With an increasing number of companies embracing remote work as the new norm, more employees are in search of the best city in Europe for digital nomads.
In fact, following the changes brought about by the post-pandemic work landscape, recent data reveals that over 70% of workers in the UK now consider job opportunities that allow them to work from anywhere.
Digital nomad methodology
To assist digital nomads in their quest for the optimal location, the study examined various factors unique to remote workers. The research highlighted Bucharest, the capital of Romania, as the top European city for digital nomads. Bucharest stood out for its favourable conditions, including low living costs, affordable rental options, high happiness scores and quality internet connectivity – a vital requirement for individuals relying solely on the internet for their livelihoods.
The report also shed light on the significance of upfront costs associated with visa applications – a crucial factor for remote workers considering relocation. Surprisingly, most countries charge less than £70 for a digital nomad visa, while Malta stands out with a cost exceeding £260.
For digital nomads seeking a sunnier working environment, Madrid, Spain, and Nicosia, Cyprus, secured the second and third spots, respectively, offering not only sought-after climates but also boasting high scores for Wi-Fi download speeds – essential for seamless remote work.
In cooler climates, Reykjavík, Iceland, a country known for its sweeping landscapes and renowned for being one of the happiest nations, ranked tenth on the index for digital nomads, indicating that it may not be the most suitable destination, though it does offer an off-the-beaten-track experience.
Renting as a digital nomad
When it comes to long-term affordable rentals, Bucharest; Athens, Greece; and Budapest, Hungary, emerge as attractive options, with the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in the capital cities falling below £500 per month. In contrast, Lisbon, Portugal, and Reykjavík display average rental costs exceeding £1,000 per month.
Despite ranking seventh overall, Lisbon stands out for digital nomads earning lower wages, as the country only requires applicants to earn slightly more than £650 per month. In contrast, most countries mandate a monthly income threshold of more than £2,000 for visa applications.
James Cole, founder and CEO of Panache Cruises, expressed his fascination with Bucharest topping the list as the best city in Europe for digital nomads, emphasising that it may come as a surprise to British tourists and travellers who typically overlook the country. Cole pointed out Romania's favourable attributes, including low rent, affordable living costs, high happiness scores, and good Wi-Fi speeds, offsetting the higher wage requirement of more than £3,200 per month for visa applicants.
Major European countries such as France, Italy and Germany did not make the list due to the limited availability of digital nomad visas for British citizens.
[Read more: Where are the world’s best cities for tech workers?]