Where to go abroad for the first time – 12 ideas

Your first vacation abroad: where to go on vacation for the first time

Preparing for your own travel – it’s longer than buying a ready-made tour, but it’s more interesting and not like the others. To save on airfare, plan your travels and find good accommodations, read our guide for those who want to travel on their own. And in this article, we’ve put together five ideal countries for your first vacation without a package tour.

The best countries for your first trip abroad

  • Latvia
  • Georgia
  • Thailand
  • Czech Republic
  • Montenegro

We hope we will all be lucky enough to travel again this year, but for sure no one knows the date when the borders will open. For now we can dream about new countries and plan trips for the future.

Georgia, Tbilisi

No visa for up to 1 year.

Our neighbor is ideal for those who go abroad for the first time. The flight is close, there are direct flights from Moscow and a number of provincial cities. Almost everyone knows Russian. Georgia is safe and the locals are very friendly and hospitable. Taste wine, try all kinds of khachapuri and khinkali, discover the front and backyards of Tbilisi and take a trip to the mountains.

  • What to see in Tbilisi
  • How much does it cost to eat in Tbilisi

Where better to go on your first vacation abroad

Huge khachapuri in a Hadjari style.

Czech Republic

The historic center of Prague is a real time machine. The Czech Republic is one of the best destinations for a first trip abroad

Why Czech Republic: One of the most inexpensive and beautiful countries in Europe. Many people know Russian, especially in Prague. And after a couple of mugs of Czech beer you yourself easily communicate in any language.

What about the visa: You need a Schengen, which is easy to get.

When to go to the Czech Republic: The most pleasant weather is from May to October. In December in Prague it’s 0 ℃ and for a month the Christmas markets sparkle and offer magical aromas.

The Czech Republic lives up to expectations: It’s a fairy tale country. The streets of Prague are beautiful and atmospheric, Karlovy Vary is as if it has not changed since the times of Goethe and Beethoven, castles are haunted, and the beer is much tastier than the Czech beer sold here. In addition to rest in the Czech Republic is significantly cheaper than in neighboring Germany and Austria. And if on the fly do not understand what is dumplings and “Veprevo Knee”, many restaurants will bring you a menu in Russian.

To fall in love with the Czech Republic, a weekend in Prague is enough. This is a good option for the first time: no need to bother with the route, transportation and hotels in different cities. If you get into the spirit, look for tickets to the Czech Republic for a week or two and discover other facets of the country: from mineral spas to the nature reserve with the true name “Czech Paradise”. You can travel by bus and train, or by rental car.

A beautiful route through the Czech Republic
  1. Soak up the spirit of Prague’s old town. In the Czech capital you can admire Prague Castle, make a wish at Charles Bridge, climb the Petrin Lookout Tower, see the somber Kafka Museum and visit the lemurs in the zoo.
  2. Travel back in time to the Middle Ages in Kutna Hora Explore the stained glass windows in St. Barbara’s Cathedral, descend into the silver shaft, and count the skulls on the chandelier in the Chapel of All Saints, decorated with human bones.
  3. Admire the Gothic castle of Karlštejn It stands majestically on a wooded hill not far from Prague. Only guided tours are allowed inside the castle, but you can learn the story of Karlštejn’s ghost, the White Lady.
  4. Take a dip in the thermal waters and taste the mineral water from a dozen springs. Don’t forget about the 13th: the locals assure you that Becherovka liqueur is also invigorating and rejuvenating.
  5. Discover how Czech beer is brewed In Pilsen, the beer capital of the Czech Republic, don’t limit your taste buds to the pub. Check out the malt dryer and medieval cellars at the Brewing Museum, and take a tour of the actual bottling room at the Pilsner Urquell brewery.
  6. At the Festival of the Five-Petalled Rose everyone dresses up in medieval costume and there are jousting tournaments in the squares. See the Czech Tourism website for dates.
  7. Go back to nature in the Czech Paradise. Steep sandstone cliffs, dense forest, picturesque paths, and seemingly untouched castles await you in this nature reserve, the most famous of which is Troski.
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Where to go if you like in the Czech Republic: Germany | Austria | Switzerland | Belgium | Netherlands

Azerbaijan, Baku

No visa for up to 90 days.

Where to go for the first time abroad? Azerbaijan is also ideal. Start with the diverse Baku: the cozy streets of the old city, the Parisian-Petersburg art nouveau, the blazing towers of glass and concrete and straightforward Soviet avenues. And what a delicious national cuisine there! Many people know Russian, but some basic English won’t hurt. There are direct flights not only from Moscow.

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Where to go abroad for the first time

Our trip to sunny Baku and Old City.

First trip

Alleyways of old Baku.

Thailand

The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Rathbury, Thailand

Why Thailand: All year round summer, sunshine, exotic fruits and smiles.

