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Last Updated on March 13, 2018

10 Affordable (And Truly Beautiful) Cities in Europe That You Can Go Right Now

10 Affordable (And Truly Beautiful) Cities in Europe That You Can Go Right Now

Scrolling down your Instagram and you see your friends swimming at the beautiful beaches in Spain, visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris or sipping their cup of coffee at a cafe in Italy while you are still sitting at home dreaming about going to Europe, but think you can’t?

Think again, because the euro just hits a 20-month low, making it a perfect time for your Europe dream.[1]

As an avid and frequent traveler, I’ve always loved Europe.

European know how to enjoy life and there’re a lot of amazing places to explore in Europe. From the beautiful harbors in Southern France, to the incredible architecture in Spain, the amazing castles in Germany and the stunning alps in Switzerland and more; there’s just so much you can see there. And not to mention the food there, just try to think about how persistent Italian are when it comes to the quality of food including the pasta, pizza and even just a cup of coffee.

Having studied in Madrid for half a year, I’d like to suggest you some of the most affordable cities to visit in Europe. You really don’t need to spend a lot to have a memorable trip in Europe, here we go:

1. Seville, Spain

    ▲ Plaza de España

    Seville is the birthplace of Flamenco and a day in this passionate city with a double-sized bed will cost you $30 on Airbnb.

    Instead of paying to watch Flamenco dancing in the US or your hometown, watch it for free at bars like the famous El Palacio Andaluz or La Carbonería at the birthplace of this hot and passionate dance. If you make it in time in April, you could also go to the festival ‘Feria de Abril’ in Seville to see the passion and hospitality of Spaniards.

    Visit the Plaza de España, Metropol Parasol and Palace of San Telmo to enjoy the not-to-be-missed architecture in this cultural hub of southern Spain. Save your Sunday morning before 2:30pm to visit the Seville Cathedral because it is free!

    Do not forget to try out all different kinds of tapas there! (And usually if you order a beer at the bar, you’ll get tapas for free!)

    2. Porto, Portugal

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      ▲ The port in Porto

      Accommodations in Porto are affordable as most of them are priced locally. A decent double bedroom costs you less than $20.

      Traveling in this second largest city in Portugal and a world heritage listed by the UNESCO in 1996, you will be able to explore the historical sides of the Europe by visiting the Porto Cathedrals, the beautifully painted São Bento Railway Station which inaugurated in 191 and the Ponte de Dom Luis I bridge that allow you to get the best views over Porto.

      The awesome part is, they are all free. If you are up for some wine in this world’s top wine destination, pay $3USD to try their the local port wine.

      3. Berlin, Germany

        ▲ Berlin Cathedral

        While you might not believe, but it’s actually not expensive to travel in the capital of Germany.

        A comfy two-person bedroom costs less than $25 on Airbnb and a dinner out in beer halls or average restaurants would be around $8-16.

        Being one of the most multicultural cities, not only will you be able to experience the energetic vibes of the Berliners’, but also get to try out different kinds of food, be it kebab or currywurst can go as cheap as less than $3. If you are on a budget but still wanna drink, go to those beer halls or bars only in happy hours.

        Berlin has many world-class museums which offer student discount for entry, so make sure you bring your student cards when visiting the museums like the Checkpoint Charlie Museum. The Berlin Wall is also a must-go spot — an important symbol of the German unification.

        4. Tallinn, Estonia

          ▲ Tallinn Immagini Credit: visitestonia

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          Tallinn is able to offer everything in a much lower price than you find in Western Europe. A double-sized bed costs $20 per day on Airbnb, double if near the old-town center and a budget dinner would cost around $7-14.

          The Sõõrikukohvik Donut Cafe is the place to be for a budgeted meal with salads, pancakes, Estonian-styled donuts etc.

          Instead of going to towers or hotels to enjoy the views of Tallinn, you can simply go up to the Toompea Hill and enjoy the beauty of Tallinn for free.

          Remember to visit the world heritage – the Old Town of Tallinn, join a free tour there to get the most out of it.

          5. Prague, Czech Republic

            ▲ Charles Bridge Credit: Prague.eu

            One should not be unfamiliar with the word – Prague when doing budgeted travel. Although the Czech currency has been rising over the years, you could still find cheap, decent and cozy double-bed bedroom for less than $20 per night on airbnb. And it would cost around $6-10 to dine out in Prague.

