The world is a beautiful place, but sometimes travelers need to operate on a budget. But how do you find affordable cities to travel to when you want to get the most for your money? We reached out to travel experts from around the world and they let us in on the most affordable cities in the world. Whether you’re a digital nomad looking for a change of scenery, an expat ready to set new roots, or just looking for a quick vacation, we’ve got you covered.

Africa 

Essaouira, Morocco

Jenny from ExploreEssaouira.com 

Essaouira, Morocco

Perched on Morocco’s Atlantic coast, just a three-hour drive from Marrakech is the chilled-out beach town of Essaouira. The UNESCO World Heritage Medina is traffic-free, and much more relaxed than Marrakech or Fes, plus the endless stretches of beaches both north and south of the town are great for surfing, long walks along the shoreline, and watching the sunset dip below the ocean.

But more importantly, your tourist dollar goes a long way here, especially compared to Western Europe. You can pick up everyday food essentials around the shops of the Medina very cheaply (local bread is 15p, and a bag of oranges and bananas is £1), and you can comfortably eat out for less than £8. But if you require some Western comfort food, there’s a Carrefour Supermarket, although expect to pay Western prices here. Plus, this is a Muslim country, so alcohol isn’t readily available. You will find it in tourist hotels, and some bars, and to purchase in a separate room at Carrefour. A two-bed Airbnb house in Medina with rooftop views will be around £900 pcm for a decent place.

With Morocco’s 3-month tourist visa, Essaouira is a great place for digital nomads to base themselves for a while. The WIFI is good, but not excellent (this is not the place to come if you’re a gamer or YouTuber). But with the relaxed and affordable lifestyle and the fact that there are so many things to do in Essaouira (quad biking, kitesurfing, hammam, wandering the fishing port and medina), it ticks a lot of boxes for a budget-friendly travel destination. 

Swakopmund, Namibia

Paula from PaulaPinsThePlanet.com

Swakopmund, Namibia

Swakopmund is Namibia’s largest coastal city and should be included on any Namibia itinerary. Here, the desert meets the sea so you’ll be rewarded with spectacular scenery, and ample opportunity for photographs and adventures. Not only is it a great city to visit, but it’s one of the most budget-friendly places to visit in the country – especially if you’re traveling as a group. 

Holiday apartments here can cost as little as $35 per day and sleep up to four people, so you can see how easy it is to stretch your budget. There are also plenty of cheap things to do in Swakopmund like visiting the aquarium, exploring the museum, and visiting the Skeleton Coast. If you’re looking for FREE activities then head to the sand dunes, relax on the beach, or walk along the jetty. You’ll find plenty to do in Swakopmund, and the majority of them don’t require you to get your wallet out. 

You should also head to Walvis Bay and admire the flocks of flamingos, as it’s just a 30-minute drive away. There are also plenty of low-cost food options available in the city. Some of the most popular choices include Fork ‘n Nice, Cafe Mole, and Hafeni Traditional Restaurant. To save even more money, you can head to one of the markets or try some local street food. With cheap accommodation, budget-friendly food, and plenty of attractions, Swakopmund is a great place to stay whether you’re just traveling for the week, or you’re looking for somewhere long-term.

Lagos, Nigeria

Balogun from TheQuickTravel.com

Lagos, Nigeria

Lagos, Nigeria is a running splash of activities, business, rust, and gold. I particularly find the Highland areas to be some of the best places to live in.

Epe is one of such places that travelers would love. Located on the Northern side of the Lekki Lagoon, Epe is a silent area, even with lots of activity ongoing in the area.

Accommodation here is cheap, and it is home to one of the best 5-star hotels in Nigeria; Epe Resort and Spa which gives a wonderful experience of privacy, lush greenery, pools and relaxation, and several other recreation activities. 

Public transport can be boarded here, or you can rent a car for your transportation needs (if you can find a local tour guide). There is an option of taking a ferry to tour around the Island.

The cost of booking a hotel accommodation in Epe, Lagos ranges from 5000 NGN [$12] to 70,000 NGN [168$]. Major hotels in Epe are; Jubilee Chalets Epe, Procare Suites & Resort Ltd, Epe Resort and Spa.

Visiting the city during a rainy season exposes you to trying out several fish types; all of which the city is famous for.

Fan of exotic meat? You should visit the popular “chief” market where exotic prepared meats are sold. Quite an experience! 

Asia, Asia Pacific, & the Middle East

Bali, Indonesia

Karlie Cummins from BaliBuddies.com

Go to Bali Travel Reviews
Bali, Indonesia

Bali is a place where the cost of living can be low, but life quality can be high! The Island of Gods is super affordable when it comes to the day-to-day cost of living in Bali. 

Game changers to save money include using apps such as Grab SuperApp for your transport. Eating at local “warungs” will see you get an entire meal for only $1 USD. Staying at a “homestay”, which is like small locally hosted rooms,  will also save you a lot of money when it comes to your accommodation. 

There is plenty of free entertainment in Bali too, head to the many beaches to enjoy the sun and surf, there is always lots going on, especially during sunset. If having a massage or spa treatment is your kind of entertainment, then you’re in luck, spa treatments are available islandwide starting from as little as $5 USD for a one-hour massage. You need to look past the fancier Western-style spas though. Just look for a more local spa that is clean and air-conditioned. 

As Bali is so hot all year round, you don’t need a lot of clothes to get you by. In fact, you can buy summer dresses, boardshorts, flip flops, and swimwear at the local markets for very cheap! 

If you want to indulge in some drinks, the most cost-friendly way to do this is to drink locally made beers, spirits and wines. Imported alcohol is highly taxed in Indonesia and can be very expensive. 

Make sure you are properly insured for anything medical. Hospital treatment for foreigners in Bali can blow your budget very quickly if something goes wrong. 