What about the visa: If you do not plan to stay in Thailand for more than a month, you do not need a visa.

When to go to Thailand: From November to February – great weather in the north of Thailand. On the Andaman coast – Phuket, Krabi – the season lasts from November to the end of April, then the rains begin. In the Gulf of Thailand – Pattaya, Samui, Ko Chang, Hua Hin – good from January to August.

All the good things you’ve heard about Thailand are true. The islands and beaches are total bounty, the palaces are luxurious, the food is unusual and delicious, the locals are friendly. Questions are resolved with smiles, and you can find a common language with anyone, even if you know English at first-grade level. Trains, buses and domestic flights are cheap and comfortable and it’s easy to find out when the next flight to Bangkok is. Perfect country for your first exotic trip without a travel agent.

The easiest thing is to choose a Thai resort, lay on the beach and make a few outings in the surrounding area. More complicated, but more interesting – to first go around a few cultural attractions, and then relax by the sea.

Ready-made itinerary in Thailand
  1. Explore Bangkok Visit the reclining Buddha in Pho Wata, take a river cab ride through the canal klongs, catch a varan in Lumpini Park and gape at the brilliance of the Royal Palace.
  2. Get out to Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of Siam Walk among working Buddhist temples and atmospheric tree-lined ruins. Stay overnight in Ayutthaya or return to Bangkok.
  3. Head to Chiang Mai Buy cute trinkets at the Night Market, mingle with pandas at the zoo, circle Wata Chedi Luang in Old Town and watch dawn at Doi Yintanon Mountain.
  4. Settle in a bungalow among the rice paddies In Pai go for the pastoral silence, hot springs and waterfalls. If you want to see the whole valley at once, ascend to the huge White Buddha on the mountainside.
  5. Get a bronze tan in Phuket Enjoy a sunbathing session on the beach and a boat trip to the Similan Islands. Also, try durian, ride elephants and walk out a different person from a massage session.
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Where to go if you liked it in Thailand: Bali | Cambodia | Vietnam | Laos

Turkey | Istanbul

No visa for up to 60 days.

Turkey is also the best candidate for your first independent trip abroad. You can go to resorts where it seems that every second Turk has already learned the basics of the Russian language, but we advise you to choose Istanbul. You will fall in love with this city! It is calm and authentic. There are direct flights from many cities in Russia.

  • What to see in Istanbul
  • Where to rest in Turkey by the sea

Where to go on vacation for the first time

There are a lot of ferries and pleasure boats on the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus – be sure to take a ride!

Armenia

Once upon a time a simple ancient guy Noah was making his ark somewhere in the region of Ararat. At that time he had no idea how strong the attractions of Yerevan would attract those who are ripe for the first trip abroad. Surely ancient monasteries, ruins of a Roman fortress, a medieval Turkish fort – you can hardly find such splendor in your neighborhood under the windows.

What else is there to do in Armenia? To have a rest on the Lake Sevan, to recover your health by almost magic balneology and to listen to the intricate toasts of the local aksakals.

Entry: by Russian internal passport, you don’t need an international passport and visa.

Relax in Armenia

Montenegro

No visa for 30 days.

Mountain seascapes, serpentines, nice houses with red tiles. The locals are friendly and always help, many know Russian. You can stay at the resort, but it’s better to explore the country by car – the distances are short, and the views will blow you away. The flight from Moscow to Tivat is easy – there are direct Pobeda flights.

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Where to go on your first trip abroad - travel tips

A magical view of the Bay of Kotor, Montenegro (Photo: yakovlevmax0 / pixabay.com)

Documents and bureaucracy

Nikita Vikhrov moved to Warsaw with his wife a year ago

Expectation: getting any documents will be associated with bureaucracy, like everywhere else.

Reality: I caught the appearance of the state bureau in Moscow, but even it doesn’t compare to a post office somewhere on the outskirts of Warsaw. All operators speak several languages, each person is given exactly as much time as he/she needs. If you don’t speak English, the operators use Google Translator – they ask you to write on their phone.

Each government agency has a lawyer on duty who can be reached through the app. His task is to help you draw up the documents correctly. There are signs hanging everywhere that if he asks you for money for services or is offered to “negotiate”, then immediately call the police, tell them about it and get a reward. And, for example, the process of translation and notarization of the marriage certificate took 20 minutes (and cost me zero rubles) – although I thought it would take at least a week.

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Pro-visa online, up to 90 days.

Simple and convenient destination for a holiday abroad for the first time. You can easily plan an independent trip: the island is small, the infrastructure is developed, it’s safe. You need basic English, although we met people who know Russian: sales clerks in the supermarket, hotel receptionists, guides. You should take a direct flight from Russia to get a simple visa online (otherwise you have to apply for a national visa).

