The digital nomad lifestyle is pretty great. It’s no wonder millennials are trading the tiresome woes of 9-5 offices for exciting world travel, with the flexibility to work whenever’s best. Whether it’s a laptop session on a beach in Bali, a cosy Czech coffee shop or quirky co-working hub in Edinburgh, ditching the rat race opens the door to loads of exciting new experiences.
But while the life of a nomad might seem carefree and spontaneous, there are still heaps of factors to consider before travelling to a new location. Will there be plenty of access to free Wi-Fi? Is the cost of living low? Will you be able to find a convenient workspace? You’ve still got to work and make ends meet – so as well as checking out a city’s culture and attractions, make sure that you’re able to work productively there.
There are loads of cities in the UK that are ideal for digital nomads – places like Glasgow and Edinburgh are all oozing with culture, history and beautiful sites, plus they have cool co-working spaces, trendy cafés and guaranteed Wi-Fi spots. By staying outside of London, you’ll be able to keep costs low without missing out on the UK’s thriving urban scene.
Digital Nomad Guide to Glasgow
From Van Gogh in its galleries to Bansky on its streets, Britain’s best live music scene, an array of ancient architecture and ‘interesting’ cuisine (haggis, tikka masala or chilli ice-cream anyone?) – Glasgow’s packed with unique and unmissable experiences.
Get a taste of Scottish history by visiting captivating historical sites like Glasgow’s oldest house, the 15th century Provand’s Lordship, and the extraordinary City Chambers, which was officially opened by Queen Victoria herself.
Or experience the hip and happening side of Glasgow by catching some live music at one of its cool venues. King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut was once dubbed “the finest small venue in the world” by NME while Barrowlands Ballroom is famous for its neon sign and multi-coloured walk of fame pathway.
Art galleries like Kelvingrove and the Glasgow GoMA are ideal spots to stroll through when you’re in need of a break. Not only are they free entry, their incredible buildings and impressive art collections are bound to give you a creativity boost. The city’s murals are pretty awesome too - you won’t get far without wandering past a wacky wall with a balloon-led taxi or some giant gangster cat puppets.
The city centre has a huge range of delicious and affordable restaurants. If you fancy trying out proper Scottish cuisine, Ubiquitous Chip has a great lunch deal that serves up haggis neeps ‘n’ tatties (including a veggie option). Glasgow’s also renowned for its fantastic curry houses – Mother India’s Café is one of the favourites among locals, while Ranjit’s Kitchen is super cheap.
There are also some great pubs for when you feel like letting your hair down. Sloans is famous for its traditional Scottish Friday night Ceilidhs, while The Pot Still has over 600 different whiskies to try. If you’re a fan of Trainspotting, pop for a pint at Kelbourne Saint to see the set of the legendary balcony scene.
If you need a break from the busy city, there are some beautiful places to visit just outside of Glasgow. The stunning Trossachs National Park is just a 50-minute drive away and is home to Scotland’s biggest loch – Loch Lomond. There are plenty of bus tour groups that offer affordable trips to a huge range of places around Scotland, direct from Glasgow.
Co-working Spaces for Digital Nomads in Glasgow
There are loads of cool laptop-friendly coffee shops in Glasgow. With trendy spots like The Wilson Street Pantry and Spitfire Espresso in the Merchant City (Glasgow’s ‘cultural heart’), quirky cafes like Once Upon a Tart and Mono, and handy iCafes complete with meeting rooms, chargers and IT services – you’re guaranteed to get some serious slog done in this quirky Scottish city.
You could also nab a desk at one of Europe’s biggest and most prestigious public libraries, The Mitchell Library. Its second floor is a designated study area and is kitted out with loads of grand, old-fashioned desks that are free for anyone to use. The room itself is pretty amazing – it’s called Baillie's Reading Room and looks like it’s lifted straight out of a storybook.
Of course if working from a Victorian desk isn’t really your thing, you could always try one of the city’s cool and contemporary co-working spaces. Rookie Oven is a fab spot – not only is it a light and airy convenient desk space, it’s a cool tech community where you can meet like-minded people. The Distillery at The Whiskey Bond is another hot-desking space that’s pretty similar. It offers really flexible deals where you can hire a daily, weekly or monthly pass – and it gives you access to meeting rooms.
Digital Nomad Guide to Edinburgh
With its beautiful cobbled streets, magnificent castles, hidden underground alleyways and dormant volcanoes – Edinburgh is one of the most fascinating cities in the world.
The iconic Edinburgh Castle is one of Western Europe’s biggest attractions. Found on the famous Royal Mile, the jaw-dropping medieval castle is home to the Scottish crown jewels, the oldest building in the city (St. Margaret’s Chapel), the ‘magical’ Stone of Destiny and Mon’s Men, a 15th century gun.
A little further down the mile is The Real Mary King’s Close. Explore the remains of the underground city to learn what 17th century was like in the poverty-stricken close. Other must-see places on the mile include the Scottish Parliament and the Palace of Holyrood House (the Queen’s official Edinburgh residence).
You mustn’t miss the incredible scenes of Holyrood Park. It’s a stunning landscape complete with volcanoes, lochs, wells and ancient ruins. Climb Arthur’s Seat, a dormant volcano and the highest point of Edinburgh, to see some incredible views of the city.