Lastly, make friends with some locals, they will be able to point in the direction of cheap and delicious food, the cheapest stores to buy supplies from, and lots of other insider tips for you to learn from and to keep your cost of living in Bali low. 

Siem Reap, Cambodia 

Jack & Abbie of ACouplesCalling.com

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap is the second-largest city in Cambodia and is where you’ll find the iconic Angkor Wat. 

It’s also one of the most affordable cities in the world, so is perfect for backpackers, expats, or people who are working remotely.

Accommodation is extremely cheap in this city with double rooms available for as little as $6.50 per night depending on the season. If you don’t mind bunking it, then you can find dorm beds even cheaper! 

There is also plenty of street food within the city. During the evenings, stalls line the streets and you can grab a full meal for as little as $1-2. 

You can also get a western meal at Siem Reap’s Pub Street for a very reasonable price too if you’re craving food from home! 

Even alcohol is cheap in the city, especially if you drink the local beer. 

Getting around is no bother either, as there are plenty of tuk-tuks in the area. Tours to the local sites are also cheap, but the best way to get around is by hiring a bicycle.

Renting a bicycle for the day in Siem Reap may cost you as little as $2, and it’s the perfect way to explore the city. 

Not only is this city incredibly budget-friendly, but you’ll also find plenty of things to do in Siem Reap

As well as being the ‘gateway to Angkor Wat’, there are lots of other places to visit including the Angkor National Museum, Siem Reap Royal Gardens, and Wat Preah Prom Rath. 

With low-cost accommodation, delicious food, and plenty of attractions, Siem Reap is one of the best places to stay in Southeast Asia if you’re looking to cut your costs.

Fukuoka, Japan

by Brandon of ZimminAroundTheWorld.com

Fukuoka, Japan

Many travelers look at Japan and think it’s an expensive country. That might be true for cities like Tokyo, but in reality, Japan is quite cheap and cities that are lesser known are even cheaper. The city of Fukuoka on the island of Kyushu is Japan’s sixth-largest city, yet it does not get the tourism other cities do. Fukuoka is in southern Japan so it is farther to travel to than some of the well-known cities like Kyoto. Perhaps this is a positive aspect and travelers can have a more authentic experience exploring the city of Fukuoka.

Fukuoka is an affordable city and highly recommended for visitors on a budget. Fukuoka is easy to get around, many sites are within walking distance. Since Fukuoka is a larger city, it does have great transportation, and taking the subway from one station to the next is easy and cheap. There are several free attractions throughout Fukuoka including a walk around Ohori Park, exploring castle ruins, visiting shrines and temples, viewing Canal City and walking to the top of Acros Building which is a modern building with a terraced exterior with over 35,000 plants.

Food is cheap too and Fukuoka is famous for their style of Ramen, Hakata style. This style of ramen has a creamy broth that is created by boiling pork bones for a long period of time. Visitors can try authentic ramen in Fukuoka at numerous locations and a bowl of ramen will generally cost ¥1000 ($8-$10 USD) or less for a full meal.

Penang, Malaysia

Sharon of DiveIntoMalaysia.com

Penang, Malaysia

If you are looking for affordable travel destinations, consider Penang. Not only is it very affordable but it’s incredibly good value too with fabulous accommodation, some of the best food in the world and some great attractions, all for low prices.

While not strictly a city, Penang Island is an island off the west coast of northern Malaysia. It’s popular with tourists thanks to its colonial heart at Georgetown, which is UNESCO World Heritage-listed and a great place to wander to learn more about the history of the area, and its tropical beaches and climate.

It’s not just history and beaches either. Penang’s interior is all jungle and you can enjoy it with a trip up Penang Hill (as well as getting glorious views) and see big temples at Kek Lok Si. There are national parks to enjoy and much more.

Penang is not just great for tourists but also digital nomads. We lived there for a year at the main beach area, Batu Ferringhi, on a low budget while living a great life.

A great way to both save money and really enjoy Penang is to eat at the night markets. These hawker centres offer great food at crazy low prices and it’s also a great way to try lots of different local food. They are great. You can also catch buses to get around and there is a great range of accommodation for great prices.

Bangkok, Thailand

Martina of PlacesofJuma.com

Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok in Thailand is a brilliant destination in Southeast Asia and certainly one of the most affordable cities in the world. Although there are many exquisite restaurants, high-class hotels and expensive supermarkets in this metropolis, you can also find countless cheap accommodations such as hostels and guesthouses, and also really good food for a reasonable price. Shopping is best done in the local markets, where you get the most for your money.

Many expats live in Bangkok simply because the quality of life is good and prices are generally very cheap. For a short cab ride, you often pay only 1-2 euros, a delicious dish from the food stall 1 euro and also staying in a hostel is really cheap.

Although Bangkok is one of the most expensive cities in Thailand, prices vary depending on where you live in the city. If you would like to rent your own apartment, you can still find affordable accommodation a bit outside of the center.

 In Bangkok, you can also really experience a lot. During the day you can visit colorful Buddhist temples and impressive shopping malls. In the evening, the city awakens to new life. There are plenty of lively night markets where you can shop until you drop, or you visit the exciting Muay Thai boxing matches.

 Bangkok is also a great starting point to explore other highlights. For a reasonable price, the train, bus or plane brings you to the most beautiful places in the country.

Hanoi City, Vietnam

Jolene of WanderlustStorytellers.com

Hanoi, Vietnam

As a keen traveler, you will be itching to get that passport out as the world opens up its doors to tourists!

However this time you will want your money to go a little further so traveling to places where your hard-earned cash gives you back a little more than before is key. Hanoi City in North Vietnam is one of the most affordable places to visit. This Vietnam 5-day itinerary will take you to a few really affordable destinations in Vietnam, but truth be told, Hanoi is one of the best (and cheapest) destinations in Vietnam.  The great thing about Hanoi is that you can explore without the need to pay for a guided tour which means more money in your pocket. Simply download an app that has a map that can work offline and you are set. 

