If you desire amazing views in some of the world’s finest cultural landmarks, then you’ll want to explore some of the best coastal cities around the world on your next vacation.
Cities in the French Riviera boast amazingly pleasant Mediterranean weather, glamorous beaches, and incredible palm trees. The shorelines of the Riviera are inescapably gorgeous—nothing beats a walk on the Promenade des Anglais as the Niçoise sunset illuminates your surroundings. Walking around the city is the best way to bask in its grandeur, so head towards the Cours Saleya Open Air Market or climb up the stone stairs for a view of the sea from the Parc du Chateau.
The ancient gothic architecture, the floating gondolas, the leisurely strolls across dozens of bridges—no city evokes romance quite like Venice. St. Mark’s Square and Basilica acts as Venice’s cultural center and is definitely worth a visit; if you’re traveling on a budget, you’ll love visiting the cathedral church as it is completely free. Burano, a neighboring island filled with rows of colorful homes, makes an excellent day trip across the canals.
Bangkok’s chaotic roads, street vendors, gleaming temples, and floating markets represent the emerging economic hub of Southeast Asia. The famed city’s food culture, welcoming people, and Buddhist architecture make it a favored destination for tourists and individuals seeking respite from the excesses of everyday life. Explore the jewel of Southeast Asia at one of their many temples, including Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Wat Traimit, and more.
Turkey’s geographic location influences its progressive attitude as well as the city’s Arabic landscape. There is perhaps no better city to experience the intersection between Islamic culture and modern notions of democracy and liberalism. Istanbul’s minarets stand tall against a blue sky; the 17th-century Sultanahmet mosque continues to be one of their most famous landmarks. Another stand-out marvel is the Hagia Sophia, a Greek Orthodox church that went through a transformation during the Ottoman Empire, ultimately becoming a mosque.
Roman Catholic roots deeply influence Portugal’s history, the neighboring counties of Spain and France and, obviously, its proximity to the ocean. Along with a rich past as a global power, Portugal boasts a wonderfully relaxed culture nestled among red-roof homes and the architectural styles of the Gothic and Romanesque. Do yourself a favor and visit the Torre de Belém—a towering vestige of Portugal’s city defenses.
6. Cape Town
Cape Town’s coastal beaches offer extraordinary access to the ocean’s biodiverse coral reefs and even Cape fur seals. While snorkeling and diving attract the most attention, the granite wall of Table Mountain exemplifies the breathtakingly diverse landscape of Africa. After a hike to Table Mountain, finish your evening with a sunset at the Cape of Good Hope at the very tip of the Cape Peninsula.