Do you ever wonder where in the world are all those beautiful places you see on your friends’ Instagram stories? Well, some of them might just be a location on this list! Whether you are looking to relocate to a sunny or snowy European city during the winter, these budget-friendly, awe-inspiring places are where to go as a remote worker.
The 15 Best Warm and Cold Places to Spend Winter in Europe for Remote Workers are:
- Bansko, Bulgaria
- Belgrade, Serbia
- Novi Sad, Serbia
- Zadar, Croatia
- Tenerife, Canary Islands
- Gran Canaria, Canary Islands
- Andalusia, Spain
- Lisbon, Portugal
- Algarve, Portugal
- Adriatic Coast
- Bohinj, Slovenia
- Maribor, Slovenia
- Crete, Greece
- Athens, Greece
- Istanbul, Turkey
In this article, you will get all the insight you need regarding various regions in Europe so that you can choose the one that meets your needs and desires the most. If you’re still looking for the best way to find remote work that you can do while traveling Europe, check out our Remote Jobs: Europe guide.
The best places to spend winter in Europe for digital nomads
The great advantage of living in Europe is that it is very well connected from country-to-country, and it’s much more affordable than the US or some luxurious tropical locations. Combine these two features and you get dream winter destinations for remote workers.
It’s important to note that the destinations on our list are popular among digital nomads. By “popular with remote workers,” we mean a location with reliable internet, an English speaking or proficient population, co-working spaces and exciting leisure activities.
So let’s explore our favorite winter destinations and regions loved by many digital nomads. We’ll first share our favorite colder destinations, followed by the warmer ones… with one extra favorite location at the end!
The Balkans and the Adriatic coast in the winter for digital nomads
Countries most popular with remote workers in central and southeastern Europe have a couple of things in common:
- They are pleasantly affordable
- They have a lively expat community
- They offer a lot of activities, such as skiing, mountaineering or nightlife
- They have snowy, colder winter
- There’s an option between urban and natural scenery
- There’s an option between more secluded or populated locations
The first thing you would probably like to know is the weather conditions in these countries. With snowy winters that are either humid or dry, temperatures vary between 13°C to -10°C (55.4°F to 14°F). In some places, it gets even lower.
Another essential factor for remote workers planning where to relocate in the winter is the cost of living. You can expect prices in central and southeastern Europe to be 50-70% lower than in the US, and at least 30% more affordable than western Europe.
And don’t worry about being bored in the Balkans. You will be delighted with the choices you’ll have for various activities. From skiing to partying, relaxing in saunas or mountaineering, these countries offer everything you need to enjoy a real winter wonderland–remote work style.
Wintertime in Serbia: Novi Sad and Belgrade for digital nomads
Over the past few years, the word has gotten out among expats that Serbia can fulfill all their needs and more, turning its major cities somewhat into digital nomad hubs for remote workers.
The cost for value majorly attracts remote workers to Serbia. They mostly flock to its two largest cities with strong expat communities, Belgrade and Novi Sad.
Belgrade, the country’s capital, can be described as an urban paradise where, remarkably, you can live on less than $1,000 a month! That includes the budget for leisure activities, which are abundant all year round in Serbia. The city is surrounded by lush natural sites and is the first stop for most remote workers adventuring through Serbia. Belgrade is famed for its nightlife, museums, walking tours and riverboats. There are even a number of ski resorts on the outskirts of the city that will amaze you with their budget-friendly experiences.
But, before you take to the mountains, be sure to visit Novi Sad, which is just a 45-minute train ride from the capital. It’s best known for being:
- An urban paradise of Austro-Hungarian architectural beauty
- A college town with a lot of activities and events
- A large expat community
Novi Sad is a student city that is peaceful, but lively. Its laid-back way of life is just perfect for digital nomads, with many of them deciding to relocate here permanently. Famous for its fortress, Petrovaradin, it is also home to one of the best festivals in Europe, Exit. However, in the wintertime, the temperament of the city changes from loud and restless to gentle and cozy.
The cost of living in Serbia by city:
What to do in Serbia in the wintertime for digital nomads
- Enjoy the famous nightlife
- Winter festivals
- Meet-ups within the expat community
Serbian mountains for skiing, hiking and relaxation
Believe it or not, Serbia has more than 130 peaks stretching over 1000 meters in height. It’s nearly impossible to make a bad choice when it comes to deciding which mountains to visit. Some of the more popular ones are Kopaonik, Tara, Rtanj, Babin Zub and Divcibare.
Bansko, Bulgaria – a next-level skiing experience for remote workers
You will not find a more affordable skiing town than Bansko in Bulgaria. One might think that the low prices reflect poorly on the quality of the experience in Bansko, but that is simply not true, which is why Bansko’s been gaining popularity over the years.
Who visits Bansko, Bulgaria?
From locals to expats coming half way across the world, Bansko attracts people hungry for some adrenaline. However, amazing ski tracks and breathtaking views are only half of the appeal.
Digital nomads and remote workers love coming to Bansko because it has a good community of like-minded people. And even though Bansko is basically a holiday resort, it is by no means dull. After spending the day skiing or snowboarding, you can cozy up in a cafe or restaurant and socialize with new friends.
