We don’t always think about beautiful beaches when we think about a European vacation. Usually, we think about Paris or London or Rome. But the beauty of many European countries most certainly extends to their beaches. And while you might have heard of some of the more popular European beaches, there are some smaller beach cities that you may not have heard of.
So if you’re looking to take a relaxing beach vacation while also experiencing Europe, then look no further than these great European beach cities!
Of course Spain has great beach cities! Are you surprised? Barcelona is one of the world’s great cities and much of this is due to its wonderful beach scene. If you want to be where the cool kids are and take in all the various food and drink vendors, then look no further than it’s most popular beach, Barceloneta. But if you want a more quiet beach experience while in Barcelona, Nova Icaria and Bogatell are the beaches for you.
And, aside from the beaches, Barcelona is still a fascinating and lively city. Incredible architecture can be found throughout the city, and the nightlife is thriving. Not to mention the city is full of great food and plenty of worthwhile galleries and museums.
Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and a great vacation option. And while it’s commonly known for its historic architecture and the lovely tram system that runs through it, it also has some long and lovely beaches along its coastline. If you want a peaceful and relaxing beach experience, look no further than Praia de Carcavelos. And if you consider yourself an experienced surfer, just head a little north to find your brethren.
Lisbon is also known for its numerous independent bookstores. So you’re an avid reader this is a great vacation destination for you.
SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN
San Sebastian is most famous for its amazing cuisine. They have one of the highest populations of Michelin-starred restaurants in the world. So that alone is a great reason to visit this beautiful city. But we’re here to talk about the beaches! And San Sebastian’s friendly, chilled-out Playa de la Concha is a truly stunning one, to say the least. You’ll enjoy the view of Santa Clara Island just off the shore, and the view of the lush green mountains behind you when you look inland.
And if you’re looking for a more lively beach scene, head on over to nearby Playa de la Zurriola to hang with the surfing and partying crowd.
When it comes to Croatia beaches, it’s all about the Dalmatian Coast. The water is so crystal-clear that you won’t even believe it’s actually an ocean. The only problem is, many of the beaches are rocky and isolated to small coves. Thankfully, that’s not the case in the beautiful city of Split. The beach is perfect for sunbathing and rum drinking, while the city itself still provides many great restaurants and bars. It’s also a city rich in history, so be sure to take in Diocletian’s Palace while you’re there.
PALMA DE MALLORCA, SPAIN
Mallorca has become known as a holiday drunk-fest of a beach city, but specifically, Palma de Mallorca provides the perfect blend of relaxed beaches and fun city vibes. The long, sandy beaches provide plenty of great amenities like showers, toilets, lifeguards, and umbrellas and loungers for rent. While the city offers seemingly endless attractions like great restaurants and bars, a historic cathedral, and a beautiful old town.
Nice, France is one of the most underrated cities in the world. Maybe it’s because St. Tropez gets all the attention when it comes to French beach cities. But Nice is just as… nice (sorry). The beaches go on for miles and are constantly accompanied by a lovely promenade. And while the public beaches and beautiful and fun, you can also pay a little extra and enjoy one of their numerous private beaches for a more secluded beach vacation experience.