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Since Airbnb was founded in San Fransisco in 2008, people have been taking advantage of Airbnb rentals all around the world. But not all Airbnb rentals are created equal. Some of them are so outlandish, so funky and so cool that they almost warrant a trip to the destination in their own right.

Never before would I have considered travelling to a place just to experience the accommodation, but there are some Airbnb rentals on the platform that are just so unique that they actually help inspire us to go places (particularly the second one on this list). 

In this article, I’m going to share 10 of the coolest and most original Airbnb rentals on the platform. Some of them we’ve been to, while others we hope to visit one day. If you’re the kind of person that doesn’t like to stay in cookie cutter resorts, square block hotels or regular apartment buildings, then this post is for you.

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Here are 10 of the coolest and most inspiring Airbnb rentals in the world. Ginger Villa Koh Samui

  • Location: Koh Samui, Thailand
  • Cost: $106+ per night
  • Highlights: Private Pool, jungle view, super-modern

Ginger Villa has a special place in our hearts because it was the first time we ever rented a luxury private pool for ourselves. We had stayed in many Airbnb rentals before, but never one as luxurious and beautiful as this one. 

We stayed here for 2 months and ended up getting a great deal directly with the owner. We spent around $1500 USD / month plus bills, which is considered a high cost of living in Thailand where there are many Airbnb rentals for under $10 / night, but we really wanted to treat ourselves.

Perched on a hill overlooking Lamai on the island of Koh Samui, with an infinity pool pouring down towards the lush jungle below, this ultra-modern 2 bedroom villa came with a 50 inch LCD TV, blazing fast wi-fi, modern furnishings and very comfortable beds. There were 6 other units in the complex, all built my the same company and all with stunning pools and nice outdoor space.

We loved it here and it still goes down as one of our favourite Airbnb rentals of all time.

VIEW Ginger Villa Koh Samui

Sky Lodge Adventure Suites

  • Location: The Sacred Valley, Peru
  • Cost: $400+ per night
  • Highlights: A transparent dome hanging off of the cliffs of Via Ferrata

We are already planning a trip in South America including Cusco and The Inca Trail, so when I saw these incredible transparent sky domes clinging to the side of a cliff overlooking the Andes and The Sacred Valley, I knew that we had to stay there.

These are perhaps the coolest rooms I’ve ever seen in my life and as far as Airbnb rentals go, you can’t really have a more exhilarating experience from accommodation.

While they’re not cheap at $450+ per night, they do include a guide, breakfast, and dinner with wine. To stay here, guests have to climb 400 meters of Via Ferrata, or hike an intrepid trail which includes zip lines and narrow paths.

I can’t imagine the stars that you’d see in this Airbnb rental at night and the experience of sleeping in a see-through dome perched on a cliff’s edge would be one to remember.

VIEW SKY LODGE ADVENTURE SUITES

King’s Castle in Ireland
  • Location: Galway, Ireland
  • Cost: $170+ per night
  • Highlights: Um… it’s a castle!

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan (like we are) and you’ve always wanted to live out your Lannister family fantasy in your very own castle, then you should probably consider booking a trip to Galway in Ireland. Home to one of the most unique Airbnb rentals on earth, it is here that you can rent a castle.

Owners Peter and Eva welcome guests to Cahercastle, a 600-year-old medieval fortification that has been restored to its near-original state using all traditional materials. Set just a 25 minute drive from Galway City, the space is comprised of a master bedroom (with access to the turret), a living room, two guest bedrooms, a dining room and some storage areas. 

VIEW King’s Castle in Ireland

Maarten’s Windmill Near Amsterdam

  • Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Cost: $340+ per night
  • Highlights: Fireplace, beautiful countryside, 140-year-old windmill

Perhaps the most stereotypical of the unique Airbnb rentals available around Amsterdam, this is without a doubt the place to stay if you’ve ever dreamed of sleeping in a windmill. 

The cosy space includes a spacious downstairs living room with a fireplace, a kitchen, 2 toilets and a bath, as well as 3 guest bedrooms with double beds in each. You can rent bikes for €7.50 / day and ride the beautiful 2-mile trail into Amsterdam town. Maarten is a Superhost on Airbnb with over 180 5-star reviews at the time of writing.

This place books up fast so you probably want to plan your trip at least a couple of months in advance, particularly in high season. If you can get 6 people together to fill the occupancy, the $340 / night price tag all of a sudden becomes very affordable.

VIEW Maarten’s Windmill in Amsterdam

Apartment With A View in Valparaiso

  • Location: Valparaiso, Chile
  • Cost: $70+ per night
  • Highlights: Bright and colourful space with an amazing view over the harbour

If you’re looking for more budget-friendly Airbnb rentals around the world, then you really can’t go wrong with this beautiful place in the street art capital of South America, Valparaiso, Chile. We stayed in this lovely little apartment for 3 weeks back in 2017 and it was one of our favourite Airbnb rentals during our time on the continent.

What made this place so amazing was the stunning view over the Bay of Valparaiso. We would spend our mornings drinking coffee and gazing out at the cargo ships pulling in and out of the harbour, and our evenings sipping wine and watching the city lights twinkle and reflect on the South Pacific Ocean. 

The hike up the hill to get to this apartment is a pretty good trek, so if you’re planning on doing Torres Del Paine during your time in Chile, then staying here first could help you prepare! Otherwise, Ubers from town only cost around US $2 – $3 and buses are US $0.40 – $1.00 depending on the distance.

VIEW Apartment With a View in Valparaiso

Cave Hotel in Cappadocia

  • Location: Cappadocia, Turkey
  • Cost: $70+ per night
  • Highlights: Cool room in a ferry chimney (cave) hotel

Few places in the world are as topographically dramatic as the ferry chimney land of Cappadocia in Turkey. Strange spires rise up from the ground like something out of Super Mario World, and somehow over the centuries the local people have managed to carve out amazing accommodations right into the side of these formations.

Staying in a cave hotel is a quintessential experience when visiting Cappadocia and we had the opportunity to do that in this Cave Hotel back in 2012. In the morning, you can wake up and look out at the view as hundreds of hot air balloons rise up over this spectacular landscape. An air balloon ride is highly recommended, though sadly we were unable to take part in one during our stay.

This is one of the most unique Airbnb rentals you’ll find anywhere in the world and for just $70 / night, you can sleep in a cave in Turkey!

VIEW The Cave Hotel in Cappadoccia

Save up to $100 Off Airbnb Rentals Using Our Special Coupon

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A Secluded Treehouse in Atlanta

  • Location: Atlanta, USA
  • Cost: $375+ per night
  • Highlights: Experience nature in a beautiful tree house

Owners Katie and Peter claim that this is Airbnb’s #1 most wished-for listing worldwide, and when you see the pictures you could understand why. This lovely tree home has three beautifully furnished rooms set inside of the forest. Located just a few minutes from town, this once hidden gem has now been featured on the Today Show, Travel + Leisure, Treehouse Masters and more.

The treehouse consists of 3 separate areas – Mind, a sitting room with antique furniture and artifacts, Body, the bedroom which sleeps 2 people in a cosy bed with luxury linens, and Spirit, the hammock deck which is open to thick greenery including a lovely 165 year old Southern Short-Leaf pine tree named “Old Man”.

Each of the three rooms is connected by suspension bridges and they all offer a very unique natural feel. With over 350 5-star reviews and quite a bit of notoriety in the press, it’s no surprise that you’ll have to book this one well in advance.

VIEW The Secluded Treehouse In Atlanta

The Seashell House in Isla Mujeres

  • Location: Isla Mujeres, Mexico
  • Cost: $299+ per night
  • Highlights: Incredible Architecture, Lovely Furnishings, Pool with Sea View

We actually spotted this unique place when we visited Isla Mujeres back in 2014, but we had no idea that it was listed on Airbnb. With a $300 / night price tag, we may have given it a miss back then, but if we returned to Mexico now with a bigger budget, I’d love to stay in this fascinating feat of architecture.

Giving guests a real “little mermaid” experience, if you stay in the seashell house you’ll literally be sleeping in a shell at night. The architects who created this unique home didn’t really know how to market it for years, but as soon as it hit the Airbnb platform it quickly shot up to become one of the most popular unique Airbnb rentals in the world. 

See Also: Things To Do In Isla Mujeres

There are no vehicles on Isla Mujeres, so you can rent a golf cart for around US $35 / day and putter around the 7km x 650m island like we did when we stayed here. Pulling your golf cart up to your seashell house after a day of lazing by the beach has to be one of the most unique travel experiences you can have.

For people who love architecture and funky accommodations, don’t miss The Seashell House in Isla Mujeres. Even if you don’t stay here, you’re bound to spot it during your stay on the island.

VIEW The Seashell House in Isla Mujeres

Snow Igloo in Finland

  • Location: Pelkosenniemi, Finland
  • Cost: $147+ per night
  • Highlights: Sleep on an ice bed, Northern Lights, Cosy space

It would probably take me a long time to convince Dariece to sleep in an ice room because she hates being cold so much, but owner Antii claims that his snow igloo is cosy and offers guests a once in a lifetime experience of sleeping in an igloo.

Despite popular belief, us Canadians don’t actually live in igloos, so I would absolutely love to book this place when we make our way to Finland. Apparently it can still be below freezing within the icy white walls of the igloo, so it’s important to pack a warm hat, thermal layers and thick socks. I think that sleeping under the Northern Lights inside of an ice dome would make up for the shivering nights!

VIEW The SNOW IGLOO IN FINLAND

The Glass Cabin in Brazil

  • Location: Florianopolis, Brazil
  • Cost: $27+ per night
  • Highlights: Recycled building materials, colorful lighting, eco-friendly

Floripa House is a space that appears to float about the mountains, giving visitors fantastic 360 degree views over the rainforest. The owner, Jaime, used recycled bottles and glass to create one of the most unique and eco-friendly Airbnb rentals on the platform. 

This is the highest house in Florianopolis, with a beautiful balcony and a lovely backyard, there are plenty of places to sit and soak up the nature. The glass walls mean that even if you’re inside, you’ll feel like you’re not and with a capacity for 5 people, this is a very inexpensive place to stay.

There’s AC, TV, Internet and a private bathroom, more than one might expect from a house made out of recycled bottles. Jaime is also a Superhost with 46 5-stay reviews on Airbnb.

VIEW The Glass Cabin in Brazil

Save up to $100 Off Airbnb Rentals Using Our Special Coupon

Click the button below to find out how you can earn up to $100 off your next booking using our special Airbnb coupon code.

