The beauty of being a remote worker is the freedom it gives you to move around and take your work with you wherever you go. But since there are so many possibilities where one can settle down, it becomes hard to choose. That’s why in this article we present the 12 best cities for remote workers worldwide.
Just go and pick the one that seems like the best fit for you. Are you looking for a place that is affordable? Or for a city that is filled with like-minded people? We've got you covered!
In this guide, we’ll give you an inside look at the world’s best cities for remote workers.
Remote work is the dream for many, as it lets you see the world and experience new things while still providing you with a stable source of income.
Well, if you're also dreaming of becoming a digital nomad, see this simple guide on how to get a remote job online. Alternatively, you can already start with a job hunt via the Pyjama Jobs page. Here, you will automatically get paired with the employer who needs your skills (it couldn't be any easier).
In the meantime, you can also start your research on where you'd like to relocate, as there are lots of incredible remote work destinations to choose from. Let's see!
6 best cities for remote workers in 2023 (worldwide)
- Melbourne, Australia
- Montreal, Canada
- Lisbon, Portugal
- Wellington, New Zealand
- Zagreb, Croatia
- Singapore, Singapore
Table of Contents
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How we selected the best places for remote work
A recent international study by the HR platform WorkMotion looked at a variety of factors that make or break a city’s attractiveness as a remote work location.
The study indexed 80 cities from around the globe based on the following important factors:
- Remote working compliance. How easy is it to legally work in this city as a digital nomad? Are there visas easily available?
- Cost of living. How much does housing cost, and how affordable is the city as a whole?
- Civic infrastructure. How safe is this city to live in? Is it politically stable there? Is healthcare easy to access?
- Liveability. How happy are people who live in this city? Are there many cultural attractions? How easy is it to get around with public transportation?
Let’s take a detailed look at each city on our list of the best cities for remote workers in 2023.
The best cities around the world for remote workers
1. Melbourne, Australia
This vibrant city in Australia is known for being a melting pot of cultures from around the world. It’s no wonder Melbourne is consistently rated one of the world’s best places to live and work remotely.
While it’s the second most expensive city in Australia when it comes to living costs, the delights that come with living in Melbourne give you your money’s worth.
Bustling artsy cafes, street art, live music, and international street food give this gorgeous city its unique appeal.
- Average cost of living: US$1,997
- Average monthly rent for 1 bedroom apartment: $1,144
- Average internet speed: 51.91 Mbps download; 17.94 Mbps upload
- Visa to apply for: Australian Working Holiday Visa
- Safety: Very safe
- Liveability: High (vibrant international culture, arts and music, with pleasant weather)
Do you feel like Australia is the right fit for you, but aren’t so sure about Melbourne? We’ve compiled a complete guide on how to get a job in Australia as a foreigner, which includes other cities, too.
2. Montreal, Canada
This bustling cosmopolitan city in Canada is rich in culture, art, and architecture.
Montreal is one of the most appealing remote work destinations for many different reasons. It offers all the conveniences and comforts of a big city, friendly people, and speedy internet.
Montreal is easily walkable and bikeable, with many unique neighborhoods to visit via the city’s excellent public transportation system.
However, keep in mind that winters here are fairly long, with snowfall from November until April.
- Average cost of living: US$2,307
- Average monthly rent for 1 bedroom apartment: $1,294
- Average internet speed: 105.29 Mbps download; 23.08 Mbps upload
- Visa to apply for: Open work permits or equivalents of a digital nomad visa
- Safety: Very safe
- Liveability: High (indexed as the happiest city in North America in 2020)
Thinking about moving to Canada? Have a look at our separate guide: How to Get a Job in Canada as a Foreigner?
3. Lisbon, Portugal
The capital city of Portugal, Lisbon attracts many digital nomads as one of the top places to work remotely in the world.
Located on a river bay, this picturesque city is built on steep hills with trams that take you up and down, and incredible historic architecture everywhere you look.
Lisbon has a friendly, welcoming culture and is quite affordable for a large city.
