137 World cities ranked cheapest to most expensive: Backpacker Index for 2020
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 10th year for 2020, below you'll find all major destinations around the world ranked by price for backpackers.
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.
All of the prices below are based on data that is researched and calculated as of January, 2020, and the exchange rates update automatically every day.
Detailed information available by region
- Africa and Middle East Backpacker Index
- Asia Backpacker Index
- Australia/New Zealand Backpacker Index
- Europe Backpacker Index
- North America Backpacker Index
- South and Central America Backpacker Index
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: 137 global destinations for 2020
(Totals below are recalculated by exchange rate and re-ranked daily)
Cheapest to most expensive
*Note: In late 2018 we removed Caracas from the list because its currency is far too unstable to rely on.