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Cool Airbnb Rentals

Although Airbnb has been involved in some controversy lately, I still find that they’re an amazing way to live like a local and stay in some very unique places. Airbnb rentals don’t always affect the housing market and in many ways they give owners the opportunity to make money from home and help support their families.

Traditionally, accommodation has been in boxy hotel chains and resorts that give little money back to the local communities. While Airbnb may not be the perfect solution, they do give locals the opportunity to have a business, meet new people and earn some extra money on the side.

If you were to pick one of the Airbnb rentals from this list, which one would you stay in? Have you stayed in one cooler than any of these? Share with us in the comments below!

The post Top 10 Unique Airbnb Rentals Around The World appeared first on Goats On The Road.

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One of the most eclectic cities in the world, Seoul is a beautiful mixture of modern and classical. One moment you could be walking past a thousand-year-old building and the next, be admiring the sophisticated design of a contemporary one.

While there’s much to see and do in South Korea beyond Seoul, it’s hard to blame travellers for not venturing past the city. There’s no end to the number of exciting places to visit in Seoul irrespective of the duration of your stay.

Whether you’re stopping by the city for 72 hours or spending an entire week, here is a list of 21 places to visit in Seoul that will have you falling madly in love with the city.

1. Gwangjang Market – For Local Food

One of the most buzzing places to visit in Seoul would be its markets that literally pop up every corner you turn. As far as real food goes, none compares itself to the atmospheric Gwangjang market, Korea’s oldest remaining daily market.

The compact market hosts more than 5,000 shops and sees more than 50,000 visitors every day! The market is most famous for shops selling bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes) along with sundae (sausage made of pig’s intestines), tteokbokki (rice cake), and jeon (an assortment of snacks). Wash them all down with a soju, sitting in the cramped tables lined along the shops.

☞ See Also: How To Eat Your Way Through South Korea On a Budget

One of the many delicious food stalls at Gwangjang Market 2. Hongdae – For Nightlife

Close to the Hongik University, Hongdae is the neighbourhood to indulge in pubs, clubs, indie music, and arts. Featuring a huge university crowd, the entire area is peppered with numerous clubs and pubs where you can break a leg with the incredibly well-dressed youth of Korea.

One of the best party places to visit in Seoul, expect a K-pop performance to break out anytime, a choir may begin singing, or an unknown musician might just announce themselves at anytime.

If a cheap club is what you’re after, head to GOGOS. But if you prefer to be in a curated crowd, Club Vera is a fantastic choice.

To get here, get off at Hongik University Station, Exit 9

3. Cheonggyecheon Stream – For a Leisurely Walk

Once an unknown waterway in downtown Seoul, the stream was reconstructed in 2005 into a beautiful stream buzzing with life. Running close to 11 km through the city, a long walk in the evening along its urban banks brings the best of Seoul to you.

The waterfront areas witness a lot of cultural performances and art installations regularly to keep one entertained. The evening lighting, the mini waterfalls, the twenty plus bridges that come through its course, all add to the charm of this urban wonder which many other cities across the world are looking to replicate.

Click here for directions.

Vibrant Christmas evenings in Seoul 4. Myeongdong, For Cosmetics Shopping

If you like skincare products, add a cosmetic shopping spree to your list of places to visit in Seoul. From moisturizing face packs to conditioning creams, Korea produces special products for skin care that are rarely available anywhere else in the world.

Korean brands like Innisfree, Nature Republic sell their finest products across the city and specifically in the shopping mecca of Myeongdong. Try out free samples, avail huge discounts on group packs, and stock up enough beauty products for a year – all at an affordable price. ARITAUM is among the pick of all the beauty stores in Myeongdong, for budget shopping.

 Click here for directions.

5. Insadong – For Teahouses

There’s no way this wouldn’t be on the list of places to visit in Seoul. Darye, the Korean tea ceremony, is an etiquette of having tea that has been practised in Korea for over a thousand years.

In the neighbourhood of Insadong, travellers can take part in the ceremony and enjoy a well-brewed cup of tea at traditional teahouses.

Begin with Jidaebang tea house where the lotus tea will set you up for a perfect evening. Head to Dawon after, which is located in the compound of the Museum of fine art in a garden setting. This is the ideal place to unwind while sipping on their signature jujube tea, served with traditional rice cakes making for a beautiful combination of flavors.

Those fluffy rice cakes and soothing jujube tea is a hit. Seriously! 6. Tosokchon – For The Best Chicken Soup

Samgyetang (chicken soup) is a summer dish in Korea consisting of a possum (baby chicken) stuffed with rice, jujube, garlic, and ginseng (a medicinal root used in Korea).

While the idea of a possum stuffed with ingredients might not seem appetizing, it is among Korea’s most celebrated and delicious dishes that is a must-have while in Seoul.

Tosokchon is an institution for samgyetang that’s incredibly tourist-friendly and serving authentic chicken soup since the 1950s. It’s also located close to Gyeongbokgung palace making it an ideal lunch spot after a visit to the palace.

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7. Itaewon – For Korean Barbecue

Going out for a classic barbecue meal is one of the better ways to socialize in Seoul. Locally called galbi, you sit around a table with a personal grill and barbecue a wide variety of proteins and vegetables, which is then devoured with a host of sides and washed down with beers.

Itaewon is Seoul’s premier BBQ destination along with a large choice of Arabian restaurants to select from. Maple Tree House is incredibly popular among travellers, thanks to the English-speaking staff and menu, while Two Plus Itaewon is another top choice, especially among beef lovers.

The yummiest of all the places to visit in Seoul has to be a Korean barbecue restaurant 8. Lotte Mart – For a Special Supermarket Experience

Think of any Korean product / grocery item you’ve ever heard of, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll find it at the Lotte Mart stores across Seoul.

Processed goods, household items, cosmetics, ice creams, electronics, children’s products, fashion accessories, clothes, and much more is available for purchase. Supermarkets are often the best place to understand the lifestyle of the locals and trust us, Lotte is one of the most interesting places to visit in Seoul.

The mart at Seoul station is extremely foreign-friendly with a few English-speaking store assistants to help you get along the aisles.

9. Han River – For an Unforgettable Bike Ride

There are few better ways to burn off the calories from the culinary expeditions in Seoul than a bicycle ride around the Han river. Rent a bicycle from the Yeouido Hangang park and do a 15 km loop passing the Mapo bridge, Jeoldusan Martyrs shrine, and the beautiful Seonyudo park.

The park also has a resting spot to enjoy a cup of coffee while absorbing the river views. Return towards Yeouido, stopping by to admire views of the National Assembly and the marina. After the bike trip, you could also take a river cruise during sunset. After all that food you’ve been enjoying, this is one of the most apt places to visit in Seoul.

10. Mapo-Gu – For Its Quirky Cafes (the most unusual places to visit in Seoul!)

Korea’s innovations are not limited to its cosmetic or technology but are also visible in its quirky and cool cafes. If the same leafy themed cappuccinos have begun to bore you, Seoul is the place to embrace thematic cafes that range from poop and cats, to dogs and racoons.

While these cafes are lined all over town from Gangnam to Yongsan-gu, a large number of cafes are situated in the Mapo-gu district. Check out the “poop cafe” here – it’s one of the weirdest places in  Korea!

The quirky Poop Cafe serves its pasta in a miniature toilet. 11. The Subway – For Its Technology Cheap Shopping

The transport system in Seoul is worth admiring, especially the subway system. Connecting every remote corner of the city and large areas in the outskirts, it’s among the world’s most advanced and efficient metro systems.

But, the reason why it’s among the list of places to visit in Seoul is due to the numerous shops in the subway stations. This is the top place to shop for those on a budget. From winter wear and fashion accessories to freshly baked bread, you can find just about anything at the station stalls. Feel free to bargain your heart out!

💡Looking for the best places to stay in Seoul? Click here to see rates and reviews on Booking.com, and click here for the best Airbnb listings (don’t forget to use our Airbnb coupon code to receive a discount!)

12. Nami Island – For the Love of Winter Sonata

Whether you are a fan of Winter Sonata or not, Nami Island is a fun place to be, especially in the winter months. Although this nature-filled place isn’t the best hiking in South Korea, and is thronged by tourists, it’s quite a cultural experience to watch the local travellers enjoy their weekends.

During late winter, the lake at Nami freezes, making for a gorgeous view across the island. For those travelling with children, Nami island is highly recommended for its fun rides, zip wire, and large open spaces. When here, do not forget to eat Hotteok (sweet pancake). The queue is worth the deliciousness.

Besides, if you love the book ‘The Little Prince’ as we do,  you may also enjoy visiting Petite France, a village modelled after the book.

Getting There: Take the metro to Yongsan station and catch the ITX train to Gapyeong from where you could take the shuttle bus to the ferry wharf and then ferry across. Or, if you’d prefer to have a pick-up and everything arranged for you, click here to learn about a Nami Island tour.

13. A Jimjilbang – For a Korean Style Spa Experience

Korean spa is not your ordinary hour-long relaxation massage. It’s a getaway from life! In a typical Korean Jimjilbang, you would be scrubbed, soaked in hot water, and most importantly be completely naked and surrounded by locals who would be doing just the same.

Depending on the Jimjilbang you go to, there are facilities like hot water pools, sauna, massage, and even film rooms to sit back and relax. At some of the Jimjilbangs, you can stay overnight and save the night’s tariff at a hotel. Relaxation and accommodation, both in one go.

Siloam and Dragon Hill Spa are two of the famous ones. You can ask your host or hotel to suggest one that may be local to the area you stay in.

14. Noryangjin Fish Market – For a Local Market Experience

Name a sea creature and there’s a very high chance that you will find it in the vibrant fish market of Noryangjin. It’s where all the restaurants in Seoul source their fish from. I must warn you though that if you prefer to eat your food without seeing it being chopped and butchered, the market may not be for you.

The fast pace negotiations, a variety of seafood, and the chitter-chatter filling the market is worth the experience, this is one of the most local places to visit in Seoul. Get here early morning to watch locals trade, though an evening tour isn’t too bad either.

Transactions at the vibrant Noryangjin Fish Market 15. Ihwa Mural Village – For Its Art

Koreans love murals – you’ll find them in quite a few places around the country. In the Ihwa Mural Village, there’s an entire neighbourhood painted with trendy art and colorful walls.

Set up on a hillside, the Ihwa Mural Village was an attempt to decorate and restore the community neighbourhood. However, there are contradictory views to the restoration and not all the residents appreciate the attempt, and it’s important to keep this in mind as you walk through the village.

Wear comfortable shoes and attire and carry enough drinking water – the walk around the village is almost a mini hike.