            Make sure you go to see the huge Prague Castle which offer some free parts to enter, a short visit would cost you for only $10.

            Also visit The Prague National Gallery which holds the country’s most treasured art pieces after 4pm because it would be cheaper. You might also want to try drinking inside a nuclear fallout center in Bunkr Parukarka.[2]

            6. Krakow, Poland

              ▲ Main Market Square  Credit: inyourpocket

              Krakow has a lower costs of living than those in Western Europe. Just like Prague, Krakow is listed as the one of the best-valued destination in Europe in 2017.

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              Visit the known historical monument and world heritage – the Old Town where you can see the historical european monuments and churches showing you the classic Europe.

              There are also free walking tours available daily leaving from the main square and one should visit the Auschwitz Concentration Camps for one to understand the painful memories of war for the Pole and the entrance fee is free.

              7. Brussels, Belgium

                ▲ Grand Place  Credit: LonelyPlanet

                You could get cozy accommodation for two in Brussels for $20 on Airbnb, and a dinner at an average restaurant would cost you from $9 to $17.

                Do visit the oldest Musées Royaux Art et Histoire to see the most important art pieces in the world. The Grand Place and Palais de Justice are what you should see too if you’re fond on the European architecture. There are also free walking tours available on sites like New Europe Tours.

                Do try the locally-made Belgium chocolate at Leonidas too!

                8. Granada, Spain

                  ▲ Alhambra Palace

                  It would cost you $9-16 to dine out in Granada and you could easily find room for two to stay overnight for less than $20.

                  You must not miss the historical Alhambra Palace, a palace and fortress complex with Arabic architectural style. The tickets get sold out easily, so it’s better for you to book your tickets in advance, or you’ll have to queue for the tickets at the door very early in the morning.

                  Remember to visit the Cathedral of Granada as it is the second largest cathedral in Spain and the Royal Chapel to see the historical sides of Spain. They are all under $5.

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                  Go dine at some local restaurants and bars that give you free tapas upon a beer order to save some money!

                  9. Split, Croatia

                    Credit: VisitSplit

                    Splits in Croatia is known for its blue coastlines and beaches. The accommodations here are in good value, a room with sea views for two costs you less than $30 per day.

                    Visit the Campanile Bell Tower to walk up to the tower and enjoy the views of Split. Also visit the gallaries there like the Meštrović Gallery and Gallery of Fine Arts for less than $5.

                    Dinner is ranged from $7-14, at a rather cheap price comparing with dining in the other parts of Europe. Make sure you get seafood from the local restaurants.

                    10. Naples, Italy

                      In one of the oldest continuos inhabited cities in the world, Naples has plenty of historical museums and architectures that are worth visiting.

                      Although you cannot get hotels or hostels as cheap as those in Eastern Europe, it is relatively cheap compared with the northern sides of Italy with less tan $20 for a day in a hostel and less than $40 for a three-started hotel with convenient transportations nearby.

                      Visit the National Museum of Capodimonte which opened in 1957 for some of the finest Italian paintings .

                      Food and drinks here are just like the accommodation, reasonable and cheaper than in the cities in the south of Italy.

                      Now you are ready to go, time to pack your bag, buy your tickets and explore Europe!

                      Reference

                      More by this author

                      Anna Chui

                      Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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                      1 8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life 2 7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone 3 Haircare 101: Hairstyling Tricks for Both Men and Women 4 How to Conquer Your Fear of Change and Transform Your Life 5 A New Year’s Resolution Worksheet That Will Make Your Resolutions Stick

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                      Last Updated on January 15, 2019

                      8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                      8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                      In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                      Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                      Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                      Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                      Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                      The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                      There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                      How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                      According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                      Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                      Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                      The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                      Listen carefully:

                      We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                      The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                      Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                      8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                      There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                      Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                      1. Pray Daily

                      You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                      When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                      Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                      Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                      2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                      A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                      By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                      Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                      If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                      This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                      How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                      3. Smile Often

                      Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                      Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                      Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                      The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                      4. Organize Your Working Desk

                      A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                      When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                      Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                      Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                      5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                      I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                      Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                      What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                      6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                      God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                      I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                      I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                      7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                      You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                      How do you do that? This is my formula:

                      First, go to my website (find my website here in my profile) and take the smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                      If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                      If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                      If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                      Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                      8. Go Exercise

                      Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                      The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                      You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                      12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                      The Bottom Line

                      It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                      It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                      Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                      More Resources About Mindfulness

                      Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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