25 Cheapest Countries To Visit

cheapest countries to visit in the world

Travelling to cheap countries is one of the ultimate goals for budget travellers and here are some of the cheapest countries to visit.

These are great starter countries for the budget traveller. Although some of them can be quite hardcore for the beginner, such as India, which is sensory overload!

All these countries are around the same price to travel in.

You can get by on an average of $15 a day for simple accommodation, cheap food, and local transport. And maybe a beer or 2. You could get by on even less if you wanted to. This is just an average number.

For the basics these countries are cheap, however, just like everywhere else as soon as you start doing more activities the price will jump up.

For example, Ethiopia is dirt cheap, but if you want to do a tour into the Danakil Depression, which in my opinion is one of the best things to do there, then you will be spending over $100 a day for it.

Also if you stay in the more popular tourist areas in the cheapest countries to visit you will most likely spend more as the temptation to go out more will be strong.

Like I said the $15 a day is just an overall average.

One moment you could be in the city spending $25 a day, and the next spending $10 a day living cheap in the countryside.

These make some of the cheapest places to visit in the world.


Cheapest Asian Countries To Visit

Thailand

cheapest countries to visit - Thailand
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I’ll start with one of my favorite countries in the world to travel to and a backpacker’s paradise. Thailand!

It easily makes one of the cheapest countries to travel to and is well set up for travelers to visit and get around.

The famous Thai food, friendly Thai people, white sand beaches, jungle trekking, and the superb cultural city of Chiang Mai in the north make it the best destination if you’re looking for not only one of the cheapest countries to visit but for a great vibe overall.

Read my Thailand guides.

India

Cheapest countries to visit India
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This is the big one. The ultimate budget travellers destination and easily one of the cheapest countries to visit.

It can be full-on and is a huge place to discover many different things. From the Himalayan Mountain range to the hot beaches of the south.

I spent a lot of time spending only $5 a day! Granted it wasn’t the nicest way to travel, but my funds were running low. $1 a night for a seedy, shitty, truckers hotel room.

Eating street food for fuck all, and taking local buses around. But hey I got to see the place!

It’s most likely the cheapest Asian country to visit.

Recommended guidebook: Lonely Planet India (Travel Guide)

Read my guides to India.

Pakistan

Cheapest countries to visit Pakistan.
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As India is on this list, so is Pakistan!

Pakistan is more overlooked by people due to the whole image of terrorism in the country etc.

I’ve actually lived there for over a year as well.

My wife is from Islamabad in the north of Pakistan and highly recommends it for the food, culture, diversity of people, the weather being four seasons, and the mountain hiking in Pakistan.

It’s really sad more people don’t go, as Pakistan has so much to give to the budget traveller.

This part of the world is great for travelling cheaply in general and if you do it right Pakistan can be one of the cheapest countries to visit.

Recommended guidebook:Pakistan Traveller: Budget version

Read my own guides to Pakistan.

Flights into Islamabad tend to be more expensive than Lahore (it fluctuates and sometimes is less than half the price).

The best option if you’re on a budget is to fly to Lahore instead and then take a four-hour bus journey to Islamabad.

Nepal

cheapest countries to travel - Nepal
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Keeping with the South Asian theme Nepal has to go on the list and is also one of the cheapest Asian countries to visit.

The main reason to go is to get out trekking in Nepal as that’s what the country is famous for.

It’s dirt cheap and full of adventurous activities along with cultural history, especially in the capital Kathmandu.

Indonesia

Cheapest countries to visit Indonesia
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This one is slightly trickier as it consists of 17,000 islands, each offering its own vibe. Transport costs can add up if you move around a lot as you will need to take boats or budget flights.

But staying in just a few areas you can get a beachside wooden bungalow for $7 a night and eat good seafood for $5.

What more do you need on a beach? If partying it up in Bali it will cost you more than chilling on a quiet beach somewhere. Elsewhere you can travel into tribal regions or go exploring the jungles and rivers. So much to experience. 

In fact, Indonesia is one of my favourite places.

Recommended guidebook: Lonely Planet Indonesia (Travel Guide)

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Read my guides to Indonesia.

