Is Western Europe the Best Place for Digital Nomads?

Hi all! When it comes to digital nomads, everyone has an image of Southeast Asia with a warm climate, inexpensive living, and generally comfortable conditions. At least that's how it was for me. However, as a digital nomad, I decided to try something new and live and work in Eastern Europe, and stay in countries such as Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Serbia, and Bulgaria (Turkey and Georgia can also be included here, however, I was there for a very short time).

In this post, I will share my general impressions of the life of a digital nomad in these countries, why I suddenly decided to try to live and work here, and why I am not satisfied with the usual destinations of digital nomads - like Southeast Asia, Latin America, and southern European countries. There will be a lot of interesting things and I think for you, if you are a digital nomad, it will be useful.

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Why Eastern Europe?

I am from Serbia myself and for me, Eastern Europe is the home that I love. Despite the fact that I was looking for variety and new emotions for myself, I did not want to go far, I am too attached to home. I love the culture of my region, the people who live here, the food they eat here, and the cost of living I can afford. But this is far from the only reason why I chose Eastern Europe.

When I was on the island of Bali a few years ago, which is such a hub for all digital nomads, I realized that this place is overhyped - yes, there is sun, sea, beautiful beaches, inexpensive living, fast internet, but there are also many tourists who create a lot of noise, traffic jams from mopeds and noise drunk in the bar. This applies to every country in Southeast Asia from Vietnam to the Philippines. I wanted to move away from this as much as possible, I wanted a quiet place for work, where there are not so many tourists, but at the same time, it is also comfortable to live.

I thought for a long time about where this place and where this region is, and I realized that I actually live in such a region and decided to live in neighboring countries, the Baltic countries, and the countries near the Black Sea. I found in them the peace that I was looking for, and quite unexpectedly for myself, I found so much diversity in seemingly neighboring countries.


Between countries, I moved mainly by trains. I decided that by traveling on the ground, I would see more. Plus, it's a much cheaper way to get around. Probably, so did the elderly and pensioners, whom I constantly encountered on the train. Literally every trip I got into a tourist group with a guide and an organizer with a sign so that no one gets lost. But about pensioners a little later.

Rail Baltica - Train Map

Rail Baltica - Train Map (source)

I traveled as cheaply as possible. Trains between the Baltic States, a plane from Warsaw to Sofia, and then I even managed to travel by hitchhiking to Turkey and by bus to Georgia. In a word, I did not fly past all the beauties of the region and saved funds. It seems to me that for all transport between countries, it did not take me more than $100.


Yes, in Eastern Europe it would be foolish to expect heat in winter. I myself live in this region and I know perfectly well what it is like here in winter - I don’t want to go outside at all. These are not paradise islands where you can swim and sunbathe all year round - here you always need to carry a sweater in your backpack, especially in the Baltic countries - sometimes there is such a wind that I think you can fly to Finland on an umbrella. Haven't tested it and don't recommend it.

In winter, in the countries I have visited, it is not cold, but wet. Snow almost never lies for long and melts within minutes or, at best, hours after landing. In winter, eternal slush. In the Baltic countries, the strong wind, it seems to me, never calms down, and to the south, in Turkey and Georgia, it rains and terrible storms, from which even buildings are shaking.

In summer, the situation is much better and the temperatures are not much different from South Asian ones - the same heat. The only difference is that in the southeastern countries, you can escape from hell in the sea and ocean, but not here. The Baltic Sea, it seems to me, never warms up, a lot of people swim, but during my stay, the water temperature rarely rose above 17C. Swimming is real, but not longer than a minute.

Sunset in Turkey, Gazipasa

Sunset in Turkey, Gazipasa

In Bulgaria, Turkey, and Georgia, this is much better. All such Black Sea and the Mediterranean are much more southerly, they warm up well in summer. In Turkey, for the first time, I had a feeling in which I was hot in the water, and the sand was so hot that if you put a kettle on it, it would certainly boil. For me, as a person who had never lived by the sea before, literally, everything was a surprise - I first saw jellyfish and dolphins in Turkey and built a pyramid of beach stones in Georgia.

Standard of Living

Perhaps this is another reason why I chose this particular region. In Southeast Asia and Latin America, areas where digital nomads are the most if you go beyond the tourist zone, you can stumble upon favelas, poor and not very safe areas, or just be sure that the taxi driver is deceiving you, demanding 7 times more money than initially dissuaded (my personal pain).

