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Seven urban beaches to check out this summer

travel Updated: Jun 19, 2012 18:40 IST
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Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of a beach on their doorstep.

For city dwellers, those stolen moments on the sand really bring home the feeling of a holiday -- no wonder beach vacations are still the most popular global getaway.

But if you can't get out of the city, why not bring the sand to where you are? That's what the residents of Paris have enjoyed since 2002, and in recent years, more and more cities have been hopping on board and creating their own artificial sandy beaches.

Here, a look at seven of the best.

Paris Plage
Paris, France

Complete with palm trees and outdoor showers, this beach uses nearly 2,000 tons of sand to line the Seine and create a true city-beach feeling. The season runs from mid-July to late August.

Copenhagen, Denmark

An artificial beach is erected in front of the Danish capital's Fisketorvet shopping center every summer, offering a Moroccan vibe, north African food and sofas and cushions. It's open from June until the end of August.

Brussels Le Bains
Brussels, Belgium

Another European city beach kicks off in the Belgian capital July 7. Look out for coconut trees, concessions, volleyball pitches, shops and restaurants. Professional masseurs are also on hand to help visitors relax in the sun.

Spree River

Berlin, Germany

Deck chairs line the Spree in summer, but the Strandbar Mitte offers views across the river and over Museum Island. Sadly, there will be no sand this year, but the views -- and the bar -- will remain.

Mexico City Beach

Mexico City, Mexico

With beaches like Cancun, you wouldn't think Mexico City's residents would need nine artificial beaches, but they've proved particularly popular among less privileged sections of the community -- salsa lessons, bungee cords and live entertainment are all on offer.

Amsterdam Plage

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Like everything else in Holland, the Amsterdam Plage is rather cramped but a lot of fun. Built on an embankment on the IJ, it's home to a small fairground and a bar/restaurant.

HTO Park

Toronto, Canada

Toronto's urban beach opened in 2007, facing Lake Ontario with the Toronto Islands in the distance. Yellow sun umbrellas dot the park in the summer for those wanting to relax outside.