10 European Cities With Beaches Worth Travelling To

Europe
By Lottie Woodrow | 22nd May 2024
European cities with beaches

If you often find it hard choosing between a beach getaway or a city break, you no longer need to as we’ve rounded up the 10 best European cities with beaches worth travelling to. 

From Barcelona to Brighton, these are the best city beach breaks in Europe…

Barcelona, Spain - European cities with beaches

Barcelona

Perhaps the most well-known city home to a sandy beach in Europe, Barcelona is a great city to explore and spend a long weekend in. Not only could you spend your time strolling through the streets, immersing yourself in the cultural hotspot and historic architecture, but you can also head beachside for an evening soaking up the sunset, bottle of beer in hand.

Split your time wisely between the beach and exploring the Catalan capital. There are plenty of sites to visit, including marvelling at the famous Sagrada Familia, the unfinished Roman Catholic church; exploring the Picasso Museum dedicated to one of the great’s artists to have lived; and losing yourself in the shopping hub, La Rambla. 

Where to stay in Barcelona: H10 Cubik

Lisbon - European cities with beaches

Lisbon

For a sunny Portuguese break, look to the capital of Lisbon for its decorative buildings, historic castle São Jorge Castle and its long sandy beaches nestled on the edge of the city.

There’s plenty to sink your teeth into, whether you’re looking to laze on the beach of Praia de Carcavelos or explore the historic sites including the Belem Tower, a medieval defensive tower and the Gothic monastery of Jeronimos. 

Located on the South-East coast of the country, there are several beaches worth exploring depending on what you’re after. For the surfers, try Praia de Carcavelos. You may have to drive out to Praia dos Galapinhos but it’s the idyllic, quieter beach that’s definitely worth trekking to or simply stay local with the Praia da Conceicao which is located just outside the centre. 

Where to stay in Lisbon: The Ivens

Lisbon tram - European cities with beaches
Split, Croatia - European cities with beaches

Split

Croatia is always a good idea, and where better to spend your long weekend than soaking up the sun in the beachy city of Split? 

The largest city on the Croatian coast, it’s home to palace ruins from the Roman emperor Diocletian and there are plenty of sights worth delving into. At the top of the list of course is the Diocletian’s Palace, which takes centre stage in the city and forms around half of the city’s old town. But there’s also Jupiter’s Temple that’s great for those looking to immerse themselves in the thick of the city’s history, as well as the Archaeological Museum with hidden history waiting to be discovered. 

On the beach front, there are a few to explore including Bacvice Beach known by the locals or the city’s largest beach of Žnjan.

Where to stay in Split: Briig Boutique Hotel

Nice

Holiday like the rich and famous and schedule a summer trip to the French city of Nice. Situated on the French Riviera, there is plenty to do, see and explore. 

Immerse yourself in the culture and spend the day stomping around the medieval old town, home to petite tenement buildings, water fountains and narrow streets to get lost in. Let yourself loose, wandering up and around the alleys, stopping by the local independent eateries for lunch before hitting the shops.

Nice, South of France - European cities with beaches
Nice, France beach - European cities with beaches

Of course, the main pull for the city is of course the crystal clear waters that stretch for four miles. Spend the day soaking up the sun, dipping your toes in the waters and keeping your eyes peeled for celebrities.  

Where to stay in Nice: Hotel Le Negresco

Valencia - European cities with beaches

Valencia

We’re visiting another Spanish city and it’s the cultural area renowned for being the ‘city of arts and sciences’. Valencia, situated on the southeastern coast, is perfect for a short break away from it all. 

Spend your long weekend here exploring everything from the glorious Central Market to the Iglesia de San Nicolás de Bari y San Pedro Mártir de València (aka Valencia’s equivalent to the Sistine Chapel). Travel ten minutes out of the city and you’ll find their glorious beaches and nature parks. 

Where to stay in Valencia: SH Valencia Palace 

Palma

Chances are you may have already ticked this one off your list but if you’re visiting Mallorca this summer make sure you make a whistle-stop visit to Palma. 

The capital of the Spanish island, Palma is home to both beautiful beaches and stunning historical sights. Spend the morning visiting the La Seu Cathedral, before wandering up and down the cobbled streets set behind the cathedral. 

Palma, Mallorca - European cities with beaches
Palma - European cities with beaches

There are plenty of beaches nearby to soak up the sun and swim in the blue seas, from Illetas Beach and Ciutat or simply wander just outside the old town to the city beach of Ca’n Pere Antoni. 

Where to stay in Palma: El Llorenç Parc de la Mar

Bodrum - European cities with beaches

Bodrum

From its glistening beaches to its famous landmarks, Bodrum in Turkey is renowned for being a hotspot for the famous to vacate in the warmer months, and if you stay at the Caresse by Marriott, you might even brush shoulders with someone you recognise off the TV. 

Spend a relaxing week here exploring the best of the sights, from the Castle of St Peter, the billowing 15th-century castle that overlooks the harbour to the weekly markets spanning everything from fruit and veggies to souvenirs. 

Where to stay in Bodrum: Caresse, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Bodrum

Copenhagen

Scandinavia might not be the first place you think of when it comes to beaches but the capital of Denmark is home to some beautiful stretches that you might not know about. Expect sandy terrains at Bellevue Beach just 10 kilometres from downtown Copenhagen or the city’s newest beach, Svanemølle Beach.

Copenhagen - European cities with beaches
Copenhagen, Denmark - European cities with beaches

Not only are there beaches but there are several swimming baths dotted around the city’s harbour. It’s crystal clear and really popular in the summer months. 

Where to stay in Copenhagen: 71 Nyhavn Hotel

Naples, Italy - European cities with beaches

Naples

It might be southern Italy’s largest city but Naples is also home to some stunning seaside views across the Bay. Spend your vacation exploring the city’s ancient roots with an underground tour, where you’ll see its hidden Greek and Roman past come to life or see if its pizza reputation lives up to its name as you eat your way around the authentic eateries around the city. 

Let’s not forget that the Amalfi Coast is incredibly close by, home to some of the best sunset locations in the world. 

Where to stay in Naples: Mezzatorre 

Brighton & Hove

If in doubt, a short staycation in Brighton & Hove is always a good idea. While it might be able to guarantee the weather or the crystal clear views, this East Sussex spot is renowned for its cosmopolitan energy, independent vegan eateries and sunsets. 

Where to stay in Brighton: The Grand Brighton


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