While Charleston may be known for its exquisite and expensive colorful houses, I am able to stay within my tight budget for a regal weekend adventure. The classic historic city is a vacation favorite with horse-drawn carriages, cobblestone walkways, and one of the oldest operating local markets in America.
Entering the States again after spending several months abroad I realized quickly that my wallet is tight. Plane tickets are pricy, and I spent most of my paycheck on the journey back. Traveling is the most expensive hobby I have ever encountered, but that never stopped me. I knew that I wanted to do more traveling but I could only spend a certain amount. Here is how I got away with seeing all of Charleston for under $50.
Finding A Cheap Hostel
Staying in a hostel (a commonly used term in Europe for hotels or a bed and breakfast) instead of a hotel is a quick way to save money on housing. Depending on where you stay in the world, hotels cost over $100 per night. The hostel I found only cost $28 per night. The hostel looks like a charming house from the outside. On the inside, there are rooms with bunk beds. I shared a room with my friend and two other girls. While I was in Europe I stayed in hostels every trip I went to. I didn’t realize there are hostels all over America too.
Check out the hostel I stayed at here Not So Hostel.
My favorite thing about cities is walking around and exploring, which is always completely free.
& Munchies For The Road
The food in Charleston is delicious, but as someone who is on a tight budget, I can’t afford a $10 meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Instead, I eat breakfast at the hostel and pack sandwiches for lunch. Not all hostels include breakfast, but this one did. Or at least it included oatmeal and coffee. That is enough for me.
For the two days I am in Charleston I only bought one meal at the Brown Dog Deli. (Brown Dog Deli) This restaurant is a vegan’s heaven. There are tons of vegan and non-vegan options. Check out their full menu online.
My favorite thing about cities is walking around and exploring, sightseeing is always a good way to spend time in a country because it is free and you get to mingle with the locals. These are some of the ways I spent two days in the charming city of Charleston.
CHEAP/FREE THINGS TO DO
Don’t think just because it is free it is not worth doing. My favorite thing about cities is walking around and exploring, which is always completely free.
Free Samples In The Market
The Charleston Historic Marketplace has been around since the 1780s and stands as one of the oldest running markets in America. Walking through it is like walking back in time to the late 1700s. The best part about the market is free samples. I love stopping by the eateries and asking for a quick taste.
Photoshoots By The Pineapple Fountain
The iconic Pineapple Fountain is a must when visiting Charleston. As a symbol of the southern hospitality, the pineapple represents the culture of the historic city of Charleston.
Relaxing On The Swings
The swings overlooking the waterway are relaxing, romantic, and peaceful. Couples snuggle up on the swings and listen to the sounds of the water.
As a port city, there is typically a lot of movement along waterways which is entertaining to watch. On a good day, you may catch a cruise ship docking up in the Charleston port. When I went I simply watched the birds and a few boats whiz by.
Soaking In The History At The Battery
Battery Park is a quaint park that history buffs will go bonkers over. Old cannons from the Civil War and statues remembering the history of it all make this park both gorgeous and historically significant. This historic landmark is certainly one visitors love to visit while in Charleston. Don’t be surprised if you see a couple taking engagement photos near the gazebo.
Check Out “The Beauty & The Beast” Like Public Library
This treasure is truly an accidental find. My friend and I are on our way to the market when she suddenly really has to go to the bathroom. Naturally, we see the public library and hope for a public bathroom. There is no bathroom but we found a lovely library worth stopping into.
Enjoying The Colorful Houses On Rainbow Row
These colorful old houses remind me of some of the European residential areas I visited while studying abroad. Ranging from dark green to hot pink these homes are quite unique. It is clear that these homeowners take pride in their home.
Sipping On Coffee, Coffee, Coffee
Coffee is something I always budget for. Any other caffeine addicts out there?
This adorably eclectic coffee shop will make you caffeinated and ready to start the morning. Not to mention they serve vegan muffins and are located only steps away from the marketplace.
Experiencing Charleston on a budget is not as challenging as I originally expected. As a classic historical and romantic city in the United States, I highly recommended spending a weekend here.
Hope you enjoy an excursion to the historic city of Charleston, SC even if you are on a budget.