I was in Malaysia between the 19th of January and the 1st of February 2023. The currency in Malaysia is the Ringgit and prices are very cheap. For a backpacker’s budget for Malaysia, you need between 15 and 35 euro per day.
There are hostels pretty much everywhere in Malaysia. Hostels go for between 4 and 10 euro per night, depending on the size of the room and if there’s AC inside. Hotels are cheap too, especially if you secure promotions on Booking.com – between 7 and 13 euro for a double room.
The total accommodation cost for 14 days was 99 euro making the average 7.07 euro per night.
Food and Drinks
Food in Malaysia is quite cheap. Owing to the cultural diversity of Malaysia, there are plenty of food options – Malay, Chinese, Indian, and Western food.
Eating in a warung makan (the open-air restaurants on the streets) costs between 1.3 to 3 euro. A portion of the national meal – Nasi Lemak – should cost around 1.6 euro. The famous Curry Laksa goes for ~1.7 euros.
Food is more expensive in Kuala Lumpur and the tourist areas in Penang, Melaka, and Cameron Highlands.
For fruit addicts, Malaysia is a paradise. Virtually any tropical fruit is sold on the streets in both fresh and smoothie form. A large mango smoothie costs about 1 euro, whereas a kilogram of dragon fruit is around 1.2 euros.
When in Malaysia you must try the King of Fruits – Durian. The Musang King variety costs around 5 euro/kg.
In total, I spent 107 euro making the average 7.64 euro per day.
Transport is very easy in Malaysia. Booking online is simple through Easybook.com and prices for the many daily buses are low. For example, Johor Bahru to Kuala Lumpur costs around 6 euros, and Kuala Lumpur to Cameron Highlands is around 8 euros.
Let me note here, that I have been to Malaysia before and didn’t go to many of the must-see places like Melaka, Penang, or Borneo Malaysia. This definitely brings my transport costs down.
Check out this article for a more in-depth Malaysia Backpacking Guide.
In total, I paid 37 euro for transport. The average daily cost came out to 2.64 euro.
Culture and Activities
There aren’t many paid museums in Malaysia and on this trip, I visited very few with entrance fees.
Many of the places of interest like the Batu Caves, many Chinese Temples, and of course hiking in the mountains around Cameron Highlands are free.
Total cost for culture and entertainment: 2.4 euro. The average cost per day came to 0.17 euro.
Other costs like laundry (~1 euro per kg), and toiletries (small shampoo = 1.2 euro, shaving razors =0.5 euro each) total 8.6 euro or 0.61 euro per day.
A Backpacker’s Budget for Malaysia
In total, I spent 254 euro for 14 days, which makes the average 18.14 euro per day.