136 World cities ranked cheapest to most expensive: Backpacker Index for 2017
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 7th year for 2017, 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.
Prices in most of the world were very stable through 2016, at least in nominal terms, but there were some currency shifts that did change things in many places. The US Dollar continued its strong run to the point that those traveling with USDs are feeling unusually rich lately. Europeans and many others saw their currencies slide a bit during 2016, so many countries have become a bit more expensive.
As always, Asia is home to most of the world’s best travel bargains, and even its most expensive cities (Tokyo and Singapore) are close to the center of this entire list.
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 in late January 2016. 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 2017
(Totals below are recalculated by exchange rate and re-ranked daily)
Cheapest to most expensive
*The prices for Caracas are using the official exchange rate. Visitors bringing in other currencies can change them at a much higher rate once there, so overall costs can be much less.