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These 10 Cities Are The Fastest Growing Hubs For Digital Nomads 

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It’s safe to say that digital nomads have changed the travel and tourism landscape in the past few years at an exceptional rate. While some might argue that the influx of remote workers has negative consequences, there are others that will highlight the benefits that the increased attention brings to a location.

traveler holding laptop looking at city

From places that were previously small fishing villages to large cities, remote workers are finding more places to call their next home. Currently, there are over 35 million remote workers worldwide, many of them American digital nomads, and the number keeps growing.

Although being a digital nomad doesn’t necessarily mean you need to leave your home country, after all many American remote workers are choosing other US cities to base themselves in temporarily. Nowadays, even airports can be suitable workplaces for digital nomads if they choose the right ones.

small town in the azores, portugal

But the reality is most digital nomads do leave their home country and set out to explore destinations around the globe. So, where are they going and why?

Of course, certain destinations have and will remain to be popular choices, Mexico City, Barcelona, and Bangkok, for example, all continue to draw large numbers of digital workers each year. However, there are some locations that have nearly exploded with growth in the past few years. Cities that many digital nomads did not even have on their travel radar 5 years ago are now becoming fast-growing hubs for remote workers. 

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boats and mt vesusis in naples italy

Popular amongst remote workers, the website Nomad List helps digital nomads find the best places to live and work around the globe. Their recent study compiled data from their tens of thousands of members around the world to determine the fastest-growing hotspots for remote workers. These destinations are ranked by the growth of check-ins amongst NomadList members in the last 5 years (excluding 2020 for obvious reasons).

So, from 2018-2022, the cities on this list have all seen unprecedented growth in the number of check-ins amongst Nomad List members. Now, this list is compiled purely from Nomad List’s data, but it’s safe to say the findings are representative of a larger picture, as each of the destinations are all known amongst digital nomads to be hotspots at the moment. 

colorful streets of palermo italy

Here are the 10 Cities That Are The Fastest Growing Hubs For Digital Nomads.

Palermo, Italy 

5 Year Growth (2018-2023) +500%

This capital city of Italy’s island of Sicily is a cheaper option for digital nomads looking for the Italian lifestyle without the Rome or Milan pricetag. The number of remote workers that have been heading to Palermo has absolutely skyrocketed in recent years, with over a 500% increase in NomadList check-ins since 2018. It wins major for its warm climate and stunning scenery.

Sicily is also enjoying recent popularity amongst travelers who flock to the island after watching HBO’s The White Lotus, searching for the stunning backdrops they have seen in the show. 

castle at sunset in palermo italy

Skopje, North Macedonia 

5 Year Growth (2018-2023) +417%

As Macedonia is recently known as being a digital nomad hub, seeing the capital of Skopje on a ‘fast-growing places for the remote worker' list might not come as much of a surprise. Skopje is a city that travelers seem divided about, either loving its small quirky vibe or disliking its statute-filled center.

The city is a cheap option for those looking for apartments, and the food and drink scene here is varied, budget-friendly, and multicultural. Not to mention that the internet is quite good, and the level of English spoken by locals is high. Come to Skopje for the low cost of living, and stay for the rakia and cevapi dinners that you are sure to fall in love with.

bridge with statues in skopje north macedonia

Azores, Portugal 

5 Year Growth (2018-2023) +375%

The only entry on this list that isn’t a city, the Azores are a Portuguese archipelago lying 1500km off the coast in the North Atlantic Ocean. The scenery here is out of this world, with lush green mountains and rolling seas lapping against the shores. As it's part of Portugal and therefore falls within the Schengen zone, travelers from most countries can stay a total of 90 days.

The local government is, however, planning a special digital nomad program to attract more remote workers, and it should be up and running by mid-2023. Considered a top underrated destination for 2023, the Azores is an ideal destination for those who are looking to get away and still be connected, with the 9 islands all offering something different. Not to mention the area is well connected to both Europe and the east coast of the U.S., with many flights offering stopover programs as well if you prefer to visit first before you set up camp here.

woman walking in the mountains azores

Mallorca, Spain 

5 Year Growth (2018-2023) +292%

This Balearic island is located off the coast of Spain and lies just east of the party paradise of Ibiza. Mallorca has long been a hotspot for UK holiday-makers, but now it’s attracting a new group of visitors. Digital nomads are loving the warm Spanish culture and food that the island showcases, and not to mention the endless beaches and turquoise waters.

Now with the option to fly direct from the United States, American digital nomads can start considering Mallorca as their next home base. 

blue sea and cove of mallorca spain

Lima, Peru 

5 Year Growth (2018-2023) +256%

As one of the many countries in Latin America where Americans can stay for an extended length of time, Peru has become a favorite for those who are looking to work remotely. The capital city of Lima is one area that has seen a huge surge of digital nomads in the past few years, and many claim it’s the sunny coastal vibe, the solid internet, and the general feeling of safety that make this city ideal for remote workers.

