Travel on the Cheap

Save money and see more in these international cities

The most expensive vacations don’t always translate into the most memorable experiences. When planning your next international getaway, look for something affordable that’s rich in culture. Here are five locales with favorable exchange rates, hotel rooms that can be found for less than $100 per night and neighborhoods that are ripe for exploration.

Budapest, Hungary

St. Stephen’s Basilica, the Hungarian Parliament Building and the Great Market Hall indoor market rank among the most popular attractions in this Central European city. Travelers also give it high marks for its self-service bike rental system and reasonably priced cuisine.

Cairo, Egypt

You can spend a couple of hours walking around Las Vegas’ Luxor resort, or you can go see the real thing. Cairo’s ancient landmarks and diverse nightlife scene will keep you exploring 24/7. Plus, you’ll already be used to the heat.

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Hong Kong

Travel light to Hong Kong, because your bags may be stuffed on the return trip. The city is teeming with shops and is so compact that you won’t have to go far between destinations. Bonus: Everything except alcohol and tobacco is tax-free.

Medellín, Colombia

Colombia’s second-largest city is winning awards for urban innovation and attracting new generations of tourists eager to explore its museums and library parks, which are exactly what they sound like—libraries surrounded by green space. Travelers give Medellín high rankings for its walkability and a cable car system that lets you see the city from above.

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Mérida, Yucatán

Mérida, Yucatán

Of all the affordable destinations in Mexico, Mérida makes the list for its cuisine, beaches and proximity to ancient Mayan ruins. If there’s a drawback, it’s the number of stops the flight makes on the way there. But once you arrive, you’re golden.