The paper presents results of numerical simulations of size effect phenomenon in concrete specimens. The behaviour of in-plane geometrically similar notched and unnotched beams under three-point bending is investigated. In total 18 beams are analysed. Concrete beams of four different sizes and five different notch to depth ratios are simulated. Two methods are applied to describe cracks. First, an elasto-plastic constitutive law with a Rankine criterion and an associated flow rule is defined. In order to obtain mesh independent results, an integral non-local theory is used as a regularisation method in the softening regime. Alternatively, cracks are described in a discrete way within Extended Finite Element Method (XFEM). Two softening relationships in the softening regime are studied: a bilinear and an exponential curve. Obtained numerical results are compared with experimental outcomes recently reported in literature. Calculated maximum forces (nominal strengths) are quantitatively verified against experimental values, but the force – displacement curves are also examined. It is shown that both approaches give results consistent with experiments. Moreover, both softening curves with different initial fracture energies can produce similar force-displacement curves.