The Most Sustainable Travel Destinations in Europe

Written: editor | August 22, 2023


Amsterdam, Netherlands

Sustainable transportation options

Amsterdam is known for its commitment to sustainable travel. The city has an excellent public transportation system, which includes efficient and extensive tram, bus, and metro networks. These options make it easy for visitors to explore the city without relying on private cars or taxis. Additionally, Amsterdam is famous for being a bicycle-friendly city. With over 400 kilometers of dedicated cycling lanes, renting a bike is a popular and eco-friendly way to get around.

Eco-friendly accommodation

In recent years, Amsterdam has seen a rise in eco-friendly and sustainable accommodations. Many hotels and hostels in the city have implemented green initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint. These initiatives include using renewable energy sources, implementing energy-saving practices, and encouraging guests to recycle and conserve water. Some accommodations even offer organic and locally sourced food options, reducing the environmental impact of their culinary offerings. Staying in one of these eco-friendly accommodations not only allows travelers to enjoy their visit guilt-free but also supports businesses that prioritize sustainability.

Amsterdam's commitment to sustainable transportation and eco-friendly accommodation options make it one of the most sustainable travel destinations in Europe. Its efforts to reduce carbon emissions and promote environmentally friendly practices serve as an example for other cities aspiring to be more sustainable.


Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, has emerged as a leading sustainable travel destination in Europe. With its commitment to renewable energy, efficient waste management, and bike-friendly infrastructure, it offers a model for sustainable urban living.

Bike-friendly city

Copenhagen is renowned for its extensive network of bike lanes, making it easy and convenient for residents and tourists to cycle around the city. In fact, 62% of Copenhageners commute by bike, reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality. The city also offers bike-sharing programs, ensuring that bike accessibility is available to all.

Efficient waste management

Copenhagen has implemented innovative waste management systems that prioritize recycling and minimize waste disposal. The city has achieved an impressive recycling rate of 56% and is constantly striving to improve waste reduction strategies. Waste-to-energy plants generate heat and electricity from non-recyclable waste, further reducing the environmental impact.

Other sustainable practices in Copenhagen include green, energy-efficient buildings, a commitment to renewable energy sources, and a focus on locally sourced and organic food.

Copenhagen's dedication to sustainability has not gone unnoticed. The city has received numerous awards and recognitions for its commitment to green living and sustainable urban development.

In conclusion, Copenhagen serves as a shining example of a sustainable travel destination in Europe. Its bike-friendly infrastructure, efficient waste management systems, and commitment to renewable energy make it an ideal place for eco-conscious travelers.


Helsinki, Finland

Commitment to renewable energy

Helsinki, the capital city of Finland, is one of the most sustainable travel destinations in Europe. The city has made a strong commitment to transitioning to renewable energy sources. In fact, Helsinki aims to become carbon neutral by 2035. This ambitious goal is being achieved through the expansion of wind power, investments in solar energy, and the promotion of energy-efficient solutions. By prioritizing renewable energy, Helsinki is reducing its dependence on fossil fuels and minimizing its carbon footprint.

Nature conservation efforts

In addition to its focus on renewable energy, Helsinki is also dedicated to nature conservation. The city is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes, including forests, lakes, and the Baltic Sea. Helsinki has implemented measures to protect and preserve these valuable ecosystems. This includes the establishment of national parks, strict regulations on fishing and hunting, and initiatives to promote biodiversity. Visitors to Helsinki can enjoy exploring the city's green spaces, such as the Central Park and the Helsinki Archipelago. These efforts to preserve nature not only benefit the environment but also provide opportunities for sustainable tourism and outdoor activities.

Overall, Helsinki is leading the way in sustainable practices, making it an ideal destination for eco-conscious travelers. Its commitment to renewable energy and nature conservation efforts combine to create a unique and environmentally friendly travel experience


Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland, is recognized as one of the most sustainable travel destinations in Europe. Here are two key reasons why:

Geothermal energy

Iceland is famous for harnessing the power of its geothermal energy sources. Reykjavik benefits from this as majority of its electricity and heating needs are met through geothermal systems. This renewable energy method significantly reduces reliance on fossil fuels and helps lower carbon emissions. Visitors to Reykjavik can explore this sustainable energy source through geothermal power plant tours, hot springs, and even swimming in geothermally heated outdoor pools.

