The Best And Cheapest Destinations to Visit in September

Fruit seller in Cambodia
Fruit seller in Cambodia | ©

With peak season coming to an end now is the time to pick up a bargain. September is considered one of the best times to travel – especially in Europe – as temperatures remain high, but prices drop. Here’s our list of where to go if you’re looking to sneak one last vacation in before Christmas.


Ksamil, Albania

There’s never been a better time to visit Albania, a country that is sure to top lists and fill up Instagram feeds in the near future, so visit while it’s still a bargain. Today the average cost of a meal comes in at around $7, while a beer will set you back approximately $1. With plenty of low-cost carrier options getting there is simple or, better yet, include it in your pan-European adventure to save even more. Once there you’ll be able to experience all the natural beauty and ancient history of cities including Tirana and Berat.

La Palma, Canary Islands…

La Palma’s obscurity is every budget traveller’s gain. Don’t be fooled by the popularity of Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria – La Palma, the most north westerly Canary Island, is also considered the most beautiful. Accommodation at one of La Palma’s boutique hostels starts at around $15 a night, while a good meal from one of the local purveyors can cost as little as $6. Most of La Palma’s attractions are free, including the Parque Nacional de la Caldera de Taburiente, which includes a walk around its dormant volcano.

Mexico City, Mexico…

Palace of Fine Arts, Mexico City

The value of the peso has been falling steadily against the dollar, and this is one reason why tourism to Central America is on the rise. With the average cost of a meal as little as $5, it’s not only the monarch butterflies migrating south – Mexico has been enjoying a major tourism boom over the past few years. The number of cheap holiday resorts in destinations (including Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Puerto Vallarta) are staggering and you’re sure to find good value for your money, along with beautiful golden sandy beaches and azure lagoons to explore.

Sofia, Bulgaria…

Sofia has the feel of a major European city but at a fraction of the price. With a reputation for culture and the arts, Sofia is a Balkan capital you can expect to hear about in 2018. Here even backpackers can afford some luxury, with a three -course meal at a good restaurant costing around $12, and a tasty local beer as little as $1. Many of Sofia’s main attractions are either free or cheap, including a visit to St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral museum (entry $3–4) or the National Museum of History (entry $6–7).

Cartagena, Colombia…

While not the cheapest destination in Colombia, Cartagena is amazing value considering its reputation as one the most beautiful towns on South America’s Caribbean coastline. Explore cobblestone streets, towering cathedrals and brightly coloured walls for free while only spending around $20–30 per night on accommodation. Walk the city walls, visit the fort and take in the street art of Getsemaní district before trying the local cuisine.


Colorful rugs for sale, Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia

Tunisian tourism has suffered in the last couple of years after tragedy rocked one of its most popular resorts. Finally reopened to tourists, now is the time to visit. Tunisia is known for having some of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful beaches, not to mention delicious local cuisine. It is a hotbed of up-and-coming African artists whose work can be found across its cities, not least of all the capital Tunis.

Siem Reap, Cambodia…

Fruit seller in Cambodia

Admittedly, the $37 admission fee to visit Angkor Wat temple is pricey, but you’ll still want to visit this UNESCO heritage site. Siem Reap is home to some of the cheapest hostel beds in the world and even a 3* hotel can cost as little as $7 per night. You can pick up a good meal and local draft beer for under $5 and there’s plenty to do beside the temple to make staying two, or even three days worthwhile.

Manila, Philippines…

Once considered a necessary but unwelcome stopover (much like Bangkok), Manila is starting to become a destination in its own right. Due to unpredictable weather, autumn is the cheapest time to fly from the states (approximately $550) but the cooler temperatures won’t stop you from having an amazing time. The National Museum of the Philippines is free to visit and attractions across Manila are generally cheap – as is the food and accommodation.

Antalya, Turkey…

Harbour view at Antalya, Turkey

This Mediterranean gem is (on average) one of the cheapest places to holiday in the world. The average cost of a hotel room in Antalya is just $57 per night (including at three- and four-star hotels), while a meal for two at a mid-range restaurant costs as little as $16. The resort city is teaming with hidden beaches and sandy shores from which you’ll only want to take a break to try some of the delicious local cuisine.

Krakow, Poland…

Krakow Market Square

September is a great month to visit one of Eastern Europe’s most popular destinations. The summer crowds have dispersed and the weather is still good enough to explore the city on foot. Hotels in Krakow are cheap, as are its restaurants. Take one of the free walking tours or visit Wawel Castle ($4–5 admission fee) and the Bunker of Contemporary Art ($3–4) and there are museums aplenty to explore.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam…

View of District 1 from Bitexco Tower, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Not only is Ho Chi Minh one of the cheapest Southeast Asian destinations to reach from the US, many of its best attractions can be visited for free or under a dollar. Explore temple after temple; tall, narrow alleyways teeming with local merchants; and museums dedicated to the country’s war-torn past – all for less than a morning cup of joe. Pick up a banh mi sandwich (a true East-meets-West recipe) for 50 cents, which will keep you going most of the day.

Chania, Greece…

September is also a great time to visit Greece. The sea has had all summer to heat up and the sun isn’t as intense as previous months, allowing you to see more than just the bottom of a parasol on your holiday. Air fares and accommodation become a lot cheaper once the school terms start and as Crete’s second largest city (after Heraklion) you’re also more likely to find a bargain in Chania. This ancient town is full of archaeological attractions and amazing local cuisine.

Havana, Cuba…

Callejon de Hamel: An entire street dedicated to the arts in Havana

Cheap to visit and even cheaper once you’re there, Cuba is perhaps the ultimate destination for someone looking for an amazing experience without breaking the bank. You can pick up a meal for two at mid-range restaurant for as little as $11 and cocktails for under $4, which is perfect because the island is home to some of the best you’re ever likely to try. Colectivos are cheap taxis that help you get around.
Want more travel inspiration? Here’s 13 really underrated places in Europe you need to visit now!

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article