16. Gyeongbokgung Palace – For a History Lesson on Joseon Dynasty

If you were to pick just one of the places to visit in Seoul, make it this one. There’s no better way to start your South Korean journey than a slow walk in and around the Gyeongbokgung Palace.

The largest of the five palaces in the city, the North Palace (Gyeongbokgung Palace) is a great introduction to the history of the Joseon dynasty.

Arrive at the palace early in the morning (starting time is 9 AM) to avoid the crowds. For just 3,000 won ($2.70) per person, you can enjoy the magnificent palace and its large open grounds. For photography lovers, the palace with a view of the Bukhansan mountains in the backdrop makes for a great frame.

The 623 years old Gyeongbokgung Palace. 17. Bukhansan – For The Love Of Hiking

Seoul is surrounded on all sides by mountains and peaks that are perfect for hiking. A popular weekend activity among the youth of the city is to hike up the Bukhansan mountains, which holds the dubious record for most hikers per square foot.

Beginning at the Bukhansanseong Fortress, the trail to the highest peak of Baegundae includes walking along fortress walls, Buddha statues, and local temples. The view from the top is stunning and well worth the 5-hour climb. We recommend doing the hike early in the morning on a weekday, to avoid the crowds.

Getting There: Gupabal Station, Exit 1 -> Bus 704 to Fortress

18. NANTA Theater – For a Unique Stage Show

The ‘Nanta Cooking’ show that originally premiered in 1997 follows the story of three cooks working hard to cook a lavish wedding banquet on a strict timeline. The musical that takes place across the two theatres in Hongdae and Myeongdong is entirely non-verbal with the story told through magic tricks, acrobatics, comedy, and audience involvement.

Strung together through the unifying element of samulnori music (music created using objects), it’s an incredible performance. There are three shows a day in..

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Take a walk along the cobblestone streets, admiring the stunning architecture as you bounce between museums, cafes, and galleries. Sit down to take in the sights and sounds of the town square before heading out for a nice dinner and rooftop cocktails. A few days of this, and you’ll quickly realize why San Miguel de Allende is one of the most popular places to visit in Mexico.

While a day trip here is one of the most popular things to do in Guanajuato, this city deserves your time!

For the past two years, San Miguel de Allende has been named the best city in the world by Travel & Leisure. What is it about this small colonial city in Mexico that makes it such a special place? Let’s take a closer look and check out some of the best things to do in San Miguel de Allende.

1. Hang Out in the Square

As with most cities in Mexico, San Miguel de Allende is centered around the main square. Known as El Jardin, this tree-lined plaza is surrounded by gorgeous buildings such as the parish church of San Miguel. Hanging out here easily tops the list of things to do in San Miguel de Allende.

Looking at the church from the middle of the square.

The square is bustling with activity in the evenings and at the weekend. You’ll see roaming mariachi bands, balloon salesmen, and plenty of snack vendors, making for a very lively scene. If you ever get lost wandering the winding streets, just find your way back to the square and start all over again.

Visiting the main plazas of the cities and towns is one of the top things to do in Mexico. This is where you’ll find all of the action!

2. Take a Day Trip to Cañada de La Virgen

Not far from town, you’ll find the massive nature preserve of Cañada de La Virgen. The highlight of a visit to this archaeological site is being able to explore the many pyramids. There is a lot more to do here, including camping, horseback riding, and astronomy tours. While it’s possible to visit on your own, you’re better off signing up for a tour to come out here.

3. Take a Look Inside the Church

Without a doubt, the emblem of the town is the stunning La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel. Its towering neo-Gothic façade is a true architectural masterpiece. It was built by the self-taught Zeferino Gutiérrez who is believed to have used postcards of European churches for inspiration.

A look inside the parish church.

While the outside of the church is absolutely breathtaking, be sure to go inside and have a look around as well. In the chapel, you’ll be able to see the revered image of Cristo de la Conquista (Christ of the Conquest) as well as a beautiful painting depicting the founding of the town.

**Note: a visit inside the stunning churches is also one of the top things to do in Guadalajara!

4. Visit the Botanical Garden

While many visitors to San Miguel de Allende spend much of their trip admiring the man-made beauty that abounds, you’ll want to carve out some time to get out in nature as well.

The perfect place to do that is the large botanical garden known as El Charco del Ingenio. Here you can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the many trails, do a bit of bird watching, or sit down for a picnic near a waterfall.

The reserve is open from 9:00 – 5:00pm year round, and on certain days free transportation is offered to the botanical garden. Click here for details.

5. Go on a Walking Tour

It’s fun wandering around the cobblestone streets of San Miguel de Allende on your own, but it’s even better when you’re accompanied by a knowledgeable guide. Signing up for a walking tour of the city is definitely one of the most rewarding things to do in San Miguel de Allende.

Walking around San Miguel de Allende.

Historical walking tours meet at 9:45AM in the Jardin every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. They also run an architectural tour on every 3rd Thursday at the same time. Tours last about 2.5 hours and donations for the tour go towards a non-profit organization that provides medical and dental care to children in the community.

A walking tour with a very good cause.

6. Study Spanish

One of the most popular things to do in San Miguel de Allende is sign up for Spanish lessons. There are plenty of excellent Spanish schools here and the locals are super friendly and ready to help you practice.

Ditch that bad gringo accent and improve your español here before travelling to other parts of Latin America.

7. Visit the Home of Ignacio Allende

Did you know that San Miguel de Allende is actually named after two different people? The town gets its name from a friar named Juan de San Miguel and Ignacio Allende, a hero and martyr of the Mexican independence movement.

One of the top things to do in San Miguel de Allende is visit the home of the latter, which is now the city’s history museum.

A look inside the Casa de Ignacio Allende.

The Museo Historico is open from Tuesday to Sunday and only costs about $3 to visit. Spend an hour or so here and you’ll leave with a much better understanding of the city, its history, and its importance to the country.

8. Explore the Sanctuary of Atotonilco

Just a 30-minute drive from the centre of town, you’ll find the incredible Sanctuary of Atotonilco. This historic church complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is famous for its Mexican Baroque murals. The paintings are so beautiful, in fact, that it has been dubbed the “Sistine Chapel of Mexico.”

9. Take a Walk to a Viewpoint (one of the best things to do in San Miguel de Allende!)

San Miguel de Allende looks amazing at street level, but it looks even better from above. Thankfully it’s not too difficult to get a fantastic panoramic view of the city. It’s only about a 15-20 minute walk from the plaza up to the viewpoint, which is known as El Mirador.

What a view!

Be sure to bring your camera with a full battery so you can snap some shots of this gorgeous town from this great vantage point. Add a hike up to the mirador to your list of things to do in San Miguel de Allende.

10. Visit Fabrica La Aurora

For nearly 100 years, Fabrica La Aurora was a textile mill in the north of San Miguel de Allende. These days, it’s a bustling collection of shops, galleries, and cafes that many refer to as a paradise for art lovers.

If you want to watch the artists at work, try to stop by on a Thursday for their Open Studio day. Check their website to see what’s going on and definitely be sure to include a stop here on your visit.

11. Experience a Local Festival

There are different festivals going on all throughout the year in San Miguel de Allende. In fact, it’s known as a “fiesta town” because it loves to party! It seems like there’s always something fun happening here, whether it be a music festival or a traditional Mexican holiday.

Enjoying some music and dancing in town.

There are famous storytelling and jazz festivals here each year, and there’s also the absolutely wild Dia de los Locos (Day of the Crazies). People get dressed up in all kinds of crazy costumes for a huge parade that’s tons of fun for all. This crazy day happens on the Sunday closest to June 13th, so plan accordingly.

12. Go Horseback Riding

Far and away one of the most popular things to do in San Miguel Allende is a bit of horseback riding. There are several different options for horseback riding adventures, from short rides through town up to overnight excursions out on the ranch. One very reputable tour company you can check out is Coyote Canyon Adventures.

13. Dive into the Art Scene

San Miguel de Allende has long been a favourite of artists, both established and aspiring. Walking around town, you’ll quickly notice just how abundant art is in San Miguel. There are museums, galleries, and institutes all over town, including the famous Instituto Allende. There are several options here to unleash your inner artist, from one-day workshops to 4-week courses.

Amazing art is around every corner.

Even if you’re not into creating the art yourself, you’ll find plenty of eye-catching pieces around town to admire. Those interested in bringing some Mexican artwork home will find San Miguel de Allende a fantastic place to do some shopping.

14. Chill Out in a Cafe

One of my favourite things to do in San Miguel de Allende is find a table in a local cafe and watch the town go by. Some of the best options include Lavanda Café, Cumpanio, and San Agustin for chocolate and churros. With a nice boost of caffeine and sugar, you’ll be ready to continue your exploration of this famous Mexican town.

15. See a Show at the Theatre

A trip to the Angela Peralta Theatre is definitely one of the best things to do in San Miguel de Allende. Named after the queen of Mexican opera, this intimate theatre hosts a variety of performances from both local and visiting artists.

A great place to catch a show.

Be sure to check the calendar of events before your trip and grab some tickets to see a show here. One of the biggest events here is the International Jazz Festival, which takes place every year in November.

16. Relax in the Thermal Baths

After all that walking around and exploring, you’ll want to take some time to kick back and relax. Thankfully, there are several thermal baths near town where you can go for a nice soak. The most popular choices are Escondido Place and La Gruta, both of which are easily combined with a trip to the sanctuary.

17. Eat Your Way Across Town

For such a small town, San Miguel de Allende sure packs a punch when it comes to the culinary scene. From street food up to fine-dining and everything in between, your mouth is sure to be watering constantly as you eat your way across town.

There’s an abundance of delicious local food here, but that’s not all that the town is cooking up. You’ll also find plenty of awesome fusion restaurants as well as international cuisine to please the city’s large expat population.

💡Planning a trip to other areas of Mexico? Don’t miss the fun things to do in Puerto Vallarta, the exciting things to do in Mexico City, and the colonial town of San Cristobal de las Casas.

If you’re heading to the coast, check out the awesome things to do in Cabo San Lucas, the relaxing things to do in Isla Mujeres, the crazy partying and other fun things to do in Cancun, the epic ruins and things to do in Tulum, and of course the stunning beaches and other things to do in Playa del Carmen. Mexico really has something for everyone.

18. Visit a Local Market

While there are plenty of excellent shops and restaurants around town, you should still make it a point to check out a local market for your shopping and/or eating needs. The Ignacio Ramírez market is a great place to pick up some fresh produce, grab a cheap lunch, or purchase some local handicrafts to take home.

