Follow Your Zen: 8 Peaceful Digital Nomad Destinations in 2024

by | Apr 16, 2024 | 4 comments

What are the BEST peaceful digital nomad destinations? Well, that’s an excellent question. And one only you can truly answer. Alas, I’m here to help.

As travelers, we cycle through different phases: In some phases, you might wish to meet all the people. In others, you might desire a deeper spiritual connection. And a few months from now, you may need a peaceful destination that is conducive to launching your next big project.

This guide is compiled to help you find these peaceful digital nomad destinations, based on your needs. Some of them are widely known, and others are hidden gems in the digital nomad world. 

I’ve collected a list of peaceful destinations that support your spiritual, business, and lifestyle needs. They have one thing in common: each destination can be or become a peaceful, tranquil destination for you.

Click through to the type of location you’re looking for. If you’re not sure what you need, and require inspiration for your next few peaceful digital nomad destinations, grab a cup of coffee and read the entire post top to bottom. 

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What is the cheapest peaceful digital nomad destination?

Well, let’s get this out of the way: Contrary to popular belief, it’s not Ubud, Bali. The post-Eat. Pray. Love-era of Bali has turned Ubud into one of the most overrun tourist hotspots in the area. Expats with real-estate businesses and locals alike make lucrative use of that development.

As a result, the cost of living inside the city has taken on Western standards and you don’t get a good bang for your buck (read: the value is not great). Make no mistake: Ubud is an incredibly special city and you shouldn’t miss it. But, for the sake of this post, let it be known that you won’t necessarily have a tranquil experience of paradise if you’re going there on a ‘cheap’ budget. More on that below.

Instead, give Ella and Hoi An a shot.

Ella, Sri Lanka

peaceful digital nomad destinations

Why you should go

Nestled in the mountains of Sri Lanka, Ella is a picturesque and tranquil destination for backpackers and nomads alike. Ella offers a pristine mixture of friendly and welcoming locals, stunning nature to explore by hiking, native and international cuisine, and mind-boggling value in accommodations.

My next stop in Ella will be long-term as I loved it so much the first time around. That said, my first introduction to the island was as a backpacker and just for a week, and Aimee at Snap Happy Travel put the perfect 7-day Sri Lanka itinerary together if you’re in that camp, too.

How to get there

If you’re flying into Sri Lanka, you’ll be flying into Colombo (CMB). From there, you can easily take a bus, or train, or hire private transport. The buses are not air-conditioned, and I don’t recommend eating beforehand. These buses are rough on the spine and stomach alike.

If you’re already on the island, any hostel and hotel can easily arrange a private transfer between cities. Alternatives are, again, buses and trains. Bus schedules are confusing, but friendly locals will guide you to the right bus and have the bus driver tell you when to get off.

Cost of living

Overlooked by many tourists, Ella’s cost of living is among the lowest on the island. The little town boasts restaurants serving delicious food for $2 to $4. I remember staying there as a backpacker on a shoestring budget and never even getting close to my daily budget of $25, including accommodation. I also remember eating like a queen there. 

Accommodations

If you’re on a shoestring budget, I enjoyed staying just outside the main city at “Pepper Hills Hostels”, however, they seem to be out of business. Bless their heart. The area was amazing, though. As an alternative, I recommend “9 Hills Ella“, starting at $8 a night. Here, you will wake up to a stunning sunset every morning, over breakfast, and catch the bus into town just outside the house.

If you’re working while traveling, and staying for a month or two, these options are great: 

And for a more luxurious get-away, this cute hotel will make your stay special:

Aralia Villa is a chic and cosy villa, situated just outside of Ella, along the Main Street leading into downtown. Therefore, this is a place to wake up in tranquility, to the stunning mountain views, before heading into the hustle and bustle of the maintain. The bus will be nearby and Grab will have an easy time finding your location. Kitchen, WiFi, breakfast, and private bathroom included.

Safety & Visa requirements

Back when I was backpacking as a solo female, I felt safe and comfortable: no catcalling, no shady salespeople. It was the place I felt the MOST comfortable, thanks to the kind and friendly locals all around. Kindness attracts kindness.

That said, do keep an eye on the political situation in the country as it’s been quite unstable in recent years and might affect both immigration and safety on the ground.

