10 Best Countries for Remote Workers in Europe
Looking for the best countries for remote workers in Europe?
We’ve assembled a list of our ten favorites, packed to the brim with information about living costs, bureaucratic processes and some of the reasons you’ll instantly fall in love with your brand new life.
We’ve also included details on the best cities in each country for you intrepid little globetrotters who just can’t decide where you want to go.
Before we begin, here’s an important note: there are two separate approaches to working remotely:
Many people register their address and their work status in their new country, which is often necessary if you plan on staying for a while. If that’s your plan, you’re essentially becoming a short-term resident (or maybe a long-term resident if you end up really liking your brand new home!)
But the second (and much simpler) approach is this – if you only plan on living in countries for a few months at a time, it’s usually easier to just keep your registered address as your home address in your native country (if you have one), and behave as if you’re a long-term tourist in your new country. If you take this approach, you don’t have to register your address, you often don’t have to apply for special visas, and you only need to pay taxes in your native country.
It’s typically best to decide on which approach is best for you before you decide where you want to live.
Alright, enough of all the technical stuff – let’s get to the juicy parts. In descending order, here are the 10 best countries for remote workers in Europe…
Estimated average monthly rent for one-bedroom apartment in a big city center: €1,000
Estimated average monthly rent for one-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of a big city center: €750
Germany has a huge number of perks for potential newcomers, making it one of the world’s best countries for remote workers – and our 1# pick. These perks include:
- Surprisingly low food and drinks costs: though the country’s economy is very strong, the cost of eating and drinking is relatively very low. According to Numbeo, an inexpensive restaurant meal in Berlin can be found for €9.
- Groceries are even better: Germany is known for very low grocery prices. A domestic beer at a supermarket clocks in at less than €1. A liter of milk is a similar price. A loaf of fresh bread is around €1.36.
- Fantastic and affordable public transport throughout the entire country, along with a fantastic cycling network. You can simply and easily travel extensively within cities and from one city to another.
- It’s one of the most eco-friendly nations in the world, with green transport, excellent recycling schemes and a pioneering refund scheme for returning glass and plastic items to grocery stores.
- Affordable housing: compared to many other nations in western Europe, it’s pretty easy to find a relatively affordable place to live in many parts of Germany.
- Lots of other expats, which is great for making friends. Currently, Germany is one of the trendiest nations in the world for remote workers seeking a relocation.
- Excellent levels of English throughout the entire nation (especially in Berlin).
The requirements for entry and stay in Germany depend on who you are and where you’re from. That’s (of course) the case for all countries on this list – so, be warned, some of this information is a little repetitive in places.
If you only intend on staying in Germany for three months or less, it’s incredibly simple – you can get a three-month Schengen visa which allows you to stay in any country in the Schengen zone for 90 days in any 180-day period.
If you’re from an EU country (or an EEA or Schengen country), you can live and work in Germany with very little planning or preparation. All you need to do is your Anmeldung, the process of registering your address in your new city. But this is a process which even native Germans need to go through, so it’s all relatively simple. That said, if you plan to stay only for around three months or less, you don’t need to go through this process.
For non-EU residents wanting to stay in Germany longer than three months, Germany has a freelance residence permit which is typically the best choice for remote workers. If you’re not relocating solo, you should consider a residence permit (for yourself and the people you’re moving with) instead.
Best places to live in Germany as a remote worker:
- Berlin: Germany’s capital easily ranks as one of the most affordable capital cities in western Europe. Progressive, hipster and bohemian, it’s an incredibly exciting and unique place to live. For many remote workers, Berlin is a bucket list city. Berlin apartment rentals are also surprisingly affordable!
- Munich: a little more stoic and serious than Berlin, Munich is clean, organized and efficient, and it’s an excellent destination for older remote workers and those with families.
- Hamburg: a port city which is slowly becoming one of Germany’s most exciting destinations, there’s a rapidly-growing expat community here.
- Cologne: home to the titanic ‘Dom’ cathedral (the most-visited attraction in Germany), Cologne is a surprisingly buzzing creative media hub, and it’s a little cheaper than its more well-known peers.
