Europe as a whole isn’t known for being a cheap place to travel. However, there are a few countries that are affordable, and Spain is certainly one of them! Whether it’s Gaudi’s art in Barcelona, Paella tasting in Valencia, or flamenco shows in Sevilla, there’s something flamboyant and beautiful around every corner.
Food and Transport
Prices for food and drink vary in every city. However, you can find a ‘menu del dia’ (starter, main, dessert) for as little as $9 USD and a beer for as low as $1.80 USD! Better still, head to places like Granada, where it’s common to get free tapas when you buy a drink. Make sure to go with an empty belly!
Landscapes in Spain are stunning, from the wide-open bays of the South to the green mountains of the north. Choose a train from Barcelona to Madrid for $20 USD or a bus from Malaga to Granada for the small price of $10 USD. Alternatively, choose to lift share on blablacar.com – a very popular choice in Spain for those traveling on a budget.
Where to Stay in Spain
Accommodation in Spain is generally very reasonable, particularly in smaller towns and villages. If you’re looking for the cheapest cities to stay in Spain, choose more affordable options like Valencia and Seville over pricier, more popular cities like Madrid and Barcelona.
When it comes to cheap countries to visit, Poland is up there as a well-known destination. Particularly popular for cheap city breaks, the country offers both beautiful cities and varied landscapes.
Where to Stay in Poland
Your money will go far in cities like Krakow. Here, you can find accommodation from $10-60 USD (45-220 Polish Zloty) per night, depending on whether you’re looking for budget or mid-range hotels.
Attractions & Transport
What’s more, the attractions in Poland are some of the most memorable in Europe. For example, the incredible Wieliczka Salt mine or the humbling experience of visiting Auschwitz; both of which have a well-priced ticket of around $25 USD (90 Polish Zloty).
Poland’s reputation for being industrial and grey couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, it’s home to colorful villages, fairytale castles, national parks, and even beaches! Road-tripping around Poland is an incredible experience, and hiring a car is very cheap here. Public transport is fast and punctual, and trains cost $12-30 USD.
For renting a car in Poland we recommend Sunny Cars because they work with local car rental companies. When booking through Sunny Cars, all insurances are included, and you will not have any surprises when collecting your car. Book your rental here.
Not only is Hungary home to one of the most beautiful European capitals, but it’s also a cheap place to travel to. Due to the affordability of Budapest, it has become a popular place to both live and travel, with students and digital nomads making the most of the cheap prices.
Best of all, sightseeing in Budapest is mostly free, which means your money will go way further. For example, St Stephens Basilica and the courtyards of Buda Castle are free to enter. There are also lots of cheap places to eat and drink. For example, the trendy ruin bars and street food gardens where you can get drinks for less than $2.50 USD.
Where to stay in Budapest
Budapest has plenty of options for all budgets when it comes to hotels and hostels (you can search for your hostel here). The best areas to stay are on the Pest side between Keleti station and the Danube River.
Looking to escape the city? Head out to beautiful areas of natural beauty, such as Lake Balaton. You can visit on a day trip by train starting from $10 USD one way.
4. Best cheap place to travel: Albania
Albania is one of the most underrated countries in Europe, home to incredible beaches with turquoise water, snow-capped mountains, fields of wildflowers, and Ottoman hilltop towns. Best of all, it’s one of the cheapest places to travel in the world – with affordable accommodation, hotels, and transport.
Also read: Tips on How to Travel Cheap
Food and Attractions
Food is super cheap in Albania; you can get a huge meal for 2 people (with salad and 2 main courses) for just 10 EUR (10.15 USD), and it’s delicious! Choose from a selection of delicacies, from stuffed peppers and eggplants to locally sourced olives and baked cheeses.
Besides the affordable dining options, most of the things to do in Albania are free. Wander among the Albanian Alps, stopping at viewpoints and dipping in natural pools, or road trip among coastal roads and enjoy this natural paradise for next to nothing.
Budget Tip: The Albanian currency is LEK, but Euros are also accepted. Save on exchange fees by converting your own local currency to LEK/EUR with a Wise card. You can use this card to withdraw from the ATM in Albania or pay by card at most shops. Get a Wise card here; it’s free!
Where to Stay in Albania
You can stay in incredible hotels all over the country for 50 EUR (51 USD) per night, although you can find good hotels for as little as 15 EUR (15.20 USD). Some of our favorites were in places like Himare and Theth.
