You may not associate the Ukrainian capital with beaches, but if you take a short metro ride from the city centre to Hidropark you’ll find plenty of them lining the Dnipro River. Locals play beach volleyball, swim and eat shashlik kebabs. The area also hosts a casino, a nudist beach, a decrepit beachfront disco and a Soviet-era open-air gym. Good fun, in other words.
First Prague Beach, Prague
The Czech capital ships in 700 tonnes of sand for the First Prague Beach on the Vltava River: there’s a 15m x 7m pool and live concerts on summer evenings.
Strandbar Mitte, Berlin
There are now more than 30 beach bars in Berlin but the original –Strandbar Mitte, on the banks of the Spree – is still the best, boasting a good crowd, salsa and tango evenings, and the requisite beach volleyball net.
Långholmen Island, Stockholm
The classic Stockholm bathing spot is the park-meets-beach on tiny Långholmen island, just off Sodermalm. The sandy beach has views over the city, ice cream and post-dip showers. If it gets too busy, as it tends to on a sunny summer’s day, you can stroll the island to find quiet parks and coves.
Paris Plage, Paris
From 20 July until 18 August, cars are replaced by sandy beaches, deckchairs and ice-cream sellers on the riverside Voie Georges Pompidou. A big improvement, in our opinion.
Amager Strandpark, Copenhagen
We love Copencabana, one of the bathing areas in Copenhagen’s harbour, but at Amager Strandpark you get 4.6km of proper beach only 15 minutes by bike from the city centre. An artificial island was added in 2005 and there’s plenty to do, from skateboarding to kayaking and evening beach bonfires.
Norwegian flies to Kiev, Berlin, Paris, Prague, Stockholm and Copenhagen. Book at norwegian.com