19. Drinks With a View

After a big day of exploring all that San Miguel de Allende has to offer, the best way to wind down is with cocktails and a view at one of the city’s many rooftop bars. You’ve got a few choices for your fancy Happy Hour, including the amazing Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar in the Rosewood Hotel.

Happy Hour indeed!

They often have live music as well, making it an even more fun outing. Enjoying a tasty adult beverage with some live tunes and a lovely view of town is definitely one of the top things to do in San Miguel de Allende.

20.  Fly High in a Hot Air Balloon

So you’ve already hiked up to the mirador and enjoyed some rooftop drinks. If you’re looking for an even better view and one of the coolest things to do in San Miguel de Allende, why not go for a hot air balloon ride? Fly high above town in what is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

It’s around $140 for a flight. Click here for details.

21. Party it Up in a Dive Bar

Fancy wine and cocktail joints are great and all, but you’ve got to hit an old-fashioned dive bar once in a while! If you’re looking for an unpretentious place with cheap drinks and good conversation, head to the rowdy La Cucaracha (The Cockroach).

La Cucaracha!

There’s even a giant cockroach on the wall to make the place even more interesting. You won’t find a ton of gringos here, so it’s a great place to get a little loose and practice the Spanish you’ve been working on!

Ready For San Miguel de Allende?

After reading about all of these awesome things to do in San Miguel de Allende, I’m sure you can see why the city is such a huge draw for tourists and expats alike. Despite its recent fame and rising popularity, the city still retains much of its charm that put it on the map with travellers many years ago. If you’re taking a trip to Mexico soon, be sure to add this beautiful, artsy town to your itinerary.

The post 21 Awesome Things To Do in San Miguel de Allende appeared first on Goats On The Road.

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Paid online surveys are a relatively new concept to many, but the truth is, you can easily get paid to do surveys online.

There are reports of people earning up to $1,000 per month through paid online surveys and it only takes a few minutes to sign up and get started. The problem is, there are plenty of paid online survey companies out there that aren’t legitimate. They don’t pay enough, they don’t pay on time or they are just a complete scam.

If you want to make money taking online surveys, you have to do your due diligence… which is why I created this post.

I’ve taken all of the best paid online survey companies and checked over their reviews on sites like TrustPilot, read other people’s experience with them and signed up and used them myself. I’ve done the online survey research and legwork so that you don’t have to.

After we wrote our How To Make Money Online guide, where we mentioned online surveys as a good way to earn money, we had a lot of comments and emails asking us about this great travel job.

Is it legit? Can you make good money from it? Will it take a long time to earn money? Is it legal?

In this article I’m going to introduce you to the wonderful world of paid surveys so that you can learn how to make money online quickly and easily. However, this isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme.

Put quite simply, you won’t get rich from online surveys.

If you spend 3-5 hours per day completing paid online surveys, then it’s possible to make $500 – $1000 extra per month, particularly if you use the tips in this article to become more efficient.

Since it is possible to travel for one year on $5,000, if you use online surveys to supplement your current income, you could earn enough for a year of travel in just 5 months.

Of course, I’m not saying you should quit your day job to pursue a career of paid online surveys – instead, it could be a great way to make money from home or a bit of extra cash while on the road.

How Much Do Online Surveys Pay?

Let’s start with the reason that you clicked to read this article in the first place. You want a cut and dry answer of how much you stand to earn if you start taking surveys for money. The truth is, the pay on each of the websites I’m going to list varies greatly.

The key is to sign up for numerous online survey sites at the same time. You’ll likely only get a few surveys per week from each, so if you can sign up for 10 or 20, you’ll be able to earn a lot more.

In my experience, both from my research and from completing surveys myself, if you’re quick and fit the bill to be eligible for a lot of surveys, then you can earn around $5 / hour. Many surveys only work out to be $2 / hour though, so as you get better at paid online surveys, you can choose the surveys that pay you more.

Like I said, don’t expect to get rich from completing surveys online! There are so many online jobs and ways to get paid to travel out there, but this is a good one because some of these sites actually pay you for stuff you already do online, like shopping, browsing the internet and watching videos.

Know Some Friends Who Could Use Some Extra Money? Share This Post!

Paid Online Survey Scams To Watch Out For

When choosing which paid online survey companies to go with, it’s important that you know a few things. It’s not a good idea to just start signing up for every online survey company you find, entering your personal information and wasting time on scams.

Never Pay Up Front

There should be no membership or sign-up fee to join an online survey company. I would be very wary of any that ask for any payment whatsoever. You’ll be making the companies a lot of money, so they should show you trust by offering you a free sign-up. Simple as that.

This is probably the biggest factor in choosing the best paid online surveys. If you can sign-up for free, at no risk to you, then you’re probably using a good survey company.

Check Reviews

There are plenty of lists in Google for the best paid online surveys, but I would be very careful when signing up for any that come too far down the list. If you read a post with 50 of the best paid online survey companies, it’s likely that 40 of those aren’t worth signing up for. The truth is, there are already some major players in the game.

They’ve proven themselves as the best paid online survey companies for years and years and they’ve built up a reputation with both their customers, and the brands that they work with.

Don’t bother signing up for dodgy, unknown survey companies, even if they offer you the moon. Picking online survey companies that are reputable is the most important part of making money doing surveys online.

Always check reviews (I recommend checking in BBB or Trust Pilot) to ensure that the companies have a good reputation with their customers.

Does it Sound Too Good To Be True?

If you start signing up to take paid online surveys and you find that the companies are promising ridiculous figures for the work, I can tell you right now that it’s too good to be true.

There are standards set and limits to what brands will pay consumers to complete paid online surveys, so don’t believe everything you read. If the survey company is promising you the world, it’s very unlikely that they’ll deliver. Trust the companies that have proven themselves by being honest.

Did You Even Sign Up?

Never enter any personal information or reply to survey emails from companies that you don’t recognize. Unfortunately, this is a spam-prone business, so just be sure that you’re only interacting with the survey companies that you actually signed up for.

Check For a Privacy Policy

When taking online surveys for money, one of your main concerns should be your personal data. You’ll be entering your data to numerous sites so make sure that any site you’re browsing has a privacy policy. This usually comes in the form of a link in the footer of the website that leads to a special Privacy Policy page with disclaimers and info about how your data is used and shared.

All of the survey sites that I list in this post will have a Privacy Policy to help keep your data secure, but if you’re finding sites outside of this list, please ensure that they also have one.

Is The Site Secure?

Look for the little closed lock icon and the https:// prefix before the URL in your browser. This means that the data you share on the website will be secure and encrypted using SSL technology.

Tips To Get The Most of Paid Online Surveys

It’s easy to sign up for a bunch of paid online survey companies and start earning money online, but there are a few things that you should think about in order to get the most out of your experience. The point is to make money right! So keep these few things in mind and you’ll be able to speed up your time.

Join As Many Legitimate Survey Sites As Possible

The best way to maximize your earnings from paid online surveys is to sign up for as many as you possibly can. You should still avoid any sites that fit the bill of a scam website as I explained above, but the more you sign up for the more potential you’ll have to earn money.

Many of the sites that I list in this post will offer a sign-up bonus of up to $5, so just by signing up for them you’ll start earning rewards. Pick as many as you can that have a sign-up bonus and you could pocket as much as $40 in a couple of hours.

Each website also has its own limitations and restrictions. In some cases you’ll only be able to complete a certain number of surveys per week (more on this below). That’s why, the more you sign-up for the better.

The people who earn more than $100 / week from surveys are likely signed up to 10 or more websites.

Be Honest In Your Application

When you sign up for paid online survey companies, they’re going to ask you a bunch of questions in the application. Be 100% honest in this process as it will help them to assign you tasks and surveys that will work best for you. If you have knowledge about a certain brand or product, then you’ll be a more useful candidate to complete those online surveys.

Open Multiple Browser Tabs

While most companies technically want you to complete the tasks with full focus, the biggest paid online surveys earners use the multi-tab trick.

On some sites you can get paid to watch videos, listen to audio or see a series of pictures. Once the media begins running, it can take up to 15 minutes, so you can open another tab in your browser and complete surveys or other tasks while the media is playing.

This is a good way to double down on your points/hour. Just make sure that you’re not completely ignoring the content as you should still be aware of it while working on other things.

Use aText

Most surveys are typical multiple choice style, so you’ll simply check boxes to complete each part of the survey, but sometimes you will be asked to type an answer (i-Say has quite a few typing answers). Oftentimes when you’re completing multiple online surveys per hour, particularly if they are for similar brands, you may find that your answers are repeated time and time again. For this, I love to use aText.

Let’s say you always write the same response about how you feel about vacuums, you can set a codeword in aText to prompt a paste of whatever words you want to answer with. For example, if you type “vacuumreview” into your computer, it will automatically paste:

“I find that these types of vacuums are useful for me and I’ve always used cyclonic style vacuums, but I find them to be too noisy”.

This can save you a lot of time on the full answer questions.

Install Anti-Malware Software

When joining these survey sites, you won’t have any malicious malware installed on your computer without you knowing, but sometimes you’re sent to a bunch of different sites outside of the main survey site in order to complete your survey. In this situation, there have been cases where people have had unwanted malware installed on their computers.

Whether you’re a PC or a Mac user, I recommend using MalwareBytes. They have a free version that is powerful enough to catch and destroy any malicious attempts on your computer while completing surveys. I also recommend using a VPN so that your data is secure. I use NordVPN. I’m not getting paid to recommend these, I just use them and trust them personally.

Longer Surveys Pay Better

Typically, even when taking into account the time-to-reward ratio, longer surveys often pay more per minute than the shorter ones. If you can take the bigger surveys and complete them quickly, you’ll be able to earn more cash.

What Rewards Are Offered?

Each paid online survey company offers a different set of rewards. Typically these come in the form of gift cards. Unless you spend a lot of money at the stores offered, you’ll also want to make sure that you can redeem your points for PayPal cash.

With PayPal, you can simply cash out your survey rewards to PayPal, then transfer that money into your bank, effectively converting it to cold, hard cash… for free.

Watch For Survey Limitations

Many sites have limits to how many surveys you can complete per day. In this post I’m going to break down all of these limitations so that you can sign up for, and spend more time on, the survey companies that allow unlimited surveys.

Check Payment Thresholds

Some paid online survey companies have higher payout thresholds than others, meaning you’ll have to earn more points before you can redeem them for gift cards and cash. The lower the payout threshold the better, because this means you’ll be able to get paid to take online surveys quickly.

Cash Out Early and Often

There are way too many horror stories online about people who have earned a lot of points completing hours upon hours of surveys, and then randomly their accounts get shut down for no apparent reason.

