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Top 10: most beautiful city beaches in the world

Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.

Today (November 21, 2016): Top 10 best city beaches in the world.

There’s only a handful of major cities across the world with excellent stretches of beach just minutes away from the city centre. Here, the lucky inhabitants can exchange their working suites and dresses for swim shorts and bikinis in the afternoon and head to the beach for sun and sand. And their visitors never have to decide between a beach vacation and an urban escape as they get the best of both worlds. I hereby present you my selection of the world’s 10 most stunningly beautiful city beaches.

There is more information below the slide show. Think I missed one? Share your favorite city beach in the comments section, or take my poll below!

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10. BARCELONETA BEACH, BARCELONA (SPAIN)

The Barceloneta beach is the most distinguished and well-known beach in Barcelona. There is more than 0,6 miles (1 km) of golden sand to enjoy activities in the sea and on the beach. Barceloneta Beach is inextricably linked to the fishing quarter of the same name, Barceloneta, Barcelona’s classic neighbourhood by the sea, where the people of Barcelona love to come and eat fish and seafood dishes and tapas. It is thought to have inspired Miguel de Cervantes as the setting for the fight between Don Quixote and the Knight of the White Moon. It was here that the knight errant was finally defeated and abandoned his quest. The beach is ideal for a day of leisure, but expect large crowds on Saturdays when locals show up. Due to large crowd you should be careful and pay attention to a pickpockets.

BARCELONETA BEACH, BARCELONA (SPAIN)

BARCELONETA BEACH, BARCELONA (SPAIN)


9. SUNSET BEACH, VANCOUVER (CANADA)

You might not associate Vancouver with beaches, but whether you’re looking for a stretch of sand to spread out and relax with a good book, an outdoor court to spike a volleyball, or a catwalk to strut your stuff, you’ll find it here. Sunset Beach is a large stretch of sand, no more than a 30- minute walk from most downtown hotels – with no commercial exploitation intruding on the peaceful environment. In summer, th beacharea becomes a jumping off point for rollerblading adventures, strolling for ice cream, and picnics. Kids will love the floating slide and parents will appreciate the full time lifeguard. It’s also the place to lay down your blanket and look up to the sky during the Celebration of Light international fireworks competition held over three nights in late July and early August.

SUNSET BEACH, VANCOUVER (CANADA)

SUNSET BEACH, VANCOUVER (CANADA)


8. SOUTH BEACH, MIAMI (USA)

South Beach has been called the American Riviera and an Art Deco Playground. Yet there’s more than fine white sand and colorful buildings to South Beach’s fantasyland of exuberant Deco architecture. South Beach offers an eclectic mix of world-class boutiques, galleries and stores. It’s also a culinary hot spot for everything from gourmet to casual beachside cuisine. At night, South Beach comes alive with crowds ready to go out and have a world-class evening out. The clear blue water and the white sand beaches are a must-see for any Miami visitor; even for locals, the beautiful beach just doesn’t get old. If you’re taking a break from the sun, check out one of the many museums, shops or historic buildings in the area. Or take a stroll down Lincoln Road for the best people watching in Miami or cozy up to a fancy bar with haute cocktails.

SOUTH BEACH, MIAMI (USA)

SOUTH BEACH, MIAMI (USA)


7. BAKER BEACH, SAN FRANCISCO (USA)

On those rare sunny days when the fog and wind have called it quits, locals in San Francisco know it’s time to hit Baker Beach, a mile-long (1,6 km) sandy shoreline in the southwest corner of the Presidio. Here, you find amazing views of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge – it never gets old! – along with stunning vistas of the Pacific Ocean, the Marin Headlands, and Lands End. Sure, the water’s too cold and rough for swimming, but the beach is perfect for a barefoot stroll along the surf. The parking lot and restrooms make spending a whole day here easy. Be sure to pack your snacks as there is no food service on site. The sunsets here are an unforgettable, quintessentially California experience. Just don’t forget to bring a blanket and – of course – extra layers!

BAKER BEACH, SAN FRANCISCO (USA)

BAKER BEACH, SAN FRANCISCO (USA)


6. BAY OF ANGELS, NICE (FRANCE)

The lovely city of Nice in Southern France does not just have one beach, but as many as 30 which stretch like a necklace all along the Baie des Anges (Bay of Angels) from Nice Airport on the western edge to the foot of Mont Boron in the east, a distance of nearly 6 miles (10 km). Nice beaches are partly public, partly private, with the private ones providing mattresses, parasols, changing cubicles, showers, and eateries overlooking the sea. Nice’s beaches are composed of large pebbles called galetsFor centuries, three rivers have brought these stones from the mountains to the coast. Though the galets rule out long walks on the beach, there’s always the Promenade des Anglais, the beachside promenade that runs 5km along the sea.

