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Skopje, North Macedonia
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This is officially the cheapest European capital for digital nomads

It could be the best place to try the nomad lifestyle without blowing your budget

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly

The pandemic clearly had a long-lasting impact on how we work and travel, which is made most obvious by the extent to which we now work remotely, and the ability to do so from abroad has become its own lifestyle. 

Life as a digital nomad varies enormously – the industry you work in, your earnings and the flexibility of your role all determine where and if you can travel on the job. 

The list of countries offering digital nomad visas is only growing, but each one has different requirements, so if you’re considering upping sticks and working overseas, the choice can be pretty overwhelming. 

Norton Finance might have just made that all a bit easier though, as the loan company has conducted some research into the cheapest European capitals for digital nomads – and the results are in. 

Travel experts at the company evaluated 184 countries and ranked them based on average rent, utilities, transport, food, gym and internet costs, as well as the cost of return flights from the UK

While it’ll of course vary depending on where in the world you’re journeying from, the rest of the factors provide a pretty comprehensive breakdown of the affordability of a place, and ranking at number one is Skopje in North Macedonia. 

The city is a notoriously good-value tourist destination, popular for its archaeological sites and street food. You can read more about how to eat your way around North Macedonia here. The value of public transport is one reason why Skopje scores so well, as a monthly public transport pass is an enormous eight times cheaper than the London equivalent. 

Ranking in second place is Sarajevo, the charming capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. A one-bed flat in the city centre averages at a crazy-affordable €275 (£238, $289) per month. Chisinau in Moldova is ranked third on Norton Finance’s list, where a pint costs a measly €1.30 (£1.12, $1.37).

At the other end of the spectrum are cities like Copenhagen and Dublin, which are likely some of the most expensive cities to live in Europe. The rent here averages at around five times higher than the cities on the top 10 list. 

Here are the top 10 cheapest European capitals for digital nomads: 

  1. Skopje, North Macedonia
  2. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  3. Chisinau, Moldova
  4. Sofia, Bulgaria
  5. Bucharest, Romania
  6. Belgrade, Serbia
  7. Budapest, Hungary
  8. Warsaw, Poland
  9. Vilnius, Lithuania
  10. Riga, Latvia

What’s it like to be a digital nomad?

The benefit of being able to move to a more affordable new city, while maintaining your salary and still getting to explore a new place, is an incredibly exciting opportunity. It’s no surprise that the number of people becoming digital nomads is only going to grow. 

At Time Out, we've been covering the growing popularity of digital nomad visas over the past couple of years. Check out our guide to the best digital nomad visas right now and discover what it's really like to work from anywhere.

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