Top 5 Budget-Friendly Yet Beautiful Destinations for Summer 2023

April 19, 2023 | 

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Kim Sorgson

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Introduction

Traveling on a budget doesn't mean you have to compromise on beauty and excitement. There are plenty of destinations around the world that offer stunning landscapes, rich culture, and unforgettable experiences without breaking the bank. Here are the top 5 budget-friendly yet beautiful destinations for summer 2023.

Vietnam

vietnam offers a wealth of natural beauty, fascinating history, and delicious cuisine at an affordable price. Explore the bustling streets of Hanoi, cruise through the breathtaking limestone karsts of Halong Bay, or wander the ancient town of Hoi An. For beach lovers, head to Nha Trang or Phu Quoc Island for white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters.

Why Vietnam is considered a cheap destination?

1. Low cost of living: Vietnam has a relatively low cost of living compared to many Western countries. This means that everyday expenses, such as food, transportation, and accommodation, are generally cheaper for travelers.

2. Affordable accommodation: Vietnam offers a wide range of budget-friendly accommodation options, including hostels, guesthouses, and budget hotels. Travelers can find comfortable places to stay at a fraction of the cost compared to other destinations.

3. Inexpensive food: Vietnamese cuisine is not only delicious but also very affordable. Local street food and small family-run restaurants offer authentic, high-quality meals at a low price. Additionally, fresh fruits and vegetables are readily available at local markets for a fraction of the cost compared to Western countries.

4. Cheap public transportation: Vietnam's public transportation system, including buses, trains, and shared taxis, is generally inexpensive and efficient. Motorbike taxis (xe om) and cyclos are also affordable options for short distances within cities.

5. Competitive tourism industry: With a growing tourism industry, many businesses in Vietnam are competing for customers, which often leads to lower prices for services like tours, activities, and transportation.

6. Favorable exchange rate: The Vietnamese Dong (VND) has a favorable exchange rate for many foreign currencies, particularly the US Dollar and Euro. This means that travelers from these countries can enjoy greater purchasing power when visiting Vietnam.

7. Bargaining culture: Vietnam has a strong bargaining culture, particularly in local markets and street shops. This means that tourists can often negotiate prices, especially for souvenirs and clothing, to get even better deals.

These factors combine to make Vietnam an affordable and attractive destination for budget-conscious travelers seeking a rich cultural experience, beautiful landscapes, and delicious cuisine.

Budapest, Hungary

The enchanting city of Budapest is perfect for budget travelers, offering affordable accommodations, food, and activities. Wander through the historic Buda Castle, soak in the famous thermal baths, and enjoy the views from Fisherman's Bastion. Don't forget to explore the vibrant ruin bars, and try delicious Hungarian dishes like goulash and chimney cake.

Why Budapest is considered a cheap destination?

1. Low cost of living: Hungary has a lower cost of living compared to many Western European countries. This translates to more affordable prices for everyday expenses such as food, transportation, and accommodation.

2. Affordable accommodation: Budapest offers a variety of budget-friendly lodging options, including hostels, guesthouses, and affordable hotels. These options cater to different budgets, allowing travelers to find comfortable places to stay without breaking the bank.

3. Inexpensive food and drink: Hungarian cuisine is delicious and diverse, with many affordable dining options available. Local markets, street food vendors, and small family-run restaurants offer great value for money, serving high-quality meals at a low cost. Additionally, Budapest is known for its affordable beer and wine, which is often cheaper than non-alcoholic beverages.

4. Budget-friendly public transportation: Budapest has an efficient and affordable public transportation system, including buses, trams, and metro lines. A Budapest Travel Card offers unlimited use of public transport within the city at a reasonable price, making it easy for visitors to explore the city without spending a lot on transportation.

5. Free or low-cost attractions: Many of Budapest's top attractions are either free or have a low entrance fee. For example, exploring the historic Castle District, strolling along the Danube promenade, and visiting Heroes' Square are all free activities. Additionally, some museums and attractions offer discounts or free admission on certain days of the week or for students and seniors.

