10 Cities To Travel To When You Are Young, Almost Broke and Open To Anything

18th Jul 2016

"Tonight we are young. So let's set the world on fire, we can burn brighter than the sun."

It's been said a million times. I'll say it again. There is no time like when you are young. You have no money, which means little responsibility. And that translates to complete freedom. Freedom to head out whenever you want, to wherever you want.

And just so you know exactly where to go when the realization hits, I've put together a list of some of the most inexpensive cities in the world that offer cheap stays, affordable accommodation and a good public transport system. The airfare, of course, is not part of the deal. Here's hoping you have enough air miles to redeem to make the journey possible. Because once you get there, you're going to get by without shelling out too much.

A street in Hanoi. Credit: Brian Huang

Photo of Hanoi, Vietnam by Himani Khatreja

Hanoi is heaven for culture and food enthusiasts. There aren't too many conventional sightseeing places, but seeing colorful scooters zip-zapping through the city center full of French and Chinese history, locals enjoying their bowl of noodles for breakfast and just the general buzz of the traditional city, will give you your fill of touristy madness.

Hostel beds: Rs 200 to 600 per night

Cost of a meal: Rs 130 to 450 (Pho, the traditional noodle soup, found almost everywhere is delicious and cheap, as are the local specialties found at the street stalls. Western food is available at a slightly higher price.)

Things to do: Explore the pretty Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, now a UNESCO World Heritage Sight; enjoy the unique Vietnamese water puppet tradition at the Water Puppet Theater; drive to the Perfume Pagoda, a dramatic temple complex built in the 15th century; take Tai chi classes on the shores of Hoan Kiem Lake.

The Machapuchare mountain in the Himalayas as visible from Pokhara. Credit: randomix

Photo of Pokhara, Western Region, Nepal by Himani Khatreja

Pokhara has a laid-back charm complete with a snow-capped landscape, booming adventure scene and food and drinks at great bargains. The peaceful Lake Pokhara, a mirror to the Himalayas in the background, is perfect to enjoy some downtime in one of the many colorful paddle boats. Besides some of the word-famous treks in the Annapurna range, Pokhara also offers one of the best paragliding venues in the world.

Hostel beds: Rs 200 to 600 per night

Cost of a meal: Rs 150 to 300 (Most restaurants serve the locals meals and Indian food. This is usually cheaper than pasta and pizza.)

Things to do: Soak in some history at the Gurkha Memorial Museum; take a trip to the popular Sarangkot village for a panoramic view of the spectacular Himalayas; trek to the World Peace Pagoda for a heavenly view of the Phewa Tal with its forested surroundings full of bird life; spend some time at Devi's Falls (previously known as David's Falls), a beautiful cascading waterfall that comes out of a tunnel and falls into a cave.

An aerial view of Cairo. Credit: Carlo Tardani

Photo of Cairo, Cairo Governorate, Egypt by Himani Khatreja

If you look beyond its smog, chaos and crowds, Cairo promises a torrid love affair that will leave you with long-lasting memories. There is nothing that the city doesn't offer – a grand landscape, magnificent mosques, majestic palaces, all against the backdrop of the mysterious pyramids of Giza. And for the budget traveler, Cairo is a great bargain.

Hostel beds: Rs 200 to 700 per night

Cost of a meal: Rs 40 to 300 (Native delicacies are really cheap in Cairo. Dine at local restaurants and street stands for great deals.)

Things to do: Take a tour of Egypt's best known archaeological site, the Pyramids of Giza; head downtown to the Egyptian Museum to explore its important collections of ancient artifacts; have a picnic at Al-Azhar Park, amidst the lush grass and fountains; roam through the winding alleys of the most colorful and interesting Khan Al-Khalili Bazaar.