Turkey is unique in that it straddles both Europe and Asia. The benefit of it being part of Asia is that it’s much cheaper than many other western European countries!
Cities like Istanbul not only offer free sightseeing but also have cheap accommodation options and mouthwatering street food! Grab yourself a delicious durum flatbread from a street vendor for just 15 Turkish Lira ($2 USD).
Excursions in Turkey
Other must-visit destinations in Turkey include the moon-like landscapes of Cappadocia and the incredible beaches in the south. Turkey is a huge country, but taking internal flights is cheap! As such, you can hop on a quick flight from Northern Istanbul to Southern Dalaman for around $25 USD. The prices of travel, accommodation, and food in Turkey make it a really cheap country to visit for every type of traveler.
Most travelers head straight for the capital city of Tbilisi, which offers amazing food and wine, as well as a mix of old and new sights. By morning, visit the charming leaning clock tower and old city courtyards. By night, visit the modern ‘Fabrika’ – an old sewing factory converted into space for bars, cafes, and art studios. World-famous sites such as the ‘Chronicles of Georgia’ are completely free to visit!
Best of all, those looking to shop on a budget have endless bazaars and flea markets. Here, you can find anything from second-hand film cameras to traditional Georgian handicrafts. After you’ve finished shopping, take a break and try the traditional dish of ‘Khachapuri’. This is bread filled with eggs, cheese, and butter, which you can enjoy for just $1 dollar!
Where to stay in Tbilisi
Most things to do in Tbilisi are located in the old and charming city center, and this is also the best area to stay in Tbilisi. The city has become a hub for digital nomads, offering short-term and long-term accommodation for any kind of budget, including some great hostels (search for a hostel here).
Thailand is a backpacker favorite for good reason – it’s one of the cheapest countries to travel to! You can find budget accommodation for extremely low prices, as well as luxury accommodation that doesn’t break the bank. For example, it’s common to find beautiful beachside hotels and island retreats for as low as $10 USD per night!
A cheap place to travel to for the food
It’s also a hotspot for street food. Travelers can enjoy chicken satay skewers on the streets of Bangkok, noodle soup served at the edge of the jungle, or fresh fruit sold on the beach. The street food culture is an important part of Thai culture, and a dish can be enjoyed for just $0.50.
Transport in Thailand
The country is huge! However, it’s super easy to get around; famous for its cheap buses and trains, as well as the tuk-tuks (small taxis). Tuk-tuk prices can be negotiated, so if you don’t get offered a fair price the first time, keep trying. Loads of ferries and trains can be booked in advance here.
We recommend booking a car through Sunny Cars because with them all insurances are included. Book your rental car here.
Laidback beach vibes, stunning rice paddies, epic volcanoes, luscious jungles, and paradise islands – Indonesia has it all! Its diverse ecological landscapes and cheap prices make it an incredible place to travel.
It’s also a paradise for foodies! Especially in places like Canggu (Bali), you can find incredible restaurants and bars serving great veggie/vegan options. Head to Warung Bang Mi: a buffet-style restaurant where a full plate of deliciousness will set you back $1.70 USD.
Where to Stay in Indonesia
Whether you’re a backpacker looking for an island hostel close to the beach, or a honeymooner looking for a luxury jungle retreat, Indonesia offers cheap accommodation. One of our favorite places to stay in the beautiful island of Bali, are places like Canggu or Ubud.
Transport in Indonesia
Although the country is big, it’s affordable to travel around, with its cheap internal flights and boat island boat services. Take a flight from Bali to Yogyakarta or a ferry from Bali to the Gili Islands for around $30-40 USD.
Uzbekistan has to be one of the most underrated countries to visit in Asia; home to the silk road and a very cheap place to travel. Tourism is relatively new here, which is reflected in the ‘local’ prices. As a result, the Uzbekistan people are genuinely happy to see you, and their hospitality is overwhelming.
Where to Stay in Uzbekistan
Accommodation in Uzbekistan is very affordable, and you can find plenty of charming hotels within the city walls of beautiful cities like Samarkand and Bukhara.
Transport in Uzbekistan
The infrastructure of the country is modern, and the trains are exceptional. Tickets cost between $5-20 USD, which is cheap, considering how comfortable and fast they are. Additionally, each main city has a domestic airport. Because of this, cheap internal flights are on offer for those looking to travel a bit faster around the country.