6. Favorable exchange rate: The Hungarian Forint (HUF) often has a favorable exchange rate for many foreign currencies, particularly the US Dollar and Euro. This means that travelers from these countries can enjoy greater purchasing power when visiting Budapest.

7. Competitive tourism industry: With a thriving tourism industry, many businesses in Budapest compete for customers, which can lead to lower prices for services like tours, activities, and transportation.

Overall, Budapest's affordability, combined with its rich history, beautiful architecture, and vibrant culture, make it an attractive destination for budget-conscious travelers.

Bolivia

Bolivia is an off-the-beaten-path destination that offers incredible landscapes and rich cultural experiences at a fraction of the cost of neighboring countries. Discover the otherworldly Uyuni Salt Flats, explore the vibrant city of La Paz, or venture into the Amazon rainforest. For a taste of local culture, visit the markets of Cochabamba and sample traditional Bolivian dishes.

Why Bolivia is considered an affordable and attractive destination?

1. Low cost of living: Bolivia has a lower cost of living compared to many other countries in South America and around the world. This translates to more affordable prices for everyday expenses such as food, transportation, and accommodation.

2. Affordable accommodation: Bolivia offers a wide range of budget-friendly lodging options, including hostels, guesthouses, and budget hotels. Travelers can find comfortable places to stay without spending a lot of money.

3. Inexpensive food: Bolivian cuisine is diverse and delicious, with many affordable dining options available. Local markets, street food vendors, and small family-run restaurants offer great value for money, serving high-quality meals at a low cost.

4. Budget-friendly transportation: Public transportation in Bolivia is generally affordable, including buses, shared taxis, and minibuses. Long-distance buses are also a cost-effective way to travel between cities and towns.

5. Free or low-cost attractions: Many of Bolivia's top attractions are either free or have a low entrance fee, making it easy for travelers to explore the country without spending a lot of money. For example, visiting the famous Salar de Uyuni, exploring the city of La Paz, and trekking in the Andean mountains can all be done on a budget.

6. Favorable exchange rate: The Bolivian Boliviano (BOB) often has a favorable exchange rate for many foreign currencies, particularly the US Dollar and Euro. This means that travelers from these countries can enjoy greater purchasing power when visiting Bolivia.

7. Unique experiences: Bolivia offers a range of unique experiences that are difficult to find elsewhere, such as exploring the world's largest salt flat, Salar de Uyuni, or visiting the stunning Isla del Sol on Lake Titicaca. These attractions, combined with the country's affordability, make Bolivia an appealing destination for budget-conscious travelers.

Overall, Bolivia's affordability, diverse landscapes, and rich culture make it an attractive destination for travelers seeking budget-friendly and unforgettable experiences.

Georgia


Georgia is an underrated gem that offers stunning mountain landscapes, historic monasteries, and a unique culinary scene. Explore the charming cobblestone streets of Tbilisi, visit the ancient cave city of Uplistsikhe, and taste local wines in the Kakheti region. For adventure enthusiasts, head to Svaneti for hiking or Kazbegi for mountain biking and paragliding.

Georgia, a country located at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, has become an increasingly popular destination for travelers due to its unique culture, stunning landscapes, and affordability.

Why is Georgia's appeal as a budget-friendly destination?

1. Low cost of living: Georgia has a lower cost of living compared to many European countries and even some neighboring countries. This results in more affordable prices for everyday expenses such as food, transportation, and accommodation.

2. Affordable accommodation: Georgia offers a wide range of budget-friendly lodging options, including hostels, guesthouses, and budget hotels. Travelers can find comfortable places to stay without spending a lot of money.

3. Inexpensive food: Georgian cuisine is diverse and delicious, with many affordable dining options available. Local markets, street food vendors, and small family-run restaurants offer great value for money, serving high-quality meals at a low cost. Traditional Georgian dishes, such as khachapuri and khinkali, are both delicious and affordable.

