Digital Nomad Europe : An Epic Guide

Have you ever wondered how to go about becoming a digital nomad in Europe? 

Stop! Look no further than this article, which will tell you everything you need to know about how you can make the leap to being a digital nomad in Europe, including the best European cities for digital nomads.

It’s an exciting time in Europe, as many countries are working hard to encourage both long and short-term tourists to visit and/or base themselves in their country.

Some are predicting that we are about to enter the next (third) wave of digital nomads: remote work going mainstream. 

So what are you waiting for? Let’s dive in and find out more about digital nomad jobs in Europe!

Table Of Contents

  • Why Become A Digital Nomad In Europe
  • Key Positives To Being A Digital Nomad In Europe
  • 5 Of The Best Places For A Digital Nomad In Europe
  • Estonia
  • Georgia
  • Croatia
  • Portugal
  • France
  • What Visa Do You Need As A Digital Nomad In Europe?
  • Why Do I Need A Visa?
  • ETIAS
  • Schengen Area
  • Things To Be Aware Of
  • So You Want To Be A Digital Nomad In Europe?

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digital nomad europe

Related Posts on Digital Nomads In Europe: 

Why Become A Digital Nomad In Europe?

Europe is an incredible place to base yourself as a digital nomad. 

There are huge positives to travelling and working in Europe, including easy travel within and between countries, vast cultural diversity, centuries of incredible history that continue to be evidenced all around you.

And of course, European cities and smaller popular destinations attract vibrant communities who love to work, rest and play to the best of their ability! 

Great nightlife, fast internet speed, reasonable cost of living, quick and reliable travel networks, welcoming communities and social life, new and innovative digital hubs.

What’s not to like?

Key Positives To Being A Digital Nomad In Europe

  • Flexible working spaces, dictated by your choice of lifestyle
  • No commuting = more time to earn!
  • No more toxic office environments!
  • Flexible time off, decided by you (days, hours, weeks)
  • Opportunities to connect with other like-minded digital nomads
  • Variety in the work you choose to accept
  • Ability to make changes for yourself
  • Immense opportunities for self-development
  • Travel according to your own schedule
  • Select your locations according to your own parameters: to save money, to visit a particular location, to visit family or friends, to chase the weather!

And if you’re paying attention, you’ll have noticed that all of these things add up to FREEDOM!!

5 Of The Best European Countries For Digital Nomads

digital nomad estonia

1. Estonia

What’s It Like?

The most northerly of the Baltic states (Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia), Estonia is one of the least densely populated countries in Europe.

Known as the Silicon Valley of Europe, it has the highest number of start-up business owners per head of population. 

It has historic UNESCO sites and incredibly well-preserved medieval architecture in its capital, Tallinn. A total of 52% of its landmass is forest, making it one of Europe’s greenest nations.

Tallinn is fast becoming one of the best cities in Europe for digital nomads, with its high internet speeds, co-working locations, beautiful cityscapes, and tech-friendly vibe.

Estonia is 20th out of 40 European nations when it comes to the cost of living – so pretty much in the middle when it comes to costs. 

One fantastic coworking space that I was able to connect with online is SpringHub, in Tallinn. Make sure to look them up if you’re thinking of taking up that digital nomad visa!

Take Me There!

Estonia was one of the first European countries to establish a specific digital nomad visa. This visa lasts for up to one year and brings clarity and ease for nomads wanting to work from Estonia.

The requirements are:

  • Location-independent work via an online business setup
  • Contracts with or ongoing freelance work with clients outside of Estonia
  • Minimum monthly income of €3504 for the previous six months (evidence required) 

Click on this link to read the full criteria and find the application form if you’re ready to become your journey to being a digital nomad in Europe! 

digital nomad Georgia

2. Georgia

What’s It Like?

Situated at the gateway to Asia, Georgia is about as far east as you can travel in Europe. Another country with so much history and architecture that testifies to it, Georgia is a rising start with nomads and tourists alike. 

A popular up-and-coming destination for snowboarders and wine connoisseurs, due to its amazing landscapes, mountainous regions, and expansive vineyards, Georgia is most definitely worth putting on your list!

