One of the main reasons many entrepreneurs start their businesses is for locational flexibility. However, for many entrepreneurs, it can be tricky to determine where to start their journey.
“It is not as simple as rolling up to any city, plug your device in and continue to lead a successful life in a new city. Also, it’s really important to note that different professions have varying needs,” Diana Mae K, the founder of a luxury life design company, The Ella Experience notes, “whatever city you choose to live in as an entrepreneur, not only you want to makes sure that it’s a city you feel inspired in, but you also need to ensure the cost-effectiveness and the internet connection”.
Based on the criteria mentioned, here are the top five cities for remote entrepreneurs.
1. Chiang Mai, Thailand
Located 700 km north of the capital Bangkok, Chiang Mai is a UNESCO World Heritage site. A mix of ancient temples, bustling city, and nature, Chiang Mai should definitely stir those creative juices. It is one of the cheapest Asia-based locations on this list, from accommodation to street food to bike hire to coworking spaces.
From vast open-air spaces and co-working spaces to 24-hr cafes, Chiang Mai readily embraces the throngs of digital nomads and remote entrepreneurs passing through. To help clear your mind during the workweek, free yoga sessions are scattered throughout the city. While meditation retreats are just a short drive away–making it one of the best cities for remote entrepreneurs.
2. Canggu, Bali
Bali is known to be beautiful and inspirational. There are also other nearby islands and cities to easily visit, making Bali a great home-base from which to explore so many exciting and unique places. The cost of living in Bali varies depending on the lifestyle. Whether someone is looking to live frugally or luxuriously, Bali has something for everyone.
“In Canggu there is a full range of these spaces, from noisy cafes to corporate spaces. And the number of coworking spaces available in Canggu makes this city a very great option for remote entrepreneurs,” the founder of The Ella Experience explains, “most have decent internet, power-points and are reasonably priced, but it’s worth shopping around for one that best suits your style.”
3. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is a gem in the European crown. A beautiful, old, romantic, mysterious city. It feels like there’s always another avenue to explore, another café to find or beer garden to enjoy. It’s a joy to wander through the cobbled streets and listen to the world go by and let the multitude of accents wash over you.
Accommodations aren’t the cheapest in the world, but it is possible to find bargains through Airbnb or private rentals to keep expenses in check. Whether it be a blessing or a curse, you can find beer for approximately a dollar a pint.
The shared workspaces community seems small, but there are plenty of cafes set up especially for nomads. The only downside is that it gets very busy in the summer, so finding a quiet spot may be an issue.
4. Lisbon, Portugal
With luxurious office spaces, bohemian cafés, working with others or alone, it is clear Lisbon has embraced the remote work culture with arms wide open. There is also the emergence of creative artistic hubs, which aim to stretch your creativity to the limit. These hubs are located in art galleries, museums, pubs, and even teach Parkour and free-running that will spark any entrepreneurs with inspiration and creativity.
The cost of living is a little more expensive than Asia, but the sheer amount of fun you can have here is worth every penny. From creative spaces to the nightlife, the beaches, and surfing, the relaxed culture, wine and beer, the history, culture, and architecture, it is safe to say that Lisbon is a city that entrepreneurs cannot go wrong with.
5. Barcelona, Spain
There’s not much that needs to be said when describing Barcelona, as it’s famous the world over. The food, nightlife, beaches, and Gaudi artwork all are spectacular and marks this city as one of the top tourist destinations as well as one of the top cities for remote entrepreneurs. But this city is also considered tricky.
“You’ll never get bored in this city. But this city is a tricky choice due to the cost of living,” the founder of The Ella Experience explains, “there are plenty of coworking spaces (they have a ‘Barcelona Silicon Valley’), as are street cafés with excellent Wi-Fi. But I’d only recommend this city to professional, successful remote entrepreneurs that can afford the cost of living. And want to get down to some serious business in a reliable, beautiful city.”
The number of entrepreneurs working remotely has been steadily rising, as shown by a Citrix study, and 50% of the workforce will be working remotely by 2020. For many entrepreneurs who want to lead a location independent lifestyle, while keeping the cost of living reasonable, Chiang Mai, Changgu, Prague, Lisbon or Barcelona will welcome them with open arms and help them start on their location independent lifestyle.
Clair Kim is a business operations architect for multi 6+ figure agencies and experts that are looking to eliminate their income cap and burnout and effortlessly scale to 7-8 figures. She has consulted with companies of all stages (from ideation to exit, from no revenue to 10 figure organizations) internationally using her REFRESH method. Her insights are featured in major media publications such as Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine and more. When Clair is not geeking out on business related things, you can find her living her stage life as a musician, or surfing through YouTube for puppy videos. Learn more at clairlydesigned.com.