Visa requirements are straightforward. You need a visa on arrival which costs around $50, depending on your passport. You’re strongly encouraged to apply for your visa before arrival. If you fall in love with the island, you can extend your initial visa three times: by 60 days the first time, and by 90 days the following two times. Pretty generous if you ask me.

Getting Around

The local buses run regularly and cost 7 cents per ride. Tuk Tuks are all-around and typically overcharged. When I was there, Grab wasn’t yet as popular, but I hear it’s become a reliable and cheap way of getting from A to B. My hostel dad used to offer me rides into town for free, too.

Don’t miss

  • A thorough meditation on top of Little Adam’s Peak. Grab a coconut for the way up, and a lunch at some of the many restaurants on the way down. 
  • A sunrise hike to Ella Rock Trailhead. The hike isn’t too strenuous, but I recommend wearing appropriate shoes. I didn’t, slipped, and fell by a good 5 meters on the way down. The sunrise views are incredible, and not many get out of bed in time, so you’ll likely have the entire peak to yourself for a peaceful and solitary morning meditation. 
  • Catch a tea tour while you’re there, and certainly make use of the many waterfalls running around Ella. 
  • Be sure you let yourself be showered by the love Ella’s school kids seem to have in excess, and share with foreigners generously by noisily waving out of the school bus, wishing you a ‘beautiful day’. 

Hoi An, Viet Nam

Why you should go

If it wasn’t for the bustling downtown, I’d call Hoi An a sleepy beach town. It certainly ranks amongst my top 3 most peaceful digital nomad destinations I’ve found so far. 

Situated just 20 minutes south of Da Nang in central Vietnam, Hoi An offers long beach walks along a pristine range of beaches, authentic cultural experiences inside the Downtown, and plenty of Buddhist temples within 10 driving minutes. 

To me, it’s the epitome of a peaceful digital nomad destination as it’s overlooked by many, but still offers all the amenities needed to keep your business growing. 

I was there in 2019 and found the town to be quaint, uncorrupted by tourists, and full of wisdom. On account of a fellow traveling couple, Intentional Nomads, it’s kept its special flare, and I shall report back once I’ve landed back there in May. 

How to get there

You can fly into Da Nang (DAD), a tiny little airport that serves most airlines from Asia, and take a Grab car from the airport into Hoi An. The ride should take no more than 30 minutes.

If you’re already in the country, you can take busses from Da Lat, Ho Chi Minh, and Hanoi, or fly. Honestly, the buses are not great and while I didn’t have the money to fly as a backpacker, I absolutely booked a flight from Hanoi to Da Nang this time around. I like my back too much.

Cost of living

Vietnam is emerging as one of the cheapest countries in South East Asia. It’s quite hard to go over your grocery budget. That said, I have overeaten more than once at sea-view restaurants because the food was so damn cheap: below $4 for a full tummy from three dishes. A massage will set you back between $8 and $20 depending on your standards. The most expensive (and unforgettable) experience I had there was a full-day scuba diving trip for $85.

Accommodations

If you’re on a shoestring budget, or looking for a romantic get-away with your significant other, HANDS DOWN, book Under the Coconut Tree. I got this recommendation from a college friend and kept extending my stay because it was so amzing: They offer dorm rooms and private bungalows, an amazing onsite restaurant, and are located a mere 2 minutes walk, on sand, from the beach. 

If you’re a working nomad and staying for a month or two, we just booked this cosy looking AirBnb, a little North of Hoi An, and have been enchanted with the host’s kind and attentive communication. Updates to come in a month. 

For a more luxurious get-away, resorts and luxury villas are popping up left and right. I’d recommend finding a place just south of Hoi An, or anwhere between Da Nang and Hoi An to enjoy the luxury in a calm and peaceful spot. 

Safety & Visa requirements

Downtown Hoi An tends to get crowdy and you’ll want to keep your belongings near by and ziplocked. Besides that, I’ve always felt safe throughout Viet Nam.

Viet Nam waives visas for many passport holders staying for less than 30 days. If you’re looking to stay for up to 90 days, you need to apply for a visa for $30 for a single-entry visa and $50 for a multi-entry visa. The process is straight-forward, but attention to detail is required. This post by Intentional Travelers helped me a lot when applying for our visas.

