Searching for the best countries to visit cheap? The world is a treasure trove of affordable travel destinations, where diverse cultures, stunning landscapes, and thrilling adventures await the budget-conscious explorer. Get ready to discover places where you can immerse in the magic of travel without stretching your wallet, here’s the top 10 best countries to visit cheap in 2024 .
Fear not, budget-conscious adventurers!
This article will showcase 10 incredible countries where you can experience the magic of travel without breaking the bank. From ancient temples and vibrant cities to breathtaking natural landscapes and laid-back beach towns, these destinations offer something for everyone while remaining friendly to your wallet.
So, pack your bags, grab your passport, and get ready to embark on unforgettable experiences without the hefty price tag.
Table of Contents
10 Best Countries to Visit Cheap in 2024
1. Vietnam: History, Delicious Food, Affordable
Vietnam shines as one of the best countries to visit cheap. This Southeast Asian gem boasts a rich history, diverse landscapes, and delicious food, all at incredibly affordable prices. Budget travelers can indulge in street food for just a few dollars, explore bustling cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi for free, and relax on pristine beaches like those found in Nha Trang for pennies on the dollar.
- Halong Bay: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a breathtaking natural wonder. Imagine emerald waters studded with thousands of limestone islands topped with lush greenery. Taking a cruise through Halong Bay allows you to witness these majestic karst formations up close, explore hidden caves, and even indulge in activities like kayaking or swimming amidst this ethereal landscape.
- Hoi An: Known for its charming ancient town, Hoi An is a living museum showcasing a blend of cultures. The well-preserved architecture, colorful lanterns adorning the streets, and the peaceful ambiance make it a favorite among travelers. Don’t miss wandering through its narrow lanes, trying local delicacies, and if you’re into fashion, consider getting tailor-made clothes from one of the skilled local tailors.
- Hue: A city steeped in history, Hue served as Vietnam’s imperial capital. The Imperial City within Hue is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and houses the former imperial citadel, palaces, temples, and royal tombs. Exploring this historical complex provides insight into Vietnam’s rich cultural heritage and the country’s royal past. Additionally, taking a boat ride along the Perfume River offers a serene view of the city’s landscape.
2. Indonesia: Volcanic and Vibrant
From the volcanic island of Bali to the lush jungles of Sumatra, Indonesia offers a kaleidoscope of experiences for budget-conscious travelers. As being one of the best countries to visit cheap, explore ancient temples like Borobudur and Prambanan, dive into the vibrant coral reefs of Bunaken National Marine Park, or trek through stunning rice terraces in Ubud, all without burning a hole in your pocket. Indonesia ranks high among the best countries to visit cheap.
- Bali: Known as the Island of the Gods, Bali is a quintessential Indonesian destination. It boasts beautiful landscapes, from lush rice terraces in Ubud to stunning beaches in Kuta and Seminyak. Explore ancient temples like Uluwatu and Tanah Lot, immerse yourself in Balinese culture through traditional dance performances, visit local markets, and indulge in delicious Balinese cuisine. Bali offers a mix of relaxation, adventure, and cultural experiences for travelers of all kinds.
- Komodo National Park: Home to the famous Komodo dragons, Komodo National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Lesser Sunda Islands. Besides encountering these unique creatures in their natural habitat, the park offers incredible diving and snorkeling opportunities. Dive into vibrant coral reefs, swim among diverse marine life, and explore the park’s pristine beaches. Padar Island, Rinca Island, and Pink Beach are among the highlights of this extraordinary destination.
- Yogyakarta (Jogja): Yogyakarta is the cultural heart of Java, renowned for its rich Javanese traditions, historical sites, and vibrant arts scene. Visit the majestic UNESCO-listed Borobudur Temple, the largest Buddhist temple in the world, and marvel at its intricate carvings and stupas. Explore the ancient Prambanan Temple, a Hindu temple complex known for its towering structures and remarkable architecture. Additionally, delve into Jogja’s local culture by trying traditional batik-making, watching shadow puppet performances, and savoring Javanese cuisine.
