A new ranking has revealed which European capital cities are the best for Americans to work remotely in 2023 with Bucharest, Romania crowned the winner. The ranking was created by digital nomad visa expert Nomad Capitalist, with each capital city scored based on four key factors: accessibility, affordability, logistics, and longevity.
Accessibility looks at the average return flight cost to each capital city from America (flying from JFK or LAX), the current Schengen visa approval rate for those looking to stay for up to 90 days, and the percentage of the local population who speak English fluently.
Affordability accounts for monthly rent, utility, transport, and typical food expenditure in each city – and how this compares to the average monthly salary for Americans ($4,588).
Logistics looked at the local broadband quality, how the time difference compares to America (Washington D.C.), and the density of co-working spaces in each city center.
Longevity calculates the long-term value of putting down roots in each city. According to Nomad Capitalist’s Passport Index, it assigns each country a score for perception (how the citizens are received), the ease of getting dual citizenship, and tax considerations.
When all factors are considered, it turns out that Bucharest in Romania is the best place to visit for those looking to work abroad this year, as it scored 33.4 out of 40 overall.
This high score is largely attributed to the reasonable return flight cost of $544 – 47% less than a return flight to Rome ($1,031) – and the Schengen visa approval rate of 93%.
The city is also one of the most affordable destinations analyzed in the study, as once rent, utilities, transport, and groceries are accounted for, the average American should have $3,739 of their salary left to play with (equivalent to 16,647 Romanian lei).
Bucharest also has one of the best broadband speeds in the ranking and a high density of co-working spaces in the immediate center (19) – compared to just five in Malta. The time difference is also manageable, as the city is seven hours ahead of Washington D.C.
For those looking to put down roots while working abroad, Romania is ideal, as it’s one of the easiest countries to procure dual citizenship, and its citizens are also perceived well in other locations. Income tax is also charged at a flat rate of 16%, which is easier to manage.
The only area the city was let down by is the percentage of fluent English speakers, which reportedly stands at 31% – meaning workers might need to up their language studies.
Following Bucharest as the best capital city for a remote working stint is Copenhagen in Denmark, which scored well for broadband speed (208.6 Mbps) and remote working spaces, with Google Maps showing 20 buildings are available in the city center.
Dublin rounds out the top three, scoring particularly highly for long-term desirability. Americans might want to extend their stay in the city or pursue dual citizenship to benefit from low tax rates and good public perception.
The 10 best European capital cities for digital nomads
- Zagreb, Croatia
- Tirana, Albania
- Riga, Latvia
Surprisingly, despite being a coveted holiday destination among Americans, Paris ranked 26th with a suitability score of 29 /40 – placing it slightly ahead of Rome, which scored 28.9.
While there’s not a massive margin in the end scores, there were significant differences across the four metrics, with Paris let down by its accessibility; flights prove expensive from LAX and JFK at an average of $883, and the Schengen Visa approval rate stands at 82%.
Long-term desirability could also be improved in the ‘City of Light’, as its longevity score was pulled down by tax considerations, and how its citizens are perceived could be better.