The safest places in Europe for digital nomads
Traveling as a remote worker gives you a lot of opportunities for new experiences. Still, as a digital nomad or long-term traveler, you are aware that accidents might happen and that you always need to have digital nomad insurance.
Even a routine doctor’s appointment or medical examination for a visitor in a foreign country might be costly. Even if the charge is smaller than in your country of origin, it can still be a lot of money you could have spent on fun activities or a new gadget.
How we made this list:
To make sure we had as comprehensive a list as possible, we looked at several factors, including:
- The Global Peace Index: The GPI is produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace and measures each country relative to each other in terms of global peacefulness. Countries high on this list are generally considered safer for tourism and relocation than countries low on the list.
- The Gay Travel Index: The Gay Travel Index is similar to the Global Peace Index but measures the safety of LGBTQ travelers based on many factors. These include legislation, crime against members of the community, and different restrictions or laws put forth.
- Safest Cities Index: This index is a report from the Economic Intelligence Unit and ranks each major city in the world in terms of safety, updated annually.
- Research on the safest countries for solo women travelers and travelers of color.
We understand that minority groups have unique safety concerns, so we wanted to incorporate all the information we could find while compiling this list. For an added layer of protection, you should consider digital nomad insurance to protect you if an issue arises. These insurance plans can provide protection for trip cancellation or interruption, lost baggage, and medical coverage if you get hurt or sick while on the road.
Even in the safest countries, it is essential to have insurance to fall back on so you are not charged an arm and a leg just to get help when needed. As digital nomads, we have unique needs, so it is crucial to pick a plan tailored to our unique lifestyle.
- GPI Ranking: 33
- Gay Travel Index Ranking: 40
As the first country in Europe to institute a digital nomad visa, Estonia has paved the way for these individuals. You are allowed to stay in Estonia for up to a year and benefit from everything it has to offer. It is one of the safest places in Europe to visit, but don’t forget digital nomad insurance.
Also, there is a low amount of petty crime. When tourists are targeted for their passports and cash, pickpocketing can be an issue in the taverns, pubs, nightclubs, and hotels in Tallinn’s Old Town.
Be cautious when entering pubs, don’t leave your drink unattended, take sensible safety precautions, and stay away from dark parks and side streets after dark. Leave your valuables in a hotel safe if at all possible.
All visitors, including female solo travelers, are entirely safe in Tallinn. Although there aren’t many crimes in the city, you should always be careful of your surroundings, like in any other popular tourist area.
Tallinn is a fairytale-like city with its medieval walls and incredible architecture. At the same time, this city has stepped up as the first digital nomad hub in Europe to introduce a digital nomad visa. They place a high priority on digitalization and wifi, making it the ideal location for nomads.
While the winters might be rather chilly, the summers are pleasant and breathtakingly gorgeous. However, Tallinn might be the ideal location for you after all if you enjoy snowy days and dressing warmly. Keep yourself warm by drinking hot beverages in indoor meetups and conferences for ex-pats and remote workers.
Tallinn’s cost of living is comparable to other cities in Western Europe. Unfortunately, you shouldn’t start here if you want to save money. The quality of life is excellent, and you’ll feel extremely at home here.
If you are already in Estonia and want to see more than the capital, Tartu is a great place to start exploring. It is a very safe city to travel to. Despite the relatively low crime rate, it is still advised to always be on guard, store your valuables in a secure location, and drive carefully.
The second largest city in Estonia, Tartu, is renowned for being a university town with many events and excellent cafes and bars. It is significantly smaller than Tallinn in terms of both population and area. You can walk across it in a few hours, though e-bikes and buses are also offered as part of the city’s public transportation.
It still has a limited number of inexpensive coworking spaces, despite not having quite the same magnetic draw to start-ups and entrepreneurs. However, if you don’t find a place you like, you can always work out of cute coffee shops downtown.
- GPI Ranking: 15
- Gay Travel Index Ranking: 51
Croatia has a lot to offer. With the recently introduced digital nomad visa, it is rising to the top of the list of European countries where digital nomads love to travel, especially in the summertime. Safety, culture, gastronomy, and friendly locals are advantages of this great country.
There are few violent crimes, and crime overall is low. Use caution in popular tourist places where pickpockets are known to operate. Don’t carry a lot of cash with you. Never leave valuables unattended, especially on the beach. If you can, use the safe in the hotel.
Having safety issues in Zagreb is not extremely common because Croatia, including Zagreb, is a reasonably safe place. However, as in any large city with many tourists, some dangerous neighborhoods should be avoided at night.
Although foreigners are widely accepted and welcomed, you can encounter beggars on the street. Also, avoid groups of intoxicated young people who might create a fight or conflict if you go out at night.
Zagreb is one of the top cities for digital nomads in Croatia. Because of its reliable wifi, Zagreb has long been a destination for tourists who work remotely. Because it is situated inland and not on the sea, Zagreb is frequently disregarded. However, it is a modern city with many public areas with free wifi and several excellent coworking places that offer daily or monthly subscriptions.
There are many activities available in Zagreb as well. There is something for everyone, from going to museums to shopping to taking in the well-maintained parks and gardens. Living expenses in Zagreb are also affordable. For the money you pay, the quality of living is outstanding.
Similar to Croatia as a whole, Split is regarded as a secure location, especially when contrasted to some of the busiest and most prominent cities in the world. So if you visit Split off-season, you will see fewer people on the street and almost no tourists, making it feel like home for you too.
