I left my job in 2017 and started living a life of digital nomad. Since then, I have worked from multiple locations and have found some places having better facilities and infrastructure for remote workers with faster wifi, better cafes and good music.
When we talk about digital nomads and freelancers, places like Bali and Galle (Sri Lanka) automatically come in mind. But with time, remote work is slowly getting popular in India. Certain locations in India have seen a lot of interest from digital nomads like me.
Mcleodganj in Dharamshala is one of the locations that is really popular among freelancers. The lower areas of this region including Sidhbari, Rakkar and Palampur are really popular bases for this community and there is a nice network that you can be a part of.
Some advantages of choosing Dharamshala region as your base during summers are –
- Easily available apartments in upper and lower areas of the town
- Fast wifi as well as seamless phone network connectivity
- Cafes equipped with wifi, charging points, good food, coffee and great views
- Nice public transport connectivity
- Regular events to network and mingle
But before choosing Dharamshala as your remote job location, you should know about a couple of hardships that you may end up facing.
- Lack of public transport after 8 PM
- Regular rains that disrupt network
- You may have to walk a lot if you plan to work from outside
- Mcleodganj gets really crowded in summers which is not inspiring
- Some of the hostels in this list are a little far away and you will have to walk a lot to reach there
If you plan to move to Mcleodganj in summers then make sure that you keep these pointers in mind. However, if you are coming here to spend a week or 15 days then I am listing down a couple of hostels and cafes that are best for working remotely.
Bunker Hostel is in Dharamkot area. You will have to walk beyond a point where the cab will drop you. But the hostel has a nice common area and every table has its own charging point along with free wifi.
Shalom Backpackers and Flugler’s Hostel
I am listing both hostels together because they are close to each other and have similar facilities. However, the hostels are a little crowded compared to Bunker. You’ll find wifi and a common area to work from. Flugler’s common area is smaller than Shalom’s.
Zostel is right next to Bunker. It is one of the more popular properties in the area so expect a lot of people in summers. But the rooms are bigger, the common area is bigger and cosier than all the hostels in this area.
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If you don’t plan to stay in Mcleodganj and want be in lower Dharamshala (which is less crowded and touristy) then Hobo Hostel is where you should stay. Facilities are similar to other hostels mentioned in this blog.
Peace Coffee is located on Bhagsu Road, some 200 metres away from the main Mcleodganj market. They have a cozy interior with a outer space that shows amazing views of Dhauldhars. Wifi is free but the interiors can get really crowded because that is the only area with charging points. But this was my favourite place to work because it was hardly ever crowded.
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Located in lower Dharamshala, it is near Norbulinka monastery. You’ll have to walk in order to reach this place but the facilities are just too good for freelancers. The wifi is great, the food is good and coffee is mind-blowing.
If you are interesting in taking bites of cheesecakes while working, then Yak Café is where you should go. The seating space is small and they are closed in afternoon, so keep an alternate place in mind before you come here. It is close to main market and easy to find.
Café Coffee Day
Café Coffee Day is present in Maximus Mall in Lower Dharamshala. It is as non-touristy as you can imagine. The tables come with charging point, the interior is very large and mostly empty. Wifi is free but phone network can be a little problematic.
Nick’s Italian Kitchen
With a large interior and outer seating area, Nick’s Italian Kitchen is perfect to spend some time working with your laptop. They don’t have many charging points but coffee is really good.
Close to Dalai Lama Temple, Khaana Nirvana has a rooftop seating space from where you can work. The food prices is on the higher side but the facilities are really good for freelancers in Mcleodganj.
Located in Bhagsu Area, Chilly Beans is made for digital nomads coming to Mcleodganj. Every seat comes with a charging point and the wifi is free. Just order a ginger lemon honey tea and you can spend an hour enjoying some good bohemian music.
These suggestions will surely help you find a good spot to work from. There are a lot of cafes and hostels that lack basic infrastructure, are too crowded or have loud music. Avoid them because it will simply ruin your experience.