Getting Around

If you’ve been to Bali, you might think the traffic there is crazy. Wait until you get to Viet Nam. Ergo: if you’re a good driver, getting a scooter is certainly the way to go. But don’t be afraid to rely on Grab if you’re not. 

What is the best peaceful destination for spiritual growth?

Sometimes, you just need an external cue to reconnect with your inner-most self, don’t you? I know I do from time to time. Being able to do so at the snap of a finger is one of the reasons I love traveling. And, while I can’t wait for that trip to Bhutan (just me, myself, and I), it’s typically important to still be able to keep the business going, ie, have access to the Internet. On that note, I’ve recently been mesmerized by these two spiritual, and oh-so peaceful digital nomad destinations and their uniquely grounding energy.

Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand

Why you should go

Chiang Rai is full of temples, stunning surroundings, a beach (!), and history. Unlike Chiang Mai, it’s truly a destination more so for seekers than for expats and busy nomads and it’s felt in its energy.

How to get there

If you’re staying in Chiang Mai, I strongly recommend getting on the VIP bus on Greenbus, bookable here (look for the VIP-class for 305 THB). The ride to Chiang Rai takes 3.5 hours and goes through multiple national parks. There are cheaper busses, but they are old, seem like they might fall apart, have no AC, and make multiple stops along the way. The VIP bus is only $2.50 more and most certainly worth it. From outside the country, you’d be flying into Chiang Mai (CNX) and then get a bus from the downtown bus terminal.

Cost of living

Chiang Rai can easily be done on a $25 a day budget, or a $100 a day budget, mostly dependent on your culinary preferences and accommodation needs. The biggest attractions in town are the temples, and most of them are free or cost below 100 Baht. Of course, a donation is always most welcomed. 

Accommodation

If you’re wanting to be within walking distance to the night market and downtown temples, get a hostel or homestay near there. It won’t break the bank. 

However, if you enjoy waking up to the quiet, maybe a dip in the pool, and breakfast, there are plenty of low-cost resorts just across the river. I stayed at Luckswan Resort for three nights and paid $80 for just that: tranquil, peaceful surroundings. 

Safety & Visa requirements:

Thailand as a whole strikes me as incredibly safe and welcoming. That said, the further North you go, the closer you get to import and trading points where pickpocketing becomes more common. 

No visa is required for most passport holders staying for less than 30 days. Beyond that, there are plenty of visas available which you need to apply for online through the Thai embassy in the country you’re applying from. It’s a fairly straight forward process, but you need to be prepared with your inbound and outbound flights, in-land accommodation, and allow for at least 3 weeks processing time.

Getting Around:

Grab or scooter rental.

Don’t Miss:

  • Wat Huay Pla Kang: The Goddess of Mercy. It’s a little further out but such a stunning sight.
  • Wet Tham Phra: For the most solitary meditative experience, visit the Buddha Cave in the late afternoon. When I was there, I was the only one, besides a friendly Monk, and able to fall into a deep meditaton without disturbances. 
  • The White Temple – I just couldn’t get enough of its stunning and contemporary architecture. The temple has been envisioned as a heaven on Earth for humans to experience. While the number of tourists is high, it actually doesn’t disturb the tranquility of the place. However, the Buddha Cave is certainly better suited for a private prayer.

Save this article for when you’re planning your next destination:

Da Lat, Viet Nam

Why you should go

Atop the mountains in Viet Nam, Da Lat is a lesser known, and thus one of the quietest peaceful digital nomad destinations that is surrounded by coffee farms and temples, offering fantastic views all around. There are multiple meditation- and silent retreats around the area. And for good reason: the energy there is incredibly peaceful, and I wouldn’t be surprised if your host invited you to come along to meet his meditation teacher. Da Lat is where I was first introduced to tantrik Buddhism. 

How to get there

Da Lat is a 6.5 hours bus ride away from Ho Chi Minh City and busses leave regularly. Alternatively, you can take a 55 minute flight directly into Da Lat.

Cost of living

A meal won’t set you back more than $2, even a three course dinner for two shouldn’t come out to be higher than $8. Entrances to temples and the Crazy House are at around $3 each. 

Accommodations

If you’re on a shoestring budget, The Happy House just outside of downtown will provide you with an amazing, entirely unforgettable experience. The host calls himself Happy and fulfills that title perfectly.

