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Best places for remote work in 2022

Table of Contents
I.So, what are the best places for remote work this year?
1. 1.Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1. 2.Warsaw, Poland
1. 3.Skerries, Ireland
1. 4.Austin, Texas
1. 5.Ponta do Sol, Madeira, Portugal
1. 6.Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
1. 7.Porto, Portugal
1. 8.Varna, Bulgaria & Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Here's a (not so) hot tip: don't go to the most popular digital nomad destinations if you're looking for the best place for remote work.
I'm writing this article from a cafe in the small square of Vilassar de Mar, a coastal town adjacent to the city of Barcelona. As a fully nomadic remote worker, one of the most important things I learned about myself is that digital nomad hotspots don't offer the quality of life I'm searching for. They don't feel like a home. Instead of being based in the busy city of Barcelona, I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to discover Vilassar de Mar. This little town will never make the top 10 digital nomad spots on NomadList, but it was exactly what I needed to feel at home. And it's just a 30 min train ride away from the center of Barcelona! It's the best of both worlds.
I noticed I'm not alone in this search for undiscovered remote work locations. I reached out to remote workers and nomads that found the perfect spots for them and asked if they recommend it to others, and why. If you want to contribute, let me know!

So, what are the best places for remote work this year?

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Recommended by: Lauren Razavi
Lauren is the Executive Director of Plumia, a community on a mission to build the foundations for the first country on the internet. She is also the author of Global Natives, and Counterflows - a newsletter about remote work and borderless living.
Why Kuala Lumpur?
I recommend Kuala Lumpur because Malaysians are super welcoming, and the city has many different cultures happily living together. It's a place that is fusing together its fascinating history with a modern identity that easily rivals NYC or London, even though it's lesser-known. If you work with European and American colleagues, the Malaysian timezone is great as you have a few crossover hours but can essentially do your day's work before anybody else is awake and working, giving you space to focus on deep work for most of the day.
What does your daily routine look like there?
I get up in the morning, have a pour-over coffee, hit the gym or go for a swim in my building, then spend most of my day working from a coworking space. At lunchtime, I go and grab a big plate of Singapore or Hong Kong-style rice from a local mall stand that all the office workers flock to. After work, I head out for cocktails and dinner at one of the many amazing places in the city - any kind of food you want is right there and of incredibly good quality. On the weekends, my husband and I go out for brunch and try the latest coffee beans, and take some home for the rest of the week.
What would make this location more remote work/digital nomad friendly?
I'd love to see Malaysia introduce an official digital nomad visa program (and it's something our community at Plumia would love to work with the government on).
What are your essentials when choosing your next destination?
I like globalized, multicultural and foodie places that have a strong craft culture and creative scenes e.g. specialty coffee, artisan cocktails, improv and comedy, writing, music.
Can I travel there in 2022?
Soon! Malaysian authorities plan to ease entry restrictions for fully vaccinated international travelers from April 1st, but some restrictions will still apply so stay updated on the latest info on Borderless.

Warsaw, Poland

Recommended by: Gareth A. Davies
Gareth is the Content Marketing Lead at Parabol - a company building a structured meeting tool for distributed teams. They are remote-first and recently raised $8 million in Series A, so check out their hiring page!
Why Warsaw?
I recommend Warsaw without hesitation. The cost of living is low. It's very safe. The level of English is overall excellent (and if you want to learn Polish there are plenty of people happy to help you!) It's a cosmopolitan city and has one of the best vegetarian and vegan restaurant scenes in all of Europe!
What does your daily routine look like there?
Nowadays, I split my time between working from home and in a co-working space. It greatly helps me focus. Warsaw is a very bicycle-friendly city with many cycle paths and a long boulevard that turns into a lively party scene during the summer months. I usually take a break during the day to either go cycling or play tennis. I also live close to a brilliant Polish bakery, where I often stop by on the way to or from the co-working space and treat myself to a pączek (Polish donut).
What are your essentials when choosing your next destination?
I don't need much to be happy in a location, but one thing I've come to appreciate is having good travel infrastructure in the places where I live and work. Being able to zip across town on a tram, bus, or even a bike is really important to me. There's nothing worse than being stuck in traffic.
In Warsaw, the cost of living is very low compared to other European countries, which is a nice bonus. It makes it easy to take advantage of everything that's on offer without constantly watching your wallet.
What would make this location more remote work/digital nomad friendly?
Summer in Warsaw is amazing, but Polish winters are harsh. If only they could do something about that...But I won't hold my breath on that!
Can I travel there in 2022?