The weather gets windy and rainy in the winter, but the warm, sunny summers are perfect for relaxing at the beach.
- Average cost of living: US$1,777
- Average monthly rent for 1 bedroom apartment: $1,065
- Average internet speed: 109.92 Mbps download; 73.42 Mbps upload
- Visa to apply for: Portugal D7 Visa
- Safety: Very safe
- Liveability: High (a tolerant and welcoming city, lots of history and culture, as well as easy access to beaches)
4. Wellington, New Zealand
New Zealand is a country that’s world-famous for its stunning natural beauty. The country’s capital, Wellington lives up to that reputation.
A small city that’s home to artists and creatives, it’s a super-friendly place filled with hip little cafes and live music spots.
It gets windy in Wellington – in fact, it’s the windiest city in the world. But just outside the city, you’ll be able to explore breathtaking forests and beaches.
Safe, welcoming, and easy to explore on foot, this is definitely one of the best cities for remote work.
- Average cost of living: US$2,641
- Average monthly rent for 1 bedroom apartment: $1,691
- Average internet speed: 84.78 Mbps download; 19.72 Mbps upload
- Visa to apply for: Check different NZ visa options
- Safety: Very safe
- Liveability: High (filled with arts and culture, friendly people, and gorgeous nature)
Sounds good? Well, if you fell in love with this magnificent country, definitely read our separate guide: How to Find a Job in New Zealand as a Foreigner?
5. Zagreb, Croatia
The capital city of Croatia, Zagreb is quickly becoming a popular remote work destination due to its affordable cost of living and unique, quirky vibe.
Explore the winding cobblestone streets by foot and you’ll find remote-worker-friendly cafes, authentic restaurants, and vibrant nightlife.
Zagreb is a safe city with friendly and polite locals, quite a few of whom speak English. It’s a place where you can experience real Croatia, not the tourist view of it.
And during your free time, wonderful natural parks or Croatia's famous coastline is just a drive away.
- Average cost of living: US$1,115
- Average monthly rent for 1 bedroom apartment: $532
- Average internet speed: 90.66 Mbps download; 19.81 Mbps upload
- Visa to apply for: Digital Nomad Visa
- Safety: Safe
- Liveability: High (a sophisticated and laid-back city, rich in culture and history)
6. Singapore, Singapore
That’s not a typo – Singapore is both a city and a country, located in South-East Asia.
This island state is known for its futuristic buildings and luxury hotels, as well as its diverse international culture.
English is one of the 4 official languages here, making it a popular remote working destination.
The tropical, humid weather of Singapore might be a little off-putting to some, but for others. And everywhere you go, there is air-conditioning.
And while living costs are extraordinarily high in this city but if you budget correctly and have a well-paid job, you can enjoy a very high standard of living (and amazing restaurants).
- Average cost of living: US$4,120
- Average monthly rent for 1 bedroom apartment: $2,400
- Average internet speed: 209.21 Mbps download; 174.67 Mbps upload
- Visa to apply for: Check different options of Singapore visas
- Safety: Extremely safe
- Liveability: Extremely high (widely considered Asia’s most liveable country)
In fact, Singapore is so popular among foreign workers that we even have a separate guide on how to find a job in Singapore as a foreigner.
6 best places to work remotely in the U.S.
If you’re based in the US and not quite ready to travel the world while remote working, take a look at our list of the top places to work remotely within the United States.
1. Chicago, Illinois
This magnificent sprawling city on the shores of Lake Michigan is one of the best cities for remote workers in the country.
Sure, the winters are intense, with sub-zero temperatures often lasting for 5 months of the year. But if you can brave the cold (i.e. stay inside) you’ll fall in love with this city.
Living and housing costs in Chicago are quite reasonable for a major US city, and the efficient public transit system means you don’t need to own a car at all.
Then there’s the excellent food (a foodie’s dream), the amazing architecture, and endless things to do.
2. Austin, Texas
The state capital and cultural heart of Texas, this city has a young, hip vibe that makes it a top choice for remote living.
