As the summer draws to a close, warm winter coats and woolly accessories will be pulled to the front of wardrobes as we prepare for a drop in temperature and shorter days to set in. While most have no other choice but to fare the winter months at home, there are some that refuse to put up with winter’s icy threats.
Digital nomads are location independent and have the freedom to chase the warm weather. With so many destinations for digital nomads to choose from, Business Name Generator compared 50 of the world’s most popular cities to reveal the best locations for nomads this winter. To determine this, the study looked at wifi speed, monthly cost of living, average rental costs, quality of life score, winter sunshine hours, winter temperature and average flight time from London.
Winter Destinations for Digital Nomads to Work From
Some of the best cities for winter nomads to work from have some of the longest flight times from London. However, this is only a small detail for seasoned travellers to overcome before they can enjoy long warm days, while seemingly leading high quality lifestyles in the cities they visit.
The top 10 destinations around the world for winter nomads chasing the sun:
|Rank||City||Country||Wifi speed (Mbps)||Monthly cost of living*||Average cost of rent||Quality of life score||Winter sunshine hours||Winter temperature (°C)||Average flight time in hours to London||Total score|
|1||Abu Dhabi||United Arab Emirates||8||£2,912.00||£1,186.00||173.0||10.20||22.60||10.42||6.86|
|4||Dubai||United Arab Emirates||6||£2,761.00||£1,517.42||172.7||8.60||22.80||10.70||6.47|
*For short stay nomads (based on staying in cheap hotels and eating out 3 times a day).
1. Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi tops the table of best destinations for digital nomads this winter. Travelling workers will discover long sunshine hours (10.20 hours per day on average between October and February), reachable only at an above average flight time from London (10.42 hours).
If digital nomads can find a way to work around one of the lowest internet speeds in the ranking (8 Mbps), Abu Dhabi’s Remote Work Visa will allow them to benefit from the capital’s heavenly beaches, warm weather and high quality of life score (173 out of 240).
For those keen to escape the cold and dark winter days and enjoy working among calming deserts and breath-taking culture, Qatar’s capital could be the perfect location.
Doha sees winter days lasting on average an 8.6 hours throughout October to February, while experiencing one of the highest average temperatures of 23.2°C. With an even short flight time from London (9.13 hours) and an incredibly well-connected airport, it’s no surprise that Doha comes in second place in the ranking.
Following in third is Bangkok, with the lowest monthly living cost at £1,077 per person and one of the lowest rental costs of £578.66 per month for a one bedroom apartment in the city centre. Although the City of Angels may not have the highest quality of life score (82.4), digital nomads don’t have to worry about the cold as they will be working with an average winter temperature of 22.8°C.
Once their working day comes to an end, nomads will have plenty of sunshine (8 hours per day in the winter months) left over to explore the stunning Buddhist temples or make the most of the city’s exciting nightlife.
Another city in the United Arab Emirates emerges in the world’s top winter destinations, with Dubai ranking fourth. Digital nomads flocking to this popular city should pack their summer wear in preparation for one of the highest average winter temperatures (22°C). They will also need plenty of sun cream with the city enjoying an average of 8.6 hours of sunshine a day in the winter months.
Dubai residents also enjoy a high quality of life, with the city receiving a score of 172.7 out of 240, providing travellers with low-crime rates, clean streets and trailblazing infrastructure.
Ranking fifth, Singapore proves to be one of the most interesting destinations for digital nomads. The city boasts the fastest wifi speeds in the ranking (102 Mbps) and the highest temperatures during winter months (26.4°C). Whilst workers will find the second-highest average rental cost in the ranking (£2,606.92) and a lengthy flight time from London (16 hours), they are promised an abundance of international foods and stunning attractions.
Orlando in Florida, The Sunshine State, is another great destination for digital nomads to migrate to after summer, with 7.4 hours of daylight in the winter and average temperatures of 18.4°C. Orlando also has high quality of life score (170.8), where a hectic working week can be quickly remedied with the city’s numerous theme parks.
Houston is the second city in the US to top the ranking, coming in seventh place overall. America’s Space City provides high wifi speeds (44 Mbps) above the US Federal Communications Commission’s recommended 10 – 25 Mbps for digital nomads. The city also provides workers with more than enough vitamin D during the winter months, with sunshine hours lasting 7 hours on average.
8. Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is wonderfully affordable for digital nomads on a budget. The Argentinian city offers workers the lowest rental costs (£312.79) and the second-lowest living costs (£1,305). With some of the warmest winter temperatures (21.80°C), digital nomads truly can have it all. That’s as long as they don’t mind an average flight time of 17.65 hours from London.
