- No, stress isn’t always bad. Here’s how to harness it
- Stress often gets a bad rap. How can stress actually be a good thing?
- What exactly is stress reappraisal?
- What happened to the “reappraisal” students versus the control group?
- You looked at cortisol and testosterone levels in your two groups. What did you find?
- What are your most important findings, especially in the context of academic stressors?
- What advice do you have for parents whose kids are stressed and anxious, especially now during the pandemic?
- Read more
- Stress: Signs, Symptoms, Management & Prevention
- What happens to the body during stress?
- How is stress diagnosed?
- What are some strategies for stress relief?
- What are some ways to prevent stress?
- How long does stress last?
- When should I talk to a doctor about stress?
- Stress Kills… But Is It All Bad? EQ Insights to Reduce Stress
- Is there an upside?
- Stressing about stress
- 10 Ways to Use Stress to Your Advantage
- 1. Develop your self-awareness.
- 4. Examine and act on priorities.
- 5. Find the opportunities.
- 6. Increase your intelligence.
- 7. Welcome optimal frustration.
- 8. Develop strategy.
- 9. Involve others.
- 10. Develop a positive mindset.
- 6 Ways to Use Stress to Your Advantage
- 1. Seville, Spain
- 2. Porto, Portugal
- 3. Berlin, Germany
- 4. Tallinn, Estonia
- 5. Prague, Czech Republic
- 6. Krakow, Poland
- 7. Brussels, Belgium
- 8. Granada, Spain
- 9. Split, Croatia
- 10. Naples, Italy
No, stress isn’t always bad. Here’s how to harness it
Reframing a stress response sweaty palms or a racing heart can make a big difference to a person’s mental health, general wellbeing, and success, according to University of Rochester psychologists.
(University of Rochester illustration / Julia Joshpe)
Sweaty palms during a job interview. Racing heartbeat before the walk down the aisle. Stomach pains ahead of a final exam.
Many of us have experienced a classic stress response in new, unusual, or high-pressure circumstances.
But reevaluating how one perceives stress can make a big difference to a person’s mental health, general wellbeing, and success, according to University of Rochester psychologists.
For their latest study, which appears in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Rochester researchers trained adolescents and young adults at a community college to treat their stress response as a tool rather than an obstacle.
The team found that in addition to reducing their anxiety, that “good stress” mindset reset helped the students score higher on tests, procrastinate less, stay enrolled in classes, and respond to academic challenges in a healthier way.
To reframe their understanding of stress, the students completed a standardized reading and writing exercise that taught them that their stress responses had a function in performance contexts that applied directly to them, such as test taking.
“We use a type of ‘saying is believing’ approach whereby participants learn about the adaptive benefits of stress and they are prompted to write about how it can help them achieve,” says lead author Jeremy Jamieson, a Rochester associate professor of psychology and the principal investigator at the University’s Social Stress Lab. He researches how experiences of stress affect decisions, emotions, and performance. The study builds on his earlier research on optimizing stress responses.
Stress often gets a bad rap. How can stress actually be a good thing?
Conventional thinking suggests that stress is inherently bad and should always be avoided. This may sometimes be misguided, however, because stress is a normal and even defining feature of modern life.
For instance, a student preparing for their first job interview might perceive their racing heart and sweaty palms as signs they are nervous and about to “bomb” when, in fact, the stress response is helping deliver oxygen to the brain and releasing hormones that mobilize energy.
Throughout the lifespan, people must acquire a wide and varied array of complicated social and intellectual skills, and then apply those skills to thrive. This process is inherently stressful, but it’s also essential to being a productive member of society.
Furthermore, if people simply disengaged from the stressors they faced, it could put them at a serious disadvantage.
So, for people to thrive in modern life and overcome threats to personal and global survival, they must find a way to embrace and overcome the stressful demands.
What exactly is stress reappraisal?
People experience increases in sympathetic arousal—which can be sweaty palms or a faster heartbeat—during stressful situations. Instead of thinking of everything as “bad” stress, stress responses, including the stress arousal, can be beneficial when it comes to psychological, biological, performance, and behavioral outcomes.
Stress reappraisal is not aimed at eliminating or dampening stress.
It does not encourage relaxation, but instead focuses on changing the type of stress response: If we believe we have sufficient resources to address the demands we’re presented with—it doesn’t matter if the demands are high—if we think we can handle them, our body is going to respond with the challenge response, which means stress is seen as a challenge, rather than a threat.
Psychology professor Jeremy Jamieson researches how experiences of and responses to stress affect decisions, emotions, and performance. (University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)
What happened to the “reappraisal” students versus the control group?