The best things to do in Hanoi lie in discovering the local way of life within the Old Quarter. Venture out from your hotel and take the road less traveled by tourists and you will have a truly authentic experience of Hanoi. There are rows and rows of filled-to-the-brim gift shops, restaurants, and beautiful temples almost on every main street of the city.  

Between the buildings, you will find plastic chairs for visitors to sit on, whilst indulging in the yummy dishes. Take a moment to relax with a beer and some snacks or visit one of the best places to find cheap beer, Beer Corner or Bia Hoi Corner! Not only is the beer great and cheap but the atmosphere is amazing! 

If you are looking for fresh food, venture into the local markets where you will find some of the freshest fruit and vegetables – great for an on the go snack! If you want to indulge and eat out, the best ​​places to grab a bite to eat are from the authentic street food vendors where you can join in with many of the locals. Every street is littered with places to pull up a chair and indulge in authentic street food. 

When you have finished exploring the city you will definitely want a great place to sleep and rest before you head out to explore again. The Paradise Boutique Hotel ticks all the boxes. Comfortable, clean, and affordable when traveling on a budget!

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 

Jackie Szeto & Justin Huynh of LifeOfDoing.com 

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Whether you want to live or travel to Ho Chi Minh City (also known as Saigon) in Vietnam, it’s one of Asia’s most vibrant and energetic cities with tons of activities for everyone and good eats. 

There are plenty of things to do in Ho Chi Minh City that are budget-friendly. Many touristy attractions are free or have a minimal admission fee. Check out museums such as Independence Palace or War Remnants Museum. Other popular sites include Central Post Office, Nguyen Hue Walking Street, Cafe Apartments, and the newly constructed Bach Dang Wharf. 

Ho Chi Minh City has an incredible food scene. You can get all Vietnamese street food from noodle soups  (phở or hủ tiếu), sizzling pancakes (bánh xèo), sandwiches (bánh mì), snails (ốc), vegetarian food, and more. You have to experience the local way of dining – sitting on the low squatty plastic chairs and tables on the sidewalk. 

In addition, there are tons of Western cuisine here. The cost is 2-3 times higher than Vietnamese food, so you’ll want to limit the amount of Western food to save on budget. 

Coffee lovers will enjoy getting their daily caffeine fix as there is a coffee shop on every single street. It’s easy to get an iced Vietnamese coffee at any time of the day – even at 3:00 am. 

For first-time travelers to Ho Chi Minh, the traffic is chaotic with motorbikes and vehicles going in all directions even with a traffic light. Therefore, the easiest way to travel around the city is by hiring a motorbike or car via ride-hailing apps such as Grab or Gojek, or taking a metered taxi (only Vinasun or Mai Linh). Taking a motorbike can be cheap – around $1 and a car will be a few dollars, depending on the distance.

Middle East

Islamabad, Pakistan

Kaspars from MakeAdventureHappen.com

Islamabad, Pakistan

And when most people hear Pakistan, they think of crowded markets, crazy traffic, and pollution, something similar to what you have in big cities in India. However, the reality is completely different. Established on August 14th, 1967, Islamabad is only the ninth-largest city in Pakistan. With a population of roughly 1 million, it isn’t crowded at all. The city is well-planned, it’s super safe — because the government is in Islamabad — and, yes, it’s modern. Great roads, parks, and hiking trails, modern shopping malls, and forward-thinking people, that’s Islamabad of the 21st century.  Plus — overall, Islamabad is also a very affordable city. It’s one of the cheapest capitals in the world.

To give you a better idea of prices in Islamabad, here will be a few examples. 1-3 euros for a tasty biryani lunch delivered to your apartment. 5-10 euros for grocery delivery, enough for at least a few days. 10 euros for a 5-hour bus ride in VIP class, on one of the most modern buses you’ve probably been on. 150 – 300 euro monthly rent for a 1 bedroom apartment in one of the high-rises in the city center. All of that is real in Islamabad and Pakistan in 2022. 

Istanbul, Turkey

Claire from EuropeInWinter.com

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is one of the cheapest major cities in Europe, and visiting it is an experience like no other. In Istanbul, old and new fuse together as you can stroll along the Bosphorous River, taking in the city’s magical skyline, and learn about centuries of Byzantine, Roman, and Ottoman history by looking around attractions like the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, and Galata Tower. 

Lots of Istanbul’s main attractions are free, and you can easily travel around the city using its excellent public transport. When it comes to food, pick up a kumpir (giant stuffed jacket potato) or falafel wrap for just a couple of dollars – or have a full sit-down meal for a fraction of the price of other cities. 

As well as being such a historical place, Istanbul has a really fun atmosphere that’s appealing to any kind of traveller, whether you’re just passing through or staying for a few months. The city’s nightlife is wonderful, and while alcohol is slightly more expensive compared to other items, it’s still affordable comparatively. 

To save even more money, I’d recommend hanging around in Istanbul for a while. Rent an apartment and slowly tick off its many attractions, enjoying plenty of food as you go! Or, visit Istanbul in the winter – the city is magical and uncrowded during these months and you’ll find cheap hotel rates and tour deals.

Izmir, Turkey

Andrew of JustTravelUSA.com

Izmir, Turkey

Izmir is the third-largest city in Turkey, but definitely the top in terms of love from the locals. If you ask a Turk where they would like to live, most often you will hear Izmir. And it’s no wonder, Izmir is a large metropolis on the Aegean Sea where, as the locals say, you can get “a lot of music for a low price”.