In this region, it is much more difficult to face this - you need to specifically look for such areas or specifically give the taxi driver a lot of money without asking for change. All the same, most of the countries that I have visited as a digital nomad are either part of the European Union or really want to join it, which means that the bar for the standard of living of local residents is quite high.

I am ready to put up with an unpredictable climate for the sake of confidence that the price for renting an apartment will not change in one day, jumping up twice, or that the local market will not deceive me by writing a larger weight of fruit. In these countries, this has never happened to me - I always felt safe, among people who will always show you the way and can even treat you to a glass of beer if they like you (yes, this happened once in Poland).

How About Work?

Talking about the standard of living and transport, I completely forgot about the most important thing - work. After all, first of all, I am a digital nomad, and only then a tourist and a traveler. I have always worked in co-working spaces, simply because I consider it wrong to be in another country and work at home. I wanted to interact with the locals, although not so much in a working atmosphere, but still.

As for the Internet, mobile, and home, to be honest, I was upset. Yes, the speed was enough for personal needs and for work, but I expected much higher speeds. I will attach a link below to a website where you can independently see the speed of the Internet in these countries. On average, the speed of the Internet connection was about the same as at home (in Serbia), or even lower (as, for example, in Latvia or Georgia and Turkey).

Internet Speed by Coutry 2023

Internet Speed by Coutry 2023 (source)

It was more comfortable for me to work in the Baltic countries - there are much more modern co-working spaces, and people from completely different parts of the world are much more sociable (which surprised me very much, to be honest). I got home on a comfortable small old tram or bicycle (in Riga, for example, everything is equipped for this). I even had ideas to go to Finland by ferry, but decided to leave Scandinavia for later.

The Cost of Living

I will say right away what interests you the most - I rented one-room apartments for an average of $500 in all countries. If in Poland I rented a flat for about $650, then in Turkey or Georgia it was possible to find decent housing for $350. So the average cost of housing is about $500. At the same time, I lived in ordinary sleeping areas, where local residents live, and not in the center of the capital. (Advice: Try to avoid Airbnb. The prices there are overerated)

For grocery, food delivery, coffee, and restaurants I spent about the same amount ($400-$500). In Turkey, products are much cheaper (~ $300/mon) than in other countries and the quality is much better because all the fruits and vegetables that are imported to Europe are grown there. Of course, the prices cannot be compared with the prices of Southeast Asia, where you can live on this money for a whole month, but the quality of the products is no worse.

As for the Internet, the cost pleasantly surprised me, because the prices for mobile and home Internet in these countries are much cheaper than at home. I will attach statistics on the cost of the Internet, as well as a link to the source of the statistics below if you want to see the numbers yourself.

Internet Prices in Europe by Country 2023

Internet Prices in Europe by Country 2023 (source)


This point is rather my observation, which may seem interesting to someone. I very often paid attention to the people with whom I communicate, who surround me in general, and drew attention to the fact that I am mostly surrounded by the same tourists, but much older than me, pensioners. On trains, I met Germans, French people in cars, Italians on the embankment near the port of the Baltic Sea, and so on.

And in general, I understand why pensioners are so drawn here - in these countries, it is very quiet and very calm, there is a measured life here that does not require haste, and pensioners here can afford much more than at home because prices are lower. At the same time, young people travel from these countries to work in Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, and in general move to the West, where salaries are higher.

So it turns out that there are not many young people in the countries of Eastern Europe and the local population is quite old. Official statistics prove my words. I'll attach the stats below and also a link if you'd like to check it out for yourself. Therefore, when I concluded that these countries are very peaceful, quiet, and calm, and therefore it is comfortable to work and live here, I was not mistaken.

Average Age by Country 2023

Average Age by Country 2023 (source)


So, in this post, I told you about what it is like to live and work as a digital nomad in Eastern Europe, in my partly native region. I got a lot of new emotions and experiences while traveling around these countries and realized that there is no better place for meditation than the beaches of the Baltic Sea, I realized that there is no better market than Turkish and I realized that there is no greater hospitality than in Georgia.

In these countries, you are unlikely to find beach parties, as in Kuala Lumpur or Bali, but here you can find the peace and tranquility that I have been looking for for so long and finally found it. Now I am thinking about how to move to live permanently in one of the Baltic countries. I wish you to find that very place of peace.


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