All around the globe, there is an ongoing race for the title of digital nomad capital, and while countries like Estonia and Croatia pioneered the concept, being among the first to launch visas for the category in 2020, the competition has swiftly caught up to them.
Numerous countries have now opened up migration paths, easing entry rules for remote workers and going as far as launching programs to attract more remote workers, and with more expected to jump on the bandwagon, it is safe to say 2024 will be the year of digital nomadism.
As a travel news website that is made up almost entirely of writers who are also digital nomads and have been globe-trotting over the last couple of years to find some of the best unlisted spots for long-term stays, we have finally managed to round up our favorites.
Including lesser-known Southeast Asian city breaks, tried-and-true beaches, and a historical European port where residents enjoy warm temperatures and low prices yet do not get half the praise they deserve as a nomad destination, these are Travel Off Path‘s top ten picks for 2024 and winners of our Best in Travel 2024 Award:
The capital city of the Philippines, an archipelagic nation in Southeast Asia, Manila has stolen our hearts not only due to its great infrastructure, as it boasts widespread internet access and plenty of coworking centers to check out, but also its year-round warm weather and cheap prices.
You can expect to live in Manila pretty comfortably on only $1,589 per month, and trust us when we say you will never run out of fun things to do, be it exploring the historic center, sampling exotic food at night markets, or taking day trips out to the seaside.
9) Chiang Mai
The largest city in Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is a seriously overlooked digital nomad spot, with its UNESCO-listed Old Town, jam-packed with traditional eateries and centuries-old temples, low cost of living (past travelers have spent on average $1,034 per month) and friendly locals.
A perfect day in Chiang Mai as a digital nomad would involve going for a hearty breakfast and working from Artisan Cafe, taking a leisurely stroll around the moated citadel, chilling, or carrying on with work back at your Airbnb, and finally going out again after sundown for the markets, or a riotous night out.
8) Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam's most Westernized hub, Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon) is a sprawling succession of clusters of innovative skyscrapers, marked by all the agitation and lively social scene you would expect an 8.9 million-strong financial capital to have.
A rapidly-growing nomad haven, HCMC, as it is commonly shortened to, boasts one of the highest concentration of coworking spaces in Asia, with as many as 97 counted, and well-equipped, long-term central accommodation options on Airbnb for the bargain of $406 per month.
Having risen in popularity with vacationers in recent years due to its lower consumer prices and relatively affordable hotel rates, it is only a matter of time before Mazatlan converts into one of Mexico's most sought-after nomad centers.
It is defined by a unique combination of Old World charm – it has a stunning colonial core – and a highly-developed beachfront lined by high-rise apartment buildings, where budget-conscious nomads thwarting overpriced Cancun are sure to settle in nicely.
One of the biggest draws for digital nomads in Mazatlan is its crazy fast internet speed. Nomads can expect 500 mb/s download speeds on mobile while in Mazatlan. Plenty fast enough to get any kind of work done!
The wellness capital of Asia, Bali has been a digital nomad destination for longer than the term itself has existed, and there's a reason why IT workers and young entrepreneurs find it so alluring: with its long miles of sandy beaches, rice terraces, and nature reserves, it can feel like paradise on Earth.
Western nomads, in particular, love Bali for its slow-paced living, verdant nature, and the plethora of wellness retreats that offer big city escapees the solace and healing they seek while working on themselves and their businesses.
A cross-continental ancient queen gatekeeping the natural border between Europe and Asia, the minaret-dotted Istanbul has long fascinated travelers with its accumulated millennia of History and Byzantine heritage, but as of late, it's been truly shining through as a nomad playground.
Whether it's the European or Asian side, each neighborhood is unique, characterized by their ethnic Turk, Greek, Armenian, or Arab minorities, but excluding posh Nişantaşı, they all share a few common traits nomads love: cheap rent, diverse dining options, and the odd quirky internet cafe or two.
It may not sit on the coast or provide sea access like Mazatlan, and it's far from being a soul-soothing nature getaway like Bali, but Colombia's second-largest city of Medellin has turned into South America's unlikely nomad capital.
There are four main motives why workers will relocate anywhere, and those are a well-established expat community, boosting chances there are foreigner-friendly services, a warmer climate, affordable living and safety, and while the latter is arguably compromised, Medellin scores a perfect 10 in the rest.
3) Playa del Carmen
A more laid-back, smaller version of resort-dominated Cancun, Playa del Carmen straddles the turquoise-colored Caribbean, and long-term visitors can't seem to get enough of its white sands and irresistible tropical vibes.
Much like Medellin, it has a sizable nomad populace, making adaptation easier for newcomers, and many of the beachfront restaurants and public spaces have free WiFi available, making it easier for nomads to get through a working day without having to rush back inside for some internet.
2) Mexico City
If it's a bustling metropolis with a wide range of services and unmatched cultural offers that they are after, city-loving nomads will find their nirvana in Mexico City (CDMX), the country's unapologetically chaotic yet cosmopolitan and intriguing capital.
With its highly safe pedestrianized zones, iconic museums, the food mecca that is Roma, a charming neighborhood full of award-winning restaurants, and no shortage of work-friendly cafes and trendy bars to pick from, this Latin American gemstone truly has a lot going for it on the nomad front.
Number one on our list for 2024, Tulum just ticks all the boxes you would hope a nomad destination to: it is both historical and modern, the internet is normally fast and reliable, the sun shines regardless of season, and it is pretty walkable for those basing themselves in the city center.
It is by no means the least-expensive option on this ranking, with heftier room rates and an unofficially dollarized economy, but where it lacks in affordability, it makes up in quality time, with gorgeous nature, Caribbean beaches, world-renowned cultural landmarks, and youthful atmosphere.
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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.