The world is home to many amazing cities to explore that are less expensive than what you probably spend in your normal routine at home. And by planning ahead, staying in hostels, and being willing to negotiate, you can travel almost anywhere for a relatively low price. These cities however, make it extremely easy to save money and take little effort. They are the perfect match for backpackers and travelers on a budget!

1. Pokhara, Nepal:

With a population of over 300,000 people, Pokhara is the tourist capital of Nepal. The city is filled with activities and better yet – it’s cheap! By budgeting and planning ahead you should be able to travel the city on 15 USD per day.

2. Sofia, Bulgaria:

Sofia is one of the cheapest cities in Europe and if you’re a history buff, you’ll have a hay-day in the history rich town. The town has many museums and other attractions to keep you entertained and most of them are free or very reasonably priced. You can have a fun-filled day here for around 30 USD.

3. Panama City, Panama:

By staying frugal you can take on the city for 35 USD per day by staying in hostels, refilling water bottles, and being careful where you order food. That’s not a bad price to soak up the sun on beaches, drink beer (also cheap), and enjoy a relaxing day.

4. Mumbai, India:

Although the price of living in the city may be an absolute nightmare, the cost for backpackers isn’t so bad. The hectic city has a lot to offer for a good time if you can manage to get over the million of people bustling through the city. You can pull off the city for 35 USD per night with super cheap street food and hotels or rooms inside of people’s homes.

5. Chiang Mai, Thailand:

The second largest city in Thailand, next to Bangkok, has beautiful views and scenery. It’s easy to find free or cheap attractions to keep you busy and quality hostels are as low as a few dollars a night. Hotel rooms aren’t much more expensive. You can enjoy Chiang Mai for less than 20 USD a night.

6. Phnom Penh, Cambodia:

Similar to Thailand in prices, you can get by for less than 25 USD a day. You can even get a mid- range hotel that has great quality for a pretty good rate and you’ll be able to get some privacy and skip the hostel. Best of all their Angkok Beer is cheap and cold!

7. Quito, Ecuador:

The high towering city stands 2,800 meters above sea level and, as shown by the title picture, you will have plenty of amazing views to take in. The city offers affordable places to stay, eat, and explore. You will have no trouble finding any of the above to match the budget you have in mind. A typical day for a backpacker would be around 25 USD.

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This article was originally published by me on ThoughtCatalog.


  1. I can’t speak of the other cities on your list but I do have some firsthand experience with Phnom Penh. It is certainly exotic and has loads of night life, if that is what you are looking for. It also has cheap accommodations for those on a tight budget. However, it is a very big city with all the overcrowding, noise and pollution that comes with it.

    Outside Phnom Penh are many smaller cities that may not offer the same nightlife but make up for it with gorgeous scenery, wonderful people and peaceful surroundings. My wife and I lived in Kampot, about three hours out of Phnom Penh, where both the ocean and the mountains were a short drive away and accommodations for backpackers were even cheaper than in the big city. Up the road a bit was Sihanoukville, a town that boasts a nightlife to rival Phnom Penh but without the heavy traffic and filthy air.

    Phnom Penh has much to offer the traveler, but the real fun is a little off the beaten path.

  2. Great list! I’d love to visit many of these cities – especially Quito and Pokhara. I was a little surprised by how pricey Panama City was compared to many of the other Latin American cities I’d visited. I guess with the booming economy, prices are rising quickly. It definitely is doable on a tight budget, but it took a little more work than other places in Latin America.