There are few things in this world that will broaden your mind more than traveling internationally. Having the opportunity to learn about another culture can be an eye-opening and life-changing experience. I don’t think there are many people in this world who wouldn’t want the opportunity to travel internationally and get to know this beautiful world that we live in a little better. The problem is, the cost associated with traveling abroad can sometimes be cost-prohibitive.
If you have always wanted to travel overseas, but haven’t been able to fit it into your budget, then this is the article for you. I am going to outline 30 wonderful destinations that you can travel to that will cost you no more than $30 USD a day. Granted, you could always spend more money at these locations if you wanted to, but all of these cities can be visited on a budget of just $30 a day.
This cost doesn’t include the cost of flights so you will have to take that into account. However, if you are following the tips I have outlined in my “15 Simple Steps That Will Always Save You Money on Flights” article that I linked below, you should be able to find a great price on a flight as well.
How the Costs Are Calculated
The prices for travel that I am using in this article all come from the extensive work that the Price of Travel website did in their study of which destinations in the world are cheapest to visit for backpackers. I would strongly recommend that you check out their 137 World cities ranked cheapest to most expensive: Backpacker Index for 2019 article if you have a chance. It is a really fascinating article. If you are interested in how they calculate the costs, they look at the following factors for each city:
- A dorm bed at a good and cheap hostel
- 3 budget meals
- 2 public transportation rides
- 1 paid cultural attraction
- 3 cheap beers (as an “entertainment fund”)
Hanoi, Viet Nam ($18.15)
Known for its old, historical buildings and rich culture with Southeast Asian, Chinese and French influences, Hanoi is quickly becoming a favorite tourist spot in Asia for bargain travelers. It is a must-visit city for those who love old architecture, as the many temples in-and-around the area are breathtaking. It’s also very inexpensive, which makes it a favorite with budget travelers world-wide.
Vientiane, Laos ($19.29)
The capital city of Laos, Vientiane is another city in Asia that gives you a lot of bang for your buck. With a beautiful mix of French colonial architecture and Buddhist temples, it is a beautiful city as well. The intricate gold detail work on the temples in the city is absolutely breathtaking. It’s no wonder Vientiane is becoming a popular tourist stop in Asia.
Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Viet Nam ($19.32)
Another fantastic and relatively cheap location to visit in Asia is Ho Chi Minh City, which was formerly known as Saigon. Known for its pivotal role in the Viet Nam war, today the city is well-known for its beautiful French colonial architecture and wonderful street food. The streets of the city are lined with food stands that sell exquisite local cuisines. Among the most famous of its French colonial buildings is the Notre Dame Cathedral, which was built entirely of materials imported from France.
Yangon, Myanmar ($19.91)
After fifty years of isolation, the country of Myanmar, which was formerly known as Burma, is open to tourists. What an absolute treat for travelers because the country could not be more beautiful. Yangon is the largest city in the country and is known for its British colonial architecture and Buddhist pagodas, which dominate the city’s skyline. The most famous pagoda is the Shwedagon Paya, which is pictured above. It attracts thousands of thousands of Buddhist pilgrims annually and is one of the cities biggest tourism draws.
Chiang Mai, Thailand ($20.33)
This beautiful city in the mountainous region of Northern Thailand still has the ancient walls and moats that used to protect the city when it was founded all the way back in the eleventh century. These fortifications protect the beautiful temples with ornate serpents carved into them that are scattered throughout the city. However, Chiang Mai is most famous for the Loy Krathong Festival, or festival of lights, which many say is best to experience there.
Granada (Nicaragua), Nicaragua ($20.78)
The first city on the list outside of Asia, Granada is a beautiful city that is situated on the shores of Lake Nicaragua. This colorful city has an amazing array of wonderful things to see and do. One of the biggest attractions in the city is the central plaza, which is home to the Granada Cathedral and numerous pre-Colombian historical statues. Visitors are also treated to some of the most delicious cuisines in Central America.
Pokhara, Nepal ($20.79)
Known as the Gateway to the Annapurna Circuit, which is a popular trail into the Himalayas, the city of Pokhara in Nepal is a hugely popular city with adventure travelers. Not only does its location make it an ideal hub for backpackers looking to explore these beautiful mountains, but the fact that it is relatively cheap to visit is a bonus for adventurers. The biggest tourist attraction in the city itself is Tal Barahi Temple, which sits on an island in the middle of Phewa Lake.