This won’t likely happen with the companies that I list in this post (if it did they would have terrible TrustPilot reviews), but just in case, always cash out your rewards as soon as they reach the threshold.

How Often Are You Eligible?

You’ll find that with all paid online survey websites, you won’t actually be eligible for every survey. In fact, sometimes you’ll answer a few questions and then only partway into the survey you’ll be told that you’re not eligible.

With good companies like SwagBucks and Survey Junkie, you’ll still be paid a few points for the questions you did answer.

It’s worth testing a few different paid online survey websites to find the ones that have the most eligible surveys for you. If you’re a single woman of medium income living in a suburban area, you may be eligible for different surveys than a married man with 3 kids in a low-income household.

Every person is different.

Still, you need to be honest in your application and in your profile and only complete surveys that you are honestly eligible for. When done properly, paid online surveys are good for you and for the companies you’re surveying.

Set Up a New Email!

It’s worth noting that a lot of these paid online survey websites love to send their customers a lot of emails. Too many emails to be honest. It’s probably worth setting up an entirely new email account so that your main inbox isn’t full of survey emails from the dozen or so survey companies that you sign up for!

You don’t want your important email getting lost in a sea of surveys 😀

Don’t Expect To Get Rich

While taking online surveys for cash can be a great way to earn a bit of extra money, don’t expect to become a millionaire through any of these companies. If you’ve read about people making anything more than $1,000 per month from taking online surveys, you have to assume that they were spending more than 40 hours per week in order to get to that number.

Paid online surveys are a great way to earn some extra cash online, but the average wage is around $5 / hour. If you’re really fast and take advantage of the numerous sign-up bonuses on these sites, you might be able to bump this up to $8 / hour, but don’t expect to do much better than that.

While completing surveys may not be as lucrative as some of the other ways to make money online, it’s still a great way to make money from home, while chilling out in your pyjamas!

How You’ll Get Paid

Generally, these online survey websites will pay you in some kind of rewards points. Each of them call their points by different names like “SwagBucks” and “Kicks”, but all are redeemable in different ways. Almost all of the sites that I’ll list in this post allow you to redeem for Visa Gift Cards and PayPal, so basically the points translate to cash.

All of the paid online survey sites also allow you to redeem your points for gift cards like Amazon, iTunes, Target and Walmart and in some cases, you’ll earn a bit extra if you redeem for gift cards rather than through Visa and PayPal.

However you decide to redeem your points, you should never wait more than 3 weeks to get paid out. The key is to look for a low payment threshold (I’ll list the threshold for each company) and then redeem as often as possible.

Now that we’ve covered how to make money taking online surveys, let’s dive into the best companies to choose from.

Best Paid Online Survey Websites

Not all online survey companies are the same! You have to be careful with these companies as some of them have terrible reviews and aren’t legitimate. For the sake of this post and helping you to learn how to make money online through reputable sources only, I’m going to list the most used and trusted online survey companies.

You can use these sites to earn easy money by taking surveys, playing games, searching the web, redeeming grocery coupons, shopping online, and more. Did you ever think you’d learn how to make money online by shopping? Welcome to online reward sites!

A List of The Most Reputable Paid Online Survey Companies: 1. SwagBucks

So many people spend months learning how to make money online. With swag bucks, you can sign up and start earning money instantly. In fact, if you click the button below, you’ll get $5 worth of “SwagBucks” or “SB” (these can be converted into PayPal cash and gift cards). After signing up, you can literally start making money instantly by cashing in your $5 and starting to complete tasks on the site.

Signing Up

Once you’re logged into Swagbucks, you’ll see that the dashboard is actually an aggregation of other sites, which gives it a massive edge over many of its competitors. When clicking the surveys in the home screen of your SwagBucks account, you may be brought to sites like GlobalTestMarket, Qualtrics, Ipsos i-Say and many others.

SwagBucks Reward Offers:

  • PayPal (cash deposited to your bank)
  • Visa Prepaid Card
  • iTunes
  • Amazon
  • Sephora
  • Target
  • Walmart
  • Old Navy
  • Lowes
  • & More

Swagbucks starts off with a very extensive profile survey which helps them to better match you to surveys based on your demographic. Even with this however, there is no 100% guarantee that you’ll be eligible for all of the surveys that appear in your dashboard. In fact many people claim that their eligibility rate is only at around 15 – 20%. But that all depends on your profile.

Taking Surveys:

As soon as you sign-up for SwagBucks, make sure you do all of the initial tasks in order to get extra SB. When you first join, they’ll ask you to install a browser extension (Swag Button), find Swag Codes, Play SwagBuck Games and refer your friends. Try to do as many of these as possible in order to earn quick SB.

After you’ve done doing all of those tasks you can start to do surveys. In general the taking surveys for cash is the most lucrative way to make SwagBucks, with many of them paying up to 300 SB or $3.

Because you’ll be limited to how many surveys you can take and which ones you’re eligible for, you won’t get rich of off SwagBucks, but you should be able to rack up an extra $20 – $30 per month without spending much time.

Watching Videos:

SwagBucks also has a video section, so you can get paid to watch videos as well, which is great. You can choose between different categories of videos to cater to ones that will be entertaining for you. Unfortunately you can only earn a maximum of 150 SB per day by watching videos.

Other Ways To Make Money On SwagBucks

You’ll also see a section for Swag Sweepstakes where you can gamble your points to hopefully earn bigger rewards. These sweepstakes are notoriously difficult to win, and SwagBucks are notoriously difficult to earn, so I wouldn’t waste your time with this. If you’re a gambler, stay out of this section!

One of the best features of SwagBucks is online shopping and..

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You may find it hard to believe, but the cost of living in Thailand for an entire month (including everything) is most likely less than your rent payment at home. As digital nomads, we’re constantly looking for places to stay for a couple of weeks, a month, a year, and Thailand is always one of the top options when it comes to affordability and amenities.

If you’ve been considering working abroad, or just want somewhere to put down some temporary roots, Thailand might be the place for you.

Where else can you rent an apartment for around $200 / month, dine on delicious Thai food for $1 or join the gym for $25 / month?

In this guide to the cost of living in Thailand, I’ll list the 3 best places to live, what to expect and what you’ll spend each month.

Jump To:

  • Why Choose Thailand?
  • Visa Situation for Living in Thailand
  • Cost of Living in Chiang Mai
  • Cost of Living in Koh Samui
  • Cost of Living in Bangkok
Why Choose Thailand?

There are numerous places to visit in Thailand and it has long been a backpacker favourite. Since the hippie days it has continuously been one of the most popular destinations, and is always on lists of cheap countries to visit. There’s just something magical about the Land of Smiles.

From the beautiful beaches and lush jungle, to the unique culture and delicious food, Thailand is a fascinating country to see…and live in.

These days, it’s becoming more of a hot-spot for digital nomads and retirees who want to enjoy one of the cheapest places to live in the world. It’s amazing how much farther your money can go if you move to the right destinations – and Thailand is definitely one of the best options.

We’ve spent around 6 months both living in Thailand and travelling around the country, and even though we’ve lived in numerous other places around the world (Malta, Mexico, Grenada, Barbados, Argentina, Indonesia, etc.), we still list Thailand as one of our favourites.

The people are friendly (although a bit jaded by tourism), but they make you feel welcome and aren’t rude. Plus, we’ve never had an issue with our safety in Thailand.

There are international hospitals available, with high standards and low price tags. I’ve personally visited the Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok and we’ve both been to the dentist in Bangkok as well.

My only issue with the hospital was that it was incredibly busy and I couldn’t make an appointment, and since it was a non-emergency, I had to wait quite a while for a check-up. Regardless, the hospital was very clean, the equipment was modern and the doctor spoke English.

In Thailand, you can get many medications over the counter without having to visit a doctor for a prescription first. The pharmacists are helpful (and knowledgable) and you can purchase things like antibiotics and birth control pills within minutes. This saves you time and money.

Apart from feeling safe and not having to worry about healthcare, you can enjoy the beaches, mountains and jungle. Or, you can hop on a cheap flight to a nearby destination for a quick holiday away. With the cost of living in Thailand being so low, you’ll have money left over each month for a holiday – whether domestic or international.

The only decision you’ll need to make is which part of Thailand you want to live in.

Visa Situation When Living in Thailand

If you aren’t living in Thailand full-time (ie: running a business or retiring there), then you can enter Thailand on a tourist visa. If you’re from one of these countries, Thailand is one of the best visa free countries because you don’t have to pay for your visa.

However, you can only stay for 30 days before you will have to either renew your visa at an immigration office (for a fee), or leave the country and return.

When we were living in Koh Samui, we landed at the Bangkok airport and received a 1 month visa for free, and then extended it at the immigration office on the island of Koh Samui to receive a further month. The cost of that extension was 1,900 thb ($58).

The immigration building for visa extensions in Koh Samui

Another option is to obtain a 60 day tourist visa before entering Thailand (at a consulate abroad, or in your home country). You will be allowed to extend that visa once more when you’re in Thailand, giving you a total of 90 days before you need to leave the country.

If you’re arriving by air, there is no limitation on the amount of times you can enter Thailand in a year if you are from one of the visa exempt countries, and you leave and return by air (not sea or bus).

It’s not an ideal visa situation of you plan on living in Thailand long-term, as you’ll constantly have to leave the country. But, it’s always nice to head out on a holiday and with cheap flights with AirAsia and IndiGo, you can fly to nearby countries of Singapore, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam or Laos and enjoy a weekend away before returning to Thailand.

If you are 50 years of age or older, and you want to retire in Thailand, you can apply for a Retirement Visa, which is valid for one year. However, you aren’t able to open up a business or you would need a Work Visa.

According to the US Embassy and Consulate in Thailand:

  • Applicant must be able to provide proof of a pension or other regular income from a source outside of Thailand;
  • Applicant’s pension or other regular income must be no less than the equivalent of 65,000 Baht ($1,995) per month;
  • Alternatively, the applicant may meet the financial requirement by maintaining a Thai bank account with a minimum amount of 800,000 Baht ($24,500). (Applicants will need to show that they have 800,000 Baht in savings each year when they renew their visa.)
  • Any applicant married to a Thai citizen may be able to receive a visa on that basis rather than retirement.

As you can see, there are numerous variations to the visas you can obtain, and the extensions you can receive. Always check with the Thai Consulate for the most up to date information.