While Georgia isn’t listed in the 40 European countries by Numbeo.com, statistically it is similar in cost of living to Ukraine, which sits at 38 of 40 countries.

Take Me There!

Georgia has a liberal visa system, allowing the citizens of 98 countries to stay and work without the need to apply for a visa or permit. 

For more information, read this information from the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Georgia has also introduced a new, 12-month digital nomad programme called Remotely from Georgia, which enables workers to travel to and live in Georgia with their partners or families for up to twelve months.

 Other requirements include:

  • Ownership of a location-independent business
  • Earnings of $2,000 per month minimum
  • Travel insurance to cover the length of your stay

Becoming a digital nomad in Europe has never been easier!

digital nomad croatia

3.Croatia

What’s It Like?

Croatia is a European country with a turbulent past few decades that is rising from the ashes of conflict and seeing a tourism and tech boom right now. 

With its eastern coastline stretching out along the Adriatic Sea, and towns and cities full of rich heritage nestled between the sea and the Balkan mountains, Croatia certainly isn’t lacking in beauty or history!

Whether it’s adrenaline activities you’re after, or you’re a foodie looking to find new and innovative experiences, Croatia may have it all as you spend your non-working time exploring everything that the country has to offer!

Croatia is another of the smaller central European countries that has introduced a digital nomad visa. This enables foreign nationals to move to Croatia for up to one year to work remotely, without the need for local employment or sponsorship. This is a brand new visa for 2021, so make sure to check it out

The cost of living is similar to Estonia, with Croatia sitting one place below them in the top 40 European nations.

Take Me There!

The core requirements for the Croatian Digital Nomad Visa are:

  • Valid passport and health insurance
  • Evidence of financial means to support yourself during your time in Croatia (you will need proof of having HRK28,800/$4500USD in income or savings each month)
  • Proof of no criminal convictions
  • You must submit a Croatian address within 3 days of your arrival under the digital nomad visa scheme.

digital nomad portugal

4.Portugal

What’s It Like?

Situated at the western end of Europe, Portugal is much-overlooked by people looking to explore Europe. 

There’s more to Portugal than Lisbon! 

With long coastlines and waves galore, it’s ideal for surfers and beach lovers alike. The country also has some of the best digital nomad cities in Europe.

Ahead of the digital nomad curve, Portugal already has a well-established digital nomad community, based on the island of Madeira: Ponta do Sol

Have a good read through the linked article and watch their video to find out everything you need to know about costs, accommodation, nomad facilities, and lifestyle in Madeira!

The cost of living in Portugal is one of the lowest in western Europe – landing at 22 out of 40 in our top 40 European countries list, it is slightly lower than both Estonia and Croatia.

Take Me There!

Digital Nomads Portugal is a fabulous place to start your search for information and resources to progress your plans to move to Portugal.

NomadX can tailor its searches to your digital nomad accommodation needs and is one of the fastest-growing accommodation hubs for Portugal.

When it comes to visa requirements, Portugal doesn’t yet have a specific visa for digital nomads. 

The best visa route to take is currently the D7 Visa, which covers Portugal’s Passive Income Visa, the Self-Employment Visa, and the Entrepreneur Visa

All of these visas last for one year, with the option to renew for up to five years in total. It’s also worth noting that you can apply for permanent residency after living in the country for five years!

For the D7 Visa, you will need:

  • Proof of business ownership or financial means
  • Must prove you have a monthly income equivalent to the Portuguese minimum wage, although the advice is to prove you have twice the minimum requirement.
  • Private health insurance
  • No criminal convictions

Check out this article I wrote about the Portugal digital nomad visa for more information on entry requirements.

digital nomad europe

5.France

What’s It Like?

One of Europe’s largest nations, home to some of the best food and drink in the world, what’s not to love about relocating to France for a while! 

Take your pick from some of the most incredible digital nomad cities in Europe, stunning countryside, wine regions, beautiful beaches, and vibrant nightlife. 

France can cater to all of your tastes at a range of prices!

