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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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                      Last Updated on May 22, 2019

                      10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                      10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                      There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

                      One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

                      In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

                      Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

                      1. Cat Camel Stretch

                      Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

                      Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

                      Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

                      Here’s a video to guide you through:

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                      2. Go for a Walk or a Run

                      This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

                      Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

                      The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

                      Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

                      Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

                      3. Jumping Jacks

                      Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

                      Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

                      4. Abductor Side Lifts

                      Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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                      Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

                      5. Balancing Table Pose

                      This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

                      Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

                      ablab

                        6. Leg Squats

                        Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

                        Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

                        The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

                        7. Push Ups

                        You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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                        An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

                        Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

                        This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

                        8. Bicycle Crunches

                        There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

                        Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

                        9. Lunges

                        Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

                        Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

                        This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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                        10. Bicep Curls

                        You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

                        Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

                        Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

                        Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

                        Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

                        These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

                        You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

                        Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

                        More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

                        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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