Workcation hotspots around the world

Hannah Norton

Apr 12, 2023

The rise of remote working continues to increase, with 32% of Americans, and 24% of Europeans intending to take a “workcation” (a trip to a new destination, where you’ll work for part of your stay), according to 2022 data.1

In addition to that is the sneakier “hush trip”, where employees escape to a foreign country and work remotely… without telling their boss they’ve left the country! Whilst we wouldn’t necessarily advocate this, with the trend for working abroad continuing to increase, the travel insurance experts at Compare the Market have decided to uncover the global workcation hotspots.

We did this by analysing a range of factors, including the number of coworking areas and broadband speeds, as well as the number of attractions in each city, and affordability costs.

If you’re looking to take a workcation, an important consideration is travel insurance. With the right type of policy in place, you could be covered if you find yourself injured or unwell on your trip, or even if you encounter loss of luggage and other disruptions. While there are no policies designed specifically for a workcation, and travel insurance policies often have exclusions for certain types of work-related losses, a standard travel insurance policy would still provide some coverage for your trip.

It’s important that you check the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before purchasing, so that you are aware of any exclusions or limits relating to your chosen policy.

So, if you want to get away from it all (but still want to work), read on to discover some of the key workcation hotspots across Europe, the US, Canada, and Australia.

Image showing the workcation hotspots across Europe.

Workcation hotspots in Europe

With so many different countries and cultures just a short train or plane ride away from each other, Europe is a great place for a workcation. Whether you choose to stay in one city, or travel around and visit several destinations, discover the cities that came top of our index, below.

1. London, United Kingdom

Coming in first place for a workcation is London, with its number of coworking spaces unrivalled, at a staggering 1,312 – to put this into context, Paris is in second place for coworking spots, with just 248.

And, once you’ve finished working, London offers so many things to do and see on your time off. With 8,472 attractions, it comes top of our list again, with Paris second once more at 8,291.

So, whether you want to see iconic sights such as Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, or you’d prefer to spend your evenings and weekends bar or coffee shop hopping, London’s got you covered.


2. Seville, Spain

In second place is the sultry city of Seville, with its warm weather a draw for digital nomads in need of a workcation. However, the weather’s not the only thing on Seville’s side – it also has the fastest European broadband speeds on our index, at 255.13 Mb/s.

The city is also cheaper than many other Spanish cities, with the average cup of coffee costing €1.61 (AU$2.55). To put this into context, the same cup of coffee would cost you around €2.11 (AU$3.35) in Barcelona, and €2.15 (AU$3.42) in Madrid.

Once you’ve signed off for the day, make the most of Seville by watching a flamenco show, or heading to the Plaza de España on a warm evening.


3. Barcelona, Spain

With 189 coworking spaces, the fifth-fastest European broadband speeds, at 147.06 Mb/s, and the fourth-largest number of attractions, at 4,782, it’s no surprise that Barcelona is a great workcation option.

So, when the working day has come to an end, make sure you try and tick off as many key attractions as possible – whether that’s an evening watching the sunset at the beach, a walk around Park Güell, or sipping sangria at the many outdoor bars the city has to offer.


4. Madrid, Spain

Madrid comes in fourth place for a workcation, with 188 different coworking spaces to pick from while you’re there.

Madrid offers a completely different vibe to Barcelona, so once you’ve ticked off everything on your to do list, you could head to El Retiro Park for a picnic, sample the cuisine at San Miguel Market, or discover what’s thought to be amongst the best art collection on the continent, at Museo Nacional del Prado.


5. Valencia, Spain

Rounding off our five workcation hotspots is another Spanish city: Valencia. This city offers a true work-life balance, with its sprawling sandy beaches just a stone’s throw away from the busy city centre.

Valencia has the third-highest European broadband speeds on our list, at 166.64 M/bs, in addition to 1,318 attractions, so there’s lots to keep you occupied when the working day’s done.

If you don’t want to spend your evenings down at the beach, you could head to the Central Market, or wander around the city centre with its many shops and tapas restaurants. One thing you must do while you’re there is try the paella – after all, the city is famous for it!

Spain really does dominate the top five, but if we look at the top 10, other countries start to get a look in. Hungary’s capital comes in sixth position, with the average cost of a beer in Budapest standing at just €2.07 / AU$3.29 (the fourth-cheapest on our European list) – so a trip to those ruin bars after work is a must!

Rome, Chisinau, Zaragoza, and Naples make up the top 10, with Moldova’s capital the cheapest option of all for a work place. For a cup of coffee in Chisinau, expect to pay around €1.39 (AU$2.21), with beer even less, at €1.25 (AU$1.99).