If you’re a digital nomad, looking to stay for a month or two, these options are great: 

  • Under $700 a month: Ánh Dương House: 10 walking minutes from downtown, free WiFi, private bathrooms, kitchenette.
  • Under $900 a month: TTR Studio Apart Hotel: The apartment provides guests with a terrace, quiet street views, a seating area, a flat-screen TV, a fully equipped kitchen with an oven and a microwave, and a private bathroom with walk-in shower and slippers.
  • Under $1600 a month: 9Trip Stay in Dalat Center Residence: Set just 1.5 km from Lam Vien Square, these apartments are boasting 24/7 security, a private kitchen, modern amenities, free shuttles and bikes. Linens and slippers.

And for a more luxurious get-away, this cute hotel will do the trick: 

  • Goldient Boutique Hotel: A sun terrace with a swimming pool, restaurant and fitness centre, this 4-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and room service.

Safety & Visa requirements

See here for visa requirements. I’ve had no safety concerns when there. I’ll say that the bus ride from Da Lat to Hoi A was an adventure. Frankly, I only did it because I had no money for a flight or private transfer when I was there. Do at your own risk. 

Getting Around

I mostly walked through the city because the sites where so pretty and everything felt safely walkable. However, Grab is widely available and hosts won’t think twice before offering you a ride. 

Don’t Miss

Coffee in Da Lat is especially great, but if you’re offered Weasle coffee, please consider and seriously inquire how humanely the animals are being held and treated. 

If you’re looking for an authentic spiritual community, Ubud, Sedona, and Phuket might offer you just that. However, you’ll need to know where to go, because highly popular spiritual destinations also attract a bunch of charlatans. So, here’s just a quick round-up of not-to-be-missed places in each of these cities: 

Ubud don’t miss: Alchemy Yoga and Meditation Center

Sedona don’t miss: Safari Jeep Vortex Tour

Phuket don’t miss: Shrine of the Serene Light, (I haven’t been there myself, but I’m told it’s amazing)

Is Ubud still worth it? A complete Guide for Digital Nomads in Ubud

Ubud can break you open. It can make you lose yourself and re-discover yourself. And it can serve as a scenic backdrop for your business growth…

Best city for growing your remote business as a digital nomad

There are times when you’d thrive in business and otherwise, if you had entrepreneurial people all around you. Places where you know you’ll run into the right people. Places to network intentionally, perhaps even attend a few conferences. And places that aren’t party-town quite yet, but still ticking off all of the boxes of a peaceful digital nomad destination. Looking for one? I’ve got you covered.

Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand

Why you should go

Unlike many other hubs in Southeast Asia (*cough* Canggu), Chiang Mai is full of nomads and expats who are serious about their business AND want to connect in a genuine way. Also: fooooood. And the locals here are genuine and kind. Culturally and religiously, it’s a fascinating city. Geographically, the city is surrounded by nature and mountains, close to Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia. Above all, Chiang Mai has become a melting pot over the past 10 years. Hence, it’s the OG among expat cities. 

How to get there

You can take a 9 hours luxury bus from Bangkok, a scenic 11 hours train from Bangkok, or fly straight into the easily navigable Airport in Chiang Mai. I’ve only ever taken the plane, but this article discusses the bus and train experience. The grab from the airport into downtown costs around $8.

Cost of living

The city’s economy is mostly built on tourism and its vibrant expat community. Since the city does tend to attract better earning expats and nomads, accommodation and food costs are slightly higher. We’re paying just under $1000 a month for a two bedroom apartment with pool, doorman, and gym. Our groceries bill comes out to be $400 a month for two healthy individuals. 

Accommodations

  • If you’re on a shoestring budget, I heard amazing things about the Rendezvous Hostel Old Town, which costs $80 for 5 nights.
  • If you’re a digital nomad looking for accommodation for a month or two, I can highly recommend the AirBnB we’ve stayed in for two months: The Treasure Condo is about 10 minutes from the Old Town, and boasts total privacy, modern amenities, a huge pool, and a great view over a lake. We’ve absolutely loved it here.
  • And for a more luxurious get-away, I expect pictures from your stay at this gorgeous Phor Liang Meun Terracotta Arts Hotel: Set in an artsy/wooden style, this place offers an outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, a garden and a restaurant. This 4-star hotel offers a tour desk and luggage storage space.