Skerries, Ireland

Recommended by: Dónal Kearney
Dónal is building the remote community at Grow Remote, a non-profit social enterprise bringing together remote workers to catalyze positive community impact where they live.
Why Skerries?
Skerries has a beautiful coastline, gorgeous pubs, cafés and restaurants, and a rural village feel while being only 25 minutes from the Dublin airport and 45 minutes from the center of Dublin. I'd also recommend adjacent Balbriggan, a wonderful town linked to the motorway.
What does your daily routine look like there?
My daily routine involves raising a 1-year-old, so it's early mornings and a drop-off to a local creche. On days off, I go for a morning walk along the shore and I love seeing the Mourne mountains on the horizon. I'm lucky to have a home office, which I share with my wife. Sometimes I take calls while walking on the beach; connect with my community, meet with colleagues, or catch up with friends. My schedule is flexible so I focus on strategic priorities as much as possible during my working day. In the evenings, we put my son to bed, eat together, and I either do some songwriting, catch up on personal admin, or watch a film. Then fingers crossed for a full night's sleep without a screaming child.
What are your essentials when choosing your next destination?
I value community spirit, natural beauty, and locals who say hello to you along the road.
What would make this location more remote work/digital nomad friendly?
The town has no digital hub or co-working infrastructure, though there is an enterprise center with flexidesks in nearby Balbriggan (less than 10 minutes away).
Can I travel there in 2022?

Austin, Texas

Recommended by: Sarah Hawley
Sarah is the Founder & CEO of Growmotely, a platform that facilitates conscious companies in hiring remote professionals worldwide for long-term roles. She is also the author of 'Conscious Leadership: a Journey from Ego to Heart".
Why Austin?
Austin is a great place for anyone with a pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit, there's plenty to do, great cafes to work from and excellent food, along with great weather and an awesome live music scene. My second recommendation would be Ubud, Bali!
What does your daily routine look like there?
Coffee in bed, yoga, hanging out with Luka (my baby son) and then jumping into work. I don't really struggle with motivation as I love what I do, what we're building in the world and the people I'm doing it with. In terms of productivity, staying focused is important so I try to limit distractions and work for the blocks of time my energy is most aligned to productive work. It's important for me to switch off in the evenings, meditate and spend time with my family.
What are your essentials when choosing your next destination?
Communal work and living spaces, great coffee, yoga and healthy plant-based food!
Can I travel there in 2022?
Yes! Fully vaccinated international travelers can enter the US without having to quarantine on arrival.

Ponta do Sol, Madeira, Portugal

Recommended by: Gonçalo Hall
Gonçalo is building the first digital nomad village in Ponta do Sol, Madeira. He is also the founder of NomadX, an initiative set to create locations for nomads in partnerships with the local governments (Madeira, Cape Verde and soon Brazil).
Why Ponta do Sol?
It's Madeira! The scenic hills, blue ocean, hiking trails, nature, food, the people...it's a perfect blend. It's truly an ideal home base.
Apart from that, our nomad village is designed to welcome you and help you make connections. We have a centralized community with more than 50 events per week, help with accommodation, free coworking spaces and a growing community of nomads and locals.
Bonus: Dario Villirilli, a nomadic writer, published a comprehensive guide on Ponta do Sol after spending 5 months there: "Madeira is one of the most beautiful places I've been to as a digital nomad. It's a paradise just two hours of flight away from Portugal that offers great weather, stunning nature, and a thriving community."
What does your daily routine look like there?
I wake up around 7:30, look at the hills full of banana trees from my bedroom window and meditate. After my morning coffee, I head to the coworking space in Ponta do Sol, work and chat with people while snacking on some pitangas from the trees in the garden, get some sun while I'm in meetings, and head to lunch with folks from the coworking space afterward.
After work, we usually go to the beach for a yoga session or crossfit training (yes at the beach!), and often attend skill-sharing events. Every day is different, but I find that swimming in the ocean relieves a lot of stress. On Fridays, we usually have a party on the island at Estalagem Ponta do Sol, with incredible DJs and the best sunset view.
What are your essentials when choosing your next destination?
Community, fast internet, good accommodation, activities, coworking spaces, safety.
What would make this location more remote work/digital nomad friendly?
The biggest challenge nowadays for nomads is housing. The return of tourism brought a very high occupancy rate of local accommodation that nomads still have to rely on. While we are working on building more coliving spaces in Ponta do Sol and Ribeira Brava (the neighboring city) to help with this, there is still a growing need for more coliving spaces dedicated to nomads so we can have proper housing.
Can I travel there in 2022?
Yes! Portugal is open to international tourists, but keep in mind that sometimes different rules apply when traveling to Madeira so check before you start your trip.

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

Recommended by: Rowena Hennigan
Rowena is a Remote work Consultant and University Lecturer, currently based in Zaragoza after nomading the world with her family. She is also working on a Digital Nomad Education project, so follow her on socials for the launch!
Why Las Palmas de Gran Canaria?
I would wholeheartedly recommend Las Palmas de Gran Canaria for a family-friendly nomad destination. Wonderful coworking spaces, vibrant nomad community and some great childcare options and support.
What does your daily routine look like there?
When your remote work schedule revolves around your daughter's half day at the local summer camp - it helps keep you alert, focused and disciplined. I try to wake up early to make sure I'm organized and ready to go! Always prioritizing family time in the afternoon is a must to make family nomading work for everyone. 
What are your essentials when choosing your next destination?
Always - A decent wifi connection (tip: if in doubt, do a live speed test with someone at the location!) AND a dedicated space to have meetings and do presentations. Due to the nature of my work, communal coworking spaces don't always suit me. With my family - we need childcare support or children's activities in a destination, which is super important when we nomad each summer for up to 3 months at a time. Last summer we based ourselves in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and it was wonderful! 
What would make this location more remote work/digital nomad friendly?
Due to the tourist nature of the island, accommodation can be hard to source but more options are coming on the market. I would like to see more options for coliving for families become available.
Can I travel there in 2022?
Yes! Spain is open for fully vaccinated international tourists, with a few restrictions like filling in a Health Pass form.

