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The Top 10 Cities for Digital Nomads

nomadlist

This month, as part of his 12 startups in 12 months project, digital nomad Pieter Levels of Levels.io launched NomadList, a dynamic ranking of the best cities for digital nomads.

The ranking takes into account a wealth of data, giving more weight to cost of living, Internet speed, weather, and safety. The monthly prices listed below cover housing, coworking space fees, and buying a meal three times a day.

“My advice to anyone interested in [the digital nomad] movement is to simply do it. It’s a lot less scary than you think. You’ll be surprised to see that the rest of the world is actually highly developed – in many ways more so than the West. If you’re living in any of the bigger cities in the West now, you’ll actually save money moving to a place like Chiang Mai, Ho Chi Minh, or Bali,” he told Tech In Asia.

Here are the 10 cities currently topping NomadList, including data provided on the site:

1. Chiang Mai, Thailand ($601/month) 

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, located in northern Thailand, is a safe city with a warm climate and okay nightlife. The locals are friendly, despite bad English. Internet in Chiang Mai is okay (20 Mbps), and free wifi is available in public and at lots of cafes. Chiang Mai has at least three coworking spaces but little venture capital. 

2. Taipei, Taiwan ($921/month) 

Taipei

Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, is a safe city with a wet climate and great nightlife. The locals are friendly with okay English skills. Internet in Taipei is good (39 Mbps), and free wifi is common in public and at lots of cafes. Taipei has at least four coworking spaces but little venture capital.  

3. Davao, Philippines ($900/month) 

Davao

Davao, Philippines, is a safe city with a hot climate and good nightlife. The locals are very friendly and have great English. Internet in Davao is okay (3.3 Mbps), and free wifi is available in public and at some cafes. Davao has at least three coworking spaces but little venture capital. 

4. Bangkok, Thailand ($1,300/month) 

Bangkok

Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is a safe city with a hot climate and great nightlife. The locals are friendly with okay English skills. Internet in Bangkok is good (20 Mbps), and free wifi is common in public and at some cafes. Bangkok has at least eight coworking spaces and good venture capital.

5. Sofia, Bulgaria ($1,287/month)

Sofia

Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, is a fairly safe city with a warm climate and good nightlife. The locals are friendly with okay English skills. Internet in Sofia is great (32 Mbps), and free wifi is common in public and at some cafes. Sofia has at least three coworking spaces and good venture capital. 

6. Hanoi, Vietnam ($640/month) 

Hanoi

Hanoi, in northern Vietnam, is a fairly safe city with a hot climate and good nightlife. Unfortunately, the locals have bad English skills and are unfriendly. Internet in Hanoi is okay (16 Mbps), and free wifi can be found in public and at some cafes. Hanoi has at least two coworking spaces. 

7. Wroclaw, Poland ($1,991/month)

Wroclaw

Wroclaw, in western Poland, is a fairly safe city with a mild climate and good nightlife. The locals are friendly with okay English skills. Internet in Wroclaw is good (20 Mbps), and free wifi is common in public and at lots of cafes. Wroclaw has at least three coworking spaces. 

8. Belgrade, Serbia ($1,226/month) 

Belgrade

Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is a safe city with a mild climate and great nightlife. The locals are friendly and have good English. Internet in Belgrade is okay (9 Mbps), and free wifi is available in public and at lots of cafes. Belgrade has at least three coworking spaces but little venture capital. 

9. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam ($1,177/month) 

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, in the south of Vietnam, is a fairly safe city with a hot climate and okay nightlife. The locals are friendly, despite bad English. Internet in Ho Chi Minh City is okay (16 Mbps), and free wifi is available in public and lots of cafes. Ho Chi Minh City has at least two coworking spaces.  

10. Bali, Indonesia ($1,117/month) 

Bali

Bali, a popular tourist spot in Indonesia, is a safe island with a warm climate and bad nightlife. The locals are friendly and have good English. Internet in Bali is okay (4.6 Mbps), and free wifi can be found in public and at some cafes. Bali has at least one coworking space and okay venture capital. 

Levels’ other projects in “12 startups in 12 months” include Go Fucking Do It, which charges you money if you don’t hit your goals; Tubelytics, analytics for YouTube; and Play My Inbox, which turns music from your inbox into a visual player. Four down, eight to go! 

All photos via WikiTravel.org, except the last two (courtesy of Kira M. Newman) 

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About the Author

Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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