We’re not always lucky enough to be travelling to a location that has sun, sea and sand but with plenty of imagination and invention, these cities have created their very own urban beaches.
Amsterdam in Bloom
Blijburg is a small Amsterdam peninsula converted to a beachside destination for live music, good food and sand. Amsterdam is also home to Roest, which features a full programme of art and music events, plus food – in a sandy location.
Europe’s biggest manmade beach
In 2020 Europe’s largest artificial beach will open 30 kilometres from Madrid – as well as beach and lagoon, Alovera Beach will have sporting facilities, restaurants and parks.
Open since 2002, Strandbar Mitte has palm trees to set the scene for an afternoon of cocktails and stone-baked pizzas alongside Berlin’s river Spree. Upstream, Yaam is a beach bar and live music venue, with a focus on reggae, hip hop, dub, afrobeat and soul.
Organic and Yoga
Yes, there are DJs here, but Urban Beach Florence provides a contrast to the usual fun-in-the-sun-style beaches. Food is seasonal and organic, there are picnics, yoga and sand castle tournaments – with the backdrop of Florence’s Arno river.
Fun in the British sun
Urban London Beach and Beacheast give visitors to the British capital a bit of escapist fun in the sand. London’s Royal Docks is home to Urban London Beach and also numerous restaurants. It’s the perfect place to laze with an ice cream and a book. Beacheast, at the 2012-opened Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, includes its own Afrobeach, an amusement park and a Tropicana Beach Bar.