- Dusseldorf: not far from Cologne is Dusseldorf, which ranks as having one of the highest living standards in the world. With great public transport, green spaces and lots of family stuff, it’s an excellent option if you’re moving with kids.
Estimated average monthly rent for one-bedroom apartment in a big city center: €850
Estimated average monthly rent for one-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of a big city center: €600
Looking for cheap living and great weather? Consider Spain. The nation’s perks include:
- Relatively low costs: compared to lots of other EU countries, Spain is very cheap. If you’re looking for good conveniences and relative luxury at low prices, you won’t find much better in the EU. Even eating out can be very affordable, especially in smaller cities. You can find a small beer or wine for around €2, and a decent amount of tapas for around €6 or €7.
- Great weather: Spain has brilliant weather year-round. In the south, winter temperatures can hit averages of around 13°C, so you’ll rarely be cold. In these southern parts of the country, you’ll also get lots more winter daylight than most other EU countries can offer, perfect if you like spending time outdoors.
- Incredible food: there’s not much detail needed here. Spanish food is some of the best food in the world – and lots of Spanish culture is built around eating, dining and mealtimes.
- A friendly and welcoming culture: Spain is one of the friendliest countries in the EU. If you want to party, make friends and spend time with others, Spain is a great choice.Again, if you’re from an EU country (or an EEA or Schengen country), you can live and work in Spain with very little bureaucracy. All you need to do is register your address with a Certificate of Residence (NIE).
If you’re not from the EU and you only want to stay for a short while, you should apply for a three-month Schengen visa. In this case, you’re essentially a long-term tourist, and you don’t need to consider any logistics aside from finding a place to live.
If you’re not from the EU and want to stay for a long while, the process is a little more complicated. The best route is usually to arrive in Spain before then applying for a residency permit (Tarjeta de Residencia) within 30 days of your arrival.
Best places to live in Spain as a remote worker:
- Barcelona: packed with incredible architecture, a massive arts scene and a hugely international community, Barcelona is an exciting place for young people looking to cram their lives with excitement, activities and brand new friends. Rentals in Barcelona tend to be pricier than many other parts of Spain and if you’re travelling on a budget, consider studio apartments.
- Madrid: excellent public transport, incredible nightlife and a lower cost of living than Barcelona, there’s lots to love in Spain’s capital. And this is gonna cause some arguments, but Madrid’s food scene is perhaps the best food scene in Spain. Housing in Madrid is slightly more expensive than Barcelona but you’ll be able to find 1 room and studio options all over the city.
- Valencia: a surprisingly big city which feels surprisingly like a small town, Valencia is creative and cosmopolitan, and it’s swiftly emerging as one of Europe’s most exciting and affordable cities for remote workers.
3. The Netherlands
Estimated average monthly rent for one-bedroom apartment in a big city center: €1400
Estimated average monthly rent for one-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of a big city center: €1100
With a huge number of remote workers in its humble confines, The Netherlands is swiftly becoming a top pick for nomads seeking a new life. Almost 15% of the nation’s residents are in remote work, making the Netherlands one of the world’s best countries to work from home. Its perks include:
- Fantastic public transport infrastructure. With a massive network of trams, undergrounds, trains, buses, ferries and one of the world’s best cycling networks, the Netherlands is a car hater’s dream.
- Compact dimensions, so it’s great for exploring outside of working hours – and for reaching nearby countries.
- Great healthcare and a great quality of life: pollution is low, Dutch healthcare is regularly voted as some of the world’s best healthcare, and basic insurance is affordable and easy to access. If you want to look after your health (or your family’s health!) the Netherlands is one of the world’s best countries to do it.
- Excellent benefits system, especially if you have kids, making the Netherlands a great place to have a family.
- Brilliant levels of English, so you won’t at all struggle with bureaucracy, making friends or getting around. If you don’t want to learn another language, the Netherlands is a great place to start a new life.
- Cafes everywhere, perfect if you prefer working from cafes (rather than at home or from coworking spaces).
Again, the Netherlands is part of the EU, and it’s part of the Schengen Zone. This means that lots of people can easily visit for up to 90 days in any 180-day period with a Schengen visa.
