While transatlantic flights can be a bit of a challenge, Europe’s timeless charm, rich history, delicious cuisine, and gorgeous beaches sure make the trip from the U.S. worth it.
For those who need to squeeze some work hours during their vacation and open their laptops between sightseeing and beach sessions, the good news is that Europe has beach cities that can double as ideal destinations for Americans on a workation, making it easy to blend business and leisure.
To determine and rank these cities, CoworkingCafe used a comprehensive set of metrics to weigh things like the cost of an average round trip flight from the U.S., the monthly rent, and the cost of utilities, as well as the number of coworking spaces, among others.
Here are the top European beach cities for Americans to live and play in this summer:
Porto, Portugal – 72.6 Points
Apart from its famous Port wine, Porto is an ideal destination for Americans on a flexcation mainly due to the affordable round trip flight from and to the U.S., which stands at $759, the cheapest rate among all cities analyzed. At the same time, getting around the city is also affordable, as cab fares in Porto are the second-cheapest ones in this list, at $1.20 per mile.
Here, The Duoro River, the Ribeira district, the impressive Dom Luis I Bridge, and, of course, the gorgeous, sandy beaches that are just a short, 15-minute drive from downtown are all excellent choices to enjoy after a successful day of work. Speaking of work, Porto also boasts a significant number of coworking spaces (54) for individuals who require a formal setting in which to conduct their business.
Alicante, Spain – 72.2 Points
This Spanish gem is the runner-up thanks to its affordable overall monthly cost of living of just $1,655. This includes the $786 round-trip airfare from the U.S., the $676 median monthly rent, the $136 monthly utility cost, and the $22 and $36 mobile and internet plans, respectively.
Alicante is one of the oldest cities in the country and has a fascinating history. Digital nomads and remote workers who choose Alicante as their home for the summer can enjoy the sprawling beaches, seaports, lively nightlife and delectable cuisine. That’s in addition to soaking up the fascinating history of gothic churches and the beautiful and well-preserved medieval structures, like the well-known Castillo de Santa Barbara. Moreso, workers in this sunny location can choose from one of the 102 coworking spaces spread out across the city, placing it fourth in this category.
Vigo, Spain – 71 Points
Vigo, the largest city in the Galicia area of Spain, is renowned for its fishing ports and naval bases, which guarantee that you’ll only find the tastiest and most delectable seafood here. If thinking about beaches with white sand and a variety of water activities doesn’t convince you to fly across the Atlantic, maybe knowing that Vigo serves as a departure point for a day journey to the stunning Islas Ces will do the trick.
Vigo’s overall monthly cost of living, which came in at $1,558 (the second lowest among the cities analyzed) helped raise its position in the ranking. This includes the $823 round-trip ticket from the U.S., the $823 monthly rent, the $103 monthly utility cost (the fifth-lowest cost on our list), and the phone and internet subscriptions. Tourists also benefit from one of the lowest cab fares in the city, which is about $1.80 per mile.
Valencia, Spain – 68.4 Points
Known as the official birthplace of the famous paella, Valencia is incredibly popular among tourists, mainly due to its ideal weather, beautiful beaches, eclectic museums and medieval structures. The city is also accessible to Americans, as the average cost for a round trip flight from the U.S. is $766, the second-lowest rate in this top.
The 60 coworking spaces available in Valencia are another plus for those who need to squeeze in some work in between leisure activities, and the city also enables low rates in mobile and internet plans, standing at $17 and $30, respectively. In addition, Valencia enjoys reasonably priced cab rides, at $1.80 per mile, which makes it simple for visitors to reach some of its most popular beaches, such as Malvarrosa Beach, which is home to an impressive artificial reef.
Malaga, Spain – 67.3 Points
The arts and culture scene in Pablo Picasso’s hometown is naturally booming, so you know you’ll never run out of interesting things to do after work. One of the best things about picking Malaga for a European workation is that the flight won’t set Americans back by much, as a roundtrip price from the U.S. starts at an average of $759, which ties Malaga to Porto in this category. Plus, magnificent beaches are spread out around the Costa del Sol, including Playa de la Malagueta in the middle of the city.