Expats and tourists can also get the most out of the city on a budget. Here are some actionable tips:

  • You can stay short-term in hostels for less than $15 per night (for example, in Lotus Garden or Vakana House Hostel).
  • For longer trips, renting an Airbnb in Izmir is a great option. There are literally hundreds of options that are often cheaper than hotels in the same area. For even cheaper prices, try the local site Sahibinden.com, which is also available in English. You can find one-bedroom apartments for around $300/mo (for example, in the Konak or Bornova area) or simply rent a room for around $180/mo.
  • There is a large railway station in Izmir. When traveling around Turkey, first, look into train tickets. For example, a ticket from Izmir to Ankara costs 122 Turkish lira ($5), while the average cost for flight tickets is 500 lira ($30).
  • Taxis are expensive all over Turkey and Izmir is no exception. On average, you will spend at least $10 per trip. Luckily, public transport in Izmir is well developed, so a trip costs less than $1 and, with the free ESHOT app for iOS/Android, you can easily find your way around the city.
  • If you need a business space near you, then search in Turkish for “Hazır Ofis” or “Toplantı Odaları”. You can find places for locals for no more than $7/day (for example, GoyaHub in Konak district or Lokasyon CoWorking in Karşıyaka).
  • You can get unlimited internet access for the price of a single cup of coffee, as most coffee shops in Izmir provide free Wi-Fi. For example, you can work in any of the Caribou branches. 
  • Just like traveling in the United States, you can find free internet access in many public places around Izmir. In 2015, the government launched a project called WizmirNet that provides free internet access in 73 parks and on 41 trams.
  • Cooking at home is the cheapest way to eat. Şok and BIM supermarkets usually have the fairest prices. 
  • Although it’s an inexcusable mistake to miss out on the opportunity to try Turkish food while in Izmir. The most affordable prices are in canteens, which can be found in most districts. To find one, simply type the word “Lokantası” into Google Maps.

Laptops, phones, cameras, and other electronics are some of the only unreasonably expensive products in Izmir (and the rest of Turkey). If you have to buy a new one while traveling, then there is no one “cheapest store”, but you can compare prices across different stores through online services like Trendyol, Hepsiburada, or Cimri.

Americas & Caribbean

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Erin of SolSalute.com

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city in Argentina. In fact, a third of the country’s population calls it (and its suburbs) home. It is overflowing with things to do for expats, digital nomads, and tourists on a budget. The notoriously volatile Argentine economy allows those with a foreign income (foreign visitors and digital nomads living in Buenos Aires) to take advantage of a parallel exchange rate that makes everything very affordable (as of writing in 2022). Items and experiences that would be considered a luxury in North America and Europe are very cheap and accessible here for foreigners. Top shelf bottles of wine start at $5 US and if you’re willing to spend $15 you may be buying the best bottle on the menu. Theater, steak dinners, and co-working spaces are within reach for most foreign incomes. Public transportation costs the equivalent of $0.10 US (that’s right, a dime) and taxis/ridesharing apps average from around $3-10 US depending on the distance and traffic.

The arrival of budget airlines like FlyBondi and Jetsmart in recent years has also driven the cost of domestic travel down. Flights to Patagonia that once started at $300 can be had for $50 US round-trip if you book off-season. Whether you want to stay in the bustling center of Buenos Aires or plan regular getaways to Patagonia, it’s possible for anyone on a budget.

Bogotá, Colombia

Venaugh from Venaugh.com

Bogotá, Colombia

When speaking of Colombia, we always hear about Medellin and Cartagena but hardly anyone talks about Bogotá. Although Bogotá may be a bit more expensive than some other cities in Colombia, it is still relatively cheap when you are converting from currencies like pounds or dollars to Colombian pesos (COP). There are so many things to do in Bogotá and many of the parks and museums that charge an entrance fee are usually quite cheap. For instance, the Museo de Oro and Botanical Gardens are less than $5,000 COP. A typical meal at a decent restaurant can cost you about $30,000 COP. You can find clothes in supermarkets as well. A t-shirt can cost you $35,000 pesos. A bus ticket can cost you $2,500 pesos although if you are taking a bus, you’d have to be very cautious. The best part is that travelling around Colombia is pretty affordable as well. Flights and hotels are much cheaper, even when compared to countries like Mexico. Everything from food, travel, and accommodation is cheap. And I have never stayed in a hostel so I’m sure that’s an even cheaper option. Many people do not know that Bogotá is on the Andes Mountain so the temperatures are very cool throughout the year. So, for those who do not enjoy the heat, it’s a great location with lush green parks always within walking distance.

Medellin, Colombia

Corritta from ItzAFamilyThing.com

Medellin, Colombia

Looking for a city with culture, good food, and beautiful nature, Medellin is a perfect choice. This bustling city has everything you need to enjoy life as a digital nomad, expat, or tourist.

Medellin is one of the most affordable places to travel, or it can be a base as you travel throughout Colombia. The best neighborhood in Medellin for expats is Laureles. This local community is more affordable, close to supermarkets, near restaurants, and has several parks. Everything you need is within a 15-20 minute walk from your apartment. If you want to keep more cash in your pocket, avoid the high-priced area of Poblado.

Transportation is affordable, with many locals using public transportation. The bus and metro are less than $1 to get around the city. If you aren’t comfortable using public transit, taxis are pretty cheap. It typically takes 20 minutes to get to most places in the city, which costs $3-$5. Didi is a cheaper alternative to taxis if you download the app.

What makes Medellin perfect for budget-conscious travelers is the low cost of things to do. Learn about Comuna 13, explore downtown, visit museums, hike, or visit the botanical garden. These options are affordable or, in some cases, free.

Last but certainly not least is the food. A traditional meal is some form of meat, rice, beans, and an arepa. The arepas are so good.  You can eat at a restaurant for as little as $7 or grab food from a cart for $1-$2. Be sure to get some coconut rice while in Medellin it’s so good. Overall, Medellin is the perfect place for affordable exploration.

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Chris from PuntaCanaTravelBlog.com

Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic

If you are looking for the most affordable city in the Caribbean, you most likely find it in the Dominican Republic. The capital, Santo Domingo, offers a perfect combination of cheap prices, a reasonably developed infrastructure, and authentic experiences in a cultural melting pot.