It also means that EU citizens, EEA citizens and Schengen member citizens can come here for as long as they like with very little planning. If you want to live and work in Amsterdam officially (rather than for a short period of time as a long-term tourist) you legally need to register with your new municipality. You’ll then receive a Citizen Service Number (BSN).
If you’re not an EU citizen, you normally need to apply for a residence permit. This is typically quite a simple process; compared to many countries, it’s relatively easy to relocate to the Netherlands. You could also consider a self-employed residence permit.
Best places to live in the Netherlands as a remote worker:
- Amsterdam: this is of course where the vast majority of the Netherlands’ expats live. It’s one of the world’s best remote worker cities – whoever you are, you’ll love Amsterdam. In terms of renting, Amsterdam is the most expensive city in the Netherlands and one of the most expensive in Europe. It may not always be possible to find apartments that fit all your criteria but there are many short term rentals and studio apartments available in the city. You may have to book in advance because of the high demand.
- Utrecht: with a beautiful city center, an incredible arts scene and a young population, Utrecht is funky and trendy, and it’s like a mini Amsterdam without all the sometimes-prohibitive prices.
Estimated average monthly rent for one-bedroom apartment in a big city center: €1500
Estimated average monthly rent for one-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of a big city center: €1200
For nomads with a little more money, Switzerland might just be Europe’s best country for remote workers. Yes, Switzerland is expensive, but it also has a huge number of incredible perks:
- Amazing quality of life, with low levels of pollution, a brilliant education system, clean air and lots of opportunities for incredible outdoor exercise. Switzerland is regularly voted as one of the happiest countries in the world, making it a great choice if you want to walk around with a big fat smile on your face all day.
- Great healthcare. With universal healthcare, a non-profit health insurance system and phenomenal facilities, Switzerland is a great choice for those keen to look after their health – and the health of their families.
- Incredible nature: like mountains? Consider Switzerland. Around 60% of the country is considered mountainous, and there are plenty of opportunities for hiking, swimming, skiing, mountain biking, tubing and more.
- Low levels of bureaucracy: it’s easy to start a business, it’s easy to open a bank and it’s relatively easy to start a new life in Switzerland.
Although Switzerland isn’t part of the EU, it’s still part of the Schengen zone, so travelers can stay for 90 day in any 180 day period with a Schengen visa, perfect if you only want to stay for a short time.
If you’re from an EU, EEA or Schengen country, you can visit Switzerland for up to 90 days with no visa. But if you plan on extending your stay beyond that period, you need to register your arrival with the Residents’ Registry Office within 14 days of arrival.
If you’re not from the EU and want to stay in Switzerland for longer than three months, it can be quite challenging, as the Swiss government is attempting to reduce the number of residence applications they receive per year. If your plan is to stay for longer than three months, you typically need to apply for a work permit.
If you’re worried about the cost of living in Switzerland, here are some stats to help you work out whether or not you’re earning the big bucks required to make the nation your new home:
- Inexpensive meal at an inexpensive restaurant: €25
- 0.5 liters of domestic beer: €7
- 12 eggs: €5
- 1kg of chicken fillets: €25
- Monthly transport pass: €75
- Monthly gym membership: €70
Best places to live in Switzerland as a remote worker:
- Zurich: the biggest and wealthiest city in Switzerland, this place is archetypically Swiss. Regularly voted as one of the most liveable cities on the planet, Zurich is clean, efficient and surprisingly bohemian.
- Basel: famous for art, architecture, museums and galleries, this place is an artsy hub. Diminutive Basel feels more like a town than a city, and it’s alarmingly easy to feel at home here.
Estimated average monthly rent for one-bedroom apartment in a big city center: €800
Estimated average monthly rent for one-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of a big city center: €600
Some of the perks of moving to France include:
- Fantastic food scene: we all know about French food, so we won’t add much else here. But if you value fresh, delicious, hyper-local food and produce, consider France.
- A huge amount of diversity, from cities to skiing to beaches to tropical climates. With the largest land area of any country in western Europe, there’s a massive amount of variety in France, so long-term city-hopping can offer an endless amount of adventure.
- Surprisingly affordable rent costs for a western country.
