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Where are Europe’s top digital nomad villages?

Digital nomad villages feel a bit like university, but where everyone has more money

By Miriam Partington and Tim Smith

So, you’ve cleared with your boss that you can work remotely as a digital nomad for a few weeks or months, but where do you choose to jet off to? Will there be decent wifi? Where will you stay? And might it all get a bit sad and lonely once the tourist shine wears off? This is where digital nomad villages come in.

These tend to be loosely organised communities of nomads that centre around coworking spaces and coliving apartments, with a central social media group to plan communal activities and events.

Many of Europe’s top digital nomad destinations are still in big cities like Lisbon, Barcelona and Budapest, but nomad villages are now starting to provide city infrastructure in more tranquil pockets of Europe. For people looking for a less hectic “workation”, they can make a perfect place to settle for a short time and meet like minded people. So where are they?

Europe’s top digital nomad villages

Madeira, PortugalMadeira is one of Europe's digital nomad villages

The Portuguese archipelago of Madeira is ostensibly where the world’s first digital nomad village was born. Set up in February 2021 — when most of Europe was steeped in Covid restrictions — the village is designed to be a one-stop-shop to help nomads settle on the island.

👉 Read: What do the locals think of digital nomads?

Arrivals get access to a free coworking space, guidance on finding accommodation and permission to join the nomad’s Slack group — where events such as hiking trips and sundown fitness classes on the beach are posted every week. Locals told Sifted that they love the weather (it’s 24ºC there even in November), the proximity to nature and the relaxed vibe of the island. 

The Canary Islands, Spain

Like Madeira, the Canary Islands are geographically closer to Africa than they are to mainland Europe, making this another strong option for those seeking warmer climes in winter. If you’re looking for a real digital nomad community experience, Las Palmas in Gran Canaria is home to Nomad City, an established remote work community offering coliving accommodation, recommendations for private coworking spaces and a Facebook group for nomads to connect and socialise.

If you’re after a slightly less intense and organised experience, there are other, smaller nomad communities in Tenerife and Fuerteventura to check out, all offering coworking spaces with fast wifi.

Lagos, Portugal

One of the up and coming digital nomad villages is Lagos in the Algarve region of Portugal. It offers coliving and coworking spaces and a Facebook group for meeting your fellow wandering workers. Nomads have previously told Sifted that Lagos’s community caters particularly well to those looking for “consciousness activities” (think meditation, yoga, ecstatic dance and holotropic breathwork). So if you’re looking for some mind expanding ways to unwind after the working day is done, Lagos might be the digital nomad community for you.

Bankso, Bulgaria

Most of the other digital nomad villages in this list are pretty confined to sun, sand and sea, but beach life isn’t the only way to be a digital nomad in Europe. Bansko is a ski resort in the Bulgarian mountains and has become one of Europe’s top digital nomad communities in recent years.

During the summer months the town becomes a haven for hikers, climbers and mountain bikers, and is one of the cheapest places to live on Europe’s digital nomad map. The resort now boasts multiple coworking and coliving spaces, and a lively Facebook group offering all sorts of events for nomads throughout the year.

Trento, ItalyTrento is one of Europe's digital nomad villages

Five years ago, a couple from San Francisco moved to a picturesque town close to Trento, Italy — hoping, like many other nomads, to experience something new. While the hiking, skiing and summers on the lake — not to mention the great schools and beautiful town nearby — were appealing, they realised the digital nomad village was missing one thing: community.

So, they launched Trento Remote, a so-called all-in-one programme for remote living. Participants get help with finding accommodation and coworking spaces, while Trento Remote also hosts get-togethers, events and organised “adventures” to help participants make local and international friends.

The best of the rest

If none of those locations take your fancy, there’s still plenty on offer for the digital nomad — you might need to head to a bigger city to find what you’re looking for.

These are the next most popular places for nomads in Europe, according to Nomadlist, a resource that rates locations based on things like wifi quality, cost of living and safety:

  1. Lisbon
  2. Budapest
  3. Porto
  4. Warsaw
  5. Tbilisi
  6. Istanbul
  7. Sofia
  8. Kraków
  9. Athens
  10. Belgrade

Tim Smith is Sifted’s Iberia correspondent. He tweets from @timmpsmith. Miriam Partington is Sifted’s DACH correspondent. She also covers future of work, coauthors Sifted’s Startup Life newsletter and tweets from @mparts_

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