There’s no brownie point to guess which is the ‘Most Traveled Destination in India in 2021’ – Spend a minute on Instagram and every third photo you’ll stumble upon is from Ladakh! Well, this is the perfect time to tickle your adventurous soul and head off to explore the pristine cold deserts, offering breathtaking views of the majestic Himalayas being kissed by the cotton candy clouds!
For all the backpackers (and bikers) out there, who are wondering how to spend a few days exploring Ladakh on a budget, here are some of the best options for accommodation that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.
1. Zostel, Leh
If you’re planning for a workation, there surely can’t be a better place than Zostel in Leh. Located in the heart of the town, the bustling market is just about a 10-minute walk from here, and you can get a superb view of the Shanti Stupa from the terrace.
With 6-bed and 4-bed dorms along with private rooms, thus backpacker hostel is the best place to relax while you gaze at the beauty of the valley around you. Work and chill at the rooftop cafe with fellow travelers while soaking in the serenity of Leh.
Cost: 1799 INR/night for 2 (Private Room), 399 INR/night for 1 (Dorm)
Owned by a local family, this is one of the oldest guest houses in Leh. Tucked away from the hustle & bustle, in a quaint corner, this can be your ‘Home away from Home’ if you’re looking for a staycation with freshly cooked meals, uninterrupted Wi-Fi, breathtaking views, and great conversations with other travelers.
There’s a beautiful lawn where you can enjoy your food, soak in the sun during the day, or sit by the bonfire in the evenings. The hosts are extremely friendly and can assist you in planning your trips around Leh, and guide you about trekking as well as other adventures.
Cost: 1200 INR/night for 2
On the way to Thiksey Monastery, from Leh, lies the small town of Choglamsar. Here, by the banks of the Indus River, lies The Nature Residency, facing the snow-capped Himalayas. This surely is a perfect place for those who wish to unwind amidst nature, on a pocket-friendly budget.
Built with traditional Ladakhi architecture and offering 30 super cozy rooms, the hotel also has a restaurant serving authentic local cuisines. Shey Palace, Spituk Gompa, and Sindhu Ghaat can be easily accessed from this property, and Leh’s main market (10 KM approx) is about a 15 – 20 minutes drive from here.
Cost: 2500 INR/night for 2
With a sprawling lawn adjoining an organic farm, offering gorgeous views of Stok Kangri as well as other snow-clad peaks from almost every room of this property, Mahey Retreat is undoubtedly one of the best places to stay in Leh. About a 15 minutes walk from the center of Leh town, this property is close to most of the popular tourist sites, including Shanti Stupa (1.5 KM), Leh Palace (2.5 KM), Namgyal Tsemo Monastery (5.4 KM), Stok Monastery (16 KM) and Thiksey Monastery (19 KM).
Owned by a Ladakhi family, your stay at this property will definitely turn into a memorable experience – considering the views that you’ll get to witness!
Cost: 2500 INR/night for 2
5. goSTOPS Leh
With dorms and private rooms offering spectacular views, goStops Leh features a shared lounge, comfortable stays, and free WiFi throughout the property. Located within a kilometer from the Leh main bazaar, you’ll surely stumble upon some fascinating travelers while staying here.
Facilities offered at the property include board games, a book exchange library, a café, and a tour desk, other than breathtaking views of the Himalayas & Leh city. It’s about a 5 min walk from Leh Palace and around 3.4 km from Shanti Stupa, an 8-minute walk from Soma Gompa, and 1.9 km from Namgyal Tsemo Gompa.
Cost : 899 INR for 1 person/night in a dorm, 1799 INR 3 in a private room/ night
Scribbled with little joys, this place is filled with love and laughter. Yet another gorgeous hostel in the heart of Leh, Happy Drifters is a place for all those young souls bitten by the wanderlust bug! You can sit in the garden reading a book or catching up with fellow travelers, and get cozy in one of the dorm rooms that are warm enough to provide you a good night’s sleep.
This hostel is close to the Leh Airport, on the way to the main town. The staff at the hostel can also assist you in planning your trips from Leh, and bike rentals are also available. Needless to say, you have all chances of stumbling upon some like-minded travelers while staying here.
Cost: 650 INR per person/night in a dorm
Hosted by a local family, Mandarava Homestay would be a perfect place to unwind for those who’re looking forward to a workation in Leh. Located at a distance of less than 1 km from Main Bazaar, this homestay offers a shared lounge, a garden with gorgeous views of the Himalayas, and free (high speed) WiFi.
Enveloped by a lush green organic garden, this place offers you a respite from the daily city chaos in a completely serene and tranquil environment. There are 4 rooms, with private bathrooms, and the hosts will pamper you with freshly cooked local delicacies.
Cost: 1500 INR/night for 2
If you’re taking a trip to Nubra Valley from Leh, then you should surely spend a night at Hunder – the place where you get to spot the Bactrian Camels amidst the sand dunes! Offering a terrace with gorgeous views of the mountain, Galaxy Guest House is situated in Hundar, 48 km from Leh.
Hosted by a local family, there’s a huge orchard where vegetables and fruits are grown, and you can enjoy meals cooked with freshly plucked veggies! Galaxy Guest House Nubra valley presents 7 rooms that are accomplished with all essential amenities necessary for a comfortable stay.
Cost: 1900 INR/night for 2
Tucked within the lap of lush green land, with unparalleled views of the majestic Karakoram and Ladakh Range, and gently caressed by crystal clear meandering natural springs, this property offers an experience that encompasses utmost comfort and adventure for its guests.
They offer rooms as well as tents, and one can choose as per preference.
Cost: 1899 INR/night for 2
After spending a month in Ladakh, I can vouch that this piece of paradise will leave you longing for more. And when you’re there, make sure not to miss eating at these amazing cafés and restaurants in Leh – they’ll tickle your tastebuds and keep you drooling. If you have any more suggestions about places to stay in Ladakh on a budget, drop a message in the comments below 🙂