We’ve all seen the pics with laptops perched atop tanned thighs by the beach/jungle with #worklife written smugly underneath. As a digital nomad, you create how, when and where you work – it means freedom, without the finite, ever-dwindling savings account. If you assume living on the cheap automatically means surrendering the comforts and luxuries of the first world, you’ve been living in it for too long. The planet is full of incredible hubs that bustle with expat activity, are hooked up to fast the Internet, glisten with vibrant cultural life and pack a flavourful punch.

The digital nomad lifestyle is becoming prevalent in this World, and at a time when the cost of living in many major cities is exorbitant and continues to rise, it pays to be strategic about choosing where to base your empire. There is a standard criterion when selecting the city like the low cost of living, fast and reliable WiFi availability, urban nightlife, decent food and fascinating culture. We’ve picked out five best cities matching these criteria:

Chang Mai, Thailand – 770$/ month, 20Mb/s

Chang Mai is the number one destination in the world for digital nomads. Plenty of co-working spaces, delicious and healthy food, fast Wi-Fi connection, and a low cost of living provide the right environment to get serious work done while surrounding yourself with a supportive community.

While the nightlife in Chiang Mai isn’t as rowdy as some other Asian cities, there is still plenty to do to keep you entertained when not working. There are many fresh food markets, as well as vegan restaurants around the city. With its cheap accommodation and fast WiFi, Chang Mai is growing with years coming.

 

Bangkok, Thailand – 900$/ month, 40Mb/s

Bangkok is the biggest shopping and tourist hub of Southeast Asia. Although Bangkok is less cheap than Chang Mai, the overall cost of living is cheaper than in Europe. Best known co-working spaces are HUBBA and Launchpad, making the Bangkok perfect place for startups.

It’s possible to find a modern, fully furnished studio apartment starting around $300 a month. Every month, events and workshops are held in Bangkok for digital nomads to meet and network.

 

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia – 1000$/month, 5Mb/s

Although Ubud is 30km away from Denpasar, it is the cultural heart of Bali. Ubud’s nature is perfect for making your work less stressful. The only downside to working in Bali is not so good Internet speed. However, Hubud is the best place for co-working.

There are lots of Wi-Fi cafés & work spaces with high-speed Internet. In Bali, you will find a tropical environment, great weather, lush nature, breathtaking sights and a vast choice of activities. Think surfing, hiking, spas, crafts, workshops, etc. All of these perks come at an exceptionally affordable price: you can live well for $1000 a month, depending on where you are on the island.

 

Budapest, Hungary – 1000$/ month, 30Mb/s

Apart from Asia, Europe is the second most popular continent for digital nomads. With its rich history and culture, Budapest is the most popular city for digital nomads in Eastern Europe. The city comes alive during the summer months, which makes it a great option during the time of year when the monsoon hits most of Southeast Asia.

Offering free Wi-Fi nearly everywhere, a reasonable cost of living, great food at low prices, efficient public transport, tons of historical and cultural sites to visit and plenty of places to work. High-speed internet is available all over the city, and co-working spaces such as KAPTAR provide the best environment for working.

 

Prague, Czech Republic – 1200$/ month, 60Mb/s

Prague is another great architectural destination in Europe. When not being so engaged in the digital world you can walk around the cobblestone streets finding a lot of small bars and cafés. Prague is also the beer enthusiasts absolute favorite. Being the digital nomad, you will enjoy the high-speed internet and co-working spaces such as Locus Workspace and Impact Club.