3. Nepal: Breathtaking Views and Authentic Culture
Home to the majestic Himalayas, Nepal is a trekker’s paradise. Budget travelers can embark on epic journeys through the Annapurna Circuit or Everest Base Camp, experiencing breathtaking mountain views and authentic Nepali culture along the way. For those seeking a less strenuous experience, explore the Chitwan National Park or the Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha. By being one of the best countries to visit cheap, the must-to-visit places are as below.
- Kathmandu Valley: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a cultural and historical treasure trove. The valley comprises three ancient cities – Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Patan – each brimming with ancient temples, stupas, palaces, and vibrant market squares. Durbar Square in each city showcases intricate architecture and craftsmanship. Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple) and Boudhanath Stupa are sacred Buddhist sites offering spiritual ambiance and panoramic views of the valley.
- Pokhara: Nestled at the foot of the Annapurna mountain range, Pokhara is a picturesque city renowned for its natural beauty and tranquility. The serene Phewa Lake, with the reflection of the Annapurna and Machhapuchhre (Fishtail) mountains, offers stunning vistas. Adventure enthusiasts flock here for activities like paragliding, trekking, and boating. The World Peace Pagoda and Davis Falls are other notable attractions in this laid-back city.
- Sagarmatha National Park and Mount Everest: Sagarmatha National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest (Sagarmatha in Nepali). The park’s breathtaking landscapes, including snow-capped peaks, glaciers, and deep valleys, attract trekkers and nature lovers from around the globe. The Everest Base Camp trek offers an incredible journey through Sherpa villages, diverse flora, and awe-inspiring mountain scenery.
4. Cambodia: Ancient and Relaxing
This Southeast Asian nation is known for its iconic Angkor Wat temple complex, but Cambodia offers much more than just ancient ruins. Explore the bustling capital of Phnom Penh, relax on the beaches of Sihanoukville, or discover the laid-back charm of Siem Reap, all without exceeding your aim of best countries to visit cheap aka budget-friendly.
- Angkor Archaeological Park: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to the magnificent ruins of the ancient Khmer Empire. Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world, is the park’s most iconic temple, renowned for its stunning architecture and intricate bas-reliefs. Explore other captivating temples like Bayon with its enigmatic smiling faces, Ta Prohm embraced by tree roots, and Banteay Srei known for its intricate carvings. Watching the sunrise or sunset amidst these ancient ruins is an unforgettable experience.
- Phnom Penh: The capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, is a vibrant blend of history and modernity. Visit the sobering but essential Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S-21) and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek to learn about Cambodia’s tragic past under the Khmer Rouge regime. The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda showcase exquisite Khmer architecture and treasures. Take a stroll along the bustling riverside, explore lively markets, and indulge in delicious Cambodian cuisine.
- Siem Reap Countryside and Tonle Sap Lake: Beyond the ancient temples, exploring the Siem Reap countryside offers an authentic glimpse into rural Cambodian life. Take a boat trip on Tonle Sap, Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake, to witness floating villages, stilted houses, and the local livelihoods dependent on the lake’s resources. Engaging with local communities and experiencing their way of life provides a deeper understanding of Cambodia’s cultural tapestry.
5. Bolivia: Nature and Culture
This South American country is a treasure trove of natural wonders and cultural experiences. Hike through the Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat, explore the vibrant indigenous markets of La Paz, or cycle the breathtaking Death Road, all for a fraction of the cost of other South American destinations.
- Salar de Uyuni: This otherworldly salt flat is the largest in the world and is a mesmerizing natural wonder. During the rainy season, the salt flat transforms into a vast reflective surface that mirrors the sky, creating an illusion of infinite space. Visitors can explore the unique landscape, visit the Isla Incahuasi (also known as Fish Island) covered in giant cacti, and take perspective-bending photos that play with the vastness of the flat horizon.
