The rise of remote work was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, with more and more professionals realizing they can efficiently perform their jobs from home or any location with a reliable internet connection.
This paradigm shift in work culture has not only transformed the way we work but also opened up new possibilities for achieving a healthier work-life balance, reducing commute-related stress, and fostering a global community of remote workers.
The past few years have seen the concept of digital nomadism gain popularity, allowing professionals in the technology industry to work online remotely while exploring the world.
More than 65 countries have now introduced so-called digital nomad visas, permits that give foreigners the right to reside in a country while working remotely for an overseas employer.
When it comes to accommodating the needs of working in the tech sector, some top destinations for digital nomads are more suitable than others. Where are some of the best countries for digital nomads in the tech industry? We need to take into account factors like digital infrastructure, technology/innovation hubs, nomad visas, and well-equipped co-working spaces.
The 6 Best Countries for Digital Nomads
Estonia was one of the first digital nomad countries, introducing an official one-year digital nomad visa in 2020. Applicants need to be able to work remotely independent of location and have an active employment contract with a company registered outside of Estonia, conduct business through their own company that is registered abroad, or work as a freelancer for clients mostly outside of the country.
Their income should meet the minimum threshold of €4,500 before tax during the six months preceding the application.
The digital-first Baltic nation offers remote workers a robust tech infrastructure, including the e-Residency, which allows entrepreneurs to establish and manage their businesses online from anywhere in the world.
The capital city, Tallinn, is home to a thriving technology scene and a rapidly growing community of digital nomads. The cost of living is reasonable, and the country’s commitment to digital innovation makes it an attractive destination for tech-savvy professionals.
Estonia was one of the first countries to introduce specific regulations licensing cryptocurrency companies, making it a pioneer in the space and a preferred location for remote workers developing or investing in crypto projects.
In 2021, it was the base for more than half the world’s registered virtual-asset service providers (VASPs). It has since tightened its licensing requirements but remains an attractive country for establishing a crypto business.
The Estonian government’s Research, Development, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship strategy encourages the development of knowledge-intensive enterprises and aims to provide a competitive and smart business environment that fosters investments in technology.
Estonia’s vibrant digital nomad scene means it has a variety of co-working spaces catering to all budgets and styles of work, where professionals can meet like-minded entrepreneurs. Its advanced Internet infrastructure also makes it easy for workers to stay connected on the go and outside city centers, allowing them to experience more of what the country has to offer.
Portugal, with its pleasant climate, affordable cost of living, and welcoming atmosphere, has become a hotspot for digital nomads.
The country launched a digital nomad visa for non-EU residents in October 2022 and is the first country in Europe to create a Digital Nomad Village where location-independent professionals can live, network, and organize events. The town of Ponta Do Sol on the island of Madeira offers co-living spaces, hotel packages, car rental, and a free co-working space aimed at expats and regularly holds networking events and parties. Madeira’s capital, Funchal, offers the option of city life while also providing the infrastructure remote workers need.
On the mainland, cities like Lisbon and Porto offer a vibrant tech ecosystem, with co-working spaces, networking events, and a growing number of remote tech jobs.
That said, an influx of working nomads has led to spiraling rent costs in Lisbon in particular, disrupting the economics of citizens and possibly a sign of when long-term visas have unintended consequences on the local area.
Portugal’s extensive internet connectivity, vibrant culture, relaxed pace of life, and the opportunity for a beach lifestyle with plenty of water sports make it a top destination for digital nomads seeking a work-life balance.
Portugal offers two options for its visa – a temporary stay visa that allows multiple entries into the country for one year and a long-term visa that is valid for four months and allows the holder to obtain a two-year residence permit when they arrive. Workers must have a monthly income of at least €3,040 and provide a bank statement showing they have been paid this salary for at least 12 months.
For digital nomads looking to combine work with a taste of adventure, Thailand is a popular choice that is regularly named one of the world’s top remote work destinations. The country offers stunning landscapes, beautiful beaches, delicious cuisine, and vibrant nightlife, as well as high-speed Internet access.
Cities like Chiang Mai and Bangkok and beach destinations like Koh Phangan and Krabi have established themselves as digital nomad hubs, offering low living costs, a thriving tech scene, and a rich cultural experience.
