As industries adapt in tune with modern technology, people everywhere are adopting alternative working styles. Both the ability and the demand to work from home, or work remotely, are greater now than ever before. As such, we have the birth of the ‘Digital Nomad’ – someone who earns a living working entirely online, with the use of modern technology, and who is not tied to a physical place for their business. This creates the freedom for a digital nomad to travel and work from different locations, which could be anywhere in the world. With this increasing flexibility in the working world, many people are considering an alternative way of life. For those tempted by an alternative working style, or thinking about their next move, we have put together a short list of some of our favourite European cities for digital nomads to live in and work from.
For digital nomads, finding a place where you can relax and focus is often the key to success. This applies to your ‘home-office’ environment, but the country and city in which you are living can have a huge impact too. For those seeking an alternative destination with a Mediterranean backdrop, Funchal, the capital of Portugal’s Madeira Island, is first on our list. Madeira is known for its mild climate which lasts most of the year, giving it the name of the ‘Island of Eternal Spring’. With its backdrop of idyllic beaches, the city of Funchal offers a vibrant and lively atmosphere with paradise-like surroundings just on the doorstep, a perfect balance of city living and island relaxation. What makes Funchal even more appealing is its digital nomad-friendly government, which encourages entrepreneurial ventures, meaning you can earn more than the average while living a holiday type lifestyle.
Now over to Eastern Europe for quite an alternative, and we have Estonia’s carefully preserved medieval capital Tallinn. With its beautiful architecture and quirky ambiance, Tallinn is on our list thanks to its combination of historical charm, lively nightlife, and its cheap cost of living, making it a popular destination for tourists and digital nomads alike. In fact, Tallinn is gathering a good reputation for its strong digital nomad and remote-working community, as well as its array of coworking spaces and good internet coverage. Tallinn is a good option for those looking to explore a charismatic Eastern Europe alternative, and live very comfortably. However, if sun is on your agenda, be warned that the winters in Estonia are long and very cold!
Back over to the Mediterranean and we have the beautiful gem of Valencia, on the eastern coast of Spain. For those looking to embrace the sun and Mediterranean culture, Valencia has it all. As the third largest city in Spain, Valencia is less touristic than Barcelona or Madrid, and offers a good combination of authentic Spanish culture with an ever-growing digital nomad community. A beautiful, vibrant city with a somewhat ‘village-like’ feel, surprising architecture, serene beaches and magnificent surrounding nature. Valencia offers a laid back and colourful way of life for digital nomads, with a fairly low cost of living making life comfortable. The city also has a local feel, making it easy to really embrace the local culture. The only downsides of working remotely in Spain could be the higher than average taxes and the extremely hot summer months, particularly in Valencia.
Finally on our list is the iconic capital city of Germany – Berlin – which is quickly becoming one of the most popular destinations for digital nomads. With its abundance of quirky coffee shops, well equipped co-working spaces and fast internet speed, the city is well designed for the digital nomad lifestyle. It is also fairly easy to obtain a freelance visa in Germany and the cost of living is low compared to other Western European alternatives, although taxes are not as favourable as those in Portugal. Beyond its amenities, Berlin is a historically enriched city and is the home of art, music, and rebellion, giving it a culturally diverse and liberal feeling, which seems to match the digital nomadic lifestyle well.
Hopefully this has given you a few ideas for your next nomadic venture. If you would like further inspiration, the ‘Nomad List’ offers reviews on cities all over the world based on their amenities for digital nomads.