- Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam is not only a picture-perfect city with its wonderful canals and houses, but has also always been at the forefront of green living. The city is famous for how bike friendly it is with great infrastructure built around allowing people to get anywhere by bicycle. The city is also one of the best at conserving water and has an array of eco-friendly hotels and hostels.
2. Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen consistently ranks as Europe’s greenest city and aims to be the world’s first carbon neutral city by 2025. The majority of its residents use bicycles to commute and public transport is great. Over 71% of the city’s hotel rooms are now certified with the official Green Key guarantee so finding a place to stay while travelling that is eco-friendly is easy.
Copenhagen residents are committed to recycling and reusing and the city is home to the world’s first expired foods supermarket – Wefood, aimed at reducing food waste.
3. Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm was Europe’s first Green Capital in 2010 and has been continuously ranking high for its environmental friendliness. All trains and city buses run on renewable fuels and the city plans on becoming fully independent from fossils fuels by 2050. 95% of the population lives less than 300 metres from a green-area. Stockholm is committed to keep improving its sustainability and there are a range of projects planned aimed at reducing waste such as re-using wasted heat generated from data centres, supermarkets and stadiums for households in the city.
4. Reykjavik, Iceland
Iceland is renowned for its natural beauty and consistently ranks as one of the most eco-friendly countries in the world. Its capital, Reykjavik is home to only 122,000 people and aims to be fossil fuel free by 2050. The city uses renewable geothermal and hydroeletric energy to power the buildings in the city and only 0.1% of Iceland’s electricity is generated using fossil fuel.
5. Oslo, Norway
After Stockholm and Copenhagen, Oslo is now Europe’s Green Capital 2019 which shows the commitment of the Scandinavia region to sustainability. The city has one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world and there are plans to become completely car-free by 2050. The city also has a wide range of eco-friendly hotels and meat-free restaurants that focus on local produce.
6. Bristol, UK
Bristol is UK’s greenest cities due to its good air quality, constant increase in cyclists and is investing greatly in renewable energy and has ambitions to become a European-hub for low carbon footprint industries.
7. Essen, Germany
The German city of Essen went from a coal mining city to Europe’s Green Capital 2017 due to its exemplary practices of protecting the environment and reducing waste. This remarkable change is a great example for other cities that change can be achieved. Essen also has a great mix of history, culture and art, making it a perfect city-break destination.
8. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is one of Europe’s most popular city-break destinations due to its colourful streets, great restaurants, and wide range of cultural activities. It has also been striving to become more green by building more green spaces, improving eco-friendly mobility, promote energy-efficiency and waste-management. The capital also has an extensive network of cycling lanes as well as making it easy for people to walk throughout the city.
9. Ljubljana, Slovenia
The capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana is an affordable European destination with great character. It has managed to preserve its green areas and cars are banned from the city centre making it perfect for cycling or walking. Visitors to the city are often impressed by its sheer-beauty and wide range of outdoor activities.
10. Barcelona, Spain
Spain’s second largest city and one of Europe’s most popular tourism destinations, Barcelona has a wide network of public transport and 50% of all trips are made by foot or bicycle. The city also offers a bike sharing system to make it easier for visitors to travel around. Barcelona also has innovative plans to expand green spaces and continues to invest in energy efficiency, waste management and reducing emissions by banning the driving of vehicles older than 20 years on weekdays.