Skip to Content

5 Reasons Why Travelers Are Choosing City Vacations Over The Beach Right Now

Share The Article

Last Updated

If you’re yet to book your summer vacation, you may be wondering whether to head to the beach or whether now is the right time to explore a brand-new city.

City vacations are busy vacations, providing an opportunity to explore museums and art galleries, enjoy modern architecture, and fine dining opportunities. Meanwhile, beach vacations allow travelers to enjoy cocktails on the sand and the chance to relax and unwind.

It can be hard for travelers to choose between the two.  

5 Reasons Why Travelers Are Choosing City Vacations Over The Beach Right Now

Travelzoo has conducted a survey of its members and found that 68% of respondents were more interested in taking a city vacation than heading to the beach this summer.

This is the first time that city vacations have been more popular than beach breaks in the summer edition of this survey.

A young woman eating street food in the city.

Here are 5 reasons why travelers are choosing city vacations over the beach right now:

Visit Somewhere New

When asked what they wanted to do on vacation, 46% of travelers said they wanted to visit somewhere completely new.

The beach can be beautiful. But many beach vacation destinations can feel overwhelmingly similar. Even in different countries, for example, many Mediterranean beaches look identical.

What’s more, because beach vacation destinations are usually set away from the hustle and bustle of a town or city, it is hard to find a variety of shops, restaurants, or landmarks to explore.

Top 5 Travel Insurance Plans For 2023 Starting At $10 Per Week

Easily Earn Points For Free Travel

A young female tourist enjoying a city view

Even if you are visiting a city you have already visited before, many cities are so large that you can stay in a different part of the city and have a completely different vacation experience. This is not true of most beach resorts.

From cocktail tastings to boat rides, many of the activities available in a beach resort are similar no matter which resorts you visit.

Cultural and Historical Experiences

City breaks are best known for their opportunity to provide cultural and historical experiences.

This is something that 49% of those surveyed by Travelzoo said they wanted to experience on their next vacation.

If you want to immerse yourself in the culture of the country you are visiting, then this is easier to do in a city than in a beach resort.

A couple with a guide book in Piccadilly Circus, London

City breaks provide endless opportunities to expand your mind. You can visit historical landmarks, local museums and take city tours to find out as much as possible about the place you have chosen to visit.

What’s more, these activities aren’t weather dependent. There is so much to see and do in the city when it’s cold or if it rains, which is not true of a beach vacation.

Visit More Than One Destination

City vacations tend to be shorter than beach vacations. Travelers can explore a new city in two or three days, while most beach vacations last a week or longer.

Los Angeles Venice Canals.

With 54% of respondents saying that they were hoping to take two or more vacations this year and an overwhelming majority of 90% planning to book more than one trip next year, the opportunity to take several city breaks rather than just one beach vacation becomes appealing.

If you're hoping to travel overseas and visit more than one destination, then you're also likely to find it easier to visit city locations than to visit beach resorts. Most airports are in city locations, meaning it is easier to visit cities than beaches if you're short on time.

Avoid Overcrowding

Historically, beach destinations tend to be more popular than city destinations during the summer months.

In some European cities, even the residents will choose to leave the heat of the city and head to the beach for several weeks at a time during the summer months.

A crowd of tourists under a bridge in Florence, Italy

47% of people wanted to choose a vacation destination without overcrowding, which might make choosing a summer city break more appealing.

While some of the world’s most popular cities, like New York, London, or Paris, will always feel overcrowded, opting for a smaller or lesser-known city for your summer break can feel blissfully idyllic and free from typical summer vacation crowding.

Value For Money

Travelers increasingly want to get the best value for money possible from their vacations.

While the economy means that disposable income may have decreased, the appetite for travel hasn’t.

For this reason, 21% of travelers prefer to put their vacations together themselves, enabling them to get the best possible deal for their hotel, flights, and transfers, rather than book a package vacation.

Aerial view of tall buildings and beachfront resorts on a small beach with turquoise water

This tends to be easier to do when booking a city break than when booking a beach vacation, as many hotels in popular beach destinations are block booked by package vacation providers.

Cities also tend to be easier to navigate by public transport than beach resorts and offer a wider variety of free activities, such as museums and art exhibits, which can also help to make city breaks better value for money.

↓ Elevate Your Travel↓

Sign Up Now For Travel Off Path Premium! No ads, VIP Content, Personal Travel Concierge, Huge Savings, Daily Deals, Members Forum & More!


Enter your email address to subscribe to Travel Off Path's latest breaking travel news, straight to your inbox.

This article originally appeared on

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.