Lonely Planet Writer

These are the top destinations for digital nomads, according to Instagram

According to Instagram, Bali is the top destination for digital nomads in 2018. GapYearEscape.com analysed 12,000 Instagram images to determine the 25 most popular destinations for digital nomads – the people who have swapped traditional office spaces to work remotely in a coffee shop in Berlin or a beachside bar with free Wi-Fi in Barcelona.

Bali is the most popular destination for digital nomads, according to Instagram. Image by Image by Jokoleo/Getty 

When the average traveller lands in a city like Paris or Lisbon, their first step might be to check into their hotel and then head to the nearest pastry shop en route to a top tourist attraction. But digital nomads are not your average travellers. They live and work nomadically, having unchained themselves from their desks to become “location independent workers” or digital nomads. They travel and freelance work, choosing their location based on a variety of factors, typically Wi-Fi speed, the cost of living, local lifestyle and average temperatures.

Lisbon is the place to be right now for digital nomads. Image by ©Greg Elms/Lonely Planet

“With the increase in co-working spaces, internet infrastructure, remote jobs and the desire to live the laptop lifestyle, the number of digital nomads is on the rise,” according to Amar Hussain founder of GapYearEscape.com. “Digital nomads have no limits geographically so there are plenty of dream destinations to live and work.”

The old Marais neighbourhood has great cafes that are ideal for working remotely. Image by Page Light Studios/Shutterstock

GapYearEscape.com has analysed 12,000 Instagram images to determine the 25 most popular destinations for digital nomads. As one of the largest social sharing platforms on the planet, Instagram is a popular place for digital nomads to share their adventures with over 1.9m images posted with the hashtag #digitalnomad.

Chiang Mai is one of the most popular destinations for digital nomads. Image by Getty

A recent and separate study from Nomadlist.com found that Kaohsiung, Taiwan is one of the cheapest places for digital nomads to live, based on staying short-term (up to three months) in a place, staying in a cheap hotel in the centre of the city and eating out three times per day. Surprisingly, it didn’t make this list and not every location in the GapYearEscape’s top 25 would be classed as budget destinations but many are affordable with great opportunities to travel and explore.

London is one of the most popular cities for this new breed of digital nomad worker. Image by Valdis Skudre/Shutterstock

Bali is the top spot with digital nomads attracted by the sun, surf, yoga, co-working spaces, culture and cost of living. The most popular continent is Europe with nearly half of the destinations popular with digital nomads located here. The other destinations that make up the top 10 list are: London, UK; Chiang Mai, Thailand; Lisbon, Portugal; Barcelona, Spain; New York, USA; Bangkok, Thailand; Los Angeles, USA; Paris, France; Berlin, Germany.

Khao San Road, Bangkok
Bangkok’s vibrant culture attracts digital nomads. Photo by: Noppasin Wongchum/Shutterstock

“The analysis was conducted by analysing the location data of over 12,000 Instagram images that were tagged #digitalnomad,” says Amar Hussain, Founder of Gap Year Escape. “We’ve created a handy interactive map on our website that details the rankings and provides more information on digital nomads.”

Los Angeles’ digital culture attracts freelance workers who love the sun and stars. Image: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

For more information and to see the map with the full list of top 25 destinations visit Gap Year Escape.