- La Paz and the Valley of the Moon: La Paz, the highest administrative capital in the world, is a bustling city nestled in the Andes mountains. Explore the vibrant markets of Mercado de las Brujas (Witches’ Market) offering traditional Andean remedies, handicrafts, and unique souvenirs. Take a cable car ride (Mi Teleférico) for panoramic views of the city. Nearby, the Valley of the Moon showcases bizarre rock formations resembling a lunar landscape, perfect for a short hike and exploration.
- Tiwanaku: This archaeological site near Lake Titicaca is an ancient city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tiwanaku was once the capital of a pre-Columbian civilization and is home to impressive ruins, including monumental stone structures like the Gate of the Sun and the Kalasasaya Temple. Exploring these ancient ruins offers insight into Bolivia’s pre-Hispanic history and culture.
6. Sri Lanka: Beaches and Temples
This tear-shaped island nation is a haven for budget travelers. Relax on pristine beaches like those found in Mirissa, explore ancient ruins like Sigiriya Rock Fortress and the Temple of the Tooth, or trek through lush tea plantations in Ella, all while enjoying delicious Sri Lankan cuisine and warm hospitality.
- Sigiriya: This ancient rock fortress, also known as Lion Rock, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Sri Lanka’s most iconic attractions. Climb to the top of Sigiriya Rock, where the ruins of an ancient palace complex are perched amidst breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Admire the stunning frescoes, the famous Mirror Wall, and the mesmerizing Lion’s Paw Terrace, all steeped in history and architectural marvels.
- Kandy: As the cultural capital of Sri Lanka, Kandy is a city rich in heritage and natural beauty. Visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), which houses a revered tooth relic of Buddha. Experience the vibrant Kandy Esala Perahera, a grand cultural procession held annually, showcasing traditional music, dance, and beautifully adorned elephants. Don’t miss strolling around the serene Kandy Lake or exploring the Royal Botanical Gardens in nearby Peradeniya.
- Ella: Nestled in the central highlands, Ella is a charming hill country town surrounded by stunning landscapes. Hike to the top of Little Adam’s Peak for panoramic views of lush tea plantations, rolling hills, and the iconic Ella Gap. Visit the Nine Arch Bridge, an architectural marvel where passing trains traverse a bridge amidst scenic vistas. Ella also offers opportunities for nature walks, waterfall visits (like Ravana Falls), and enjoying the relaxed ambiance of the countryside.
7. Nicaragua: Friendly Locals and Lovely Neighbors
This Central American country is known for its stunning volcanic landscapes, beautiful beaches like those found in San Juan del Sur, and friendly locals. Budget travelers can surf the waves on the Pacific Coast, climb volcanoes like Cerro Negro, explore colonial cities like Granada and León, and experience the vibrant culture, all at a fraction of the price of its neighbors.
- Granada: This charming colonial city is one of Nicaragua’s oldest and most picturesque towns. Stroll through its cobblestone streets lined with colorful Spanish colonial architecture. Visit the iconic yellow Cathedral of Granada, explore the bustling Central Park, and take a horse-drawn carriage ride for a leisurely tour of the city. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a boat tour of the nearby Islets of Granada on Lake Nicaragua, home to diverse flora, fauna, and charming local communities.
- Ometepe Island: Situated in Lake Nicaragua, Ometepe Island is an enchanting destination known for its twin volcanoes, Concepción and Maderas. The island offers opportunities for outdoor adventures such as hiking, biking, and kayaking. Climb one of the volcanoes for stunning panoramic views, visit natural reserves like Charco Verde, and immerse yourself in the island’s laid-back vibe and rural communities.
- San Juan del Sur: A popular beach town on the Pacific coast, San Juan del Sur attracts visitors with its beautiful beaches, vibrant surf culture, and lively atmosphere. Relax on the golden sands of beaches like Playa Maderas or Playa Hermosa, perfect for swimming and surfing. Experience the vibrant nightlife, enjoy fresh seafood at beachfront restaurants, or embark on a boat tour to spot dolphins or go fishing in the Pacific Ocean.