Adventures in Uzbekistan
Once you’re on the silk road route, discover the most incredible historical cities, such as Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva. Most of the silk road cities are UNESCO world heritage sites and have endless colorful mosques, tombs, and city walls. The huge range of things to see doesn’t affect budget, as entrance fees are low, ranging from $1-5 USD.
Island vacations don’t get much better, or cheaper, than in the Philippines! The huge archipelago of over 7,000 islands is home to white-sand beaches, palm tree forests, and the clearest ocean you’ve ever seen. You don’t need much money to explore this tropical paradise, as you can hike in the jungle, snorkel in the oceans, and relax on the beaches for free!
Where to Stay in the Philippines
Accommodation prices may be a little higher than in other countries, but it’s still possible to find hostels/hotels at a low price. Some of the best accommodation is on the islands of Siargao and El Nido.
Traveling cheap in the Philippines
The main expense in the Philippines is hiring a motorbike to explore (approximately $9 USD per day) and taking boats/planes to move between islands. Internal flights can be bought for between $25-50 USD. For a cheaper option, take overnight ferries, which also reduces your travel budget by eliminating one night of accommodation costs.
11. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is an incredibly special part of Asia and a really cheap place to travel! The trains here are famous, taking you through luscious tea plantations, over viaducts, and across rolling hills. Aside from being a must-do on your trip, the trains are also cheap. You can travel on a 6-hour train journey for just $6 USD (2nd class) and $12 USD (1st class).
A popular choice in Sri Lanka is to hire a driver for the day to take you to remote places, such as waterfalls or secret beaches. The price is very reasonable, at around $50 USD per day. Split between a group, this is a super affordable option to help you get from A – B in Sri Lanka!
Eating Out in Sri Lanka
Food is a huge part of Sri Lanka’s culture, and its proximity to India makes for an incredibly flavorsome experience. Best of all, you can get a bowl of rice and curry for between $1-3 USD! Make sure to try the snacks that are sold on the trains: fiery samosas and flatbreads that cost less than a dollar.
Tip: make sure to budget for your Sri Lanka visa. Find out more information and purchase your visa here.
Where to Stay in Sri Lanka
Where you stay in Sri Lanka will depend on the season of that side of the island. If you choose to visit in the rainy season, you can still have a really enjoyable time, and prices will be much lower. Consider staying in places like Kandy or Arugam Bay for budget-friendly accommodation.
Street food is king in Vietnam! Part of any trip to this amazing country is pulling up a stool and eating a delicious Banh Mi sandwich or a steaming bowl of noodles. Much like the rest of Asia, this way of eating makes it one of the cheapest countries to travel to; a bowl of food costs anywhere between $2 USD – $5 USD.
Cheap Places to travel to in Vietnam
The fascinating history of Vietnam means that it’s bursting with unique sights to visit, a lot of which can be entered for free or for a low price. For example, Ngoc Son Temple in Hanoi costs just over $1 USD to enter. If you want to join an organized tour, such as the one to Ha Long Bay (one of the seven natural wonders of the world), you can book a day trip for $25 USD.
Where to Stay in Vietnam
The best thing about Vietnam is that hostels and hotels are more or less the same price. Especially if you’re traveling in a group or a couple, you can find stunning hotels that are so cheap! Some top places to stay are:
Cambodia is less developed than some of its neighbors, and because of that, the range of accommodation is less diverse. However, the plus is that its prices have not caught up yet with tourism, so you can stay in beautiful guesthouses for ‘hostel prices’. Even in the island paradise Koh Rong, you’ll still find plenty of affordable options.
Transport in Cambodia
The country is incredibly rural and doesn’t have a modern infrastructure which means the only option is to travel by bus. However, you can take a bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap for between $8-$10 USD (make sure to check your bus has air conditioning).
The one thing you must budget for in Cambodia is your entrance fee to Angkor Wat: the largest temple complex in the world and a once-in-a-lifetime experience! An entry pass for 1 day is $37 USD. However, there are around 70 temples to visit in this huge 400 square kilometers park. Because of this, many people choose to buy the 3-day pass for $62 USD or, for ease, join an organized tour.
Laos is one of the most remote and landlocked countries in South Asia. The natural unspoiled beauty is made even better by the low prices.
Where to Stay in Laos
The accommodation here is particularly budget-friendly, making it an exceptionally cheap country to visit! For example, hostels cost as little as $7 USD per night. One of the most popular places to stay is Luang Prabang, a beautiful town home to golden temples and turquoise waterfalls.
