Who doesn’t love to spend time on the beach? Be it the warm sun and sand during the day or the cool sea breeze and breathtaking sunset in the evening, beaches are always mesmerizing. Coastal cities and towns have always been attracting tourists and travel enthusiasts. And it becomes a bonus if these cities have more to offer than just a beautiful coastline.
Let’s find out which cities of the world take the cake when it comes to being named the best coastal cities. Here’s presenting our list.
Scotland is known for its rolling hills and beautiful highlands. But the capital city of Edinburgh also boasts of a very picturesque coastline. Despite being the second most popular city in the UK after London, the beaches in Edinburgh haven’t got the attention they deserve. The Cramond beach offers fabulous views as you walk on the paved promenade along the sandy shore. The Portobello beach on the other hand is a more commercial location for a perfect day out. Here you can shop at the stores along the promenade or just relax and sip at a coffee in one of the many cafes after the day at the beach. Then there’s the Aberlady Bay which is a natural reserve with a combination of different habitats. The salt marsh, sand dunes, and the beach are a hotspot for many migratory birds.
Apart from the lovely beach fronts, Edinburgh has a lot more to offer. It hosts the annual Fringe Festival, the biggest international performing arts festival of the world. Everyone’s probably already familiar with the other attractions in the city, such as Arthur’s Seat which is an extinct volcano that you can hike up. The Edinburgh Castle is also worth a visit to have a look at the crown jewels and get a glimpse of the city’s history.
Nice is a large coastal city in France with a beautiful environment and a mild Mediterranean climate. The city has earned the nickname Nice la Belle, which translates to Nice the Beautiful. This is owing to its beautiful sceneries, clear skies, and soft light which have inspired many painters in the past as well.
There are nearly 35 beaches, including private and public ones, along the long stretch of the Promenade des Anglais. Don’t expect to walk on soft sand though as many of the beaches of Nice are covered with tiny smooth pebbles known as galets. So, footwear is recommended. If you would like to soak the sun on a private beach you will need to pay between 10 and 18 Euros. You can also trek up to Castle Hill for the city’s view. Or enjoy your day at the Bay of Angels or the Cote d’Azur which got its name from the bright blue waters.
While nature lovers will find the seaside of Nice appealing, there’s something for the shopaholics too. The city of Nice has a very cosmopolitan vibe with many world-class fashion boutiques, showrooms and restaurants for food lovers as well.
We don’t often think of Venice as a coastal gem. That is but obvious as the Gondola rides through the canals and the architecture have always been the main attractions here. But Venice is indeed one of the most unique and romantic coastal cities in the world. That is probably why it is also the most visited city on Italy’s east coast. Often called a floating city, Venice is built on more than 100 small islands in the Venetian lagoon of the Adriatic Sea. That makes it even more fascinating.
The winding canals and the Gondola rides through them are considered to be one of the most romantic experiences in the world. If you’re a fan of open spaces and vast seas, however, you can also go for the outer islands. In fact, the outer islands are the places where you can experience Venetian culture at its best. Each island is just a short ride away by boat but the history, culture, food, and views you get to absorb are priceless.
If you are looking for a quintessential Venice experience, though, head to the city center. There you get to see the main square, Piazza San Marco, and take in the beauty of Venetian architecture in the unique Saint Mark’s Basilica or the Doge’s Palace.
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is one of South Africa’s most loved cities, be it for the culture, cuisine or simply the natural beauty that it holds. It is situated on the lagoon dividing the cold Atlantic Ocean and the warmer Indian Ocean. Cape Town offers some of the best beaches in a city setting and people from all over the world yearn to visit. With nearly 20 stunning beaches, it is one of the most lively cities with a lot to do for everyone. Clifton Beach has a number of sprawling mansions overlooking the sea and gives a breathtaking view of the sunset. It is perfect for sunbathing, beach sports, and fun activities. Boulders Beach, on the other hand, is famous for penguin spotting if swimming with penguins is on your bucket list.
For surfing, the wind is perfect at Milnerton and Blouberg. There are very places in the world where you can lie on a pristine white sandy beach with beautiful mountains in the backdrop. Cape Town offers you this view. Cape Town is also considered to be one of the coolest destinations in South Africa so you can enjoy the nightlife and city tours too.
Miami is undoubtedly a glamour lover’s paradise. The sandy beaches of Miami are world-famous and often thronged by many celebrities. You might just bump into your favorite Hollywood star at one of these beaches. South Beach is a fashion haven with many of the fashion industry’s who’s who setting up establishments here. This place was made popular by the late 1980’s TV show, Miami Vice. It is now one of the richest areas in the city.
Miami is very popular among the youth, particularly for its nightlife and hip clubs. The art deco neighborhoods are also a popular attraction.
If you have to define Dubai in one word, it has to be “extravagant’. This coastal city in the United Arab Emirates has some of the greatest architectural marvels of our time. From being home to the tallest building in the world to underwater villas and a man-made island, Dubai offers sites you can only imagine. The Jumeirah Beach is the most popular beach in the city, on the coast of the Persian Gulf. The soft sand beach with soothing blue waters houses the 7-star hotel, the Burj al Arab, one of the major attractions of Dubai.
But more importantly, Dubai is world-renowned as a shopping destination. With some of the biggest malls in the world, it is a shopper’s paradise and they even host one of the biggest annual Shopping Festivals in the world.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro is the city of carnivals and mesmerizing, vivacious beach life. Some of the world’s most popular beaches are in this South American city. With an almost 25 miles long coastline, most of the city’s life is on its beaches. Two of the most famous beaches are the Copacabana and Ipanema. Copacabana has mountains in the backdrop, while the Ipanema beach, which is more popular among the rich and famous, is adorned by the city’s skyline in the background.
Whether you are in beach and water sports, partying or simply relaxing in the sun, Rio has everything you can ask for. You also can’t forget to visit Christ the Redeemer, which is visible from almost everywhere in the city.
Barcelona is the party capital of Spain located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. the city has around 8 well-maintained beaches open to the public of which Barceloneta is the most popular destination. It is easily accessible from the city’s center and has some of the best eateries around. It is popular among joggers and cyclists. You can even rent a bicycle at the beach or an umbrella to just sit and relax in the shade. For water sports enthusiasts, Mar Bella Beach is the best spot while those looking for a little peace and tranquility can head to the Nova Icaria.
When not on the beach, you can explore the city’s beautiful architecture, wonderful cuisine and upbeat nightlife.
Tel Aviv, Israel
With nearly 8 miles of beach along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, Tel Aviv offers a very different experience from the rest of Israel. The sandy beaches of Tel Aviv are perfect for an evening stroll with a view of the sunset. Just as they for sitting and sipping on coffee at one of the many cafes on the promenade. Unlike the rest of the country, Tel Aviv has a vivacious nightlife with most discos and clubs remaining open till dawn and draws a lot of the young crowd.
The Hilton Beach and Gordon Beach are two of the major crowd pullers in Tel Aviv.
Although Australia has some very famous coastal cities with some of the best beaches in the world, such as the Bondi beach in Sydney, Perth is definitely worth a mention. Though lesser known that Sydney or Gold Coast, Perth offers some very pristine beaches and rich marine life to explore. The beautiful beaches with white sand and pristine blue waters are home to sea lions, dolphins, and even migrating whales. The city also has many other sites of interest like museums, parks, and architectural sites where you can spend the day.