8. Romania: Castles, Mountains, and Beauty on a Budget
Romania is a hidden gem for budget travelers, offering a mesmerizing blend of history, stunning landscapes, and unique cultural experiences. Explore the medieval city of Sibiu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with charming cobblestone streets, vibrant squares, and captivating architecture. It’s great to witness of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the best countries to visit cheap.
- Sighisoara: This fortified town is known as the “Birthplace of Dracula” and boasts a well-preserved medieval center, including the iconic Clock Tower and Vlad Dracul’s House.
- Bran Castle: This towering castle, perched on a hilltop, is famously associated with Bram Stoker’s Dracula. While the connection to the fictional vampire is largely fabricated, the castle’s imposing presence and captivating history make it a worthwhile visit.
- Brasov: Nestled at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains, Brasov is a charming city with a rich heritage. Explore the Black Church, the Council Square, and the narrow streets lined with colorful houses.
- Peles Castle: This extravagant neo-Renaissance castle is a masterpiece of architecture, showcasing lavish interiors and stunning gardens.
- Carpathian Mountains: Hike through the breathtaking landscapes of the Carpathian Mountains, enjoying breathtaking scenery and diverse wildlife.
- Travel during the shoulder seasons (spring and fall) for cheaper accommodation and fewer crowds.
- Utilize public transportation, which is efficient and affordable.
- Sample the delicious local cuisine, which is budget-friendly and bursting with flavor.
- Opt for guesthouses or hostels for affordable accommodation.
- Take advantage of free activities like exploring historical sites, picnicking in parks, and wandering through charming towns.
9. India: A Land of Color, Culture, and Culinary Delights
India is a sensory overload in the best way possible. From the vibrant colors and bustling streets to the ancient temples and diverse landscapes, India offers a unique and unforgettable experience.
- Taj Mahal: This iconic white marble mausoleum is a testament to love and architectural wonder.
- Golden Triangle: Explore the historical cities of Delhi, Agra (home to the Taj Mahal), and Jaipur on a budget-friendly circuit.
- Varanasi: Witness the spiritual rituals and vibrant life along the Ganges River in this ancient city.
- Kerala: Relax on pristine beaches, explore backwaters on houseboats, and experience the unique culture of this southern state.
- Rishikesh: Immerse yourself in yoga and meditation in the spiritual haven of Rishikesh.
- Travel by train for a comfortable and affordable way to explore the country.
- Sample the delicious street food, which is incredibly diverse and budget-friendly.
- Explore the many free temples, historical sites, and natural wonders.
- Choose guesthouses or homestays for affordable accommodation.
- Utilize the efficient and affordable Indian Railways for long-distance travel.
10. Laos: A Serene Escape in Southeast Asia
Laos offers a slower pace of life and breathtaking scenery, making it a perfect destination for budget travelers seeking a peaceful escape.
- Luang Prabang: Explore this charming town with its French colonial architecture, vibrant temples, and laid-back atmosphere.
- Vang Vieng: Take in the stunning karst landscape, enjoy outdoor activities like kayaking and tubing, and explore the Tham Nam water cave.
- Si Phan Don (4000 Islands): Relax on laid-back islands, explore the Mekong River, and witness the majestic Khone Phapheng Falls.
- Luang Namtha: Hike through lush jungles, encounter diverse wildlife, and experience the culture of local hill tribes.
- Champasak: Explore the ruins of the ancient Khmer Empire temples, including Wat Phou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Opt for slow travel, staying in one place for longer to experience local life and reduce transportation costs.
- Utilize public transportation, which is affordable and efficient.
- Sample the delicious Lao cuisine, which is known for its fresh ingredients and unique flavors.
- Choose guesthouses or homestays for affordable and comfortable accommodation.
- Take advantage of the many free activities like visiting temples, exploring local markets, and relaxing along the Mekong River.
These are just a glimpse into the 10 incredible countries you can explore on a budget. With careful planning, research, and a sense of adventure, you can experience the magic of travel without breaking the bank. So, pack your bags, grab your passport, and get ready to embark on a journey of unforgettable memories.
If you are looking for a trip to go in March 2024, visit the new blog about 10 breathtaking destinations for your March escape.