A new study has analysed European cities to find out which is the most eco-friendly destination for green travel. Unsurprisingly Copenhagen with its cycle paths and clean waterways has one of the strongest eco-claims, followed by a city with similar qualities: Amsterdam.
Travel booking site lastminute.com has released the results of a study it carried out to find the top eco-tourism spots in cities within Europe. The study looks at the most environmentally friendly cities based on factors such as the number of green spaces available, how extensive their public transport networks and cycle routes are, as well as the availability of carbon-free activities like walking and canal boat tours.
It's worth noting that the study only looked at major cities in Europe. Small towns and cities not usually included in the traditional tourist circuit are your best bet for green travel, especially in the era of over-tourism. But if you're looking for cities with plenty of green spaces and forward-thinking urban design, these are the spots that ranked highest.
Copenhagen is ranked as the best city to visit for eco-tourism with a score of 6.8 out of 10. The Danish capital is a notoriously bike-friendly, green-thinking city that puts sustainability at the heart of urban planning. It previously achieved a European Green Capital award and has been described as a "transport pioneer" by the European Commission for its’ accessibility for cyclists (we're talking double cycle lanes here).
Amsterdam is extending green spaces across public land and introducing steps to make the city even more bike-friendly. Visitors to the Dutch capital can even bag a free canal tour and breakfast by simply collecting rubbish from the canal during the boat tour. For sustainable shopping, there's the giant IJ-Hallen flea market which takes place over one weekend every month inside two huge shipping containers in Amsterdam-Noord.
Winner of the first Green Capital award in 2020, the Swedish capital aims to be rid of fossil fuels by 2050. Celebrated for its green spaces and air quality, this is the perfect city to take a breath of fresh air in the great outdoors. The city is filled with eco-friendly hostels and tourists can even visit the district of Hammarby Sjöstad, an urban development project in the city centre that's a model for sustainable living.
Prague is one of the most naturally green cities in Europe and it offers a great range of walking tours through its historic quarter. It's also extremely well-connected by its network of buses, metros and trams. Green foodies will appreciate the city's farmers markets. Prague is renowned for them/ They typically run on Saturday mornings and are a great way for visitors to discover the Czech Republic's sustainable bounty of produce. For fresh air pursuits outside the city centre, the park of Divoká Šárka is well worth a trip and can be reached in about 30 minutes.
Half of Vienna's metropolitan area is made up of green spaces and there are lots of little urban farms in the city that provide produce for sustainable dining in the city. Like the other cities ranked high on the list, it's an extremely cycle-friendly city and boasts an extensive public transport network that makes it easy to get around.
You can view the full list of 13 eco-friendly destinations here.