If you’re hoping to get away for a spell, there’s every chance you’re looking for a holiday by the beach – you get to soak up some rays, maybe take to the water for a spot of surfing, and spend time relaxing with a book and a cocktail as you kick back on some golden sands.
However, if you’re a more active holiday-goer, you may get a little bored of sunning yourself after a few days, and most beach destinations don’t have an awful lot on offer asides from, well, the beach itself.
Fortunately for you, there are a number of destinations which balance the best of both worlds – some European cities have beaches in them, even ones which are nowhere near the sea! Here are our picks of the very best; choose one to enjoy sun and sand as well as all the traditional attractions of a city break.
Kiev – The Hidropark
Sure, you might not readily associate the former Soviet state of Ukraine with golden sands, but that’s what makes the Hidropark such a novelty! Staying in the capital, Kiev, you can take a short trip on the metro to the Hidropark stop.
Here you’ll find plenty of beaches lining the banks of the river Dnipro. There are all the things you’d expect from a decent beach – volleyball courts, swimming opportunities and deckchairs, for example. There’s also a nudist beach, a casino and even an open-air gym!
Prague – The First Prague Beach
The Czech capital is known more for its local beer (known as Pilsner) and for stag nights than it is for beaches, but don’t let that put you off!
Every summer, the Czechs ship roughly seven hundred tonnes of glorious golden sand into the capital, creating a temporary beach on the banks of the Vitava. Make the most of the good weather and take to the pool, or come later on in the day to enjoy a balmy evening of live music.
Berlin – Strandbar Mitte
If you’re looking for a real luxury break, head over to Secretescapes and see what Berlin options are available to you – it’s an incredible city, with a number of fantastic museums, a great atmosphere and some amazing shopping opportunities.
The banks of the Spree are also home to more than thirty beaches now, but you’d be best served by the original and the best, the Strandbar Mitte. With beach volleyball, fab beach bars and salsa evenings, you can do a lot worse!
Paris – The Paris Plages
This is the one that everyone knows. From the 20th July right through to the 18th August each year, the French capital is transformed into a beach resort – the roads are turned into blissful beaches, newspaper vendors are replaced with ice cream sellers and the normally-frantic city becomes more of a laid-back place for once!
In our opinion, it’s a vast improvement; you can spend your days on the beach then head up to the top of the Eiffel Tower in the evening. A truly fantastic holiday for all.