The world is filled with interesting and beautiful places to visit, but some are much more affordable than others. There are cities and countries that are known for being expensive, whether that’s because of the high number of tourists that visit each year, the isolated private location, or the shortage of space. But the one thing that these destinations have in common is that they are not recommended to those who want a budget-friendly holiday -- unless you’re willing to stay in some of the seedier areas and eat street food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
That’s not to say that these places are not worth visiting, and they definitely are, it’s just that the high cost of living makes them a little more exclusive. However, there are other countries that are remarkably affordable, and in some destinations, you can even get around for under $30 a day. Although many of these places and underdeveloped and unspoiled, they also offer luxury experiences at low costs and are a great opportunity to experience a completely new culture.
Below are 10 places that are great to visit and good value if you’re watching your cash, and 10 that are a must-see destination if you’re willing to splurge.
20 Affordable: Hungary's Capital Budapest Is A Dream Backpacking Destination
There are many places in Europe which can be costly, but Budapest, the capital city of Hungary, is not one of them. Actually, according to the Student Universe, it’s one of the cheapest places to travel because of the low cost of accommodation and other daily expenses.
Price of Travel reports that if you avoid the touristy areas along the river then you can enjoy a low-cost stay here, and the city is listed as the sixth cheapest destination on the Backpackers Price Index for 2018.
19 Affordable: Thailand Offers Low Costs And Luxury Experiences
Thailand is a country that has something for every traveler, and the people here are as warm as the climate. But it’s also a place that can be traveled by those on a budget, and according to Rough Guides, Thailand is one of the cheapest places to travel. They note that this is because food and accommodation that can be found at very low costs.
Goats On The Road reports that your biggest expense when traveling to Thailand will be your flights because you can get a very basic room for $10, and a local meal for as little as $2.
18 Affordable: Prague Is Becoming More Touristy, But It's Still Budget-Friendly
Prague is another European city that’s worth visiting because not only is it rich in culture and heritage, but it’s also suited to those who don’t have a big budget. According to Rough Guides, the Czech Republic city is affordable and has plenty to do, whether that’s drinking beer, or exploring the sites by foot.
However, Price of Travel notes that Prague’s popularity has increased in recent years, causing the city to become crowded, but also driving up the prices of hotels. It is still good value for money though and was listed as the 19th cheapest European city by the Backpackers Index List for 2018.
17 Affordable: Even Fancy Hotels And Villas Are Possible On A Budget In Bali
Making it onto Forbes’ list of cheapest destinations to travel, is Bali in Indonesia, which offers luxurious experiences at low prices. You can stay in backpackers and hostels, but even the upmarket hotels and villas are affordable to most, with Dame Traveler’s Nastasia Yakoub revealing that a private villa with a private pool would set you back just $50 a night.
Indie Traveller notes that Bali is the tourist hot spot because of the easy access to the airport, but also because it’s a place filled with beautiful beaches and culture.
16 Affordable: South Africa's Exchange Rate Makes It Accessible To Overseas Travelers -- And It's An Amazing Place
Because of the low exchange rate of the South African Rand in comparison to the dollar or the euro, South Africa is one of the more affordable cities to travel to. According to Backpacker Wanderlust, the country is also the perfect place for backpackers and there is a lot of accommodation to choose from at modest prices.
The food in South Africa is excellent and compared to other developed countries the cost of food and alcohol is much lower. But it also has developed infrastructure and a strong tourism industry, as Forbes notes.
15 Affordable: Bolivia Is Overlooked In Favor Of Other South American Countries, But It Shouldn't Be
Many South American countries are known to be affordable destinations to travel, but out of all of them, you may want to consider Bolivia. According to Time, Bolivia is often overlooked in favor of Brazil, Peru, Argentina, and Chile, but it’s a good destination to travel to if you have limited funds. The publication notes that for a hostel you can expect to pay around $6, and you should eat meals at local markets for the best possible value.
