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Are you looking for the best workation destinations to escape the long days of winter in the north? Let me help! I’m a full-time digital nomad who left Canada six years ago and have been living in sunny destinations around the world since.
I get the struggle: finding a destination that combines adventure, comfortable living, and an escape from the biting cold of winter. The thought of enduring another winter glued to your heater, with daylight fading early, can be disheartening. There’s a reason I left Canada!
In a recent study, Holidu revealed the best destinations for a winter workation based on important factors like internet speed, coworking spaces, cost of living, and climate. Unsurprisingly, most of these were places I’ve already lived or high on my list to visit.
This guide is for digital nomads who value freedom, adventure, and the warmth of the sun while staying productive. Whether you’re a seasoned nomad or just starting out, these sunny destinations will inspire your next workation.
Best places for a workation in winter
1. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon isn’t just another pin on the map for digital nomads; it’s a community, a lifestyle, and for many, a second home. And with good reason! If you’re plotting your escape from the winter blues, here’s why Lisbon should be high on your list.
Forget about the bone-chilling cold of northern Europe. Lisbon’s winter is more about grabbing a light jacket than bundling up in layers.
The temperatures rarely dip below freezing, offering a comfortable climate for those looking to escape harsher winters. It has an average temperature of 13.1ºC with 191 sun hours.
I spent some time living here in February 2022, and was pleasantly surprised about how sunny and pleasant it was to walk around. The city’s cobblestone streets are an open invitation to wander, with every turn offering a new slice of history, art, and culture.
Lisbon has this vibe – it’s hard to put into words, but it’s like the city was made for digital nomads. The community here is tight-knit, welcoming, and there’s always something happening. While it’s not the cheapest place in Portugal to live, it is one of the most desirable for digital nomads.
There are meetup groups for hikes, dinners, parties, and just about everything else. There’s also a standing digital nomad meetup every Thursday night in a different venue which is so much fun.
The food scene in Lisbon? It’s a whole adventure by itself. From classic Portuguese dishes to trendy international spots, there’s always something new to try. Oh how I miss my morning pastel de nata with a shot of espresso in the mornings.
And when it’s time to get some work done, you’re spoilt for choice with the city’s array of coworking spaces and coffee shops. There are over 100 coworking spaces alone to choose from!
Plus, Living in Lisbon is like having a golden ticket to explore Europe. Its location is perfect for those spontaneous weekend trips or exploring nearby countries. You can drive to the airport in twenty minutes from downtown, and there are great flight deals to other countries in Europe or even warmer digital nomad destinations like Dahab, Egypt.
Of all the cities I lived in Europe, Lisbon stood out as my favorite. I even toyed with the idea of buying an apartment here. There’s something about Lisbon that sticks with you – maybe it’s the sun, the streets, or the people, but it’s definitely a place you’ll want to come back.
2. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, a city that effortlessly blends ancient charm with modern vibrancy, it’s an ideal place for a workation that’s high on my list. Known for its stunning architecture, lively streets, and a rich cultural tapestry, Barcelona is one of the most popular destinations in Spain for digital nomads.
Winter in Barcelona is far milder than in many other European cities, making it an attractive destination for digital nomads seeking a comfortable climate while they work. It has an average temperature of 11.2ºC with 246 sun hours.
The city’s architectural marvels, spearheaded by the works of Antoni Gaudí, such as the Sagrada Família and Park Güell make walking through the city feel like an open-air museum, with each building and street corner telling a story.
The cooler months are perfect for wandering through the Gothic Quarter without the summer crowds or enjoying a peaceful moment on the less crowded beaches.
But Barcelona’s appeal goes beyond its aesthetic allure. The city is a hub for creativity and innovation, making it an ideal spot for digital nomads. With endless coworking spaces and a thriving startup scene, it’s a perfect place to meet inspiring digital nomads.
The lifestyle in Barcelona is another aspect that makes it so appealing. The city’s culinary scene is a delightful exploration of flavors, from tapas bars to Michelin-starred restaurants. And let’s not forget the beautiful beaches – a rare find in a European city – offering a perfect escape to relax and unwind.
