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6 Beautiful European Cities That You Should Visit

6 Beautiful European Cities That You Should Visit

Traveling can be a welcome break from the stress and boredom associated with falling into a rut in our everyday lives. We are always on the lookout for beautiful images to browse through and fantasize, but nothing beats actually making the leap and visiting some of the wonderful cities of the old continent. There is much you can learn from the experience, and these cities, rich with history and culture, have lots to offer in terms of education, personal growth, great food and fun activities.

1. Bruges, Belgium

Bruges

    While many people fall in love with the unique aesthetic of Venice, with its canals and gondolas, it is overrun by tourists and, frankly speaking, overrated. If you want a rustic, old-town experience, with cobbled streets, canals and lovely old architecture, then head on down to Belgium and visit Bruges. The entire city center is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    You’ll find Michelangelo’s Madonna with Child statue and a number of museums and breathtaking churches and cathedrals. Walking down the streets of Bruges really takes you back through history, to a slower and more relaxed time. It is a city where you can ‘stop to smell the roses’, and it’s a shame that it is often overlooked when talking about lovely European cities.

    2. Edinburgh, Scotland

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    Edinburgh

      Apart from being a city with a strong Old World feel to it, what with its big castles and charming landscape, there are still some quite interesting tidbits that a lot of people don’t know about Edinburgh, like the fact that Arthur’s Seat Hill is actually an inactive volcano. Besides the world-famous Edinburgh Castle, which was never successfully taken by force throughout its existence, there are five other castles in the surrounding area, as well as a myriad of churches and cathedrals.

      The Edinburgh Dungeon, the Royal Botanic Garden and the Mining Museum are particularly interesting sites worth visiting. You can even watch the ultimate strength challenge that are the Highland Games, and you can take part in different sports, from golf to sailing and kayaking.

      3. Florence, Italy

      Florence skyline at sunset, Italy. Campanile di San Marco

        One of the most beautiful cities in the world, full of culturally significant sites, sculptures, art, and some exceptional architecture. It was the place in which the Renaissance bloomed and spread out like wildfire. Where does one even start when describing this majestic city? Perhaps the fact that the entire city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in the 80s can help me paint the picture.

        Florence has been around since 80 BC and the various historical styles and influences are quite apparent, although the Renaissance style is the most widespread, with works of arts from such legendary names as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Botticelli.

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        The lovely Ponte Veccio (Old Bridge) is a must see, and The Duomo will leave you staring in amazement. This being Italy, you can also enjoy some great coffee, fine wine and tasty meals while you spend your days exploring the city.

        4. Prague, Czech Republic

        Prague

          An old and proud city, Prague boasts very lovely centuries-old architecture, but it combines it well with more contemporary and quite unique architectural and artistic feats, like the Dancing House or the Franz Kafka Monument. Of course, you can’t talk about Prague without mentioning the Astronomical Clock and Karl’s Bridge, which continue to impress thousands of tourists daily.

          The Prague Castle is particularly impressive, as it is the largest ancient castle in the world, dating back to 870 AD, and encompasses several cathedrals, palaces and gardens, spanning across nearly 70,000 square meters.

          The Old Town is worth visiting and revisiting throughout your stay in Prague, and if you get tired from the sightseeing you can enjoy interesting Czech cuisine and a wide variety of good beers.

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          5. Barcelona, Spain

          Barcelona

            The capital of Catalonia, Barcelona boasts an impressive number of UNESC World Heritage Sites – around 17 in total – with several lovely sandy beaches and some otherworldly architecture that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. If you only had one chance to visit Europe and wanted to see something spectacular, I would wholeheartedly advise a trip to Barcelona and a stroll through the Gothic Quarter, spending a good deal of time admiring the Sagrada Familia, and another leisurely stroll in Park Güell.

            Barcelona is one of the most visited cities in the world, and even though there can be a lot of tourists milling around, it doesn’t get too crowded. And there is just too much to see, from the aforementioned cultural sites, to the huge football stadium and Formula 1 race track, and of course the lovely beaches.

            6. Lisbon, Portugal

            Lisbon

              Another underrated European city that more people should visit, Lisbon is the capital of Portugal, and one of the earliest settlements on this location predating Celtic times, probably back to around 1200 BC. Since the city was at times under the rule of different people from Africa and the Middle East, there is a unique mix of Christian, Jewish and Muslim influences on the city’s architecture and culture.

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              The amazing Jeronimos Monastery and the Belem Tower are notable examples of the Manueline style that developed in Portugal during the 16th century. The climate is pleasant, with warm summers, and the city has some beautiful riverside gardens.

              It is a great place for finding out more about the Portuguese culture and history, and to have a great time doing it.

              It is important to do some traveling in your life to get a new perspective on different cultures, broaden your worldview, learn more about the world and yourself and mature as a person. If or when you get the chance to go to Europe, I highly recommend visiting some, if not all, of the cities mentioned in this list.

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              Ivan Dimitrijevic

              Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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              Last Updated on August 12, 2019

              12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

              12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

              Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

              But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

              I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

              Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

              1. Nuts

              The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

              Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

              Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

              Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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              2. Blueberries

              Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

              When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

              3. Tomatoes

              Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

              4. Broccoli

              While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

              Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

              Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

              5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

              Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

              The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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              Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

              6. Soy

              Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

              Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

              Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

              7. Dark Chocolate

              When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

              Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

              8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

              Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

              B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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              Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

              Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

              To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

              9. Foods Rich in Zinc

              Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

              Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

              Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

              10. Gingko Biloba

              This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

              It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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              However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

              11. Green and Black Tea

              Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

              Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

              Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

              12. Sage and Rosemary

              Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

              Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

              When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

              More About Boosting Brain Power

              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

              Reference

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