In an era where remote working is becoming increasingly popular, a new study highlights the best cities for digital nomads to live and work in.

According to recent data, Hoi An in Vietnam has secured the top spot with an impressive index score of 73.94. Delhi, India, follows closely behind with a score of 73.77, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, ranks third with a score of 72.02.

The research evaluated several factors influencing the attractiveness of cities for digital nomads, such as internet speed, availability of co-working spaces, and visa options. With more people looking to leverage their flexible work arrangements by relocating or traveling, these insights are particularly timely.

According to WFH Research, 12.7 percent of full-time employees in the U.S. worked remotely in 2023, a number expected to rise to 22 percent by 2025, as projected by Upwork. Given this trend, digital nomad publication Freaking Nomads developed an index to identify the best cities for remote workers based on criteria like broadband and mobile speed, cost of living, rent, and other expenses, proximity to co-working spaces, and accessibility to remote working visas. Each city was scored on these factors and weighted to create a total index score out of 100.

Hoi An, Vietnam, emerged as the leading city with a score of 73.94. This coastal gem ranked third for cost of living with a score of 85.48 and 34th for visa accessibility with 77.78. Known for its well-preserved ancient buildings, colourful lanterns, and winding streets, Hoi An offers a unique blend of historic charm and modern amenities, making it an attractive destination for digital nomads seeking a fresh start in an enchanting locale.

Delhi, India, secured second place with a score of 73.77. The capital city ranked first for cost of living with 89.03 and also placed joint 34th for visa accessibility with 77.78. Delhi’s rich cultural tapestry, historical landmarks like the Red Fort, bustling markets, and diverse cuisine make it a vibrant hub for remote workers.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, came in third with a score of 72.02. The city ranked joint 19th for visa accessibility with 83.33 and 21st for cost of living with 76.06. Kuala Lumpur’s iconic skyline, featuring the Petronas Twin Towers, along with its mix of traditional and modern attractions, provides an invigorating environment for digital nomads.

Other notable cities in the top five include Da Nang, Vietnam, which scored 71.32, and Mumbai, India, with a score of 69.81. Da Nang is praised for its stunning coastlines and natural beauty, while Mumbai, India’s financial hub, is known for its bustling streets, expansive beaches, and delectable cuisine.

Top Ten Best Cities for Digital Nomads:

Rank City Country Index Score
1 Hoi An Vietnam 73.94
2 Delhi India 73.77
3 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia 72.02
4 Da Nang Vietnam 71.32
5 Mumbai India 69.81
6 Buenos Aires Argentina 69.40
7 Bangkok Thailand 68.15
8 Santa Cruz de Tenerife Spain 68.14
9 Bucharest Romania 67.99
10 Las Palmas Spain 67.89

Buenos Aires, Argentina, ranks sixth with a score of 69.40, offering vibrant neighbourhoods and rich culinary traditions. Bangkok, Thailand, follows in seventh place with a score of 68.15, known for its ornate temples and lively street life. Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, takes eighth place with 68.14, boasting a warm climate and relaxed island atmosphere.

Bucharest, Romania, ranked ninth with 67.99, is celebrated for its diverse architecture and thriving arts scene. Completing the top ten is Las Palmas, Spain, with a score of 67.89, offering beautiful beaches and cultural attractions on the island of Gran Canaria.

Irene Wang, co-founder of Freaking Nomads, commented on the findings, emphasising the benefits of a digital nomad lifestyle. “Living a digital nomad lifestyle gives people the freedom to forge their own paths and enrich their lives with cultures they wouldn’t otherwise experience,” she said. “Cities such as Hoi An, Delhi, and Kuala Lumpur offer great accessibility and affordability, along with excellent infrastructure for remote work.”

The study underscores that with the right planning, digital nomads can find vibrant and welcoming communities worldwide, making the most of their flexible work arrangements to explore new horizons.

 

 

 

 

Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.