Especially the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo is a true bargain for ex-pats, digital nomads, and tourists alike. Being a super safe and absolutely gorgeous area, you can easily enjoy the endless coffee shops, local stores, hidden bars, and authentic restaurants. Prices for meals in local lunch places (“Comedores”) start at 3 USD, and a 1-liter beer bottle in one of the typical mom-and-pop stores is 3 USD as well. For a drink in a bar, you’ll pay between 2 and 5 USD, depending on how fancy the place is. Furnished apartments are available from 400 USD per month, and well-rated private budget rooms on a nightly basis from 25 USD per night. For the more upscale area of Piantini, the financial district, you can add at least 30% to all of these prices.

If you’d like to explore some more things to do in Santo Domingo except the Colonial Zone, you can visit the National Park Los Tres Ojos (in the middle of the city), take a ride with the newly-built cable car or watch the locals enjoy their weekends at the oceanfront promenade, the so-called Malecon.

But the charm of Santo Domingo is not only about living there, it is also a great getaway to explore the rest of the Dominican Republic as literally all long-distance busses are starting from here. Most awesome destinations, such as Samaná, Punta Cana, Cabarete, the Southwest, or the Central Mountain Area are only a 2.5-4-hour bus ride away. Most of these bus rides cost between 6 and 9 USD per ticket. Accommodation and food prices in those areas are similar to the prices mentioned above for the Colonial Zone, just Punta Cana is a bit more expensive.

Quito, Ecuador

Sydney from AWorldInReach.com

Quito, Ecuador

If you’re looking for an affordable city to visit this year, Quito, Ecuador should be at the top of your list. This incredible city is one of the most affordable cities in the world and is perfect for budget travelers.

There is no shortage of exciting things to do in Quito. One of the top to add to your Quito itinerary is the TelefériQo, a cable car that takes you atop a mountain where you’ll find panoramic views of the city. You also can’t miss taking a day trip to the nearby Mitad del Mundo, the site of Ecuador’s namesake: the Equator. Best of all, these activities are extremely affordable!

There are plenty of reasons why Quito is such a great value for money. For starters, accommodation is very cheap. You can find a basic hotel room for as little as $20 per night, and there are plenty of hostels and guesthouses that are even cheaper. Even if you’d prefer a luxury stay, you can find fancy hotels and vacation rentals for very reasonable prices.

Food is also incredibly affordable in Quito. Meals at local sit-down restaurants cost around $5-$10, and you can get street food for even less. For a cheap, delicious meal, head to Mercado Central. The market has many different stalls selling traditional Ecuadorian foods, and you can get a multi-course meal here for a few bucks.

Worried about getting around Quito? No need to worry – taxis are safe and cheap. Just make sure that the driver turns on the meter so that you don’t get overcharged. In general, a taxi ride within the city of Quito will cost around $2 or $3. The city bus is another cheap option. Rides on the bus are just 25 cents, but petty crime against tourists is common on the buses.

Oaxaca, Mexico

Megan of Packing-Up-The-Pieces.com

Oaxaca, Mexico

Oaxaca Mexico is a rich city to visit with vibrant streets, lovely plazas, hip neighborhoods, beautiful traditional Indigenous roots, and stunning natural beauty. The city is also famous for its own unique cuisine and is the birthplace of Mezcal, a distilled spirit made from the regional agave plants. While the secret is out about how awesome Oaxaca is, the city remains quite affordable for visitors and is becoming a digital nomad hotspot.

Oaxaca de Juárez is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but Oaxaca State in its entirety boasts mystical mountains, a ruggedly alluring coastline, small magical pueblos, spectacular ruins, artisan villages, and petrified waterfalls. There are also opportunities to sit in a traditional sweat lodge or dabble in the famed and healing Oaxaca magic mushrooms.

The best way to experience Oaxaca is to slow down and stay a while. Find the best traditional food in the many bountiful local markets. The city is extremely walkable, so there is no need to rent a car. Besides, parking can be expensive. Oaxaca has a cheap and convenient public transportation system that connects the state with small vans called collectivos. Those who rent long-term can reap the benefits of discounted lodging.

Oaxaca Mexico is one of those special places that will simply steal your heart.

San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico

Maria Stadler AWorldOfDestinations.com

San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico

San Cristóbal de las Casas (or “San Cris”, how the locals call it) is a town nestled among mountains in the southern Mexican state Chiapas. The charm of San Cris with its pebbled streets and colorful houses will make you fall in love with it. The town offers the perfect combination of authentic local culture, impressive nature, delicious food, and backpacker scene – and all of that for an amazing price. If you’re looking for a place to stay for a while whilst working remotely, San Cris is a perfect choice. Many travelers end up staying longer than they had planned. You can find several co-working spaces and the internet works quite well most of the time. If you want to save money, do it like the locals and shop at the local market. You will get the best fruits and vegetables for an unbeatable price. If you don’t want to cook at home, there are several restaurants that offer a set lunch menu for only a few dollars. Also, going out in the evenings is quite affordable. There’s a very popular wine bar in the center of San Cristóbal de las Casas where you can get a glass of wine and a little snack for 2-3 dollars. Chiapas is generally a very affordable state, but no other place combines the necessary tourist infrastructure such as the availability of accommodation, cafés, restaurants, and Wi-Fi as well as San Cristobal de las Casas.

