Ride That Digital Nomad Wave!
Bury your toes in warm sand, sip on fresh coconut water, and power up your laptop on a casual Tuesday afternoon. Can you envision a 9-to-5 like this?
More and more folks are hopping onto the remote work bandwagon, looking for more than just a solid Wi-Fi signal. They're after that comforting coastal hub that blends productive work sessions with a touch of wanderlust.
If you're familiar with my blog, you might have come across my post before 5 Thriving Digital Nomad Cities You Must Visit. Here is a different variation of that blog post dedicated to those remote workers who love the coast.
When searching for the ideal digital nomad hub, I look for good access to resources, a stable internet infrastructure, a welcoming travel community, a deep local culture to explore, as well as affordability. However, for this list, I’ve included cities with all these mentioned qualities with a significant addition: proximity to a big blue sea.
Coastal cities tend to adopt a slower life with a relaxed culture. Such cities are famous for being laid-back and enjoying life a little too much. In my books, that sounds like a win to me! Give me some good tropical weather, sandy beaches, palm trees, fresh seafood, and a kayak/surfboard and I’m a happy camper.
Alright, now let’s dive in and explore these 7 coast gems for digital nomads.
🇵🇹 Porto, Portugal
Porto is a beautiful city on the Portuguese coast with a lot to offer for remote workers and travellers. Porto has a thriving travel culture, amazing seafood, delicious wines, pretty beaches, and a handful of coworking spaces. It’s no surprise that Porto is considered to be one of the best digital nomad cities in the world.
Porto was the first international city I ever worked remotely when I started my digital nomad journey with my design agency Supercharged. Porto also was the place where I went surfing for the first time and established a new core memory.
Porto is a perfect digital nomad destination in my books which is why I chose to kick off this list with this Portuguese treasure. Add this one to your list!
🇲🇽 Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Good weather, sandy beaches, and tacos! What more do you need?
Playa del Carmen is modern buzzing coastal city sandwiched between Cancun and Tulum in the Caribbean coast of Mexico. The consistent sunny weather and beautiful sandy beaches create an inviting environment for both work and leisure, allowing you to enjoy the outdoors while staying productive. Amidst its lively party scene, Playa is well-equipped to adopt a serene pace for longer stays for digital nomads.
Playa del Carmen has a growing expat and digital nomad community, providing opportunities to connect, network, and socialize with like-minded individuals. Playa del Carmen has plenty of cafes and coworking spaces to work remotely from and is an escape for many travellers who want to spend a good amount of time enjoying the warm Mexican life.
While it may be more expensive than some other destinations in Mexico, Playa del Carmen can still offer a relatively affordable cost of living compared to many Western countries.
🇦🇱 Saranda, Albania
Saranda - also known as Sarandë - is the heart and soul of the Albanian Riviera with good vibes, scenic landscapes, delicious seafood, daily convenience, and a buzzing seaside culture. Saranda is a hidden gem that is on the verge of becoming a well-known travel destination and offers plenty for remote workers looking for an Eastern European base. Saranda is one of the few places in the world that truly stole my heart.
Saranda’s picturesque backdrop is sure to inspire you! On clear days, you can feast your eyes on the neighbouring island of Corfu in Greece, just a quick 30-minute ferry ride away from Saranda.
While Saranda is developing as a travel destination, it has a solid internet infrastructure and plenty of local cafes to work from making it a reliable choice for remote work.
If I were you, I would strongly consider making Sarandë my base and working from here - it is a guaranteed crowdpleaser! The magnetic appeal of this coastal haven is not just a personal favourite; it's a guarantee to resonate with a wide spectrum of tastes and preferences.
🇲🇦 Essaouira, Morocco
Essaouira is a perfect little bohemian seaside paradise in Morocco, straight out of a fever dream. The city has so much to offer and its relaxed vibe made it the perfect digital nomad escape. Essaouira can provide you with some unforgettable beach experiences such as surfing and horseback riding on the beach. My life legit felt like a movie when I was in Essaouira!
The food in Essaouira is something else altogether — traditional Moroccan cuisine meets fresh seafood. Each meal here was a mouthwatering experience. For those who appreciate art, there are plenty of galleries to check out. I visited a few and was amazed at the talent of the local artists.
During my time in Essaouira, I made a local coworking and coliving hub, NOQTA Space, as my base in the city. It was a great place to meet other like-minded people and get some work done in a relaxed setting – just perfect for a solo nomad like me.
You're likely not going to find Essaouira mentioned in most other lists because most pepple don't know about it yet. You're bound to be charmed by this hippie fishing town on the north-west coast of Africa.
🇮🇩 Bali, Indonesia
No way I’m missing out on Indonesia’s biggest hotspot, Bali on this list. This is an obvious entry and one that must be mentioned due to its deep-rooted nomad culture. Bali is said to be a paradise in many ways for digital nomads and for this reason its also known as the digital nomad capital of the world.
Bali is centred around a wellness-based culture with a strong aspect of spirituality that tends to attract travellers from all of the globe. They’re all in for the zen vibes and mental peace.
Bali's affordability is another big factor that draws digital nomads seeking value without compromising on quality. The island offers a range of accommodations to suit various budgets, from budget-friendly guesthouses to upscale villas, allowing nomads to tailor their experience to their financial preferences.
But, hold up a sec. In the past few years, Bali has been dealing with extremely heavy amounts of tourism so this is something you need to factor into your decision.
🇹🇭 Phuket, Thailand
Phuket is renowned for its stunning tropical landscapes, including beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush greenery. All of this makes Phuket one of the most popular destinations on this planet. Phuket is surely touristy but it’s a hella good time with a great party scene, cheap prices, water sports, and delicious Thai cuisine.
Phuket has digital nomads, expats, and tourists all year round which offers opportunities for networking, socializing, and cultural exchanges. The city has a growing number of cafes and coworking spaces with decent internet connectivity, making it feasible for remote work.
🇪🇸 Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, the Catalan capital, is the most popular city in Spain. It is known for its stunning beaches, museums, sporting events and its strong artistic tradition. For digital nomads who want to experience both Spanish and Catalan culture, Barcelona is an excellent choice.
Barcelona has a thriving tech scene, with many startups and established companies calling the city home. There are plenty of coworking spaces where digital nomads can network, collaborate, and find inspiration. Some of the most well-known coworking spaces in Barcelona include MOB, Betahaus, and Aticco.
Though one thing to note here is that the cost of living in Barcelona is higher compared to other Spanish cities. It can be crowded at times and the touristy areas can make some people feel overwhelmed. During peak tourist season, it can be more difficult to find a quiet place to work.
And That’s A Wrap
And that's a wrap on our coastal digital nomad tour! So, what are you waiting for? Grab your laptop, toss in some sunscreen, and get ready to ride the wave of remote work in these seaside paradises.
From the chill vibes of Essaouira to the tropical charm of Bali, these cities are more than just destinations – they're your ticket to a work setup with an ocean view. So, let the sound of the waves be your new background music as you type away on your keyboard. It's time to make the beach your boardroom and the world your workspace.