Grassmarket is a fun filled area that’s soaked in history. What was once a place for public executions, is now a vibrant area filled with delicious eateries, buzzing pubs and eclectic boutiques. You’ll spot the city’s most loved monument, Greyfriars Bobby, who’s dedicated to the skye terrier that guarded his owners grave years after is death.
And make sure you pop for a pint at The Last Drop (named after Grassmarket’s last hanging) to see if you can spot its alleged ghost. If not, its mass of delicious pub-grub will make up for the lack of ghost sightings. You’ve got to try their legendary haggis, neeps ‘n’ tatties.
With its array of world-renowned festivals, visiting Edinburgh during the summer is a must. Throughout August, you can catch the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – the world’s biggest arts festival that’s got everything from stand-up comedy to circus acts. Last year saw performances by famous names like Frankie Boyle, Janeane Garofalo and Russell Howard.
The Edinburgh International Film Festival is another unmissable summer event – a fortnightly festival showcasing some of the finest films around. Previous EIFFs have seen the UK premiers of classics such as Taxi Driver, Amelie, Alien and Back to the Future.
Other fantastic festivals include Edinburgh’s Jazz and Blues Festival, Edinburgh Art Festival and Edinburgh International Book Festivals, all taking place from July to August.
Co-working Spaces for Digital Nomads in Edinburgh
Edinburgh is crammed full of trendy coffee shops that will make any millennial grin (and take photos) with glee. From the stylish Machina Espresso and Brew Lab, the cosy Zebra Coffee Company and Black Medicine... to the famous Elephant House. It’s said that JK Rowling wrote the early Harry Potter novels here, so if you’re looking for somewhere to spark some creativity, this place has proven to be pretty successful. There’s a cool coffee shop on almost every street in Edinburgh, the majority of which have a fab Wi-Fi connection – so unfortunately, you’ll have no excuse to ditch the deadlines.
You’ll find a load of co-working spaces in the Scottish capital too. Regus offer the most budget friendly spaces – their fab Grade A listed Victorian building on George Street has desk hire for about £6 per day. For flexibility, choose TEN Henderson Street where you can hire space at an hourly rate of about £3.
If you’re looking to socialise with fellow nomads, The Melting Pot is a great spot. Not only does it offer desk hire in a cool and contemporary environment, it also urges workers to chat, share ideas and inspire one another. It even hosts regular events like yoga mornings and inspirational talks.
Choosing the Right Accommodation as a Digital Nomad
Once you’ve settled on a city, it’s important that you choose accommodation carefully. The two most essential factors to consider are cost and Wi-Fi access. You’ll need something super affordable that comfortably fits your budget - while superfast, free Wi-Fi ensures that you’re able to work instantly at any time.
A central location will be very useful too, so that you’re surrounded by the city’s best attractions and workspaces. That way it’ll be easier to explore and you’ll be able to be flexible when planning your day.
Look out for any other facilities that could make your trip run even smoother. You’ll be packing light, so laundry facilities can be handy – while a communal lounge area could be a good way to meet new people. Chatting to the local staff is a good way of getting to know the area too, so be sure to ask for any recommendations on where to visit.
Check that the accommodation has an on-site bar and kitchen, as a place with good food deals can save you a lot of money. You should be able to get a decent breakfast for around a fiver, while evening meals can cost about £6.
Euro Hostel Accommodation for Digital Nomads
Euro Hostel have all the essentials that make it a top spot for Digital Nomads. With our competitive prices, we’re able to offer incredibly low-cost rooms in the heart of Glasgow and Edinburgh.
We’ve got everything from laundry facilities, to games rooms, to 24-hour reception staff who’ll help you get to know the area. There’s superfast free WI-FI throughout all our hostels too, including the Mint and Lime Bar.
Our Mint and Lime Bar in Glasgow makes a great place to work during the day. With superfast Wi-Fi, loads of power sockets and an extensive coffee and tea menu, it's a convenient and affordable spot for digital nomads. Plus, if you feel peckish after all the hard work, we’ve got a range of budget-friendly meals like £3.50 jacket potatos and £6 curries. You can even experience a bit of Scottish tradition and give the £6.50 Haggis Burger a try!
At Euro Hostel Edinburgh, there’s a comfy lounge for you to work or relax, as well as a self-catering kitchen where you can whip up a bite whenever you like. Making your own meals can save you loads of money – but if you do fancy eating out, we’re surrounded by loads of delicious, great-value eateries too.
Crables. What’s a Crable? Well a Crable is a shelf station that has power and light where you need it when working on the go.
In the Crable shelf you have wireless charging up top for your mobiles and other devices with a wireless receiver. Under the shelf there are power sockets, a USB and a light.
Euro Hostel were the World’s first hostel (or hotel for that matter) to install Crable Shelf Stations and we went all out to complement our superfast, free Wi-Fi by installing a Crable next to every one of our beds and next to almost every table in our bars.
Everyone knows the more Wi-Fi you use the quicker your battery goes down but now you can work and play all day without the worry of running out of power. Crables are definitely the Digital Nomad’s friend when settling down to work or to sleep.
If you’re a digital nomad who’s eager to explore the UK and keep working whatever the location, book your stay at Euro Hostel.