Travelling sustainably may seem impossible, but rest assured it is not! That is, if you choose the right destination…
These 10 cities are amongst the most sustainable places in the world to both live and visit. Our post on how to travel sustainably is a great place to start if you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint while travelling. Combine it with one of these destinations, and you’ll be the ultimate eco-traveller!
This city is a long-standing winner for most sustainable. Not only does Zurich consistently hold businesses and residents accountable for their environmental actions, it expects the same from its tourists as well.
Photos by Unsplash - Rico Reutimann (@ricoreu)
Walking, biking, and public transport are strongly encouraged by all, and buildings must comply with strict environmental guidelines.
Zurich uses primarily renewable energy sources, and has one of the most efficient waste recycling processes in the world.
Here’s a list of outdoor activities to check out while visiting the most sustainable city in the world!
Photo by Unsplash - Adam Gavlak (@gavlak)
Stockholm is known for its many eco-hotels (what’s that? Check them out here), and holds its sustainable reputation by making everyone aware of the city’s eco-goals. Recycling is huge in Stockholm, and unlike some places, the rules are very easy to follow!
On top of that, Stockholm makes it a point to make its citizens aware of where their goods come from. It’s easy to know the source of your meal at a restaurant, or the clothes in the shops.
And, of course, getting around the city is easy with their pedestrian-focused streets and superior public transport system.
Get ready to ride, because Berlin is perfect for biking. See the city in an eco-friendly way while working your legs! Berlin makes the list since it has cut its CO2 emissions by one-third since 1990, and plans on being climate neutral by 2050.
Photo by Unsplash - Adam Vradenburg (@vradenburg)
Berlin takes their recycling seriously, and will pay you for returning your plastic to its recycling locations!
Photos by Unsplash - Julia Solonina and Nikita Pishchugin
Perhaps most important of all, Berlin is one of the greenest cities in Europe...46% of it is green space! That’s right, almost half of the city is nature for you to enjoy on your trip.
Photo by Unsplash - Adam Blank
Not only does Portland have the highest percentage of biking commuters in the US, it is full of outdoor attractions for you to explore. Here’s a list of fun places to walk outside in the city!
Portland’s outstanding city planning and renewable energy sources also contribute to its position as the most sustainable city in America. The eco community is massive, and the city is bustling with sustainable shopping opportunities along with plenty of vegan restaurants.
Photo by Unsplash - Nick Night (@nicknight)
This beautiful integration of city and nature is the perfect destination for any sustainable traveller. Helsinki welcomes tourists all year long, and has adapted its hotel system to be as eco-friendly as possible.
Check out this list of the best eco-hotels in Helsinki to get started on your trip planning.
Photo by Unsplash - Tapio Haaja (@tap5a)
Helsinki is committed to sustainability by experimenting frequently with wind and solar energy. It’s no wonder why the city is so focused on preserving their environment….the city is surrounded by parks, forests, and water so it is always at the top of their mind.
This bustling metropolis may not scream ‘eco-friendly’, but Singapore is actually the most sustainable city in Asia! Clean air and green space are all over the city, as are a multitude of outdoor attractions for tourists and locals alike.
Photos by Unsplash - Colleen Rivas (@colleenr) and Sreehari Devadas (@sreeharid1)
There are a lot of things special about Singapore, such as their solar panel power, solar tube hot water, rainwater harvesting, and lots and lots of plants. Travellers can explore the city without harming the environment by taking advantage of Singapore’s booming eco-hotel business, and by visiting one of the nature reserves....there’s a rainforest in the city!
A world leader for sustainability, and on track to be carbon-neutral by 2025, is Copenhagen. This city lives and breathes eco-friendly, and that goes for tourists as well.
Photo by Unsplash - Febiyan (@febiyanr)
A city made for cycling, you’ll see all the sights with ease. You’ll also see (or, feel) the clean air and water, and a vast selection of sustainable shopping options.
Check out this list of the best and most sustainable restaurants in the city!
Vienna’s low energy consumption is what makes it special, along with the fact that it has turned its power plants into works of art (see left below).
Photos by Unsplash - Leyre (@leyy) and Dmytro Schetynin (@dreamer_steam)
Vienna plans on being carbon neutral by 2040. Green space is everywhere in the city, from parks to gardens, and the water is fresh from the Alpine springs. The city is made for travellers, and offers numerous options for eco-accommodation, transportation, dining, and shopping.
Here’s a list of the coolest and most sustainable hotels in the city!
Photo by Unsplash - Mike Swigunski
This city is a leader in renewable energy, and prides itself on its use of geothermal power and hydroelectricity. Most of its buildings are entirely eco-friendly!
Photo by Unsplash - Evelyn Paris (@evelynparis)
As for tourism, the Icelandic Tourism Board has created a certification for businesses and public establishments who are accepted as sustainable, entitled ‘Vakinn’. Look for the Vakinn logo to be sure that you are supporting sustainable tourism while in Reykjavik.
Once again, Lisbon makes our top picks list! Not only is Lisbon great for remote travel and destination weddings, it’s sustainable, too! It was the EU Commission’s Green Capital for 2020, after the city expanded its park area by 300 acres.
Photos by Unsplash - Aayush Gupta (@aayush_gupta) and Paulo Almeida (@pralmeida)
Getting around the city sustainably is a breeze in Lisbon, with their widespread use of electric vehicles and public transit. Even their tourist favourite, 'tuk-tuks’, are electric! Local businesses make it easy to shop sustainably, as you’ll find no shortage of eco-friendly spots to buy food and clothes.
Sustainable travel is made possible with these 10 cities, so you can see the world without destroying it.