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Cheapest Cities in the Middle East

What are the cheapest Cities to travel to in the Middle East?

There are lots of amazing cities to visit in the Middle East however, which cities are cheaper than others? In this blog we look at the most affordable places to visit and if they are worth travelling to.

Cairo, Egypt

Cairo is the capital and largest city in Egypt. It's located on the banks of the Nile River, in the northern part of the country. Cairo is famous for its ancient monuments, including the Giza Pyramids and the Great Sphinx. This city in the Middle East is a great getaway if you're travelling on a budget.


People often ask, is it expensive to visit Egypt? There are several budget-friendly ways to get around, depending on where you’re heading. Train, bus and taxi are the most popular ways to get around and they are all affordable and reliable. Egyptian Railways offer comfortable trains on routes between Cairo, Alexandria, Port Said, Luxor, Aswan, and Suez. Most major routes have good bus services with comfortable, air-conditioned vehicles. You can buy tickets at bus stations in most towns. Services frequently run throughout the day, and there are even some overnight buses too. You will find serviced taxis a good, cost-effective travel option in Egypt transport. Traditional taxis are also available, at a higher price. You can also get around the city on a boat or hire a car however, these options may be more expensive.

Flights to Cairo:

You have choices when it comes to reaching Cairo. Here is a selection of 4 airports you can fly to when travelling to Cairo. The main airport is Cairo International Airport. Prices can start fairly low, especially if you can be flexible about your departure date. Flight times are 5 to 6 hours. January and November are the cheapest to fly, but prices are generally lower between October and April.

Food and drink:

So, is Egypt expensive for food? Fortunately, not! The exchange rate with Egypt makes food and drink very cheap by UK and US standards. Cafes and street stalls offer simpler, more affordable meals than restaurants, particularly those targeted at tourists. In tourist resorts alcohol is readily available at hotels and bars. It is not expensive by British standards, due to the exchange rate, but pricey compared with soft drinks.


If you are heading to Cairo and Luxor, you can’t miss the Pyramids or Valley of the Kings. The Nile River and Mohamed Ali's Palace are also very popular tourist attractions. Cairo has lots of museums for those wanting to learn more about their history such as The Egyptian Museum and The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization.

Best time to visit: April and May are great months for visiting Cairo. The winter crowds are less and the weather is gorgeous with average temperatures between 25°C and 32°C (77–90°F), hotter than it is from October to December but not as hot as it is in the summer.

Cairo, Capital of Egypt

Amman, Jordan

Amman is the capital of Jordan and has a population of more than four million. This city of white stone sits on a steep hill and combines modern neighbourhoods with ancient souks. It is a city of contrasts, with sophisticated terrace cafes, gleaming malls, and narrow, winding alleys. It's also not too far from one of the 7 wonders of the world in Petra.


When travelling around Amman the most popular ways are public transport, taxi or car hire. Amman has a good, safe bus network, with a single fare costing JOD0.35 and the yellow taxis are plentiful, cheap, and reliable. Driving in Amman can be a little frantic, with lots of car horns sounding and a lack of lane markings. Car rental is available from Budget and Sixt.

Flights to Amman:

When searching for flights to Amman there are 3 main airports to consider. Located approximately 35 kilometres south of Amman, Queen Alia International Airport is the main international airport serving the city. It is well-connected to various destinations worldwide and offers a wide range of facilities and services for passengers. Located in Aqaba, Jordan, King Hussein International Airport is approximately 330 kilometres south of Amman. It is a regional airport that serves as a gateway to the Red Sea and the popular tourist destinations of Petra and Wadi Rum. If you plan to visit these attractions before heading to Amman, you can consider flying into King Hussein International Airport and then taking a connecting flight or driving to Amman. Situated in Tel Aviv, Israel, Ben Gurion Airport is around 90 kilometres west of Amman. While it is not within driving distance, it is a major international airport in the region and offers numerous flights to and from various destinations. From Ben Gurion Airport, you can take a connecting flight or travel by land to reach Amman.

Food and drink:

In Amman and Petra, you will find a wide variety of prices, depending on the place and the restaurant standard. In a local restaurant downtown, a meal will not cost you more than 10 Dinars, whereas in big hotels, prices might go up to 20-30 Dinars and even more depending on the dishes and drinks you order. Hashem in the downtown area is favoured by the royal family and offers falafel, fuul, and humus dishes from JOD1.50. The Levant in Jabal Amman serves gourmet Arabic dishes from JOD10.


