A new year brings new goals. I talk a lot on Coat + Coffee about setting goals for yourself in the travel department. With 2018 approaching, it’s time to start thinking about the year ahead! If you’ve been slow to take the plunge and are finally coming around to planning your first trip, then consider this list of the 5 best European cities for first-time travelers.

The 5 Best European Cities for First-Time Travelers

#5 Paris, France

“The city that gives you a lot for your money”

Paris is a city that regularly appears on a list like this, and there will be no exception here. You can’t beat a visit to one of the world’s most visited cities. Paris impresses with loads of things to do, amazing cuisine, and dreamy architecture. Paris is one of the pricier European cities, but you get a whole lot of gorgeousness in return.

Things to do in Paris

The 5 Best European Cities for First-Time Travelers

#4 Copenhagen, Denmark

“The city that speaks English”

Copenhagen makes my list for being one of the most ‘English friendly’ cities. There are stories of English speakers living in Copenhagen for ten years and never learning a word of Danish besides ‘thank you’. Copenhagen is one of the easiest cities to navigate, with friendly locals who almost always speak English.

Copenhagen Photo Diary

The 5 Best European Cities for First-Time Travelers

#3 Prague, Czech Republic

“The city that’s dirt cheap”

Prague’s currency is consistency among the worst in the world. For first-time travelers, this is a great city to travel to because of its amazing exchange rate. Prague is often referred to as the Paris of Eastern Europe. You’ll find charming cobblestone streets, romantic architecture, and hearty meat and potato dishes for half the cost.

24 hours in Prague

The 5 Best European Cities for First-Time Travelers

#2 London, England

“The city that makes life easy”

London is usually the number one city I recommend for first-time travelers. Since English is the spoken language, it makes adjusting to a new culture much easier. You can also find really great flight deals to London with more flexible options, as it’s one of the most traveled to cities in the world. Fish and chips anyone?

Things to do in London

The 5 Best European Cities for First-Time Travelers

#1 Lisbon, Portugal

“The city that has it all for first-timers”

Lisbon comes in at number one. Lisbon has it all for the first time traveler, and it’s gaining popularity for all the right reasons. The locals are considered some of the friendliest in the world, the cuisine is simple and delicious, prices are low, and you cannot help but fall in love with their hand-painted tiles. Lisbon is the perfect package* for a first time travel experience.

Fall in love with Lisbon

*Disclaimer: A first-time traveler going to Lisbon may induce the ‘Lisbon Effect,’ in which all other future countries you visit seem like rubbish.

Which city is on your mind for 2018? Leave a comment below!


  1. Thanks for sharing this inspiring list! Even though I live in Europe, I have not visited all of these but I would love to discover both Lisbon & Copenhagen 🙂 And I am so looking forward to go to Paris and London after my exams session in January 😀

    Have a great week,


    Claire from Dresscape

    1. Aw how fun! What a great reward for finishing your exams too haha. You definitely have to put Lisbon and CPH on your list next!

      Author Reply
  2. Completely agree that Prague is a great city to visit, so much you can do on a huge budget there – we had 4 days there ate like kings and didn’t end up spending any where near what we took! I keep hearing amazing things about Lisbon, scared about it’s effect though!

    1. Hahah yes! I kept saying that to my mom while we were there. I was like “do you realize that we’re eating like kings every night for like $20?” It was so incredible!!

      Author Reply
  3. Paris is definitely one of the cities we hope to get to this year! Especially because we’ve seen some killer flight deals. I would love to hit up Portugal too though. Actually, let’s be honest, we want to go to ALL of these cities. It’s good to know which ones are easier to navigate in English too! Can’t wait to see what 2018 brings in terms of travel!

    Susie | http://milehighdreamers.com

    1. Killer flight deals?! You must pass them one! Haha. I would love to visit Paris again soon. Portugal is one of the most amazing countries. 🙂

      Author Reply
  4. I had to come to your blog to check out which cities you mentioned since I’m super curious! Just one small request though for 2018, can you talk about Italy more?? Haha, obviously I’m obsessed with all things Italian but would love to see more posts on this country on your blog. xx

  5. I’ve only actually done two of these places (though does London count!?) so I need to get a move on! I’m definitely eyeing up Copenhagan, especially because it’s so easy to get to from the UK. And I’ll be coming straight to Coat and Coffee for tips!

    Musings & More

  6. Excuse me while I add Lisbon to my travel list! It hasn’t been too much on my radar, but it sounds like it needs to be. Thanks for sharing these travel ideas, Emily!

    Kathryn • simplykk.com

  7. I really want to go to Lisbon, it seems like a pretty underrated location so it would be a cool place to visit. I totally agree about Paris and Copenhagen, they’re great and easy to navigate.

  8. Aww, love to see this post and my top 2 cities to visit are included. Would definitely see Paris and London when we go to Europe. One country I would like to go also is Iceland because I have a friend there and I want to see the Northern Lights. This is a cool guide dear! Have a Merry Christmas!!!


  9. Love your travel recommendations Emily, you always offer such great insight! Paris will always be one of my favorite cities just because of the shopping + food, but I also really like Amsterdam – it was surprisingly easy to get around speaking English there! Will have to make plans to visit the other cities on this list as well, they all sound wonderful!

    Jenny | Geeky Posh


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