The 6 Perfect European Cities To Enjoy The Beach And The City

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What if we can’t decide on the type of holiday we want? Do we want a city trip or do we want to relax by the beach? We don’t have to make that decision luckily, because there are many European cities to visit and 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. I love these European cities to explore and enjoy the relaxed vibe on the beach ánd the city life.

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Barcelona, Spain

Let’s start with one of the European cities that I have visited before, in 2016 and 2019. It didn’t love it in 2016, but decided to come back in 2019. Little did I know that I was going to fall in love with Barcelona. You just have to wander around the different areas in the city. There’s so much to explore.

Barcelona has some of the most amazing buildings I have seen, like the Gaudi buildings and the Sagrada Familia. I photographed many amazing places in Barcelona like the harbour, the old hospital and went up with the cable car to Montjuïc. Definitely go ahead and try these special experiences. It will draw you away from the crowds and the typical Barcelona spots.

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, 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. Barcelona is definitely a good city to enjoy the city life and the beach life. Barcelona is one of my favorite European cities of all times.

Read more: 7 Incredible Once in a Lifetime Journeys

Lisbon, Portugal

I have not visited Lisbon yet, but it is definitely on my list of European cities to visit.. 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 trams: it’s the perfect picture and the best place to wander around and to find lovely spots. I have not visited Lisbon before but I do feel like it’s one of the best European cities to visit. I’ve read it has a great beach to surf so it’s already making my heart skip a beat: I love surfing since I did a lesson in Bali.

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Málaga, Spain

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. 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 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! For now, it stays on my list of European cities to visit next.

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Nice, France

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.

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.

I am actually visiting Nice during this summer in 2020. We’ve been thinking of European cities to visit during our journey. Eventually, we decided to go with the European cities that we’ve wanted to visit for a long time. While I’m travelling in the south of France during the summer, we are going to Nice!

Read more: The Best 20 Destinations To Visit in 2020

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Naples, Italy

Italy is always a good idea: it’s always colorful and beautiful.

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 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! 

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Valencia, Spain

I went to Valencia during a study trip in 2017 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.

Read more: The Best Travel Quotes That Make You Wanna Leave Now!

These are 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.



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travel inspiration, european cities to visit, european cities to enjoy the beach and the city, where to go in europe
travel inspiration, european cities to visit, european cities to enjoy the beach and the city, where to go in europe


  1. These cities are sooo beautiful. Really can’t wait for everything to blow away so we can get back to exploring this postcard-perfect places once more. 🧡

  2. I 100% agree with every city you’ve recommended. They’re always such a good time. Especially Barcelona and Valencia.

  3. That is the best combo, the beach and city life! I haven’t been to all of these but look forward to visiting them all especially some in Spain!

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