These destinations perfectly combine a city break with a relaxing beach holiday.
The world’s best beach cities offer holidaymakers the perfect combination of urban buzz and seaside relaxation. After a day on an amazing beach, travellers can simply walk across the seafront and be back in the heart of a bustling city, with world-class bars, cafes, restaurants, museums, hotels and other entertainments within easy reach.
Alternatively, after a sunny day wandering the streets of these fascinating cities, what better way of cooling down than to take an early evening dip and watch the sun go down over the waves with a cool drink? With so much to do in such close proximity, you could spend a week or a fortnight in any one of these cities and not run out of new places to explore.
Cape Town is Africa’s most popular tourist spot, and for good reason! In addition to attractions such as Table Top Mountain, the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and the city’s rich architectural heritage, Cape Town’s beaches are among the best in the world. Thanks to the layout of the city, visitors can sample many different beaches in a single day, including the buzzing Camps Bay with its restaurants and bars, Boulders Beach with its colony of African Penguins, and False Bay with its warmer bathing waters.
The city of Miami Beach in Florida is separated from Downtown Miami by Biscayne Bay, and is a separate municipality from the main city, although locals simply refer to it as ‘South Beach’. Miami Beach is one of America’s top beach resorts, attracting the glitterati to its sleek art deco hotels and pristine white beaches.
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro boasts an incredible 80km of beaches, many with the Cristo Redentor statue and Sugarloaf/Corcovado Mountains as a dramatic backdrop. As well as this, the city is Brazil’s cultural hub, providing travellers with a wealth of entertainments. As well as the world-famous carnival each February, samba music pulses through the city every other night of the year, making Rio one lively place!
With 4.km of coastline, Barcelona provides visitors with the sandy delights to accompany its many cultural attractions. The city’s Barceloneta beach was awarded an award for being the world’s ‘best urban beach’ and even managed to claim third in the ‘best beach in the world’ category. Barcelona holiday apartments are a good option for a holiday base, and when not enjoying the sun, sea and sand at the beach, Gaudi’s spectacular cathedral is a must-visit.
As well as the renowned Bondi Beach, Sydney has around 70 beaches within its urban area. Surfers can head to Curl Curl, Dee Why, Narrabeen and Palm Beach, the latter also being the location for filming Home and Away, for fans looking to catch a glimpse of the cast and crew!
Vancouver boasts a total of ten beaches, each with a slightly different character depending on what you’re looking for. Jericho Beach is perfect for families looking for a safe place to relax, while Wreck Beach is a ‘clothing optional’ space, where bathers can really hang loose. Kitsilano Beach is one for the sports enthusiasts, with its free basketball and tennis courts, as well as a large heated saltwater pool.
Located on the south-east Mediterranean coast of France, Nice stretches along the Baie des Anges and its pebbled beach. The Promenade des Anglais walkway along the seafront was constructed by beggars employed by rich English visitors in the late 1700s – a project which the city soon adopted and extended. The city has a number of picturesque squares in which to grab a cafe au lait and watch the world roll past, before heading back to the beach for a snooze or a swim!