Porto, Portugal

Recommended by: Mandy Fransz
Mandy is the founder of Make the Leap Digital and leader of one of the biggest remote work communities on Linkedin with over 75K members. I discovered her work through her recent feature in "Linkedin Top Voices in Remote Work".
Why Porto?
Portugal is one of the world's most popular destinations for remote workers for a reason. It has a great vibe, you'll find a like-minded community, plenty of remote work friendly cafes and co-working spaces. Apart from that, Portugal is truly a beautiful country to explore when you're not working remotely.
What does your daily routine look like there?
After my morning work session, I spend my lunch break at one of the cozy cafes in the area because I like to switch up my work environment to increase productivity and motivation. I regularly co-work with friends, or join a co-working space (currently working from Selina Porto, I highly recommend it!).
In the evenings and weekends, I like to explore the area; for example, in the last few weeks I've joined a salsa class in Lisbon, went surfing in Ericeira, and I've been working remotely from a campervan while traveling alongside the Portuguese coast.
What are your essentials when choosing your next destination?
A few things I consider when choosing my next location are weather, remote work friendly cafes and co-working spaces with high-speed internet, a healthy lifestyle, cost of living, and the ability to surround myself with like-minded people. I usually use Nomadlist to find interesting destinations, or get recommendations from my network (for example, I'll be working remotely from Dubrovnik, Croatia in a few weeks which has been on my radar since speaking at Zagreb Digital Nomad Week last year!)
What would make this location more remote work/digital nomad friendly?
More remote workers and digital nomads! A bigger community here would be great, reach out if you visit!
Can I travel there in 2022?
As mentioned above, yes!

Varna, Bulgaria & Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Recommended by: Mitko Karshovski
Mitko is the host of That Remote Life, and the founder of Parable, a training program and community supporting people that want to switch from a traditional, corporate 9-5 lifestyle and start their own remote business.
Why Varna & Puerto Vallarta?
Currently, I have two home bases: Varna, Bulgaria & Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I would highly recommend both! Bulgaria makes for a phenomenal European home base with some of the fastest internet in Europe, a low cost of living, and a quick 2-hour flight to just about any major European city. But, Puerto Vallarta is a great spot for anyone who needs to work in a US time zone and loves the beach lifestyle. It's a bit more expensive when compared to other destinations in Mexico, but it's close to nature and has everything you need from a home base including an Apple Store, an airport, and even a Costco.
What does your daily routine look like there?
My daily routine in both Varna and Puerto Vallarta is based around working remotely from cafes, a good gym, and the sea. Being near the water and walking down the beach every day really energizes me. Puerto Vallarta has lots of cafes that are great for working online, although it lacks a good coworking space. Varna, on the other hand, has both remote work friendly cafes and a great coworking space called Innovator which is extremely welcoming to digital nomads and hosts lots of events for the community during the summer months. For me, easily getting into a productive mode and living a healthy lifestyle are key.
What are your essentials when choosing your next destination?
Fast WiFi, plenty of cafes and/or coworking spaces, and a good community. Lots of sunshine is a nice addition as well.
What would make this location more remote work/digital nomad friendly?
I think Puerto Vallarta lacks a truly great coworking space. While there are a few options, nothing really stands out. We need a space that is not just great for coworking but is actively building a community as well. There are also no low-cost housing options for nomads. Since it's a popular destination for US and Canadian expats, finding cheap Airbnbs in the most desirable parts of town is difficult. Varna could benefit from a better-connected aiport. At the moment, you need to take a short 40ish minute flight to Sofia to get global connections, which could be better. The real negative of Varna is that, unlike Mexico, I don't want to be there during all 4 seasons. It's not a place you want to spend winters in, but it's easily my favorite summer home base.
Can I travel there in 2022?
Yes! International travelers can travel to both Bulgaria and Mexico.
I would love to expand this list of great remote work locations, so let me know if you want to share yours! In addition to sharing places to work remote from, we also cover topics on how to travel and work, how to find a remote job, how to find your remote motivation, and more.

About the author

Barbara Jovanovic

Head of Content
SafetyWing
With a background in New media art and creative project management, Barbara is the Head of Content at SafetyWing and building Borderless - the ultimate resource for nomads and remote workers. She is fully nomadic and an avid photographer, sharing each new destination on her Instagram page.