If the COVID-19 pandemic brought anything positive to the world, that’s definitely the increased popularity of remote jobs. Most of us are no longer stuck in tiny offices but have more freedom to explore the world and work not only from home but simply wherever we have access to the Internet.
Therefore, more and more people use the opportunity to work remotely from a number of attractive European locations. The number of digital nomads increased, but there is also another trend that has emerged - workation. What is it, why is it so popular and what are the best workation locations in Europe in 2022?
What is workation?
Workation is a term combining two words: “work” and “vacation”. This means nothing but combining traveling and exploring another location while working remotely. In this way, it is possible to travel much longer than during a typical vacation as there’s no need to take days off. You can still continue working 9-5 and enjoy a new location in your free time.
Workation obviously has many benefits. It helps to get away from the daily routine, get more relaxed and simply spend much more time in beautiful locations without the need to rush back home to work after a week or two. It’s a priceless opportunity to feel like a local person and enjoy the daily life of habitants which is usually not accessible during a short-term visit. The ability to change the environment and work from a much more appealing place also boosts motivation, improves creativity and impacts the overall attitude toward work.
How to start your vacation in Europe? There are only a few simple rules that must be applied:
the ability to work remotely and from abroad
income able to cover costs of living in a foreign country
ability to travel freely (with limited luggage and a Schengen visa)
booking accommodation in advance (to get the best prices)
choosing a digital nomad-friendly location.
Now, let’s move on to the top European workation locations to provide you with an outstanding workation experience.
Top workation locations in Europe 2022
Before we start to dwell on the topic of places worth visiting, let’s see what factors are important when choosing a location for remote work. You should definitely take into account:
Prices. It might be challenging to live in a country where daily life is much more expensive than at home. This is why we decided to focus mostly on affordable locations and some European hidden gems to make sure that you will be able to enjoy your workation to the fullest.
Internet speed and coworking spaces. There’s nothing more annoying than a poor Internet connection while you’re trying to work remotely. Also, the presence of coworking spaces where you can meet digital nomads is valuable.
Quality of life. No one wants to worry about high crime rates, poor access to health facilities or insufficient infrastructure. All the places in our interview meet European standards and will provide you with a comfortable and undisturbed stay.
Visa and COVID-19 situation. Although in summer 2022 most of the restrictions are already gone, the situation is still dynamic and unpredictable. This is why we suggest places with easy access without the COVID-19 certificate.
Culture and attractions. Of course, you travel for a reason - you want to really enjoy whatever your workation spots have to offer. Therefore, we provided you with outstanding locations with great nature or historic or cultural heritage to explore.
Friendliness of locals and English speaking. Living abroad, even for a short while, comes along with integration with local people. Then, the ability to communicate with them will be definitely a plus.
The Canary Islands has been one of the most popular workation destinations for many years. Affordable prices, amazing weather all year long, a variety of landscapes and easy access from a number of European locations make it a perfect spot for digital nomads. In such a location, you can successfully combine working with all the playful activities that the islands have to offer.
Most of the islands are accessible by ferry or plane and it’s pretty easy to get around by car or even public transportation. A stable Internet connection and London timezone make connecting with workmates or clients convenient within standard working hours. There is also a number of cafes and coworking spots for digital nomads and a friendly international community. Affordable accommodation is available at both luxury hotels and private, cozy apartments, which makes it easy to find comfortable short-term or long-term housing.
Thanks to a number of tourists that visited this location in 2020 and 2021 due to the lack of pandemic restrictions, Albania gained in popularity. In 2022, it is the 9th most popular workation location according to the Work from Wherever Index published by KAYAK, and 15th place in the global pool overtaking iconic digital nomad hubs such as Thailand or Mexico.
And this has not happened for no reason. Albania offers breathtaking nature, and pleasant weather all year long, and a number of great apartments to let at one of the Mediterranean locations such as Vlore or Durres. For those who prefer city vibes and less touristy spots, Tirana, the capital, will be also a perfect choice. No matter where you stay, there is always a stable Internet connection and one of the lowest hotel and housing prices in the world, which makes Albania a perfect location for all digital nomads.
As a Balkan sister of Albania, Montenegro is also attracting tourists with breathtaking, one-of-a-kind landscapes and nearly untouched Mediterranean nature. The country, despite the EUR currency, also offers affordable prices and convenient locations to stay both short-term and long-term. If you don’t mind summer crowds, you can first try out Budva which is just a short ride away from one of the most stunning European spots called the Bay of Kotor. However, if you prefer finding accommodation in smaller but cozy locations, you can always turn your steps to Herceg Novi or Bar region.
Much cheaper than nearby Croatian, Montenegro will soon attract many tourists as well as digital nomads. From there you can also easily move around the Balkans and explore the variety they have to offer.