Europe

Tirana, Albania

Kami from MyWanderlust.pl

Tirana, Albania

Tirana, the capital of Albania, is one of the most affordable cities in Europe. Whether you are just visiting the place or staying a bit longer, you can still expect a great value for the money for just about everything: accommodation, food, eating out, transportation, etc. Tirana is also one of the most underrated cities with so many attractions to choose from. You can visit old bunkers from the Cold War times (that were turned into museums), hang out in one of many cafes, or enjoy the beautiful hiking option in the Dajti National Park just outside of the city. Tirana is also one of the quirkiest cities you will ever see, with most of the blocks of flats painted in bright colors and the concrete structure in the shape of the pyramid that is the symbol of the city (that is currently restored). If you decide to spend a bit more time in Tirana there are plenty of cafes where you can work online and enjoy a cup of coffee for just a bit over a dollar. You can also explore a fair part of the country when being based in Tirana, as some of the best places to visit in Albania can be reached as a day trips from the capital: the seaside, beautiful mountains, and historic towns. With each year, Albania is getting more and more popular among international visitors but even with the increasing number of tourists the prices still remain very affordable. 

Krk, Croatia

Lisa Maat of DazzlingWealth.com

Krk, Croatia

The town of Krk in Croatia is my favorite affordable place in the world! Krk is a small fortified town on the island of Krk. This town has the most charming old town filled with history and culture. Krk is always cozy and never crowded.

Next to the old town is the most beautiful rock beach I’ve ever seen, called Punta di Galetto Beach. It’s perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling, as it has the clearest water.

I went here in 2021 on my budget trip through Croatia. And this was the best and cheapest place I stayed at. My boyfriend and I stayed here for 3 nights in an Airbnb for $28 a night (low season). This Airbnb had a washing machine and a kitchen, so we could cook our meals. This saved us a lot of money.

 We did eat out once at Punta di Galetto, where I had the best vegetarian burger for only $6,11 (€5,70). This was still quite cheap.

Budget things to do in Krk:

  • Admire the old town
  • Go to the most beautiful beach
  • Take a gorgeous walk to find some hidden gems on the island with the Krk Hike app
  • Visit the aquarium and terrarium in Krk

My budget for visiting Krk 2 persons (in $):

  • Accommodation: 3 nights for $84 + 3$ tip
  • Dinner at Punta di Galetto: $35
  • Groceries for 4 days: $25 (we didn’t need much, as we forgot to eat often)
  • Bus tickets Rijeka to Krk: 2 x $6
  • Aquarium: 2 x $5

So in total, we spent $169 (€157) in 4 days for 2 people. This was in the low season. We spent a little over $20 per day per person. Now, if that ain’t affordable, I don’t know what is!

Zagreb, Croatia

Fiona from TravellingThirties.com

Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb may be a capital city with a gorgeous medieval old town, but it is a very affordable European city. Zagreb is located close to the Slovenian border in the northwest of Croatia.

Although it is a relatively small city it is still packed with culture, music, outstanding food, and beautiful buildings. As it is a university city it is very vibrant and the atmosphere in the city is relaxed and instantly makes you feel at home.

There are plenty of things to see in Zagreb including the museum of broken relationships, the world’s

shortest funicular and enjoying some of the amazing Croatian cuisines. 

For those that are looking for free things to do to help make the city more affordable you will find yourself entertained for hours exploring the upper and lower towns, the Zagreb cathedral, watching the lanterns be lit by hand at sunset, and enjoying a free walking tour just to name a few.

Zagreb is a very walkable city which is one thing that makes it very affordable but the public trams are also a great way to get around and are reasonably priced.

In order to ensure you are getting the most for your money make sure to pay in the local currency, the Croatian Kuna, even though some places will accept the Euro.

Zagreb is a beautiful city that is often overlooked for places on the coast such as Split but it is a must on your travels to Croatia and it won’t break the bank.

Prague, the Czech Republic (Czechia)

by Alex and Leah from AlexAndLeahOnTour.org

Go to Prague Travel Reviews
Prague, the Czech Republic

Arguably one of the most affordable cities in the whole of Europe is Prague. Located in Czechia’s west, Prague is a stunningly beautiful city where over eight million tourists visit annually. 

What makes Prague so great is its blend of cultural heritage, cafe culture, and lively nightlife spots. The former is epitomized no more so than Prague Castle which overlooks the city from the northwest. The grounds are free to enter and provide a beautiful sightseeing spot which provides you with some amazing pictures. However, to truly get the best viewpoint over Prague, you must climb the Tower of the Cathedral. Whilst it does have over 280 steps and costs 150CZK to enter, it is very affordable and entirely worth it for the views! 

One of the best ways to save even more money in Prague is to visit out of season. This will make the best time to visit between the months of March and May and during September and October. Visiting out of peak season may normally mean poorer weather, that isn’t the case with Prague. Whilst you won’t experience blazing heat, you’ll likely miss any rain and still enjoy a cool European breeze under the sun. 

Getting around Prague is also really affordable as the best way is by walking and that’s free! If you are tired from the walk up to Prague Castle, Prague has a really good tram and metro system that takes you anywhere for next to nothing. 

To make things even better, the US dollar, Great British Pound, and the Euro all have good exchange rates to the Czech koruna which makes daily living, especially eating and drinking, very affordable too.

Overall, Prague is one of, if not, the most affordable visit in the world, and with a global inflation crisis underway, there is no better place to visit whilst times are tough.”

Tallinn, Estonia

Daniel and Ilona from TopTravelSights.com

Go to Tallinn Travel Reviews
Tallinn, Estonia

If you’re looking for a European capital with a medieval Old Town but don’t want to spend a fortune, you should head to Tallinn.

Estonia’s capital is famous for its picturesque city centre. Here, you get to explore small cobblestone streets, walk on an ancient city wall and discover Europe’s oldest pharmacy.

At the same, Tallinn has remained much more affordable than many other European cities. Prices for both accommodation and restaurants are moderate, and you can save further by staying outside the city wall, where hotels are more affordable. Plus, in Tallinn, you can find lots of inexpensive or free activities.

If you want to try Estonian food, you should head to the III Draakon, a small tavern at Town Hall Square. Here, you can find cheap food and drinks, and you can even try elk meat for only around 3€.