Note: new rules state that you must be able to show sufficient funds in the amount of 20,000 THB ($610) when entering Thailand. Whether or not the immigration officer asks you to show proof is up to them. But, to make sure you’re not turned away or questioned, make sure to have sufficient funds (doesn’t have to be in Thai Bhat) on you. We were never asked to show proof of funds on entry in 2017. Also, you must have proof of onward travel out of Thailand. Click here to learn how we deal with that requirement. 

Cost of Living in Thailand: Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is known as being one of the top digital nomad hubs in Asia – it has everything you could want or need. This is the place to live in Thailand if you want to be surrounded by other entrepreneurs and those who work remotely.

You’ll find people who get paid to write online as freelance writers, virtual assistants, social media influencers, web designers, people who teach English online and numerous other genres of remote work.

In Chiang Mai, you’ll find many restaurants (both local and international), bars, shops, gyms, a cinema, grocery stores, spas and much more. It has everything you could want or need when living abroad.

There are numerous things to do in Chiang Mai to keep you busy – watch some Muay Thai boxing, practice yoga, or take a motorbike out to the waterfalls or on scenic drives in the mountains.

Another option is to head to nearby cities. Check out the fun things to do in Chiang Rai and all of the chilled out things to do in Pai. If you’re feeling antsy, hop on a cheap domestic or international flight at the Chiang Mai airport and head off for a weekend away on the southern islands of Thailand, or nearby country.

How To Find An Apartment in Chiang Mai

There are a few ways to find accommodation in Chiang Mai. Unless you’re going to book through a reputable website like Airbnb, I would definitely wait to see the apartment in person before agreeing to one online.

Even with Airbnb, I recommend choosing a “Superhost” or a place with good reviews. Due to Airbnb scams, I would be hesitant to book an apartment that was newly listed and had zero reviews. Airbnb hosts will often offer a discount for 1 month+ stays.

In Chiang Mai, it’s more popular to arrive and look around once you’re on the ground. If you don’t want to book through Airbnb, you can check out these companies and agents in Chiang Mai:

Basically, send them an email of what you’re looking for in an apartment, and they will have some viewings lined up and take you around to look at places. The cost of living in Thailand is low, but the cost of apartment rentals in Chiang Mai is really low.

You can find places for around $200 / month (it will mostly likely be a studio apartment however). Typically, for a newer apartment with a pool and kitchen expect to spend around $400 – $600 / month.

If you are renting a small house outside of the city center, you would spend around $450 / month for 6 months or more. And finally, if you’re looking for a more modern, luxurious accommodation (with 2+ bedrooms), you’ll spend around $1,000 / month. The longer you rent for, the cheaper it will be.

As you can see, the cost of living in Chiang Mai really depends on the type of accommodation you want, which part of the city you live in, and how long you rent for.

Something to note is that ideally you can find a place that has a swimming pool and / or a gym attached. The days can be hot in Chiang Mai and with no beach around, having a pool can be a lifesaver. But, if you can’t find a place with a pool, you can always purchase a pass at one of the fitness centers and use their facilities.

Best Areas to Stay in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Old Town

This area is in the middle of all the action. You’ll be surrounded by numerous accommodation options and western restaurants. Accommodation prices tend to be on the higher end here.

Chang Khlan Area

Accommodations in this area are cheaper than the Old Town, yet you’re just a 15 minute walk southeast of the Old Town. This area is less modern, with a few seedy bars, but it’s still a safe place to live. You’ll also find lots of street food and cheap restaurant options.

Nimmanhaemin Road Area

This is a popular, trendy, “cool” area located northwest of the Old Town. This part of Chiang Mai is home to a large expat crowd, numerous coffee shops, western restaurants, a massive mall with a cinema and lots of co-working spaces. It is one of the more expensive areas Chiang Mai to rent in, but is where many digital nomads choose to live.

Chang Puak

Since this area is close to a university, you’ll find lots of students around. It’s located north of the Old Town about a 25 minute walk to the center, and a 5 minute walk to a large grocery store. Accommodation is cheaper here and again there are lots of street food and cheap restaurant options. If you’re looking for a really low cost of living in Thailand, check out this area in Chiang Mai.

Costs of Living in Chiang Mai

Depending on your lifestyle, you can live for very cheap, or live like a king (while still spending less than you would in your home country most likely).

Costs are incredibly varied in Chiang Mai, with some people living on the budget end in a studio apartment and spending a total of $600 / month including everything.

Others in the mid-level range spend around $700-$800 / month, and at the higher end from $1,000 and up. There are top end options as well, but with so many nice houses and apartments in the budget – mid range, it’s really not necessary to overspend in Chiang Mai.

Obviously, if you’re a couple or if you find some housemates, you’ll be able to split the cost of rent and utilities.

Here’s a list of some average costs of items in Chiang Mai:

Description Range
Apartment Rental – Nightly $9 – 12 / Night
Accommodation Rental – Monthly $200 – $1,200 / Month
Electricity and Internet $150 / Month
Scooter Rental $75 – $110 / Month
Full Tank of Petrol in Scooter $3
Tuk-Tuk Journey $3 / 10 minute ride (approx)
Co-Working Space Membership $100 / Month (for the best co-working space)
Gym Membership $25 / Month
Bottle of Wine (midrange) $14
Domestic Beer in a Bar $1.70
Imported Beer in a Bar $2.85
Cappuccino $1.70
Liter of Milk $1.40
Loaf of Bread $1.00
Dozen Eggs $1.45
Bananas (1kg) $1.00
Western Style Meal $5+
Thai Street Food Meal $1 – $3

Total cost of living in Chiang Mai per month: $600 – $1,500 / person

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Cost of Living in Thailand: Koh Samui

The cost of living in Thailand is very affordable, but if you want to live on one of the islands, you’ll spend a bit more each month than you would on the mainland. The islands of Phuket, Koh Phangan, Koh Lanta and Koh Samui are probably your best bets when it comes to places with amenities that digital nomads and westerners typically want / need.

We spent 2 months living in Koh Samui in a gorgeous pool villa in the jungle. The island is quite large and offers everything from beaches and waterfalls to nightlife and street markets. This island isn’t known as being a party place (unless you stay in the Chaweng area), but rather, it’s a spot for holiday makers and expats.

Koh Samui isn’t exactly a “digital nomad hub”, but it’s a chilled out place where you can relax and get some work done while staying near the beach in a stunning villa.

There aren’t exactly co-working spaces here, but we did find an amazing spot that you can work from, while enjoying healthy food – Vikasa Life Cafe Organic Restaurant. Another option that we’ve heard about is the Content Castle where you stay in a shared house, pay $200 / month and receive room and board. You’ll also have to do some writing for the company. Click here for details.

We met a few remote workers, and those practicing or teaching yoga during our time spent at Vikasa. The setting is stunning and food is amazing (around $7 / meal).

We chose to stay in the Lamai area which has a long stretch of sand, beach bars, a local community (where we were), 2 large supermarkets (Makro and Tesco Lotus), plus numerous markets offering produce and street food. Restaurant food goes from around $3 and up for a plate of Thai food, whereas at the nightly food market, you can get meals for around $1.50.

The Lamai area is a great spot if you’re looking to have enough going on so that you’re not bored, yet looking for a place that isn’t as busy as Chewang.

How To Find Accommodation in Koh Samui

If possible, I recommend coming to the island and renting a guesthouse or hotel for a few nights while you search for a place to stay. But, if you’re short on time, or if you just don’t want to waste days looking for accommodation, you can contact an agency online, or book with a reputable site such as Airbnb.

We contacted an agency and they showed us many accommodations they had available on Koh Samui. After some back and forth bargaining about the price, we ended up booking a villa through the agent. We found out afterwards that the villa is actually on Airbnb as well. As always, opt for a place with recent, positive reviews.

To find accommodation in Koh Samui, check out the listings on Airbnb (don’t forget to get your Airbnb coupon code!), have a look at Samui Renting agency (the company we went through), or Thailand Property which lists availability through numerous agencies.

You can also search on local Facebook groups for houses and villas for rent. Another option is to simply rent a motorbike when you arrive on the island and drive around. You’ll see numerous signs “For Let” or “House For Rent” and you can speak with the owner and see the property.

The only issue might be that you’ll have to pay cash. With online booking sites, you can pay with PayPal or your credit card, which gives you some sort of insurance and recourse if the owner happens to be a shady character.

You’ll notice that there aren’t a lot of apartments in Koh Samui in the traditional sense – high rises, big apartment blocks – but rather, small houses, villas or..

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Kyrgyzstan still remains one of the few, truly off track and intrepid travel destinations on Earth, and what sets it apart from some other unexplored places is that it’s actually quite well set up for tourism.

Guest houses and yurt stays are set up throughout the country, the entry visa is a breeze and there is a great network of local transportation to get you from place to place. On top of that, Kyrgyzstan is a nation blessed with endothermic lakes, towering mountains, fish filled rivers and some of the most hospitable people in the region.

One of the main reasons that many people visit Kyrgyzstan is for the countless trekking and adventure opportunities on offer here. From easy day hikes to multi-day excursions on foot, on bike and on horseback, Kyrgyzstan is an adventure traveller’s paradise.

We’ve travelled to Kyrgyzstan two times, and we even helped plot a new trekking route for the country’s tourism board in 2017. In this post, I’m going to list the 5 best treks in the country. If you’re an avid trekker, or just a person who loves to get out and see the outdoors, then this post is for you.

We were recently contacted by World Expeditions to help share some of their adventure tours around the region. Because we first visited as part of a longer, backpacking trip, and then later as part of a press trip with the Kyrgyz Tourism Board, we haven’t had the opportunity to take a multi-day tour in Kyrgyzstan. Having researched sustainable tour operators now, we’re happy to include World Expeditions in this post as we would definitely look into some of these experiences with them on our next trip to the region.

This article was made possible by World Expeditions. They’ve introduced us to many of their trips that we didn’t know about while in Central Asia. As always, all thoughts and opinions remain our own.

What To Pack

It’s important when you’re planning a trekking trip that you have the essential items in your pack. The optional items below are for the trekker who is taking things a little bit more seriously, but they aren’t necessarily needed for any of the treks I’m going to list.

Essentials:
  • Water bottle
  • Water Filter
  • Sturdy Hiking boots
  • Warm Clothing
  • Layers of Clothing
Optional:
  • GPS
  • A Local Map (Maps.me has some great downloadable offline maps for Kyrgyzstan)
  • A Kyrgyz phrase book
  • Trekking Poles
  • Sleeping bags (these can also be rented at most trekking locations)
  • Tent (also can be rented)

When planning a trekking journey through Kyrgyzstan, it’s important to consider how you plan to travel, where you will stay, how you will get from place to place and whether or not you want to join a tour.