Hoi An, Viet Nam ($21.04)
This beautiful city on Viet Nam’s central coast is well known for its beautiful canals and mixture of cultures. Visitors will find an interesting blend of Chinese, French Colonial, Vietnamese, and Japanese buildings within the city’s confines. The most iconic of the structures within the city is undoubtedly the Japanese covered bridge and pagoda, which draws thousands of tourists to the city each year.
Quito, Ecuador ($21.90)
One of South America’s most underrated cities is also one of South America’s most affordable cities to visit. Located in Ecuador near the Equator, this capital city has an amazing assortment of things to see and do. The old Spanish architecture in the city’s old town is absolutely breathtaking and the street food in the city is some of the region’s best. However, the biggest attraction in Quito is undoubtedly the Equator marker, which sits just outside of the city limits.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia ($22.23)
Located at the junction of the Mekong and Tonlé Sap rivers, Phnom Penh is the capital city of Cambodia. In addition to being one of the most affordable places in Asia to travel, it is also one of the most enjoyable places to visit. The city’s beautiful riverfront walkway includes plenty of shops, restaurants, and historical attractions for visitors to enjoy. Away from the river in the city’s interior is the central market, which has become a hot spot for local travelers.
Delhi, India ($22.72)
Located in northern India, Delhi is one of the country’s largest cities and one of the most important cultural centers in Asia. The city’s bustling streets, historical landmarks, including the imposing Mughal-era Red Fort, and the amazing street food and cuisine are tremendous tourism draws. The fact that the city is so affordable to visit just makes Delhi an even more popular destination for international travelers.
Kathmandu, Nepal ($23.98)
As the largest city in the country of Nepal and the largest metropolitan area in the Himalayan hills region, Kathmandu has long been a popular tourist destination for climbers and adventure travelers who are looking to get a taste of the Himalayas. Air travel has made the city far more accessible than it was long ago and the affordability of traveling to the region has only increased Kathmandu’s popularity among international travelers.
Jakarta, Indonesia ($24.30)
Located on the northwest coast of the island of Java, Jakarta is unique because it blends Javanese, Malay, Chinese, Arab, Indian and European cultures. This rich blend of cultures has influenced the city’s architecture, its language, and the amazing cuisines that can be found in the city. It is also a hub for adventure tourists who are looking to explore some of the wildlife parks of the Philippines.
Manila, Philippines ($24.46)
Located on the island of Luzon, Manila is the capital of the Philippines and the country’s largest city. In addition to a beautiful blend of Spanish Colonial architecture and modern skyscraper buildings, the city is also home to some of the world’s richest marine wildlife habitats. Tourists have been flocking to Manila for years to experience this wonderful mix of cultural and beach experiences. With prices as affordable as they are, it’s no wonder Manila continues to be an attractive travel destination for international travelers.
Zanzibar City, Tanzania ($24.90)
Used for centuries as the hub for the African slave market, Zanzibar City, which is also known as Stone Town, has a dark past. You can still see the remnants of that past when you tour the city today. In addition to the historical significance of the city, Zanzibar City is also a hotbed for international travelers who are looking to enjoy the sun and the beauty of the island’s beautiful white sand beaches.
Luang Prabang, Laos ($25.47)
Nestled in the mountains at the confluence of the Nam Khan and Mekong Rivers, Luang Prabang is widely considered to be the soul of Laotian culture. Travelers are flocking to the city to enjoy the traditional wooden houses, royal palaces, and the city’s collection of beautiful Buddhist shrines. In addition to the city’s beauty and charm, the fact that a traveler can visit for roughly $25 a day makes Luang Prabang even more popular with budget-savvy international explorers.
Goa, India ($25.79)
When you think of India, your first thought might not be beautiful tropical, white sand beaches, but that is exactly what the city of Goa and the surrounding region are famous for. Travelers who visit this land of paradise can expect a lot of sunshine, beautiful beaches, amazing seafood, and a unique blend of colonial Portuguese and Indian architecture.
Siem Reap, Cambodia ($26.00)
Located in the northwest region of Cambodia, Siem Reap is the gateway to the world-famous ruins of Angkor, including the infamous Angkor Wat (pictured above). Travelers have been visiting Siem Reap to view these amazing temples for decades, and the cost of visiting the area has only made this destination even more popular with budget travelers.
Colombo, Sri Lanka ($26.13)
The capital city of Sri Lanka, Colombo is a city that is rich in cultural heritage. Because of how affordable it is to visit, Sri Lanka and its capital of Colombo is a destination that many travelers are jumping at the chance to visit. The city’s beautiful architecture, lush gardens, lively street markets, and wonderful shopping make Colombo a real bargain travel destination.