Safety & Visa requirements

I feel extremely safe here, it’s ridiculous. Obviously, apply common sense safety precautions. On the bike, I’m enjoying the ride and not writing my testament in my head. Walking around on the streets feels safe and welcoming. Vendors don’t harass you or charge a different price based on how you look. 

Do note that Chiang Mai becomes the most polluted city in the world (literally) during burning season which lasts from March to May every year. Yup, I’m here…lesson learnt.

Getting Around

Rent a scooter. While Grab is a little more expensive here than in other countries, it is widely available.

Don’t Miss

The Monk’s Trail is quite a special hike, and Water Festival if you’re here in April. 

Now, if you’re looking for an entrepreneur’s haven in Europe, Lisbon is your girl. She’s everything Chiang Mai has…and then some:

Where can you have it all? Party, Community, Tranquility?

Lisbon, Portugal

peaceful digital nomad destinations
Wine, Shine, and Dine in Lisbon! Yum!

Why you should go

Ohhh, where to start? The beaches, the community, the insane co-living offerings, the gorgeous co-working spaces, the huge glasses of wine for 3EUR, the cheap Bolt rides, or the easy and scenic train rides across the country.

Did I mention the workout you get in, simply by walking through the city? Lisbon is a fantastically peaceful digital nomad destination that becomes a vibrant city at the snap of a finger.

It’s my all-time favorite city in the world. And it’s got something for EVERY phase of life and business. This is the place where you can have the entire beach to yourself by day and go and sign a new client at a networking event by night. 

How to get there

From within Europe, Ryanair offers direct flights to Lisbon Airport (LIS) at cheap prices. The metro from the airport to downtown takes about 30 minutes and costs 1.50EURs. A Bolt car will cost no more than 12EURs. There are busses between Porto, the Algarve, and Lisbon, and a car rental will get you from Europe into Lisbon in the most scenic way.

Cost of living

Everything in Lisbon is fairly affordable at 3EURs for a glass of wine and 1.5 for a cappuccino, or a 3 to 5 EUR bolt ride across town. HOWEVER, accommodation is quite expensive and highly inflated compared to what locals pay for rent. 

The Ideal Lisbon Solo Travel Guide – Digital Nomad Edition 2024

Lisbon is a magical hub for solo travelers, digital nomads, and expats alike. It’s the perfect hub for overseas and intercontinental travel, one of the safest…

Accommodations

There are plenty of backpackers’ accommodations around Lisbon, however, they’ll cost you more than $20 a night.

Proper AirBnB accommodations aren’t really available in Lisbon below $2500 a month and while that’s still far below NYC standards, it’s well above the rest of Western Europe. Thus, working professionals and digital nomads are best served by booking with one of the many co-living communities in town.

They’re set up for convenience, community, AND privacy, and many have options to book a private apartment or just a room.

My personal favorite is YON Living, an ever-growing start-up with a great formula: community, 4-6 roommates, chic designs, and privacy.

For a luxurious getaway, I recommend staying near Parque Eduardo VII for the views and the many shopping and dining opportunities around.

  • Starting at $1000 for a weekend: The Sublime Lisboa 5* Hotel features accommodation with a shared lounge, private parking, a restaurant, and a bar. The features are superb, the views stunning, and the location is right in the heart of the city. This is where attention to detail meets service from the heart.
  • Starting at $600 for a weekend: The Epic SANA Marques Hotel. I used to walk past this stunning hotel on my way from home to my Spinning class and DAMN, that entrance hall is one heck of an inviting one. Posting views over the park, excellent service, and and indoor spa, this hotel will make for a unique experience of Lisboa.

Safety & Visa requirements

Lisbon has become a vibrant hub for expats’ and nomads’ business growth thanks to Portugal’s visa incentives, amongst other reasons. While the D7 visa is gone, there remain many opportunities to secure a long-term visa or residency in the country.

As for safety, I’ve walked home alone from bars at 2 in the morning and felt extremely safe. Never done that anywhere else before, or after. Again, beware and have common sense. Get a car if you’ve had one too many drinks, etc.

