Freelance work has exploded in recent years, and even more so now during the Covid-19 pandemic. It has offered never-before-seen work opportunities in cities across the world. It has also highlighted the necessity for companies to change the way that they see remote work and change the narrative around hiring freelancers from abroad.

In the tech sector, the demand for software developers is now beginning to outpace the supply, and reserarch indicates that within the U.S. alone, “tech talent shortage is predicted to cost the country USD 435.7 billion.”

As it becomes tougher to source the necessary talent from their cities, businesses and major tech companies are reaching out to freelancers in countries other than their own. By dipping into the freelance talent pool outside your local options, you can successfully outsource your development needs, without taking away from your core business objectives.

Yet, with the increase in freelancer availability, the issue now rests in: where are the best cities to hire developers?


DoneStreet brings together the developer talent you need from local talent to that found across the globe, making your search to find the perfect freelance developer easier than ever.

To show the global reach of our company, we’ve put together a fun list that shows the top six global cities to source freelance developers from. Our list shines a light on some of the most popular cities, and also why it’s an excellent idea for businesses to source talent from these cities. Bonus: if you’re a freelance developer looking to make a move to working abroad, these cities could be a great place to start.  

From earnings to affordability and cost of living, the cities highlighted in this list attract some of the best in remote developer talent from across the globe as well as having highly-skilled homegrown talent looking for meaningful work. Each will have a great talent pool for your company to find the unique candidates that it needs.



This northern European city boasts high earnings for freelance developers, as well as a great culture. It also has some of the lowest cost of rent for international locations, making it very affordable for freelancers. Berlin’s cost of living is much lower than the top 10 U.S. cities (including Chicago, Los Angeles, and Seattle), making it the top city to move to for remote developers and software engineers who like a low(er) cost of living and the idea of living in Europe.

The homegrown talent is also highly-skilled and well educated, as many schools across Germany, including the Technical University of Munich (18th on this list of world university rankings by the subject: computer science), rank highly as some of the best software development schools globally. As a company, this is a great place to find the talent you need. Most, if not all, citizens of Germany speak English, making it easier to communicate with your chosen freelancer.  



Spain is always a good idea; the saying goes. When it comes to freelance talent, it holds true. A trendy hotspot, Barcelona brings together a great climate, unique culture, and fabulous work-life balance. It’s reported that there are nearly three million self-employed people, or ‘autónomos,’ in Spain, meaning that there is some highly-trained talent looking for freelance engagements.

Barcelona also has many coding schools, boot camps, and university programs such as the Universitat de Barcelona, making it a great place to find highly trained freelance developers.  

Businesses that are looking to hire freelance developers can dip into the local Spanish talent pool.



Up next on the list is another historic European city. Zurich brings together the patented Swiss work-life balance along with access to good wages and an appetite for entrepreneurship, making it an ideal place to source freelancers.

This beautiful, mountainous city in central Europe boasts one of the top global university programs for computer science. ETH Zurich is third on this list (world university rankings by the subject: computer science) and is among some of the world’s most prestigious universities in science and technology. Side note, it’s also home to 20 Nobel Prize Laureates, including Albert Einstein, the father of modern physics. Tap into the local talent and bring on some of the best developers to your team.

And if Zurich doesn’t have the talent you need, check out the nearby city of Lausanne, which is home to École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, the 20th on the list of best global universities for computer science.



Similarly to many Portuguese and Spanish cities, Lisbon offers excellent food, history, and culture, alongside a booming entrepreneur and startup scene. Lisbon is another Mediterranean city that brings freelancers in from far and wide, despite being on the more expensive end of the spectrum.

Portugal offers better housing options than many other European cities, which is always a plus for freelancers looking to relocate. Lisbon also ranks high on this recent list of best cities for digital nomads to head to; the list accounts for things such as internet speed, co-working spaces, a large number of startups, and entry requirements.  

Due to the last few years being economically rocky for Portugal, many trained locals are turning to freelance work rather than traditional office work, meaning there is some high-quality talent looking for remote developer work. Portugal is an ideal place for scouting the professionals you need for your company.



The “Great White North” an entry on our list as one of the best places to source remote developer talent not only for its affordability and ease of entry but also for its burgeoning tech startup scene and well-educated talent. The welcoming environment of this city is a great place for companies looking for new additions to their team to source the right person for the job.

With an abundance of co-working spaces and great coffee shops, Toronto has slowly risen in the ranks of best cities for sourcing freelance talent. The University of Toronto is also high on the lists as one of the best schools for post-secondary education in software development and engineering.



This Balkan city is known for its extremely professional, highly-skilled, and affordable workforce. Serbia is one of the top destinations in Europe for companies hiring in any field, and especially those who are looking for software developers.  

Most citizens and freelancers seek freelance opportunities outside of their 9-to-5 as a way of generating additional revenue. Many Serbian Millennials are dropping their regular full-time roles jobs altogether and turning to full-time freelancing for a living.


As the world shifts and we change gears towards a more remote and freelance-inclined workplace, there are many cities that we can expect companies to find the freelance talent that they need. Hiring freelancers that are in other cities or countries can help provide different perspectives to the work that you are doing and bring new, innovative ideas to your team.  

If you’re looking to hire a software developer on a freelance basis, don’t look any further. Take the guesswork out and lean on DoneStreet to introduce you to the right talent, from local to global. We’ll introduce you and help you securely work with them through your entire lifecycle. Uncertain about how to get started? Contact us today to learn how you can test out a freelance developer for your team, with no strings attached.