Top 3 Countries For Digital Nomads - Guide and Living Expenses

Aug 10, 2022

7 min read

After two years of being mainly secluded in our house because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the world is slowly but surely opening up its borders and easing its travel restrictions. Like most typical people, you were also forced to work from home. And gosh, didn’t that have a lot of excellent benefits. Many people have realized the fantastic benefits that come with working remotely. This is where digital nomads come into play.

A digital Nomad can be described as someone earning a living by working online in their chosen location. They have no fixed business address and can travel from city to city or even country to country while still doing their online job. Many people grasp this opportunity with both hands and make the most of this by traveling all over the world. Why not?


In 2021 the US reported that about 15.5 million people are Digital Nomads, which is 3 times more than the number reported in 2020. We can expect that number to be significantly higher in 2022.

Unfortunately choosing a spot as a Digital Nomad is a lot different than choosing a vacation spot, and there are some things you need to consider. It would help if you considered the cost of living - this will significantly be affected by the salary you earn. The best way is to choose a country that offers a cheaper cost of living than your home country - that way, you have the luxury of using the money for traveling purposes. Another essential thing to consider is the WIFI connection - having fast and reliable WIFI is incredibly important as a Digital Nomad. Last, the social/nightlife is also something to consider. You need to ensure a social atmosphere that will benefit you greatly, a nightlife that will allow you to make friends and meet new people.


What Are The Top 3 Countries To Stay As a Digital Nomad In 2022? - Guide and Living Expenses

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Thailand has been a popular favorite amongst Digital Nomads for years. Chiang Mai is a gorgeous Thai city with many beautiful temples, intricate architecture, and scenery. Thailand offers many attractions for the average traveler, like beautiful oceans, forests, and mountains. Chiang Mai, Thailand, offers much more than one can imagine.

Places to live:

Most Digital Nomads have reported the best places to stay: the Old City, Hang Dong, Nimman, and Chang-Dong. Some valuable resources to help you search for your perfect home are Agoda, Airbnb, Nomad Rentals - service apartments to be rented, Nomad rental- condos to be rented, and the Chiang Mai Facebook group where you will be able to find accommodation advertisements.

Places to work:

Chiang Mai has become a popular hub for Digital Nomads. Therefore many coworking spaces and excellent cafés have popped up to offer nomads a perfect workplace. Some of these places include: Punspace - a popular place that offers working space 24/7 for its members, ISDSI - coworking spaces that have long been one of the most popular spaces to work between Nomads, WAKE UP - a café and coworking space that offers nomads a quiet and relaxed space to get work done. There are many cafés all over with reliable WIFI that is the perfect place to get some work done.

Places to meet new people:

There are quite a few places where you can meet new people and make friends quickly. Some include the Chiang Mai Digital Nomad Facebook group, Chiang Mai Happy Hour Nomads. In this place, new Digital Nomads can meet for coffee weekly and, of course, the most sought-after summit, Nomad Summit, hosted by Chiang Mai every January.

Cost of living:

You can live comfortably in Chiang Mai with a budget of 650$ or less. Accommodation can cost anywhere between 300$ - 700$ depending on what type of apartment you would like to live in. Typically you would need to budget around 150$ for food and drinks. A typical Thai meal would cost you around 2$, whereas a typical Western meal in a restaurant can cost around 20$. You can save much money by cooking your meals. A basic phone plan and SIM card will cost you around 15$ per month. The rest of your money can go towards traveling or essential attractions of your choice.


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Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is touted to be less expensive than other European countries, but Lisbon is still quite an expensive option. Yet, many Digital Nomads rate Lisbon on the top of the Digital Nomadlist. Confusing, right? Lisbon is one of the oldest cities but one of the sunniest cities in Europe. Lisbon's bright and vibrant colors have always kept the mood light and fun.

Places to live:

The best place to live in the Santa Maria Maior district, which is home to some of the most central and exciting neighborhoods of Baixa, Alfama, and Bairro Alto. Of course, these are in the city's center and close to everything. If you move a little further out of the CBD, you will be able to find lower accommodation prices.

Places to work:

You will find great coworking spaces in Lisbon. These include Cowork Central, Village Underground, and Outsite coffee shop and coworking space. There are also great cafés that offer reliable WIFI: Copenhagen Coffee Lab, Tease, and Marquise.

Places to meet new people:

The Lisbon’s Digital Nomad Facebook group is an excellent resource for meeting your fellow nomads in Lisbon. There is also a weekly Thursday meetup where you will have the chance to meet new people and experience new bars and restaurants.

Cost of living:

You will need to budget at least 2500€ for the average cost of living in Lisbon. You can expect to pay around €800 - €1200 for a small but well-lit apartment. For local restaurants, you can expect to pay around 7€ for a meal, while an international meal can cost up to 40€. A monthly Lisbon transport ticket will cost you around 35€.


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Canggu, Bali

Bali has always been a Digital Nomad hotspot, and it's no surprise that Canggu ranks under the top 3 places to stay as a nomad. Bali offers a wide range of activities and sceneries with a breathtaking sunset over the beach bars, ancient temples, tranquil rice fields, and lush forests.

Places to live:

When you first come to Bali, it is recommended to stay in Canggu. After that, you can venture to Ubud, Sanur, Uluwatu, and Nusa Dua neighborhoods. Canggu is the hub for Digital Nomads, and this will be the best place to meet some of your fellow nomads. Hostels in Canggu can charge anywhere from 7$ - 40$ a night. But you will also find many places offering monthly rentals for up to 300$ for a budget apartment.

Places to work:

It's no secret that Canggu has noticed its popularity for Digital Nomads. Consequently, you'll find many coworking spaces such as Dojo Bali, Tropical Nomad, Outpost Canggu, Hubud Coworking, and Bali Bustle. You will almost always find restaurants and cafés with very reliable WIFI.

Places to meet new people:

Coworking spaces are the best place first to start meeting new people. After that, pretty much any café or restaurant you go to will offer you ample opportunity to meet fellow nomads.

Cost of living:

Canggu offers something for every type and budget, but the average cost of living is described as 900$ a month. An essential local meal will only cost you around 1$, whereas the popular restaurants will charge significantly more. You can expect to pay around 25$ for an average meal at a Western restaurant. Transportation is relatively inexpensive if you rent a scooter; it costs about 50$ a month and only 1$ to fill up your tank. You should budget around 250$ to 750$ for groceries, where 750$ would be the high-end budget of someone eating at a Western restaurant every day, 3 times a day.


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Would You Consider Staying In One Of These Countries As A Digital Nomad?

You can also read up on the most expensive vs. the cheapest countries for Digital Nomads. Following this list, Thailand seems to be the cheapest option, with Lisbon being the most expensive option for Digital Nomads. All these options seem like live-changing experiences! After choosing the location of your choice, the next thing to do is sort out your visa! Remember, if you need a visa, Atlys is the only way to get one effortlessly!

Picture References:

Business Insider

Wira Rental Mobil Bali


Written By: Shannon Reeler
Fact Checked By: Richard Nathan

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