At the same time, getting around the city is quite inexpensive, with Malaga’s cab cost per mile ranking as the fourth cheapest, at just $1.50. Additionally, the city has 47 coworking spaces, which are perfect for a productive workday in a professional environment.
Split, Croatia – 64.8 Points
Known for having more day trip choices, a more active nightlife, and slightly lower costs than Croatia’s capital Dubrovnik, Split distinguished itself in this ranking due to its overall cost of living, which was the third lowest at $1,585 per month. Airline tickets from and to the U.S., rent, utilities, and phone and internet plans were all included. Split placed fourth in the category of monthly internet plans, given that consumers have to pay only $25 for high-speed internet, which undoubtedly comes in useful for American digital nomads on a workation.
Don’t let the absence of sandy beaches deter you, though, as beach places are our ultimate goal; Bavice Beach is a local favorite here. It was formally inaugurated in 1919 as Split’s designated “bathing area” and it’s a magnificent sandy beach located in the center of the city and close to the harbor.
Bilbao, Spain – 62.8 Points
This gorgeous port city, which is located on the northern shore of the Atlantic, is a great choice for Americans considering a workation partly because flights and cabs here are inexpensive. Bilbao ranks third in this area with a round trip fare of $770 on average from and to the U.S. The cab rate, on the other hand, was the fifth cheapest on the list, at $1.60 per mile, which makes traveling throughout the city a breeze.
As well as being well-known for its Basque food, Bilbao is also famous for the Guggenheim Museum, which is admired for its beautiful architecture and exhibitions of contemporary art. Ereaga is Bilbao’s most well-known beach, an urban beach perfect for sports like volleyball and soccer.
Tirana, Albania – 62 Points
Rent and utilities in Tirana are very reasonably priced, at $430 and $99 a month, respectively, making the city a great choice for visitors planning to stay at least a month. The city also has the absolute cheapest internet charge ($17 per month) and the second-lowest monthly cell rates ($16), making it simple for remote employees to rely on quick and secure internet to complete their tasks.
Tirana has a long communist past that ended in 1992, information that might be interesting to history buffs. Aside from its well-known landmarks like Skanderbeg Square, the Pyramid of Tirana, the Bunk’Art 1 bunker Museum and the Government Boulevard, Tirana is also renowned for its vibrant nightlife and its most well-known beach, Durres, which is located on the Adriatic coast and is only a short drive from the city center.
Naples, Italy – 61.4 Points
This stunning Mediterranean city that also happens to be the birthplace of pizza is bound to attract tourists from all over the world. Naples came in second in terms of affordable cell plans, which will please remote workers and digital nomads. Additionally, the city boasts a median monthly rent of $561, which makes it simple to live and work here for a longer amount of time.
Naples has all you need for an outstanding experience, including stunning scenery, the best Mediterranean cuisine, numerous historic buildings, as well as sprinkles of art and culture around every corner. Additionally, there are miles of white sand beaches here and the clean seas are perfect for a variety of water activities.
Genoa, Italy – 61 Points
This attractive city is particularly renowned for its distinctive fusion of numerous architectural styles, ranging from Gothic to Renaissance to Baroque, which makes tourism an incredible visual experience. Genoa, once renowned as one of the most significant ports in the Mediterranean, is now home to some of the most beautiful beaches and a scattering of brightly colored Italian homes.
Additionally, it is simple to get around the city and even get to the well-known beaches in Linguria thanks to the sixth-cheapest cab fares on CoworkingCafe’s list ($1.80 per mile). Additionally, Genoa has one of the lowest median monthly rents, at a little over $600, and the second-most reasonable mobile monthly plan, at $16.
To see the extended methodology used to compile this study, check out the CoworkingCafe blog.