Well, we all know what cheapest means, but the definition of ‘world-class’ varies person to person.
Based on my experience and definition I will rate following cities as the cheapest and the best:
- Pushkar (Northern India) : Spiritual, serene, quiet and intriguing. A world class city indeed. Flocked by tourists from all over the world. It is situated in the midst of mountains and the smell of Khoa (sweet Indian savourie ), fresh samosa and falafal are still fresh in my memory. Not to mention camels, monkeys and surrounding desert.
2. Mombasa (Kenya): Great beaches, lovely Kenyans and insane nightlife. I met many locals here who were fond of Bollywood films. The cheapest mode of transport is boda-boda (motorcycle taxi) but be careful with their speed. Stunning beaches and very laid back life-style.
3. Stonetwon (Zanzibar) : Must visit city in the East Africa. A good mix of Indian subcontinent, Arab world and Africa.
The famous singer, Freddie Mercury was born here.
In the midst of storm and beach in Zanzibar:
I am chilling with friends. We slept entire night on the top of this boat in Indian ocean – in the midst of clear sky and shining stars. And the next morning sailing, snorkeling, swimming with whales and fishing. Zanzibar is surrounded by many pristine beaches. My favourites were Nungwi, Paje and Jambiani where I went quite often. But also, there is Changu Island, Mafia Island etc…
4. Prague: Gorgeous and pretty city. Don’t forget to try Absinth (local spirit). There are many shops next to the Charles Bridge market. Czechs are friendly people and cost of living is cheaper than many European countries.
My visit to the statue of one of my favourite writers Franz Kafka.
5. St Petersburg : A beautiful city and lovely Russians. The cost of living is cheap and the architecture resembles to Amsterdam. The Hermitage Museum and Opera House should be on your list. I was lucky to be invited by an Opera performer to watch a live show. If possible stay next to the Nevsky area which is the most happening place in this city. Especially if you want to enjoy the night life.
With the Statue of Lenin (Red army hat and salute are only for fun – not a supporter of communist ideology).
6. Lisbon: Great architecture and a lot of history and culture. You will also learn about how Indian colonial period started and the stories of Vasco Da Gama. Bairro Alto is a street to explore. And please watch live Fado local music.
7. Budapest: This city is highly recommended. Unfortunately, it is an underrated city. Please visit ruin bars/pubs and luxurious bath spas. Please try Palinka (local drink). The cost of living is cheap and infrastructure of world standard.
Ruin Pubs/Bars: The dilapidated world war buildings are converted into cool pubs, bars and restaurants. I was lucky to have local friends who showed me this hidden treasure.
By: Chit Dubey – Author of a book ’21 Doors to Happiness’.