The best European cities to enjoy the beach and the city

Sometimes you want the best of both worlds, right? I have moments when I really enjoy the beach to walk in the water, swim, go sun bathing or just to watch the sunset. But, I do have moments when I completely fall in love with the city life. I’ve always loved the rush of the city life, I have grown up in a city and I live on my own in a city nowadays. Sometimes, I’m craving the beach and the rushed city life: so what do I do? Exactly, I chose a city that has both city life and beach life. Today, I’m sharing the best European cities to enjoy the beach and the city. I have not visited all of these, but they are definitely on my list and it was a lot of fun to find out what each city has to offer!

Barcelona

Let’s start with a city I have visited before, in 2016. It had been on the top of my bucket list for some time and in the summer of 2016 I decided to visit Barcelona with a good friend. And to be completely honest, it was a bit of a disappointment at the time. Maybe because my family and friends complete hyped Barcelona and I guess it made my expectations really high. However, I did enjoy my time and the city is absolutely beautiful.

Barcelona has some of the most amazing buildings I have seen, like the Gaudi buildings and the Sagrada Familia. I was in Barcelona for three days, so I did not visit all the things I wanted which made me craving Barcelona in the last few weeks. I don’t know why, but I really want to go back!! I want to photograph all the amazing things in Barcelona, visit the Sagrada Familia and go to Parc Güell which we didn’t go to last time (didn’t buy tickets online so it was completely full the entire day).

The beach is pretty as well, it’s a very long beach and the water is a beautiful bright-ish blue colour. It was completely packed when I was in Barcelona in July, so we didn’t go and swam in the ocean but it’s definitely a good option to do when you want to relax and escape the busy city life! So yes, Barcelona is definitely a good city to enjoy the city life and the beach life!

Lisbon

Lisbon
I have not visited Lisbon yet, but it is definitely on my list. I love the little tram in the city and the pictures just look amazing. I feel like it’s an amazing city to just wander around and get lost, if you know what I mean? It looks authentic and I feel like it’s not really comparable to any other European city (but which city is?) The old streets, the mosaic tiles, the café’s and as mentioned before: the trams. I don’t know why, but the trams are just really cute to me. A few of the houses have a pastel colour and in combination with the little (yellow) trams: it’s the perfect picture and the best place to wander around and to find lovely spots. So I have not visited Lisbon before, which means I don’t have any recommendations or experiences to share. I do feel like it’s one of the best European cities to visit though! (I’ve read it has a great beach to surf so it’s already making my heart skip a beat: I love surfing since Bali!!)

Málaga

Malaga 1

I fell in love with Málaga after watching the YouTube videos of a Dutch youtuber and blogger. She lives in Málaga with her Spanish boyfriend and her videos made me fall in love with the city and I placed it pretty high on my bucket list. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I feel like Málaga is pretty new in the tourism industry and is just getting popular in the last few years. It seems to me that it’s now the perfect time to Málaga since it’s not as crowded with tourists just yet. The authentic tapas bars really catch my eye in the pictures I’ve found online and yes, I LOVE tapas so really: I’m already excited to go and eat in a lovely tapas bar in the old centre of Málaga. Also, Málaga has 300 days of sun in the year which makes it the perfect destination if your country has miserable weather like the Netherlands. I’ve read it’s a great city for the shopping lovers under us, which I have to admit: I do love some shopping myself. I can’t wait to visit Málaga for the first time and share my experience with you guys!

Nice

Nice 1

France is one of my favourite countries to visit, if not my favourite country. Nice is one of the cities at the south of France, and I have been there before. However, funny story: our car was actually too big to fit in any of the parking garages so we did drive around the city but were not able to actually stop and walk through the city. The views from the car were pretty though. So yes, this is another city that I really want to visit. Honestly, my bucket list is just getting bigger and bigger after writing this blogpost.

The beach in Nice is seven kilometres long and it is next to the “Promenade des Anglais” which makes it the perfect place for an early morning swim or to stroll on the promenade at night and watch the sunset. The old town of Nice is almost a maze of cute little streets: amazing to just stroll around, get lost and to enjoy a drink. The restaurants serve local specialties like beignets de fleurs de courgettes, which sounds and looks pretty interesting but I’m ready and excited to taste it!! Nice has a few antic markets during the week, and it’s the perfect way to find some vintage stuff! And yes, I can already see myself drinking my cappuccino in ‘Quartier du Port’. After doing some research on google, I have found that ‘Promenade du Paillon’ looks like the perfect place to have a picnic so I’m definitely going to picnic if I’m in Nice one day!

Naples

Naples 1

Italy is always a good idea: it’s always colourful and beautiful. To be honest, it was never on my bucket list but after doing some research: it definitely is now. Really, this blogpost is not good for me because I want to visit every city!! As it wasn’t on my bucket list before, I really do not know what to do in Naples so I really had to do some research and look at pictures.

The mountain “Mount Vesuvius” looks like the perfect place to enjoy an amazing view over Naples, as it is dominating the skyline of Naples. So I feel like it’s a good spot to enjoy the view and to watch either the sunrise of the sunset. It is a volcano and it is the volcano that completely destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum. There is a bus tour from Naples that’ll bring you to the volcano and you’ll be able to climb the volcano. The hike will be about 20-30 minutes which is actually pretty doable.

When you’re in Naples, it is a drive away from the ruins of Pompeii. I’ve always wanted to visit Pompeii, but it’s such a tragedy and I feel like it’s going to be quite hard to walk through the ruins. There are plaster casts of many of the so unfortunate victims of the ashes, and they remained in their death position for an eternity. Herculaneum seems to be worthy of a visit as well, as it got destroyed at the same time as Pompeii. It is actually better preserved than Pompeii.

Basically, Naples is a very good city to enjoy the historic facts of the city because it has lots of ruins, catacombs and castles to visit. As a history geek, I’m really looking forward to visit Naples! As you can see, I basically can’t stop writing about it. It does not have the greatest beaches, but it looks to me like there is some space to go and swim in the ocean and go sunbathing! 

Valencia

Yes, finally another city that I’ve actually visited before! I went to Valencia during a study trip last year and I fell in love with the city. The diversity is out of this world. It has an amazing old town with all historic buildings and a completely modern side of the city with the most beautiful and modern buildings. There is a big parc in the middle of the city, which divides the old town from the modern town. The parc is the perfect place to go picnicking, to go for a run or do any other sport, to cycle and to just walk around! Honestly, it’s one of the best parcs I’ve ever seen.

The beach is amazing and it really is a beautiful beach to go sunbathing and to swim in the ocean. It has great beach restaurants and cafés to enjoy your lunch or dinner, or to just enjoy a cocktail! Many of these restaurants do not allow people inside that are wearing bikini’s or anything similar so make you have appropriate clothes to wear if you are planning on eating in the restaurants!

There is a big food market somewhere in the middle of the old town. It is an inside market with basically all the foods you can imagine: fruits, vegetables, fish and meat. The best place for the foodies under us!

So these were the best European cities to enjoy the city and the beach at the same time! I do feel like Naples isn’t the best option to enjoy the best of both worlds, but it looks like it’s completely worthy of a visit!! My bucket list just got a bit longer after writing this post, but I’m so excited to have found these amazing cities.

Love,

Melissa.

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