The Top 10 Countries Every First-Time Traveler Must Visit

With thousands of countries and destinations to choose from, planning your first trip can be an overwhelming experience, especially if you’re new to travel. But by considering a few key factors, you can make the process much easier on yourself and determine which countries are best suited to your interests and personality. These are the top 10 countries every first-time traveler must visit.

Thailand

Thailand is home to some of Asia’s most famous sites and activities. Bangkok’s gleaming metropolis lights up at night, while Buddhist temples and national parks abound in and around Chiang Mai. If a tropical beach is what you crave, there are many to choose from along Thailand’s Andaman Coast—don’t miss Koh Phangan Island with its famed full moon parties.

United States / New York City

Touring New York City, which includes landmarks like Central Park and Times Square, is a must for any first-time traveler. However, visiting just Manhattan doesn’t give travelers a full sense of what NYC has to offer. From exploring Brooklyn’s street art scene to taking in a baseball game in Queens or seeing Broadway shows on Staten Island, New York is perfect for any American road trip.

Chile

If you want to escape to a world of pristine beaches, majestic mountains and picturesque vineyards, then Chile is a must. Whether you’re relaxing in an upscale Chilean resort or staying with a local family, Chile is an experience you won’t soon forget.

France

The Eiffel Tower, Parisian culture, and mouthwatering cuisine are just a few reasons why you should visit France. If you’re into French architecture, it will be an extra treat to learn about its history in each city you visit.

New Zealand

Located in Oceania, New Zealand is an island country with a population of about 4.5 million. Visitors are known to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, biking and scuba diving. Don’t miss out on sampling some local food and culture, such as hangi—roast lamb cooked underground in a pit (or hangi).

Italy

With its breathtaking architecture, charming cities, and remarkable history, it’s no wonder that Rome is a top destination for first-time travelers. However, there are plenty of other things to do in Italy outside of Rome. Take some time to explore Tuscany and Venice or spend your days relaxing on Cinque Terre’s beaches. Italy is so large that there’s plenty to explore without ever even seeing a major city.

Caribbean

Head to The Bahamas, an archipelago of 700 islands. Whether you want to spend your days relaxing at a beachside resort or exploring caves full of stalactites and stalagmites, you’ll find what you’re looking for in these sunny islands.

For example, if you want some culture with your sunshine, plan a trip to Nassau. This capital city is home to many museums and historical sites that will give you a glimpse into Bahamian history. And, it’s only about 30 minutes from Paradise Island—home to Atlantis Resort—which is one of the most luxurious resorts in all of North America.

India

India is a country rich in history, tradition, and spirituality. The country has 34 UNESCO World Heritage Sites recognized for their beauty, importance, or vulnerability. The Taj Mahal (which translates to Crown Palace) is one of those sites; it was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his third wife Mumtaz Mahal. India also boasts several ancient Buddhist sites that have survived for centuries in extremely rugged terrain.

Spain

Spain is widely considered to be one of Europe’s most beautiful and culturally rich destinations. In addition to serving as a popular tourist destination, Spain is also one of Europe’s top economies, providing a dynamic and exciting place for travelers to visit. From romantic Barcelona to cosmopolitan Madrid and so much more, Spain has plenty of sights that are sure to delight first-time travelers.

Portugal

With a laid-back feel and beautiful landscapes, Portugal has become a popular destination for travelers. With a rich history, you can explore castles and centuries-old churches, or go on an outdoor adventure in areas like Serra da Estrela Natural Park. While there are plenty of fun things to do around Lisbon, one of Portugal’s most popular cities for visitors is Porto—with its UNESCO World Heritage sites, tasty restaurants and bars and beautiful beaches.

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