Map showing the workcation hotspots in Canada, America and Australia.

Workcation hotspots in the USA

Digital nomads who want to spend some time in the US should check out these cities below, offering the perfect combination of coworking amenities, affordability, and things to do on your evenings and weekends.

1. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee reigns supreme for a workcation in the US, with the fastest US broadband speeds, at 269.31 M/bps – perfect for all of those remote calls you’ll need to take!

However, the great thing about Milwaukee is it’s also an affordable destination – with the cheapest coffee on our US list, at US$4.01 (AU$5.99), and the joint fifth-cheapest beer, at US$4.97 (AU$7.44), you’ll be able to sample the many coffee shops and bars the city has to offer, without breaking the bank.

In your downtime, set some time aside to check out key attractions including the Harley-Davidson Museum, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and the County Zoo.


2. New York City, New York

There was never any doubt that the ‘City that never sleeps’ would be on this list, with the most number of US coworking spaces by far, at 416 (LA comes second, with just 136). So, whether you want to be positioned in the sophisticated Upper East Side, edgy Brooklyn, or artsy Chelsea and Soho, you’ll be able to find your ideal coworking space.

On your evenings and weekends off, try and work your way through the 5,626 attractions the city has to offer. Central Park, the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building might be iconic attractions for your first time there, but you could also catch a basketball game at Madison Square Garden or watch the New York City Ballet at the Lincoln Center.


3. San Francisco, California

In third place is San Francisco, with lots to keep you occupied during your time off – from catching a ferry over to Alcatraz, to taking pictures with a backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge or enjoying a wander around Pier 39. With 2,289 attractions, you’ll be struggling to decide where to start first!

With the second-fastest US broadband speeds on our list, at 230.24 M/bps, San Francisco is a great place to work – and you’ll have 89 coworking spaces to pick from, not to mention the number of cafés you can sit in, with a slice of cake and a great cup of coffee.

Fort Worth, Philadelphia, and Nashville make up the top five workcation spots in the US, but for coworking spaces, New York and LA aside, Chicago, Houston, and Denver are the cities to be.

For affordable workcation destinations, El Paso and Indianapolis offer cheap coffee (although not as cheap as Milwaukee), or for cheap beer, head to Oklahoma City, El Paso, or Detroit.

Workcation hotspots in Canada

Moving north of the border to Canada, discover the cities that came out on top of our index for freelancers and remote workers; offering the ideal mix of work-life balance.

1. Saguenay, Quebec

The small city of Saguenay comes in first place, due to its affordable costs – a cup of coffee costs an average of US$2.37 (AU$3.55), and a beer will set you back by US$2.92 (AU$4.36) – the cheapest on our Canadian list.

Whilst the city might only have one coworking space (so you might need to head to a coffee shop to work), it does boast the fastest broadband speeds in Canada, at 270.71 Mb/s.


2. Regina, Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan’s capital comes in second place, with the second-fastest Canadian broadband speeds, at an average of 229.88 Mb/s. Prices are cheap here too, with the average cup of coffee setting you back by US$3.15 (AU$4.71), and a beer at US$5.09 (AU$7.62).

Once you’ve logged off for the day, check out some of the city’s 138 attractions, starting with the picturesque Wascana Park, with its perfectly landscaped gardens, and the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, which is home to the largest T-Rex in the world.


3. Halifax, Nova Scotia

In third position is Halifax, with six coworking spaces (but relatively cheap coffee prices, so you can afford to work from a café!), and broadband speeds of 171.84 Mb/s.

On your evenings and weekends, spend your time exploring the city, with a visit to the boardwalk, which is home to the Farmer’s Market, and Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. What you might not know, is that Halifax has a surprisingly great nightlife scene – The Carleton on Argyle Street boasts great food and drinks, and there’s lots of great craft beer venues too, including the New Scotland Brewing Company.

Canada’s larger cities like Toronto and Vancouver sit further down the rankings, in sixth and seventh place. Whilst they’re better equipped for working, with Toronto home to 154 coworking spaces, and Vancouver at 60, they’re both on the more expensive side. For example, in Toronto, a beer will cost you US$5.82 (AU$8.71).

Workcation hotspots in Australia

Alternatively, if you want to stay in Australia and visit a new city, then read on to discover the workcation hotspots that offer speedy broadband, coworking spots, and attractions all wrapped up in one.

1. Toowoomba

The city of Toowoomba – an hour and a half drive west of Brisbane – has come out top for a workcation in Australia.