4. Budget-friendly transportation: Public transportation in Georgia is generally affordable, including buses, minibuses (marshrutkas), and trains. Long-distance buses and trains are also a cost-effective way to travel between cities and towns.

5. Free or low-cost attractions: Many of Georgia's top attractions are either free or have a low entrance fee, making it easy for travelers to explore the country without spending a lot of money. For example, visiting the ancient capital of Mtskheta, exploring the picturesque city of Tbilisi, and hiking in the stunning Caucasus Mountains can all be done on a budget.

6. Favorable exchange rate: The Georgian Lari (GEL) often has a favorable exchange rate for many foreign currencies, particularly the US Dollar and Euro. This means that travelers from these countries can enjoy greater purchasing power when visiting Georgia.

7. Rich culture and history: Georgia is home to a unique blend of Eastern and Western cultures, with a rich history that dates back thousands of years. This cultural richness, combined with the country's affordability, makes Georgia an appealing destination for budget-conscious travelers who want to experience something different.

Overall, Georgia's affordability, diverse landscapes, and unique culture make it an attractive destination for travelers seeking budget-friendly and memorable experiences.

Portugal

Portugal is an affordable European destination that offers beautiful beaches, historic cities, and delectable cuisine. Wander through the colorful streets of Lisbon, discover the stunning cliffs and beaches of the Algarve, or explore the picturesque town of Sintra. Don't miss out on trying traditional Portuguese dishes like pasteis de nata, bacalhau, and francesinha.

Portugal is known for its beautiful landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality, making it a popular destination for travelers.
While it may not be as cheap as some other destinations mentioned, it is still considered a budget-friendly option compared to many Western European countries.

Some factors that contribute to Portugal's appeal as an affordable destination include:

1. Reasonable cost of living: Portugal has a lower cost of living compared to many other Western European countries, which results in more affordable prices for everyday expenses such as food, transportation, and accommodation.

2. Affordable accommodation: Portugal offers a wide range of budget-friendly lodging options, including hostels, guesthouses, and budget hotels. Travelers can find comfortable places to stay without spending a lot of money.

3. Inexpensive food: Portuguese cuisine is diverse and delicious, with many affordable dining options available. Local markets, street food vendors, and small family-run restaurants offer great value for money, serving high-quality meals at a reasonable cost. Traditional Portuguese dishes, such as bacalhau (salted cod) and pasteis de nata (custard tarts), are both delicious and affordable.

4. Budget-friendly transportation: Public transportation in Portugal is generally affordable, including buses, trams, and trains. Long-distance buses and trains are also a cost-effective way to travel between cities and towns.

5. Free or low-cost attractions: Many of Portugal's top attractions are either free or have a low entrance fee, making it easy for travelers to explore the country without spending a lot of money. For example, visiting historic sites like the Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon, exploring the charming city of Porto, and enjoying the beautiful beaches of the Algarve can all be done on a budget.

6. Favorable exchange rate: The Euro (EUR), Portugal's official currency, often has a favorable exchange rate for many foreign currencies, particularly the US Dollar. This means that travelers from these countries can enjoy greater purchasing power when visiting Portugal.

7. Diverse experiences: Portugal offers a range of experiences that cater to different interests and budgets, such as wine tasting in the Douro Valley, surfing along the Atlantic coastline, or hiking in the beautiful Peneda-Gerês National Park.

Overall, Portugal's relative affordability, diverse landscapes, and rich culture make it an attractive destination for budget-conscious travelers seeking memorable experiences in Western Europe.

Conclusion

Traveling on a budget doesn't mean you have to sacrifice beauty and adventure. By choosing one of these budget-friendly yet beautiful destinations, you can create unforgettable memories without breaking the bank. Start planning your summer 2023 getaway today and explore the world with a new sense of wonder.