Joining a Tour

There are many tour operators throughout Kyrgyzstan that offer day treks, and multi-day treks both on horse and by foot. World Expeditions has long been a leader in exceptional trekking excursions around the world and they have some excellent tours on offer in Kyrgyzstan, including many of the treks listed in this post and more. If you’re looking to join a tour in Kyrgyzstan, you can check them out at WorldExpeditions.com/Kyrgyzstan.

Working with the Kyrgyzstan Tourism Board to develop new trekking routes in the country

They have more than just trekking opportunities in the country. Many of their other tours include bicycle trips through the country and a multi-country Silk Road tour that looks amazing. The cycling trip includes numerous heli-cycling adventures, while the Silk Road tour takes travellers along one of the most iconic trading routes in human history all the way from China to Kashgar. These trips are well-rated, well-organized and will make for an unforgettable adventure.

If you have some time to yourself before or after a tour, or if you’re travelling the region independently, USAID has set up numerous tourism offices in many of the biggest trekking villages in the country, so always ask around for the “Destination Tourism Office” to get valuable information about your proposed independent treks (ie: Destination Karakol Office, Destination Jyrgalan Office etc.).

There are also companies like CBT and Shepard’s Life that have great community based tourism projects that give back to the locals in many places around the country.

Us at the top of the 3,800m pass at Ala-Kul Lake Kyrgyzstan By Bike

This is something we’ve yet to experience in any of the Central Asian countries, but after travelling through Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan overland and seeing countless cyclists, we would definitely like to try it one day.

The main reason we didn’t do any cycling was that it’s a bit difficult to organize while in the country. Most cyclists had brought all of their own gear as finding adequate rentals and repairs for bikes on the Silk Road is not easy.

If you do decide that you want to cycle through the region, World Expeditions has an epic 13 day trip through Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan on mountain bike. If you don’t want to travel with your own bike, they do have rentals available and they also carry basic repair tools and spares in case of an emergency.

What sets this experience apart is that you get two days of adrenaline pumping heli-biking around the Karkara Base Camp. A truly once in a lifetime experience for cyclephiles and those who enjoy an adventure.

We were fortunate enough to enjoy a helicopter ride over the Pamir mountains during our trip to Central Asia, but we had to roll the dice in order to get on the chopper (they only go once every few days and you can’t guarantee tickets) and we didn’t get to finish off our experience in the helicopter with an epic downhill mountain bike ride.

When we go back to the region, this is definitely an experience that will be on our adventure to-do list.

But the heli-biking adventures aren’t the only reason to cycle across Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. You’ll pass through rural villages, alongside charging herds of semi-wild horses and roaring rivers, through deep canyons, over breathtaking passes and through flower-clad summer pastures.

By traversing this dramatic landscape by bike, you’ll have the opportunity to get up close in personal with the nomadic culture and the natural beauty that is starting to put Central Asia on the adventure traveler’s bucket list.

Ala-Kul Trek

This is still one of our favourite treks to date. Starting from a trailhead just a short drive outside of Karakol, this trek climbs over a 5,416 meter high pass, along a stunning alpine lake known as Ala-Kul, and down a spectacular valley before arriving in Altyn-Arashan, a tiny high-altitude village with a few guest houses, camps and best of all… hot springs to soothe your aching muscles after a long, 2-day trek.

World Expeditions also includes Ala-kul in their Kyrgyzstan and the Tian Shan Mountains tour. You’ll arrive here after a visit to Son-Kul. On this tour, you actually get a considerably more trek than we did because you begin by hiking over the breathtaking Telety Pass before descending into the Karakol Gorge. Then on day 9 of the tour you hike over the Karakol Peak and down into Ala-kul lake before visiting the hot springs in Altyn-Arashan.

Extending this trek the extra days and having the opportunity to see the lesser hiked Karakol Peak and over the Telety Pass makes this an intrepid and exciting option for outdoor lovers.

It is possible to do the trek without a guide, but we did get lost during our time on the trail, so it’s much easier if you have a local guide or are with a group.

However you do the trek, you should be reasonably fit as there’s a considerable amount of steep uphill climb at the end of the first day, and the beginning of the second.

Check out our guide to trekking to Ala-Kul and Altyn Arashan.

Son-Kul Lake

Another one of our favourite experiences in Kyrgyzstan, we actually ended up doing the Son-Kul trek on horseback, which we highly recommend. The treks can easily be booked through World Expeditions as well.

If you choose to take their 15 day Kyrgyzstan and the Tian Shan Mountains tour, you’ll take in Son-Kul lake on day 4 of the tour and you’ll even get to see a yurt being built (something our independently booked tour didn’t include).

Once at the lake you can take hikes around the beautiful water’s edge and through the emerald-green summer pastures while gazing up at the spectacular Tian Shan mountains all around you.

You can also trek to the lake by horseback or on foot. The trek takes a total of 3 days with one night spent before the 3,700 meter high pass, and another spent at the lake. From the lake you can either continue to ride your horse back to Kochkor, or you can hire a taxi back to town (as we did).

If you’re interested in this trek, check out our experience horse trekking to Song-Kul Lake.

The Keskenkija Loop Trek

This is the trek that we helped plot in 2017 and it remains one of the most intrepid and exhilarating things we’ve ever done in travel. We went into the unknown and unchartered mountains of Kyrgyzstan with a few local guides to try to find a way around the towering peaks near Jyrgalan.

After 5 days, we made our way back to the starting point, successfully plotting one of Kyrgyzstan’s newest and most breathtaking treks today, the Keskenkija Loop.

Starting from Jyrgalan, the trek takes you through stunning meadows (jailoos), past local family yurt camps, over 5 mountain passes, along glistening rivers and finally back to the charming village of Jyrgalan, where you can relax, unwind and enjoy local food and tea at one of the many yurt stays.

It is recommended that you go with a guide for this trek, particularly one with a horse because one of the rivers during the trek can be impassable for much of the year. To book a horse guide at the local price, visit the Destination Jyrgalan Office or contact them on their website.

Arslanbob

There are so many great day hikes and treks around Arslanbob, that I actually recommend you just go there, talk to CBT and start booking trips. You can do the 4-day trek up to The Holy Lakes, or you can choose from numerous day trips like the hike to the Walnut Groves, or to the nearby waterfalls. Arslanbob itself is probably the most charming village in all of Kyrgyzstan and it’s well worth a visit.

The people here are friendly, there are some great restaurants and CBT has set up dozens of different tours including fishing, hiking, meeting families, cooking classes and more. I recommend spending at least 5 days in Arslanbob and more if you plan to do any multi-day treks.

Kyrgyzstan Awaits…

You’ll be hard pressed to find a more naturally blessed nation than Kyrgyzstan and if you’re a trekker, you should get here before the secret gets out.

Whether you want to experience local culture during off-track hikes like the Keskenkija loop, or you want to rest your legs and explore high-altitude lakes on horseback during the Son-Kul trek, you can do it in Kyrgyzstan. I’ve only listed a few of the trekking opportunities available in this post, but there are dozens more to choose from.

There’s something for everyone in Kyrgyzstan and it still remains as our favourite place to visit in the region. For more about travelling in this incredible country, check out our Ultimate Guide To Kyrgyzstan Travel and our Kyrgyzstan videos.

Bonus: Peak Lenin

This is a truly epic and intrepid journey up to the 7,134 meter high peak of this impressive mountain that straddles the Tajikistan – Kyrgyzstan border. This is the second tallest mountain in the Pamir mountain range, which says a lot because the Pamirs boast many goliath mountains. You’ll need to spend some time at altitude, acclimatizing to the conditions so that your body will be able to make the ascent to the top.

To join expeditions to Peak Lenin, you’ll need to have your body in a very high level of fitness, you should have some basic mountaineering skills and some previous experience at high altitude. Because there are so many acclimatization days to reach the peak, many excursions will last over 25 days, many of which are spent on the mountain itself. You’ll need to push your body to reach the peak, but with proper guiding, it can be done.

If you choose to join a Word Expeditions tour to Peak Lenin, you’ll have the advantage of being guided by Soren Kruse Ledet, a true veteran at trekking this part of the world. He is a high altitude mountain guide from Sydney, Australia and for the past 23 years he has led and participated in more than 50 mountaineering expeditions and treks in Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and Tibet.

In 2011 Soren even managed to reach 27,500 ft during an unassisted ascent of Everest. If you want an experienced guide, you can’t ask for much better than Soren.

Be sure to check ahead of time if Soren is leading this trek as it isn’t a guarantee every year but if you get the chance, do it! It would be a once in a lifetime experience.

This article was made possible by World Expeditions. They’ve introduced us to many of their trips that we didn’t know about while in Central Asia. As always, all thoughts and opinions remain our own.

The post 5 Epic Treks and Adventures You Won’t Want To Miss in Kyrgyzstan appeared first on Goats On The Road.

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Some budget travellers avoid Europe because they don’t believe there are any cheap European countries to visit, but that’s simply not true.

While the continent is home to some budget-busting destinations like France, Ireland and Norway, there are also some culture-filled, cheap European countries that can be visited on $50 / day or less. Even in the western part of Europe.

In this article I’m going to break down our favourite cheap European countries of 2018 and show you how you can travel on as little as $50 / day in some of the continent’s most fascinating places.

If you’re looking to visit more than just Europe, check out our list of the cheapest places to travel in 2018 and if you’re an expat or digital nomad like us, check out our list of the cheapest places to live.

How To Travel Europe For Cheap

Before I get into the cheap places to visit in Europe in 2018, I should point out that it’s not always easy to travel on $50 / day or less, particularly in the last couple of countries on this list. But if you take into consideration a few money-saving tricks, you can easily save a lot of money off your daily budget, and bring it down to around $50 / day.

Save on Accommodation:

In almost all cases, you’ll find cheaper accommodation in Europe on Airbnb, particularly if you book well in advance. Even in more expensive cities like Rome and Barcelona, it’s possible to find apartments for $15 – $20 / night if you book early enough.

You can save even more by staying in a private room in an apartment, rather than having the entire place to yourself. Because some apartments are so cheap, you can use our special $25 Airbnb coupon code and actually pay for up to two nights for free… on us!

Want to find free accommodation in Europe? Consider finding house sitting jobs or couchsurfing.

Save on Food:

By renting your own apartment instead of staying a hotel room, you’ll also get your own kitchen. This means that you can cook for yourself and save on meals. When we travel in Europe, we often cook 1 or 2 meals per day in our apartment, but we still make sure to go out and try the local cuisine at least once per day.

Another option is to look for food festivals that often have free samples available, or in the case of Italy, aperitivo which includes free food when you purchase a drink.

