The Best Eastern European Cities for Digital Nomads
Eastern Europe has developed so much over recent years that many countries occupying that part of the continent are fast becoming destinations of choice for those looking at working perhaps as a travel blogger or someone that needs to work remotely and solely rely on technology.
Thanks to the internet, many jobs can be done away from the traditional office environment, and whilst the cliché of working on a beach or in a trendy café can often be a lure to many, quite often it can be a hindrance. If you let too many distractions get in your way-you may never get the job done! That being said, the level of flexibility being a digital nomad brings means that if one day the beach is where you want to base your office, the day after you could make it a park, an apartment, or a bar. The choice is always yours!
So, if you were considering Eastern Europe, where should you go? Well, before we dive in, let’s illustrate what a digital nomad is. You may end up realising you could be one yourself!
What is a digital nomad?
The term digital nomad sprung up in 1997 thanks to a book that prophesied the invention of an all-powerful communication device that would allow workers to complete their job from anywhere. These days, when the phrase is used for something that does exist, it refers to someone that works remotely and relies on IT to make their job possible. They will work out of any location they chose as there is not one location they are tied to. The term can also apply to families that work and study whilst traveling. Despite it being a relatively new term, a recent survey found that the average age of a digital nomad was closer to 40 than expected. The luxury of working as a digital nomad means that one week you could enjoy somewhere in Southern Europe, then, should it be possible, have the following week in South America. The world pretty much becomes your oyster!
So where in Eastern Europe are the best places for digital nomads to call home….sort of?
The Hungarian capital appears on so many lists for things like this and it comes with good reason. The city has so much to offer somebody that doesn’t need to station themselves in one area. With stunning architecture almost everywhere and history seeping from the pores of every building, you can work and relax surrounded by natural and constructed beauty.
Food and drink are cheap in Budapest so if you chose to plot yourself down in a café for a slog in front of the screen, you won’t have to fear spending more than you earn. In addition, the city has an extremely reliable public transport system and roads that are easy to follow should you wish to venture to other parts of the city. Coworking spaces are available and cheap but wi-fi is readily accessible in pretty much every location. Head to Margaret Island for a break away from the city centre and lovely river views. Property is cheap in Budapest too and when compared to prices in the UK, you will be astounded at what you could rent or buy.
We have touched upon Croatia once already this month when we spoke about holidays there and yes, it is popular with tourists, but it is a fantastic location for a digital nomad to work and enjoy. Much like many other Eastern European cities, the architecture stands out a great deal. More expensive than Budapest but full of just as many great opportunities. Lots of startups pick Zagreb as a city to operate within and many share the variety of coworking spaces available. The city is smaller than what you may expect which helps create a town feel in a city environment. The cost of living in Zagreb is significantly cheaper than London with the latest stats showing that it is on average 56% cheaper to live in Zagreb than in London. Rent on properties in Zagreb can be as much as 79% cheaper than in London!
Bucharest in Romania has slowly crept up on people as a place to visit for a holiday, to relocate permanently, or to work from before moving on to another destination. It can be busy, and it would not be unusual to see bars and clubs busy many nights of the week. One of the main benefits of being a digital nomad throughout Eastern Europe is the cost. Everything just seems so much cheaper than in the UK and the rest of Europe itself. Accommodation is incredibly cheap and can be way cheaper than both Budapest and Zagreb. Figures available to us showed that people were paying as much as 81% less than in London. Essentials are also much cheaper too. The location of Bucharest also lends itself to the digital nomad lifestyle should you wish to work from another country. Cheap flights out of Romania to other European countries are easily accessible. And when you need a day off, the sights of Bucharest allow you to delve into the history of Dracula and more!
Bulgaria is a stunning country and has risen the ranks like many on our list for both tourists and digital nomads. A capital city full of culture and loads of green space means you can spread your workload across a nice variety of backdrops in a country full of friendly people, great cuisine, and a host of places you could make your base for the day or weeks ahead. Lots of coworking spaces allow for a great chance to network and as a result, build up a decent social life in a city that has much to offer. Stats show that the cost of living is again, much cheaper than in the UK too.
Tallinn, in Estonia, is an incredible place for digital nomads to spend some time. Not only for the country itself but for the fact that Estonia has created a world first. The digital nomad visa. It allows holders to live in the country for a year.
Thanks to a low cost of living, a stack of great coworking spaces, and a vibrant café selection that welcomes those looking to settle down for work, Tallinn has much to offer. The old town presents a welcome break when the workload is getting a little much and for those fully immersing themselves in the digital nomad community, there are plenty of people living the same life that will be on hand to offer support and guidance.
These are the 5 best Eastern European cities for digital nomads in our opinion. Should you be looking to head to one of them, don’t forget to investigate the car hire opportunities available to you. With reduced costs in these countries, driving can be an affordable and hugely beneficial way to get around. Always look to keep yourself protected from surprise additional fees you may encounter. By taking out one of our excess protection insurance plans you can remain confident you won’t have other fees to worry about. We specialise in worldwide and European car hire excess insurance so get a free quote today!