(Photo by SplitShire on Pixabay)
Travel will sooner or later get back to normal. While you are waiting for most countries to open for tourists, what better thing to do than plan your next holiday somewhere affordable?
Do you know that there are numerous places in the world where you can go without spending much money?
In this article, we have gathered for you all cheap places to travel - based both on personal experience and other travel blogs’ guides.
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Now, let’s see where you can visit without going over budget.
Bratislava is a pretty city, which won’t cost you a huge amount of money to visit. Food prices can be similar to the rest of Europe, but overall, most things are pretty cheap.
It’s a great idea to combine visiting Bratislava and Budapest. The train ride between the two is a very pleasant experience.
Budapest should definitely be on your bucket list of capital cities to visit. It is an incredibly beautiful and picturesque city, with lots of history, monuments, museums and great views.
Whether you choose a hotel or an Airbnb, it won’t break the bank. Dining and shopping is also really inexpensive (we did both, a lot).
Oh, and don’t forget the Danube cruise - it’s a must. You’ll enjoy an amazing view with all the lights on at night.
(Photo by Deniz Fuchidzhiev on Unsplash)
Bulgaria is still overlooked by many travellers but is quickly gaining popularity. It has a lot to offer - sunny beaches, beautiful mountains, lovely old towns, historical sites, delicious and incredibly diverse cuisine. You can easily find inexpensive accommodation and super cheap places to eat. Whether you decide to visit in the summer and go to the Black Sea or go in the winter to enjoy the snowy mountains, you won’t be disappointed.
We recommend visiting the following cities: Sofia (the capital), Plovdiv (European capital of culture 2019), Veliko Tarnovo, Varna, Burgas, Nessebar, Sozopol, Bansko (especially for skiing) and Koprivshtitsa.
You don’t have to limit yourself to these places. You’ll find many hidden gems in Bulgaria. Locals will gladly tell you about some great views and restaurants off the beaten path.
Next in the list is neighbouring Greece. It’s truly among the cheapest countries to visit. There you will find amazing beaches, peaceful waters, great customer service, yummy food, and all that at incredibly cheap prices. What more can we say to convince you?
It is worth experiencing Istanbul, which has one foot in Europe and the other in Asia. Wandering the streets and trying the street food there is always a pleasure.
Even if you are on a tight budget and decide to skip the major sights such as the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia and the Topkapi Palace, you can still have a great time. Definitely see the Grand Bazaar and hop on a Bosphorus ferry.
One of my personal absolute favourites is Valencia where there’s plenty to see and do. Depending on where your accommodation is and whether you like walking, you can spend the whole day wandering about on foot.
Among the sights to see are Plaza de la Virgen, Plaza de la Reina, Plaza Redonda and the 13th century Valencia Cathedral, home to the Holy Grail.
The zoo and the oceanarium are absolutely amazing but if you think they’re too expensive for you, simply skip them - you’ll still have plenty of fun.
Besides, it’s a good idea to pack your swimsuit. Get a bottle of wine and spend the afternoon relaxing on the beach or having a picnic.
What’s more, Valencia has famous and really beautiful gardens and parks for you to visit.
When it comes to food, you can find various cheap restaurants. After a quick search on Tripadvisor, we came upon this lovely place calles La Finestra where you can stuff yourself full of yummy pizza (only €2 each).
More budget-friendly places in Europe that are worth visiting include:
- Romania (many charming towns and historical towns, free walking tours, cheap accommodation, public transportation and meals);
- Estonia (great for hiking and exploring national parks);
- Latvia (many lakes and rivers, great for canoeing, as well as castles and forests; Riga is beautiful and affordable);
- Lithuania (great nightlife, affordable prices. For a quieter experience, check out the Old Town in Kaunas, Klaipeda, and Curonian Spit);
- Ukraine (incredibly cheap food, transportation, accommodation and sightseeing);
- Georgia (beautiful, with affordable fees to museums and historical sites, cheap meals and accommodation);
- Poland (a must see for fans of heritage sites. Go beyond Krakow and Warsaw to explore other smaller towns like Gdansk, Wroclaw, and Zakopane);
- Croatia (plenty of sunshine and turquoise waters here, and everything is at reasonable prices. Zagreb is absolutely beautiful. Avoid July and August if possible - they’re the busiest months);
- Valetta, Malta (this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most affordable capital cities to visit);
- Portugal (the beautiful Alentejo coast offers cheap fresh seafood, and Lisbon is vibrant but less crowded than cities in Spain. From Lisbon, you can take a day trip to enjoy the rugged beauty of Sintra. If you visit Porto in the winter months, you’ll also manage to save money);
- Prague, Czech Republic (a beautiful city, full of history and easy to explore by foot. It’ll be even cheaper if you go to Cesky Krumlov and Telc);
- London, England (sure, London is not considered cheap usually, but you can save money by staying in a cheaper area. Plus, you can do a lot of sightseeing for free.)
(Photo by George Bakos on Unsplash)
Cambodia in Southeast Asia is best known for being home to Angkor Wat, which is the largest religious monument in the world. You might be surprised to know then that this is an affordable destination to visit.
You can get a tuk-tuk (on open motorcycle taxi) and have the driver wait for you and take you from temple to temple. Explore as long as you want - hiring a tuk-tuk for the entire day costs about the same at a 15-minute taxi ride in New York City! That’s mind-blowing!
Apart from the ancient temples, you will enjoy the beautiful French Colonial architecture in the capital, Phnom Penh and the cheap French bakeries.
Those travelling on a budget will love to know that lots of temples are actually free to visit.
