Hitting the beach in Paris and Prague

We’re entering the dog days of summer, and people are looking for ways to beat the heat and enjoy that summer vibe. Well, two of my favorite landlocked European cities happen to offer that very opportunity.

In Paris, they have recently opened up the annual Paris Beach (Paris Plage, in French). First started in 2002, Paris Beach has gone on every summer since. From July 20-August 20, every day from 8 AM to midnight, certain areas along the banks of the Seine are transformed into seaside resorts right in the middle of the city. Complete with chaise lounges, umbrellas, sand, and even some palm trees, it allows the locals and tourists to be all summery without leaving the city. Here's a photo gallery.

They have a similar thing in Prague, my other favorite city in Europe. It’s called Žluté lázně, and it’s actually way more elaborate than the temporary beachfronts in Paris. The Prague beach is on the spot of a 100-year-old spa (the name Žluté lázně means Yellow Spa). Since a major makeover in 2005, the area has been transformed into a huge riverside recreational complex of beach volleyball courts, tennis, soccer cages, sandy lounging areas, boats-for-rent, a bar, a restaurant, and many more activities. Located just a short tram ride away from the city center, Žluté lázně is a great place to spend a hot summer day in Prague. I only found out about this place at the end of my two years in Prague, so I only went once (I think the renovations had just been finished). Too bad, I wish I had gone more. I recommend it.

Summer in the city. Don't let anyone tell you it can't have beaches.

Photo: Josh Clark via Flickr (CC license)

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