Most valueable tip i can give, is thinking about how much time are you spending on Travian.
If you are working person with family and social life, you are not gonna be spending a lot of time in game. So, best option for you is playing safe and slow game, taking Gauls/Romans/Egyptians is your priority... Building crannies, defensive type units or wall is your "daily to do list". Best way how to enjoy a lot of fun with this style, is to find somebody very offensive based and combine your defensive and your new friend offensive style to conquer everything around!
If your are student or just somebody with a lot of free time to spend, this is probably your way - Taking Teutons/Huns/Romans (yes, Romans can be used for both styles, they are just expensive). You have to focus on building barracks and crop fields, frorm very beggining you need to start spamming your units to start farming oases and after begginers protection, release your army on innactive players all around, make your farmilists and watch them! This is probably most time-spending activity in early phases of game. Btw, swarming and farming with Gauls is also fun, Thunders are extremly fast and you can spam your farmlists much more often!