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The most sustainable cities in Europe

Take advantage of the Europe's incredible railway networks and visit some of the most sustainable cities in the world.

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  • 09 January 2024
  • • 5 min read

Sustainability is becoming an ever-bigger concern for the climate-conscious traveller, and Europe is home to some of the world's most sustainable cities. To make the most of your travels while being as eco-friendly as possible, you can use Europe's fantastic rail network, which spans over 200,000 miles. With activities from vintage shopping to free kayaking, see our take on some of Europe’s most sustainable cities below 👇

Vienna 

The Austrian capital is not only commonly ranked as the number one sustainable city in Europe, but is a great city to visit for a carbon-conscious traveller. Vienna has excellent public transport options, to help any traveller get around the city as well as being mostly accessible by foot making the city perfect for a few days of adventure on a budget. During your visit, make sure to make time for some of Vienna’s “Green Museums”. These are museums certified for their environmental sustainability. Find out how Vienna is a green city by discovering a few of its best parks, starting with Stadtpark and Liechtensteinpark. Also make sure to see the green walls, where nature and architecture collide, improving air quality, and quality of life and bringing nature into the city. Finally, step into Vienna’s conscious shopping and vegan restaurant scene. Spend a day exploring the many sustainable fashion stores in Vienna, particularly The Slow Label, Consches, and a second-hand fashion store, Humana. After a long day of shopping, visit a vegan or organic restaurant, such as Pepper & Ginny, Maran Bistro and Planty Pizza. 

Check out our Vienna hostel. 

Stockholm 

Stockholm strives for more sustainable practices, some of which you can experience during your visit. Firstly, you will notice that the main modes of transport around Stockholm are walking, cycling, buses and the metro. Not only are these great for a traveller's budget but they also

improve the city's sustainability. In addition, you can taste some of Stockholm’s locally grown foods using innovative food tech such as circular indoor farming by visiting some of the local markets. Finally, get a taste of vintage fashion at some of Stockholm’s most popular vintage stores, including @59vintagestore and @old.touch. 

Look here for sustainable food experiences around Stockholm. 

Amsterdam 

As the first city to adopt doughnut economics, a framework for meeting basic human needs while preserving environmental quality, this idea can be seen in the high score of Amsterdam in sustainability rankings as well as in practice through more green spaces, affordable public transport, and greater feelings of community. As a visitor, you can be part of this by visiting De Ceuvel, a sustainable space offering exciting events and a climate-conscious cafe, or Amsterdam Forest to experience Amsterdam’s largest green space. After your sustainable experiences, there will still be time to enjoy the best of Amsterdam, starting your night at our bar, Belushi’s, to enjoy drinks deals with your stay. 

Book to stay with us in Amsterdam. 

Copenhagen 

Kick your time in Copenhagen off with a collection of sustainable experiences. For instance, visit Banegaarden, an eco-friendly community hub with organic foods, and hosting events while providing access to green space in the city. Similar to Amsterdam, Copenhagen has the perfect infrastructure for cycling, helping you save money while limiting your emissions. Another way that you can save on cash is by trying out free kayak rentals in Copenhagen’s waterways during the summer months. Not only does this save money and CO2 emissions on ferries but it’s a fun activity while doing something for the environment. The Green Kayak programme works by allowing individuals to take to the water in borrowed kayaks for free, in exchange for collecting rubbish and sharing their experience- the perfect deal for any budget traveller. 

Berlin 

Germany is well known for its efforts towards sustainability, so its capital is no expedition. Berlin is host to many efforts in sustainability, from its many flea markets to adopting the national Pfand system. This is where there is an added cost to plastic water bottles when purchased, which you can only get back when you return the plastic bottles to a specific machine (pfandautomat) generally located in the entry of most supermarkets. Not only does this city make efforts against single-use plastic and overconsumption, but Berlin is also well known for utilising old industrial sites. For instance, the reuse of its old airports. Tempelhofer Airport has been converted into a popular recreation ground for locals while the recently decommissioned

Tegal Airport has recently been announced to be converted to turned into a sustainable community, focused on being carbon-neutral. This should be open to visitors by 2027. If you missed the Green Kayak opportunity in Copenhagen, it’s not too late to try in Berlin! Check out where you can find kayaks here. Finally, visit Berlin’’s largest outdoor flea market on the former land of the Berlin Wall Death Strip, every Sunday the site is filled with a market, live music and acts. This is an exciting space for a traveller to explore in a redeveloped site while supporting local artists. 

See our accommodation options in Berlin.

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