WORLD’S CHEAPEST CITIES – and those fast being unfriended

Where in the world can you stay 38.9 nights on an accommodation budget of 100 British pounds? Okay, not counting Mum’s place or your mate’s cousin’s sofa.

What is the destination fastest being abandoned by budget travellers? Where are the new hotspots? In which city can you find wifi in every hotel and hostel?

There are some surprises in the figures I’ve been sent by budget accommodation experts HostelBookers.

HostelBookers* don’t limit themselves to backpacker accommodation – as well as hostels they also offer affordable hotels – but they do cater to travellers looking for maximum value for minimum moolah.

They’ve compiled the statistics on the cheapest and most expensive cities in the world, as well as the most booked destinations, the fastest growing new meccas and the ones which used to be popular but which are now (sigh) ‘so 2011.’ It makes for interesting reading.

The most expensive places to stay are Zermatt (Switzerland) and New York City, where a hundred quid will only buy you a bed for 3.1 and 3.4 nights respectively. They’re about ten times the cost of Chiang Mai (Thailand), where you can stay 33 nights for that money, or Siem Reap (Cambodia) which will give you 38.9. I suppose they kick you out just before dawn on the 39th night – you’ll want to see the sun come up on Ankor Wat anyway.

Places sinking fastest in the budget travel rankings are Hong Kong, Alicante in Spain and Italy’s Cinque Terra. “Nobody goes there any more – it’s way too crowded.” Unfortunately for the Greeks who have enough troubles as it is, Santorini and Athens are also on the ‘formerly popular’ list.

New hotspots include Geneva (surprising, because I bet it’s not cheap), Manila, Chicago, Tokyo, Brazil’s Ilha Grande and Cairns in Australia.

There are few shocks in the list of top five destinations by bookings: (in order) London, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris and Rome.

And where do 100% of hotels and hostels have wifi? Answer: Singapore. Istanbul and Ho Chi Minh City are next, both with 99%.

Over to you. Where have you found the best value for money in accommodation? Where was the place you had to run out of before your cash did?

*HostelBookers have given me some free accommodation this year. No strings were attached and it was much appreciated.


Filed under Budget travel

15 responses to “WORLD’S CHEAPEST CITIES – and those fast being unfriended

  1. When I go to Rome I always stay at Hotel Julia in Via Rasella. It is a 5 minute walk to the Trevi fountain. In the off season I have stayed there for as little as €36.

  2. I was supposed to go to Rome, now I am dumpster diving.

  3. Who knows? Maybe they have very nice dumpsters in Rome, Rebecca. It’s actually far from being the world’s most expensive city.

  4. I’ve always said, pace Samuel Johnson, that to be tired of London is to be out of cash.
    Recently had a few days in Krakow. So unbelievably not expensive. European experience on Asian budget. I am very keen to travel more in Eastern Europe as a result of that little sortie.

    • Excellent suggestion, Mike. I just checked on Krakow – if I went there next week I could get a bed for 28.1 nights for 100 pounds. Might get a bit chilly out on the streets after that last 0.1 of a night.

  5. I am becoming convinced that the best way to get VFM is to pick a place to stay away from the city and travel in by bus or train. This worked well for me in Padova/Venice, Albano/Rome and Carmona/Seville. Hotels, Restaurants and bars are all cheaper away from the big cities.

    • Thanks, Andrew. We did likewise with the Padova/Venice connection and it worked very well for us.

      I think I’d prefer to stay somewhere central in Rome, though we found their public transport system surprisingly efficient. Then again, why should we be surprised, just because other aspects of Italian life look laid back and chaotic?

  6. Thanks for distilling down all of this information to make it easy for the rest of us.

  7. Interesting information, we stuck with a reasonable budget on our trip and paid for most of the accommodation before leaving Australia so we didn’t have to leave anywhere earlier than planned. Lucerne was incredibly expensive, we dined mainly on supermarket salads, snacks and chocolate but in Rome we could afford to eat well in local restaurants away from the historic centre. Even though travelling in Europe is expensive, it is where I really want to go so I just have to suck it up, save for longer and try not to think about the cost of everything.

  8. I second Krakow – thought everything was such good value when we went a few years ago – the trick is to steer clear of restaurants with English menus for the cheapest grub!

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