I'm Amanda. I'm a business and marketing coach for ambitious entrepreneur who want to create a freedom lifestyle. I travel around the world full time and spent most my days in Thailand, Vietnam or Bali. I'm a strategy and systems girl and here to help you scale your business and become unstoppable.
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The remote working landscape has rapidly changed in the last few years, making it easier than ever to become a digital nomad. Now is the perfect time to start your own online business and travel the world! The hardest part will be deciding between these amazing digital nomad destinations.
In this post, I’m breaking down the best digital nomad destinations in 2021, from Asia to Europe and South America–so you can get started planning your next adventure. Let’s dive in!
Keep reading or listen to the podcast below:
These 2021 digital nomad destinations were chosen based on a combination of factors, including:
You may also want to consider additional factors based on your lifestyle. Do you want to live somewhere warm on the beach? Somewhere with a thriving expat community? Or is it more important for you to be immersed in the local culture?
Consider what’s most important to you before reading the digital nomad destinations below.
No list of best digital nomad destinations 2021 (or any year) could miss Chiang Mai. A little overrated in our opinion, but overall still a lovely place to live.
Chiang Mai is a smaller city, which makes it easy to get around, but it’s still big enough to have everything you need (malls, modern conveniences). There are tons of outdoor activities and weekend trips (visiting the elephants, anyone?). It also has its own international airport, making an ideal base to explore the rest of Southeast Asia.
Every year between January and April the farmers burn their crops causing extremely poor air quality and you typically want to avoid Chiang Mai during these months. The expat community is mostly dropshippers, teachers, and older expats, which makes it less vibrant than some other digital nomad destinations (compared to Bali, for instance).
Chiang Mai is less friendly toward service based business owners, which makes it harder to find a good place to work. The coworking and cafe options are also limited.
You can read a complete breakdown of Chiang Mai’s pros and cons in this post.
Check out the video below for more insight on the cost of living in Chiang Mai.
Koh Phangan is an up and coming place to live and one of the best digital nomad destinations for 2021. There’s a central town with great coworking options and a night market. Only a small part of the island hosts the infamous full moon party, so you won’t be too affected by it if you choose not to take part.
The island is difficult to get to and has no airport. There aren’t many larger stores or amenities aside from basic necessities, but you can always take a quick boat over to the larger island of Koh Samui or to the mainland if you need something extra.
Good coworking spaces and a small but warm community. It’s easy to reach the island from Krabi on the mainland, and to get around the island as well. A bit of sleepy beach town vibes.
The quiet can get boring after a while. You’ll need to go to Phuket or Bangkok for major needs and to access an airport.
Bangkok has always been a popular digital nomad destination and 2021 is no exception. A massive, modern city, Bangkok has all the comforts of home and more (at half the cost of living). You have access to malls, night markets and a major airport. There’s also a large expat community.
The city is very hectic and noisy, and can be overwhelming for some. It’s not very walkable and most major amenities are spread out from one another. There is no central area for expats and digital nomads, so you may end up feeling isolated.
There are hundreds of working space options in Bangkok–we haven’t found any that stand out above the rest. Many locals and tech companies also use coworking spaces as their “office space”, so you may end up meeting more locals than digital nomads.
Da Nang is an up and coming digital nomad destination for 2021, and we personally loved our time there. The cost of living is super cheap and it’s a big city with everything you need. There are so many amazing day trips, as well as a beautiful white sand beach. The expat/digital nomad community is thriving, as Da Nang is especially popular with English teachers.
Like elsewhere in Vietnam, there is non-stop construction. It can be very noisy. You need a scooter to get around, which can be dangerous and intimidating if you’ve never driven one before. The expat community mostly consists of teachers, so if you’re looking to meet fellow entrepreneurs you might be better off somewhere like Bali.
Read the full breakdown of digital nomad life in Da Nang here, or learn more about the cost of living in this video.
Check out this post for the top 10 places to work remotely in Da Nang!
Canggu is a laid back surfer town and easily makes the list of best digital nomad destinations in 2021. The community of entrepreneurs is amazing, with tons of meetups and events. You can easily travel around Bali or visit neighbouring islands. There is an endless amount of cafes and coworking spaces to try out.