- A slightly older population, with lots of older residents. If you’re an older remote worker, you’ll likely love this crowd and the relatively slow-paced lifestyle.
If you want to move to France as an EU (or EEA or Schengen) resident, it’s even easier than it is to move to most other EU countries. Most of the time, you don’t even need to register your stay (unless you get a job in France or you need to undergo any other official processes).
Lots of other nationals can enter France for stays of up to 90 days without any visa at all. There are more details here.
Generally speaking, France is often a good choice if you want to move to a country with little bureaucracy and little complication.
If you’re not from an EU, EEA or Schengen nation and you want to stay in France for more than 90 days, you need to apply for a long-stay visa.
Best places to live in France as a remote worker:
- Paris: a sprawling metropolis of art, architecture, history, culture and gastronomy, there’s not much we can say about Paris that other people haven’t. So we won’t. You ‘re probably already aware that the rental market in the city is extremely competitive. People flock there and Paris rental properties get snapped up in the blink of an eye. So it’s advisable to plan well in advance.
- Bordeaux: one of the most architecturally-incredible cities on the planet, living here is like living inside a painting. France’s wine capital, Bordeaux has a young population and an exciting urban atmosphere.
6. The UK
Estimated average monthly rent for one-bedroom apartment in a big city center: €1200
Estimated average monthly rent for one-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of a big city center: €800
England is hugely diverse and hugely historical, with a massively multicultural population. Living here has lots of perks for expats:
- Everyone speaks English (unsurprisingly): if you want to go somewhere where you won’t have to learn another language, the UK is of course one of the world’s best countries to work remotely.
- Huge history scene, with one of the most fascinating selections of historical sites on the planet. There’s also a massive multicultural population here, so you’ll be warmly welcomed no matter where you’re from.
- A huge coastline: if you like varied beaches, there are plenty of them in the UK, from cliffs to coves to the world’s longest officially-signposted coastal route.
- A growing work-from-home scene, making England one of the best countries to work from home.
Of all the countries we’ve listed, the UK is arguably the most impenetrable, as it can be very hard to to get your hands on a visa (even to visit) if you’re not from the EU.
Rules still aren’t fully clear for how Brexit will affect traveling to the UK, but EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will be able to enter the UK for up to six months without a visa. If you want to enter for longer, or if you want to live or work in the UK in any official capacity, you’ll likely need to apply in advance.
Anyone else may need a visa, but the rules are very complex. You can work out the rules for your nationality and purpose of visit here.
Best places to live in the UK as a remote worker:
- London: the most multicultural city on the planet, you could live in London for a million years without getting bored. It’s packed with a massive arts scene, and it feels like 20 cities packed into one.
- Oxford: upmarket and medieval, iconic Oxford is home to one of the most famous and prestigious universities in the world. It’s an expensive place to live, but it’s classy, safe and welcoming.
- Manchester: the culture capital of the north is full of friendly people, a magnetic warmth and brilliant food and drink. Rugged and rough around the edges, it’s one of the most homely cities in the whole of the UK.
- Birmingham: the second-biggest city in the UK, Birmingham is leaving behind its reputation as an unlivable city to reinvent itself as an exciting and alternative epicentre of culture. To watch this in action, now’s the time to relocate to Birmingham.
- Cambridge: tranquil, small and serene, Cambridge is a great place to live if you like a peaceful existence. It’s also less popular with expats, perfect if you want to make friends with the local population.
- Edinburgh: the capital of Scotland is one of the world’s most artistic cities, with an incredible old town, a massive music scene and the biggest and longest theatre festival in the world.
Estimated average monthly rent for one-bedroom apartment in a big city center: €800
Estimated average monthly rent for one-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of a big city center: €650
Historical, beautiful and right in the center of Europe, there’s lots to love about Austria. Here are some of the perks of living there:
- Mountains everywhere! If you like to hit mountain trails, there aren’t many countries like Austria. It’s one of the best countries to work remotely if you want to spend your downtime exploring outdoor adventures.
- Surprisingly affordable rent: considering Austria is known for pretty high prices, rent prices are alluringly low.
