Well…Sun On The Beach…In Europe!
Which Cities in Europe Have Beaches?
The perfect holiday for me is spending the morning indulging in architecture, art and history and the afternoon relaxing on a white sandy beach sipping a nice cold drink. I want both the culture and the fun, the crowded city and the quiet nature experience. Fortunately there are a few cities in Europe that can provide us with both!
First and most importantly the Catalan capital of Barcelona. The Spanish city has plenty to offer when it comes to tourist landmarks. If you only visit the works of the 20th century architect Antoni Gaudí you will have seen a lot of remarkable sights: churches, houses and parks all created so that they are in perfect harmony with the nature surrounding them. Barcelona is really one of a kind in that sense. You can just hop on a bicycle and explore the whole city, and then stop by the beautiful, long sandy beach right in the center of the city! Catalans love the beach so you will never see it deserted but the water is nice from May till the end of September so you also have the chance to take advantage of the whole Barcelona-experience while you are there!
Oia, Santorini, Greece
For a proper seaside holiday in Europe, Greek cities are perfect choices. Oia in the island of Santorini is what you would imagine a Greek heaven to look like: white-blue architecture, steep hills by the beach and beautiful blue water in the sea. Mykonos and Rhodes Old Town also possess everything you need for an urban beach holiday. The city of Thessaloniki is also a wonderful place to visit with a seaside and a port – although the nearest beaches are about 20 minutes out of the city, Halkidiki for example.
As I said before: Spanish people adore their beaches so besides Barcelona, there are a few more seaside cities that are worth a visit. Palma de Mallorca is the capital of the Balearic Islands in Spain and has a gorgeous seaside along with so much history to explore! Malaga, Alicante and Bilbao are also famous Spanish beach-holiday & city-holiday destinations. If you are into modern art Bilbao might just be the perfect place for you with the Guggenheim Museum displaying countless works of arts from Van Dyke, Goya and El Greco. It is also the perfect place to indulge in Spanish cuisine and wine!
A little North from the Mediterranean island of Greece lies a beautiful pearl in South-Eastern Europe: Dubrovnik in Croatia. With a large seaport right in the heart of the city, beaches lying on both sides of it and art, culture and history surrounding everything Dubrovnik makes a great destination for a city-break as well as a seaside break.
If you are still not quite sure which city is your best bet, you can stick with the classic European destinations. Although Paris, Berlin or Budapest don’t have seasides, come summer, these European cities also transform their riversides into sandy beaches with sunshades, cocktail bars and palm trees so even if you have to stay in the city, you can escape the noise for a couple of hours and pretend you are on a tropical island.