134 World cities ranked cheapest to most expensive: Backpacker Index for 2023
We have all heard that some parts of the world are “cheap” to visit while others are “expensive” but most people have a hard time quantifying any more precisely. That’s why Price of Travel launched our Backpacker Index numbers for cities all over the world in late 2010. Now totally updated in its 13th year for 2023, below you’ll find all major destinations around the world ranked by price for backpackers.
The 2023 update was very challenging as this is the first year when inflation was widespread across the globe. North America and Europe have become more expensive in the last year, while most of Asia has stayed fairly steady in prices. Some places increased far more than others, of course, and the most dramatic changes were in places where the cost of hostel dorms went way up. It won’t surprise anyone that during the pandemic, many hostels went out of business and many others converted a great number of dorm rooms into private rooms. This has pushed up hostel prices in many parts of the world, although it also means you’ll be less likely to be sharing a room with 31 other people in 2023.
More specific information can be found by clicking on the regional articles just below, or by clicking on the individual city names in the main list.
Those looking for the best travel bargains in the world will continue to find almost all of them in Asia and Latin America, although there are a few European cities that are surprisingly close to the top of the cheap list. It’s unwise to go to any given city simply because it’s “cheap” but every destination on the list below has something going for it and these are almost all of the world’s top travel destinations.
It’s worth noting that Moscow and St. Petersburg dropped off the list for 2023. Not only are very few people interested in visiting Russia at the moment, but some of our partners including Hostelworld no longer list hostels there anyway.
All of the prices below are based on data that is researched and calculated as of January, 2023, and the exchange rates update automatically every day.
Detailed information available by region
It’s important to mention that the links just below are the REAL Backpacker Index information and are far more useful for anyone planning a trip. The long list of all 136 cities at the bottom of the page is just a summary to be able to compare the cities in one, quick place.
What the prices below mean
There is a longer explanation of the Backpacker Index on each of the regional pages, but the short version is that we found the price for a group of things for each destination, and then translated that into US dollars on a daily basis, so the list is always current after exchange rates. While this data is meant for backpackers and budget travelers, the proportions will be nearly identical, so the list should also be useful to those with more money to spend.
For each city this daily total includes:
- 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”)
Backpacker Index: 136 global destinations for 2022
(Totals below are recalculated by exchange rate and re-ranked daily)
Cheapest to most expensive
$20.16Luang Prabang, Laos
$20.73Hoi An, Viet Nam
$21.95Chiang Mai, Thailand
$22.51Hanoi, Viet Nam
$25.58Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Viet Nam
$25.88Zanzibar City, Tanzania
$28.51La Paz, Bolivia
$28.88Colombo, Sri Lanka
$29.04Siem Reap, Cambodia
$29.88Kuta, Bali, Indonesia
$30.26Granada (Nicaragua), Nicaragua
$30.96Phnom Penh, Cambodia
$37.94Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
$38.29Cape Town, South Africa
$38.59Boracay Island, Philippines
$42.06Mexico City, Mexico
$42.82Santa Ana, El Salvador
$42.88Buenos Aires, Argentina
$47.15Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
$48.00Panama City, Panama
$48.99Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
$49.40San Jose, Costa Rica
$50.80Cesky Krumlov, Czechia
$51.76Seoul, South Korea
$54.19Hong Kong, Hong Kong
$59.45Roatán Island, Honduras
$68.67San Pedro (Ambergris Caye), Belize
$79.63Auckland, New Zealand
$88.38Queenstown, New Zealand
$92.43Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
$96.10Edinburgh, United Kingdom
$96.81Tel Aviv, Israel
$97.20Las Vegas, United States
$102.20New Orleans, United States
$103.80Los Angeles, United States
$108.89San Francisco, United States
$111.00Chicago, United States
$111.55Washington D.C., United States
$115.38Miami Beach, United States
$119.37Honolulu, United States
$123.69London, United Kingdom
$130.85New York City, United States
$159.80Boston, United States
We are planning to visit an international destination for 7 days in June 2022 on our way from Delhi to Vancouver. Can someone help us in planning our trip.
Sorry about the slow response, but it should be fast from now on. If you are looking to stop somewhere for a week in June I’d recommend Paris and London, or you could spend the whole week in Italy. Let me know if either of those sound okay and I can help more. -Roger