Your Guide For Traveling Near and Far

4 Reasons Any Newbie Traveler Should Start in London

by Lloyd Pearson

If you're thinking about traveling to Europe for the first time, it can seem overwhelming to decide what to do and where to go. Europe is, after all, a very big place with a ton of choices for novice travelers. But, you can have a great first trip overseas by choosing to start in a great place: London, England. 

Why choose London? Here are 4 reasons to consider it first.

Tourist Attractions. Because London has had such a large impact on U.S. history -- and world history -- and is such a famous city, you can find lots of truly memorable things to do and see. Such famous tourist attractions as the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, British Museum, London Eye, and Buckingham Palace are easy to find and create unparalleled photo backdrops for any first-time traveler. Work with your travel agent or a local travel agency (sometimes available through your hotel) to take bus tours to other nearby tourist attractions that are equally famous: Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and the White Cliffs of Dover.

Easy Transportation. London is a frequent destination for many U.S. airlines and airports, and it's often the first stop for flights that go elsewhere on the continent. This means you can often find better prices to fly to London than other cities. From there, you can even take a comfortable train to Paris in less than 3 hours. In addition, the subway system (called the Underground or "Tube") is simple to use and tourist-friendly. And be sure to take a hop onto the famous double decker red buses for a unique way to get around!

No Language Barrier. If your first -- or only -- language is English, going to England means you won't be stymied by having to navigate a foreign country in a foreign language for your first trip. This can be a make-or-break aspect if you're planning to travel independently and without the help of a tour guide. London is still a metropolitan city with many different cultures, languages, and visitors, so you will be introduced to traveling in a multicultural area.

Shared History. It's easy to appreciate England's monuments and historical sites because it shares so much of its culture with the U.S. You'll find stories of well-known monarchs, two shared world war histories, and modern joint cultural touchstones in movies and television (like visiting the gorgeous locations of Downton Abbey). Its tourist attractions and history is understandable, relatable, and already well known to most.

No matter why you want to visit Europe -- to see ancient sites or explore a foreign metropolis -- you can find what you're looking for in London and its surroundings.