Is Manali cheap or expensive?


Is Manali cheap or expensive?

Manali is a great place to travel with friends, family, and loved ones. But you should always consider making a budget for any trip before going.

In this article, I will tell you if Manali is cheap or expensive and how you can save money by providing you with some tips.

Manali is expensive because it’s one of the most visited hill stations among others, and it road connected to many popular attractions like Kashmir, Leh, Lahaul Spiti, and Rohtang. People love to engage in adventure activities, and therefore it adds to your overall expenses.

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Now, let’s delve into the cost factors. Manali turns out to be expensive or affordable depending on your choices regarding hotels, transportation, and food.

Choosing a Hotel:

Well, there are 1167 Hotels in Manali; some can be cheap and good, while others can be expensive and poor in value. Selecting the best and most budget-friendly hotel is crucial for saving money.

Choosing Transportation:

Now, transportation is another expensive thing. Choosing the right mode of transportation is essential. You can cover your Manali trip by bus, train, or taxi.

Choosing a Food Plan:

Food in Manali is as expensive as a well-known restaurant. Even if you eat at a small stall, it can’t be cheap. So, half of your money goes into food.

Now, let’s explore how to manage and overcome these expenses during your Manali trip.

But why should you listen to me and who am I? Well, my name is Jaspreet. I worked with travel agencies and have been a hotel manager in Manali for 1.5 years at Vyas Vatika Manali. Read more about me here.

Tips to Make Your Manali Trip Cheap and Affordable.

How to Choose a Cheap Hotel:

If you plan your trip, choosing a hotel can be tough because if you search for hotels in Manali, thousands of options will pop up. How can you choose the best and how can you save money?

Well, in order to choose a hotel, you will need to make a budget plan for the hotel.

Filter your budget on the online hotel booking website and find a good hotel by looking into the amenities they offer, location (How near is it from the bus stand), and pictures of the rooms.

After you decide on a hotel, don’t make a reservation on online platforms. Instead, write down the name of the hotel and call them directly. They might offer a direct booking discount.

Tip: In, you can add a filter called travel suitability. A travel suitability score of 2 or higher is considered.

Now if you need a hand, I have listed some of the best hotels under 2k.

How to Choose a Cheap Transportation Mode:

Transportation car

Choosing a transportation mode can be tricky because it’s filled with options and offers. You need to know how much your transportation budget is and which modes are.

Now if you’re travelling with the family, Then consider choosing a private taxi over another mode. because choosing a bus for a family trip can be expensive let’s understand it.

Number of personPrivate car CostBus Cost
Family ( 5 )4500/- Rs ( Swift Dezire )1000 Per person * 5 = 5000 Rs
Solo ( 1 )4500/- Rs ( Swift Dezire )1000 Per Person * 1 = 1000 Rs
Honeymoon Couple ( 2 Person )4500/- Rs ( Swift Dezire )1000 Per Person * 2 = 2000 Rs
Average transportation cost from Delhi to Manali

Now if you’re traveling with the family, then traveling by bus is not a reliable option for you. And it would cost you more than hiring a private taxi. So, a taxi is a better option if you’re travelling with your family. But if you are solo and couples Bus mode is cheap

What if you are solo and on a honeymoon trip? Then the bus would be an affordable option for you. And for local sightseeing, you can rent a bike or scooter or even a local taxi. But hiring a taxi from your pick-up location can cost you way more.

Now the last one.

How to Choose a Cheap Food Option:


The simple answer to this question is to choose a hotel that offers breakfast and dinner in their booking plan. A good hotel has 4 options: CP, EP, MAP, and AP.

  • EP, they will give you only one room option
  • CP means a room with breakfast
  • MAPI means a room with breakfast and lunch or dinner
  • AP means a room with breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

You should choose the MAP plan because, in the evening time, you may be off the travel. Choosing MAP over only a room plan can save you tons of money.


Let me calculate it for you.

Let’s suppose the room cost is 2000₹ per day.

If you choose the Room Only plan (EP), the room will cost you 2000 a day + and a proper 2-time meal would cost you 1400₹. 700 per meal for 2 adults. which overall 3400₹ per day.

Now in the MAP plan, a Room would cost you 2500-3000₹ per day, which includes 2 times proper food by the hotel itself.

This simple trick can save 900rs in a day and make a significant difference in your overall expenses.

Let’s understand it better

Room PlanTypeExtra Total Cost
EPOnly Room Breakfast and Dinner ( 1400 )3400
MAPIRoom with Breakfast and Dinner None2500
1-day room cost table

Let’s wrap things up.

Now to make your Manali trip cheap, choose the right mode of transportation, MAP plan while choosing a hotel, and book directly from a hotel website or via call or website and ask for a direct booking discount.

So in the hotel, you can save 500-1000 Rs Per day via Direct Booking, 500-1000 Rs Cost savings by choosing the right transportation mode and 900 Rs savings in Food By choosing the MAPI Hotel Plan.

Total Saving 2000 Rs. Thank me later

And if you want your Manali trip to be expensive, choose a 5-star hotel or book a private villa. Choose a luxury travel mode and eat expensive food at a cafe.


Is food expensive in Manali?

Yes, the cost of food in Manali is expensive due to its status as a famous travel destination.

Manali trip cost for 2 person

The Manali trip cost for 2 persons is around Rs 10,000-15,000 in the offseason.

Is Manali expensive for a tourist?

As I mentioned, a trip to Manali for tourists can be expensive during the peak season. However, knowing some basics about saving money on hotels, transportation, and food can help reduce these expenses.

Is 2 days enough for Manali?

Yes,2 days are enough for Manali, you can cover most of the nearby places of Manali, including Solang Valley, local sightseeing, Beas River, and Atal Tunnel. But if you want to explore the entire charm of Manali and also want to do adventure activities, a 5-6 day trip to Manali is recommended.

Which is cheaper Shimla or Manali?

Shimla is cheaper than Manali because Shimla can be covered in 2-3 days and has minimal options for adventure activities, which cost less money.

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