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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

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                      How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

                      How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

                      Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                      Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality.

                      I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                      You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                      Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                      When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                      I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                      Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                      Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                      Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                      1. The Inner Critic

                      This is your constant abuser. He is often a conglomeration of:

                      • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                      • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                      • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                      • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                      He is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                      Why else would he abuse you? And since “he” is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                      2. The Worrier

                      This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                      He is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it.

                      Occasionally, he is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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                      3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                      He is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

                      He can be set off by words or feelings. He can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                      He has no real motivation; he has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                      4. The Sleep Depriver

                      This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                      His motivation can be:

                      • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                      • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                      • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                      • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                      How can you control these squatters?

                      How to Master Your Mind

                      You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                      Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                      There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                      • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                      • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                      This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                      The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                      Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                      For the Inner Critic

                      When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                      You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                      For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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                      You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

                      “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                      If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                      • He riles up the Worrier.
                      • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                      • He is often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                      • He is a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                      • He is the destroyer of self-esteem. He convinces you that you’re not worthy. He’s a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get him out!

                      Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                      Replace him with your new best friend who supports, encourages, and enhances your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                      For the Worrier

                      Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                      Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                      You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                      • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                      • Muscles tense

                      Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                      If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                      Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                      “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                      Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                      If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                      Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

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                      Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

                      For example:

                      If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                      “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                      Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                      “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                      Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                      For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                      Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                      The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                      • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                      • Muscles tension

                      I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                      Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                      Breathe in through your nose:

                      • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                      • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                      • Focus on your belly rising.

                      Breathe out through your nose:

                      • Feel your lungs emptying.
                      • Focus on your belly falling.
                      • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                      Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                      Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

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                      One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

                      Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                      For the Sleep Depriver

                      (He’s made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                      I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                      Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                      1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                      2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                      When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                      From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                      For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                      If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                      You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                      • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                      • Shut down your thinking.
                      • Calm your feelings.
                      • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                      Becoming the Master of Your Mind

                      Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                      You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                      Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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