Laos

cheapest countries to visit - Laos
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Part of the “golden backpackers circle” (as I call it) of south-east Asia of Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos.

The northern city of Luang Prabang is one of the most culturally rich cities in the region and makes an excellent base to explore the countryside.

Read a Laos itinerary.

Cambodia

cheapest countries to visit - Cambodia
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Cambodia is dirt cheap, along with Laos and Thailand.

If you visit Thailand then I strongly suggest keeping a bit of time to explore Cambodia, especially the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat

It also has white sand beaches and jungle trekking to do.

Kyrgyzstan

Cheapest countries to visit Kyrgyzstan
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Kyrgyzstan is an often overlooked country for budget travellers, yet is perfect. It’s small, so easy to get around, has stunning mountains and lakes, you can stay with nomadic people, and it won’t cost you much.

Riding up into the mountains with nomads and living in traditional yurts with them is one of the best travel experiences you could have.

Recommended guidebook: Kyrgyzstan (Bradt Travel Guide)

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Read my Kyrgyzstan guides.

Mongolia

Cheapest countries to visit Mongolia
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If you don’t know much about Mongolia you may be surprised at how big it is.

That can be a problem as transport around is not the best and if you end up doing tours it will cost more to travel in.

But just for generally getting by it’s a cheap destination and has some of the most beautiful landscapes, and visiting the Gobi Desert to stay with nomads is an unforgettable escape from the modern world.

Recommended guidebook: Lonely Planet Mongolia (Travel Guide)

My Mongolian Gobi Desert adventure guide.


Cheapest European Countries To Visit

Ukraine

Cheapest countries to visit Ukraine
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Due to the current conflict in the east of the country, the local currency has seriously devalued making it a great place in Europe to get by on a cheap budget and makes it one of the cheapest countries to visit.

Head to historic Lviv city and the Carpathian Mountains in the west, or go chill/party on the Black Sea coast.

It’s a very good place to consider. You can get a tasty rib-eye steak for just $3! Beer is on average $1 in the cheaper bars. Brilliant. Of course, there’s lots more stuff.

Ukraine is definitely one of the cheapest countries in Europe to visit.

Recommended guidebook: Ukraine: Europe’s Best-Kept Secret: An Insider’s Guide

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My more detailed post on why you should go backpacking in Ukraine.

Bulgaria

cheapest countries to visit - Bulgaria
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Another cheap European country to visit is Bulgaria. I only visited the capital Sofia when I was there but loved it and have sworn to go back and see the countryside.

From what I briefly experienced there and along with advice from other travel blogger colleagues who feel the same way, I had to add it here as the perfect budget travel destination.

It’s probably, along with Ukraine, the cheapest of the countries to travel to in Europe.

Romania

cheapest countries to visit - Romania
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Romania is right next to Bulgaria and continues the journey of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe.

Hiking in the Carpathian Mountains, medieval castles, and a lot of history it’s a must-see country in Europe.

A perfect budget travellers trip is to visit Ukraine then come down into Romania before getting into Bulgaria and then continue into Turkey (see below).

Read my guide to Brasov.

Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania)

cheapest countries to visit - Baltic States
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The Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are some of the cheapest European countries to travel in and their small sizes make it easy to get around and see a lot of things.

If you are going to one of these countries then I would recommend seeing them all as they are next to each other and have a similar history.

I hitch-hiked through them and went camping everywhere on a trip across Scandinavia into the Baltic States.

Turkey

cheapest countries to visit - Turkey
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Turkey is the dream destination for many backpackers and for good reason. I’ve visited several times now and never got bored.

The buzzing city of Istanbul to historic ruins and countless opportunities to get into nature, such as in Cappadocia, makes it great to visit.

It’s not the cheapest country to visit on this list but it’s not expensive either. If you are in Europe it’s very easy to get to as well.

Read my guides to Turkey.

Georgia

cheapest countries to travel - Georgia
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I spent 2 weeks in Georgia and Armenia (see below) and loved it. They are cheap to travel and being reasonably small in size they are easy to get around and have a lot to offer the traveller.

Lot’s of history and beautiful mountain and lake landscapes.

Technically Georgia and Armenia are not part of ‘Europe’ as they are based in the Caucuses but they are very close to Europe and easy to reach from there.

