You’ll get a little bit of everything in these European cities.
Some travelers want to have it all — rich cultural experiences, fine dining, upscale shopping — and lazy hours spent sunning, swimming, or strolling along the beach.
Many of Europe’s finest cities aren’t just popular for their art museums or raging nightlife scenes: They’re also home to some of the most beautiful beaches on Earth.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, Travel + Leisure asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe—to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, islands, cruise lines, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated cities on their sights and landmarks, culture, food, friendliness, shopping, and overall value.
Of Barcelona, one T+L reader said: “It has everything [you] could want in a city — plus a gorgeous beach.” Other readers agreed, hailing the Spanish city’s “fantastic mix of city, history, and beaches.”
Even Dublin, which is best known for its breweries and cobblestoned streets, was celebrated for its “friendly people, amazing culture, beaches, shopping, and fantastic food.” Ireland may not be known for sunbathing weather of swimmable waters, but its rugged coastline is just as beautiful as the better-known urban beaches of Rio de Janeiro or Sydney.
From the balmy, turquoise waters of the Mediterranean to the frothy waves of the Atlantic, these are T+L readers’ favorite European beach cities.