Urban Beaches: Tamariz | Just a half hour train ride away from Lisbon’s city center this urban beach is popular among both locals and tourists. The setting here is absolutely beautiful: 350 meters of beach, sand and open sea. The waters are calm, and the beach itself is sandy which makes it a perfect family setting. The eastern edge of Tamariz beach actually features an ocean swimming pool with slightly warmer temperatures than the sea. Chair rentals can be expensive, so many local people choose to bring their own along. A beautiful medieval palace overlooks this beach, only adding to its charm and beauty. Plenty of cafes and restaurants are located nearby, making it easy to spend the entire day here. And yes, people do jump into the water. It’s not too polluted.
Urban Beaches: Barceloneta | It looks as if they did it for Michael Jordan :) Barcelona got even better when the Summer Olympics came here in 1992. The coastline got a serious makeover. Barcelona would open up to the sea. Some old restaurants and public bathhouses needed to be torn down and replaced with a first-rate beach. The sandy Barceloneta beach was topped with beautiful hotels and incredibly nice new restaurants. Day or night, tourists will find the coolest crowds here. There are over 1100 meters of beach to enjoy, along with an abundance of sea activities. And even better: you can actually walk to the city center of Barcelona via a walkway lined with palm trees, cafes and landmarks. Tourists don’t initially come to Barcelona for Barceloneta Beach, but once they are in this gorgeous Catalan city they shouldn’t miss out on it.
Place de l’Horloge Montreal | While aging gracefully this Canadian city comes up with new ideas every year. ‘Clock Beach’ in Montreal opened to visitors for the first time in June 2012. It got showers, deck chairs and parasols. There are amenities like a cash bar and misting station. To enter this urban beach adults pay CA$6. If you are 5 years or younger, you can mess up the place for free. Urban beach season starts on June 16 and ends on September 23. Clock Beach is located in the Old Port of Montreal. It gives visitors totally new views of Old Montreal and the Jacques Cartier Bridge.
Urban Beaches: Blijburg Aan Zee | Although this beach is not situated inside the city center, it still is considered as Amsterdam’s one true urban beach, complete with a sandy stretch and swimming waters. The beach itself is 250 meters long and 40 meters wide and constantly hopping with things to do. Urban beach season opens in June and ends in September -> Wednesdays through Sundays. Activities here include brunches on weekends, kid’s events, DJ’s and live bands throughout the months. The food here is absolutely wonderful and much of it seems to be organic and vegetarian. At nighttime there is always a campfire to curl up around and visitors here will enjoy the laid back vibe of the locals. This beach also happens to host a ton of parties, windsurfing workshops and a monthly car trunk sale.
Urban Beaches: Badeschiff Berlin | This urban beach is actually comprised of a few different elements, including an old tug boat that has been converted into a pool during the summer months. Not the nicest urban beach to be honest, but swimmers here can catch a great glimpse of the Berlin skyline and take part in some epic beach parties. The floating pool is connected by a wooden footbridge complete with hammocks to relax in. Beach goers can relax on the fine sand or play beach volleyball at one of the sand courts. The beach bar here is known for offering up a variety of summer cocktails and barbecued foods. Peaceful morning yoga classes are offered here twice a week and weekly open air concerts take place during summer. A separate area for kids to splash and build sandcastles is located just a stone’s throw away from the main area.
An ambitious project is in the making to allow access even in winter. Architects Wilk-Salinas and artist Susanne Lorenz plan to cover the “Badeschiff” with a removable tube-like roof throughout the cold season.
“Badeschiff” only moves one step in the right direction. This urban beach does not really challenge the status quo Berlin’s famous river. But the project “Flussbad Berlin” does. It’s building a dream: to reclaim the lost river Spree for swimmers. Nowadays water pollution makes it impossible to swim in the river. That was not the case in the 1920s. Take a look -> Green me Berlin.