While Melbourne has the longest flight time from London (24.48 hours), workers can escape the short days, with 9.4 hours of winter sunshine. With high wifi speeds (53 Mbps) and a decent quality of life score (162.5), the Garden City allows professionals to enjoy an idyllic lifestyle without having to worry about work getting interrupted.
Rounding out the top 10 winter destinations for digital nomads is Lisbon. Portugal’s coastal city may not have the longest winter days (5.4 hours) or the hottest temperatures (13.6°C) among the top winter destinations, but the capital does have the shortest flight duration from London (5.25 hours). Working travellers can benefit from affordable monthly living costs (£2,998), bearing in mind those costs can be lowered the further out of the city centre they go.
The Five Most Expensive Cities for Digital Nomads
Being location independent, digital nomads don’t have to wait for booked holidays to travel. These professionals get to explore different cultures and enjoy the attractions they would otherwise miss out on in an office. However, travelling can be rather costly and they’ll need to watch out for hiking costs during tourist seasons. This study delved into the most expensive cities for digital nomads to work from.
|Rank||City||Country||Monthly cost of living*||Average cost of rent|
|1||New York||United States||£5,373.00||£2,998.83|
*For short stay nomads (based on staying in cheap hotels and eating out 3 times a day).
Whilst two US cities feature in the top 10 overall ranking of best destinations for winter nomads, it is also home to some of the most expensive locations. It may come as no surprise to discover New York City as incurring the highest costs for working travellers.
With the highest monthly living cost for short stay nomads at £5,373, which includes sleeping in cheap hotels and eating out three times a day, digital nomads should go with a salary that meets the city’s standard of living. Meanwhile, for nomads looking to cut costs by renting their own place, they will find the average cost of rent to be just under £3,000 a month.
Zurich is declared as the second most expensive city with a monthly cost of living (£5,285) falling short of New York City’s by £88. Following in third and fourth are two further US cities, with Boston experiencing the fourth-highest average rental cost overall (£2,390.82) and Seattle, the fourth-highest living cost (£4,893). The two cities have high-performing economies that have led to a high demand for housing in those locations. Rounding out the top five is London with some of the highest costs of living for nomads (£4,888) and high monthly renting costs (£2,091.30).
The Five Warmest Destinations for Digital Nomads
Digital nomads never have to experience the dreaded winter months, with remote working allowing them to spend the rest of their working lives in summer clothes. With this in mind, the study looked into the warmest destinations for digital nomads to travel to during the winter.
|Rank||City||Country||Winter sunshine hours||Winter Temperature|
|1||Abu Dhabi||United Arab Emirates||10.20||22.60|
|3||Dubai||United Arab Emirates||8.60||22.80|
Digital nomads should look towards destinations with desert climates, with three Middle Eastern cities dominating the ranking. Abu Dhabi is declared the warmest city in the winter, boasting the largest average of winter sunshine (10.20 hours) and average temperatures of 22.6°C. Doha follows in second with temperatures averaging at 23.2°C between October and February, while Dubai allows digital nomads to enjoy an average of 22.8°C.
Australian cities round out the top five offering the highest number of winter sunshine hours, after Abu Dhabi. The country’s capital grants digital nomads 8.8 hours of sunshine per day, along with temperatures hovering around 21.20°C. Melbourne on the other hand offers a staggering 9.4 hours of winter sunshine, with temperatures of 18.6°C.
Now that you know what makes popular destinations the best for digital nomads to work from in the winter, which city do you plan to travel to this year?
Methodology & Sources
We pulled a seedlist of 50 of the best cities around the world. These cities are ranked based on 6 key metrics including those relating to quality of life and the economy.
We then revealed the best cities for digital nomads using the following metrics:
- Wifi speed – Average internet speed in megabits per second (Mbps).
- Monthly cost of living – Cost of living for a nomad staying short term. This takes into account sleeping in cheap hotels with a private room and eating out 3 times a day.
- Average cost of rent – 1 bedroom apartment in the city centre. This figure was included in the research for those nomads looking for rentals rather than living in hotels/short term accommodation.
- Quality of life score – Score out of 240.
- Winter sunshine hours – Figures for the months of October to February are taken to calculate an average. Data wasn’t available for all locations. In such instances, this source was used as an alternative.
- Winter temperature – Figures for the months of October to February were taken to calculate an average.
- Average flight time – Searched for London to relevant city and took the flight time of the shortest route, with ‘aeroplane’ acting as the only mode of transport. The total hours and minutes of flight time was gathered and converted into the total number of minutes of the flight duration. This was calculated by multiplying the number of hours by 60 and adding the additional minutes. The total minutes were then divided by 60 to get the total number of hours of the total flight time.