If the travel bug has recently bitten you, then you may just now realize that there is a wonderful world awaiting you. In today's world, becoming a savvy domestic traveler is an easily acquired skill for most people, yet making that first trip abroad can seem quite intimidating. But, the good news is that wanderlusters can quickly master going across the pond, especially if they are willing to get out of their comfort zone just a bit and opt for traveler-friendly destinations. So to help get you started, here are the top ten cities abroad that are perfect for beginner travelers.
10 London, England
A favorite for many world travelers, 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 tube station, and a wealth of tours at your fingertips, this city can feel like an old home week faster than you expected. Plus, with awe-inspiring architecture (Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge, etc.), Buckingham Palace tours, and endless city outdoor green spaces, London is a real treat. Other notable things to do here include grabbing a spot of afternoon tea, shopping on Regent Street, visiting the London Museum, booking a Jack The Ripper Tour, marveling at all things Harry Potter, and more.
9 Brussels, Belgium
Brussels is the capital of Belgium and is a quaint little city that first-time travelers of all ages can enjoy. A few things that make Brussels so special are its chocolate, waffles, and the Grand Place. Only a short trip from London, Brussels can be explored in a single day with ease, especially if you're just passing through. In addition to the decadent sweets, this city has an array of food, beer, art, culture, and history. A bonus, while visiting, makes sure to stop by Bruges— this absolutely romantic fairy-tale town has one-of-a-kind views, cozy stays, and even a nearby "Lake of Love."
8 Barcelona, Spain
Yet another must-see city abroad for beginner travelers is none other than Barcelona. This delightful city has out-of-this-world architecture, chic hotels, convenient transportation, phenomenal cuisine, and museums galore. But that's not all; this gorgeous part of the world has incredible shopping, sandy beaches, and an overall artsy vibe that keeps you begging for more. Barcelona has also cultivated a reputation for being tourist-friendly. So if you need the assistance of any kind, just ask; and if you haven't brushed up on your Catalan and Spanish before visiting, don't panic. English, along with a variety of other languages, is widely spoken here.
7 Dublin, Ireland
Dublin is another cosmopolitan city that welcomes travelers with open arms and definitely needs to be crossed off the travel bucket list. This extraordinary destination has a rich history, an abundance of castles, a lively pub culture, a profound love of Jameson and Guinness, plus nearby breathtaking attractions. The Cliffs of Moher, Christ Church Cathedral, and the Trinity College Library are just a few must-see attractions. Dublin is also a fairly walkable city for the most part. But if you do plan to tour the countryside, coastal towns, and many of the castles, then you'll likely need a car. Of course, if you aren't ready to drive on the left side of the road just yet, there are plenty of cabs, group bus tours, and other modes of transportation available.
6 Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh is located in one of the safest countries on earth, so for beginner travelers, a trip to any city here should put your mind at ease. Plus, with easy access to this charming city via the train from London, you can spend a few days here and head back to jolly old London, or you can fly direct from wherever home is. The city of Edinburgh itself is actually small enough that you can walk most of it and conveniently split into two parts—Old Town and New Town. That said, there is still Uber and the central tram available if you prefer to give your legs a rest occasionally. There are also ample things to see and do in Edinburgh, including checking out Edinburgh Castle, visiting Harry Potter-related locations, exploring The Scottish Highlands, and more.
5 Copenhagen, Denmark
For new travelers looking to taste the delicious cuisine abroad, a visit to Copenhagen is definitely in order. Known as the land of culinary innovation, Copenhagen is the ideal spot for hungry newbie travelers. In addition to delicious eats, this city is full of colorful canals, bike shops, and trendy markets. An added bonus here is that almost everyone you meet is near-fluent in English, and with the "hygge" vibe (which in English means coziness), this city takes the cake when it comes to hospitality. So stop by this inviting city, wander its charming historic center, and spend some time near the idyllic Nyhavn Harbor—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 the perfect blend of European architecture—both old and new, Vienna is for you. This is another walkable city with amazing coffeehouses, fancy eateries, palaces, royal gardens, and museums filled with unique works of art. Vienna even has a lovely little beach alongside the Danube River; thus, it isn't hard to see why this city has all a world traveler needs. In fact, it is safe to say that this might just be one more lovely little spot abroad that steals a piece of your wandering heart.
3 Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Yet another travel bucket list location to spend a day or two in is Amsterdam. So much more than its airport (you'll likely grab a connecting flight through AMS more times than you can count), this city is definitely no stranger to tourists. So while visiting, be mindful as you appreciate the world-class attractions like the legendary Van Gogh Museum, tour the Anne Frank House, relax in the lush Vondelpark, and spend some time in/around its idyllic canals. Of course, there are a few other reasons to check out this lively and easily walkable city, such as sampling some Jenever (the Dutch version of gin), enjoying the plethora of coffee shops, and snacking on the tasty local sharp gouda.
2 Paris, France
The City of Lights and Love is a dream destination for many, so it is only fitting to see it for yourself if you are in the area. Here, newer travelers can enjoy the finer things in life, like world-renowned cuisine, prestigious art museums, posh café culture, designer shopping, the French language, must-see landmarks, and so much more. Plus, with this fantastic city's fine-tuned metro system, you can easily navigate Paris. There are other transportation options available, so however you decide to get around this lovely city, just make sure you see as much of it as possible while you're there. Note: this is another destination you can access from London via a 2-hour train ride.
1 Rome, Italy
Last but not least, Rome is a beautiful Italian city that seems to cater to first-time travelers. Not only is it easy to navigate, but there are also ample landmarks, unique culture, classic neighborhoods, ancient ruins dating back 2,500+ years, catacombs, epic museums, and OMG, the food. With pasta, pizza, desserts, and wines that you’ll likely dream of for years to come, you couldn't ask for more. Of course, this semi-paradise on earth does tend to get a little crowded, especially during the peak travel season. But that just means you'll need to book any activities or major attractions in advance.