There are lots you can do on a budget whilst visiting Amman. The first place we suggest going to is The Amman Citadel. This historical site offers a glimpse into the ancient civilisations that once inhabited the city. The Citadel is home to the Temple of Hercules, Umayyad Palace, and a stunning archaeological museum. Its hilltop location also provides breathtaking panoramic views of Amman. Another must-see attraction is The Roman Theatre as it's a testament to the Roman influence in Jordan. This ancient theatre is a marvel of architectural design with a seating capacity of 6,000. It's perfect for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts. Another tourist destination that is popular and affordable is The King Abdullah I Mosque. This iconic blue-domed mosque is a symbol of Amman's rich Islamic heritage. Visitors can explore the mosque's beautiful interior, learn about Islamic culture, and enjoy the serene atmosphere.

Best time to visit:

Generally, the best time to visit Jordan is during spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November). The weather is more temperate, so you can explore iconic sites like Petra or the Wadi Rum without getting scorched by the sun.

Amman, Capital of Jordan

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Jeddah is the second largest city in Saudi Arabia, after the capital Riyadh. Similar to numerous other major cities worldwide, Jeddah features safe tourist and business neighbourhoods. Visitors who opt for the primary tourism spots in Jeddah can confidently enjoy a safe and pleasant holiday experience in Saudi Arabia.


You can use public buses and taxis to get around in the city as a more affordable option to car hire. Jeddah has seven bus lines that cover most of the city. You can also use taxis to get around in Jeddah and taxis are the most used means of transportation by tourists in the city. Make sure to pre-book your transport from the airport to your accommodation as it's cheaper. King Abdulaziz International Airport is located 23 kilometres away from the airport. You can get to the city centre by taxi and car.

Flights to Jeddah:

King Abdulaziz International Airport (also known as Jeddah International Airport) is an international airport that serves the city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. You can fly directly to Jeddah from many cities within Europe, Asia and Africa, as well as select cities in the United States. If you'd like to book direct flights to Jeddah but can't find any from your departure airport, you can still reach Jeddah with connecting flights that have a layover at any of the airports listed below. Search for non-stop flights to Jeddah from anywhere in the world with Alternative Airlines. Compare prices and book flights with hundreds of airlines.

Food and drink:

Jeddah is a coastal city and its recipes traditionally differ from conventional Arabian cuisine as the city is famous for its seafood. When looking for a restaurant that's more budget-friendly here are some places we recommend: Seafood: Al Nakheel Blue Ocean, Italian: Piatto, Japanese: Sakura and Turkish: Khayal Restaurant.


Jeddah has always been an important city throughout its history thanks to its proximity to sacred cities as well as being a significant trade city. Jeddah Corniche is the must-go place in the city. In Jeddah Corniche, you can enjoy the city's spectacular Red Sea sceneries as well as many sculptures, fountains, and recreational areas. Another one of the top sites for tourists in Jeddah is King Fahad's Fountain which is recognised in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's tallest jet. The highlight of this site is its evening fountain show, a must-see experience included in the list of nighttime activities in Saudi Arabia.

Best time to visit:

Jeddah has a desert climate with almost no chance of rain throughout the year. The hottest month is August and the coolest month is January. The best time to visit Jeddah is during winter or early spring since the weather is more pleasant and welcoming. In addition to that, visiting Jeddah in September will present you with plenty of beautiful scenery because of Saudi Arabia’s national day.

Jeddah, City in Saudi Arabia

Beirut, Lebanon

Beirut is Lebanon's capital and largest city, situated on a peninsula jutting out into the Mediterranean Sea. Beirut is currently one of the most affordable cities in the region, with an average cost of around $2.26 per day for budget travellers. Take your first step towards Beirut and book your flights today with Alternative Airlines. Booking flights to Beirut at Alternative Airlines is straightforward. With access to routes from over 600 airlines, you're sure to find the perfect flight to Beirut for you, no matter when you plan to fly or where you wish to depart from.


