Lonely Planet Writer

Travelling on a budget? This Asian city has the most affordable accommodation prices in the world

Looking for a cheap place to stay on your next trip? Better head to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the most affordable city for accommodation, according to research compiled in a new study.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia skyline.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is the place to be for cheap accommodation. Image by ©SeanPavonePhoto/Getty Images

Online campsite booking platform Campsy compared the price of accommodation in more than 200 cities and regions around the world, including one-star to five-star hotels, hostels, campsites and home shares like Airbnb and Homeaway.

The survey found that the Malaysian capital is the cheapest overall, with a hostel costing around €7.37, a home rental about €57 and a five-star hotel reaching €258. Across all forms of accommodation, the top five cheapest cities are Kuala Lumpur, followed by: Skopje, Macedonia; Tirana, Albania; Antalya, Turkey; and Sofia, Bulgaria. A hostel in Skopje averages €8.50 and about €8.00 in Tirana. All five of the cheapest cities are similar in price for a five-star hotel, with average costs ranging between €248 in Antalya and €287.00 in Sofia. If you’re more likely to book on a peer-to-peer rental site like Airbnb, the cheapest spot are again Skopje, at €32.00, and Tirana at €33.00.

Houses known as Painted Ladies, San Francisco.
Home of Airbnb, San Francisco, is also one of the most expensive cities for peer-to-peer rentals. Image by ©Michael De Battista/500px

If you’re happy to live a life of luxury in some of the most expensive accommodation, the top five most expensive cities are: Monte Carlo, Monaco; St. Tropez, France; Reykjavik, Iceland; San Francisco, USA; and New York, USA. Unsurprisingly, Monte Carlo’s infamy as a gambling destination means that five-star hotels are sure to set you back – on average about €2505. However, it’s the cheapest of the top five for a hostel, coming in at only €28.00. Reykjavik is likely to be the most expensive for budget travellers, as hostels cost about €50.56, while the home of Airbnb, San Francisco, also has the highest peer-to-peer costs at €250.00.

anoramic view of prince's palace in Monte Carlo in a summer day, Monaco
Monte Carlo, Monaco, is the most expensive place to rent a five-star hotel room. Image by Shutterstock.

The report also looks at the best regions around the world to stay – and if you’re looking for a discount, consider heading to Germany. The cheapest places are: Saxony, Germany (€17.05 for a hostel and €11.65 for camping; Bremen, Germany (€18.18 and €12.00); Saxony-Anhalt, Germany (€20.00 and €10.79); Isole dello Stagnone di Marsala, Italy (€24.67 and €29.00); and Thuringia, Germany (€17.06 and €12.80).

Old street with half-timbered buildings.
Saxony is one of the cheapest regions to stay in the world. Image by ©Roman Sigaev/Getty Images/iStockphoto

If you want to visit a national or state park in the US on a budget, opt for camping over a five-star hotel. The most expensive four places across all forms of accommodation are: Hither Hills State Park, New York (€1,480.00 for a five-star hotel versus €45.33 for camping; Yellowstone Park, Wyoming (€915.00 versus €45.10); Yosemite National Park, California (€981.00 versus €40.61); and Acadia National Park, Maine (€905.00 versus €27.64).

The report aims to encourage people to consider camping on their next vacation.“Though the bulk of travel takes place on a city-to-city basis, we are passionate about encouraging travellers to step outside urban areas and seek the unique experiences that nature has to offer,” Campsy CEO Philipp Hillenbrand said in a statement. “We hope that our research empowers readers to gain more from their holiday budget this summer, and perhaps encourage camping as their accommodation of choice.”

See the full research here.