The dream of working remotely while traveling the world is becoming a reality for more people than ever before. As a digital nomad, you can live and work location-independently, allowing you the freedom to travel and experience new cultures. But determining the best country to call your temporary home base involves careful consideration.
To identify the top countries for digital nomads in 2023, we analyzed the World Digital Nomad Visa Index. This index scores and ranks nations based on their visa programs and overall digital nomad friendliness. We spotlight the 15 highest-ranking countries that offer excellent infrastructure, culture, safety, costs and quality of life for remote workers on the go.
What Makes an Ideal Place for Digital Nomads?
When evaluating where to set up a temporary base as a digital nomad, key factors include:
- Nomad Visa Program: Countries receiving high scores offer a dedicated remote work visa, permit, or temporary residence program to attract location-independent workers. Some provide discounts and incentives.
- Infrastructure: Reliable, secure and fast Wi-Fi and internet connectivity options are vital. Co-working spaces, affordable housing, access to online services, and cloud computing also matter.
- Safety: Low crime rates and political stability provide peace of mind for visitors. Quality healthcare and emergency infrastructure also influence safety rankings.
- Cost of Living: The relative cost to live comfortably in an area impacts durations of stay. Some destinations help offset costs through tax incentives.
- Culture and Lifestyle: The local community, sites, leisure activities and travel opportunities encourage an enriching experience. English proficiency eases assimilation too.
15 Best Countries in the World for Digital Nomads in 2024
Using the criteria and factors provided by the World Digital Nomad Visa Index, we spotlight the 15 best countries for digital nomads across the globe.
Croatia tops the index for several strong reasons. As it continues to gain tourism popularity for its picturesque historic port towns like Dubrovnik and island-speckled Adriatic coastline, Croatia rolled out its digital nomad permit program, allowing one-year stays.
In 2023, Croatia offers the following pros:
- Dedicated DN Permit: Croatia provides a special residency permit for digital nomads, allowing them to stay up to one year while working or operating a remote business.
- Low Cost of Living: The cost to live comfortably in Croatia is roughly 30–50% cheaper than other Western European nations. Reasonable housing, food, entertainment and other living costs help budgets.
- Mediterranean Vibes: Croatia provides an enviable Mediterranean pace filled with charming coastal villages, summer festivals, vibrant nightlife among ancient alleyways, and lots of exploring among 1,200+ islands.
While internet connectivity continues to improve and co-working spaces expand outside main cities, Croatia leads as the global hotspot, offering the premier digital nomad Mediterranean lifestyle currently.
With its popular Ring Road route winding past epic volcanic crater lakes and thundering waterfalls surrounded by lush green valleys, Iceland captures the hearts of visitors. Iceland also woos digital nomads to set up temporary residences thanks to benefits like:
- Cutting-Edge Infrastructure: Iceland residents enjoy one of the world’s highest standards of living. This includes near-universal access to high-speed broadband internet on par with South Korea or Hong Kong. The island nation continues to invest in digital advancement.
- Inspiring Work Hubs: Imagine slacklining over a gorge or racing ATVs across black sand beaches between work sessions at an Icelandic retreat. Futuristic spaces like the ION City Hotel opening near Reykjavik in 2024 cater to location-independent prosumers specifically.
- Adventure Playground: When not working, Iceland encourages exploring otherworldly lava caverns inside glaciers, colossal waterfalls like Dettifoss, fjords dotted with tiny islands, and surreal volcanic craters, either solo or on small group tours.
While Iceland’s sky-high costs limit long stays for many, its pristine nature and digital innovation still provide an inspirational environment for temporary relocation.
3. Costa Rica
The Central American lifestyle continues to attract digital nomads and retirees to settle in lush Costa Rica long-term, thanks to appealing factors like:
- Residency Options: Costa Rica offers various paths to temporary and permanent residence, including for remote work. As a stable, neutral democracy, the country invests surplus funds into healthcare, nature conservation, infrastructure improvements and promoting sustainable industries.
- Spectacular Scenery: Nomads awaken to colorful parrots and monkeys playing outside cabina rentals embedded in rainforest gardens, often for affordable rates. Surf breaks, steaming jungle waterfalls and coffee plantation day trips provide relaxation away from work.
- Friendly Vibes: Recognized among the happiest and friendliest populations worldwide based on research by multiple organizations, Costa Ricans exude a welcoming pura vida spirit. Established expat retiree communities also ease assimilation.