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Peyia – a small resort town in Cyprus (Photo: Tobiasvde / flickr.com)

Estonia, Tallinn

Do you want to find yourself in a small fairy-tale town? Then we advise for the first time abroad to go to Tallinn, where the wonderful Old Town has been preserved. It’s beautiful, nice, cozy and quiet. Some people know Russian. You can fly to Tallinn by direct flight or come by bus – for example, from St. Petersburg.

  • What to see in Tallinn
  • How much does it cost to go to Tallinn

Where to go on first time abroad

View from viewing platform at the Old Town

Length of trip/flight

Another important factor, the duration of the trip or flight.

For those who suffer from aerophobia we recommend countries where you can get by train, bus, or car:

  • Montenegro;
  • Georgia;
  • Armenia;
  • Azerbaijan;
  • Serbia;
  • Belarus;
  • Moldova;
  • Tajikistan;
  • Uzbekistan;
  • Kyrgyzstan;
  • Kazakhstan.

If you do not suffer from aerophobia, and it is not your first time on a plane, you can skip this point.

But if you’re flying for the first time (read tips about what to do at the airport for the first time) you’d better choose a country with a short flight and nonstop flights.

These are Turkey, Cyprus, Israel, Montenegro, and Tunisia.

Flying to such countries as Dominican Republic, the Maldives, and Thailand will take a long time, which for the first time may be a big test.

Latvia, Riga

Riga is not as fabulous as Tallinn, but also interesting. The city has many medieval buildings and narrow streets. The hotel manager, for example, spoke Russian very well, and there are only Russian-speaking guides on the streets. There are direct short flights from Moscow and St. Petersburg.

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Dawn over Riga (Photo: unsplash.com / @gillyberlin)

Spelling of the word abroad

In our language there is also the word abroad, formed with the prefix za- from the noun border. This word, when spelled together, refers to a number of states outside of the home country. The declension of the word abroad in the Instrumentive case gives us the word “abroad” that we are studying here.

We must also remember that the word abroad is mostly used in colloquial speech.

Where to go abroad for the first time – 12 ideas

Where to go for the first time to rest abroad

We’ve chosen 12 of the best countries perfect for your first trip abroad. Find out where visas are easy to work out, where it’s safe, where it’s easy to fly, and where they understand Russian.

“Going on vacation for the first time! Help, please!” – such messages are often left on forums. We made a list of ideal countries for your first trip abroad. We took these criteria into account:

  • A visa-free country or a simplified visa process.
  • No language barrier or easy to overcome.
  • A short or direct flight.
  • Well-developed tourist infrastructure.
  • Safety.

Decide on climate, budget and type of vacation – and go on a trip. It’s easy!

Ideal countries to go abroad for the first time – Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey, but the rest of the list is perfect. Choose to your liking!

We have been to almost all of these countries, so you can easily find tips and guides on our website.

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Visa-free entry Direct/short flight. Know Russian Developed infrastructure Safe
Georgia + + + + +
Azerbaijan + + + + +
Armenia + + + + +
Turkey + + +/− + +
Thailand + + +
Vietnam + + +
Montenegro + + + + +
Cyprus + +/− + +
Estonia + +/− + +
Latvia + +/− + +
Bulgaria + + + +
Czech Republic + +/− + +

Content:

Georgia, Tbilisi

No visa for up to 1 year.

Our neighbor is ideal for those who go abroad for the first time. The flight is close, there are direct flights from Moscow and a number of provincial cities. Almost everyone knows Russian. Georgia is safe and the locals are very friendly and hospitable. Taste wine, try all kinds of khachapuri and khinkali, discover the front and backyards of Tbilisi and take a trip to the mountains.

Where better to go on your first vacation abroad

Huge khachapuri in a Hadjari style.

Azerbaijan, Baku

No visa for up to 90 days.

Where to go for the first time abroad? Azerbaijan is also ideal. Start with the diverse Baku: the cozy streets of the old city, the Parisian-Petersburg art nouveau, the blazing towers of glass and concrete and straightforward Soviet avenues. And what a delicious national cuisine there! Many people know Russian, but some basic English won’t hurt. There are direct flights not only from Moscow.

Our trip to sunny Baku, the Old City. The alleys of Old Baku.

Armenia

You will stay in Armenia without a visa for up to 180 days.

Armenia is an alternative to tourist Georgia and Azerbaijan. The same Caucasian hospitality, stunning nature, historical and religious sites and delicious national dishes. But for some reason, the country is not yet popular among tourists. You should visit it! In Armenia many people know Russian, it’s safe to travel and it’s easy to get there – from Moscow to Gyumri there is a direct flight by “Pobeda” which lasts only about 3 hours.