The food options are fantastic, especially if you’re gluten free/vegan, or just looking for healthier options. Accommodation options are varied, but the norm is a beautiful villa with a pool. Gym and spa facilities are top notch.
Canggu has become so popular with Australian tourists and western digital nomads, you won’t meet many locals or experience much of the Balinese culture. Crime is fairly prevalent across the island, and I wouldn’t recommend going out alone at night as a woman. The government and police are both corrupt and you may have to pay bribes occasionally. You’ll also need a scooter to get around.
Read an in-depth guide to Canggu here!
Check out this post for a complete list of the best cafes and coworking spaces in Canggu!
Ubud is the Balinese paradise most people picture after seeing Eat, Pray, Love. This is the spiritual heart of Bali, and super popular with both entrepreneurs and those interested in any and all things health. If you’re into yoga, this is pretty much the dream destination! Picture endless smoothie bowls and calm green rice fields.
Similar to Canggu above, there is crime and corruption to worry about. If you’re not into the spiritual side of things, you may find Ubud a little “woo-woo”.
Lisbon is hands down one of the best digital nomad destinations in 2021. This beautiful, historic city is filled with charming architecture and trendy coworking spaces. You can easily explore Portugal and the rest of Europe from Lisbon. It’s extremely walkable, the weather is beautiful year round, and there’s great wine. What more could you want?
Although there are coworking spaces, most cafes close early in the evening. The cost of living is also rapidly on the rise, making it less affordable than Asian or South American destinations.
You can read a complete break down of the pros and cons of digital nomad life in Lisbon in this post!
Another enchanting European capital, Prague is known for being both beautiful and affordable. There’s a growing expat community and plenty of cultural events. Prague’s location in central Europe is ideal for exploring the neighbouring countries of Germany, Austria and Hungary.
Although there’s a growing expat community, Prague is less of a digital nomad hub and more of an affordable place to base yourself while exploring Europe. It can also become very busy and overcrowded during the summer tourist months.
Budapest is a growing digital nomad destination in 2021. The city’s abundant culture and affordable lifestyle have attracted nomads and entrepreneurs from around the world–there’s a thriving nightlife and food scene, great cafes and plenty to see and explore.
Overcrowded during tourist season.
Mexico is another up and coming digital nomad destination in 2021. Six month automatic tourist visas make it easy to plan your stay. The infrastructure is well developed, you can enjoy tropical weather in beach destinations like Playa Del Carmen, or base yourself in the cultural hub of Mexico City. The food is fantastic and there is a growing community of digital nomads.
The internet can be spotty, but is generally better than elsewhere in Latin America. Some digital nomads express safety concerns (especially for women living in the city).
Beautiful beaches and rainforests to explore, lots of activities from hiking to surfing. Some coworking options available.
Spotty internet connection, smaller communities, more popular with expats than digital nomads.
Very reasonable cost of living, great weather and a large digital nomad community. The coworking spaces are very reliable, especially as the expat scene in Medellín continues to grow. There are lots of nature activities nearby.
Crime is still an issue, although safety has improved in recent years. Internet can be spotty depending on where you’re located.
The destinations on this list aren’t in any particular order, because what you’re looking for will determine the best fit for you. As the online business world continues to expand, more and more cities will become accessible to digital nomads.
If you need proof of that, check out some of the up and coming destinations below!
And before you travel, make sure you’re covered with insurance. Safety Wing provides the best coverage for digital nomads.
I hope you find this overview helpful, and if there’s a specific digital nomad destination you want to see more of, let me know in the comments or send a DM on Instagram!
If you need help choosing your next destination, or you just want to chat with some fellow digital nomads, check out the Laptop Lifestyle Entrepreneur Facebook group!
And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram where I share regular updates, including our next destination (and how we chose to move to Greece!).
The Ultimate Digital Nomad Packing List for Women
How I built my online business from a laptop on the beach
How to Quit Your 9 to 5 and Travel the World Full Time
Chiang Mai Digital Nomad Guide