While internet service can still lag outside main cities, areas like Santa Teresa Beach continue to develop as hotspots with fast connections, co-working spaces and healthy living options to meet full-time nomad needs. Additionally, you can also read about- Nomad Passport Ranking Index 2023.
America’s vibrant neighbor to the south outperforms the USA on the digital nomad index, thanks to Mexico’s variety of long-term visa options. Mexico also draws remote workers via attributes like:
- Regional Variety: Digital nomads can select between cosmopolitan Mexico City with its world-class museums, galleries and culinary scene, lively beach resort towns along the Mayan Riviera, and richly historic highland colonial cities based on preferences, budgets and client proximity.
- Improving Digital Infrastructure: Mexico recently launched a national connectivity initiative with the stated goal of providing functional high-speed internet access for 96% of its citizens by 2024. Multiple digital nomad hubs now operate to evaluate options too.
- Cultural Riches: Temple pyramids of pre-Columbian civilizations, colorful Dia de Muertos skeleton traditions, complex savory mole sauces, and vibrant handicraft textile arts make experiencing Mexico’s distinct culture unforgettable.
Some nomads lament Mexico’s bureaucracy, requiring some visa runs or occasional loud sounds. Safety varies by region, too. However, Mexico remains the most compelling Latin American destination currently for mobile remote workers.
While not the first country associated with tropical beaches and backpacker hostels, Germany impresses digital nomads as a cosmopolitan European hub thanks to advantages like:
- Freelancer Visa Option: Germany approved a special freelancer visa in 2021 for non-EU citizens seeking self-employed status as location-independent small business owners and contractors. Applicants must invest approximately €7500 to start operations.
- Central Location: Based in Germany, visiting neighboring European countries is convenient via low-cost flights or high-speed rails. Cities like Berlin serve as airline hubs for accessing destinations worldwide.
- Cutting Edge Infrastructure: Expect fast, reliable internet with average speeds exceeding 50 Mbps and an abundance of tech hubs, co-working spaces meeting enterprise standards, and affordable new-build housing or short-term rentals across Germany.
Germany has historically welcomed immigrants seeking opportunity. Today, this includes location-independent expat entrepreneurs and remote workers. While adapting to German business customs promotes better assimilation, Germany’s many benefits currently position the country as Europe’s foremost digital nomad destination.
Mediterranean Spain continues to attract stock broker executives and travel bloggers as one of Europe’s classic coastal paradises, thanks to continued improvements like:
- New Visas Expected: While Spain’s existing non-lucrative and self-employment visa programs suffice currently, the nation aims to unveil dedicated 12-month digital nomad permits modeled after Italy and Greece during 2023.
- Regional Diversity: Would you prefer Barcelona’s cosmopolitan energy or Valencia’s golden coastlines? Perhaps Granada’s fairytale Alhambra palace and tapas bars beside the snow-capped Sierra Nevada call you. Spain provides distinct flavors by region, satisfying many preferences.
- Cultural Treasures: Meandering beside the world’s largest gothic architectural masterpiece in Seville’s resplendent Alcazar palace or Park Guell’s colorful mosaics in Barcelona dazzles the senses. Spain’s rich heritage inspires digital painters and programmers alike.
As Spain expands co-working spaces and completes its national broadband development plan by 2025, improved regional connectivity will further strengthen Spain’s positioning as a coveted European digital nomad haven.
The ancient birthplace of democracy, artistic expression and profound thinking invites location-independent talent today by offering:
- Streamlined Permit: Greece offers remote professionals a streamlined process to secure a 12-month remote work visa. The temporary residence permit allows 90 days of travel within the Schengen Area over its duration too.
- Island-Hopping: Imagine video calls gazing out over the glinting Aegean Sea from Santorini’s cliffside blue and white villages. Greece flaunts over 6,000 islands and islets to explore with ferry boat adventures.
- Cradle of Civilization: Standing rapt before the symmetrical columns of the Acropolis under the azure sky or meandering through the ancient Oracle ruins and Bronze Age tombs at Delphi lets one connect to the magic of this mythology-steeped land.
While internet infrastructure remains Greece’s chief difficulty currently, the 5G rollout aims to address this by 2025. Already popular as a holiday hotspot, Greece provides all the ingredients for an idyllic Mediterranean digital nomad lifestyle.
A jewel of history centrally positioned in the Mediterranean, Malta scores success by:
- Nomad Residence Visa: Malta’s dedicated one-year visa permits stays for remote workers able to demonstrate steady monthly income exceeding €2,700. There is no need to secure employment with Maltese companies.
