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Study reveals best 20 cities for UK digital nomads and remote working

woman working on laptop outside cafe

Since the end of the pandemic there has been a shift in the mentality for many desk workers in the UK. A study found that 43% of Brits said they would NOT apply for an advertised job if the description didn’t explicitly state that it was flexible and 37% of Brits asked said they would like a hybrid role so that they could work while they travel for a portion of the year. 

The idea that the office can be anyplace along with the practice of working from anywhere has grown in popularity, with UK Google searches for “digital nomad visa” increasing by 130% over the past 12 months.

But where are the best cities around the world in which to work remotely as a Brit? A recent study by computing and tech retailer Currys analysed 268 cities around the world and ranked them on their monthly rent, basic utility price per month, broadband speed, safety index, and the length of stay allowed for UK citizens. These were each scored out of 10 to give a total score out of 50, with the highest scoring city being the best location for digital nomads from the UK.

When it comes to the best city for a ‘workcation’ gothic haven Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia takes the top spot. The biggest benefit of Georgia is that with a digital nomad visa, British nationals can spend up to a year in the city working remotely, and there are no taxes for six months. For the first 183 days you don’t pay any taxes. After that period you become a tax resident and pay 20% of taxes. Aside from the legalities, it is also a reasonably priced place to live and safe too, meaning it’s even an option for solo travellers looking for a change of work scenery. Tbilisi features a picturesque Old Town, eclectic architecture and superb eating and drinking opportunities, giving it the reputation of South Caucasus region’s most cosmopolitan city, scoring 37.68 out of 50.

One downside however is that the city scored low for broadband speed with an average of just 26.9MPBS. A good broadband speed starts from 11Mbps for a standard broadband connection, although faster speeds range between 11-50Mbps. These are usually Superfast Broadband packages- so while it may be speedy enough for work related tasks, it might not be fast enough if you’re a gaming streamer.

Chiang Mai in Thailand comes a close second. Visitors are met with a wonderful metropolis full of exceptional food, hip live music venues and a deeply Buddhist population. The city scored high for reasonable living costs, with rent coming in at £179.84 on average for a one-bed outside the city centre and average utilities around £44.31 per month. Not only that but the broadband is fast, and it scores highly in the safety department too, earning a score of 37.45 out of 50.

In third place is Bucharest in Romania, scoring 36.16 out of 50. Bucharest is known for its vibrant cultural scene, with numerous theatres, museums, galleries, and performance venues. In the study it scored highly for cheap rent, fast broadband and a decent safety index score.

The top 20 cities in the world for a workcation*

RankCityCountryScore out of 50
2Chiang MaiThailand37.45
4Quebec CityCanada36.07
14Jeddah (Jiddah)Saudi Arabia32.94
15ChristchurchNew Zealand32.78
17Abu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates32.50
18The Hague (Den Haag)Netherlands31.86
20SeoulSouth Korea31.53

*Only featuring one city from each country.

It is important to remember that in many places it is not permitted to work on a tourist visa, so it is vital that digital nomads check the restrictions in the countries they plan on visiting and obtain a work or digital nomad visa.

You can see the full study here.

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