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Explore The City With A Side Of Surf In The Best Beach Cities In The World

A warm, sunny beach makes for a great holiday spot almost anywhere in the world. Sunbathing on foreign shores is a very effective way to relax, however a remote beach can clash with aspirations of checking out the local culture and bustling nightlife.

Fortunately, you don’t have to choose between the city and surf. There are a ton of cities with beaches all of the world, letting you tick off your holiday wish list no matter where you’re headed.

If you’re looking to spend some warm, lazy days exploring a city on the beach, here are a few of the best coastal cities in the world.

Barcelona, Spain

 

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Barcelona‘s 4.5km coastline is littered with beaches, but the closest one to the city is Barceloneta. Barcelona’s most well-known beach, Barceloneta is just a 20 minute walk from the city. It’s heavily populated, and has numerous restaurant options.

If you prefer a quieter Barcelona beach, there are numerous other locations to try. Mar Bella Beach is a local nudist beach, though you don’t have to undress if you’d prefer not to, and the quiet and clean Nova Mar Beach is close to some good shopping.

When you aren’t catching rays, explore the city for some detailed, Gothic-influenced architecture, including many stunning buildings designed by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí i Cornet. Notable landmarks include the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, an unfinished Roman Catholic church, and Casa Batlló, known locally as the “House of Bones”.

Miami, Florida, United States

 

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Located toward the south of Florida, Miami is a city to visit if you love beach parties. This city on the beach is where young people gather to surf and sunbathe during the day, then swing on over to the nightclubs in the evening. When you want a break from partying, go shopping at the Bayside Marketplace or explore the city to see its art deco architecture.

Miami’s most famous beach is South Beach, known for its glamorous visitors. The South Beach area is one of the best spots to lay your towel for a chance of a celebrity sighting, and there’s a good selection of restaurants if you want to eat like a celebrity too.

If you’d prefer something a bit more humble, Haulover Beach holds a food truck festival and live music performances every Tuesday. Lummus Park Beach is also an ideal place for taking some Instagram snaps, or reenacting scenes from Miami Vice.

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

 

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When considering cities with beaches in the United States, it typically comes down to two options: Miami in Florida or Honolulu in Hawaii.

A little warmer than Miami, Honolulu is for people who want to enjoy spectacular views whether by the water or on the hiking trail. Honolulu has some great hikes, most notably to the top of the 300-year-old Diamond Head crater, and Hawaii’s fertile volcanic soil has filled its warm rainforests with lush vegetation.

In terms of beaches, Waikiki Beach it the most popular place in Honolulu to lie back with a coconut and forget about your responsibilities. It’s touristy, but what’s the point of being a tourist if you can’t revel in it a bit? However if you’re in the mood to swim laps instead, Ala Moana Beach Park is less crowded and the coral reef protecting it keeps the water very calm.

While you’re in the state, take some time to explore Hawaii’s other islands if you get the chance. Punalu’u Beach on the Big Island is a must see, a black sand beach created by underwater volcanic activity.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 

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Music and passion are always in fashion at the Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro. Running 4km long, it is the city’s most famous stretch of sand, meaning it is very well populated. This isn’t a negative though, as the crowd just adds to Copacabana Beach’s vibrant atmosphere.

For playing a round of volleyball or working on your tan, Copacabana Beach the place to be. It is also well-lit at night, though you still need to take the usual safety precautions and remain in populated areas. However, this beach isn’t the only one Rio de Janeiro has on offer. Ipanema Beach is also very lively and offers a fantastic sunset, while Botafogo Beach is quieter and used for sport rather than swimming.

There’s a ton to explore in the city but one thing not to miss is Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro’s famous art deco statue. The 30m-tall Jesus statue is given even further height by an 8m-tall pedestal, and is located atop Corcovado Mountain. It has become a symbol of the city since it was erected in 1931, overlooking the city with arms outstretched as if ready to give the world’s biggest hug.

Cape Town, South Africa

 

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One of the capitals of South Africa, Cape Town (the legislative capital of South Africa) is the oldest city in South Africa. This city on the beach is also flanked by the flat-topped Table Mountain, a popular attraction itself. Tourists often hike to Table Mountain’s summit, as there are many native plants and animals to spot along the way.  These including the cute and furry rock hyrax, also known as the dassie, and the red-winged starling.

 

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If you don’t feel up to hiking but want to enjoy Table Mountain’s amazing views, you can catch a cable-car to the top. On a clear day, those at the summit are able to see Robben Island, where former president Nelson Mandela was held for 18 years of his 27-year imprisonment.

There’s plenty to do down at sea level, though. The Cape Town suburb of Clifton contains four brilliant beaches with beautiful white sand, Clifton 4th Beach the most popular. It’s the only one that has received Blue Flag certification, meaning it maintains strict environmental, safety and access standards. It’s a good place for people-watching as well, as its patrons are reportedly pretty hot.

Clifton’s beaches aren’t Cape Town’s only seaside spots, either. Try Llandudno Beach for surfing and sunsets, and if you want to spot some penguins, head to Boulders Beach.

Singapore

 

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You never have to worry about it being too cold for the beach in Singapore. Located on the equator, the country and city’s temperature hovers in the low 30s (celsius) for most of the year, meaning your biggest concern regarding the whether is whether it’s raining or not. Singapore’s beaches are made from imported sand, but the fact that they aren’t natural doesn’t make them any less beautiful. In fact, Singapore’s notorious standards of cleanliness mean their beaches are pristine.

The country’s most spectacular beaches can be found on island resort Sentosa, including Palawan Beach, which is famous for its clear water and rope suspension bridge. Sentosa isn’t the only place with sand though, as Singapore’s main island hosts Changi Beach and Punggol Beach.

Singapore is incredibly friendly to tourists, with numerous attractions and shopping opportunities, but the highlight of any trip to this country is its delicious food. The city is full of outdoor hawker centres, where hawkers sell a wide variety of amazing local dishes such as Hainanese chicken rice and nasi lamak. There’s rarely an opportunity to get hungry in Singapore.

Sydney, Australia

Sydney is one of the most famous cities with beaches in the world, that natural habitat of the Bondi Rescue lifeguards. Australia bears an international reputation for sunny weather and equally sunny dispositions, and Sydney welcomes thousands of tourists to its beaches each year.

There are many places to lay your towel in Sydney. If the famous Bondi Beach feels a bit too populated for your liking, head north to the aptly named Northern Beaches area by either driving over the Sydney Harbour Bridge or enjoying a pleasant ferry ride from Circular Quay.

Here you’ll find Manly Beach, a great surfing spot which is slightly less crowded but still well replete with dining options. If you want to snorkel, the smaller Shelly Beach is just a short walk away and full of marine life. Both have lifeguards.

Check out Qantas flights to begin your city beach adventure.