Year-round awesome weather is a big selling point for Austin, as is its emphasis on authentic living, with a city motto of “Keep Austin Weird”.
Getting around Austin is easy with its convenient bike-sharing system.
This is a city where you’ll come across mouthwatering food, amazing live music, and pumping nightlife without even having to try. And if you venture just outside the city, you’ll find scenic hiking trails and natural pools.
3. Denver, Colorado
The Mile High City of Denver, Colorado is located in the foothills of the breathtaking Rocky Mountains and sits 1 mile above sea level (hence the nickname).
The high altitude can be difficult at first, but it results in beautiful weather, with an average of 300 sunny days each year.
Remote workers flock to Denver because of the city’s flourishing economy and its young, hip vibe (it’s the number 1 city in the US where millennials are moving).
For those who love the outdoors, this remote working destination is heaven on earth. Denver is a little costly to live in but has a whole lot to offer.
4. Atlanta, Georgia
If you don’t know what to expect from this Southern city, Atlanta is bound to surprise and delight you.
A bustling cosmopolitan city with a very culturally diverse population, this city is considered one of the best remote work locations in the US.
Living is affordable in Atlanta, Georgia, from housing costs to grocery prices.
It’s a city overflowing with things to do, delicious food options, and exciting nightlife. Plus, Atlanta’s international airport gives you easy access to the world.
5. Phoenix, Arizona
This city in the desert gets an average of 299 sunny days every year.
Phoenix, Arizona is a large metropolitan city with a chill and cheerful vibe you wouldn’t expect. It’s no wonder the “Valley of the Sun” is number 5 on the list of best cities to work remotely from.
Phoenix has a growing population and a thriving local economy. Housing here is very affordable compared to other cities in the US, and the well-planned city grid system makes getting around a breeze.
Spectacular nature is waiting for you to explore in your time off work: think hiking, fishing, and horseback riding.
6. Portland, Oregon
Portland is a unique city with a young and quirky vibe, and it’s also one of the best remote work locations in the country.
The city is famously filled with amazing coffee shops that make perfect spots for getting caffeinated and productive.
Remote workers who live in Portland, Oregon will have access to beautiful nature (from the desert to the ocean), an incredible food scene, and a vast array of craft breweries.
The city’s international airport allows you to travel anywhere you need to go.
Which place for remote work is the right one for me?
This list of the best cities for remote workers (inside and outside of the US) is designed to give you the inspiration to get up and go.
But when it comes to choosing the best cities to work remotely from, it all comes down to what you value in a remote work location.
Additionally, you should know how long want to stay in one place.
Are you in the adventurous stage of your life when you want to travel a lot and try as many things as possible? Good for you, maybe you can be a little more spontaneous and go with your gut. If the city is not the right fit for you, not a problem, next month you can be somewhere else.
On the other hand, if you are planning on settling down in your new place, or are relocating together with your family, you may want to carefully consider the move.
Before you make a decision, consider these factors first:
- Budget for housing. Rent or paying off a house is often the biggest item in your monthly budget. Research the prices for housing carefully before you move so you know for sure that you can afford it.
- Cost of living. Rent isn't everything. In some places, food is more expensive than in others. Be sure you decide to go somewhere where it will be possible for you to have a decent quality of life.
- Local economy. You may be thinking — I've got a job already, I don't have to worry about the job market in the area. However, a thriving economy leads to local progress and the satisfaction of the people who surround you.
- Big city or a small city? Know your preferences. If you get easily overwhelmed in a crowded space and commuting within the city is killing your soul, life in a smaller town or village may be just what you need.
- Entertainment and culture. On the other hand, you may seek a thriving nightlife, and enjoy going to concerts or art exhibitions. A rural area won't have that. So if you need culture to unwind after work, seek a new home where you can easily find it.
- Outdoor offerings. Culture may not be doing it for you, but a good hike after a long working week may be just your favorite activity. So research if the area which you're considering for remote working offers nice trails or a chance to ski or swim.
This article was recently updated. The original article was written by Martin Poduška in 2022.