- A beautiful environment: Austria has clean air, massive green areas, flowery parks, huge swathes of mountains and lots of environmental schemes. If you want to live in an environmental utopia, there aren’t many better picks than Austria.
- Right in the heart of Europe, Austria is a perfect place for zipping to all other parts of the continent.
- Incredible infrastructure, from schools to hospitals to public transport.
If you’re moving to Austria as an EU, EEA or Schengen resident, you don’t need a work permit or a visa to live and work in the nation. However, you need to register your stay within four months of arriving in the country with a Certificate of Registration (or Anmeldebescheinigung).
If you’re not from any of these countries and only want to stay for 90 days or less, you should apply for a Schengen visa.
If you’re not from an EU, EEA or Schengen country, and you want to stay for longer than 90 days, the process is different. For stays between 90 and 180 days, there are lots of options – but for stays exceeding six months, it’s typically easiest to apply for an Austrian residence permit. You need to apply for this before you arrive in Austria.
Best places to live in Austria as a remote worker:
- Vienna: the city’s Baroque cityscape offers one of the cleanest, cosiest atmospheres in the world. Vienna is an incredible artistic hub, with countless museums and galleries.
- Salzburg: charming, beautiful and incredibly environmentally-friendly, Salzburg is a major city which feels more like a small town.
Estimated average monthly rent for one-bedroom apartment in a big city center: €750
Estimated average monthly rent for one-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of a big city center: €600
The home of the EU is also home to a surprising number of expats, making it a brilliant place to live as an expat. Here are some of the best things about living in Belgium:
- Small dimensions, making it easy to explore extensive areas of the nation and its surrounding countries – and making it easy to move from one city to another.
- A huge number of expats, so you’ll feel at home right away. If you like multicultural nations, you’ll love Belgium – around 25% of the nation’s residents are foreign-born.
- The world’s best beer (sorry Germany). You’ll also get the world’s best fries, and fantastic mussels and chocolate.
- Pace: life in Belgium runs at a slow pace (by western European standards), which you’ll grow to love the longer you stay.
If you’re from an EU, EEA or Schengen nation, you can live and work in Belgium simply and easily. All you typically need to do is register with your municipality within eight days of arrival (if you plan on staying for longer than three months).
If you want to stay for longer than three months and you’re not from one of those nations, you also need to register with the municipality within eight days. But you typically need to apply (and be accepted) for a visa before you arrive in Belgium. There’s much more information on the details here.
If you’re sticking around for less than 90 days from outside of the EU/EEA/Schengen area, you typically just need to apply for a Schengen visa.
Best places to live in Belgium as a remote worker:
- Brussels: the most multicultural city in Belgium is also a mad mixture of various atmospheres: it’s serious but silly, it’s historic but hipster and it offers endless different types of living.
- Brugge: if you want to feel like you’re living in a medieval town, move to Brugge. It’s cosy, it’s comfortable and it’s one of the most charming cities on the planet.
Estimated average monthly rent for one-bedroom apartment in a big city center: €600
Estimated average monthly rent for one-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of a big city center: €450
If you want to live in an affordable EU country, Poland is often the best choice. It has all the conveniences and luxuries you could ever need, but at fantastic prices, making it a swiftly-emerging choice for expats from around the world. Here are our favorite perks of living in Poland:
- Very affordable: there aren’t many EU countries as affordable as Poland. An inexpensive restaurant meal is around €5 or €6, while half a liter of beer is typically less than €2. Accomodation is also very affordable.
- People are very friendly and welcoming, with a big party culture
- An excellent crossroads between eastern and western Europe, perfect for exploring the region and moving on when you’re done.
- Private healthcare in Poland is very inexpensive.
- Excellent and affordable public transport system, both within cities and between cities and towns.
If you want to move to Poland from an EU, EEA or Schengen nation, you can do so with very little complication or planning. If you’re staying for three months or less, you don’t need to do anything. If you’re staying for longer than three months, you’re required to register your stay at your local region (voivodeship).
If you’re not from one of these countries and want to stay for less than 90 days, a Schengen visa is enough. If you want to stay for longer than 90 days, it’s usually best to apply for a temporary residence and work permit. Depending on several circumstances, you can apply for this either before or after you arrive in Poland.