Meals and accommodation are also incredibly cheap. However, you must buy drinking water and not drink from the tap.
If you want to save even more and avoid crowds of tourists, choose to visit outside of the cool dry season, which is from November to February.
Nepal is incredibly cheap, but difficult to visit in the low season.
The best months are March to May and September to November when you'll get great weather and prices that are really low.
You can climb and trek for cheap, just not Mount Everest. There are local guided treks, which are cheaper when you book once you’re there instead of in advance. Or you can simply explore on your own.
It’s one of the cheapest Asian countries but still underrated. You can enjoy some great views and adventure tourism there, and see the world’s largest cave.
Accommodation and local food are incredibly cheap too.
Thailand is still one of the cheapest holiday destinations worldwide.
While the southern beaches offer some higher prices, you can reduce the cost by going more inland.
The northern Chiang Mai region is great for budget travellers. Once there, you can see rice fields, Buddhist temples and hill tribes.
Laos lacks the mass tourism of Thailand. It provides great outdoor activities like climbing, trekking, kayaking, zip-lining and hot air ballooning, and all that is at mind-blowingly cheap prices.
Bali is a beautiful resort island and a popular choice for many people. You can go off the beaten track and choose to visit its neighboring islands, Lombok and Java, as well as the Komodo islands and Flores, or Sumatra, West Nusa Tenggara, and Sulawesi.
You will find everything here - from white sand beaches to jungles and savannahs, volcanoes and rainforests…
The Philippines offer you some of the nicest beaches in Southeast Asia. There are over 7000 islands to choose from! Besides its coastline and nature, you will enjoy its fascinating culture, which is a mix of Asian and Spanish/US colonial influences.
More cheap places in Asia:
- Shanghai, China
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
(Photo by Sergey Pesterev on Unsplash)
Morocco is close to Europe and quite cheap to travel to.
Morocco has a growing network of backpacker hostels if you’re a backpacker. Depending on your budget, you could stay in some of the iconic traditional hotels with garden courtyards.
This small archipelago off the coast of Africa is incredible to explore. It can make a great winter escape thanks to its climate.
The island of Sal offers inexpensive package holiday resorts, but for more culture and nature go to the island of Santo Antao. You will love it if you hike and trek, as it has some amazing landscapes.
Cape Verde is safe and developed and offers great value for money.
Uganda is a safe and stable country, which is perfect for a cheap safari. There are many big animals to spot.
To get the cheapest possible prices, visit between March and May or during the months of October and November, which are the wettest months.
More cheap places in Africa:
- The Gambia
- South Africa
Mexico can provide you with a nice beach holiday or a truly cultural experience. There is much to discover.
A classic travel route is the one from the buzzing Mexico City to Oaxaca, ending on the Yucatan Peninsula. If you’re on a tight budget, it’s worth checking out Chiapas state, where you can explore jungles, waterfalls, and Mayan ruins for cheap.
Americans and Europeans can take advantage of the currency exchange rate of the peso, which is still favorable.
For European travellers, here is a tip: look out for some bargain flights to Cancun.
(Photo by Leandro Loureiro on Unsplash)
What’s great about Colombia is that it has a little bit of everything from South America: the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, the Amazon rainforest, and the start of the Andes mountain range. All this plus Medellín and Bogota, and more.
Guatemala may not have as developed a tourism industry as Costa Rica, but it’s worth considering. Its landscapes are simply amazing.
You can visit the Mayan temples of Tikal in the jungle, which is a spectacular sight especially at sunrise. Other spots worth seeing are the highland lake of Atitlan in the south, surrounded by volcanoes and quaint villages, and Semuc Champey where you can explore river caves and swim through cascading pools in the jungle.
Brazil is the fifth-largest country in the world and offers numerous great travel destinations.
The huge waterfalls of Iguaçu, the bay of Rio de Janeiro, the colorful beach towns of the Bahia coast are just some of them.
Life in Bolivia is simple and travel can be slow and sometimes a bit uncomfortable.
However, Bolivia is South America’s cheapest destination, where you could easily spend no more than $20 a day. Moreover, there you can discover some amazing sights such as the world’s highest lake Titicaca and the mind-blowing salt flats of Salar de Uyuni.
Not many airlines fly directly to Bolivia, but you can combine it with Peru. Lima has many international flight connections.
More cheap places to travel in the Americas:
- New Orleans, USA
What is a cheap destination to one can be expensive to another. It all depends on your budget, perspective and style of life. However, there is some universal criteria for deeming a destination cheap to travel:
- Cheap way to get there - by plane, train, bus, car, boat, etc.;
- Cheap transport around the country you’re going to;
- Cheap street food as well as good restaurants;
- Cheap accommodation;
- Low prices of essentials from the store;
- Low prices on some type of entertainment.
Here is a list of some relatively cheap places to travel during Covid right now - it is more specifically for Americans. Circumstances may change so it is best to check official resources before booking your tickets.
- In Mexico:
- Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen
- Puerto Vallarta
- Los Cabos
- In the Caribbean:
- Dominican Republic
- Punta Cana
- La Romana
- Puerto Plata
- Montego Bay
- Ocho Rios
- Antigua and Barbuda
- St. Barts
- St. Lucia
- St. Maarten
- Turks and Caicos
- Elsewhere in the Americas:
- Costa Rica
- Other islands:
- Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Moorea
Now you know which the cheap places to travel around the world are. No matter which continent or country you want to visit, it’s always possible to stay on budget and still have a great time. All you have to do to achieve this is do some research, get the best tips from fellow travellers and prepare in advance.