighing various factors, we made a list of the top 7 destinations for remote work: 

  1. Chiang Mai, Thailand
  2. Split, Croatia
  3. Wellington, New Zealand
  4. The Canary Islands, Spain
  5. Mexico City, Mexico
  6. Lisbon, Portugal
  7. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of why we think you should add these to your list of musts if you’re a globetrotting digital nomad.

1. Chiang Mai, Thailand

Thailand is known for its stunning beaches, detailed temples, delicious food and the list goes on. It’s also quite easy to make yourself at home with the country’s smart visa which allows you to work and live in the country for up to 4 years and there is another long-term resident option to stay up to 10 years with a lower tax rate. 

Thailand is affordable, fun and easy to navigate and Chiang Mai is the ideal place to set up shop thanks to its trendy cafes and coworking spaces. With other fellow digital nomads living their best lives here, you can join groups like Chiang Mai Digital Nomads to find meetups or network with like-minded peers. And if you need to recharge, you can also easily travel to other cities around Thailand to enjoy the best of city life or escape to the picturesque beaches. 

Man sitting in a rickshaw in Chiang Mai, Thailand by a river.

2. Split, Croatia

Croatia is full of endless sightseeing, bustling cities and breathtaking beaches, making it a Mediterranean escape perfect for a digital nomad. The temporary stay of digital nomads visa allows entrepreneurs or freelancers to stay up to a year in the country. 

Split is a vibrant medieval port city that offers tons of amenities for remote workers. English is widely spoken, plus reliable wifi can be found throughout the city and there are endless cafes and coworking spaces for those looking to work in a public space. The Works is one option, located in the center of Split. This coworking space is open 24/7 and offers high-speed wifi, free coffee and the opportunity to meet other digital nomads. If you’re looking for a short vacation while in Split, don’t worry – you’ll be near the iconic Dalmatian Islands, including Hvar, and some of Croatia’s most serene national parks like Plitvice Lakes.

Boats in a marina in Split, Croatia.

3. Wellington, New Zealand

With a one-year working holiday visa available to anyone from ages 18-30, a laidback Kiwi vibe and travelers from all over the world, it’s easy to work from Wellington, New Zealand. 

There are a plethora of quirky cafes and co-working spaces and if that’s not enough, it’s on the list of the world’s most livable cities. With a one-bedroom averaging around $500 a month, this city is a great hub for exploring all New Zealand has to offer – the nature, the beaches and the volcanoes are not to be missed. 

Sunset over mountains and by the water in Wellington, New Zealand.

4. The Canary Islands, Spain

With eight main islands making up this Spanish archipelago off the coast of northwestern Africa, The Canary Islands is the most picturesque place to situate yourself if you want to hop around Europe but have your home base be an island setting. Set up shop here by taking advantage of Spain’s self-employment visa, best for freelancers and entrepreneurs (there’s even a special visa for entrepreneurs working in tech!). 

Tenerife, the largest island, is home to the volcano Mt. Teide and has its own astronomical observatory as part of Teide National Park. And if you come at the right time or stay long enough, you can experience its huge pre-Lent Carnival in the capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Relaxed island life in The Canary Islands means eating all the papayas and bananas you want as they’re locally grown and sold here. Many of the islands produce their own wine; perfect for a relaxing evening overlooking the sea after a long day on the computer. And eating out in Tenerife won’t break the bank, with a sit-down meal costing $10 or less and a liter of local wine ringing in around $12. Lastly, if you want to explore the local museums, they offer complimentary Sunday access.

Sunset in the mountains with palm trees in the foreground in the Canary Islands, Spain.

5. Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City has been a favorite destination for travelers and digital nomads in recent years. Although there is no special digital nomad visa available, the country does offer a 6 month tourist visa or a Temporary Resident Visa, allowing you to stay for one year and it can be renewed for up to 3 more years. 

Mexico City is an ideal spot for digital nomads due to its low cost of living, numerous coworking spaces and of course, lots and lots of delicious Mexican cuisine. If you’re looking to spend some time in this bustling city but don’t know where to start, check out some of the many Facebook groups made for foreigners/digital nomads. Foreigners and Expats in Mexico City, Expat Women in Mexico City, and Mexico City Digital Nomads are just a few that can help make this big, exciting city feel just a little bit smaller by connecting with people who share the same interests.

Overhead view of Mexico City lit up at night.

6. Lisbon, Portugal

Feel right at home in Lisbon’s sunny weather and breathtakingly beautiful 7 hills which boasts a large expat community. You can easily take out a D7 visa and enjoy one of Europe’s most popular destinations for two years while working and exploring vibrant Portuguese culture.

Climb those hilltop vistas or opt for the cable car and enjoy a serenade at one of the famed fado bars, like Clube de Fado in Alfama. Or give yourself an energy boost with a shot of Ginjinha, a Portuguese sour cherry liqueur. 

In your downtime, plan an escape to the south and visit some off-the-beaten-path beaches in Algarve, Portugal, a real treat if the city starts to feel a bit too fast-paced. Porto and Sintra are also great for exploring, but if you crave a taste of the sea, check out Madeira, a neighboring island. If you’re daring enough you can trek mountain peaks well above the clouds, rappel down epic waterfalls, dive into the ocean from cliffs above or chill at a restaurant in the trendy city of Funchal.

Overhead view of buildings in Lisbon, Portugal by the water.

7. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Want to eat delicious food that’s reasonably priced, and mingle with friendly locals while killing it remotely at work? Then a ticket to Buenos Aires should be in your future. You can sip on mate all day, take in a soccer (or fútbol) game and learn to dance like a local in the birthplace of the tango. With its colorful neighborhoods and bikeable historic streets, there is really nothing not to love about this capital city. 

Buenos Aires offers a digital nomad visa that’s good for up to three years. Living in this city means you get more bang for your buck as the U.S. dollar is super strong compared to the Argentine peso and has been for years. Consider renting a modern eclectic apartment, get a desk in a coworking space, try the best speakeasies and steakhouses and explore the rest of the country and some neighboring ones in your free time.

Colorful buildings in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Where to next?

If you’re still looking for the perfect place to call home away from home, you can build your own custom list based on your wants and needs, connect with communities of digital nomads around the globe and take some remote work tips from our in-house expat and travel pro.

Finding your dream remote work destination takes some research and a leap of faith, but once you do, simply pack your laptop, smartphone and trustworthy travel insurance for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

These activities and websites are suggestions and Faye is in no way associated with them. This post is meant to give you ideas and inspiration on where to have a digital nomad experience.

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