Getting Around

The metro is quite well-linked, cheap, and intuitive to navigate. However, if you’re looking to get your 10,000 steps in by walking to a Café, Lisbon’s mountainous streets are your city. Finally, a scenic train connects Lisbon from Cais du Sodre along the ocean all the way to Cascais, and Bolts and Ubers are incredibly cheap to holler. 

Don’t Miss

A run in Parque Eduardo, a brunch at Dear Breakfast, and a hike along the coast, West of Cascais towards Boca do Inferno.

Hooked on Lisbon? Get your complete Guide to Lisbon Here

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A hidden gem: What is the safest and most peaceful digital nomad destination?

You will never guess this. Even we discovered this purely by chance. And the main reason we fell in love with it was our host…more on that below:

San Mateo, Gran Canary Island, Spain

peaceful digital nomad destinations
Middle of the Island – seeing ALL the way to the Atlantic

Why you should go

San Mateo tops the list of my favorite peaceful digital nomad destinations…and I bet you’ve heard it from me first. 

Vega de San Mateo is a quaint, very sleepy town 1000 meters above sea level, nestled into the mountains of Gran Canary Island. It takes only 30 minutes of twists and turns down one of the most scenic drives by car to get to one of the serene beaches in Las Palmas, or 55 minutes to get to Maspalomas, or to the natural swimming pools anywhere around the island. 

The main reason you should go is this one AirBnB host, Cesar, whose family house offers an incredible apartment, boasting two bedrooms, two separate offices, a dining room, a living room, and a kitchen, along with a spacious bathroom and a private inner courtyard. No matter the budget, unless it’s over $500 a night, I’ve not found this type of setup anywhere else in the world.

Cesar himself is the OG of hosts…we have come for 3 months and stayed for 6. Did we love the island? Insanely so. Did Cesar make our stay more than special? YUP. 

How to get there

Ryanair and Swiss Airlines are your best bet from mainland Europe. You’ll be flying directly into Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (LPA) which is, to be clear, off the coast of Morocco. Don’t confuse it with La Palma, an island off the coast of East Spain.

Cost of living

Our two-person grocery bill came out to about 600EUR a month, dining out will set you back between 35 and 60EUR per meal, and a bottle of wine costs between 5 and 12EUR. You won’t need a big budget for activities as most are open air and free. And a car rental is surprisingly cheap at around 15 a day for longterm rentals. 

Accommodations

  • Honestly, I am not too familiar with a backpacker’s experience on the island, so I wouldn’t want to recommend anything improper. Be sure to be near the beach and public transportation. 
  • Working professional Accommodation: Again, Cesar’s place is simply the most fantastic place for a digital nomad couple. You’ve got two bedrooms, one for the early bird and one for the late-night owl. You have two spacious and light-filled offices with fast Internet and more than plenty of space to relax. May you arrive in heaven, here is his AirBnB listing, nope not commissioned, but do tell him I said ‘Hi’. 
  • Luxury Accommodation: Maspalomas, Las Palmas, … all offer great hotels right by the water. Have your pick! Again, I had such a heads-down working experience that I can’t say too much about luxurious hotels in the area. 

Safety & Visa requirements:

This is a Spanish island, you’ll be fine and safe.

As an EU country, EU citizens don’t require a visa, and most other passport holders need to oblige by Schengen-visa regulations which give you 90 days within all Schengen countries within a 180-day period.

Email me if you have questions about this super annoying law – my bf is American and, with me having German citizenship, we’re doing a good amount of calculations around this law.

Getting Around

I strongly recommend booking a car rental through OKMobility. Their rates are significantly below the competition, which made me hesitant at first. However, the cars are new, their customer service is excellent, and their app is a gem.

They offer reliable airport pickup and drop-off, as well. If you stay on the island for longer, you can even trade in your car for a different model in case you need to, or simply want to.

You can use the Code Q82FA659B8 for 10% off your next booking on OKMobility.

Alternatively, buses do connect the main cities with the main towns in-land, however, you’ll need to account for much more time. on the road and in planning.

Don’t Miss

This little beach is mostly a local’s favorite and tends to be entirely deserted during the week for that reason. It’s quaint, small, great for plane watching, and welcomes nude boobs…get them tanned.

There you have it, your most hidden of hidden gems amongst the most peaceful digital nomad destinations.

Which city is the most historic peaceful digital nomad destination?