In our study of community college students taking math courses, we found that the reappraisal participants exhibited lower levels of math evaluation anxiety both immediately and on a subsequent exam. They also performed better on the exam than the control group immediately after completing our reappraisal exercise.
We then assessed procrastination and goals outside the classroom. While we measured procrastination only once—so I can’t speak to the lagged effects there—the reappraisal students reported procrastinating less, which then predicted higher scores on their next exam.
We also found that the reappraisal students reported more approach goals—that is, goals focused on achieving positive outcomes, such as winning a game or passing a test, rather than on avoiding negative outcomes, such as trying not to lose a game or not to fail a test—which predict positive performance outcomes and wellbeing.
You looked at cortisol and testosterone levels in your two groups. What did you find?
Broadly speaking, cortisol is a catabolic stress hormone and elevations are observed when people are threatened. So, it’s often interpreted as a “negative stress” indicator though it is not always “bad,” whereas testosterone is an anabolic hormone that supports optimal performance.
We observed that the reappraisal manipulation led to increases in testosterone and decreases in cortisol in the students for the classroom exam situations, which is a helpful pattern for performing at one’s peak.
What are your most important findings, especially in the context of academic stressors?
Alleviating the negative effects of stress in academic settings with a population of students who do not receive as much attention in the stress regulation literature was really promising.
Community colleges can be springboards to long-term success, and providing students in these institutions with tools to help them realize their goals has the potential to increase their quality of life many years down the road.
More broadly, promoting STEM achievement and competency is a core area of emphasis for the US educational system. Our data suggest that we can do hard things and should be taking on difficult challenges rather than trying to remove the stressors.
“Normalizing experiences of stress and pushing past obstacles can help kids understand that they can do hard things.”
Many schools already incorporate forms of social psychological interventions these, such as growth mindsets and mindfulness practices.
More emphasis can be made, however, on not only alleviating stressors in students’ lives, such as eliminating exams, but also by supporting students as they struggle to achieve difficult skills and knowledge. Stress optimization tools seek to encourage positive engagement with difficult stressors to support that growth process.
What advice do you have for parents whose kids are stressed and anxious, especially now during the pandemic?
The first step is dissociating stress from distress and anxiety. Stress is simply the body’s response to any demand, good or bad. Excitement is a stress state, as is anxiety.
It’s also important for parents to understand that struggles are normal and can even be growth-promoting with proper support. Nobody innovates and thrives without moving beyond their comfort zones.
For kids to grow, learn, and succeed, they will need to engage with and take on difficult tasks. The goal should not be to help kids get an A, but rather to push the limits of their knowledge and abilities.
Taking that difficult math course and earning a middling grade can be more important for long-term success than settling for an easy course and acing it.
Normalizing experiences of stress and pushing past obstacles can help kids understand that they can do hard things. Reducing stress by removing obstacles, such as eliminating exams, making coursework easier, etc. can even hinder their progress.
The US Department of Education funded the study. Besides lead author Jamieson, the research team consisted of Rochester psychology professor Harry Reis, and Rochester graduate students and members of the Social Stress Lab: Alexandra Black, Hannah Gravelding, Jonathan Gordils, and Libbey Pelaia.
Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology, featured-post-side, Jeremy Jamieson, research finding
Category: Society & Culture
Stress: Signs, Symptoms, Management & Prevention
Stress is a normal reaction the body has when changes occur, resulting in physical, emotional and intellectual responses. Stress management training can help you deal with changes in a healthier way.
Stress is a normal human reaction that happens to everyone. In fact, the human body is designed to experience stress and react to it.
When you experience changes or challenges (stressors), your body produces physical and mental responses. That’s stress.
Stress responses help your body adjust to new situations. Stress can be positive, keeping us alert, motivated and ready to avoid danger. For example, if you have an important test coming up, a stress response might help your body work harder and stay awake longer. But stress becomes a problem when stressors continue without relief or periods of relaxation.
What happens to the body during stress?
The body’s autonomic nervous system controls your heart rate, breathing, vision changes and more. Its built-in stress response, the “fight-or-flight response,” helps the body face stressful situations.
When a person has long-term (chronic) stress, continued activation of the stress response causes wear and tear on the body. Physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms develop.
Physical symptoms of stress include:
- Aches and pains.
- Chest pain or a feeling your heart is racing.
- Exhaustion or trouble sleeping.
- Headaches, dizziness or shaking.
- High blood pressure.
- Muscle tension or jaw clenching.
- Stomach or digestive problems.
- Trouble having sex.
- Weak immune system.
Stress can lead to emotional and mental symptoms :
- Anxiety or irritability.
- Panic attacks.