Barcelona’s nightlife is as diverse as its neighborhoods. From the trendy bars in El Born to the bustling clubs in El Raval, there’s always something happening when the sun goes down. The city is also known for its festivals and events, which is perfect for those who love night life.
3. Palma de Mallorca, Spain
My experience in Palma de Mallorca during November was wonderful. The weather was mild and pleasant, which was a stark contrast to the colder temperatures settling over much of Europe.
This comfortable climate allowed for exploring the city’s winding streets and waterfront promenades without the summer crowds.
From the historical sites of Santa María cathedral to the bustling Mercat de l’Olivar, the city is rich in cultural and culinary experiences. The local cuisine, with its emphasis on fresh seafood and Mediterranean flavors, made dining out so fun.
One of the most enchanting aspects of Palma is its island setting. The surrounding landscapes, from serene beaches to rugged mountains, are easily accessible and offer a peaceful escape. Similarly to living in the Canary Islands, it’s a great place to live for those who love outdoor adventure.
Whether it’s a day trip to a secluded cove or a hike in the Serra de Tramuntana, the natural beauty of Mallorca is always within reach.
Winter in Palma de Mallorca is mild and temperate, with more rainfall than in summer but still offering plenty of sunny days. It’s a quieter season for this island, perfect for a peaceful workation.
4. Chiang Mai, Thailand
In 2022, I found myself living in Chiang Mai, and it was love at first sight. This city isn’t just a stop on the digital nomad trail; it’s one of the best workation destinations that’s easy on the wallet and rich in experiences.
Chiang Mai is a dream come true for budget-conscious nomads. Imagine savoring delicious street food for just a dollar, or unwinding with an affordable massage after a day’s work or during your lunch break. The cost of living here is incredibly low, but the quality of life? That’s sky-high.
The digital nomad community in Chiang Mai is something special. Places like the Yellow Coworking Space aren’t just workspaces; they’re social hubs where I’ve met some of my closest friends while traveling. The sense of community here is tangible, making it so much more than just a place to work.
Thai culture shines bright in Chiang Mai. The city is a tapestry of traditional markets, serene temples, and vibrant street life. Every corner of Chiang Mai offers a new cultural experience, from the bustling night markets to the tranquil Buddhist temples. It’s a place where tradition and modernity coexist beautifully.
One of the best parts about living in Chiang Mai is the easy access to nature. The city is a gateway to northern Thailand’s stunning mountains and countryside. Whether you’re want to go glamping in the mountains or just a day trip to the hills, there’s no shortage of breathtaking escapes just a short ride away.
Winter in Chiang Mai is dry and cool, considered the best time to visit. The weather is perfect for exploring the city and nearby natural attractions without the intense heat of other months. It has an average temperature of 24.7ºC with 307 sun hours.
5. Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok, a city I had the chance to immerse myself in while living in Thailand, is an enigma that grows on you. At first glance, Thailand’s capital city presents itself as a bustling metropolis, brimming with energy and what seems like never-ending chaos.
But as you peel back its layers, Bangkok reveals a different side, one that’s full of hidden gems and unexpected delights.
During my time there, I discovered that Bangkok’s hectic facade is just the surface of what this city has to offer. The more I explored, the more I found quiet alleyways, charming cafes, and serene temples nestled amidst the urban hustle.
It’s a city where traditional markets coexist with modern shopping malls, and street food vendors serve up delicacies just steps away from upscale restaurants.
The city’s nightlife is another aspect that adds to its charm. From rooftop bars offering panoramic views of the cityscape to hidden speakeasies and vibrant night markets, Bangkok comes alive in a whole new way after dark. It’s a time when the city’s energy shifts and you get to experience its more playful side.
Bangkok’s winter is actually its cool season, offering a respite from the intense heat and humidity. It’s the most comfortable time to visit, with lower rainfall and more manageable temperatures. It has an average temperature of 28.3ºC with 280 sun hours.
6. Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City is often described as a city that never sleeps, and it’s easy to see why. The energy here is palpable, with streets buzzing with motorbikes, vendors, and lively local markets.
My time as a backpacker in Ho Chi Minh City was an eye-opener to the city’s incredible value and diversity. It has a low cost of living, especially when it comes to everyday expenses like food, accommodation, and transportation.
