You can have a five-star vacation on a backpacker’s budget—if you know where to go. Finance site Money.co.uk analyzed the average costs of luxury travel factors (five-star hotels, Michelin star meals, luxury car hire, and spa hotels) to determine the most affordable luxury travel destinations.
In some of the countries on this list, a five-star hotel costs less than $50 per night, leaving you even more money for that inexpensive Michelin-starred meal.
Bangkok may be a long flight, but you can make your stay an extended one (even on a small budget) in this affordable city. Thailand’s capital is the jumping-off point for trips to its famously beautiful islands and beaches but is also a destination in its own right. Alternate between street-food eats and Michelin meals for a true high/low vacation.
Five-Star Hotel: Dream Bangkok, $48 per night
Brussels is a surprisingly cheap destination in the midst of traditionally expensive Europe. For even more deals visit in the spring when Belgium’s famous tulips are in bloom, the weather is mild, and the crowds are thin.
Five-Star Hotel: Le Châtelain, $155 per night
Known for being the home to Shakespeare’s most famous couple (Romeo and Juliet), Verona is a city of romance. Set on the banks of the beautiful Adige River, Verona offers plenty of outdoor activities that are completely free, so you can spend your budget on pizza, gelato, and other classic Italian delicacies.
Five-Star Hotel: Hotel Gabbia D’Oro, $239 per night
Japan is only slowly beginning to reopen to foreign tourists, so save Osaka on your budget trip bucket list for a later date. When you do go, you’ll find significantly fewer tourist crowds in Japan’s third-largest city than in Tokyo—plus a lively (and budget-friendly food scene).
Five-Star Hotel: Rihga Royal Hotel, $53 per night
Berlin is one of the most famously affordable cities in Europe, attracting artists who contribute to Berlin’s thriving cultural scene. Here, you’ll find history along with the remnants of the Berlin Wall, luxurious nightclubs, and countless cuisines to try.
Five-Star Hotel: Hotel Bristol Berlin, $127 per night
Frankfurt has more of a business-like reputation than Berlin, but this city is more than just a finance hub. A large student population keeps Frankfurt affordable and ensures you’ll find plenty to do here—from a street art walking tour to a historic jaunt around the medieval old town.
Five-Star Hotel: INNSiDE by Melia Frankfurt Eurotheum, $195
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Surrounded by lush forests, mountains, and golden beaches, it’s clear why Rio De Janeiro is nicknamed the Cidade Maravilhosa (the marvelous city). You can spend an entire day on Copacabana Beach without spending a penny—and then return to five-star luxury at night which makes for one extremely affordable vacation.
Five-Star Hotel: Windsor Marapendi, $102 per night
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