Often, people with chronic stress try to manage it with unhealthy behaviors, including:
- Drinking alcohol too much or too often.
- Overeating or developing an eating disorder.
- Participating compulsively in sex, shopping or internet browsing.
- Using drugs.
How is stress diagnosed?
Stress is subjective — not measurable with tests. Only the person experiencing it can determine whether it's present and how severe it feels. A healthcare provider may use questionnaires to understand your stress and how it affects your life.
If you have chronic stress, your healthcare provider can evaluate symptoms that result from stress. For example, high blood pressure can be diagnosed and treated.
What are some strategies for stress relief?
You can’t avoid stress, but you can stop it from becoming overwhelming by practicing some daily strategies:
- Exercise when you feel symptoms of stress coming on. Even a short walk can boost your mood.
- At the end of each day, take a moment to think about what you’ve accomplished — not what you didn’t get done.
- Set goals for your day, week and month. Narrowing your view will help you feel more in control of the moment and long-term tasks.
- Consider talking to a therapist or your healthcare provider about your worries.
What are some ways to prevent stress?
Many daily strategies can help you keep stress at bay:
- Try relaxation activities, such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, breathing exercises and muscle relaxation. Programs are available online, in smartphone apps, and at many gyms and community centers.
- Take good care of your body each day. Eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep help your body handle stress much better.
- Stay positive and practice gratitude, acknowledging the good parts of your day or life.
- Accept that you can’t control everything. Find ways to let go of worry about situations you cannot change.
- Learn to say “no” to additional responsibilities when you are too busy or stressed.
- Stay connected with people who keep you calm, make you happy, provide emotional support and help you with practical things. A friend, family member or neighbor can become a good listener or share responsibilities so that stress doesn’t become overwhelming.
How long does stress last?
Stress can be a short-term issue or a long-term problem, depending on what changes in your life. Regularly using stress management techniques can help you avoid most physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms of stress.
When should I talk to a doctor about stress?
You should seek medical attention if you feel overwhelmed, if you are using drugs or alcohol to cope, or if you have thoughts about hurting yourself. Your primary care provider can help by offering advice, prescribing medicine or referring you to a therapist.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
It’s natural and normal to be stressed sometimes. But long-term stress can cause physical symptoms, emotional symptoms and unhealthy behaviors. Try relieving and managing stress using a few simple strategies. But if you feel overwhelmed, talk to your doctor.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/28/2021.
Stress Kills… But Is It All Bad? EQ Insights to Reduce Stress
Over a year into the pandemic, surveys are showing an alarming trend. The US Census Bureau found the number of people experiencing distress increased almost 4x from 11% in 2019 to 42% in 2020. A new study from the APA found stress increasing further in 2021.
Even “way back” in 2019, stress was linked to 6 of the leading cause of death. Stress causes high blood pressure, heart disease and myriad other problems. Maybe that’s why stress and emotional intelligence one of the most-visited topics on this site.
Is there an upside?
According Kelly McGonigal’s research in her book, The Upside of Stress, that bad news is only half the story about stress. Her evidence-based argument comes down to this: how you think about stress matters. “When you change your mind about stress,” McGonigal says, “you can change your body’s response to it.”
Stressing about stress
According to a massive research study at the University of Wisconsin, our attitudes about stress make it a killer.
In the study, a sample of 30,000 people reported feeling high stress AND held a negative view of stress (reported that stress impacted their health a lot). In this group, participants had a 43% increased risk of premature death.
It turns out stressing about stress is what makes stress USA’s 12th biggest killer, greater than homicide.
Stress is a physical and emotional signal. Stress means we care about something and it’s at risk. This feeling is not inherently good or bad; it’s data. It focuses our attention – in this case, on whatever we perceive to be putting something at risk – and motivates us to take action.
Our heart rate increases, breathing becomes rapid, and neurohormones adrenalin and oxytocin are released. Stress can give you the energy to get things done and give you the drive to comfort and care for people close to you. Stress can be a benefit if we know how to take advantage of it, and the first step is simple: changing our thinking about our stress response.
It’s not just stress that has a message; all emotions are data. Check out the interactive Emotions Wheel for the messages of dozens of emotions.
Stress focuses our attention and give sus energy, but then we have a choice to make about how we interpret that signal. It’s a choice, it turns out, that completely transforms the effect stress has on us.
People experience stress as either a challenge or a threat. Challenge feelings happen when you feel you have enough resources to cope with the situation. In contrast, when you feel the situation is too demanding, exceeding your resources, you experience threat. This table shows the differences between the two pathways.
