City travelers, here’s our latest interview with inspiring travel bloggers, sharing their favorite city destinations and travel experiences. Today, meet Hanna Anfelter of Reform Travel.
Hanna, a few words about yourself and Reform Travel: When did you start it, and why?
I have a background in communications, writing for tourism and business magazines. Alongside with my passion for travel, I have always wanted to make a difference. Once I went to South Africa to write a travel story and there I heard about the concept of sustainable tourism for the first time. That experience showed me that you can combine travel with doing good.
Since that trip, the idea of a webzine about sustainable tourism started growing. I launched the website last September. Reform Travel sheds light on sustainable tourism and aims to raise awareness of the concept. I want to inspire people to travel more sustainably.
If you had to choose one, which would you consider your favourite city – and what makes it so special for you?
Tough choice. I love Paris, Copenhagen, Berlin. I got thrilled over Bergen when I went there for the first time. If I had to choose one, though, it would be Stockholm, my hometown. It is surrounded by nature, easy to walk or bike around and still has the city pulse, plus many sustainable options.
5 tips for travelers planning to visit Stockholm?
Avoid the main streets of the old city and the most common parts of the city centre. Instead, walk up the last part of Drottningatan, called Drottninggatsbacken, and all the way to Odenplan.
Take a tour in the subway to see all the beautiful underground art works!
Walk alongside the water edge of Årstaviken, from Skanstull to Hornstull. Walk over the bridge “Västerbron” and get a beautiful view over Stockholm.
Feel the pulse at Södermalm and the neighbourhood around Nytorget. Here you will find a lot of small boutiques, second hand shops, cafés and restaurants. Many of them are eco-friendly.
What makes a city worth visiting for you?
The history of a city, and local life – the culture, people, and feeling the city’s genuinity. Also, being able to easily find sustainable accommodation options, tours and eateries. Plus, a lot of green spaces, and great coffee!
3 ingredients for the perfect city trip?
- Locally sourced and produced eco-friendly food and coffee
- Walkability, easy to get round by bike or with public transport
- Authentic places where you can immerse yourself in genuine, local life, no tourist facades
Which gadgets or apps do you consider essential for an enjoyable city travel experience?
I must admit that I am old-fashioned and do not use mobile apps when travelling. However, I always bring my Canon 450 to take pictures, a classic notebook and a refill water bottle.
Tourism is getting a lot of negative press lately because of the pressure it puts on local communities and the natural environment – especially in popular city destinations. As frequent traveler, have you noticed any changes regarding your travel experience, linked to issues such as overcrowding, pollution, etc.? And do you have tips how to deal with those as traveller?
With my sustainability glasses on most of the time when traveling, I do tend to see the cities getting dirtier and the streets filled with trash. Sadly, this is a reality in Stockholm as well.
During my last visit to Barcelona, I also experienced overtourism first hand when trying to get a glimpse of the Sagrada Familia through the crowds.
My tip: avoid popular cities during peak season and visit them during off-season. It is much calmer, and you will get a good chance to experience local life, at a slower pace. Also, only the best local restaurants and activities stay open during this time, which helps avoid tourist traps!
Your key lessons learned from traveling the world?
Traveling, when done responsibly and with sustainability in mind, breaks barriers, creates understanding and beautiful relationships.
Thank you, Hanna – and safe travels!