Digital nomads: These cities have the lowest rent for remote workers

CIA Landlords have analysed the rental prices of one bedroom flats in 37 countries. Some of the cheapest rents are in Europe.
CIA Landlords have analysed the rental prices of one bedroom flats in 37 countries. Some of the cheapest rents are in Europe.   -   Copyright  Canva
By Charlotte Elton

As employers around the world embrace remote working, the number of digital nomads is on the rise.

Thousands of people have moved to far-flung corners of the globe, exploring new cities and cultures between zoom calls.

But moving abroad can be expensive. In some cities, the cost of living is eye-wateringly high with rent a particularly big concern.

So where are the cheapest places for working travellers to live?

CIA Landlords have analysed the rental prices of one bedroom flats in 37 countries.

They found that London is the most expensive city to rent a one bedroom flat at an average price of £11,088 (€12,800) for six months.

But not every destination will bankrupt you. The cheapest city - Ankara, in Türkiye  - is over £9,000 (€10,400) less expensive than London, with six months of rent in a single bed property costing an average of £1,303 (€1,504).

So before you start looking at the map, here are the 10 cheapest destinations for digital nomads.

The cheapest destinations for digital nomads

10. San Jose, Costa Rica

The capital of Costa Rica, San Jose is the gateway to the beaches and parks of this stunning Central American country. It’s also worth visiting in its own right, with a well-established party scene, buzzing with craft breweries and dance clubs.

The country has a dedicated digital nomad visa to make moving there as a remote worker as easy as possible.

Six months rent in a one bedroom flat: £3,566 (€4,094).

9. Ljubljana, Slovenia

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Ljubljana has low rents and a bustling medieval charm.Canva

Explore the mediaeval charm of Ljubljana, a buzzing university town with 45,000 students. Sandwiched between Italy and Croatia, it’s an ideal spot for those who want to European charm without European prices.

There is no dedicated digital nomad visa in the country, but would-be expats can apply for other options like a Schengen visa to stay there long term.

Six months rent in a one bedroom flat: £3,491 (€4,007).

8. Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn is the capital of the small Baltic country of Estonia. Ideal for remote workers, Estonia is an extremely digital society. It boasts free wifi hotspots everywhere, and 99 percent of the public services are available on the web. Nearly one-third of citizens vote via the internet.

The country also offers a one-year digital nomad visa.

Six months rent in a one bedroom flat: £3,437 (€3,942).

7. Bratislava, Slovakia

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Bratislava's old town is filled with winding streets.Canva

Situated at the foot of the Little Carpathian mountains, this historic city straddles the Danube. You can reach both Vienna and Budapest by boat in 70 minutes and two hours respectively.

There is no dedicated digital nomad visa in the country, but would-be expats can apply for temporary residency permits.

Six months rent in a one bedroom flat: £3,354 (€3,847).

6. Athens, Greece

This ancient city is a mix of historic significance and modern cool. Ancient ruins are spread throughout the city - but so are buzzing bars and cafes.

If you’re a fan of balmy weather, Greece is the spot for you, with its warm Mediterranean climate. The country also boasts a dedicated two-year digital nomad visa.

Six months rent in a one bedroom flat: £2,580 (€2,959).

5. Riga, Latvia

Another Baltic gem, the city of Riga dates back to the 12th century AD. Remnants of its past are everywhere - its old town is a UNESCO world-heritage site - but there are modern and well-equipped co-working spaces too.

Remote workers can stay in Latvia for one year on a digital nomad visa.

Six months rent in a one bedroom flat: £2,313 (€2,653).

4. Budapest, Hungary

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Budapest straddles the Danube, Europe's second longest riverCanva

Budapest is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and great nightlife. It attracts more than 30 million visitors every single year. It’s also in the heart of Europe, bordering seven different countries, making it a good base to explore further afield.

Hungary’s digital nomad visa is known as a “white card.” To apply you have to submit an initial application at a local Hungarian embassy.

Six months rent in a one bedroom flat: £2,306 (€2,647).

3. Santiago, Chile

Santiago is ringed by mountains, surrounded by the snow-capped Andes and the Chilean coastal range. On weekends, you can combine skiing in the Andes with surfing in the Pacific.

There is no specific visa for digital nomads in Chile. Instead, visitors can work on a 90 day tourist visa, that can be extended for another 90 days for around €100.

Six months rent in a one bedroom flat: £2,248 (€2,580 ).

2. Bogota, Colombia

Packed with street art, museums, and architecture, Bogota has plenty to offer culture lovers. As of October 2022, a new digital nomad visa is available to foreign nationals employed outside Colombia to reside in and work remotely for up to two years.

Six months rent in a one bedroom flat: £1,818 (€2,087).

1. Ankara, Turkiye

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Ankara is the capital of TürkiyeCanva

The capital of Turkey, it is the second largest city in the country after Istanbul. It’s a modern metropolis and a great gateway to the rest of the country’s stunning landscapes.

There is no specific digital nomad visa in Turkiye but you can apply for a residency permit.

Six months rent in a one bedroom flat: £1,303 (€1,504).

What do locals think of digital nomads?

From the chance to experience a new culture to a better work-life balance, the digital nomad lifestyle offers some great benefits.

But do your research before you go. In some cities, an influx of digital workers has driven rents up for local populations, leading to evictions. Before you decide on which country to head to, check how locals feel about the phenomenon and make sure that you won’t be contributing to a housing crisis.