Cities have the hustle, bustle, bright lights and excitement. Whereas beaches are a place to relax, kickback and lounge out. Choosing between a City Vacation & a Beach Vacation can be difficult, so why not do both??
Picture yourself heading to a few nice restaurants, doing some sightseeing (or even working your job) then afterwards hitting the beaches and the beach lifestyle, sounds like a dream right?
This is perfectly achievable at the top 10 beach cities in the world for both a vacation or even to live more long term!
Dubai situated in the United Arab Emirates, is a modern metropolis built out of the desert sands!
Here you will find incredible sights from the World’s Tallest Building (Burj Khalifa), which stands a whopping 830 metres high! To put thinks into perspective that is equivalent to just over 2 Empire State Buildings (381 m each) stacked on top of each other or nearly three Eiffel Towers!
Dubai has also recently opened Ain Dubai (the worlds tallest observation wheel) which offers breath-taking views of the City.
As evening approaches why not make a reservation at one of Dubai’s world class restaurants. The Nobu restaurant offers Japanese food fused an Arabian influence.
While Eauzone is the perfect place for a romantic date night, as it floats on the Arabian Court’s turquoise waters. They also offer casual dining in the daytime and an Asian Fusion delight at night…all within an ambient setting.
Afterwards feel free to go and sample Dubai’s famous nightlife which offers the world greatest DJ’s, to
For the adventurous among you, head to the desert for some Quad biking, buggy riding or even sandboarding!
Dubai has over 10 white sandy beaches dotted throughout the city, the biggest and best is by far the JBR (Jumeirah Beach Residence) Beach which offers a well maintained paradise of fluffy white sands and views of the Burj Al Arab Skyscraper.
The sea water is warm and welcoming offering the perfect place to relax & lounge. The great facilities bring plenty of surrounding cafes and places to change on the beach.
Insider Tips: Jumeirah Beach is open 7:30AM to 10PM every day except Thursday and Friday, as the beach closes at 11AM on those days. For those who want more privacy, there is a paid beach section which 5 AED per person ($2) and also some closed of sections for the hotel guests.
Dubai Marina Beach
Dubai Marina is a luxurious residential area, close to JBR. With white sands, warm waters and even camel rides this is the perfect place to relax after visiting the nearby shops & restaurants.
Insider Tip: Marina Beach now faces Dubai’s newest artificial island
For the more adventurous among you, head to Kite Beach (north part of Umm Suqeim beach) . This is the perfect place for Kayak, paddleboard rentals, kitesurfing, Skating and much more! The beach area is also popular with foodies and is surrounded by a few food trucks.
Insider Tip: The sand is a little more coarse than other beaches, with some shells.
Living in Dubai:
The Best place to live in Dubai depends upon personal preference but Dubai Marina is my favourite place to rent/stay for those who want to be close to the hustle, bustle and beaches. Whereas, Downtown offers slightly more for your budget and is close to the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall. For those who want more of a house & with a family I would recommend Arabian Ranches or Emirates Hills.
Dubai is very relaxed with Visa Entry to both travel and work. For visitors from the UK & USA, Dubai offers a 30 Day (Passport Stamp visa) on arrival with no prior need to arrange a visa. For the full list of Eligble Countries use Emirates Airlines Search tool.
Dubai is generous with work Visa’s you can be sponsored by a company and they also have recently announced a Work Remote Visa for just $287 per year! There is also a Freelance Visa which is around (7500 AED) 2000 USD.
Dubai Tax Rate:
Dubai has 0% Income tax (Yes you heard that correctly!) , this is a major selling point for those thinking of living in Dubai.
Barcelona is a thriving Catalonia paradise perched on the north east Spanish coast. This city is one of the greatest in Europe & really does have everything you need, from sightseeing (Gaudi Architecture) to mouth watering restaurants & tapas joints (La Rambla’s) and of course the scenic Beach & warm sea.
For those who want to be in the heart of Europe within a couple hours flight from every major City (London, Paris etc) then Barcelona is the place for you.
The city is beautiful and has a real feel of electricity in the air. For those into nightlife the city is home to Pacha which hosts world famous house & techno DJ’s to the Opium (an open air beach club). In the summer Barcelona hosts the popular Sonar Festival & Off Sonar Parties.
Popular Sights: La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell Barcelona
Be aware & keep your belongings safe when in the popular tourist area La Rambla’s, this area is targeted by many pickpockets. Although, generally the City is extremely safe with lots of police around.
