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Incredible Culture And Affordable Living: These 3 Vibrant Cities Are Paradise For Digital Nomads

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If you're traveling around the world as a digital nomad, you're likely to have identified a number of factors that make certain cities stand out more than others: safety and easy visa regulations aside, the culture and affordable living are probably two of the biggest draws.

Young Woman Admiring A View Of The Historical Peninsula Of Istanbul From Galata Bridge, Istanbul, Turkiye Or Turkey Western Asia, Eastern Europe.jpg

You wouldn't want to extend your stay somewhere that's uninspiring, or where you'd risk going broke for deciding to prolong your stay a little longer—let's face it, as incredible and cosmopolitan as London, Paris, New York and the like are, they're not easy on the wallet.

Thankfully, there are 3 other equally-exciting alternatives that offer not only a plethora of cultural activities but far lower prices than most global metropolises in their ranks:

Istanbul, Türkiye

  • Cost: $1,858 per month
  • Internet speed: Fast (38Mbps on average)
  • Friendly to foreigners: Okay
  • Community approval on NomadList: liked by 70%, disliked by 30%
  • Visa-free access for U.S. passport holders: Yes, for 90 days out of any 180-day period
Hagia Sophia Istanbul Turkiye

A city that straddles two continents, Istanbul is both the southeasternmost tip of Europe and the northwesternmost edge of Asia.

Having accumulated nearly three millennia of fascinating history, it's a cultural behemoth with a multicultural scene awaiting discovery.

It's famous for its well-preserved Byzantine monuments, most notably Hagia Sophia, a former cathedral-turned-mosque, colorful hilly districts with historic houses that date back to the Ottoman period, like Balat and Fener, and stately imperial palaces.

Woman working on her laptop in Istanbul, a middle eastern city that is the best for digital nomads

You will literally never run out of things to see and do in Istanbul, even if you're concentrating your efforts on one side of the city only, and the high concentration of co-working centers, nomad-friendly cafes and public libraries make it a prime destination for remote workers.

That, and the fact Istanbul is one of the cheapest mega cities to live in: you can find fully-furnished Airbnbs to rent for as cheap as $711 for the month, and if eating cheap is a priority, there's plenty of inexpensive restaurants where a simple meal will only set you back $10 or less.

Mexico City, Mexico

  • Cost: $1,879 per month
  • Internet speed: Fast (59Mbps on average)
  • Friendly to foreigners: Good
  • Community approval on NomadList: liked by 88%, disliked by 12%
  • Visa-free access for U.S. passport holders: Yes, for 180 days
Golden Angel Statue In Mexico City, Mexico, Latin America.jpg

Across the pond, Mexico City is the leading nomad destination in North America, owing to its highly-developed infrastructure—newcomers benefit from efficient public transportation, fast WiFi connection, and tourist-friendly services—and unrivaled diversity.

From the colonial Coyoacán, to posh Condesa, to gay-friendly Zone Rosa, to canal-traversed Xochimilco, every neighborhood is unique in character, and that is why one visit only is never enough to experience all that CDMX has to offer.

Mexico Flag Flying Before The Metropolitan Cathedral In Mexico City, Latin America

If you're living here long-term, however, you might have a better shot at peeling off its many layers, as well as experiencing life as a local without feeling as if you're rushing too much, whether it's relaxing at Bicentenario Park, sampling street food around Roma, or visiting a national museum.

Plus, Mexico City has an abundance of long-term rentals with monthly rates starting as low as $572 for a private room, and the wide range of budget to high-end restaurants, entrepreneurial atmosphere, and lower consumer prices all make highly sought-after for ‘workcations'.

Bangkok, Thailand

  • Cost: $1,356 per month
  • Internet speed: Fast (95Mbps on average)
  • Friendly to foreigners: Great
  • Community approval on Nomad List: liked by 65%, disliked by 35%
  • Visa-free access for U.S. passport holders: Yes, for 60 days following a recent extension of the tourist visa length
Young Asian Woman Working From. Her Computer From A Cafe In An Unspecified Location

The number one destination for digital nomads globally, if Nomad List's latest ranking is anything to go by, Bangkok is a bustling Southeast Asian metropolis where Old World allure and the typical chaos of the 21st century collide.

Whether it's modern financial districts dotted with innovative high-rises or centuries-old temples, with spearing stupas that seem to stand in the way of the blood orange sunset sun that make your heart flutter, Bangkok is sure to live up even to the most modest of expectations.

Grand Palace Bangkok, Thailand

The food scene is unrivaled––even if Thai cuisine has found its way into the mainstream, nothing can prepare you for the explosion of herb-infused flavors that is the native, non-Western Pad Thai––the nightlife is as wild as the coastal nature, and it's shorts weather year-round.

It may rain tempestuously during monsoon season, between July and October, whereas the dry season can be so unbearably hot staying outside is a survival challenge, but as a nomad, there's never a shortage of cool cafes and coworking hubs to seek shelter in.

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