Despite the pressure that Covid-19 has put on global mobility, location independent working is gaining momentum. More and more people are considering a dynamic location independent lifestyle and becoming a so-called digital nomad. We have identified the digital nomad hotspots in Europe.
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The digital nomad paradox
The definition of a digital nomad has been changing over the last years. What is the personal and professional profile of a digital nomad? Until very recently, adopting a nomadic life/workstyle was a privilege for the happy few: (successfull and financially stable) freelancers (like digital marketers, social media managers, copywriters, etc.) or young professionals owning a company. But this profile is changing rapidly.
Nowadays, more and more employers are allowing their workers to work remotely. Many companies and people are currently witnessing the value of working remotely. Even the most conventional companies are realizing how much money the can save on physical office spaces.
Working remotely is still new to many of us today in 2021. However, according to Calum Chace in Forbes, one of the 10 lasting impacts of Corona is that in the future there will be much more digital nomads. What a paradox! In time where global mobility is being challenged as never before, it is in fact becoming easier to adopt a nomadic lifestyle with a perfect work/life balance.
Working remotely is no longer for the happy few only
These days, it is becoming much easier to be a digital nomad or remote worker and finding the right work/life balance in a foreign country. So despite of the travel restrictions that Covid-19 is has actually become easier to move abroad. And not only easier, but also more socially acepted. Moving abroad and working remotely is no longer an exclusive thing for yuppies without responsabilities and kids.
At Globexs we see many couples with young kids relocating from one country to another, with an astonishingly peaceful mindset. It seems as if their comfort zone is travelling with them.
Is remote working here to stay?
Without any doubt the trend of remote working can only gain traction in the next years. Today (almost free) technology allows for it, and people are increasingly striving towards independency and flexibility. The traditional 9 to 5 workday seems no longer necessary, or even convenient in many industries.
Of course travelling the world and working remotely is not for everybody, and in fact, some ethical questions can be asked. Some claim that digital nomads are made to run and run from one city to another without having a local impact, and even without paying taxes. But as the professional and personal profile of a digital nomad is changing, so is his behaviour.
At Globexs, when we refer to digital nomads, we are not referring to anti-social and narcist yuppies hiding in their AIRBNB apartment. We are referring to responsible professionals and families with kids going to local schools, learning the local language, socializing and sustaining the local economy.
In fact, we truly believe that expats and digital nomads are the ambassadors of progress.
Digital nomads hotspots in Europe
So, image you have a job that allows you to work remotely, and you have some savings that allows you to pay for travel expenses and a deposit on a rental apartment, where do you go? What are the best digital nomad hotspots in Europe?
These are the criteria we took into consideration: Reasonable cost of living, affordable rentals, high speed wifi, health care and taxes. This last criteria is a tricky one. Immigration laws in most countries are still far from catching up to the idea of digital nomads. In fact, many countries still have no idea of how to handle this growing growing group of professionals. Estonia has taken the first steps with their e-visa for digital nomads. Remote workers should contribute to the economy of the country that is hosting them. But as long as countries do not update their medieval residency procedures they miss out on millions on income taxes, and digital nomads keep on changing countries every 3 months, as soon as their tourist visa expire.
So what destination will become the true digital nomad hotspot in 2021-2022? Previously we already talked about why Spain (and Valencia in particular) is a great destination for digital nomads and expats, but of course there are many other great places in Europe that would suit perfectly.
Lisbon is one of Europe’s biggest digital nomad hotspot, thanks to its great climate, delicious food, modern infrastructure, and relatively low cost of living (even though it is on the rise).
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
Along with Lisbon, Las Palmas Gran Canaria is often listed as one of the best European hotspots for digital nomads, because of the warm winters and the vibrant expat community.
Valencia is the best alternative for people who find Barcelona or Madrid too busy and too expensive. Valencia is a beautiful city with a fantastic climate and a vibrant expat community.
Valencia’s location both geographically and strategically, couldn’t be better. The city lies on the Mediterranean, so enjoys a covetable climate with bountiful, beautiful beaches all along the coast.
Valencia offers everything a remote worker or digital nomad needs and was selected on several occasions as the best place in Spain for teleworkers. Of course, this is very subjective, but at Globexs we can only agree. Valencia is our home town, the place where it all started. The place we fell in love with the concept of Global Mobility.
Madeira is friendly to foreigners and offers a mix of cosmopolitan and countryside life. For many Madeira is the ultimate digital nomads haven.
Budapest is a new favorite for digital nomads. The city is stunning, affordable, has great summers, and has plenty of co-working spaces and cafés.
Berlin is a tech hotspot that attracts many digital remote workers and expats. It has a large expat community who organize many English-language events in one of the numerous co-working spaces and coffee bars.
Estonia is attractive to digital nomads because it is one of the first countries that adopted to this new professional profile by introducing an e-residency program. Read: A visum specifically for digital nomads and remote workers.
On top of that, Tallinn is a great city with a good nightlife and an extive expat community. The city has invested heavily in digital infrastructure, which is perfect for nomads working in technology. On the downside: It get cold in winter, really cold.
The island of Mallorca is opening more and more coworking and co-living spaces to welcome people working remotely. Indeed, the island has so much to offer: superbe beaches with clear sapphire waters, 300 sunny days a year, excellent hiking routes and the vibrant capital city of Palma de Mallorca.
Krakow is an attractive city for teleworkers and digital nomads. It has a thriving startup scene, many coworking spaces and nomad-friendly coffee shops. The city has a beautiful river, is affordable, and a large international community of expats.
Malta has a lower taxation system compared to most other digital nomad hotspots on this list. The climate is great, and there are many coworking spaces and coffee shops for nomads.
In 2017, Bucharest was the European city with the highest growth of tourists. And the past 2 years Bucharest ranked as the European destination with the highest potential for development according to Mastercard Global Index of Urban Destinations. In other words, it is the perfect place for digital nomads and expats.
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