- Increased cardiac efficiency
- Vasodilation (Increase peripheral blood flow)
- Emotions motivate moving toward opportunities
- Higher performance (accuracy, effectiveness, coordination)
- Decreased cardiac efficiency
- Vasoconstriction (Decrease peripheral blood flow)
- Emotions that motivate moving away from dangers
- Lower performance (impaired decision making, cognitive decline, increased cardiovascular disease)
A stress challenge energizes you; makes you more efficient, productive. A stress threat slowly kills you; inhibiting you in all sorts of ways. The difference, often, is simply how we think about what we’re facing.
“We’ve known for a long time when we change our thinking we can change our feelings,” says Josh Freedman, CEO of Six Seconds, “so it’s surprising to think about stress this way, but it makes perfect sense.”
In the Upside of Stress, Kelly McGonigal talks about a little known stress bonus — oxytocin — released by the pituitary gland as part of the stress response. “The production of oxytocin drives you to seek support in time of stress, to tell someone how you feel, to be surrounded by people who care about you.”
Oxytocin drives us to social connection. Oxytocin can induce anti-stress- effects such as reduction of blood pressure and cortisol levels. It increases pain thresholds, exerts an anxiolytic- effect and stimulates various types of positive social interaction. In addition, it promotes growth and healing.
It may seem crazy to think about volunteering to help others or getting involved in relationships when you’re stressed.
But this is exactly what the research is telling us: by changing our mindset about stress, listening to the nudge from our oxytocin and engaging in social activities, we can harness health benefits from stress.
McGonigal explains that human connection is “a built in mechanism for Stress Resilience.
” To back her claim, researchers at Buffalo University in 2013 found stressed people suffering major life disruptors (financial, relationship, medical, career) had an increased lihood of death 30%, but stressed people who helped and were connected to others had a 0% increase. Bottom line—helping others reduces stress-related deaths. It turns the science of stress as a killer on its head.
“This research is more evidence to show the dramatic health benefits of the “Choose Yourself” part of the Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Model,” says Freedman. “It’s really a process of navigating emotions, applying consequential thinking, and exercising optimism. These are core competencies of Choose Yourself.”
But Freedman was most excited about using this research about stress to help ourselves and others.
“It’s inspiring to see the research emerging to support ‘Give Yourself’ — the link between doing service for others and oxytocin.
” This is such an exciting time to be working in this domain – new discoveries about the brain can change the way we think about ourselves and how we connect with others, ultimately leading to positive change in the world.
There are many practical ways to understand stress and use emotional intelligence to reduce stress.
So when your calendar is crammed, your inbox is overflowing, and you feel that sickening shake of stress—you can use this new data to take advantage of stress. What if you reframed your response from dread to anticipation? Rethink and choose your stress response. Your body is gearing up to meet a challenge and boosting your energy to rise up. Pay attention and shift your thinking:
Pounding heart? — You are preparing for action.
Breathing faster? — You getting more oxygen to your brain.
Blood surging? — You are dilating your blood vessels to increase flow.
With this shift, your body can experience feelings similar to the conditions of people experiencing joy and courage. Stress is an unshakable part of our lives today, let’s use it to our advantage.
10 Ways to Use Stress to Your Advantage
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Most of us feel powerless to stress because we interpret our stress to be coming from sources outside of us. Whatever is outside of us may be cause for our stress, but it is not the source. We make the mistake of forgetting to look inside of ourselves as the source of our own stress. Instead we project all of our emotions onto something or someone outside of us and start blame shifting.
Caiaimage/Trevor Adeline | Getty Images
If we have the power to project negatively, then we must have equal power to project for something positive. We are absolutely capable of outsmarting our stress by using its energy to propel us forward. This is how we transmute our stress into the secret behind our success. Stress may feel bad, but we must trust that its intention is good.
Related: I Started Saying 'No' to These 6 Things. My Life and My Business Got a Lot Better.
1. Develop your self-awareness.
To benefit from stress, it is critical we view its presence as an on-going attitude or philosophy about our lives and careers that we create for ourselves.
When we stop expecting stress to go away and choose to learn to work with it, we start viewing our stress as the key to opening our eyes to where we need to execute or pull our weight more effectively. Stress always exposes our vulnerabilities or the areas where we lack in knowledge and insight.
This is an undeniable gift. When our vulnerabilities are exposed, we are given direction on where we're most in need of self-improvement.
Stress is generated from what is unpredictable. Although most of us crave the familiar, life would not be life without the excitement of what we cannot foresee or predict.
We can either allow stress to make us more controlling and rigid, or we can allow it to make us look at our lives an artist would a blank canvas. Instead of stressing over making a living, we must choose to focus on the art of living a successful life.
