10 Best and Cheapest Countries for Backpackers


Backpacking is one of the most fun and budget-friendly ways to travel around the world. It’s always easier to travel with minimum luggage and it’s not so bad to stay in cheap accommodation, especially if you are a student, or you just can’t afford to visit a luxury destination. I always thought that only rich people can afford to travel, but luckily, it’s not true. Sure, if you are on a tight budget, you won’t visit luxury destinations, and you won’t stay at luxury hotels, but it’s not the purpose of traveling.

The purpose of traveling is actually to see the world and get unforgettable experience. Backpacking is one of the best ways to do that. Check out the list of ten best and cheapest countries for backpackers and start planning your trip right now.

With these ten countries for backpackers, you will be seeing the world without spending a lot of money and worrying about your bank account.

1. Turkey

Turkey is one of the cheapest backpacking countries, with something to offer for everyone. With a unique mix of eastern and western culture and its spectacular landscapes, Turkey is an awesome country that can be different from your home country. Rich history, monuments of antiquity and the Christian era from the time of the Byzantine Empire, beautiful mosques and palaces of the Ottoman Empire, unique natural attractions, mild climate, sunny beaches of the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Marmara Seas, and excellent cuisine attract independent travelers to Turkey.

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Living conditions and food here are on top, as is the service. The food in this country isn’t only amazingly tasty, and it’s also very affordable. They say Turkey is one of the best countries for backpacking, and I absolutely agree with them. There is a fantastic cultural fest everywhere, from the ancient ruins of Troy to Istanbul’s breathtaking and commercial capital.

Visit Istanbul’s Old Town, the Hagia Sophia museum, and the Chora Church, and don’t forget about the Grand Bazaar food market, one of the world’s best food bazaars, with more than 4,000 stores stretched out and dates back to the 15th century. It’s a great place to discover Middle Eastern foods, meet locals and enjoy the country’s culture.

2. Nicaragua

Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America and one of the most beautiful. Unfortunately, it is also one of the poorest countries in the region because of years of political and civil unrest and devastating earthquakes. But this is a complete benefit for backpackers: tourism in Nicaragua is extremely budgetary, and the tourist infrastructure is quite decent.

Nicaragua is still attractive to sophisticated travelers. It’s a perfect destination for those who want to experience a mix of wildness and peace, wide open spaces, spectacular natural views, and colonial cultures without breaking the bank.

Go to Granada to see the unique colonial buildings. Laguna de Apoyo, a fantastic volcanic lake in Masaya, is within a 20-minute drive from Granada. If you plan to visit Nicaragua, the best time to do it is from December to February, when it’s dry and the temperatures are about 32 degrees.

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3. Thailand

Thailand is impossible not to love. Travelers around the world call Thailand the land of a thousand smiles. Nowadays, many people can afford a vacation in Thailand. Reasonable prices, the absence of visas, and a great variety of entertainment to all tastes have long made this country one of the most popular destinations for backpacking.

It is always filled with many backpackers having a great time. This country is budget-friendly, packed full of unique culture and friendly people. Local, authentic Thai food is ridiculously cheap and delicious. In Thailand, you can budget only $20 a day for accommodation and food, and that’s if you are staying in a great, comfortable place.

However, you can find even cheaper accommodation, look around and ask the locals. Thailand is a beautiful country where you can afford to see and do more without spending a fortune. Splendid beaches, delicious food, exciting culture, and vibrant nightlife make Thailand one of the best countries for backpackers.

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4. Peru

One of the most traditional backpacking countries, Peru boasts incredible rainforests, fantastic ancient ruins, stunning landscapes, and fabulous sandy beaches. Machu Picchu is a must-see.

From Andean trails to a unique blend of history and wildlife, there’s something to experience any time of the year. The capital of Peru, Lima, is perhaps the best place to start your trip. Besides the capital, there are many other attractions. Machu Picchu, Titicaca Lake, Rainbow Mountains, Sacsayhuaman, and Huascaran National Park are majestic landmarks worth visiting. You can enjoy local cuisine, which is tasty and inexpensive for all backpackers.

Traveling around Peru proves that even the cheapest countries can surprise backpackers. So just grab a map, and a good pair of hiking shoes, learn a little Spanish, and take a trip to Peru.

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5. Sri Lanka

The most popular backpacking city in Sri Lanka is Colombo, the country’s commercial capital. The country’s administrative capital is Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte, which is also worth visiting. These cities are full of friendly locals offering cheap accommodation, food, and goods.

Sri Lanka is not a very big country, but rich in landmarks. Everything is affordable for backpackinghere: natural reserves, historical ruins of world importance, tea plantations, colonial cities, and beach holidays.

Most attractions in Sri Lanka are natural and not so expensive for backpackers, just like most entertainment. Noisy discos and smoke yoke until the morning are not in favor here, but you can arrange picnics in nature, fishing, or barbecue on the beach as much as you like.