So if you’re looking for a perfect place for active rest on a budget, while still being connected to the remote working community, Bansko is the place for you.
Winter in Zadar, Croatia: Affordable with a lively remote working community
Serenity… that’s one word that encapsulates the vibe in Zadar. Small in size but rich in what it has to offer, Zadar is noticeably more affordable than the rest of Croatia and it even has an actual digital nomad village to boot.
In the winter time, you can enjoy ancient Roman ruins in the old town, hop on a ferry to a nearby island like Ugljan, venture into the mountains or hang out with open-minded locals or expats alike!
Slovenia: Bohinj and Maribor are winter wonderlands
With breathtaking nature and clean city planning nationwide, Slovenia is a must see for every remote worker. And as part of the EU, it sets remarkable standards in ecology and preservation of green surfaces.
Outside of the cities, the country’s tendency to value and enjoy nature is even more prominent. Bohinj and Maribor are two of the most natural beauty gems in Slovenia. Here’s how they compare:
Bohinj – Bohinj is a small municipality located in the upper Carniola region of north west Slovenia. It is part of the Triglav National park, named after the sharp-ridged mountain Triglav that peaks at 2,864 meters. There you can also find Lake Bohinj, providing you the aesthetics of a fairytale. Bohinj is somewhat of a hidden gem and thus not heavily populated.
Maribor – As the second largest city in Slovenia, and nestled in the wine-region, Maribor has an expat community and is guaranteed to give you quite an experience. Its hilly surroundings gives it an out-of-this-world feel, and the Drava river making its way through the town only adds to its splendor.
The Adriatic coast – a secluded paradise
During the high season in the summer, the Adriatic coast is as busy as it gets. However, during the winter months from November to April, it is very peaceful.
What can you expect as a digital nomad on the Adriatic Coast?
- Very affordable rent prices in the winter
- Very few tourists during the winter
- Mild temperatures
- Clear air
Some of the best countries on the Adriatic Coast for digital nomads are Croatia, Montenegro and Albania. To have the full experience, it is best to rent a car and visit all three.
The cost of living on Adriatic Coast
As the second most affordable location on our list, the Adriatic coast is guaranteed to be gentle on both your senses and your wallet. Even Croatia is significantly cheaper in the winter as long as you don’t base yourself in Dubrovnik.
Expect distinctly Mediterranean weather with high temperatures throughout the year when relocating to southern Europe. With a hot summer and mild winter, you don’t need to venture off to a tropical island to enjoy the sun.
The temperature is milder, with some destinations averaging above 20º C (70º F).
Portugal: Lisbon and Algarve
Fun fact: Portugal has more than 300 sunny days in a year! That’s why it’s a perfect country to kick off our list of warm places to spend winter in Europe. Alongside this expat favorite, other warmer places to spend winter in Europe on a budget are Spain, the Canary Islands, Greece and Turkey.
Winters in Portugal are mild and the temperature averages around 16º C (61º F). However, winters in Portugal can be rainy.
The Canary Islands: Tenerife and Gran Canaria
Despite being geographically part of the African continent, the Canary Islands are considered part of Europe and under the protectorate of Spain.
The average temperature ranges from 18°C (64°F) in January and February, to 24°C (77 °F) in July, August and September.
Popular with digital nomads all throughout the year, the Canary Islands have everything a remote worker needs, including reliable internet and quality leisure activities. Checkout Gran Canaria or Tenrife for the best remote working experience.
Las Palmas, Gran Canaria in the winter for remote workers
The daily high temperature in Las Palmas averages around 71°F. It rarely falls below 66°F or exceeds 77°F, thus making the weather in Gran Canaria perfect during winter months.
It also has a good infrastructure and many coworking spaces.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the winter for remote workers
Tenerife is a popular choice for remote workers around the world. Spain has a digital nomad visa, so it is very convenient for people who want to prolong their stay on the island.
A very romantic region of Spain that’s often deemed too hot in the summer by many, Andalusia during the winter months might just be the perfect destination for you.
Greece: Crete and Athens
Crete and Athens are perfect for remote workers who are craving a Mediterranean feel outside of the summer months. During the winter, these destinations are significantly less crowded and more intimate with locals and expats.
With a mild temperature, Greece is a great choice for budget travelers. Even in December, beaches, hiking trails and other excursions on the island of Crete can be explored with a light jacket or sweater on most days.
Turkey is an absolute winner when it comes to budget-friendly travels. Not only is the cost of living in Turkey amazingly affordable, the value you get is outstanding too. Cities like Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara or Antalya are great for expats. Benefits of this east-meets-west destination are:
- It’s a large country with varying cultural experiences
- It has a lively expat community
- It’s the cheapest of all locations mentioned
Italy – Dolomites
Last but not least, there is Italy–specifically, the Dolomites. It’s somewhat more pricey compared to the previously mentioned places, but man is it breathtaking.
Simply pick a city near the mountain, and enjoy the Alps in the winter with amazing food and coffee.