Stress is the triggering agent which keeps us on our toes. How can we expect to be an expert in our industry if we're not functioning on the cutting edges of our field? We have more control when we can use our stress creatively.
The adrenalized energy created by the stress of what is unpredictable can be used for innovation, excitement and risk taking. The more creative we are, often the more successful.
Related: You Can Motivate Yourself to Start Again After a Business Failure
4. Examine and act on priorities.
Success is always about priorities. If we want to know what tasks to put first, our stress-response will bring clarity to what needs our urgent attention and what can be put off until our more stressful priorities have been completed.
Knowing our priorities and attacking them as they arise provides us a sense of agency over our workload. Once we accomplish our more urgent stressors, not only do we feel a sense of relief, but even more importantly, we feel a deep sense of accomplishment.
Nothing is more useful for inspiring us to keep grinding than feelings of accomplishment.
5. Find the opportunities.
Stress, if used effectively, signifies increased opportunity.
If we are stressing, there is a challenge at hand that we must use to inspire us to rise-up, change direction, increase our knowledge, try something new or move beyond a failure to create a new opportunity.
No matter what challenge stands in front of us at any given time, the stress to come from it can be used as our competitor. We can succumb to our competitor, or we can beat it. When we look for possibilities, the path forward becomes instantly clear.
6. Increase your intelligence.
Stress has proven to enhance cognition and improve specific aspects of our intelligence. Our fight-or flight response releases certain chemicals which immediately increase our ability to focus on what is needed right now.
When we're under this type of pressure we show, not only increased focus, but also an increase in mental prowess in the areas of academic or professional capacities.
Stress increases our ability to recall details and memories, which is helpful when placed in critical situations where our knowledge and problem-solving skills are being called upon. We can count on our stress to make us smarter in the pressured moments when we need it most.
Related: 10 Simple Daily Practices That Will Make You Happier
7. Welcome optimal frustration.
We are the happiest and the most successful when under the pressures of optimal levels of frustration. The most effective way any of us evolve in our knowledge, skill or talent is to be placed in tasks or situations which challenge us. Success should be a struggle. We should expect nothing less.
Learn to enjoy the journey because in reality the struggle is where all the joy is. When we continually find our way through the unknowns of life, we realize that we were designed to thrive. We must allow our struggles to bring us inspiration not desperation.
There would be nothing to gain in life, if we didn't have to struggle and work hard to achieve it.
8. Develop strategy.
Stress has the intention to moving us through events where we most deeply question if we have what it takes to overcome them. We are never more innovative than when we are stressed because we will do almost anything to relieve the pressure without creating more.
If we react impulsively to stress, we create more stress for ourselves and even bigger problems to clean up. To use our stress effectively, we must slow down, and think through the best strategies to mitigate staying stuck and ensure our movement forward.
The more strategy we come to learn and use, the more equipped we are for future challenges and increased success.
Related: 12 Scientifically Proven Ways to Reinvent Yourself
9. Involve others.
When stress becomes too much it forces us to reach out for the help, aid, advice and brainstorming. Successful people collaborate. They never allow themselves to get stuck under the pressure of having to be the person with all the answers.
When we reach out and involve others in our challenges, not only do we make it through them more quickly and efficiently, but we also learn how other people problem-solve. This is an invaluable gift that teaches us new ways to move through problems we never would have thought of on our own.
Further, we are much less ly to experience burnout when we share our pressures.
10. Develop a positive mindset.
Nothing hijacks success more than a negative mindset provoked by the stressful situations we encounter. If we want to make great use of stress, we must use our «stress-signals» as reminders to start actively choosing a positive mindset before we have too much time to get negative about what we're experiencing.
We can use our stress for positive or negative, it is up to us. How we respond to anything is a choice. There are no positive rewards to come from a negative or defeatist mindset.
For this reason, the minute we experience feelings of stress, we must let this alert us to activate our positive beliefs by working diligently to focus on all possible solutions to our problem.
Related: 5 Powerful Ways to Become Your Best Self
6 Ways to Use Stress to Your Advantage
Last Updated on November 11, 2021
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.
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 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 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
▲ 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 the Checkpoint Charlie Museum. The Berlin Wall is also a must-go spot — an important symbol of the German unification.
4. Tallinn, Estonia
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 it.
5. Prague, Czech Republic
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.
6. Krakow, Poland
Krakow has a lower costs of living than those in Western Europe. Just Prague, Krakow is listed as the one of the best-valued destination in Europe in 2017.
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
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 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.
Go dine at some local restaurants and bars that give you free tapas upon a beer order to save some money!
9. Split, Croatia
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 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 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!
Featured photo credit: Everaldo Coelho via unsplash.com