Summer in the city: the best urban beaches in Europe
Photo: Arkady Genkin
It’s pretty hot in Copenhagen today! The Everplaces team likes to cools it down at Bryggen, a beach a few minutes’ walk from our office. For all fellow summer city dwellers around the world, we’ve rounded up a list of the best urban oases for swimming, sunbathing and getting sand in your toes without leaving town. See you in the water!
Welcome to the little Miami of Scandinavia! From June to September this otherwise bleak neighborhood becomes a parade of tattoos, tanned bodies, hip-hop music, basketball players, barbecues and occasional show-offs doing Olympic flips in the water. Even if you’re not into canal swimming, this is a prime people-watching spot.
Initially conceived as an art project to enliven a neglected neighborhood, this 90-foot-long ‘bathing ship’ was created in 2004 out of a converted barge and is now found floating in the Spree river, complete with beach chairs and happy beach-goers. Like everything in Berlin it’s open late at night, more often than not with DJs and live music, so try an evening swim!
The beach at the Arganzuela is part of a major project by the City of Madrid to create 10-km long recreational area on the banks of the Manzanares. The park includes rowing lanes on the river, kiosks, cafés and restaurants, bike paths, walks, terraces and children’s playgrounds.
Welcome to the original urban beach, the one that started the trend. Since 2002, every summer the banks of the Seine are covered in sand and dotted with beach chairs and palm trees, to offer a little taste of the French Riviera in the city. This year, the Louvre is taking part with an open-air gallery of Roman marbles, bathing beauties and other beach-inspired artwork that is on sight at the Tunnel of the Tuileries until August 17th.
The beach at Strand West is open year round for a bite and a drink, but it really comes to life in the summer months, when it hosts evening campfires and live bands. Here the crowds are more relaxed than at other urban beaches, like Strand Zuid, and the location is quite, too, with very little noise and traffic. Best of all, it’s only a ten minutes bike from Centraal Station!
You’ll find students, eurocrats, sandcastle builders, Tai-chi masters, ball game players and everyone in between on the cobblestone banks of the Brussels canal. Straw huts and Caribbean food contribute to the tropical feel (but local Trappist beers is pretty much the refreshment of choice). During the day there are several activities for kids, while at night the beach comes alive with live music.
For a complete guide of the best city beaches in Europe, head over to our Everplaces collection. Do you have more tips for summering in the city like a real pro? Let us know in the comments!