Dresden, Germany

Why you should go

I’m biased. I pretty much grew up here, but let me prove to you the amazingness of the city: Dresden is known as the Florence of Germany: August the Strong was so mesmerized with the architecture of Italy, that he hired Italian engineers and architects to create historical monuments such as Der Zwinger.

Boasting an incredible skyline full of historical monuments, Dresden is only an hour away from not one but two mountain ranges: The Swizz Alps and the Erzgebirge, a feature that inspired me to include the city in this list of peaceful digital nomad destinations. Hamburg and Berlin just can’t match it. Fantastic for skiing in the winter, hiking in the summer, and romantic weekend getaways into little cottages with a fireplace and granny who brings you hot chocolate.

The food throughout the German State of Saxony is best described as homey: lots of butter, bread, meat, and thick and flavorful sauces. Dresden makes it best. 

How to get there

Dresden does have a cute little airport (DRS), however, flying into it tends to be expensive. Trains of Deutsche Bahn connect most of Germany quite conveniently. However, trains tend to run late, so allow some buffer time. I usually fly into Berlin (BER) or Leipzig (LEI) and take a train to Dresden from there.

Cost of living

Frankly, Germany has experienced quite a steep inflation since 2020, and again since 2022. This does show up in grocery, accommodation, and eating out costs. However, the cost of Dresden is still below that of Spain. Your grocery bill for a month, for two people, shouldn’t go over 400 to 450EUR, and you can find a great AirBnb for around 1600EUR a month, granted you book well in advance. A dinner will set you back between 20 and 50EUR, more with drinks. 

Accommodations

  • Backpackers’ accommodations are vast and cute, but my personal favorite would be Lolli’s Homestay for its motherly energy.
  • Working digital nomads might find a gem with this airbnb, a stone’s throw away from the old town.
  • If you come to Dresden for a romantic weekend get-away (which you should), you can be sure to soak in the uniquely welcoming flare of Dresden in Relais & Châteaux Bülow Palais. Situated just across the Elbe River from the Old Town, this hotel boasts hospitality, a scenic view, and cosy rooms.

Safety & Visa requirements

German media will be quick to make saddening claims about the crime rate going up with increasing immigration. There are no statics proving this, of course. So please get your facts checked as you’re beginning to consume local media. Dresden is safe and boasts some of the friendliest customer services in the country. 

Dresden, of course, is part of Schengen, so get your numbers right: Unless you are an EU citizen, you can only stay in all Schengen-zone countries for a combined 90 days within a 180 period. Typically, you’re not asked for a return ticket, but it’s advisable to have one at the ready anyway. 

Getting Around

Dresden has a great public transportation infrastructure, however Uber is not available. You could rely on regular taxis, or simply rent a bike as the entire city is well built-out for bicyclers. 

Don’t Miss

A day-trip to Stolpen, an afternoon spent at the Grüne Gewölbe, and a weekend trip into the Swizz Alps. If you’re a classical music afficionado, the Semperoper is not to be missed. 

Concluding

It’s easy to follow the crowds to Canggu, Oaxaca, Los Angeles, and Ho Chi Minh City. In fact, I love a good crowd of fellow travelers. However, there are always times when I’m looking for hidden gems while still maintaining some level of connection with the outside world. Among this list of peaceful digital nomad destinations, San Mateo is certainly the quietest, while Lisbon might be the noisiest. However, what unites them is the ease with which you can move in and out of the tranquility and connectedness…a perfect marriage of both worlds.

Did I miss a city you think should be on here? Let me know and I’ll add it right away.

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4 Comments

  1. Sonia

    These are some great ideas for digital nomad spots I wouldn’t have thought of. Some of the options in Vietnam look ideal for a change of pace.

    Reply
    • Dina-Marie Weineck

      So glad this can spark inspiration. I always feel as though when the world is my oyster, I’m in special need of inspiration due to an overload of choices available!

      Reply
  2. Alyson M Pierce

    A lot of Southeast Asia on this list and even more confirmation that I shoyld go! I havent been to Asia yet and I crave peaceful destinations.

    Reply
    • Dina-Marie Weineck

      South East Asia is a surely a must when it comes to serenity. You just need to know where to go because Canggu won’t get you that peace. I’m planning trips to South America – excited to see how both compare in that sense! Let me know your experience!! <3

      Reply

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