BAY OF ANGELS, NICE (FRANCE)

BAY OF ANGELS, NICE (FRANCE)


5. VENICE BEACH, LOS ANGELES (USA)

From its world-famous boardwalk and beautiful beach to the shopper’s paradise of Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice Beach offers a unique and vibrant mix of activities and attractions. Originally called ‘Venice of America’,Venice was founded in 1905 by developer Abbot Kinney as a beachfront resort town. Kinney’s initial vision of creating a cultural mecca was set aside to accommodate the public, and Venice became the ‘Coney Island of the Pacific’, complete with an amusement pier and a miniature steam railroad. Kinney also created a system of canals and imported gondolas and gondoliers from Venice, Italy. Today, Venice is one of the most popular destinations in Los Angeles for visitors and locals alike. From its days as home to Beat Generation poets and artists, Venice continues to be an important Los Angeles cultural center.

VENICE BEACH, LOS ANGELES (USA)

VENICE BEACH, LOS ANGELES (USA)


4. WAIKIKI BEACH, HONOLULU (USA)

Located on the south shore of Honolulu, the world-famous neighborhood of Waikiki was once a playground for Hawaiian royalty. Known in Hawaiian as ‘spouting waters’, Waikiki was introduced to the world when its first hotel, the Moana Surfrider, was built on its shores in 1901. Today, Waikiki is Oahu’s main hotel and resort area and a vibrant gathering place for more than 4 million visitors every year. Thanks to its small but long-lasting wave break, this is one of the best places in Hawaii to learn how to surf or paddle a canoe.Waikiki is actually made of a few beaches including Fort DeRussy Beach to the west, Waikiki Beach (fronting the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and Westin Moana Surfrider), Kuhio Beach (along Kalakaua Avenue) and Queen Surf Beach, home to quieter stretches on the Diamond Head side of Waikiki.

WAIKIKI BEACH, HONOLULU (USA)

WAIKIKI BEACH, HONOLULU (USA)


3. COPACABANA BEACH, RIO DE JANEIRO (BRAZIL)

Located in Zona Sul, Copacabana Beach is one of the most famous and beautiful beaches in the world. The atmosphere is very vibrant and the people are colorful and fun-loving. The view to the left of Copacabana beach is the towering and iconic mountain of Sugar Loaf and Fort Duque de Caxias built in 1779. On the right is Copacabana Fort, which dates back to 1914 and houses the Army Historical Museum. The beach runs for 2.2 miles (4 km) in an east west direction running from Postos Dois to Posto Seis. Make sure to take a walk along the beach to enjoy some of the most incredible sand sculptures and when you get thirsty or hungry, you can stop by one of the several beach bars and enjoy a gold cup of chopp (draft beer) and refeicao (herbed meat and fried onions).

COPACABANA BEACH, RIO DE JANEIRO (BRAZIL)

COPACABANA BEACH, RIO DE JANEIRO (BRAZIL)


2. BONDI BEACH, SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)

Bondi Beach is an iconic stretch of fine sand and curling waves and one of the world’s most famous beach destinations. You can enjoy Bondi at any time of the year. The beach is flanked by sandstone headlands, which are popular for walking, golfing and whale watching. Bondi Beach offers visitors insights into Australia’s easy-going beach culture. Picnics and fish and chips on the beach are popular or dine out at one of the vibrant cafés and bars overlooking the beach on Campbell Parade and in nearby streets. You can marvel at the skill of board-riders surfing near the beach’s southern end, and even learn to surf at one of the accredited Bondi surf schools.

BONDI BEACH, SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)

BONDI BEACH, SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)


1. CAMPS BAY, CAPE TOWN (SOUTH AFRICA)

Having traveled extensively around the world, I consider Camps Bay (and the neighbouring Clifton and Landudno beaches) in Cape Town to be the most beautiful city beach in the world. This Cape Town beach is all about being gorgeous, from its manicured shoreline overlooked by millionaire’s mansions, to dazzling sunsets and minimalist swimwear. The white sands and blue waters have been the subject of countless travel photos over the years. During South Africa’s summer months, the beach attract sun lovers from all corners of the globe as it is the ideal location for sunbathing, beach sports, people-watching and relaxing. From this beautiful beach, patrons can gaze out across the sparkling waters of the Atlantic Ocean, as well as up to the majestic mountain peaks such as Lion’s Head and the Twelve Apostles. The thundering waves along this beach are better suited to more experienced surfers. Bathers can however walk fairly far out before the sand shelf level drops, provided they can handle the chilly waters.

CAMPS BAY, CAPE TOWN (SOUTH AFRICA)

CAMPS BAY, CAPE TOWN (SOUTH AFRICA)


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