What are the nomad hotspots in Eastern Europe (outside Schengen)?

Hi everybody,

In august my Schengen tourist visa will be over. I would like to go 3 months in Eastern Europe, but it needs to be outside of the Schengen area. I would have loved to go to Budapest but because it’s Schengen I can’t…

Frankly, I don’t know Eastern Europe that well. What are the best spots for Digital nomad in this region ? Also, I need a cool co-working space, I don’t like working from my house.

Thanks !

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A quick glance on Google Maps shows me these countries border the Schengen area in the east:

Belarus, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania.

In terms of cities, you’re best bet is Sofia (less developed) and Bucharest (well developed, safe and fast internet)

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Check out Belgrade/Serbia also…if you need any help i would be glad to help you…

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I really enjoyed Croatia. Cheap. Gorgeous. Good food. And my internet in Split was reliable. I don’t do co-working spaces myself, so can’t speak to that, but Split is pretty happening, so I’d be surprised if they didn’t have something.

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Thanks everybody ! And Ivan where are you located ?

I am currently in Belgrade…i can show u around… :wink:

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I’d say Belgrade, but I would also recommend to check out Kiev or Lviv in Ukraine, it’s insanely cheap right now because of the exchange rate, internet is good, plenty of places to work from, nice people.

I agree with Ivan and Maria :slight_smile: You can read what I wrote about Belgrade and Serbia here Recommendations for the Balkans starting in April?

Hi buddy,
Sofia is the place you’d like to check. Why?

  1. Entrepreneurial tech scene is booming
  2. Great value for money - it’s rather cheap
  3. Sofia is place where you could do whatever, and if you’re seeking for nature/adventure - seaside is 400km and the mountain range with great hiking locations is 150km

Do let me know if you’re around.

Hey Thanks Teo !

So far, i’m thinking about Split, Belgrade, Sofia and Bucharest. But I slow travel (at least 1 month each place) so I may have to choose two or three amongst those.

If I go to Sofia, I will let you know for sure.

How reliable, @gigigriffis? Do you remember the speed? We’re considering going for 3 weeks next month, but this is my main concern.

I teach English via Skype 25 hours/week and really depend on a connection north of 6-7mbps at the minimum. We’re currently in Zagreb and had to use the ethernet adaptor just to get in that range, and it’s supposed to have a stronger connection than Split, so I’m not sure.

Let me know what you decided, @emondpph. My girlfriend and I have 3 weeks in-between apartments in Zagreb and are thinking of skipping town for that time. We definitely want to do Belgrade for a few days but were thinking either Sofia, Split, Bucharest or Varna for the other 2.5 weeks or so.

Sorry, I have no idea what speed it was. But I was able to do everything I needed to, and that includes at least one Skype call that I remember. I’m sure it depends where you stay/use the internet, but mine was good.

Split and Zagreb (Croatia) are pretty popular with digital nomads lately, but if you’re on a budget, avoid Split in summer season (mid-end September) as the accommodation is very expensive.

From what I’ve heard and seen around, Serbia is very strong in IT so if that’s your department, Belgrade might be a good place.

Here are some co-working spaces in Belgrade.

Just a warning for everybody considering Romania. Although it’s technically still outside the Schengen zone (but pushing hard to join by the end of the year) and therefore days spent there don’t count toward the 90-day limit of the “real” Schengen, my understanding is that the country has already started applying Schengen principles (including 90 days / 180) unilaterally. What it means that if you’re coming to Romania at the end of your 90 Schengen days expecting to spend even just a few weeks in Romania, you might be in violation of the Romanian (“unilateral / pre-Schengen”) border rules from day 1. I know it’s a bit weird, but think about it like this: their days don’t count, but they count everything: both the current Schengen countries and Romania.

So for the next few months, if you’re coming from outside Europe, you can visit Romania first and then continue on to the rest of Europe for 90 days (not having to count the days spent in Romania), but not the other way around.


Interesting. I never heard about this and got into Romania with no problem, no exit ticket, after spending 90 days in the Schengen zone. I plan to go to Croatia next, which has also applied to be part of Schengen, but they don’t expect approval for another five months.

Uuugh. The Schengen needs to stop expanding or lengthen their stay time. This is getting ridiculous.

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I agree.

Does anyone know why all these countries are so eager to join the Schengen? There may be some financial reasons I am not aware of (e.g. extra funds from Brussels to help maintain the common border) – in fact, I strongly suspect there’s got to be something there for the candidate countries’ elites for them to want to join so bad – but perhaps they’re also assuming it will help their tourist arrivals (because it’ll be all “seamless”).

Maybe it will. But I wouldn’t be so sure. EU citizens already don’t need any visas, by definition, and I can’t see how the membership will increase their numbers. But if I am in Europe as a non-EU country national, forced to count every day of my 90 allowed, well… no offense, Romania, Croatia, and the rest, but there are going to be quite a few places a bit higher on my wish list.

I agree with you, but they apparently don’t see it that way:

Where did you get the information about Romania already enforcing Schengen rules? Someone else on FB tried to say the same about Croatia. To me, either you’re in or out of the Schengen zone. I really hope to not get hassled but plan to print that article above just in case.

I’ll be really interested to see how schengen impacts tourism in places like Romania and Croatia, because I know most people when limited to three months aren’t choosing Croatia or Romania over France and Italy.