Parking Can also be difficult (if driving) as the City will tow your vehicle if you viloate any of the strict parking issues (I have had my car towed three times!).
Living in Barcelona:
The best places to live in Barcelona include Barceloneta (for the buzzing beach lifestyle). There is also Poblenou where it’s former warehouses are being transformed into hip apartments, this area is also just a couple of minutes from the beach!
Welcome to Miami, one of the worlds most popular beach cities & coastal paradises! Miami is a melting pot of cultures & culinary delights…take a stroll down Ocean Drive to take it all in.
When your ready to hit the beach you have so much choice from South Beach which is popular with models, movie stars & celebrities! The Lummus Park area is a stereotypical paradise, picture volleyball & rollerblading models which encompass the whole beach lifestyle.
At night the South Beach area’s world famous nightlife comes alive!
Insider Tip: The locals call South Beach “SoBe”
For those craving more beaches, I would recommend a road trip to the life changing Key West!
This is one of the most scenic and breathtaking driving routes in America! Drive along the Iconic overseas Highway 1, and meander through over 40 islands before reaching Key west.
The journey is around 1hr 15 mins to Key Largo from Miami then another 4 hours along highway 1 to Key west. For more see 6 Bucket List Road Trips to Miami: Planner/Maps!
For Families, I would recommend visiting the popular tourist sights of Miami Zoo, which is home to exotic wildlife in the world! There is also Miami Seaquarium which is a great place to spend the day.
If your family wants more then you can always take the 3 hour drive (or fly) to Orlando which is the home to the Iconic Disney World Resort, to Universal Studios and even GatorLand!
Living in Miami
Miami Tax Rates?
Florida is one of the few US states with 0% state income tax & for business owners corporate income tax rate is only 5.5 percent. This makes it a popular place for many white collar workers moving from LA or New York.
Heading down under to Australia, we arrive at Sydney one of the great beach cities in the World! Imagine the hustle & bustle of London or New York but with Beaches that bedazzle and a lifestyle to match!
Sydney has a population of 6 million people which puts it at around 2/3 of the population of London (just under 9 million) people.
The City is home to world class culinary delights with exceptional seafood & Asian fusion dishes. The Nightlife is one of the best in the world & the Australian people really know how to create a great atmosphere.
The world famous Bondi Beach offers breath-taking golden sands, turquoise waters and is just 15 minutes by Car or Bus from the city centre!
The promenade is a melting pot of relaxed locals mixed with expats & tourists, which sample the markets & cafes. Fancy a great coastal walk take the Bondi to Coogee Walk along the sandstone cliffs.
Insider Tip: Those into Swimming should watch out for the “Backpackers Rip,” this is a dangerous riptide at the south end of the beach. You can see the daring recuses from this rip tide on the reality hit TV show Bondi Rescue.
Other beaches to try include Manly beach and Shelly Beach for a relaxed Snorkelling experience.
Australia is a infamous for it’s strict immigration policy which works on a time consuming points system. Generally you require Sponsorship from an Employer or a skilled to a profession which can benefit Australia.
Insider Tip: The new Global Talent (GTI) Visa can offer a fast tracked visa for skilled workers. Use Australian governments Visa finder to find out more.
Singapore, is a vibrant island city just off southern Malaysia! The warm tropical climate, great economy and multicultural population make it a popular place for expats.
Singapore is a modern city punctuated with skyscrapers & world renowned luxury hotels such as the Marina Bay Sands.
Along the Harbour front close to Marina Bay, you will find the uniquely designed Shopping Mall (Vivo City). This is a showcase created by the Japanese architect Toyo Ito, the design is modern and captivating.
When you are feeling hungry there is an amazing high end food court nestled next to the Gucci & Louis Vuitton shops.
Insider Tip: Try to spot the Canal Boat rides inside the shopping centre!
Palawan Beach (Sentosa) is the best beach for swimming & lounging out under swaying palm tree’s. This beach is great for adults with lively beach bars surrounding the golden sands. To keep the kids busy, the nearby Port of Lost Wonder is a fun pirate themed world! Other great beaches in Singapore include Changi Beach (a tropical paradise) and Tanjong Beach (for party animals).
Living in Singapore
Singapore is the global financial centre of Asia & thus has a thriving economy with plenty of work opportunities.
Many countries including US & UK passport holders can gain visa-free entry to Singapore with a 30 days tourist stamp.