A scene from Colva Beach in Goa. Credit: Eustaquio Santimano

Photo of Anjuna, Goa, India by Himani Khatreja

Goa can be whatever you need it to be. This is a place that can be both vibrant or laid back to suit your mood. A perfect day here would include lazing on a lounge chair with a beer in hand at its many beaches by the day and hitting a beach rave at night. And if you're here around Christmas or New Year, be prepared for the best of sun, sand and seafood, along with one of the world's biggest EDM festivals.

Hostel beds: Rs 100 to 300 per night

Cost of a meal: Rs 100 to 400 (A good meal, including seafood and the local spirit Feni can be cheap or expensive, depending on where you are eating.)

Things to do: Soak in the remnants of Portuguese culture at its many cathedrals, forts, churches and small shops in Old Goa; explore the quaint Wednesday flea market at Anjuna Beach; take a tour of an fragrant spice plantation complete with a lavish meal and elephants at Ponda taluka; relax away from the touristy madness at Mandrem Beach in North Goa.

A bird's eye view of Amman. Credit: Mahmood Salam

Photo of Amman, Amman Governorate, Jordan by Himani Khatreja

Jordan is one of the hottest new destinations for travelers all over the world. Even though Amman isn't as popular as Petra, Wadi Rum or the Dead Sea, a halt in the city is necessary for a Middle Eastern experience, featuring Roman ruins, coffeehouses and souqs.

Hostel beds: Rs 500 to 900 per night

Cost of a meal: Rs 200 to 700 (If you stick to the local falafel and hummus, you'll get by without spending too much. The alcohol isn't cheap, though.)

Things to do: Walk through the eras at the Citadel, an archaeological wonder located on Amman's highest hill; get some beautiful shots in the early morning light at the grand Roman Theater, a 2nd Century amphitheater with a 6,000-people capacity; see the oldest-known human mannequins (almost 8000 year old) at the magnificent Jordan Museum; look at some contemporary Arab art at Darat al-Funun, a small but stunning museum.

Walking around in Chiang Mai. Credit: Игорь М

Photo of Chiang Mai Thailand by Himani Khatreja

Chiang Mai has an atmosphere alluringly different than the ever-popular Bangkok. It is a place to relax, away from the urban chaos with a cool climate and clean air to go with it. The downtown area is pretty and can be easily explored on foot, and a short scooter ride away is the countryside, full of youthful waterfalls.

Hostel beds: Rs 250 to 700 per night

Cost of a meal: Rs 90 to 500 (Street stalls are the way to go here, for they have great food at cheap prices. Even local restaurants offer amazing bargains.)

Things to do: Spend a day at the grand temple Wat Phra Singh, with coffee-stands and a massage pavilion on its grounds; head to the Lanna Folklife Museum to see some life-sized dioramas from Lanna village life; pick up souvenirs and authentic Thai household items at the oldest public market, Warorot; go face to face with giant bugs at the gorgeous Chiang Mai Zoo.

A storm approaches Galle Face Green. Credit: Nicholas Olesen Photography

Photo of Colombo, Western Province, Sri Lanka by Himani Khatreja

Sri Lanka is hidden in plain sight. Its spectacular scenery, refreshing 1,340-kilometer coastline and cheapest railway network makes you wonder why it still stays off most itineraries. Colombo, the city's capital, is strewn with colonial (Portuguese) gems, historic buildings, contemporary restaurants, galleries and museums.

Hostel beds: Rs 500 to 1400 per night

Cost of a meal: Rs 100 to 550 (The classic rice and curry is cheap and found everywhere. You might not have the same luck with the elusive Lion Beer, which is otherwise delicious.)

Things to do: Fly a kite or just take a stroll along the Galle Face Green, a pretty stretch near the beach; learn the story of ancient Sri Lanka at the National Museum; explore the market at Pettah and pick up some spices and dried fish; take a break at Beira Lake, with its serene green-colored water.

An ordinary street in Kuta. Credit: Jean-Luc Laval

Photo of Kuta, Badung Regency, Bali, Indonesia by Himani Khatreja

As long as you stay away from fancy luxury hotels, Kuta will impress you with its many travel bargains and great deals. Sitting around at the beach or spending time surfing is one of the best things to do here. But beware! This loud city with its cheap cafes and loud clubs is not for everyone.

