As of 2023, 28.2% of full-time employees work via a hybrid model, while 12.7% are totally remote employees. In fact, 98% of employees say they want to have the flexibility of remote work “at least some of the time.” This shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that a 2022 Cisco survey revealed that 74% of the respondents stated that working from home improved their family relationships, while 82% said that the freedom to work from anywhere increases their happiness or sense of well-being.
But not all locations offer the same ease for remote work, with just the right infrastructure, facilities and benefits to work from anywhere. Let’s take a look at our top 10 picks of European destinations that are great for digital nomads.
Best European Destinations for Remote Work
Before we dig deeper into the destinations, remember to evaluate each destination based on some essential factors that will make working and living easier, such as:
- Internet connectivity
- Cost of living
- Safety for you and your family
- Availability of leisure activities
- Networking opportunities to turn the city into your new home
- Coworking facilities for the flexibility of working from home or another location.
Now, let’s take a look at the best places to work remotely with the above factors taken into consideration.
Deloitte calls Cyprus “the country of choice for remote work.” While the idyllic sub-tropical climate all year round is a great draw, the scenic landscapes might make you feel as though you’re on a constant vacation. In fact, when you aren’t working, there are plenty of activities to participate in outdoors, from chilling at the beach to hiking up the mountains. Plus, Cyprus has a large and thriving expat community, so you’ll definitely find people you can relate to and forge deeper relationships with.
Some of the other key advantages of choosing Cyprus are:
- A favourable tax regime.
- Within easy reach of Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East.
- Affordable cost of living.
- Among the lowest crime rates in the EU.
- A choice of private schools for English speakers.
- Robust internet and health infrastructure.
Portugal comes in at a close second to Cyprus with its Mediterranean climate, reasonable cost of living, excellent internet connectivity in public places (so you can even work from your favourite café) and amazing public transport. Like Cyprus, there are plenty of things to do during your free time while the large digital nomad community offers networking opportunities. Healthcare is also a positive point in the country’s favour.
Germany stands out as an attractive destination for remote workers. Berlin in particular is preferred due to its vibrant culture, large expat community and high standard of living. But the cost of living can be higher in Germany than in many other EU nations. On the other hand, good internet connectivity and healthcare can be ticked off the checklist. And you don’t even need to be fluent in German to get around Berlin. Of course, Germany is known for its bitter winters, but the right setup can keep you cosy through the worst of winter.
If you choose to go to France from among the digital nomad countries, don’t limit yourself to Paris. Lyon might surprise you with its vibrant atmosphere, high quality of life and knowledge of English. France is definitely known for its culture, bohemian neighbourhoods and food, what might be lesser known is its expat community of over 4 million people. Plus, you can choose to work from one of the many cosy cafés with state-of-the-art cabins, especially designed for remote work.
Now this is a country that knows how to have fun. The “Emerald Isle” is becoming increasingly popular for expats wanting a destination close to the rest of the EU and with amazing natural beauty. The people here are warm and welcoming, while the cities are vibrant with a rich cultural heritage. But before you settle down with that tall glass of Guinness, remember that the cost of living might be a little higher than in many of the other places mentioned above. But access to Wi-Fi and co-working spaces is excellent. And don’t forget to experience Dublin’s tram system for yourself.
The incredible landscapes, medieval architecture, rivers, lakes and mountains aren’t the only reasons why remote workers love moving to Switzerland. And Zurich isn’t the only destination in Switzerland; Lauterbrunnen comes in a close second, if not first for many. The country has a young and energetic freelance population that can be found in the most popular co-working spaces. While Zurich might be more expensive, reliable internet connectivity, good healthcare and widely spoken English make up for the cost of living. On the other hand, Lauterbrunnen, boasts amazing mountain scenery and hiking trails.
This is a great destination for digital nomads who love to combine work with travel. Moving to Norway might even make life a constant “workation.” You could even choose to rent a fisherman’s cabin or cottage to live in for weeks or even months. Citizens of the EU/EEA can visit, seek employment, register as self-employed and work in the country for a foreign employer. Norway’s Directorate of Immigration (UDI) issued a clarification in 2022, stating that remote work was viewed as no different from other types of employment under the immigration law. So, get ready for breathtaking views and amazing adventures in a country known to host among the world’s fastest Wi-Fi.
Sweden is on our list of the best places to work remotely because of the country’s progressive work culture, which is very inclusive. Quality of life and healthy work environments also make it a preferred destination for the remote workforce. In fact, even before the pandemic, about 60% of jobs had some element of remote work in Sweden. Plus, the nation is known for its favourable leave policy and emphasis on work-life balance. However, apartments, especially for long-term rental, might be difficult to find. On the other hand, co-working spaces have been mushrooming in recent times. Citizens of the EU/EEA/Schengen area don’t even need a digital nomad visa to work remotely in Sweden. If you intend to live more than 3 months at a time, you will need to register your stay at the nearest registration office.
Amsterdam has always ranked among the top cities in the world on the liveability scale. It’s a city that truly represents the work hard and play harder motto. High quality of living, numerous cultural events, a vibrant party scene, big city life that doesn’t compromise on greenery or peace and quiet – what more could you ask from a remote work destination? But the cost of living is high here, and securing living space is a challenge. Public transport is an excellent way to get around but nothing beats cycling in this city of picturesque canals.
10. The UAE
Did you know that Dubai was ranked #1 and Abu Dhabi came in at #4 on the 2023 Executive Nomad Index? The index, created by Savills, ranks the top cities in the work for long-term remote workers, based on quality of life, internet speed, climate, prime rents and air connectivity. Dubai rose from being ranked third in 2022 to bagging the first spot, while Abu Dhabi made its debut on the list with a bang. Excellent internet speeds, easy transport and UAE’s communications infrastructure, combined with the favourable climate and multiple options for recreation, are increasingly attracting digital nomads to the country.
How to Relocate to the Top Remote Work Destination
Access Financial is a trusted and experienced Employer of Record and provider of umbrella services, boasting a successful track record in assisting contractors and remote professionals in finding favorable work destinations and achieving compliant setups. Our specialized immigration team is renowned for providing individualized assistance, including the preparation and filing of digital nomad visa applications and visa sponsorships, ensuring a completely hassle-free experience.
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