Green city destinations Europe: Europe is easily the most popular destination for city travellers, and many cities here attract huge crowds of tourists every year. Our info and reviews of eco-friendly hotels, tours and activities in European cities will help you plan your city trip.
Top Green City Destinations in Europe:
Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain)
Ever since it staged the Olympic Games in 1992, Barcelona has been a tourism hot-spot for travellers from all over Europe and beyond. Among the most visited city travel destinations in Europe, Barcelona is world-famous for its architecture – especially La Sagrada Familia by Antonio Gaudi – its excellent food and Mediterranean lifestyle. Less known, perhaps, the city of Barcelona is actively promoting sustainable tourism, eager to establish itself as an urban ecotourism destination.
Munich, Bavaria (Germany)
Munich is a wonderful destination for a city trip and the city can be easily explored by foot and by bike. It lends itself perfectly for a short visit, but also for a longer stay. There is much to explore here and the food is excellent. World-famous for its culture and traditions (Oktoberfest might ring bells..), Munich also has stunning parks, historic architecture and lots of history. Public transport is good and efficient.
While not necessarily known as a “green” city, Germany’s finance capital has more to offer to the environmentally conscious, discerning business and leisure traveller than one might think. For instance, the introduction of a low emission zone in Frankfurt am Main and lorry bans to combat fine particulate matter in the inner city, in addition to the promotion of cycling as a mode of transport, all constitute measures undertaken to enhance the air quality in Frankfurt, and thus make a sustainable contribution to enhancing the quality of life in the city.
Especially during the warm summer months, city trips to Scandinavia are a real treat. Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is a modern, growing city with quite a bit on offer to the environmentally conscious, discerning traveller. Most of the attractions of Helsinki, such as the Kamppi Chapel of Silence, or the Cathedral, are easily reachable by foot. The city is also famous for its design district and of course its port with frequent ferry connections to Tallinn in Estonia and Stockholm, Sweden, among other.
All-time favorite for city trips and weekend escapes within Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark, is also a green capital par excellence – and not just because of its vibrant urban cycling culture. The city is very walkable and has an efficient metro system. The best way, apart from strolling through Copenhagen’s very pedestrian-friendly city center, is to hop on one of the canal boat tours.
Most people associate Edinburgh with history, old architecture, ghost tours, and of course the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in summer. Less known are the city’s efforts in sustainable city development and in “greening” its tourism experiences, as described in its strategic plan, Sustainable Edinburgh 2020. For modern, environmentally conscious travellers, this is good news, since it means healthier and more enjoyable city trips.
In 2017, the Mercer Study voted Vienna the world’s most livable city for the eighth year in a row. More than half of the metropolitan area is made up of green spaces. 280 imperial parks and gardens enrich the cityscape. In spring, 400 species of rose bloom in the Volksgarten alone. The nearby recreation areas of Prater, Vienna Woods and Lobau invite visitors to go on walks, day trips, hikes and bicycle tours. Vienna has a total of 2,000 parks.
Voted by Dutch engineering firm Arcadis as world’s most sustainable city in 2016, Zurich ticks many boxes on the urban sustainability wish list. The first position on the Sustainable Cities Index is thanks to Zurich’s investments in sustainable energy sources and energy efficiency. Quality of life of its residents is another factor adding to the success story of Switzerland’s largest city (Bern is the country’s capital).