As of 2022, 56% of companies worldwide hire remote workers and 16% of those hire only remote workers. While everyone can agree that almost nothing good came from the COVID-19 pandemic, remote working is one of the few benefits.
And if you’re a remote worker, you’re likely keen to unleash yourself from the shackles of your office and see the world. Lucky for you, the best cities for remote workers are out there ready for you to explore.
What makes the best cities for working remotely? Well, they need to have affordable accommodation, high-speed WiFi, and good coworking spaces. They should have a low cost of living, cool things to do, and a remote working community too.
Not sure where those cities are? Read this guide to discover where to live as a digital nomad in 2022. Most of the cities are in the US but with many borders reopening there are some international cities too!
You’re likely not surprised that Austin is one of the best US cities for remote workers. Its slogan “Keep Austin Weird” rings true as it is a diverse city that bucks any stereotypes people might have about Texans. Austin’s residents live a range of alternative lifestyles so remote workers fit in well.
The cost of living is high, but the number of cafes and spaces for co-working with high-speed WiFi will spoil you. Try Codependent Cocktails and Coffee, Hank’s, Merit Coffee Co., and Good Things for great cafes. But if you prefer coworking spaces, check out Createscape Coworking, The Commune, and The Cathedral.
Avoid Austin during the South by Southwest Festival in February as the price of apartments will skyrocket. The city will be so loud and hectic that you won’t be able to hear your colleagues on your video call!
If you’re self-employed or your company doesn’t need you to live in the US to perform your role, why not live abroad for a while? Without a doubt, one of the best cities for remote workers in Europe is Lisbon, Portugal. Over the last decade, it’s built its name as a start-up and tech hub with many digital companies like Coverflex calling Lisbon home.
Plus, Lisbon has a very affordable cost of living and you could easily spend less than $1,000 on your rent and other expenses every month. The Alfama neighborhood is one of the coolest and cheapest places to stay, so try and find an apartment there. Portugal, in general, is one of the cheapest countries in western Europe that also uses the Euro as currency.
Some of the best coworking spaces in Lisbon are Work Avenida, Impact Hub, and Cowork Central. If you prefer to work from cafes, you should check out The Block Cafe, Melbourne Coffee House, and Outsite Cowork Cafe.
On the weekends, you should explore the beaches in the Algarve if you need to relax. Portugal’s second city Porto is only a couple of hours away by train too. US citizens can stay in the Schengen Zone, which Portugal is a part of, for up to 90 days on a tourist visa.
The Georgia Sun reported that Atlanta is one of the top five cities for digital nomads and remote workers in the US. It scores high for internet connectivity, job opportunities, workspace availability, and other factors.
Atlanta’s main office and coworking space for remote workers is the WeWork space on Peachtree Street. That’s one of the best tips for working remotely; no matter what city you’re in, check if it has a WeWork space. They are a prolific worldwide coworking chain so if you use them a lot, you might be able to save money by applying for membership.
Atlanta is a popular filming location for Marvel movies and Netflix shows like Stranger Things. So if you’re staying in Atlanta for a few months, you might see a film set!
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Playa del Carmen is one of the quintessential digital nomad locations. It’s up there with Bali in Indonesia and Chiang Mai in Thailand. But Southeast Asia might be a little more difficult to travel to in 2022 because its borders may or may not be open. But Playa del Carmen in Mexico is wide open and waiting for you!
It’s surprising that the WiFi speed has an average of 14 Mbps considering the huge amount of ex-pats in the area. But what you lose in internet speed you gain in community. There are tons of Playa del Carmen Facebook groups and meet-ups for foreigners so you’ll have no trouble finding friends.
Plus, it’s an affordable place to live compared to most US cities. You should only expect to spend around $1,500 every month on your rent, bills, and expenses. US citizens can stay in Mexico on a tourist visa for up to six months too.
Most remote workers in Playa del Carmen work at cafes when they’re not making the most of the air conditioning in their apartments. Check out Bendito Cafe, Marley Coffee, and Choux Choux Cafe for great food and WiFi.
It also boasts a prime location between Cancun and Tulum so you can spend your weekends by the coast. And let’s not forget, Playa del Carmen is in Mexico! The weather is likely to be warm and sunny no matter what time of year you visit.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Many US companies prefer their remote workers to stay on US soil for tax and time zone reasons. But that doesn’t mean you need to be in the same city. You can access and submit all your employment forms like I-9s online nowadays and you can look here for more information.
So there’s no reason why you can’t leave home and check out the best cities for remote workers in the US like Raleigh in North Carolina. It’s half the size of Austin so it’s less overwhelming and the cost of living is far cheaper than Atlanta. Your monthly expenses in Raleigh could be as affordable as $1,250-$1,500 per month.
WiFi is great because a higher than average percentage of people were working from home in Raleigh even before the pandemic. There are tons of things to do during your time off like visiting museums or exploring one of the 14 national parks in the state.
