Imagine a winter fairy tale – what do you see?

Some snow-capped peaks, lush pine forests, winding roads, quaint villages – and a crisp mountain air tingling with magic and adventure.

Something along those lines, right?

Well, we have all that and more in this charming little hill station called Manali.

And today, we bring to you a quick yet comprehensive Manali Budget Travel guide to travel in and around this marvelous city filled with enchanting vistas, adventure shenanigans and affordable accommodations.

Let’s go!

Getting there

Manali is a type of place which seems to call upon you – like when its the perfect time to visit – you get a sense of calling – like a notification inside your head – whispering “Manali“.

And when that calling comes, you make sure you head to this marvelously well-connected town in the Himalayas.

Manali Budget Travel
Manali Budget Travel

Manali is superbly connected with major cities in the Northern side of India – from Chandigarh to Delhi.

The most common route or transport people tend to choose to visit Manali is mostly by a cab (which they can find from Chandigarh), by bus (which can be taken from Delhi or Chandigarh or any other nearby locale) and lastly by their own private vehicle.

Here is a cost comparison between the routes (from Delhi):

Way of TravelCost Associated (Single Journey) (Approx. in INR)
BusRs.2,500/- (private bus), Rs.800+ (HRTC)
Private VehiclePetrol + Food + Misc + Toll = Approx. Rs.4000/-
Manali Budget Travel

The best way to reach Manali from anywhere in North India would be to get to New Delhi first (via train, flight, bus, taxi) and then take a bus from Delhi to Manali.

Best Time to Visit

For the most wonderful winter experience, plan your visit to this snow-world between December and February – wherein both these months could give you the mesmerizing snow-experience which people crave for.

Manali Budget Travel
Manali Budget Travel

Rohtang Pass, a very popular spot for tourists and travelers alike closes due to heavy snowfall in January, mostly. So December could be the best month to travel if you want to experience the best of Manali in winters.

On the other hand, to beat the Indian summers, people love to visit Manali between the months of March and June. Herein, the city has mild weather, lots of greenery and scenic landscapes.

Accommodation Options

Manali is one of those touristy destinations in the world – where people/travelers of all types are wholeheartedly welcomed.

pt for budget hotels such as Hotel Mountain Top or Hotel Rajhans. These are clean, centrally located, and offer good value for money (starting from ₹1,000 per night).

Manali Budget Travel
Manali Budget Travel

Budget Accommodation in Manali:

If you want to travel with your buddies or on a budget solo venture, here are the best accommodation types to look for:

  • Backpacker Hostels
    • Starting from as low as ₹700 per night, you can find some of the most amazing and affordable dormitory-style accommodations in the city.
    • Best bet: Zostel, Old Manali (₹800/-), YOLO Backpackers OG (₹900/-)
  • Guesthouses
    • Old Manali has like the most amazing, budget-friendly accommodations, starting from ₹800 per night. You get basic yet comfy room choices.
    • Best bet: Doghari Homes (₹1,700/-), The Heaven’s Corner (₹1,300/-)
  • Budget Hotels

Okay, but where to stay: Old or New Manali?

Manali Budget Travel
Manali Budget Travel

Well, choosing between staying in Old or New Manali largely depends on the kind of experience you are seeking. Both areas have their own story, a unique charm and an appeal catering to different preferences.

Here is a table listing down unique aspects of both:

Old ManaliNew Manali
– Bohemian-style ambiance, laid-back atmosphere & a vibrant hippie culture.
– More developed, commercialized, wide roads & bustling markets.
– Wide range of budget hostels, hotels, guesthouses & apartments.
– Luxury resorts, mid-range hotels & budget friendly guesthouses.
– Quirky cafes, rooftop restaurants, live music, vibrant bars, bonfires & more.
– Variety of restaurants, cafes, international cuisine, local eateries & shops.
Nature Proximity:
– Haven for nature lovers: scenic trails, nature walks, hidden waterfalls.
– Proximity to Solang Valley, Rohtang Pass & Hadimba Temple.
Manali Budget Travel

If you want a peaceful, relaxing and viby kind of trip with friends, Old Manali can be the best bet for you as it offers some of the most outstanding nightlife experiences, quirky/instagrammable cafes, late night bonfires and more.

If you prioritize convenience and connectivity to the popular spots across the city and look for modern amenities more – New Manali is the best for you.

TravelSole Suggests: If you plan to go visit Manali for more than 3-4 days, we suggest you experience the best of both worlds i.e. divide your stay in both the areas, because, WHY NOT!

Unmissable Experiences in Manali

Manali is a treasure trove of experiences from exploring quaint locales of Old Manali to enjoying the snowy wonderland at Solang Valley, the city has so much to offer.

Here are a few unmissable experiences to take in Manali:

  • Experience Paragliding from Solang Valley.
  • Visit the infamous Hadimba Temple.
  • Snowy Fun at Rohtang Pass.
  • Stare at the endless night sky at Riverside Camping.
  • Experience River Rafting over the Beas river.
  • Look for the best souvenirs at Mall Road.
  • Explore Old Manali: Cafes, Quaint Locales, Bars, Live Music & more.
  • Hike to Beas Kund.
  • Enjoy Ropeway Ride at Solang Valley.
Manali Budget Travel
Manali Budget Travel

Here are the costs for various sightseeing + vehicle rentals in Manali:

  • Solang Valley Entry – FREE
  • Rohtang Pass – NEEDS PERMIT ₹550/- (a local cab would have it, confirm when booking)
  • Hadimba Temple – Rs.20 – Rs.50 per person
  • Cab for Sightseeing (3 days with hotel pickup/drop) – Approx. ₹3,000/- to ₹5,000/- depending on your bargaining skills and time of traveling.
  • Bike Rental – ₹800/- per day, approximately.
  • Scooty Rental – ₹600/- per day, approximately.

Some of the best restaurants/food spots in and around Manali:

  • Basil Leaf Restaurant, Anantmaya Resort, Manali
  • Dylans Toasted And Roasted Coffee House, Old Manali
  • The Chopsticks, Mall Road
  • Cafe 1986, Mall Road

Total Budget for Manali Trip (3 Nights 4 Days)

The total amount you need for a marvelous, yet budget-friendly trip for 3N4D in Manali would cost you around:

Manali Budget Travel
Manali Budget Travel

*The total budget is mentioned taking into account the most budgeted choices from the given elements. It could be less or more depending on the way of travel, chosen activities and more. This is an estimate.

Frequent Travelers’ Quick Tips for Traveling in Manali:

Here you can find the most spoken-for tips for traveling in Manali. These come straight from the travel community in India –

Manali Budget Travel
Manali Budget Travel
  • WALK, WALK, WALK – Manali is one of the most walkable cities in India and to actually feel the magic of the place, you should also take some time off from exploring the popular sights and just walk around New and Old Manali when possible.
  • RENT A BIKE/SCOOTY – Like, Goa – Manali is also a beautiful city with many amazing destinations and sights on a distance best covered with a bike or scooter.
  • Paraglide from Kullu instead of Solang Valley, it is much cheaper.
  • Hire a taxi for sightseeing for a day or two.
  • If you can, try an easy hike – it will be worth it.
  • Bus is the best transportation option to get to the city.
  • Visit Kasol’s hot springs and Manikaran Sahib Gurudwara.
  • Experience a stay in Zostel, if you are on a solo venture or with friends.


Manali invites you to embark on a budget-friendly escapade amidst breathtaking landscapes and unforgettable memories.

With this quick-guide handy, gather your buddies, pack your bags and just set off to discover the magic of Mana-li.

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