Besides Town Hall Square, one of the best places to visit in the Old Town is St Catherine’s Passage. This alleyway with its famous arches is lined by handicraft workshops, where you can watch the artists perform their crafts.

To see Tallinn from above, head to Toompea Hill. The upper class used to live on this hill west of the Old Town, from where they could, quite literally, look down on the lower class. You can find multiple viewing platforms up here. The Kohtuotsa lookout is the most famous one, but you should also stop at the Patkuli platform from where you can see the sea on clear days.

Berlin, Germany

Ali from BerlinTravelTips.com

Berlin, Germany

If you’re looking for a place to visit where your money will last a little longer, consider a trip to Berlin. You might not realize it, but Berlin is actually a reasonably inexpensive city to visit.

Accommodation will be your biggest expense, but if you don’t stay right in the center, you can save money on your hotel or hostel. Try the Kreuzberg or Friedrichshain districts, which have cheaper options compared to Mitte.

The biggest reason Germany’s capital is easy on your wallet is there are so many wonderful free things to do in Berlin. Many popular attractions are free. A few examples include the Holocaust Memorial, East Side Gallery, Bernauer Strasse Berlin Wall Memorial, Topography of Terror, and Urban National Museum for Urban Contemporary Art.

One of the most popular free activities is the free tour of the Reichstag Building dome, which is the government building where the German Parliament meets. Advanced booking is required.

On the first Sunday of every month, there’s Free Museum Sundays, an event where almost every museum in the city is free. Most require you to book a time slot, so plan ahead.

For just a few euros, climb Victoria Column for excellent views of Berlin, and it’s way cheaper than going up the more famous TV Tower. For street art fans, wander and find art on your own, or most street art tours are less than 20 euros.

Cheap food is also easy to find in Berlin. Döner and currywurst are well-known cheap options, but you can also find inexpensive Vietnamese, Thai, burgers, sandwiches, and much more. And either buy drinks at a grocery store or stop by a Späti, which is basically a convenience store, to pick up a few drinks for less than going to a bar.

Berlin is rich in culture, history, art, and food, but you don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy yourself here.

Budapest, Hungary

Kriszti from SheWandersAbroad.com

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is the capital of Hungary and one of the most affordable cities in the world. The city has a lot to offer tourists, from its rich history and culture to its delicious food and beautiful architecture.

A trip to Budapest doesn’t have to be expensive – there are plenty of ways to save money while you’re here.

Accommodation is one of the biggest expenses when traveling, but luckily there are plenty of cheap hotels in Budapest that offer great value for money. If you’re willing to share a room, hostels are even cheaper – and you’ll meet some great people while you’re there.

The city center is definitely one of the best areas to stay in Budapest but it’s also the most expensive. If you’re on a budget, consider staying in one of the cheaper areas further out from the center.

When it comes to food, you’ll also find that prices are on the lower end in Budapest, especially compared to other big cities in Europe. There are plenty of cheap eateries serving up traditional Hungarian dishes, and you can also find street food if you’re looking for something quick and easy.

Of course, no trip to Budapest would be complete without taking in some of the city’s famous sights. Thankfully, many of the most popular attractions are free to visit, such as the Parliament building, St. Stephen’s Basilica, and the Fisherman’s Bastion.

Even if you do want to visit some of the paid attractions, such as the Szechenyi Thermal Baths or the museums inside Buda Castle, you’ll find that ticket prices are very reasonable.

Whether you’re visiting Budapest on a vacation or planning to stay longer, you’ll find that it’s a very affordable city to explore. With its beautiful scenery, interesting attractions, and delicious food, it’s no wonder that this Hungarian capital is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.

Groningen, Netherlands

Kayla from WritingFromNowhere.com

Groningen, Netherlands

When travelers think of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is often the only destination that comes to mind. The sticker shock can make it seem like the Netherlands is too expensive for budget travelers, but you can experience all of the tulips, wooden shoes, and canals in a much cheaper part of the country: the North.  

Come to Groningen, Netherlands! A vibrant city home to more than 200,000 people. It has cheaper rentals, restaurants, beer (35% cheaper, according to the cost of living calculator Numbeo), groceries – the list goes on.

Accommodation will still be the most expensive part of your trip, but if Airbnb is out of your price range, look for budget hotels or even use Trusted Housesitters to find free accommodation.

Skip expensive taxi and public transportation costs by renting a bike, or even cheaper: walking everywhere. Groningen’s city center is small enough that you can walk from one side to the other in less than 30 minutes. Most travelers won’t need to pay for any transit within the city, but definitely bring comfortable shoes or you’ll be feeling the burn.

When the sun is out, experience a very typical Groningen afternoon by drinking a €3 bottle of wine in the sun in the Noorderplantsoen (a large urban park in the heart of the city). You’ll look like a local!

Groningen is about 2 hours away from Schipol airport by train, so it’s best to stay for a few days minimum, or even for weeks or months on a remote workcation.

When you think of budget travel the Netherlands doesn’t usually come to mind but set your sights higher north, and travelers can save a lot of money and still enjoy all of the Dutch charm. 

Bialystok, Poland

By Paulina from UKEveryday.com

Bialystok, Poland

If you are looking for a cheap and less known destination to visit in Poland, look no further than Bialystok. Forget about Warsaw or Krakow, where all tourists are, and explore the eastern part of the country instead. This region is famous for its delicious food, so make sure to try “Kiszka ziemniaczana” in one of the very affordable restaurants.

Even with its charm, Bialystok is not a famous tourist destination and some people still believe you can see bison on a street. The city is located only a 1-hour drive from the Bisons Forest “Bialowieza”, which is a perfect day trip from Bialystok.

There are many free things to do in the city such as admiring street art, visiting churches or exploring parks. You can walk from the city center through the parks full of fountains and sculptures for more than one hour. So many green areas, make this city doesn’t feel like a city at all.

