If the travel bug has bitten you lately, you may now realize that a wonderful world awaits you. In today’s world, becoming a savvy domestic traveler is an easy skill for most people to acquire, but taking that first trip abroad can seem quite daunting. But the good news is that travelers can quickly master crossing the pond, especially if they’re willing to step out of their comfort zone a bit and opt for traveler-friendly destinations. So, to help you get started, here are the ten best cities abroad that are perfect for first-time travelers.
ten London, England
A favorite haunt of many world travellers, London is, in many ways, the gateway to the rest of Europe. First-time visitors will quickly find a plethora of things to see and do here and notice that London isn’t too difficult to navigate. With black cabs, the metro station, and a slew of sightseeing at your fingertips, this city can feel like a week home faster than expected. Plus, with impressive architecture (Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge, etc.), tours of Buckingham Palace, and endless outdoor green spaces, London is a real treat. Other notable things to do here include having afternoon tea, shopping on Regent Street, visiting the Museum of London, booking a Jack The Ripper tour, marveling at all things Harry Potter, and Moreover.
9 Brussels, Belgium
Brussels is the capital of Belgium and is a quaint little city that first-time travelers of all ages can enjoy. Some things that make Brussels so special are its chocolate, its waffles and the Grand Place. Only a short journey from London, Brussels can be easily explored in a single day, especially if you are just passing through. In addition to decadent sweets, this city offers a range of food, beer, art, culture and history. As a bonus, when visiting, be sure to stop in Bruges – this utterly romantic fairy tale town offers unique views, comfortable stays and even a nearby “Lake of Love”.
8 Barcelona, Spain
Another must-see city abroad for first-time travelers is none other than Barcelona. This charming city boasts outstanding architecture, chic hotels, convenient transportation, phenomenal cuisine, and numerous museums. But that’s not all; this gorgeous part of the world has amazing shopping, sandy beaches and an overall artsy vibe that keeps you coming back for more. Barcelona has also cultivated a reputation for being touristy. So if you need help of any kind, just ask; and if you haven’t brushed up on your Catalan and Spanish before visiting, don’t panic. English, as well as a variety of other languages, is widely spoken here.
seven Dublin, Ireland
Dublin is another cosmopolitan city that welcomes travelers with open arms and definitely needs to be crossed off the bucket list. This extraordinary destination has a rich history, an abundance of castles, a bustling pub culture, a deep love for Jameson and Guinness, and breathtaking nearby attractions. The Cliffs of Moher, Christ Church Cathedral and Trinity College Library are just a few must-see attractions. Dublin is also a fairly walkable city for most. But if you plan to visit the countryside, coastal towns and many castles, you will probably need a car. Of course, if you’re not yet ready to drive on the left side of the road, there are plenty of taxis, group bus tours and other modes of transport available.
6 Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh is located in one of the safest countries in the world, so for first-time travelers, a trip to any city here should put you at ease. Plus, with easy access to this charming city via train from London, you can spend a few days here and return to cheerful old London, or you can fly straight from your home. The city of Edinburgh itself is actually small enough that you can explore it on foot and divide it into two parts: Old Town and New Town. That said, there is still Uber and the Central Tram available if you prefer to rest your legs once in a while. There are also plenty of things to see and do in Edinburgh, including visiting Edinburgh Castle, visiting Harry Potter-related locations, exploring the Scottish Highlands, and more.
5 Copenhagen, Denmark
For first-time travelers looking to sample delicious cuisine from abroad, a visit to Copenhagen is a must. Known as the land of culinary innovation, Copenhagen is the perfect place for hungry first-time travelers. In addition to delicious food, this city is full of colorful canals, bike shops and trendy markets. An added bonus here is that almost everyone you meet is fluent in English, and with the “hygge” vibe (which in English means comfort), this city takes the cake when it comes to hospitality. So stop by this welcoming town, stroll through its charming historic center and spend time near the idyllic port of Nyhavn. Just be careful because you may never want to go home.
4 Vienna, Austria
For explorers looking for a stunning display of Old World charm mixed with a perfect blend of European architecture, both old and new, Vienna is the place for you. It is another walkable city with amazing cafes, chic restaurants, palaces, royal gardens and museums filled with unique works of art. Vienna even has a nice little beach along the Danube; thus, it’s not hard to see why this city has everything a world traveler needs. In fact, it’s safe to say that this might just be another charming little place abroad that steals a piece of your wandering heart.
3 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam is another great travel spot to spend a day or two. Much more than its airport (you’ll probably catch a connecting flight through AMS more times than you can count), this city is certainly no stranger to tourists. So when visiting, be mindful when enjoying world-class attractions such as the legendary Van Gogh Museum, visiting the Anne Frank House, relaxing in the lush Vondelpark and spending time in/around its canals idyllic. Of course, there are a few other reasons to visit this bustling and easily walkable city, such as sampling juniper (the Dutch version of gin), enjoying the plethora of cafes, and nibbling on the tasty local pointed gouda.
2 Paris, France
The City of Lights and Love is a dream destination for many, so it’s only fitting to see it for yourself if you’re in the area. Here, new travelers can enjoy the finer things in life, such as world-class cuisine, prestigious art museums, chic café culture, designer shopping, the French language, must-see sites and much more. . Plus, with this fantastic city’s sophisticated metro system, you can easily get around Paris. There are other transport options available, so however you decide to get around this charming city, be sure to see as much as you can while you’re there. Note: This is another destination you can access from London via a 2 hour train journey.
1 Roma, Italy
Last but not least, Rome is a beautiful Italian city that seems to meet the needs of first-time travelers. Not only is it easy to navigate, but there are also many landmarks, unique culture, classic neighborhoods, ancient ruins dating back over 2,500 years, catacombs, epic museums, and OMG, the food. With pastas, pizzas, desserts and wines you’ll likely be craving for years, you couldn’t ask for more. Of course, this semi-paradise on earth tends to get a bit crowded, especially during peak travel season. But that just means you’ll need to pre-book any major activities or attractions.