Madrid named top city in Europe for digital nomads

Study looked at vital factors for remote working, including the availability of co-working spaces, the cost of a coffee and fun things to do in one's downtime

17 October 2023 - 13:34 By Elizabeth Sleith
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Street scene in downtown, Madrid. Stock image.
Street scene in downtown, Madrid. Stock image.
Image: / ivantagan

In our rapidly evolving world, where technology breaks down borders and redefines the way many of us work, digital nomads are modern-day wanderers who have turned the world into their office. As their numbers grow, so does their quest to find the perfect destination: a city that offers not just reliable Wi-Fi and comfortable workspaces but also a vibrant culture, breathtaking scenery and a rich history waiting to be explored in the hours between work.

But when the world is your oyster, choosing wisely where to go next can be a job all on its own. Now, a UK-based money-transfer service has crunched the numbers to pinpoint the best cities in Europe for remote workers.

The study by compared more than 20 of the most popular cities using several key criteria — including the number of co-working spaces, the broadband speed, the cost of accommodation and cappuccinos and the number of attractions to enjoy in one's downtime — and decided the number one city is Madrid, Spain.

Jonathan Merry of, explains: “Madrid strikes the perfect balance between some of the most important things to working professionals. It boasts a cheap cost of living and an average nightly accommodation cost of just £89.20 [about R2,037] — that’s the third cheapest cost out of any city on the ranking (after Warsaw and Bucharest).”

And while living costs are relatively low, Madrid offers lightning-fast broadband speeds and about 185 co-working spaces — not to mention the array of bars and restaurants that people can work from, plus more than 3,500 things to do in one's downtime.

In second place is another Spanish city, Barcelona, with 186 state-of-the-art co-working spaces, fast internet and a vibrant infrastructure with plenty of things to do (almost 5,000).

In third place is Romania's largest city and capital, Bucharest, which the study calls “a hidden gem” with its low-cost accommodation, super-quick broadband and plenty of things to keep you occupied.

Below is the full top 10 ranking: 

  1. Madrid, Spain
  2. Barcelona, Spain
  3. Bucharest, Romania
  4. Budapest, Hungary
  5. Paris, France
  6. Berlin, Germany
  7. London, England
  8. Warsaw, Poland
  9. Prague, Czech Republic
  10. Lisbon, Portugal

Edinburgh comes out as the lowest-ranked on the list of 20 due in part to its accommodation costs being highest overall (even higher than London).

View the full results of the study here.

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