Europe’s Best City Beaches


Sand and cities don’t naturally go together, but they’re matched to perfection at lidos, pop-up beaches and metro lakesides from Paris to Prague, via sandy Vienna. Unless otherwise indicated, these urban beaches are free and open year round.

Strandbad Wannsee, Berlin.

Best for: Sun-worshippers. A 20-minute train ride from central Berlin, on the banks of the Wannsee Lake, gets you to the largest inland lido (urban public swimming spot) in Europe — the swimming and sunbathing areas together cover around 35 hectares. Berliners have been heading here with their beach towels since 1907 to kick back on the 1,275-meter stretch of sand, shipped in from the Baltic Sea. There’s beach volleyball and giant chess games, a water slide into the lake and a nudist area.

Strandbad Wannsee; open until September 29, 2013; admission €4.50 adults, €2.80 children.

Read more about other beaches.