Hostel beds: Rs 580 to 850 per night

Cost of a meal: Rs 130 to 500 (The local combination of rice or noodles and chicken is available readily and is easy on the pocket. Restaurants also offer western food at reasonable prices.)

Things to do: Rent a surfboard or even get some surf lessons at Kuta Beach; pay your respects at the Memorial Wall, built to remember the 2002 bombing victims; hike up to Mt. Batur early in the morning, in time for the sunrise; take a culinary tour on the Kuta street – try local favorites such as Nasi Goreng and Beef Rendang.

A bustling market scene at the Djemaa el-Fna. Credit: henrykkcheung

Photo of Marrakesh, Marrakesh-Tensift-El Haouz, Morocco by Himani Khatreja

Underrated and intriguing, a day in Marrakech will leave you spellbound and gasping for more. Expect magical experiences such as sipping cocktails on top of an 18th-century raid, an exciting lesson at a magic shop, a session of henna tattooing and a night learning how to shimmy.

Hostel beds: Rs 250 to 1500 per night

Cost of a meal: Rs 150 to 700 (Street stalls and restaurants at the bazaar offer authentic and inexpensive food. The local wine is decent and affordable.)

Things to do: Spend a day at the Djemaa el-Fna, a huge open square that is filled with entertainers during the day and becomes a great big food court at night; check out some original talent at the art galleries of Ville Nouvelle; indulge in some mountain-bike riding at the Palmeraie; relax and get a scrub down at a cheap, but authentic hammam.

The Royal Place with its classic Khmer roofs and ornate gilding. Credit: mariusz kluzniak

Photo of Phnom Penh, Cambodia by Himani Khatreja

The capital of Cambodia is exotic and attractive. It has a Wild West-feel to it and glitzy building stand tall along with the abandoned ones. You're exposed to sounds of all natures – loud and friendly locals, whizzing motorbikes and bustling bars. Whatever happens, when you leave, a part of you will be stuck here forever.

Hostel beds: Rs 270 to 400 per night

Cost of a meal: Rs 100 to 600 (Budget restaurants serve the local and Western fare. An unmissable treat though are 'happy pizzas", which are regular pizzas topped with cannabis, served at the usual price.)

Things to do: Visit the striking Royal Palace with its traditional Khmer architecture; spend time at the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocidal Crimes; get great bargains on clothing and souvenirs at the Russian Market; head out to the Killing Fields, a disturbing yet a significant monument, signifying Cambodia's brutal history.

So which one will you head out to? Comment below.

20 Comment(s)
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Very nicely summarised. I m bookmarking this for making it actionable
Tue 08 07 18, 14:20 · Reply · Report
Hey hiee Himani.. New to tripto & travelling..thanks for filling my bucket list with these beautiful places...& make me believe travelling to eye catching places not always heavy our pockets...
Sat 04 08 17, 13:36 · Reply · Report
Himachal? I am planning to go there,would appreciate some advice as I am broke
Sun 03 12 17, 12:34 · Reply · Report
SAT GURU GORAKH ! Greetings from the land of Mt. Everest & Buddha.. It would be a matter of joy to experience authentic yoga in the pious land of Nepal from where Tantra-Yoga – Meditation was started. . . Complimentary 7 days Yoga course applying for July 15 to August 15 (every Sunday class). Just accommodation and food nominal charge of Euro 396 only ! Grab the opportunity !! Type: TUSHITA-NEPAL SPIRITUAL YOGA RETREATS EXPLORE THE ULTIMATE DESTINATION
Sun 03 12 17, 12:25 · Reply · Report
can u suggest me a place where i can find hoster bed at 100rs and meals at 100 rs in goa. i think its costlier than i expected
Sat 01 14 17, 16:43 · Reply · Report
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