How well do you remember your first trip abroad?
Everyone remembers their travel “firsts”. Whether it’s travelling for the first time ever, visiting a new destination for the first time, trying a new experience or staying in a new type of accommodation.
Booking.com has completed a global study* which reveals the most popular destinations that people travel to for their first time abroad. Over 15,000 travellers were polled from markets all over the world but it’s Europe that has come out on top, with the top five most popular first time destinations being European cities!
Are they what you would have guessed?
1. Paris, France
Whether it’s a romantic break for two in the city of love or a fun-fuelled family holiday to Disneyland, Paris has the answer.
Take a picture in front of the 19th century Eiffel Tower, hear the ringing bells of the iconic gothic church Notre Dame or visit the Louvre to soak up some art, culture and history. Stroll through the streets of Paris and sample the exquisite French cuisine, relax with a coffee and your favourite book on the many wicker-chaired cafes lining the city, or browse through the multitude of chic boutiques offering the trendiest of clothes and Parisian fashion.
2. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is the perfect destination for travellers looking to soak up the glorious sunny climate, revel in the lively beach culture or immerse themselves in the rich history of the Gothic Quarter.
This cosmopolitan city is perfect for beach goers and art lovers. For lovers of architecture, the Roman Catholic Church Basilica of the Sagrada Familia is a must-see.
3. London, United Kingdom
London’s unique allure is impossible to define but Booking.com travellers love the capitals’ shopping, sightseeing and museums. From the wealth of Belgravia to the urban markets of Camden Town, every neighbourhood has its own unique character and charm. London is the perfect destination for travellers looking to tick off their checklist of famous landmarks, expand their wardrobes with fabulous vintage to runway designs or impress clients with a first class business trip. Explore the world-famous museums like the National Gallery and the British Museum, take a picture in front of iconic landmarks such as Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London and shop till you drop in the famed stores of Selfridges and Harrods.
4. Vienna, Austria
Whether you’re captivated by art, culture or modern European sophistication, the fourth most popular destination for first-time travel, Vienna, offers a wealth of choice for visitors.
While away your days wandering around the many museums, jump on a tram to Belvedere Palace or shop on the trendy Graben and Kärntner Strasse. Visit the medieval place of worship of St. Stephen’s Cathedral and explore the public Prater Park and the iconic giant wheel.
5. Malaga, Spain
A great destination for first-time travellers, whether you’re looking for that first city break or a longer holiday, Malaga is the perfect gateway to explore the beauty of South of Spain. Dubbed the capital of the Costa del Sol, Malaga offers chic boutiques, cool cafes, trendy rooftop bars and the waterfront’s promenade makes for a soothing evening stroll to soak up the Mediterranean vibes.
This vibrant city also offers plenty for culture vultures with over thirty museums, the Alcazaba fortress, La Manquita Renaissance Cathedral and the 10th century Gibralfaro castle looming above the coast. Foodies will be in Mediterranean heaven with the buzzing Mercado Atarazanas serving fresh produce and plenty of restaurants serving traditional Spanish tapas.