Armenia

cheapest countries to travel - Armenia
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Armenia goes hand in hand with Georgia as they are right next to each other and both make some of the cheapest countries to visit in the world. Perfect!

Armenia, like Georgia, is small and packed with history and stunning landscapes.

The country is dotted with ancient churches against a backdrop of mountain vistas. It’s probably one of my favorite countries in the world to take photos in.

Backpacking in Armenia is on my highly recommended list!


Cheapest African Countries To Visit

Ethiopia

Cheapest countries to visit Ethiopia
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Ethiopia is not only one of the most fascinating countries in the world but luckily enough also one of the cheapest and one of the best countries to visit in Africa overall.

There’s so much to see and do, with its changing landscapes, history, tribal regions etc.

Travelling around can be hard, but the buses are cheap. The roads were being improved when I last left so should be better now.

More travellers need to visit this place! It seriously blew me away.

Recommended guidebook: Ethiopia (Bradt Travel Guide)

Read my in-depth guide to Ethiopia.

Malawi

Cheapest countries to visit Malawi.
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I’ve travelled twice from Ethiopia to South Africa and starting in cheap Ethiopia, you then enter slightly more expensive Kenya, then more expensive Tanzania, then a lovely surprise awaits in Malawi as it’s not only one of the cheapest countries to visit but also one of the cheapest African countries to visit.

It’s also brilliant for chilling out after what can be hard travel in Africa, as just chilling by Lake Malawi on a beach and eating fresh fish is the best tonic to relax.

The great thing when just taking it easy on beaches in quiet areas with not so many tourists is there’s not really much temptation to spend money on stuff, except maybe the occasional beer.

Recommended guidebook: Lonely Planet Zambia, Mozambique & Malawi (Travel Guide)

Morocco

Cheapest countries to visit Morocco
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Morocco is cheap and has so much to see and do, and only a stone’s throw from Europe with enough cheap flights coming in.

So if you happen to be travelling around Europe and want an exotic destination close by, then just take a quick flight over to Morocco.

One of the best meals I’ve ever had in my whole life was there and only cost $2. It was a delicious fresh fish tagine.

Recommended guidebook: Lonely Planet Morocco (Travel Guide)

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Read my guides to Morocco.

Egypt

cheapest countries to travel to - Egypt
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I actually lived in Egypt for a while in the late 90s’ and visited again years later just for travel and can say it’s a cheap country to travel around, especially if you love historical places.

It’s also easy to visit and get around as it’s a massively touristed country. Don’t expect and off the beaten path adventure there, but it’s a very fascinating country to visit.

Read about being a film extra in Egypt.

Kenya

cheapest countries to visit - Kenya
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Along with Ethiopia, Kenya is one of my favourite places in Africa and can also be one of the cheapest countries to travel to on the continent, if you do it right.

I say “if you do it right” because things will get expensive if you decide to do a lot of safaris.

But as far as budget backpacking goes Kenya can be done cheaply and has a decent setup for backpackers with hostels etc.

Read my 2 weeks Kenya itinerary.

South Africa

cheapest countries to visit - South Africa
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Not the cheapest of the countries listed here but for a modern country it is definitely good for the budget traveller and has an excellent backpackers network and lots of great things to see and do.

Then there are the wine regions! And plenty of safari options especially at Kruger National Park.

Cape Town is a must-visit city at least once in your life and the surrounding Garden Route leading along the coast to the Indian Ocean is a superb road trip.

Read my guide to Cape Town.


Cheapest American Countries To Visit

Bolivia

Cheapest countries to visit - Bolivia
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I would be amiss if I didn’t have Bolivia on this list as it’s generally regarded as the cheapest country to travel to in South America.

It’s the only country I haven’t been to on the list but comes highly recommended by fellow budget travellers and had to be included.

It also has everything from the Amazon jungle to the high altiplano plains, salt flats and mountains. I will definitely get there someday! Hopefully, you will as well.

Recommended guidebook: Lonely Planet Bolivia (Travel Guide)

Columbia

cheapest countries to visit - Columbia
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Columbia is easily one of the most beautiful destinations in South America and with a rich cultural heritage.

