Beach Resorts vs City Breaks

Among holidayers there is an on going debate over whether Beach Resort holidays are better than City Breaks.  Is it better to lie on a beach for two weeks or to go experience the sights, sounds and smells of a new city? So, for this article let’s explore the different pros and cons of Beach Resorts and City Breaks.


One of the most obvious reasons for a Beach Resort holiday is to escape from the hum drum of your everyday life.  When your boss is on your back, your bills are piling up and your kids are screaming in your ear, a Beach Resort is a great way to de-stress.

All-inclusive Beach Resorts have become so popular, as your every need is taken care of.  In our daily lives, we are forced to carry so much responsibility, it is truly liberating to have these weights lifted from our shoulders.

Beach Resorts are all about relaxation.  If you want to lie on the beach all day, then there’s nothing stopping you from doing just that.

 Beach time at Portugal

Conversely, City Breakers might find the beach lifestyle boring or repetitive. For example, Need Another Holiday argues that City Breaks always leave people more cultured than Beach Resorts do.

While lying on the beach might be nice at first, the novelty may soon wear off. It can be much nicer being outside doing something, and this can be possible regardless of the weather.  With Beach Resorts, you’d most likely to go in the summer, as there’s not much fun lying on a beach in the rain.  However, City Breaks can happen all year round.  To avoid rain showers, you can always jump into a museum or a café.

My parents are definite City Breakers.  They love going around museums, churches and botanical gardens. They would become quickly bored just lying on a beach.  Honestly, I’m the same.  I’m in a new country with new things to see, new people to meet and, most importantly, new food to eat. 

True, there are plenty of beach sports you can do: volleyball, football, as well as countless water sports, but if that isn’t your cup of tea, then you won’t enjoy beach stays.

Beach resort activities in Portugal

The Price

Think of a millionaire or even a billionaire. What image do you have in mind? Somebody lying back on a beach sipping a pina colada? Maybe that’s because Beach Resorts are always stereotyped as being a rich person’s holiday.

If you have the money for Beach Resort, then that’s great.  But if you don’t, City Breaks are a great alternative.

Of course, City Breaks can be expensive too especially if you’re going to a capital city, Dublin, London, I’m looking at you.  However, there are plenty of ways of cutting costs.  For starters, you can stay in a hostel or rent an apartment rather than going to a hotel.  Renting an apartment was what I did when I went to Berlin and the prices were very reasonable.

Dublin City Centre

Furthermore, hostels are a great way of making new friends and are more relaxed than hotels.  They can offer lots of special events.  For example, when I was in Dublin last summer, my hostel had free nachos and burger nights.  They also had a breakfast buffet, which was all included in the price of my room. True it wasn’t Michelin-star, but when it’s free, what’s there to complain about?

If you don’t want to fork out for a restaurant every night, then you can always cook your own food in the kitchen facilities which may be available in your apartment.  Cooking your own dinner is a great way of saving money.  Being in the middle of a city, you’ll have access to a whole range of markets, supermarkets and cafes.

And this choice is easier in a City Break, rather than a Beach Resort.  Beach Resorts have a reputation for being secluded.  This makes sense, as they’re targeting those who want to get it away from it all.  However, this also means that the nearest supermarket could be a drive away.

The Language

The Brits flock to Beach Resorts in pursuit of the sun.  We’re so sick of the cold, damp weather, it’s only natural we would want to travel to sunnier destinations.

Therefore, with millions of Brits going on a beach holiday every year, it’s logical to assume that many Beach Resorts are targeted towards British tourists with the dominant language spoken there being English.  It is a sad truth that many, but not all, Brits only speak English. 

It can be intimidating for the Brits to travel to a foreign country without speaking that   language, which is why a tourist-targeted Beach Resort is such an appealing option. It’s fine for Brits if they stay inside their resort, but if they have to venture out, they might find themselves struggling to communicate with the locals.

Conversely, City Breakers don’t have the same fear.  In big cities, it is more common for the people there to have at least some grasp of English – although this is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t make at least a little effort to speak the local language. Learning a few choice words, such as “please” and “thank you” can go along way in communicating.

City Breakers embrace in a new environment being with new people.  They don’t let something like a language barrier stop them from making new friends or having new experiences.

So, which kind of holidayer are you? A City Breaker? Or someone who likes Beach Resorts? Do you like to kick back and relax or do you like to explore? Let me know in the comments below.   

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