Not only does it have the second-fastest Australian broadband speeds, at 82 Mb/s, but it’s an affordable place to stay, with the average cup of coffee costing AU$4.58, and a beer costing just AU$5.47 – both the cheapest on our local list.

During your time off, head to Queens Park, which is home to botanical gardens, or Picnic Point Lookout, which is well known for its beautiful views. Alternatively, if you find yourself craving the city life, then spend the weekend in nearby Brisbane.


2. Sydney

With 163 coworking spaces, you’ll have lots of places to choose from when you’re considering where to work in Sydney, as well as the highest number of attractions in the nation, at 2,362 – so there’ll be no end of things to do when you’re there.

During your weekends, head to one of the many beaches – from the world-famous Bondi and Manly Beaches, through to the quieter Shelly Beach – or stay in the city for some sightseeing. The Opera House, Harbour Bridge, and Royal Botanic Gardens are just a few of the things that you should see if it’s your first time in Sydney.


3. Melbourne

Melbourne comes a very respectable third place for a workcation destination, with the fastest broadband speeds, at 88.91 Mb/s, and the largest amount of coworking spaces in Australia, at 212 – making it a freelancer’s dream.

The city also has the country’s second-highest number of attractions, at 1,932, so there’s lots to do in your spare time. The city is best known for its street art, which can be found on practically every street corner, and you should also sample the café culture on Lygon Street, which is often referred to as ‘Little Italy’.


4. Hobart

With its beautiful views over the River Derwent, and its great foodie scene, with Salamanca Markets and Farm Gate Markets just a couple of places to head to, Hobart is a great place for a relaxing break.

But it turns out it’s also good for a workcation too, with some of the fastest broadband speeds in Australia, at 75.18 Mb/s. And, whilst the city might not have many coworking spaces (just four), the cost of a coffee is relatively cheap, at AUD$5.09, so you could work from a café instead.


5. Brisbane

Rounding off our top five is Brisbane, with it boasting Australia’s third-highest coworking spaces at 82, and fourth-highest broadband speeds, at 69.84 Mb/s. Plus, with 1,157 attractions around the city, there’ll be no end of things to do during your evenings and weekends.

You could spend a whole day at Mt Coot-tha, watching the sun rise over the city, and then walking through the rainforest and gardens, or head to Tangalooma, where you can snorkel and maybe even see some dolphins.

Cairns, Newcastle, Perth, Adelaide, and Canberra make up the top 10, due to their slower broadband speeds and small number of coworking places. However, Cairns and Newcastle are on the more affordable side, with the average cost of a beer totalling AU$8.96 and AU$9.47 respectively.

Adrian Taylor, General Manager of General Insurance at Compare the Market Australia stated: “If you want to explore more of the world, then one way of doing this can be by taking a workcation, meaning you can discover a completely new city, whilst still earning money by working in your spare time.

“Regardless of whether you take a holiday or a workcation, if you’re planning on travelling abroad, you should consider taking out travel insurance, as it can cover you for a variety of things, from flight cancellations through to unexpected illnesses. And even if you decide to stay in Australia for a staycation, you might want to consider domestic travel insurance, to give you complete peace of mind.”

So, the only thing left for you to do now is pick your favourite workcation destination, and enjoy immersing yourself in a new country and culture!

Methodology & Sources

This dataset ranks 100 cities across Australia, North America, and Europe, based on how good they are for a work holiday. To do this, 40 cities from Europe, 40 cities from the US and Canada, and 10 cities from Australia were selected.

The data for the five different factors relating to work abroad schemes was then collected from the sources listed below. Once the data for the factors was collected, the factors were then normalised to provide each factor with a score between 0 and 1.

The normalised values were then added together and multiplied by 20, to give each city a total score out of 100. The cities were then ranked from highest to lowest, based on their total scores.

The factors used are as follows:

The factors were indexed as follows:

  • Average Broadband Speed – High values get a high score. Low values get a low score.
  • Number of Attractions – High values get a high score. Low values get a low score.
  • Number of Co-Working Spaces – High values get a high score. Low values get a low score.
  • Average Coffee Price – Low values get a high score. High values get a low score.
  • Average Domestic Beer Price – Low values get a high score. High values get a low score.

Currencies were converted using Google Finance’s currency converter on 17/03/23, with the following rates:

  • GBP to USD = 1.21
  • GBP to AUD = 1.81
  • GBP to EUR = 1.14

All data is correct as of 17/03/2023.


Other sources: