Because of the rapid advancement of technology and the growing interconnectedness of the world, it is now easier than ever before to relocate abroad.
Working from home or a laptop allows many people to be more self-sufficient and adaptable. You can become a digital nomad and travel the world if you can earn an income online.
Nomad travel is ideal for people who are curious about other cultures and want to live in different places for a longer period of time. This is an amazing way to live, and we are fortunate that we have it now.
Beginning digital nomads should expect to put in a few years of effort before seeing significant financial rewards. You’re in luck because there are numerous low-cost cities around the world to choose from.
Here are ten of the world’s most affordable cities to call home. These cities are brimming with everything from art to history to nightlife. You don’t have to spend a fortune to live in one of these cities for a few months and experience life in a new country.
Of course, I haven’t mentioned all of the affordable cities around the world. However, these ten are among the most well-liked by tourists. Here are 10 of the world’s most affordable places to live and work, from the highlands of Bolivia to the vineyards of Portugal to the islands off the coast of Southeast Asia.
A Few Things To Keep In Mind
- I’ll give a quick rundown of what each city has to offer. If you’re interested in learning more about how much a person’s daily expenses actually cost, I recommend doing some research.
- The prices I mention will always be stated in US dollars.
- Every individual has a unique way of life. If you enjoy shopping, dining out, drinking, and treating yourself, then any of these cities will be more expensive. So, when figuring out how much it will cost to live in a different country, just take your current way of life into consideration.
- When contemplating a move abroad, don’t forget about the associated visa fees and requirements. In certain countries, depending on your nationality, you can stay for up to three months without needing a visa. Other countries have stricter regulations. As a result, be sure to thoroughly investigate visa requirements for any country where you intend to settle down.
- Think about doing a Worldpackers work exchange if you don’t want to be a digital nomad but still want to save money while travelling. In exchange for your lodging, you can work for a local business, organisation, or family. Living with locals and other travellers will lower your living expenses even further. I’ll include a popular Worldpackers work exchange in each city that anyone can apply for!
- The cities listed below are not in any particular order.
Top 10 Cheapest Cities In The World
1. Hanoi, Vietnam
The cost of living in Vietnam is among the lowest in Southeast Asia. For those on a tight budget, Hanoi, the country’s capital, is the ideal location for both living and working abroad.
Architecture, street food, nightlife, and the rich history of this multicultural metropolis are some of the city’s best-known assets. Hanoi has a long history influenced by Chinese, French, and Russian cultures.
Hanoi is a great place to live if you want to meet new people, get a taste of the local culture, and see the natural beauty of Vietnam. Oh, and you’ll save money, too.
One of the best Worldpackers work exchange in Hanoi: Share a community homestay with students in exchange for free home cooked meals and lodging.
2. Quito, Ecuador
Ecuador’s capital city, Quito, is a fantastic place to live on a budget. The city has a lot going on and it’s exciting. There are a lot of people on the streets, and they all seem happy. All it takes is a day trip to one of the nearby mountains or greenery to get away from the business for a while.
Quito is an excellent starting point for exploring the rest of Ecuador. You can work and live in the city while taking weekend trips to places like the Amazon, the Cloud Forest, the highlands, the beach, or even the Galapagos Islands.
Quito’s public transportation is dirt cheap, costing less than a dollar for a ride on the city bus. Traveling to the surrounding area only costs a few dollars.
One of the best Worldpackers work exchange in Quito: Here you can do anything from web design and writing to photography and social media at a top-rated hostel.
3. Bangkok, Thailand
Thailand’s capital city of Bangkok is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. In Bangkok, the country’s capital, you can live for as little as $1,200 a month!
The city of Bangkok is a sensory overload. The colourful Buddhist temples and tuk-tuks zipping through the streets will captivate you during the day. By night, you’ll be able to experience the bustling night markets, thrilling Muay Thai boxing matches, and tantalising aromas of Thai street food.
In the midst of it all, you’ll be shocked by how low the cost of living is in Bangkok. A plate of food costs about one dollar, while a ticket to a cabaret show or boxing match costs about ten dollars. Bangkok’s entertainment, dining, transportation, and daily living expenses are all extremely affordable!
One of the best Worldpackers work exchange in Bangkok: work as a receptionist or barback at a Tapas Bar in Bangkok Old Town.
4. Sofia, Bulgaria
Bulgaria is one of Europe’s most underrated travel destinations. This country, located in Eastern Europe, is a treasure trove of natural splendour and fascinating history.
Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital city, is a charming place to call home while travelling or working abroad. Because the country isn’t as popular with tourists as other destinations in Europe, the people are warm and welcoming. They provide free walking tours of Sofia as well as low-cost excursions such as food tours and graffiti tours. They also offer walking tours of other cities.
