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Last Updated on November 22, 2021

20 Best Budget Travel Destinations to Go At Least Once in Your Life

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20 Best Budget Travel Destinations to Go At Least Once in Your Life

If you’re planning your next travel adventure on a limited budget, there’s good news. Price of Travel published the Backpacker Index of 136 countries .

The index is based on the price for a group of things, per day, for each city. Included is a dorm bed at a good and low-cost hostel, three value-for-money meals, two public transportation rides, one paid cultural attraction and three cheap beers.

To ensure diversity in terms of countries represented, we have excluded countries that appear more than once in the top 20 of the index, selecting the next best option. Here are 20 best budget travel destinations based on July 20th, 2016 Exchange rates:

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1. Krakow, Poland

Krakow is one of Europes most interesting and affordable cities.

  1. Average daily budget: $24.83
  2. Main attractions/things to do
  • Auschwitz, the biggest Nazi German labour and concentration camp
  • Wawel Castle – this former castle is now a museum.
  • Bunker of Modern Art – museum located in the center of town.
  • Free walking tours daily

2. Kiev, Ukraine

  1. Average daily budget: $21.73
  2. Main attractions/things to do
  • Chernobyl Museum
  • Kiev’s Metro Stations, a byproduct of the Soviet era
  • Kievo-Pecherska Lavra – this monastery is one of the top attractions

3. Belgrade, Serbia

  1. Average daily budget: $27.03
  2. Main attractions/things to do
  • Kalemegdan – Belgrade Fortress – this citadel is a top tourist destination
  • Palace of Princess Ljubice
  • Nikola Tesla Museum dedicated towards the famous scientist and inventor.

4. Hanoi, Vietnam

Whilst Hanoi – the capital of Viet Nam – is more traditional, with less to do than the bigger Saigon, the busy city center makes up for this.

  1. Average daily budget: $17.14
  2. Main attractions/things to do
  • Overnight trips to the famous Halong Bay.
  • Hoa Lo Prison – this is where John McCain spent time during the American/Vietnam War.
  • The Water Puppet Theatre is one of the top attractions.
  • Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum allows you to see this leaders preserved body as you walk through the tomb.

5. Goa, India

Beaches and bars. Need one say more.

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  1. Average daily budget: $18.42
  2. Main attractions/things to do
  • Paradiso Club in Anjuna – this is a famous disco in the area.
  • Beaches – take time to unwind on the many beaches in the area.

6. Chiang Mai, Thailand

After Bangkok, Chiang Mai is the second largest and second most popular cultural city.

  1. Average daily budget: $19.07
  2. Main attractions/things to do
  • Chiang Mai National Museum
  • Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders
  • Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep – this temple overlooks the city from the top of the mountain. There is a cable car which can take you up the last stretch.

7. Vientiane, Lao People’s Republic Democratic Republic

  1. Average daily budget: $20.00
  2. Main attractions/things to do
  • Lao National Museum – this is the countries largest and most comprehensive museum.
  • Patuxai (Victory Gate) – staircases through several gift shops guide you to majestic views.
  • Wat Si Saket/Sisaket Museum – known for the hundreds of small buddha statues.

8. Quito, Ecuador

Quito has spring-like weather all year round. This combined with high altitude gives it an exotic feel. Is is often the starting point of those who wish to venture to the Galapagos Islands.

  1. Average daily budget: $22.20
  2. Main attractions/things to do
  • Teleferico cable car – provides stunning views of the city.
  • Museo del Banco Central is the main museum, offering a mix of history and art.

9. Cairo, Egypt

Photo Credit: Domonik Golenia via FW
  1. Average daily budget: $23.03
  2. Main attractions/things to do
  • Great Pyramids & Sphinx
  • Great Pyramid of Khufu – the largest of the pyramids
  • Mummy exhibit – contained within the museum, this is a separate fee
  • Ride a camel
  • Egyptian Museum

10. Colombo, Sri-Lanka

  1. Average daily budget: $23.13
  2. Main attractions/things to do
  • Colombo Zoological Gardens

11. Phnom Phen, Cambodia

  1. Average daily budget: $23.75
  2. Main attractions/things to do
  • Royal Palace/Silver Pagoda – the main palace of the country.
  • Killing Fields of Choeung Ek – the memorial is to be found 20 min outside town. A must visit.
  • Wat Phnom – this is where the city gets its name from. This temple is the most impressive and is found on a mountain overlooking the town.

12. Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest is one of Europes cheaper larger cities.

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  1. Average daily budget: $23.94
  2. Main attractions/things to do
  • Parliament Palace – this Soviet-era structure is the second largest building in the world.
  • Museum of the Romanian Peasant – immensely popular.

13. Manila, Philippines

Manila is becoming increasingly popular among cultural travelers. And there is no shortage of things to do.

  1. Average daily budget: $24.68
  2. Main attractions/things to do
  • National Museum of the Philippines – displays of the history and the contemporary culture are too be found.
  • Ayala Museum – special exhibitions are often showcased here.

14. Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia is not a destination that many would of mentioned in the past, but this is changing rapidly as people explore post-soviet life and the history and culture of the city.

  1. Average daily budget: $25.99
  2. Main attractions/things to do
  • Walking tour of Sofia or bicycle tour – guided tour of the city to see the main sights
  • St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral museum – it is free to enter the orthodox cathedral, but there is a charge for entering the crypt.

15. Pokhara, Nepal

Pokhara – the capital of Nepal – is often one of the first stops after arriving in Kathmandu and also the city with the most bang for your buck.

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  1. Average daily budget: $15.75
  2. Main attractions/things to do
  • Devis Falls – popular waterfall. Don’t bother during winter as the waterfall is merely a trickle.
  • Trekking – can add to the cost, but do some research and shop around. The Annapurna circuit is popular.
  • Huge choice of restaurants and bars serving a selection of food from around the world.

16. Jakarta, Indonesia

Jakarta is the main hub for accessing almost anywhere in Indonesia

  1. Average daily budget: $26.81
  2. Main attractions/things to do
  • Monas (National Monument) – Whilst the monument itself receives mixed reviews, the top of the tower offers the best views.

17. Yangon, Myanmar

  1. Average daily budget: $26.96
  2. Main attractions/things to do
  • Shwedagon Pagoda – this is the most important religious site in the country and should be on top of your list.

18. Mexico City, Mexico

  1. Average daily budget: $27.10
  2. Main attractions/things to do
  • Sightseeing bus tour – a tour that gives you hop-on, hop-off privileges
  • Chapultepec Castle – provides stunning city views
  • National Museum of Anthropology – visit the acclaimed museum.

19. Fez, Morocco

  1. Average daily budget: $27.13
  2. Main attractions/things to do
  • Shopping
  • Wander the complicated Medinas with a guide (recommended)

Cities excluded to allow for diversity of locations:
Saigon (Viet Nam), Kathmandu (Nepal), Luang Prabang (Lao People’s Democratic Republic), Delhi (India), Mumbai (India), Bangkok (Thailand), Hoi An (Viet Nam)

20. La Paz, Bolivia

La Paz has extreme altitude and a climate that never changes. It is regarded as one of the most unique cities in the world.

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  1. Average daily budget: $25.26
  2. Main attractions/things to do
  • Coca Museum – the cocaine trade is discussed.
  • Museum San Francisco – Bolivias historical artifacts can be found here.

Featured photo credit: cheese yang via unsplash.com

More by this author

Nick Darlington

Nick is a Multipotentialite, an entrepreneur, a blogger and a traveler.

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