Other appealing things about the country is its diverse terrain, from the Amazon rainforests to the Andes Mountains, and Rough Guides reports that one of the most incredible sites to visit is the Salar de Uyuni salt flats.
14 Affordable: Experience All Ukraine Has To Offer With Very Little Cash
Eastern Europe is known to be much cheaper than other parts of Europe, and despite the fact that Ukraine has had some political problems in the past, it is a good place to visit if you don’t intend to splurge. However, Price Of Travel notes that people are not exactly flocking to Ukraine just to avail of a low-cost weekend.
If you are interested in backpacking, then you will be happy to learn that Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine, is listed as the cheapest on the Europe Backpackers Index for 2018, Price Of Travel reports.
13 Affordable: If You Don't Get Scammed In Morocco You Will Have The Best Time
In recent years Morocco, a country located in North Africa, has become a popular tourist destination. It’s also budget-friendly and was named on Forbes’ cheapest places to visit list.
Indie Traveller also notes that Morocco is North Africa’s most stable country and for backpackers, it’s becoming an increasingly appealing destination because the accommodation choices are expanding steadily. And Thrillist reports that you can pick up a comfortable room for two with breakfast for around $40, but could get a hostel for as little as $3 to $6.
Just be careful not to get scammed out of your money by locals offering to guide you to your accommodation.
12 Affordable: Travelers Understand The Appeal Of India Is A Lot More Than The Low Cost
India is an incredibly popular destination for travelers who want to experience something different, without breaking the bank. According to Rough Guides, the cost of food is staggeringly low, and this is a country where you can travel extensively, for very little.
Skyscanner notes that when you travel away from the upmarket areas in Mumbai and Delhi, you will find that the cost of living is also low. So low, that the site claims you can stay in hostels and eat local cuisine for as little as 1,500 rupees (roughly $21) a day.
11 Affordable: Get Ready To Experience Vietnam For Just $13 A Day
Although it’s enjoying a surge of popularity among travelers, Vietnam is underdeveloped and a cheap destination to travel. According to Skyscanner, it’s a destination that is naturally beautiful with impressive, unspoiled landscapes, and it’s also a place where you can live without spending much. Actually, the cost of living is so low that it may shock you, because the publication claims if a traveler was to stay in a guest house, use the transport, eat local food, and have a few local Bia Hoi beers, they could do this for £10 a day (about $13).
10 Exclusive: Oslo Is Worth A Visit But It Won't Come Cheap
Although there are many destinations you can travel to on a budget, Norway is not really one of them -- but don’t let the high cost deter you from this amazing country. The capital city, Oslo, has been named on many lists as one of the most expensive places to visit, including U.S. News’ 15 Most Expensive Places To Visit.
The publication claims the prices are high, but consistent. It’s also not just accommodation that will set you back, but the average price of a bottled water is reportedly $6. That said, this would be an unnecessary expense because the tap water in Norway is fantastic!
9 Exclusive: North Island In Seychelles Is Loved By The Rich And Famous
When it’s luxury you’re after you can expect to spend more, and there are few places as luxurious as the private island resort North Island in Seychelles. Not only was this island the destination of choice for British royal Prince William and Kate Middleton for their honeymoon, but it has also been visited by Amal and George Clooney, Travel and Leisure reports.
There are only 11 villas on this island, and that means that you can expect privacy, but that also comes with a hefty price tag as the most expensive villa reportedly costs $11,000 a night. And it’s not just North Island, but Seychelles as a whole that’s costly, with Escape Here reporting it is one of the 10 most expensive vacation destinations in the world.
8 Exclusive: Luxembourg Is Rich In Culture And History, And You May Need To Be Rich To Visit
Luxembourg is a small European country and there are many reasons why travelers want to visit; these include discovering the old town and the fortresses, and taking a UNESCO World Heritage walking tour, Visit Luxembourg reports.
But experiencing the beauty of Luxembourg does not come cheap, and according to Numbeo's cost of living survey (via The Telegraph), the country is the 8th most expensive country in the world. What this means is that a getaway here is not going to come cheap!