As the first European capital in the overview, this vibrant city will provide you with a variety of attractions related to art, culture and music. Much more modern than the Balkans, it will be a perfect spot for those who prefer Western vibes. In the city, you will find a number of cozy cafes by the stunning Amsterdam channels where digital nomads can spend their day working, enjoying completing daily tasks and exploring the magic of the Dutch iconic city. Amsterdam is also a perfect starting point for tours around the Netherlands, Belgium and Northern Germany.
At Amsterdam Standard, we are huge fans of Amsterdam as well as remote work. Our employees are free to spend their workation at our Amsterdam apartment fully prepared for short-term and long-term stays. Thanks to this, they can use the opportunity to work from another country and enjoy all the workation benefits.
If you haven’t visited this spot yet, you should definitely do it! Budapest is one of the most beautiful European cities - some sources and visitors claim that it even outshines the iconic Rome or Vienna. Vibrant nightlife, affordable prices, excellent wine, and a lot of greenery make the city one of the best places to visit - and work remotely, too.
Staying in Budapest is a great idea all year long. In summer, you can spend some time at Margit Island, the island on the Danube river, or relax at one of many thermal pools available in the city. You can also make a short trip to one of the remote spots accessible by trains, such as Visegrad or Szentendre. Winter is a perfect time to enjoy amazing ruin pubs and hot thermal baths, not even to mention the rich historical and cultural heritage that the city has to offer. Affordable rent and food prices make it easy to stay long-term - you can get a coffee for just 1.20 EUR and rent a room or small apartment from 400 to 800 EUR per month.
Slovenia, although frequently skipped in a number of overviews of the best locations for workation and digital nomads, is a hidden European gem definitely worth exploring. You would be surprised by the beauty that this country has to offer, starting with lovely Ljubljana, the capital, and finishing with iconic locations such as Bled Lake, Triglav peak and Postojna Cave. If you’re craving adventure, you can also try out one of the rafting organized right there.
For your workation, you can choose either the vibrant capital offering rich cultural life or one of smaller town of spots for more relaxing and cozy experience. As Slovenia is a part of the EU, you can enjoy all the benefits offered by the European country, such as fast Internet connection, easy access to healthcare, and overall safety.
This iconic city of Andalusia is a great choice for an all-year-long workation stay with its amazing weather and great access to beaches, natural landscapes and vibrant nightlife. While staying in Malaga, you can enjoy the vibes of Spain away from the crowds, and you will be just a short ride away from stunning attractions such as Ronda, Gibraltar or Seville. Malaga is definitely one of the best workation spots in Spain considering prices, climate, weather and access to culture and Mediterranean nature.
Moreover, Spain is the world’s second best country for remote work, according to the Work from Wherever Index. This result is based on fast internet speed, a high number of restaurants and cafes per capita, access to co-working spaces, and the availability of remote visas for freelancers. Then, feel free to explore also other locations in Spain.
As this is Portugal which was ranked the best country to work remotely, we simply couldn’t skip Lisbon in this overview. Similar to Malaga, it’s an all-year-long sunny and affordable destination for digital nomads. Lisbon offers amazing wine and food, excellent sweets and the soothing presence of the ocean. On the other side, it’s a European hub with all the modern facilities required by digital nomads, including a vibrant community and access to co-working spaces. Moreover, the city is not only accessible from many European cities with just a short flight, but also it’s a great spot for flying off to Portuguese islands such as Azores or Madeira.
If you’re a fan of Italian vibes and cuisine, Bari will be one of the best places for you to go. With affordable prices and excellent Italian food, you will surely enjoy small and less touristy spots far away from huge locations like Rome or Milan that will provide you with the most authentic Italian experience. From Bari, you can also reach and explore a lovely region of Puglia.
Regarding the prices, renting a studio flat in Bari should not exceed 700 EUR for two people, so it’s a great opportunity for all digital nomads or workation enthusiasts that would like to spend some time at the Italian seaside and enjoy the opportunity to integrate with locals.
Last but not least, this hidden gem will be a great choice for those who prefer more chilly weather and stay away from crowds. If you have never thought about this destination, you should definitely try it for yourself. The capital of Estonia perfectly combines modern and medieval styles and offers a friendly vibe for both locals and incomers. In summer, you will experience long days without paying Scandinavian prices, while in winter you will enjoy a traditional Estonian sauna or even a glimpse of the northern light if you’re lucky. From Tallinn, you will be also able to explore the shore of the Baltic sea or take a short trip to Helsinki as it’s only two hours away by ferry.
The other things that make it a perfect workation location are fast Internet connection, the opportunity to meet other remote workers and ability to communicate in English.
So, which location do YOU choose for your next European workation?