Singapore generally offers work visa’s via employer sponsorship these are issued by the Ministry of Manpower. There is also a Personalised Employment Pass for high earners & many other Visa types.
Lisbon is the colourful capital of Portugal which blends traditional architecture with a modern vibrancy & bubbling nightlife.
The cities beaches are just a short bus or train ride from the centre, recommended areas are Cascais Estoril (west) and Costa Da Caprica (South). For those wishing to venture further head to the secluded & gorgeous beaches of Serra De Sintra or Serra Da Arrabida.
Living in Lisbon
Lisbon is home to offices of many international companies from Microsoft to Siemens. They are very generous with residence visas & if you are an EU citizen you can live there freely.
Portugal has also announced various schemes such as the “golden visa” programme which offers resident permits in exchange for real-estate purchases worth €500,000 or more!
Those investing were not even required to move to Portugal, just to spend two weeks per year in the country. There is also a separate “non-habitual residency scheme” this gives foreign citizens which spend half the year in Portugal a 10-year tax break on income earned elsewhere!
Thanks to the increasing demand house prices in Portugal have increased by 8.4%, according to the national statistics institute (INE).
4. Rio de Janeiro
Rio De Janeiro is a vibrant world class city with a population of over 6 million people (similar to Sydney). The city offers plenty of sights, samba fueled nightlife and a roaring atmosphere.
Popular sights include the iconic hill top statue (Christ the Redeemer) , Sugarloaf Mountain & Copacabana Beach.
Copacabana Beach is an Iconic beach paradise which offers an enticing atmosphere and a host of activities from to football, volleyball and beach side eating & drinking.
Living in Rio De Janerio
Brazil have implemented a visa-free regime which allows travellers to enter Brazil for a stay of up to 90 days, which can be extended for an additional 90 days. . There is also a host of more permanent work visas which are easily obtainable.
Is Rio De Janerio Safe?
Unfortunately the crime rate in Rio is fairly high, mainly pickpocketing & bag snatching are the most common occurrence. In some parts violent crime is also “frequent occurrence,” according to the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC).
For more information see: Brazil: Travel Budget Calculator
3. Panama City
Panama City one of the most modern & developed cities in Central America. Panama is the trading hub of Central America and offers great food, a buzzing nightlife and even Spanish Colonial buildings in the old town.
Panama offers breath taking beaches on both the Caribbean Sea & the Pacific Ocean.
Insider Tip: Those who want long beaches & surfing should head to the Pacific coast while those who want a more relaxing vibe head to the Caribbean side.
Living in Panama
Panama offers the beach lifestyle with all the modern amenities you would expect from any large vibrant city.
The city is a hub of shipping (Panama Canal) and finance, if world trade is an hour glass, panama sits at the neck and collects the economic rent as a bonus! This means there are plenty of job & business opportunities.
For more on Panama See: Panama on a Budget? Travel Costs Calculator
2. Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv, Israel is one of the worlds greatest beach destinations! With over 14km of coastline which stretches along the Mediterranean coast, Best beaches include Metzitzim Beach (ideal for celebrity spotting0 to the chilled Alma Beach in the south. The city also has a buzzing world class nightlife which has earned the city the nickname the Mediterranean ‘Manhattan’!
After a night of partying explore Tel Aviv’s white city Tel Aviv’s ‘White City’ and explore the Museum of Art
Living in Tel Aviv
The best route to obtain a resident visa’s in Israel is to apply directly to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There are plenty of work visa options, tourist visa options and favourable visas for those with Jewish Heritage.
1. Los Angeles
Los Angeles is home of showbiz, sunshine and shopping! A sprawling multi cultural metropolis with a population of 3.9 million people. Head to Rodeo Drive for the classic palm tree punctuated roads guarding the luxurious retail outlets. For families head to Universal Studios, or take the kids to the magical Disneyland California.
LA is home to some of the finest beaches in the world from the popular Malibu Beach to Santa Monica beach and pier.
Venice Beach & boardwalk is a mile-and-a-half of silky sands and a vibrant hub of activity.
Insider Tip: Malibu Beach can get very busy with people but there is a more secluded section called Carbon Beach which is like a private beach! Nestled behind the homes of the ultra wealthy the water is great for swimming & the sand is welcoming.
Living in Los Angeles
The best places to live in LA for expat families are Sherman Oaks, Manhattan Beach or The Valley. While solo expats should consider Downtown, Santa Monica or Culver City.8 Bucket-List Road Trips from Los Angeles!
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