Make sure to book your taxi from the airport to the place you are staying beforehand as it will be much cheaper and there is no public transport from the airport to the centre of Beirut. Regarding getting around the city Uber is available and so are ordinary taxis. Hiring a car in Beirut costs £23 per day, on average, or £114 if you want to hire it for 5 days. You’re likely to save money by hiring your car at the airport: locations in the city are, on average, 7% more expensive than in Beirut.

Flights to Beirut:

You have choices when it comes to reaching Beirut. Here is a selection of airports you can fly to when travelling to Beirut. Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport is the main international airport in Beirut and is located approximately 9 kilometres south of the city centre. It offers a wide range of international flights and is well-connected to major cities around the world. Larnaca International Airport, situated in Larnaca, Cyprus, is around 200 kilometres west of Beirut. Although it is not within a reasonable driving distance, there are direct flights available between Larnaca and Beirut, making it an option for travellers. Amman Queen Alia International Airport Located in Amman, Jordan, this airport is approximately 350 kilometres northeast of Beirut. While it is not within driving distance, there are frequent flights between Amman and Beirut, making it a convenient option. To make your flights more affordable, Alternative Airlines offers Buy Now, Pay Later options.

Food and drink:

If you’re looking for affordable options, Feluka Seafood Restaurant & Wine Bar (Sporting Club Beach General De Gaulle Avenue) and Rossini Osteria e Caffe (Phoenicia Hotel) are great affordable options. Core foods of the Lebanese include lamb, chicken, fish, yoghurt, cheese, chickpeas, nuts, eggplant, cucumbers, and tomatoes.


When travelling to Beirut uncover ancient treasures by exploring the stunning archaeological sites of Beirut, where history comes alive at every corner. Savour the unique flavours of Lebanese cuisine, from mouthwatering mezze to delectable desserts, in the foodie paradise of Beirut. Discover the history, diverse culture, and lively nightlife in Lebanon's captivating capital. These experiences don't have to cost much money- it could be from walking around the city to visiting a local market.

Best time to visit:

Looking for warm weather? Then head to Beirut in July, when the average temperature is 26 °C, and the highest can go up to 28 °C. The coldest month, on the other hand, is January, when it can get as cold as 10 °C, with an average temperature of 12 °C. You’re likely to see more rain in January when precipitation is around 180 mm. In contrast, June is usually the driest month of the year in Beirut, with an average rainfall of 0 mm.

Beirut, Capital of Lebanon

Fly Now, Pay Later options

Looking to buy flights but pay later? Prefer to pay for your flight tickets weekly, bi-weekly or monthly? Alternative Airlines can help. Rather than paying for your flights upfront, you can use Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) solutions to help you split the cost of your flights into more manageable instalments.

With Alternative Airlines, you can book flights now on over 650 airlines such as United, British Airways and American Airlines and pay later with different payment plan options available. Check out with either Affirm, KlarnaZip, Afterpay, Clearpay, Postpay, Tamara, Tabby, or one of our other options, and pay for your flights later.

You'll get greater flexibility when planning the budget for your trip! You won't need to pay any interest, however, this will depend on the specific terms set by the lending provider.

Enjoy hassle-free travel today when you book your flights to the Middle East and pay later at Alternative Airlines.

How to Buy Flights and Pay Later?

1. Firstly, fill in the search form with the dates, number of people travelling and destination you would like to visit. Then click the "Search Flights" button and select the flights that are most suitable for you.

2. Next, select the Fly Now and Pay Later options that are available- different payment plan providers will be depending on the country of residence and the currency you're paying in.

3. Then pick your plan, choose the payment plan that works for you and see if you are eligible. You'll then have to follow the instructions, put in a few details and a soft credit check will be performed- all done in a matter of seconds!

4. Once your application has been accepted, your flight booking will be confirmed and you will receive your e-ticket by email

Buy Now Pay Later logos

Ready to travel to the Middle East?

When looking for the perfect destination in the Middle East we understand that you want to make your trip affordable and enjoyable. Alternative Airlines makes it quick and easy to find flights and the right payment option to make sure your trip is within your budget. Whether you're planning on seeing the historical wonders of Cairo or walking through the vibrant streets of Beirut we are here to give you the freedom to fly. Our payment options are so flexible that those last-minute flights are always within reach.

Start your flight search to the Middle East here with Alternative Airlines!

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