Save on Activities:

Europe is great for free walking tours in many of the major cities. To find these, simply run a Google search: “Free Walking Tours in [city]” and you’ll find one to reserve.

I’ve also listed a lot of other free activities for each of the cheap European countries listed in this post. For some activities like island cruises and multi-day treks, you can save money by booking last-minute. If there’s already a group formed or a sail scheduled, talk to the tour operators about last-minute discounts.

Transportation:

In almost all cases, you’ll save money by booking trains, ferries, buses and flights in advance. If you’re travelling to multiple cheap countries in Europe, you may want to look into a Eurail pass. If you plan to fly a lot, try to fly carry-on in order to save money on baggage.

Here are 10 cheap European countries to visit in 2018 1. Greece
  • Budget apartment: $20 / day
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $7
  • Domestic Flight: $100+
  • Half-day tour: $20+
  • Free activities: Hiking, chilling on the beach, wine tastings, visit Monastiraki Flea Market, hike Lycabettus Hill, Museum of Popular Instruments and many more.

Ahh Greece. The word itself conjures up images of dazzling pebbled beaches, tantalizing sunsets and clusters of white buildings cascading into the Mediterranean Sea.

While most people have fantasized about a holiday in Greece, very few realize that it’s truly one the best cheap European countries to visit. It’s quite easy to spend $50 / day or less, particularly in the off-season or the shoulder season, when the price of flights and accommodation can be discounted by as much as 50%.

We have visited Greece on multiple occasions and every time we are amazed by the value of this island blessed European nation, and the hospitality of the locals.

We’ve stayed in beautiful, modern studio apartments for less than $20 per night and dined on fantastic authentic Greek cuisine for $7 – $12 at a nice restaurant with a view. If you’re looking for a stunning destination in Europe that won’t break the bank, I think Greece rightfully tops this list.

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2. Spain
  • Budget hotel or hostel: $30+ / day
  • Budget apartment: $30+
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $7
  • Domestic Flight: $30+
  • Half-day tour: $20+
  • Free Activities: Hiking, chilling on the beach, free museums on holidays, visit Museo de Reina Sofia in Madrid anytime, walk La Rambla in Barcelona, come for festivals

Despite its close proximity to the UK and its popularity as a vacation spot for many of Western Europe’s most affluent nations, Spain still remains one of the best cheap countries in Europe and offers incredible value for money.

Not only is Spain affordable, it’s one of the most geographically diverse countries on the continent, with snow-capped peaks and breathtaking Mediterranean beaches.

While your money won’t go as far in the larger cities like Madrid and Barcelona, it is still possible to live on very little in Spain, particularly if you stay in a nice Airbnb and cook a few meals for yourself every day.

Food in the grocery stores is an incredible value and you can purchase decent bottles of wine for around 2 euros. There are countless pueblos blancos (White Villages) around the country where you can park your car or take a bus to the entrance and stroll around in a vehicle free, time warp environment.

Tapas in Spain, particularly in smaller villages, are of great value and you can usually fill up on under $7 including a glass of wine (if you’re not near the beach). One of the best values in Spain is the great network of cheap domestic and international flights (to other countries in Europe).

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3. Bulgaria
  • Budget hotel or hostel: $20+ / day
  • Budget apartment: $15+
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $4
  • Half-day tour: $15+
  • Free Activities: Hiking, some wine tastings, museums, free walking tours, walking old towns

Bulgaria was one of our biggest surprises on all of our travels to the continent. Without a doubt this is one of the cheapest countries in Europe, if not the best value overall. We couldn’t believe how affordable and lovely Bulgaria was. We stayed in gorgeous hostels that were inside centuries-old buildings. We enjoyed free walking tours and the meals were of incredible value.

The Bulgarian people are some of the friendliest in Europe and the nation is blessed with fascinating old towns, ornate churches, delicious cuisine and world-class wine. There are also numerous festivals to be enjoyed, particularly during the summer months, and some very pristine nature. But the value for money is really hard to beat.

I’ll never forget one evening we were out with our friend and the three of us ate and drank wine from 5pm to midnight and when the bill came at the end of the night it was so low that we told the waiter that there must have been a mistake.

There was no mistake. We had ate, drank and danced with the staff for about 7 hours and spent around $35 total. As a bonus, in Bulgaria travellers always receive some of the best service you could ask for.

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4. Poland
  • Budget hotel or hostel: $20+ / night
  • Budget apartment: $15+
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $5
  • Half-day tour: $10+
  • Free Activities: Get lost in old towns, walk the Royal Road in Krakow, lounge in city parks, visit churches, Spend a Sunday morning at Bazar Olimpia in Warsaw

While we haven’t yet been to Poland, we’ve done ample research and definitely plan to visit it during our next trip to Europe. The truth is, I’d be doing you, the reader, a disservice, by leaving this fantastic budget destination off the list, because Poland is definitely one of the cheapest countries in Europe. But the unbelievable value for money isn’t the only reason Poland is high on our bucket list of travel destinations.

With postcard perfect cities like Kraków and Gdańsk, a rich history, pristine nature, a hearty and delicious cuisine and some of the most notoriously friendly people in the region, Poland has been calling us for many years.

If you look at Airbnb, you’ll see that Poland has some of the best value apartments anywhere in the world. Even in the capital of Warsaw, there are almost too-good-to-be-true modern apartments in the city center for $15 / night! There are also countless hostels and budget hotels with nice rooms for around $20 and meals at local restaurants come in at around $5 and there are some street options for much less.

Kraków has recently become a bit of a digital nomad hot spot thanks to its affordability, unique vibe and decent wi-fi. I could definitely see us posting up here for a couple of months on our next trip to Europe, with perhaps some trips to other cities in the country.

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5. Albania
  • Budget hotel or hostel: $15+ / night
  • Budget apartment: $10+
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $4+
  • Half-day tour: $25+
  • Free Activities: get lost in old towns, hike to viewpoints, hike the famous Theth to Valbona trail, walk to beaches, visit churches, find old war bunkers, dodge goats

Albania is a rugged, off-track destination in Europe. Surprisingly, while it’s definitely the least-visited of the destinations on this list, it’s not actually the cheapest country in Europe. There are some better values to be had on this list, but none offer the adventure and intrepid feel that Albania does.

If you want to visit one of the cheapest countries in Europe while not seeing another traveller for days on end, then Albania is your place.

With beautiful beaches, dramatic mountain landscapes and forgotten villages, Albania is a place that feels lost in time. This is one destination in Europe where you’ll definitely find goats on the road!

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6. Georgia
  • Budget hotel or hostel: $15+ / night
  • Budget apartment: $10+
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $6+
  • Half-day tour: $25+
  • Free Activities: get lost in old towns, Dry Bridge Market, hike the countryside, visit the Writer’s House in Tbilisi, visit churches, relax in parks, river walks, free walking tours, free wine tastings

Still one of the most underrated places to visit on the continent and without a doubt one of the best cheap European countries to visit, Georgia surprised us at every turn. From the easy entry visa to the wonderful wine and the modern-meets-ancient city of Tiblisi, this is one place that is all to often overlooked by travellers.

With entire apartments on Airbnb starting at a staggering $10 / night, and delicious, hearty meals at nice restaurants starting at around $6, Georgia over delivers for the price on pretty much every aspect of travel. Plus they give most nationalities a 1 year visa on arrival, making it the perfect place for expats and digital nomads.

Outside of the city of Tbilisi, you’ll find stunning mountains, small villages and cheaper prices.

Coming from Turkey, we expected Georgia to be a lot more expensive, but we were blown away by how affordable it was and how much we loved the capital city. We’ve considered living in Tbilisi many times since our first visit in 2011, but we just haven’t made it back. One day we’ll definitely return to explore more of this fascinating and cheap country in Europe.

Read More About Georgia Travel:

7. Republic Of Macedonia
  • Budget hotel or hostel: $15+ / night
  • Budget apartment: $10+
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $5+
  • Half-day tour: $25+
  • Free Activities: get lost in old towns, hike to viewpoints, visit markets, visit churches, relax in parks, free walking tours, free museums

While the Republic of Macedonia is one of the cheapest countries in Europe, it’s also one of the least visited. We spent a few weeks driving around the country and while I do recommend a rental car, it would likely bring your budget up over $50 / day because it costs around $25 / day for a car. But if you choose to take local transport around Macedonia (or walk, or hire a bicycle), you could definitely do it on well under $50 / day.

Budget hostels and apartments here are of wonderful value and if you come during the winter, you can hit the slopes for less than pretty much anywhere else in Europe. Meals here will rarely cost you more than $5 (although I did once have a perfectly cooked rib eye steak for $10) and there are plenty of free activities to be had.

Lake Ohrid offers countless hikes into the mountains and up onto stunning viewpoints over the lake. This region still remains as one of the most visually stunning places we’ve ever seen, and we both travelled here for under $50 / day if you don’t include the cost of the car rental.

Read More About Macedonia Travel:

8. Montenegro
  • Budget hotel or hostel: $25+ / night
  • Budget apartment: $15+
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $6+
  • Half-day tour: $25+
  • Free Activities: Explore the Bay of Kotor, visit Milocher Park, watch the action at Porto Montenegro, visit Tara Bridge, Hike to monasteries

The bay of Kotor remains as one of the most dramatic and visually stunning places we’ve ever seen in our travels, while Montenegro as a whole still offers relatively good value for money. This isn’t the cheapest country in Europe, but we’re getting down the end of the list I would be crazy not to include Montenegro as one of the best places to visit in Europe on a budget!

If you want to do Montenegro cheaply, you’ll have to come here in the shoulder or off-season. But if you do, you’ll be rewarded with not only breathtaking views of this topographically blessed nation, but also great discounts on accommodation and tours.

We visited Montenegro in early spring and we while we weren’t watching our budget, we lived on around $65 / day. For one person, it would be quite easy to get by on $50 / day during off-peak periods.

Read More About Montenegro Travel:

9. Croatia
  • Budget hotel or hostel: $40+ / night
  • Budget apartment: $25+
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $8+
  • Half-day tour: $35+
  • Free Activities: Lounge on the beach, walk around Dubrovnik, Explore the old town of Split, hike hills for views of castles

From the spectacular Game of Thrones movie set village of Dubrovnik, to the laid back islands of Hvar and Korkula, Croatia dazzles visitors with a mix of well-restored historical cities, raw nature and beautiful beaches.

We lived in Split, Croatia for a few weeks in 2016 and loved it. We had a nice apartment near the old town for around $35 / night and we found some wonderful local restaurants where meals started at around $8.

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