Where to go for the first time to rest abroad

Khor Virap Monastery with Ararat as a background, Armenia (Photo: 680451 / pixabay.com)

Turkey | Istanbul

No visa for up to 60 days.

Turkey is also the best candidate for your first independent trip abroad. You can go to resorts where it seems that every second Turk has already learned the basics of the Russian language, but we advise you to choose Istanbul. You will fall in love with this city! It is calm and authentic. There are direct flights from many cities in Russia.

Where to go on vacation for the first time

There are many ferries and pleasure boats on the Golden Horn and the Bosporus – be sure to take a ride!

Thailand

No visa for up to 30 days.

Going on vacation for the first time abroad to exotic, but familiar to Russians Thailand is a good decision. Organize an independent trip is easy, because there is a lot of information on the Internet, and we have a lot of articles and tips on our site, too. And if you get confused, you can find compatriots in the country to help. You can rest at the resorts in the south, but it’s better to go to the north – it’s a completely different Thailand. The Thais do not know Russian, basic English, sign language and an interpreter will help. With safety all is well, but be careful on the roads, especially if you rent a car. It takes a long flight, mostly with a connection, or direct charters from the travel agency.

Where to go on vacation abroad for the first time

The quaint islands of Krabi province, Thailand (Photo: unsplash.com / @andrzejsuwara)

Vietnam

Visa-free for up to 15 days.

Do you want to go for the first time abroad to an exotic country for a vivid experience? We advise to go to Vietnam – that is what we chose for our first Asian trip. Believe me, Vietnam will amaze and shock you more than once – you will not remain indifferent. You can settle in a resort, but it is better to plan a trip from the south to the north or vice versa. With the logistics in the country are all good, with safety – also. The Vietnamese are friendly and smiling. English is so-so, but you can meet a Vietnamese who knows Russian to a degree almost to perfection – many lived and studied in the Soviet Union. You can stay up to 15 days without a visa, for a longer period of time you need to get a permit – it’s made online, then you stick the visa at the airport. It’s a long flight, you have to change planes.

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Where to go on vacation for the first time abroad

The mysterious Forbidden City in Hue.

Montenegro

No visa for 30 days.

Mountain and sea scenery, serpentines, cute houses with red tiles. The locals are friendly and always help, many know Russian. You can stay at the resort, but it’s better to explore the country by car – the distances are short, and the views will blow you away. Flying from Moscow to Tivat is easy – you can get direct flights from Pobeda.

Where to go on your first trip abroad - travel tips

Magnificent view of the Bay of Kotor, Montenegro (Photo: yakovlevmax0 / pixabay.com)

Pro visa online, up to 90 days.

Simple and convenient destination for a holiday abroad for the first time. You can easily plan an independent trip: the island is small, the infrastructure is developed, it’s safe. You need basic English, although we met people who know Russian: sales clerks in the supermarket, hotel receptionists, guides. You should take a direct flight from Russia to get a simple visa online (otherwise you have to apply for a national visa).

Where to go for the first time abroad

Peyia – a small resort town in Cyprus (Photo: Tobiasvde / flickr.com)

Estonia, Tallinn

Do you want to find yourself in a small fairy-tale town? Then we advise for the first time abroad to go to Tallinn, where the wonderful Old Town has been preserved. It’s beautiful, nice, cozy and quiet. Some people know Russian. You can fly to Tallinn by direct flight or come by bus – for example, from St. Petersburg.

Where to go on first time abroad

View of Old Town from viewing platform

Latvia, Riga

Riga is not as fabulous as Tallinn, but also interesting. The city has many medieval buildings and narrow streets. The hotel manager, for example, spoke Russian very well, and there are only Russian-speaking guides on the streets. There are direct short flights from Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Where to go for a cheap vacation abroad for the first time

Dawn over Riga (Photo: unsplash.com / @gillyberlin)

Bulgaria

It’s easy and simple to go abroad for the first time in Bulgaria. The language is easy, the locals are friendly, and the country is understandable. You can get on a direct flight very quickly. What to do? Bulgaria is not only a lazy beach vacation on a tour package – the country has a lot of amazing places for the independent traveler. Head to Plovdiv, Nessebar, Koprivshtitsa, Veliko Tarnovo and visit the national parks.

Where to fly abroad for the first time

Beach in Albena, Bulgaria (Photo: Balcon del Mundo / flickr.com / License CC BY-SA 2.0)

Czech Republic

When traveling abroad for the first time, many people choose Prague: many people know a little bit of Russian, the city is easy to navigate, and there is a developed tourist infrastructure. You can get to Prague by direct flight. But be prepared for too many tourists in Prague. To find a quieter and nicer places, go to a less touristy cities in the country – transport is developed and inexpensive. For example, we really liked Kutna Hora – it’s only an hour drive from Prague.

Where to go on vacation for the first time abroad

Swans in Prague.

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