I explored around the mountain areas there and some small towns or cities with a more laid back vibe.

Read about staying at a coffee plantation in Columbia.

Mexico

cheapest countries to visit - Mexico
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One other country on this list that I haven’t visited but gets raved about in backpackers circles and is perfect for travellers from the US or Canada as it’s so close.

Ancient culture, white sand beaches, jungles, deserts, Mexico has it all.


Travel tip: Take travel insurance!

You never know what might happen so play it safe and get travel insurance. I have been robbed on my journeys and had a serious medical incident and thankfully I had insurance to cover it.

I use World Nomads and find them to be excellent.


Cheapest Countries to Visit

So if you’re in need of some of the cheapest countries to travel to then these are 10 countries you should definitely consider.

There are others out there, but I selectively chose these not just because of their cheapness, but also the great experiences that they offer you as well.

If you liked this article about the cheapest countries to visit a share would be appreciated!

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44 thoughts on “25 Cheapest Countries To Visit”

  1. Mongolia isn’t really cheap, considering you’re almost forced to take a tour to travel around, due to the fact that the whole country is basically a massive desert with no roads.

    And you forgot about Iran: ridiculously cheap 😉

  2. Armenia was by far the cheapest on my list. But I suppose it depends what type of travel you get up to over there.

  3. Despite the expense of the islands in the south, Thailand remains an excellent value destination, especially outside of the aforementioned region. Can’t wait to get back next winter!

  4. Yes Thailand, especially in the north around Chang Mai is still good value. Maybe i should have made a “Top 15” list and added more countries!

  5. Mongolia is cheap if you have the time. I know people that hitch-hiked everywhere, including into the remote regions where mostly tours go! If you’re short on time then is more of a problem. And yeah I loved my time in Iran in 2012. Was thinking I may need to expand this list to “top 15” !! 🙂

  6. The Hunter Traveller

    Nice list Jonny! Just what I need after almost a year in Australia. I’ve done it on the cheap here which I guess comes down to ones travel style. Hitchhiking with tent, eating cheap, using online resources for free accommodation. I think that what’s important for people to consider in any country and as you rightly mention, it’s about how you stretch your budget and tackle the temptations.
    All the best!

  7. Yep! I did Scandinavia on $10 a day doing just that. This list was for countries that are so dirt cheap you can get around without looking to camp or free place to stay and will still be sooooo cheap 🙂 There are other countries I should add to this list as well. Or maybe I’ll just do another one hahaha. Safe travels.

  8. I been to all the countries on that list except Bolivia, I went to Pakistan last year, absolutely amazing country, and I felt 100% safe all the time, but one country that´s even cheaper than Pakistan is Bangladesh.

    And Nepal is not dirt cheap anymore, I been there 7 times over the years, Nepal was dirt cheap up to last year, but I went back again earlier this year and the prices have skyrocket there.

  9. Glad to see Malawi on your list! It has been on my radar for a few years now, but I was never sure how expensive or cheap it was given its location within Africa. I’ll have to put this one on my “Top 10” list now.

  10. Yeah mate Malawi is a sweet little country and if you’re travelling across Africa the perfect place to chill by the lake and take it easy, although plenty of other things to do.

  11. Armenia and Georgia are cheap to travel. I am trying to keep the list to “10” countries and tried to do it so it represents different parts of the world, so hopefully one of them wouldn’t be to far from someone maybe wanting to visit.

  12. What a great list – you really inspired me to visit some places that I’d never even considered! Colombia is the cheapest country I’ve been to…

  13. Thanks for visiting Pakistan. It’s a great country to visit. Stunning mountaiious north cultural central and south; you will enjoy meeting friendly people with big heart shown with hospitality. Seeing is believing, you would laugh at all the negative projection about the country you have ever heard.

  14. How would a person get the information to stay with locals? Or in the yurts, like mentioned in Kyrgyzstan, for example? I love visiting places and getting the local experience as compared to doing the very touristy things.

    I am also glad you posted about traveling as a woman, as I have been worried about traveling to many of these countries due to the fact that I am a women and many of them are being portrayed in the news as “war-torn”. My spouse has never traveled but is very interested in going to many of the countries you’ve posted as opposed to a trip to very popular vacation destinations. Thank you!