7 Exclusive: Vienna Is One Of The Most Fascinating, And Expensive, Places In The World
Vienna is Austria’s capital city located on the east on the Danube River, and it is home to some of the most exceptional museums and art exhibitions, actually, according to Vienna Now Forever, there are more than 100 museums in the city. In addition to culture and history, it’s also a place filled with remarkable buildings, including Pritzker Architecture Prize winners.
While the city may be incredibly appealing to visit, it’s also one of the expensive cities in the world, according to The Telegraph.
6 Exclusive: Geneva Is Going To Have You Opening Your Wallet
Switzerland is known to be an exclusive place to live in and visit, and according to Numbeo's cost of living survey (via The Telegraph), it is the second most expensive country in the world, beaten only by Bermuda. And a visit to Geneva is going to set you back a bit, as The Telegraph reports it’s one of the most high-priced places to visit. But the publication claims that despite this, it’s still considered a very “livable” city.
U.S. News also notes that while the citizens of the country benefit from the high wages, this does not exactly make it a budget-friendly destination for those not living in the city.
5 Exclusive: The British Virgin Islands Are Amazing But Exclusive
Who doesn’t want to escape the drone of everyday life and hang out on an island all day? But this sort of lifestyle seldom comes cheap and a visit to the British Virgin Islands -- an archipelago in the Caribbean that is British territory -- is pretty exclusive. According to Escape Here, the islands have a reputation for being the playground for rich British citizens, after all, Sir Richard Branson is the proud owner of one of these islands.
It’s not just the accommodation that will set you back when visiting, but also the transport. The publication notes, islands like Guana have no public access, so you would have to fly to the neighboring island and take a boat trip across.
4 Exclusive: Hong Kong Is Not Exactly A Budget City, But There Are Some Perks
On Numbeo's cost of living survey (via The Telegraph), Hong Kong is listed as the 10th most expensive country in the world. So, yes, a trip here does not exactly sound budget-friendly.
Hong Kong is an autonomous territory in southeastern China and according to Tripsavvy, it has a reputation for being one of the most expensive places to visit. The publication also comments on how the luxuries will really set you back, and that the price of accommodation is very high. However, there are some pros; transport is reportedly cheap, and if you opt for street food then eating out is not too costly.
3 Exclusive: Helsinki Is Not Accessible To All Travelers Because Of The High Cost
Helsinki is the capital of Finland, and among the best things to do while visiting (via The Crazy Tourist) is a trip to Helsinki Cathedral, explore the maritime fortress Suomenlinna, and visit Seurasaari Island to see typical Finnish buildings. But despite how amazing all of these things sound, The Telegraph claims that Helsinki is one of the world’s most expensive cities, and U.S. News reports that budget travelers may have to knock this city off their places-to-see list.
2 Exclusive: Paris Is The City Of Love, But That Comes With A Hefty Price Tag
There is no shortage of things to do and places to see in Paris -- from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre -- but the capital of France is also a city that is extremely expensive to travel too. According to Escape Here, because Paris has attracted so many tourists and has earned a reputation for being the city of love, the hotels want to go above and beyond, and this drives up the prices. The publication also claims that even some of the best hotels are not always in the best areas, and you may have to contend with street sellers and messy streets.
It’s not just the high costs to travel though but also the currency, as U.S. News notes that the Euro is much stronger than many currencies.
1 Exclusive: New York City Is Short Of Accommodation But Not Short On High Prices
New York City is a city you visit if you want to experience a faster pace of life, but the city is also known for being right up there with Paris for being expensive.
Escape Here notes that the city is the heart of many industries, including business and arts and culture, and because there is so much to do here, it’s very popular with tourists. However, there is limited space, and for this reason, hotels and other accommodation spots, charge higher rates. Very high rates! In fact, the publication goes so far as to say that this is not the place for the budget traveler.