France is one of the more costly European nations to live in, coming in 7th on our Top 40 European countries cost of living table. It is entirely possible to base yourself in a cheaper part of the country, however, make sure to check for reliable, fast internet along with suitable and available work locations.

Take Me There!

Booking.com and Airbnb offer digital nomads clarity when it comes to finding cost-effective, but well-equipped accommodation in France. 

Having said that, it’s always worth clarifying the actual internet speed with your potential host before you sign or agree to anything!

France offers an income-related visa that is easy to apply for: ‘Carte de Séjour Visiteur’ or France Visitor’s Residence Permit. 

This 12-month visa is potentially available to anybody who can prove a monthly income of €1,219 net. For more information about relocating to France as a digital nomad, check out Where I Can Live’s Guide To Moving To France.

digital nomad europe

What Visa Do You Need As A Digital Nomad In Europe?

Why do I need a visa? 

To be completely frank, it’s technically illegal to work on a tourist visa in many countries, so you want to be informed about your best options for visas that allow you to work while you travel. 

If you want to make the most of your opportunity to work on your digital nomad jobs in Europe, it is definitely worth making sure you know the ins and outs of the visa requirements for places you want to visit.

As you can see for the individual countries listed above, some countries are beginning to see the significant value in offering specific visas for digital nomads and remote workers.

So let’s look a little more into how to find the information you need in order to best inform your travels.

ETIAS (European Travel Information And Authorization System) 

This is a brilliantly informative site, packed full of details about visas of every type and possibility. 

This informative piece focussed on Digital Nomad Visas in EU Countries covers all of the above nations, plus many more.

And remember, if you are an EU citizen or passport holder, your EU citizenship will grant you automatic access to all of the nations within the EU’s Schengen Area (see below) and you will not need to apply for a working visa. 

Make sure you check with your origin country’s guidelines before you make plans to land in one of the best digital nomad cities or you spend money on working visas!

Schengen Area

Specific to Europe, but not specific to being a digital nomad in Europe, you must understand about the Schengen Area if you wish to visit, live, work or travel in Europe. 

Created to enable easier movement between European countries, the Schengen Agreement covers open travel arrangements between 26 countries in Europe. 

For more detailed information and background on how Schengen could affect you, check out Nomadific’s fabulously detailed and informative article: Traveling in the Schengen Area: A Guide to Visas

The EU’s own website also has a really useful plain language explanation of how Schengen works, along with a link to one of the online Schengen calculators to help you stay on top of your travels.

Uniquely for British citizens who are now trying to navigate a post-Brexit, post-lockdown Europe, you will be wise to confirm the current guidance with a UK source.

 For more detailed and current information, have a read through these advice pieces from:

As things stand at the moment (in spring 2021), British passport holders (in line with other non-EU nations) will not require a Schengen visa if they are staying less than 90 days in Europe.

digital nomad Europe
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Things To Be Aware Of As A Digital Nomad In Europe

Top tips for working as a digital nomad in Europe, especially when visiting a new country or city:

  • Make sure you have confirmed the visa requirements for your next location. Don’t assume that you can travel and work on a tourist visa!
  • Remember to look at up-to-date estimates of the cost of living, as this will be key for digital nomads in Europe. The last thing you want is to incur unexpected high living costs while you are working hard to bring in a good income from your dream destination!
  • Don’t forget to do your research around accommodation! Sometimes Booking.com  might yield the cheapest places to stay – especially if you can get a deal via their website.
  • Be sure to check out Coliving, a thriving and community-focused living concept based around individual growth and nurture. Find and connect with other digital nomads in your current or future locations!
  • Have a look into Co-working spaces, such as with Coworking Europe who create shared spaces for and bring together digital nomads in locations across Europe.

Find other online communities for digital nomads – Facebook groups such as:

So You Want To Be A Digital Nomad In Europe?

I’ve laid it all bare for you…you’ve got the inside scoop on the best countries to base yourself, the types of visas you will need, the average cost of living, plus links to a library of resources on all things European digital nomads!

The world is there for the taking, so what are you waiting for? 

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