Tbilisi, Georgia (The Country)
Tb-where? Tbilisi is the capital city in the country of Georgia which sits between Turkey and Russia on the Black Sea. It’s an up-and-coming digital nomad hotspot but right now it’s still off-the-beaten-path. Plus, US citizens can stay in Georgia for up to a year on a tourist visa.
The internet speed isn’t amazing at 15 Mbps. But if you choose the right apartment and know the best places to go for high-speed connectivity then it shouldn’t be a problem. Plus, the cost of living (around $1,000-$1,250 per month) outweighs the mediocre internet speeds!
You might not believe it, but there are lots of coworking spaces to choose from in Tbilisi. Space Z, Impact Hub Tbilisi, and Terminal Khorava are all fantastic.
And if you prefer working from coffee shops, Double B Coffee & Tea and Prospero’s Books and Caliban’s Coffee House are both great. Most of Tbilisi’s coworking cafes are also bookshops which is one of the quirks of this city.
Tbilisi doesn’t get many tourists at the moment, but it offers lots of attractions and cool things to do. You can head up the Aerial Tramway to experience amazing views over the city and visit a vineyard to taste Georgia’s amazing wine.
You’ll realize that the biggest cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago don’t feature on this list of the best cities for remote workers. That’s not because they’re not good remote worker destinations, far from it. They offer some of the best coworking spaces and social opportunities in the country.
But when you can live anywhere, why not save your pennies and choose one of the most affordable cities in the county like Cincinnati in Ohio? And not only is it an affordable place to live, but it’s also well-located for travelers. You could buy or rent an RV and be in Illinois, Indianapolis, Kentucky, West Virginia, or Missouri in a matter of hours.
Some coworking spaces to check out are 1628 Ltd., UnCubed Coworking, and Premier Coworking. 1628 Ltd., in particular, hosts lots of informal events for remote workers.
Cincinnati’s WiFi is also very fast which makes sense since it’s one of the fastest-growing economies in the Midwest. You can bond with other remote workers here over your love of craft beer and sports.
Edinburgh is the UK’s second city so you would expect it to be expensive, sprawling, and difficult to get around. The former might be true as it’s not the cheapest city on this list, but it’s one of the friendliest places and walkable too. High-speed WiFi is a given in most accommodations but might be patchy in cafes.
Accommodation and bills will set you back around $1,000 per month depending on the neighborhood you stay in. Old Town is the historic center so it’s a prime location but apartments are expensive. If you want to cut down on costs then check out CoDE Co-Living which is a co-working hostel in nearby New Town.
Schop Coworking, Tribe Porty, and Kingsford coworking are all great coworking spaces. They all offer training opportunities and networking events too.
Since it’s the capital city in one of the oldest and most historic countries in the world, you won’t tire of things to do. Take a break from working and walk to Edinburgh Castle, up Arthur’s Seat, and explore the many free museums. Take a day trip to the Highlands and see mystical Glen Coe and the Isle of Skye.
Do you prefer having a home base as a remote worker? Many people do as moving from city to city can get tiring after a while. If you want to plant roots, you should choose a US city like Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.
Houses are much more affordable in Pittsburgh than they are in a lot of other major cities. The cost of living is also lower than average and many of the residents in this city have embraced the remote work lifestyle. If you like working in coffee shops, you’ll soon see the same faces over and over again and make friends.
Speaking of coffee shops, some of the best for coworking are The Coffee Tree Roasters, Big Dog Coffee, and Arriviste Coffee Bar. Alloy 26, Club Level CoWorking, and Community Forge are great co-working spaces if you prefer those to cafes.
Let’s round out this list of the best cities for remote workers with Budapest, the capital city of Hungary. If you’ve traveled outside the US, you might know that most of Eastern and Central Europe are very affordable places for Americans. You’ll only need to spend around $1,000 per month for a comfortable apartment in Budapest.
Hungary’s average internet speeds of 36 Mbps are some of the fastest worldwide. You’ll have no problem connecting on video calls or sending large files to your colleagues in the states.
There are tons of cool things to do in Budapest, too. Check out their arty ruin bars where you can get beers for under $1 and soak in their natural thermal baths. And if you feel like exploring, other capital cities like Vienna and Bratislava are only a two-hour train journey away.
Which of These Best Cities for Remote Workers Will You Check Out First?
Remote working offers you more location freedom than you might’ve ever had before. But that doesn’t mean you can work from a treehouse in Costa Rica or on a mountain in outer Mongolia. You still need to stay connected while you travel.
And if you travel to one (or more!) of these best cities for remote workers, you’ll be able to do exactly that.
Remote workers need to have the latest tech to fulfill their work commitments and they need to have great financial planning skills. Check out our website for tons of useful tech and finance advice!