In Sofia, you can eat for very little money at restaurants, bars, hostels, and even in retail stores. Sofia and other major European cities, such as Rome or London, are served by RyanAir at a very affordable price.
One of the best Worldpackers work exchange in Sofia: Use your artistic abilities to help paint and decorate a hostel in the city.
5. La Paz, Bolivia
In South America, Bolivia is one of the most affordable countries, making it a great place to work or live while travelling the world.
The monthly rent for an apartment in La Paz is around $500-600. Local restaurants are much cheaper than tourist traps, so it’s worth it to eat there instead of at a tourist attraction.
You can travel around Bolivia for less money by cutting your living expenses. There are so many breathtaking sights in Peru, such as Lake Titicaca, the Uyuni Salt Flats, and the North Yungas cycling route.
One of the best Worldpackers work exchange in La Paz: help with gardening, learn about permaculture, and enjoy the peace of an Eco Village outside of La Paz.
6. Cusco, Peru
For many, Cusco is the starting point for their journey to Machu Picchu. Many tourists spend a few days in this mountainous town before or after their trip to the renowned Incan World Wonder.
However, digital nomads and travellers looking to live abroad who can afford to spend more than a few days in Cusco should consider doing so.
Cusco is a laid-back city nestled in the Andes, surrounded by mountains on all sides. This city has it all: delicious Peruvian cuisine, vibrant local handicrafts, and a hopping nightlife.
Your free days are perfect for exploring nearby Peru attractions like Rainbow Mountain and the Maras Salt Flats, as well as visiting the Incan ruins at Moray.
If you want to save money in Cusco, go to the local markets for huge plates of cheap food and go to one of the many hostel bars for happy hours and themed nights where they host happy hours.
One of the best Worldpackers work exchange in Cusco: You can bartend at a lively, social party hostel in the city’s historic centre.
7. Zagreb, Croatia
10 of the world’s most affordable cities to live
Croatia is a gorgeous country in the Mediterranean that is becoming increasingly popular. Many people plan a vacation to the Croatian islands and coastal cities in order to go island hopping and sunbathing.
Zagreb, Croatia’s capital, can be found in the country’s interior, in the northern part of the country. Zagreb is a charming city with an affordable cost of living.
Croatia’s coastal towns evoke images of Italy or Greece, whereas Zagreb is distinctly Eastern European in character. It has stunning architecture, fascinating museums, impressive public squares, traditional and touristy restaurants, cheap local street markets, and breathtaking national parks nearby.
One of the best Worldpackers work exchange in Zagreb: Help this hostel establish an online presence by utilising your knowledge of social media and website design.
8. Porto, Portugal
Portugal is a low-cost destination in western Europe. The cost of living in Lisbon’s capital city is rising as the city becomes more popular with tourists. The northern port city of Porto, on the other hand, is still very inexpensive.
Travelers who are primarily interested in Lisbon and the Algarve region of southern Portugal tend to overlook Porto. Northern Portugal, on the other hand, is absolutely stunning. This region is home to many vineyards and wineries, as well as quaint seaside towns, soaring cathedrals, and pulsating metropolises.
Portugal’s public transportation, housing costs, and the cost of drinks and food are all very reasonable.
One of the best Worldpackers work exchange in Porto: Work at a cosy guest house while learning about hospitality skills like housekeeping, gardening, and cooking with Worldpackers.
9. Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Cambodia is the third-most populous country in Southeast Asia, after Vietnam and Thailand. However, the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, is a rising star in Southeast Asia’s travel scene thanks to the country’s ancient temples in Siem Reap.
The capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, serves as the country’s cultural hub. It’s a great place to live because it has more conveniences than other parts of the country. Tours and excursions outside of the city can also be booked cheaply and easily, allowing you to spend your free time exploring the country.
Cambodia has one of the lowest cost of living comparisons. An apartment can be rented for as little as $400 or $500 a month. Everything else, such as utilities, food, drink, shopping, and entertainment, is also very affordable.
One of the best Worldpackers work exchange in Phnom Penh: With a local NGO, help Cambodian children in need while also having fun on a work exchange in Phnom Penh.
10. Cape Town, South Africa
Many cities in Africa can be afforded to live in. Cape Town in South Africa is one of the most well-known. Gorgeous natural areas, historical monuments, colourful landmarks, and more can all be found in this multicultural metropolis.
In Cape Town, many of the most popular attractions are completely free to visit. A few of the best things to do in Cape Town include hiking up Table Mountain or Lion’s Head, taking in the colourful architecture of Bo-Kaap, and swimming and surfing on the city’s many beaches.
The cost of grocery shopping, sim cards, and car rentals are all low. Cape Town offers affordable housing compared to other developed cities.
One of the best Worldpackers work exchange in Cape Town: Assist with a variety of tasks at this backpacker hostel, including reception, administration, photography, bartending, and more.