La Paz, Bolivia ($26.29)
As the highest capital city in the world, La Paz has been a magnet for international tourists for decades. The beautiful architecture and the stunning Andes Mountains that backdrop the city make it one of the prettiest destinations on the list. The fact that tourists can visit this amazing city for such a modest amount of money is making it a favorite stop for budget travelers from across the globe. Not only is La Paz unique because of its altitude, but the cable car network that is used to ferry people around the city is one of the most unique and amazing public transportation systems you will find anywhere in the world as well.
Bangkok, Thailand ($26.62)
The water markets of Bangkok are famous around the globe and have been attracting visitors for generations. However, that is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the cultural attractions that this amazing city offers. Over ten million international visitors come to Bangkok each year to sample the cuisine, tour the markets, and visit the wide array of historical and modern attractions throughout the city.
Bucharest, Romania ($27.11)
The first city on the list in Europe, Bucharest is a city that is steeped in history and is quickly becoming a hot spot for international tourism. Often referred to as the “Paris of the East”, the grand architecture in Bucharest will amaze you. Tourists are also attracted to lush public parks, hip coffee shops, fantastic restaurants, and interesting remnants of the Soviet influence on the city. For under $30 a day, budget travelers think that Bucharest is one of the best value destinations in Europe.
Kuta, Bali, Indonesia ($27.37)
Considered the tourist Mecca of Bali, which itself has quickly become one of the hottest tourist spots in all of Asia, Kuta is a beautiful city that is known for its stunning beaches, amazing sunsets, and high-end resorts. However, modest prices outside of those resorts are also making Kuta a favorite stop for budget travelers from around the world. Travelers are not only treated to one of the world’s premier beach destinations, but Bali is also home to some of the most amazing temples and cultural sites in Indonesia if not all of Asia.
Cartagena, Colombia ($27.89)
Once feared by international travelers because of the drug violence that plagued much of Columbia, Cartagena is quickly becoming one of the hottest tourist destinations in South America. This vibrant city has amazing beaches, a beautiful mix of old and new architecture, and some of the best food in South America. The city is now on the radar of budget travelers looking for a great destination to visit.
Marrakech, Morocco ($28.53)
As the most visited city in the most visited country in Africa, the wonderfulness of Marrakech isn’t exactly a secret. The allure of this North African city has been attracting tourists for centuries. Wonderful food, a fascinating mix of cultures, and the city’s infamous markets are just some of the many reasons why Marrakech has become such a popular destination. The fact that it is so affordable is just icing on the cake.
Sofia, Bulgaria ($29.07)
Considered by many to be one of the most laid-back capital cities in Europe, Sofia’s mix of beautiful churches, Ottoman mosques, and Soviet-era monuments are symbolic of the interesting blend of cultures that have made the city what it is today. Because of the modest cost to visit, budget travelers are coming in droves to tour the city’s beautiful museums, eat at the city’s wonderful restaurants, and enjoy the laid-back nature of this amazing city.
Istanbul, Turkey ($29.25)
Istanbul is another city on this list that doesn’t need a whole lot of introduction. Situated in-between the East and the West, Turkey has always been a gateway between the different cultures of the two regions. Today, the city’s stunning architecture, including some of this world’s most beautiful mosques, and amazing food have made Istanbul a hot spot for international tourists.
Cancun, Mexico ($29.52)
Cancun has been a popular spring break destination for American college kids for decades, but the modest cost to visit is also making the city a popular destination for other international travelers as well. With stunning white sand beaches, crystal blue water, and historical attractions like the ruins of Tulum nearby, it isn’t a surprise that Cancun sees its fair share of budget travelers visiting each year.
Arusha, Tanzania ($29.62)
As the gateway city to some of Tanzania’s most spectacular national parks, Arusha has been a hub for adventure travelers for decades. Seeking adventure, visitors have come to Arusha to visit the likes of the Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Crater, and even to climb the mystifying Mount Kilimanjaro. What tourists are just starting to realize is that Arusha itself has a lot of amazing things to offer travelers. The park is even home to one of the country’s most underrated national parks, Arusha National Park, where walking safaris can get you up-close to some of Africa’s most amazing wildlife.
Belgrade, Serbia ($29.89)
One of Europe’s oldest cities, Belgrade is a crossroads between the East and the West. The city has a wealth of cultural attractions and a rich mixture of different influences and styles that is attracting tourists to the city from around the world. It is also one of the most affordable destinations to visit in Europe, which is why budget travelers have been flocking to Belgrade to enjoy the rich culture, wonderful food, and affordable shopping.