The Galle Face Green and Buddha statues are fantastic, and the great news is that everyone can visit Sri Lanka and enjoy its culture and landmarks because this is one of the most affordable countries for backpackers.

The best time to travel is spring, summer, or autumn when a comfortable climate is combined with reasonable prices.

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6. Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a picturesque country in Central America, with unique flora and fauna. It is famous for its tropical nature, attracting ecotourists and extreme recreation lovers.

Costa Rica is rich in everything: two oceans – the Pacific and the Atlantic, exotic black sand beaches, majestic mountains, and dramatic landscapes. Here you can explore relic forests, marvel at the power of waterfalls, be touched by unusual animals, and conquer the impenetrable jungle.

If you are an outdoor/nature lover, Costa Ricamust be on your travel bucket list as it is one of the greenest countries in the world. Costa Rica is an excellent place for eco-friendly backpacking with its beautiful national parks, magnificent volcanoes, fantastic wildlife, colorful birds, pure lakes, golden beaches, and blue sea.

The Palo Verde National Park is perfect for those looking for peace and nature. When you visit Costa Rica’s national parks, make sure you take a bathing suit. There are a lot of swimming holes, waterfalls, and hot springs to enjoy. Also, don’t forget to take your camera to capture the unforgettable moment of the volcanic eruption. If you want to experience the Caribbean culture, start planning your trip to Costa Rica.

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7. India

India is another popular and inexpensive backpacking destination. It is one of the most amazing countries in South Asia. India is the cradle of ancient civilization and the birthplace of Buddhism.

Backpacking in this country is an experience of a lifetime. Travel, accommodations, and food are rather cheap compared to other backpacking destinations in the world. In addition, there are many backpacking hostels located in most cities and perfect places to meet other backpackers and make new friends.

You can soak up the sunny beaches of Goa and Kerala or go to the mountains of Himachal Pradesh and go skiing. For a very symbolic amount, you can stay in one of the ancient castles of Rajasthan and live like a real maharaja.

When traveling in India, you will not be able to enjoy air conditioning or hot showers at times, but the culture, authentic food, and numerous tourist attractions make it worth it. Unfortunately, many people avoid visiting India because they think it’s dangerous. Still, it’s a wonderful place, and caution is necessary for any traveler and travel destination. This country offers services at quite reasonable prices, as it is one of the cheapest countries for backpacking. Beautiful landscapes and rich culture are worth every cent spent here.

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8. Nepal

Looking for tropical nature and traditional Asian culture? Take your trip to Nepal. It is a state in the Himalayas, the highest mountainous country in the world, bordered by India and China.

Enjoy the country’s stunning Asian heritage while trekking in the undeveloped, beautiful countryside. There you can see the highest mountain on the planet (Everest) or the peaks of the other eight thousandths, go to the track around Annapurna, or visit the closed kingdom of Mustang.

Go to Bhaktapur in the Kathmandu Valley to visit the sacred Buddhist and Hindu temples, such as the famous Manakamana, Budhanilkantha, and Pashupatinath. The backpackers can walk the streets of the ancient city of Bhaktapur or go to the jungle of one of the national parks.

A month isn’t enough for most backpackers to discover this wonderful place. Accommodation and food are affordable, so you won’t have to worry about them.

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9. Albania

Albania is a perfect alternative if you can’t afford to travel to Greece and Italy. The most poorly studied Balkan country by the general tourist community, Albania is comfortably located by the gentle waves of the Adriatic and Ionian seas, surrounded by its coastal neighbors – Greece and Montenegro.

Currently, Albania is considered one of the cheapest European countries, with all the consequences. However, the tourist flow is still small, and this doesn’t exclude the fact that it is full of majestic landscapes.

Albania is a beautiful country with a rich cultural heritage and a very cheap backpacking destination. Tirana, the capital of Albania, boasts a wealth of stunning museums and unique historical sites.

You can hike on Mount Dajti and have a spectacular view, or enjoy the sunshine on the gorgeous, white sandy beaches, such as Jala or Dhermi beach. No matter what you decide to do, this country is incredible!

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10. Indonesia

The last but not least cheap country for backpackers is Indonesia. It is an excellent budget country for backpacking. Low housing and food prices, an abundance of free attractions, and breathtaking natural beauty make the country ideal for a budget and exotic vacation.

There are clear seas, beautiful sandy beaches, amazing rainforests, and unique culture to explore. There are many things to see and do in Indonesia which don’t require money.

You can take a stroll along the sandy beaches, swim in the sea, or discover the fantastic rainforest and all for free. Head to Sumba Island to try fishing, snorkeling, surfing, or consider visiting one of the best beaches in Bali.

Now that you are aware of the list of the cheapest countries for backpackers, you know that it’s possible to travel when you are on a tight budget. Sure, you can backpack almost anywhere on a budget, you just need to do your research and plan well before going to any country. What’s your favorite place to backpack?