- Connected Island Infrastructure: Malta’s tech-forward strategy delivered tri-band, high-speed 5G covering its 316-square-kilometer area, with over 16,000 public WiFi spots accessible too. Such investment in connectivity suits digital nomads.
- History and Adventure: Malta’s fascinating 7000-year timeline spans from early temple sites predating Stonehenge to Mdina’s medieval palace fortress. Underwater caves, secluded lagoons and classic coastal villages offer adventure beyond work projects.
Nimble adjustment to embrace shifting workplace dynamics cements Malta’s forward-looking focus under visionary leadership. Welcoming digital talent only adds to this island country’s expanding reputation as the Mediterranean’s rising star.
Portugal continues to gain esteem as Europe’s new hotspot by:
- Flexible Options: Portugal enables approved remote workers, passive income entrepreneurs, investors and freelance contractors entry through existing Golden Visa, D7 visa, trade visa and self-employment channels, often more easily than neighbors.
- Sunshine and Surf: Endless golden beaches down the Algarvian coast, world-class surf around Sagres, cliff-perched castles and charming cobblestoned towns all bask in Portugal’s enviable bluebird climate, sun-kissed lifestyle and slower pace.
- Adventurous Activities: Zooming a Ferrari along twisting ocean cliffs, kitesurfing monster waves at Nazaré Beach, hiking through remote ancient hillside villages, and terraced vineyards indulge thrill-seeking digital nomads needing action.
Digital infrastructure improves annually with initiatives like Portugal Digital and tech industry growth. Already alluring thanks to public safety, affordability and a friendly, open society, Portugal currently positions itself as Western Europe’s ultimate digital nomad paradise.
This independent island off eastern China amazes with neon-lit modern metropolises like Taipei and steam-shrouded tropical mountain forests to attract digital nomads via:
- Employment Gold Card: Taiwan’s Employment Gold Card provides an easy 3-year renewable path to work authorization for remote professionals like software developers or YouTube content creators. Applicants simply provide an employment contract from any country.
- Blazing Internet Speeds: Taiwan’s average internet speeds are among the fastest worldwide, suited for digital services and entertainment. Reliable, ultra-fast WiFi blankets cities and public transport alike, enabling productivity in transit.
- Cultural Fusions: From soaring skyscrapers to incense-wreathed Buddhist temple complexes and chaotic night markets under lantern glow, Taiwan’s unique blend of traditional Asian and hyper-modern cultures constantly fascinates.
Major business centers boast English usage, while Taiwan’s strategic Asia-Pacific location enables accessing regional hubs. For digital nomads who relish both cultural immersion and tech-forward conveniences, Taiwan delivers intrigue and convenience.
Known as an idyllic honeymoon haven, this small Indian Ocean island nation also holds advantages for digital nomads like:
- Visa Perks: Mauritius positions itself as a luxury destination. But its Premium Visa Scheme does afford digital workers ample advantages too, like fast-track airport services, business support and even 20% tax rebates over 3–10 years for establishing residency.
- Natural Splendor: Mauritius claims divine beaches, translucent warm lagoons, a lush rainforest interior with spectacular waterfalls, and prestigious golf courses framed by jagged mountain peaks. Such pristine beauty nourishes creativity.
- Regional Access: Thanks to a new air corridor, Mauritius’ close proximity to Africa and India makes it convenient to visit those rapidly developing regional tech and industry hubs while still living on the highly developed island.
For digital workers seeking both a high-speed wired culture enabling global business and chances to digitally detox immersed in velveteen nature, Mauritius delivers an alluring work-life balance as a luxury travel hub.
Landlocked Czechia in central Europe built fame for fairytale cities like medieval Cesky Krumlov and not-to-miss Baroque Prague. Digital nomads discover plentiful modern allure here too, via:
- Nomad-Friendly Policies: The Czech Invest visa scheme targets growth-phase tech and creative sector companies and skilled digital professionals rather than early startups to elevate Czechia’s developing digital economy. Additional nomad-centric visas and programs will launch in 2023.
- Historic Charm: Czechia boasts 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites concentrated in compact, walkable areas ideal for car-free creatives. Exploring Prague’s sprawling castle district and cathedrals dating back to the 10th century never disappoints.
- Affordability: Many claim Czechia offers Europe’s finest beers, starting around $2 USD per pint. With some of the lowest costs for food, housing rentals, activities and amenities across the European Union, Czechia keeps life affordable.
Ongoing initiatives aim to address the digital infrastructure gap outside of Prague. For history buffs seeking Old World beauty on a modest budget, eccentric yet picturesque Czechia belongs on your radar.