This makes it an attractive destination for digital nomads who are mindful of their budget but still want a rich cultural and urban experience in a new city.
The culinary scene in Ho Chi Minh City is a delight, offering everything from humble street food stalls to high-end restaurants. It’s incredible affordable to eat out here, allowing you to indulge in a variety of dishes like pho, banh mi, and fresh spring rolls daily without worrying about the wallet.
For digital nomads, Ho Chi Minh City provides a supportive environment with many coworking spaces and a strong community of expats and remote workers.
Beyond the city, Vietnam’s stunning landscapes and cultural sites are easily accessible. Whether it’s a trip to the Mekong Delta, a weekend getaway to the beaches of Phu Quoc, or an excursion to the historic town of Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City serves as a perfect base for exploring the diverse beauty of Vietnam.
Winter in Ho Chi Minh City is part of its dry season, offering warm temperatures and lower humidity, making it a comfortable time for exploration and enjoying the city’s vibrant street life.
7. Buenos Aires, Argentina
My first encounter with Buenos Aires was back in 2018, during my backpacking days. It was love at first sight, and now, as I plan my return this winter as a digital nomad, I’m so excited to spend some time living in this beautiful city.
For me, it was the perfect blend of culture, energy, and the warmth of its people. The city’s European charm, mixed with its Latin soul, creates an enchanting atmosphere.
One of my favorite spots in Buenos Aires is Palermo, known for its vibrant street art and lively vibe. It’s a neighborhood that encapsulates the city’s spirit – colorful, artistic, and always buzzing with life. Exploring its streets, you’ll find a new piece of art or a cool bar around every corner.
Argentinians are beautiful and fun-loving people, and their energy is infectious. There’s a sense of joy and passion that permeates through the city, whether it’s in a spontaneous tango performance on the street or the lively conversations in a local bar.
Buenos Aires never runs out of ways to entertain. From its world-class restaurants and bustling nightlife to its rich cultural heritage and lively arts scene, there’s always something to do or see. And it’s affordable living makes it even better!
Experiencing summer during the Northern Hemisphere’s winter, Buenos Aires is warm and sunny, ideal for enjoying its outdoor cafes and vibrant street life.
8. Lima, Peru
Lima, a city I had the pleasure of experiencing as a backpacker, left a lasting impression on me, especially its vibrant party scene.
This bustling capital of Peru is renowned for its culinary excellence, boasting some of the best restaurants in the world. The food here is a gastronomic adventure, blending traditional Peruvian flavors and innovative culinary techniques.
But beyond its lively nightlife and culinary delights, Lima holds a special appeal for me as a digital nomad. The city serves as a gateway to the rest of Peru, a country that’s home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes on the planet.
The idea of being based in Lima and having the opportunity to explore these natural wonders is incredibly enticing. From the majestic Andes mountains to the mysterious ruins of Machu Picchu, Peru is had endless natural beauty and ancient history to explore.
Living in Lima offers the perfect balance for a digital nomad like me. The city itself is a hub of activity, with plenty of co-working spaces and a growing community of remote workers and travelers. It’s a place where you can be productive during the day and then step outside to enjoy the lively atmosphere.
Moreover, Lima’s location on the Pacific coast adds another layer to its charm. The city’s coastline is dotted with beaches, offering a quick escape to the sea. Whether it’s for surfing, sunbathing, or just enjoying a sunset, the beach is never far away.
Lima’s summer coincides with winter in the Northern Hemisphere. The weather is warm and dry, perfect for enjoying the city’s beaches and outdoor activities.
9. Mexico City, Mexico
Even though I’m based in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico City has become a frequent and favorite escape for me. Each visit unfolds a new layer of this vibrant capital, revealing why it’s a top pick for digital nomads in recent years.
Mexico City is a place where you can never run out of things to do. As the country’s capital, it’s a melting pot of culture, history, and modern urban life. The city is home to some of Mexico’s best restaurants, offering a culinary journey that’s as diverse as it is delicious.
Neighborhoods like Condesa and Roma Norte are the heartbeats of Mexico City for nomads and expats. These areas are brimming with quaint cafes, lush green spaces, and vibrant street art. They’re perfect for leisurely strolls, finding your new favorite coffee spot, or just soaking in the local vibe during your free time.