Split has a magnificent old city that encircles the water and was constructed inside Diocletian’s Palace. Within the palace and its twisting limestone alleyways are stores, eateries, and cafes.
Compared to other European cities, Split has a reasonable cost of living. But in the summertime, it is harder to find reasonably priced long-term apartments because of all the tourists visiting. Therefore, it is not uncommon that your lease will last only until May or June, so get ready to negotiate.
There are a lot of cafes with wifi but not many coworking spaces nearby. However, this city is even more popular than Zagreb for the digital nomad community, and you will easily find your tribe.
- GPI Ranking: 6
- Gay Travel Index Ranking: 2
This European country has a lot of qualities, from stunning coast to historical cities, food, culture, and music. Many digital nomads in the EU and worldwide have already made this place their base.
Portugal is the solution if you’re a digital nomad who’s still trying to decide which country is best for working from. Although it is very safe, you should be aware of petty crime and always be careful with your belongings, especially on the beach. So it is a great idea to get digital nomad insurance if you travel to Portugal.
Portugal has been one of the most popular locations for digital nomads since it is a safe and expat-friendly country. It provides every amenity a person would need while working abroad. Good internet access, proximity to nature, delicious and exciting food, beautiful weather, vibrant culture, and affordable housing await you in Portugal.
An extremely safe city is Lisbon. In reality, according to the European Safety Observatory, it constantly rates as one of the safest cities in Europe, and most visitors have no issues at all.
Lisbon offers unique Portuguese culture along with more city activity. Be aware that Lisbon has a little higher cost of living than Porto or other coastal cities, but it is worth the visit even if you don’t stay here for longer.
Digital nomads can enjoy bright beach days, water activities, and nighttime sunsets at this coastal location. The cuisine is also delicious and reasonably priced, which is ideal for the wandering nomad.
In this city, coworking spaces are springing up everywhere. Additionally, most cafes have wifi connections with an average download speed of 25 Mbps. You will undoubtedly find a sizable presence of the community in this particular digital nomad location.
There isn’t much crime in Madeira, and what there is doesn’t frequently target tourists. Even everyday traveler worries like pickpocketing are highly uncommon in Madeira.
Madeira comprises four islands and offers digital nomads a tropical setting with Portuguese culture and traditions. Most likely, you were unaware that Madeira is home to the first town of digital nomads. They’re a surprisingly welcoming destination for digital nomads, whether you choose to reside in the town or travel the islands alone.
The island has a flawless wifi connection with a typical download speed of 79 Mbps, which is more than three times faster than the speed of Lisbon cafes. You can go to a coworking space in the capital city or pick a beautiful, peaceful cafe.
The cost of living isn’t high, given that you’re on an island. Some things might be more expensive than they would be if you were on the mainland, but it is a small amount to pay for the breathtaking view you are taking in.
- GPI Ranking: 29
- Gay Travel Index Ranking: 2
One of the safest countries in the world is Spain. There are minimal safety precautions based on theft prevention, just like in any other place. Although trips to Spain are generally trouble-free, you should be aware of the possibility of street crime, particularly criminals using deception tactics. Thieves typically operate in groups of two or more people and target cash and passports.
Spain is the second most visited country in the world, with over 80 million tourists arriving there each year. It is home to great historical towns, some of the most famous artists in the world, fantastic football, and passionate people. These are just some reasons why so many digital nomads choose this destination for their next home.
Barcelona is a pretty safe city overall. Pickpockets are prevalent in Barcelona, as they are in most major cities. Famous landmarks and attractions are crowded with tourists who aren’t paying attention because of the heavy tourist influx in this area. For example, most tourists that have experienced pickpocketing have this experience in areas like in front of Sagrada Familia.
Barcelona is a dream-like city for digital nomads. There is something for everyone here, from restaurants and nightlife to the beach and art. After working from one of the numerous internet cafes and coworking spaces dispersed across the city, you may spend your afternoons lounging at La Barceloneta, which is situated directly on the Mediterranean Sea beachfront.
Not to mention the incredible tapas restaurants and the fantastic nightlife you’ll discover. You can ride the metro and buses almost anyplace you want to go in the city, thanks to elementary modes of transportation.
Gaudi’s distinctive and beautiful architecture will undoubtedly astound you. Don’t forget to take a stroll through the Gothic Quarter for another trip back in time. Don’t expect to save much money in Barcelona, especially when it comes to renting, as it may be out of reach for some digital nomads.
The capital of Spain, Madrid, is brimming with world-class tapas joints, recognizable boulevards, and timeless artwork. Madrid is a safe location, like the majority of destinations in Spain, which is excellent to know if you are planning to stay here for longer.
Madrid should be the top choice of potential residences if you adore the thought of living in a sizable Spanish city. It is another location where digital nomads can thrive and pursue their interests and hobbies because it is the most populous city in Spain.
Reliable wifi isn’t challenging to find in this magnificent city because there are so many coworking spaces and coffee shops to pick from. But, as there is so much to do on the weekends, including enjoying the nightlife, seeing churches and museums, you won’t ever get bored.
Since Madrid’s cost of living is likely to be relatively similar to Barcelona’s, you might want to set aside a little bit more money for your stay here.
Regarding safety, European cities are some of the best places to relax and live a laid-back lifestyle. However, because it is visited by millions of people every year, some pickpocketing and other petty crime are common in touristy areas, so having digital nomad insurance is a must.