Everybody needs to take some time out to enjoy a holiday, but it can be tricky to pick the perfect destination when there are so many stunning locations to choose from.

Do you love a good city break but also enjoy relaxing on the beach? There are plenty of incredible cities around the world that are beside the coast and offer everything you could wish for from a beach city break, so combine the best of both.

But which are the best of the best? We had a look at some of the important factors that make for a great holiday experience, and ranked some of the world’s best seaside cities to see where comes out on top.

Best cities for...

Average accommodation cost
Istanbul, Turkey
£93.67 per night

Tokyo, Japan
11,981 attractions

Average summer rainfall
San Francisco/Los Angeles, US
1mm rainfall a month

Average summer daily sunshine hours
Los Angeles, US
13 hours sunshine a day

New York, US
89,820,670 posts

Highest safety score
San Sebastián, Spain

The 2019 City Beach Break Index - RANKED

Blue flag
Average summer
rainfall (mm)
Average summer
daily sunshine
(number of posts)
Safety score
Total Score
Methodology and sources

We created an initial list of top destinations for beach city holidays.
We then looked at various factors that would make for a great holiday in a beach destination as listed below.

Summer months

Summer months were determined by location. For Northern Hemisphere countries we used June, July and August, and for Southern Hemisphere we used December, January and February.

Accommodation costs

We used travel guides from Kayak for each city to determine the average nightly cost in our chosen summer months and then worked out an average. Price is for 1 night in a 3-star hotel.

For Lisbon, June pricing was not available, so May was used instead.

Blue flag status

We noted whether each city on our list had at least one beach with Blue Flag status according to Blue Flag.


We took the total number of attractions for each city as listed by Tripadvisor. Under types of things to do on each city’s page, we added up the total number of things listed to get our number.

Average summer rainfall & sunshine

We used Holiday-Weather.com to look at the average rainfall and sunshine hours for all 3 months of summer, and then took an average for each.


We looked at hashtags for each city on Instagram and included the number of images for each tag.

Safety score

The safety score was taken from Numbeo and scored out of 100. If the city has a high safety index, it is considered very safe.