When visiting Bialystok, you can spend a great time with nature. This city is very walkable and perfect for backpacking trips. During the night, Bialystok is quiet so you can explore its famous landmarks without the crowds and take amazing photos with your backpacking camera

Warsaw, Poland

By Or from MyPathInTheWorld.com

Warsaw, Poland

Steeped in history yet incredibly modern, Warsaw is an intriguing European city you can definitely visit on a budget. Although 80% of it was completely destroyed during WWII, it was reconstructed afterward, and the combination between historical and modern is present in every corner. From museums and landmarks to lively parks and gardens to fantastic food and buzzing nightlife, the Polish capital is a lot more diverse than people think. 

While Poland is a part of the EU, the local currency is Zloty (PLN), and 1 USD is worth about 4.3 PLN. Even in a big city like Warsaw, you can find highly-rated central accommodations offering double rooms for less than $40 per night. As for food, you can dine on any budget, but don’t miss the traditional local diners called milk bars, in which you can have a proper meal for $5 (or less)!

There are also lots of free things to do in Warsaw, including wandering the UNESCO-listed Old Town and its beautiful colorful streets, taking free-themed walking tours, exploring the city’s gorgeous parks, strolling through the quirky Praga district, and more. Many landmarks also offer free admission on specific days, like the 16th-century Royal Castle and the 17th-century Wilanow Palace.

Porto, Portugal 

Andreea of Andoreia.com

Porto, Portugal

Porto, also known as Oporto is a historic and picturesque city in northern Portugal. It is the best place to visit if you want to see the beautiful azulejo tilework that the Portuguese are famous for and the good news is that it is quite affordable.

As in any other city, meal prices in Porto vary depending on various factors but expect to pay around 8-10 euros for your food at an inexpensive restaurant. Since breakfast is usually cheaper than lunch or dinner, you can conclude that you’ll spend less than 30 euros per day on meals if you keep away from fancy restaurants. Drinks are not very expensive either.

Accommodation is another thing that is quite affordable in Porto in comparison with other locations: you can stay in a basic, but comfortable double room in the historic city center for as little as 43 euros per person and that’s during the summer months.

In the shoulder and off-season, accommodation prices are even lower. Or if you want to cut your costs more, you can opt for a hostel. You should also know that if you stay in the historic center, you can save up on transportation since the most popular sights are within walking distance.

In conclusion, you can budget under 100 euros per day for a trip to Porto. That’s quite low for a city located in Western Europe.

Sibiu, Romania

Laura of TravelersUniverse.com

Sibiu, Romania

Maybe you wouldn’t expect to see this small Romanian city on the list of the most affordable places in the world; not because it’s not affordable, it truly is, but because it’s so off the beaten path that it often passes unperceived. Yet, this is one of the most beautiful places in Romania and whether you want to stretch your buck when you travel or you’d like to enjoy the digital lifestyle in a remote and stunning location, Sibiu should surely be on your mind. Sibiu is located in the historical region of Transylvania and has just over 400,000 inhabitants. It was founded at the end of the 12th century and today it boasts some colorful Germanic architecture, museums, and cute cafés. Because of its central location in the heart of Romania, Sibiu is ideal for enjoying weekend getaways in nature and an alternative lifestyle. Sibiu is surrounded by traditional villages steeped in time and by lush mountains and natural parks. Brasov, Sighisoara, and Alba Iulia are just three of the cities you can explore nearby as well. And if you like driving with a view, you cannot miss Transalpina road. Since Romania enjoys high internet speeds up to 10 Gbps at affordable rates, working from Sibiu can be a smooth experience as well. Sibiu is definitely a city to consider if you want to get the most bang for your buck.

Malaga, Spain

Joanna from AndaluciaInMyPocket.com

Malaga, Spain

Malaga is a great destination to experience some sunshine in Spain, no matter the time of the year. It is also one of the most affordable cities on Costa del Sol. You can spend one day in Malaga and barely spend any money, especially if you visit on a Sunday when most of the tourist attractions are offering free entrance. This includes the Picasso Museum, the Alcazaba, and the Centre Pompidou.

Flying to Malaga is very affordable as well, even in the high season. The airport is located only 10 minutes away from the city centre, and it is well connected to it by train. A one-way ticket from the airport to the centre costs less than 3 euros.

Malaga is a small city, which means that is walkable and you don’t need to use public transport. All the main sights in the city are within walking distance of each other, including the two main beaches. Whilst there are plenty of great restaurants in Malaga, if you are on a budget, you can find plenty of places that serve tapas for one euro. One of these places is La Surena brewery, located on the Paseo Maritimo, from where you have lovely views over Malaga.

Malaga has two main beaches: Malagueta and Misericordia. They are both large and wide, sandy, and have plenty of spaces for people who would rather sunbathe on their own towels than pay to hire a lounger and an umbrella from a beach club.

Valencia, Spain

Tom from TheTravellingTom.com

Valencia, Spain

Valencia is one of the most underrated cities in Spain, and it’s also one of the most affordable. The city is the home of paella, which is one of the best things to do in Valencia. Trying out the famous dish is a must. Thankfully, you won’t pay over the odds for this privilege. During the day, you can treat yourself to a menu del dia at numerous restaurants. This consists of a starter, main course, drink, and a coffee or dessert for about €10, which is a bargain! It’s not just the food that’s cheap, so is the accommodation with the hostels and apartments here among the cheapest in Spain. This means you’ll have more money in your pocket allowing you to see more of the city. The City of Arts and Sciences is a must-see with its futuristic architecture and interesting museums inside. While the beaches in Valencia are a great place to visit on the many sunny days the city experiences. One of my favorite things to do is stroll through Turia Park, which runs right through the heart of the city and enjoy the peace and tranquility all around you. If you’re looking for a cheap trip or base in Spain, Valencia is as good a place as any.