The city’s nightlife is as dynamic as its daytime charm. From trendy bars to lively clubs, there’s always something happening when the sun goes down.
But what really makes Mexico City stand out is its huge digital nomad and expat scene. Regular meetups, language exchanges, and community events make it incredibly easy to meet new people and feel connected.
Contrary to what some might think, Mexico City is surrounded by an impressive amount of nature. The city offers numerous day trips to places where you can hike, explore ancient ruins, or simply enjoy the tranquility of natural surroundings.
Winters are mild and dry in Mexico City, with cooler temperatures than the rest of the year, but still pleasant enough for exploring the city comfortably during the day.
Every time I visit Mexico City, I’m struck by how each experience is unique. Whether it’s discovering a new restaurant, exploring a different neighborhood, or meeting someone new, the city always has something fresh to offer. It’s this ever-evolving nature that makes Mexico City an exciting and fulfilling destination for digital nomads.
10. Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town, a city that’s been calling my name, is a place where urban charm and natural wonders coexist beautifully. While I haven’t had the pleasure of living there yet, its reputation as a haven for nature lovers and digital nomads alike puts it high on my list of must-visit digital nomad destinations.
One of the most enchanting aspects of Cape Town is its abundant wildlife, particularly its famous penguin colonies. Imagine working from a café and then taking a short trip to Boulders Beach, where you can watch these adorable creatures in their natural habitat. What a great way to end a workday!
Cape Town is perfect for nature enthusiasts. The Table Mountain offers are not just a stunning backdrop for the city, but also a fantastic spot for hiking and soaking in panoramic views. The city’s proximity to national parks, mountains, and ocean means you’re never far from an outdoor adventure, be it hiking, surfing, or just enjoying a sunset on the beach.
Cape Town experiences its warmest months during the Northern Hemisphere’s winter, with long sunny days and little rain, ideal for beach outings and outdoor adventures.
For a digital nomad like me, who loves to blend work with nature and wildlife, living in Cape Town seems like a dream. The idea of being able to work in a city that offers such easy access to nature and wildlife, including the famous penguins, is incredibly appealing.
FAQ: Top workation destinations
What is a workation trip?
A workation trip combines work and vacation, where individuals continue their professional duties while enjoying a change of scenery, often in a destination that offers both relaxation and productivity.
How much does a workation cost?
The cost of a workation varies widely depending on the destination, duration, accommodation choices, and personal spending habits, ranging from budget-friendly to luxury expenses.
What is the meaning of workation?
Workation is a portmanteau of ‘work’ and ‘vacation,’ referring to a trip where one works remotely, often in a vacation-like setting, blending productivity with leisure activities.
What are the different types of workcation?
Different types of workations include solo trips, group or team workations, family-friendly workations, and themed workations focused on activities like wellness, adventure, or cultural exploration.
What is the disadvantage of workcation?
A key disadvantage of a workation is the potential difficulty in maintaining a healthy work-life balance, as the lines between work and leisure time can become blurred.
What are some facts about Workation?
Workations are increasingly popular among remote workers, they can boost productivity and creativity, and they often involve staying in destinations with high speed internet connectivity and work-friendly environments.
How long should a workcation be?
The ideal length of a workation varies based on individual needs and work requirements, ranging from a few days to several weeks or even months.
What is a hybrid vacation?
A hybrid vacation combines elements of traditional vacations and workations, where part of the trip is dedicated to leisure and relaxation, while another part involves working remotely.
Final thoughts: Best workation destinations
Workations offer an exciting blend of productivity and exploration, allowing digital nomads and remote workers to experience new cultures, environments, and communities while staying connected to their professional responsibilities.
Each of these workation destinations, from the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City to the serene beaches of Palma de Mallorca, presents unique opportunities and experiences.
While workations come with their own set of challenges, such as maintaining a healthy work-life balance, the benefits of flexibility, adventure, and personal growth are undeniable.
As the world continues to embrace remote work, the popularity of workations is only set to increase, offering a new way to work, travel, and live. Choose one of these destinations to escape this winter, and you’ll be on your way to a perfect workation!
Looking for more workation destinations? Check out these posts!
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