Of course, the country of Peru has had its share of problems in the past year, with many tourists even being evacuated from tourist areas such as Machu Picchu and Cusco. While Lima has also seen its share of protests recently, its 5-year growth of over 250% speaks to its appeal with digital nomads. It is likely that once everything returns to normal in Peru again, this city will continue to grow in popularity amongst digital nomads and short-term travelers alike. 

city of lima peru with the cliffs and ocean

Tbilisi, Georgia

5 Year Growth (2018-2023) +252%

The Eastern European country of Georgia, located in the Caucasus mountains, is quickly becoming a digital nomad hotspot. Many choose to base themselves in the colorful and lively capital city of Tbilisi, citing the low cost of living, high degree of safety, and solid internet connection as the main reasons. It doesn’t hurt that Georgia allows Americans to stay up to a full year, a benefit that not many countries offer. 

Easily connected to other European cities with budget airlines, the country has been gearing up to become a major destination for both travelers and remote workers. However, the war in nearby Ukraine has impacted Georgia significantly. Due to its proximity, many have fled to Georgia, and the cost of living has gone up recently. So, while Tbilisi has seen a massive Digital nomad influx, it’s unclear how this will play out as the current situation continues. 

colorful houses of tbilisi georgia

Puebla, Mexico

5 Year Growth (2018-2023) +250%

Digital nomads certainly have many choices when choosing Mexico for their home base, and it seems there are more destinations popping up in the news every month that they are choosing. One area that has seen a huge increase in digital nomad check-ins is Puebla, located in east-central Mexico.

The city of Puebla is the capital of the state by the same name and offers a bit of a less hectic way of life than nearby Mexico City, not to mention amazing food and culture. Puebla is also a cheaper alternative to other Mexican digital nomad hotspots and is comparably safer as well. 

colorful church and buildings in puebla mexico

Naples, Italy

5 Year Growth (2018-2023) +242%

What had once been known by travelers as a gritty port town with decent pizza has now started to blossom into an ideal destination for those who are looking to live in an Italian seaside city and truly embrace la dolce vita.

Making Naples your home base in Italy allows you to experience The Amalfi Coast, Mount Vesuvius, and all the nearby islands that are growing in popularity recently. If you are lucky enough to find yourself in Naples in the warmer months, a trip to nearby Ischia island is a must-do. 

sea and city of naples italy

Bansko, Bulgaria

5 Year Growth (2018-2023) +238%

No matter the season, digital nomads are heading to Bulgaria, either looking for snow and slopes in the winter or sun and sea in the summer months. The town of Bansko, located in southwestern Bulgaria at the foot of Pirin Mountain, is one of the places in Bulgaria that has skyrocketed in popularity with digital nomads in recent years.

Some say it’s the largest concentration of remote workers in Europe, with many flocking here for the small-town vibe, stunning views, skiing, and low cost of living. It's likely that if you head to Bankso, it won't take long for you to meet many other like-minded people. This sense of community is one reason the town has become so popular with remote workers in recent years.

alley with houses of bansko Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria 

5 Year Growth (2018-2023) +237%

While there are many reasons to head to Bulgaria if you are a digital nomad, the main ones that seem to be driving its recent popularity are the low cost of living and the stunning historic buildings at every turn. Nowhere in Bulgaria are these things on display as much as in Sofia, Bulgaria's culture-filled capital.

A compact and easy-to-navigate city with good public transportation, Sofia is ideal for remote workers looking to be located in the action. Sofia also ranks high for opportunities to explore the nearby areas of Bulgaria, with many day trips and overnight trips made easy by a straightforward and cheap bus and train network. 

sunset behind buildings of sofia bulgaria

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Ben

Monday 13th of March 2023

Poor list. No one wants to live in a failed society that is Europe.

Tac

Thursday 9th of March 2023

This whole "digital nomad" thing is one of the stupidest and most tone-deaf trends of the last few years lol basically just romanticizing gentrification and being a parasite who places extra burden on local economies while contributing nothing to the communities they're living in, other than spending their money which leads to increased prices for locals who are lucky to make a fraction of what these "digital nomads" earn. I'm all for traveling the world and experiencing other cultures, but if you call yourself a digital nomad you are cringe af and the locals secretly hate you, just know that.

Max

Thursday 9th of March 2023

@Tac, the impact of tourism on the local society and economy, travelling the world and experiencing other cultures, as you put it, is actually far worst than that of digital nomads. Also, as digital nomads spend extender periods abroad, they will tend to use more local services, avoiding the use international chains that never invest their profit in the local economy. Just a couple of examples....

Jgl

Thursday 9th of March 2023

@Tac, +100

D

Thursday 9th of March 2023

@Tac, anyone who moves anywhere affects the local economy. Whether your moving to a nicer town, state ,county or continent. I guess if you think about it, when you spend money anywhere you affect that area and if enough people do the same prices increase. Let's make a law preventing people from roaming more than 10 miles from their place of birth. Do not buy goods made outside your 10 mile radius or you will change the exporters economy.

Sophia

Tuesday 7th of March 2023

You didn't mention Chiang Mai Thailand which is one of the top ones in the world. I've traveled a lot of the world and all the countries you mentioned and lived in them for months at a time and what is critical is fast and reliable Wi-Fi, and of course the type visas available. Surprisingly Romania apparently has the fastest Wi-Fi in Eastern Europe and I found it to be so, even in hotels! Liked it better than Bulgaria because the people are much nicer, beautiful cities and nature and inexpensive.

B

Tuesday 7th of March 2023

Mayan culture in Puebla? Not even close.

Ex Digital nomad

Tuesday 7th of March 2023

Your post just makes it and will make it worse for these countries especially the working class and below locals. As you have been doing it.