Activities in Laos
Activities revolve around nature in Laos, whether it’s hiking in the mountains, swimming in waterfalls, or exploring caves. Most travelers will pay is $1-$2 USD to enter a cave, a lagoon, or cross one of the beautiful bamboo bridges.
Tip: the visa for Laos can be expensive depending on your country of residence. It can cost anything from $50-60 USD and can be ordered online before your trip starts. See requirements and buy your visa here.
Morocco is a country where all your senses will come to life. See the colorful spices in the bazaar, smell the tagines, and hear the sounds of traffic in the narrow streets. The culture of markets and souks makes it one of the cheapest countries to shop for handicrafts, textiles, and ceramics. Negotiating is a way of life here, and everyone is out to get a cheap deal!
Traveling Around Morocco
The country is huge and totally diverse – with the Sahara desert lying close to the snow-capped Atlas mountains. It can take a long time to travel between locations, but buses and trains are very cheap. For example, a bus from Marrakech to Fes costs around $10 USD.
Where to Stay in Morocco
Make sure to have the authentic experience of staying in a traditional riad. These can range from $25 USD for a more basic riad to $100 USD per night for a more luxurious experience.
The capital city of Morocco is Marrakech which is a little more expensive than other cities like Fes and Chefchaouen. However, you can still find some cheap deals!
Attractions in Egypt
Seeing the sights in Egypt is the biggest cost, but it’s all down to whether you choose to take an organized tour or self-guided. An organized tour can save you money and time, as they will pre-book all your accommodation and activities for you. It’s also a great way to learn more about the history from a certified guide and to meet other people.
Alternatively, you can book your own travel and entrance fees for each site. The entrance fee into the Pyramids of Giza is only $13 USD!
Where to Stay in Egypt
It also has similar accommodation prices to South East Asia, with hotels costing $10-$50 USD per night (for budget/mid-range accommodation). Most people choose to base themselves in Cairo to be as close as possible to the magnificent Pyramids of Giza.
17. Colombia: cheap place to travel in South America
As soon as you hit the streets of Colombia, you’ll find vendors selling local delicacies at super cheap prices. Not only is Colombian food delicious (think arepas, churros, and empanadas), it’s low cost which makes it easy for travelers to stick to a small budget. Walk around the main cities, such as Medellin and Bogota, on your own street food tour, and see the sights and street art while you’re at it!
To keep your trip cheap, head straight for the beautiful beaches or volunteer on a farm or homestay in the jungle. Colombia is certainly as diverse as it is beautiful and a great cheap country to travel to. (Volunteer Abroad via Worldpackers)
Where to Stay in Colombia
In popular cities like Medellin and Bogota, hostels and guesthouses can be a little more expensive than you’d find in South East Asia (approximately $15 USD a night for a dorm room). Combat this by taking overnight buses wherever you can and booking hostels in Colombia that have breakfast included in the price.
Bolivia is one of the cheapest countries to travel to in South America. It’s full of natural wonders, which are free to visit, like the Valley of the Moon, Lake Titicaca, and the Amazon Rainforest.
Activities in Bolivia
Taking a tour to the Bolivian part of the Amazon is much cheaper than doing so from Brazil; 3-day tours cost around $75 USD per person, which includes transport, fees, accommodation, food, and a guide.
Visiting the salt flats is an absolute must-do on any Bolivian trip. You can organize this yourself by buying a bus ticket from any of the major cities in Bolivia. A bus from La Paz will cost you anything between $5-$20 USD depending on the operator and time of day.
f you have a tight schedule and want to travel quickly, there are plenty of internal flights within Bolivia. However, prepare to pay considerably more than you would for a bus.
Tip: remember that tap water in Bolivia is not safe to drink. Avoid buying bottled water (and reduce single-use plastic) by bringing a water purifier like the life straw.
Where to Stay in Bolivia
Accommodation is a little cheaper than you’ll find in Colombia, with hostels priced at around $10 USD per night and 4-star hotels around $30-$40 USD. Find your hostel in Bolivia.
Fun fact: Bolivia is considered to have two capital cities, La Paz and Sucre.
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I was particularly drawn to your recommendation of Sri Lanka. The stunning scenery and rich culture make it a destination that is definitely worth adding to my bucket list. Your tip about traveling by train was also a great insight. I am a big fan of slow travel and exploring the local way of life, and it seems like the train ride through Sri Lanka would be an incredible way to do just that.