While infamous for astronomical costs that price out many travelers, Norway still impresses digital nomads with attributes like:
- New Visa Options: Norway approved multiple digital nomad residency schemes in late 2022–early 2023. These provide temporary stays for remote professionals registered abroad earning over €4,600 monthly. Freelancers and investors have paths too.
- World Leading Connectivity: Norway tops several global internet speed surveys, with typical connections averaging 178 Mbps down and 57 Mbps up. Blazing speeds benefit digital creators and software developers. Public WiFi spreads for accessing services on the move.
- Jaw-Dropping Landscapes: From the dazzling northern lights dancing across winter skies to endless summer days trekking craggy peaks and kayaking deep fjords with tiny colorful villages dotting the shores, Norway’s immense natural beauty and outdoor adventuring nourish body and soul.
While still pricey, digital nomads focused on nature, cutting-edge digital infrastructure and phenomenal work-life balance find motivation in Norway as a temporary residence currently.
The Caribbean continues to grow in appeal among digital nomads thanks to lush, undiscovered islands like Dominica, which offer:
- Residency Incentivizes Stay: Under Dominica’s longstanding Citizenship by Investment Program, digital entrepreneurs and investors contributing $100,000 to sustainable development projects gain citizenship, enabling lifelong stays with minimal future income taxes.
- Eco-Adventures Galore: With bountiful rainforests, 365 rivers, ethereal boiling lakes and thundering waterfalls like Middleham Falls, largely undeveloped Dominica claims some of the most pristine landscapes in the Caribbean. Such environments rejuvenate creativity and promote connectedness.
- Transforming Infrastructure: Thanks to progressive leadership since Hurricane Maria struck in 2017, Dominica rebuilt with climate-resilient construction and continues improving digital connectivity and clean energy systems to inspire location-independent expat influxes.
For digital entrepreneurs and remote CEOs who dream of an untapped paradise base accepting diverse populations with Indigenous roots, investing in Dominica’s future yields dynamic rewards currently.
15. Cayman Islands
This prosperous British Overseas Territory situated south of Cuba has developed into an ultra-modern tech, finance and healthcare hub, nurturing digital nomads through enviable amenities like:
- Global Investment Access: The Caymans host over 100,000 companies and hedge funds thanks to business-friendly regulations, making Grand Cayman the #5 world financial center. Such resources aid nomad entrepreneurs in launching new remote services or strategic projects.
- Enviable Lifestyle Perks: Living in paradise need not mean sacrificing first-world healthcare, elite private schools, modern efficiencies or Caribbean culture. Seven Mile Beach and lesser-known Barkers National Park with underwater caves grace the islands, along with 80+ restaurant-lined white sand beaches.
- Security and Stability: The Caymans offer reputable healthcare, income tax exemption, neutral political stability as a British OT, and exceptionally low violent crime rates. For digital nomads with families or planning for children, choosing the Caymans eases anxieties currently.
While bootstrapped travelers may find costs prohibitive, for prosperous digital nomads, the Cayman Islands provide both startup-friendly business infrastructure and relaxed island living aligned to modern expectations.
What are the top 5 best countries for digital nomads?
Based on the 2023 World Digital Nomad Visa Index, the current top 5 countries for digital nomads are:
- Costa Rica
What countries offer dedicated digital nomad visas?
Some of the countries offering specific digital nomad visas—Croatia, Iceland, Costa Rica, Mexico, Germany, Norway, Estonia, Dubai, Barbados, Bermuda, Georgia, the Cayman Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, and more—continue launching programs.
What should you research before becoming a digital nomad?
Before becoming a digital nomad, research factors like:
- Countries’ visa and tax policies for remote workers
- Cost of living in desired destinations
- Digital infrastructure and internet speeds
- Access to healthcare and insurance options
- Safety, crime rates and political stability
- Co-working spaces, housing rental options
- Language, cultural uniqueness and assimilation
Do I need a permanent address to be a digital nomad?
No, you do not need a permanent address. Many digital nomads utilize mail forwarding services that provide consistent mailing addresses while allowing you to move between temporary sublets or accommodations abroad without officially changing residence. Some countries offer virtual mailing address services as well.
What are the biggest challenges for digital nomads?
Common challenges faced by digital nomads include obtaining the right visas and permits, dealing with bureaucracy, maintaining work-life balance, finding fast and reliable WiFi connections, sticking to budgets, overcoming language barriers and loneliness. Preparation helps overcome these obstacles.