10 Cheapest Countries in the World (for Hostel Prices)


Photo credit: Chris Goldberg

When you’re planning a RTW (round the world) trip sometimes the hardest part can be choosing which countries to visit! There are so many cool places around the world to choose from and just not enough time to visit them all! However, one thing that can make that decision easier is knowing how far your money will last in each country. In cheaper countries your money will last longer and/or you’ll be able to splash out on things you couldn’t otherwise afford elsewhere. For that reason I thought it would be useful to share with you the 10 cheapest countries in the world for hostel prices seeing as accommodation is usually one of the biggest expenses for a backpacker on the road.

Please note; These prices are averages taken across a number of cities/destinations within each country and are based on the cheapest shared hostel dorm room available. All prices have been listed in British Pounds and US Dollars at the current exchange (taken 25th May 2013). Prices are based on those advertised currently across major hostel booking websites. Any hostels mentioned specifically are not necessarily my personal recommendations. I’m just telling you the cheapest prices, ok? This does not guarantee quality! 🙂

1. Nepal

Nepal came in top of this list with an average country price (for the cheapest shared dorm room) of approximately £2.29 ($3.47) per night per bed – which is pretty amazing I’m sure you’ll agree! The cheapest hostel I found in Kathmandu (the most popular city) was Holyland Guest House with prices starting at just £1.74 ($2.63) for a night in a 4 bed basic dorm.

2. Egypt

Egypt has always been cheap for hostels and living expenses in general, but I must admit I was surprised to see it finish this high up in 2nd place for cheapest hostels in the world! I guess recent events in the country are having some affect even at the smallest of levels.

The average price for the cheapest hostel dorm room bed across the country was £3.46 ($5.24) per night. The cheapest hostel I could find for a shared hostel dorm room in the country was the Al Salam Camp with prices starting at £2 ($3.03) per night for a bed in a basic 4 bed mixed dorm.

3. Laos

Laos is a country that has an abundance of cheap hostels! The average price (for the cheapest dorm room bed available) across the country was £4.05 ($6.13) per night. In Luang Prabang it was quite possible however to find a bed starting as low as £3.14 per night such as at My Lao Home Capsule Bed hostel.

4. Benin

Coming in at number 4 is Benin, a small country in West Africa bordered by Togo, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Niger. I wasn’t sure whether or not to include Benin in this list simply because the entire country only has 1 hostel! Or rather there is only 1 hostel available that you can book online via a major hostel booking website. For that reason the average price per night is simply just the price of the only hostel – Hostel Private Paradise – at £4.05 ($6.13) per night.

In Thailand for instance it is possible to find many hostels cheaper than this, but because Thailand has many hostels throughout the country at various prices this pulled the average up (and placed it in 11th just outside this list) and put Benin in 4th – just something to bear in mind. If this particular hostel was ever to close down then Benin wouldn’t exist on this list.

5. Bolivia

5th cheapest in the world and the cheapest in South America, the average price for Bolivia was £4.56 ($6.90) per night! The cheapest hostel I could find in La Paz (the most popular city) was Bash and Crash Hostel who were offering a night in an 8 bed mixed dorm for £3.96 ($5.99) per night.

6. Vietnam

Like it’s SE Asian neighbour Laos, Vietnam has consistently cheap hostel prices throughout the entire country. In Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh the city average was only a penny out either way of the country average £4.90 ($7.42) per night for the cheapest dorm room beds available. The cheapest hostel in Hanoi is a new one – the Funky Monkey Backpackers – which has prices starting at £2.08 ($3.15) per night for a bed in a 10 bed mixed dorm.

7. India

India was always going to score well in any budget-friendly list and so it’s probably of no surprise to many who’ve been there that it finishes in our top 10 here – in at number 7. The average prices (of a bed in the cheapest shared dorm rooms available) across the country was £5.17 ($7.83) per night. The cheapest hostel I could find in India was Anjunapalms Guesthouse in Goa at £1.75 ($2.65) per night in an 8 bed mixed dorm.

8. Cambodia

Again SE Asia features highly on our list as Cambodia makes it in at 8th cheapest in the world! The average price for the cheapest dorm room bed available across the country was £5.24 ($7.93) per night! In Siem Reap the Garden Village Guest House was offering beds in a 9 bed mixed dorm for just £0.70 ($1.06)!! Cambodia is crazy cheap for hostels depending on where you are and which hostel you stay in…

9. Mongolia

In Mongolia the average price of the cheapest dorm bed available is really the average price of Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian capital, as beyond there didn’t appear to be any hostels you could book online. However in Ulaanbaatar itself – a major stop on the Trans-Siberian express – there was quite a few options. The average came in at £5.32 ($8.05) per night. The cheapest hostel I could find was Sunpath Mongolia with prices started around £4.17 ($6.31) per night.

10. Mali

Similar to its fellow West African country Benin, Mali only appears to have 1 hostel offering beds in shared dorm rooms. For that reason the entire country average is based on The Sleeping Camel hostel in Bamako. Usually their cheapest dorm room beds goes for around £5.40 ($8.17) per night.

So there we have it – the top 10 cheapest countries in the world for hostel prices! It’s worth noting that in 11th and 12th place was Thailand and the Philippines who’s variety of hostelling prices kept their average just outside of the top 10, but who offered some individual hostel prices that would definitely have made this list! For me though I wanted to do a country average as A) sometimes the cheaper hostels get booked out so you can’t rely on them individually, and B) it gives a better representation of what you would spend generally across the entire country on accommodation in my opinion.


– If you found this article useful you may also be interested in reading the 10 cheapest countries for beer in Europe.

7 Responses to “10 Cheapest Countries in the World (for Hostel Prices)”

  1. Claire says:

    THANK YOU FOR THIS LIST! This is really helpful for planning my upcoming RTW trip!

  2. Rob says:

    It looks like Nepal will be on my next itinerary…

  3. Great post. Always interesting to compare places I’ve been with placed I’d like to go. Nepal, here I come! Mali is also high on the list if the current situation ever stabilizes…

  4. eemusings says:

    Vietnam rooms definitely seem to be going for rock bottom prices. We’re staying in private rooms in Asia though so far Cambodia has seemed the cheapest!

  5. In the beginning of our journey in 2004 we stayed sometimes in hostels. Then we noticed that backpackers in hostels are only after throwaway friendships. It became tiring to talk with people knowing that next day they will leave and forget everyone. So we ended up preferring hospex, namely BeWelcome. In some countries where hospex does not really work, like Cambodia and Laos, we stay in cheap hotels which are actually often cheaper than hostels.

  6. Mark janssen says:

    Ukraine not on this listaverage price £3 per night,stayed in hostel in smaller city in central Ukraine less than £50 for the whole month if paid upfront


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