  15. Hi, Jonny! This is an amazing list! I`m surprised how many of this places gets overlooked because of politic mostly. There is no reason for staying home just because of the budget, obviously. I`m sure anyone can find something inspiring on this list. I was wondering, which country was the biggest surprise to you?

  16. This is such an awesome list, Johnny! Thanks for sharing. By the way, I just wanna ask which among these places would be the best option for couples? My husband and I haven’t gone overseas for quite some time and I wanted to give him a little surprise but within the budget. Your recommendations will be much appreciated.

  17. Sorry for very late reply, comment went under the radar so to speak! For staying with locals and yurt stays google: Community Based Tourism (CBT) Kyrgyzstan.

    Yes there is plenty of opportunity for travel in these countries for women 🙂

  18. Hi Emily,

    All these places would be fine for a couple. I would say what is it more that you would like out of your holiday and what time of year? What time of year is important obviously because some things you would be restricted to doing. How long would you have? Then I can narrow down my recommendation. For example if you want somewhere in July/August/September and love hiking and culture then Kyrgyzstan would be perfect, but freezing in winter!

  19. Hello Jonny! Yeah, I would love to surprise him in July for his birthday. I’m planning to take him overseas for a week or two.

    My husband loves camping and hiking in places with great views. Maybe we’ll give Kyrgyzstan a try but if you have any other suggestions, let me know. Thanks a lot!

  20. golden triangle tour with khajuraho and varanasi

    You shared such a amazing list of countries. This is really i need to travel, You help me a to create my bucket list! Fantastic article and post you shared with us. Thanks for sharing it.

  21. I being Pakistani & living in Karachi, assure you that you would be in love with the people & their hospitality. You could definitely find natural beauty in somewhere else as well but the way we welcome our guest is worth experiencing.
    Moreover, law & order is quite better now in Karachi & North as well.

  22. im from karachi and take offence when u said its “not a great city anyway”.
    its the cheapest city for tourism in the whole of Asia also if u tell anyone you are a tourist by tradition you are treated like a guest, given free lodging, dinner and hosted by locals.

    and its great for shopping considering all the sports good for professional sports players such as soccer, cricket and tennis as well as bags and dresses you buy from HnM and Zara are manufactured here u get the original goods for 3 dollars or less at local bazaars and sunday market.

    and for only $400 you take a greenbus tour from karachi all the way through lahore and islamabad to the northern areas for river rafting, trekking and mountain hiking and its only possible if you are in karachi.

    and the food is amazing, a mix of indian and middle eastern cuisine the flavors are unique and distinct where you can taste all the flavors from every corner of the country as its a metro city it has different cultures and flavours. from chapli kababs, live BBQ to unani and shushi u find everything here.

    so bitch please. its the most non racist, more welcoming city in the country and tourists are treated more like respected family members than strangers.

  23. Hi Jonny, I must say you are doing great work. You are an incredible writer. I Like the way that you describe the things…
    Please keep sharing such blogs…
    Thanks

  24. Pakistan is among cheapest countries. u can have a flight from Karachi to Islamabad in 75-80$. Uber/careem available in all major cities. u can enjoy a variety of local food at a very low cost. weather hottest to coldest from south to north. Pak is attracted by tourists attracted by historical architecture. u can find signs of one of the most ancient civilizations(Moen Jo Daro and harappa). i wont recommend foreigners to stay in cheaper hotels. u can get a 4-5star hotel room in 150-200USD/night.

  25. Pingback: Bali Indonesia Cheap Flights – Wisata Istimewa

  26. There maybe a lot of political reasons behind a metropolitan city that generates 70% of revenue for the whole country, being made that way by political forces. This may be a sensitive topic for the natives which you might know nothing about. The least you can do and should do being a writer, for the sake of manners if you were ever taught any, is to understand your reader’s sentiment, offer a polite apology and say that you didn’t mean offence but you unfortunately couldn’t find a lot of attractive things about their city but you’re open to change your views if you ever get a chance to learn more. That’s what people with an open mind and better communication skills do.

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