With numerous co-working spaces, a welcoming local community, and a diverse range of street food, Thailand has much to offer tech professionals on the move. And with so many technology professionals heading to its digital nomad centers and a dynamic local startup scene, there are plenty of opportunities for networking. The country is also a convenient entry point to explore the rest of southeast Asia, with Bangkok acting as a regional airline hub, providing flights to numerous destinations in one or two hours.
Thailand has yet to introduce a specific nomad visa, however, it offers multiple visa options, ranging from 30-day entry to 10-year residency.
The country of Georgia in the South Caucasus region has become a hidden gem for digital nomads. The capital, Tbilisi, offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modern amenities. Offering a low cost of living, friendly locals, and a burgeoning tech scene, Georgia is a top destination for digital nomads looking for a different experience.
Tbilisi has an abundance of co-working spaces offering various membership options, plenty of cafes where nomads can work, and well-equipped accommodations. For instance, the tech-driven Episode Hotel combines smart interior design with an integrated smartphone app. The hotel provides guests with free access to its co-working space 24/7 and has meeting rooms, a café, a bar, and atrium where nomads can also work and connect.
The suburb of Okrakana is home to Georgia’s first tech park, designed to support startups, developers, designers, and freelancers with high-tech infrastructure. The center is equipped with small incubators, learning centers, and laboratories, as well as offices, workspaces, and recreational areas.
Georgia introduced a “Remotely from Georgia” program during COVID-19 restrictions to make it easier for remote workers earning at least $24,000 per year to enter the country. But this was a temporary provision rather than a visa or residency permit, and it has since been phased out. In fact, Georgia has relatively liberal entry requirements, providing one-year visa-free entry for citizens from more than 95 countries to stay and work remotely.
Mexico offers an attractive blend of culture, affordability, and connectivity for digital nomads in tech. Cities like Mexico City, Playa del Carmen, Guadalajara, and Tulum are emerging as digital nomad hotspots. They offer abundant co-working spaces, coffee shops, and public spaces with high-speed connectivity, access to industry-related events, as well as vibrant nightlife and food scenes.
Mexico City is attracting a growing number of startups in various technology industries and offers plenty of co-working are popular among people working remotely for national companies as well as digital nomads.
Guadalajara has become known as Mexico’s Silicon Valley as it has a large population of tech professionals, startups, and international companies, including Amazon, Dell, HP, IBM, and Oracle, among others. This has increased the amenities, housing, and co-working spaces available for digital nomads.
Mexico offers a relaxed atmosphere and a cost of living that is considerably lower than in many Western countries. Its proximity to the US also makes it a convenient choice for North American tech professionals, who can work in a similar time zone and be a short flight away from their home base.
Mexico does not have a special nomad visa, however, foreigners can legally work in Mexico with a temporary or permanent resident visa, making it one of our picks for digital nomad countries.
Germany’s reputation for innovation extends to its technology industry, making it an attractive destination for tech-focused digital nomads. Cities like Berlin and Munich have thriving startup ecosystems, co-working spaces, and a unique blend of history, arts and culture, and nightlife. Western Germany is also home to a lively startup scene, with plenty of co-working spaces, and the Pirate Summit, Europe’s largest application-only conference for early-stage startups and investors. Germany’s strong economy provides ample opportunities for remote tech work.
While the cost of living in Germany can be higher than in some other digital nomad destinations, the quality of life, excellent infrastructure, and access to cutting-edge technology more than compensate for it.
The German government has recently recognized the growing popularity of digital nomading in the country. While it does not offer a specific digital nomad visa, it does provide a freelancer visa for non-EU citizens who can demonstrate a stable income and client contracts or freelance work in the country. It also offers an IT Specialist Visa for skilled IT professionals and a Startup Visa for entrepreneurs.
The digital nomad lifestyle can be particularly attractive to tech-sector professionals who can work remotely online without disruption to their workflows or productivity.
You can explore travelling or living anywhere in the world for extended periods of time without being tied to a specific office location. This has seen the emergence of several digital nomad hubs in places as diverse as Estonia, Portugal, Thailand, Georgia, Mexico, and Germany.
Whether you’re hunting for the cheapest countries for digital nomads, or the best experiences, or a lovely, easy life in a quiet town, there are plenty of options.
These locations all offer thriving technology hubs and co-working scenes that are well suited to industry professionals looking to relocate somewhere new, work, and explore the world simultaneously.