Best places to live in Poland as a remote worker:
- Warsaw: surprisingly cosy for a capital city, Warsaw has vast green spaces, a cosmopolitan vibe and very low prices for a major capital. Sprawling and diverse, it’s a hugely unique city with hugely varying influences.
- Krakow: by far the most touristic city in the nation, Krakow is packed with expats from all over the world. Aside from all the parties and footfall, it’s a charming city teeming with incredible architecture.
Estimated average monthly rent for one-bedroom apartment in a big city center: €200
Estimated average monthly rent for one-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of a big city center: €150
Not quite in Europe, not quite in Asia, Georgia sits at the center of a fascinating geographical crossroads. It’s also at a pivotal crossroads in its history, as it’s quickly becoming one of the world’s best countries for remote workers and tourists alike.
If you want to work remotely without any hassle, bureaucracy, visa requirements or entry rules, go to Georgia. Or if you want to live very cheaply, go to Georgia.
Georgia’s perks include:
- By far the cheapest option on our list: imagine Southeast Asia prices, but in the far east of Europe. You’re now imagining Georgia. Rent, restaurant prices and most other costs are all unbelievably low. You can get a good meal in a good restaurant for around €3 or €4, while a one-way ticket on public transport is around €0.13
- Very little bureaucracy: most tourists can enter Georgia for 1 year with no questions asked and no applications in advance. It’s also ridiculously easy to open a bank account – and even start a business. This lack of bureaucracy makes Georgia one of the world’s best countries to work from home.
- It’s very compact, with a fantastic and affordable cross-country public transport network, making it easy to travel from one adventure to another. And the adventures on offer include world-class hiking, towering mountains, traditional villages and very welcoming locals.
- Brilliant food, drink and cafe culture, with a hugely underrated food scene, and cafes on every corner.
Most tourists can enter Georgia for up to one year on arrival, which is the best option for the vast majority of remote workers. If you want to stay for longer than a year, you can simply leave the country for a day and re-enter the next day to be given another one-year stay.
If you want to become a proper resident and a proper taxpayer, you have a couple of different options. Georgia has a new remote worker visa, along with many more traditional work permits and residence permits for those seeking a very long stay.
Best places to live in Georgia as a remote worker:
- Tbilisi: Most remote workers live in Tbilisi, which is home to a charming and knockabout Old Town, a vibrant atmosphere and – surprisingly – one of the planet’s most exciting nightlife scenes.
- Batumi: A beachside tourist hub both garish and attractive, there’s a pretty good multicultural scene here, with lots of Turkish and Russian expats.
- Kutaisi: the second-biggest city in Georgia is relatively unexciting, but it’s a great choice if you like a quiet life – or if you like living in places untainted by mass tourism.
Final thoughts - and some last-minute top tips
There they are – the 10 best countries for remote workers in Europe!
Europe is a hugely diverse continent in terms of people, weather, landscape and prices. So whoever you are and whatever type of new life you’re looking for, Europe has it. It’s also arguably the easiest continent for a relocation, with lots of pared-back bureaucracy, perfect for swift moves, both long-term and short-term.
If you’re looking for other good resources for working out the next place place to live in Europe as a remote worker, here are some of our favorites:
- Nomad List – this site offers a vast and excellent ratings system, so you can judge your potential new living locations according to the metrics which matter to you. What do you care about? Prices? Coworking spaces? Pollution levels? Happiness ratings? How many other expats live in a place? Nomad List has information on it all and more.
- Numbeo – the world’s best site for working out how much everything will cost in any city in the world.
We also (of course) recommend our site. We offer brilliant serviced apartments and furnished apartments in some of Europe’s most exciting cities, whether you’re staying for a month, three months or way longer.
One of the biggest challenges when you’re planning a relocation is finding a good apartment. But we take all that stress away, with excellent, affordable and reliable serviced apartments and furnished apartments. No hidden fees, no endless apartment viewings and no dodgy landlords.
Our apartments are central, comfortable and luxurious, and they’ll make your new life better and much more enjoyable. We’re Homelike, and we offer incredible apartments in some of the world’s best countries to work remotely.