Preservation of natural landscapes

Iceland places a strong emphasis on preserving its unique natural landscapes. Reykjavik, with its strategic location, serves as a gateway to some of Iceland's most stunning attractions, including the mesmerizing Northern Lights, striking waterfalls, and breathtaking lava fields. Efforts are made to promote responsible tourism, such as educating visitors about the importance of minimizing their impact on the environment and adhering to sustainable practices. Travelers can enjoy the beauty of Iceland's untouched nature while supporting initiatives aimed at conservation and preservation.

By choosing Reykjavik as a travel destination, visitors contribute to sustainable practices and learn about innovative solutions in energy production and environmental conservation. With its commitment to geothermal energy and preservation of natural landscapes, Reykjavik sets an example for other cities in Europe and around the world.


Ljubljana, Slovenia

Green spaces and sustainable mobility

Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia, is known for its commitment to sustainability. The city boasts an abundance of green spaces, including Tivoli Park and the Ljubljana Botanical Garden, which provide locals and tourists with beautiful and eco-friendly places to relax and enjoy nature.

In addition to its green spaces, Ljubljana has implemented several sustainable mobility initiatives. The city encourages the use of public transportation by providing an extensive bus network and promoting cycling. Visitors can rent bicycles from one of the many bike-sharing stations located throughout the city, making it easy to explore Ljubljana in an environmentally friendly way.

Waste reduction and recycling programs

Ljubljana is also dedicated to reducing waste and implementing effective recycling programs. The city has achieved an impressive 75% recycling rate, thanks to its comprehensive waste management system. Recycling bins are easily accessible and clearly labeled throughout the city, making it convenient for residents and visitors to dispose of their waste properly.

Furthermore, Ljubljana has taken innovative steps to minimize waste production. The city has banned single-use plastics in municipal buildings and events, encouraging the use of reusable alternatives. Additionally, Ljubljana has introduced a program that rewards citizens for proper recycling practices, further incentivizing sustainable behavior.

With its commitment to green spaces, sustainable mobility, and waste reduction, Ljubljana is undoubtedly one of the most sustainable travel destinations in Europe. Visitors can enjoy the city's beautiful parks, explore its attractions using eco-friendly transportation options, and contribute to its sustainability efforts by participating in responsible waste management practices.


Stockholm, Sweden

Extensive public transportation network

Stockholm is renowned for its sustainable travel initiatives, with an extensive public transportation network that makes it easy for visitors and residents alike to get around without relying on private cars. The city boasts an efficient subway system, buses, trams, and even ferries that provide options for eco-friendly transportation. By using these modes of transportation, visitors can significantly reduce their carbon footprint while exploring the city's numerous attractions.

Emphasis on clean water and air

Stockholm places a strong emphasis on maintaining clean water and air quality. The city's commitment to sustainability is apparent in the efforts taken to preserve the environment and reduce pollution. The stunning archipelago surrounding Stockholm is not only a breathtaking natural wonder but also a protected marine area. Visitors can experience the beauty of this unique ecosystem while supporting sustainable tourism practices. Additionally, Stockholm consistently ranks high in air quality, thanks to its dedication to reducing emissions and promoting eco-friendly transportation.

By choosing Stockholm as a travel destination, visitors can enjoy a city that values sustainability and actively promotes environmentally friendly practices. From the robust public transportation system to the focus on clean water and air, this vibrant Scandinavian city sets the benchmark for sustainable travel in Europe.

Note: Stockholm features extensive sustainable initiatives beyond public transportation and clean water and air.


Barcelona, Spain

Renewable energy in tourist venues

Barcelona is not only known for its stunning architecture and vibrant culture but also for its commitment to sustainability. The city has made significant progress in integrating renewable energy sources into its tourist venues. Many hotels, restaurants, and attractions have implemented solar panels, wind turbines, and other renewable energy systems to power their operations. This not only reduces the city's carbon footprint but also provides an eco-friendly experience for travelers who are conscious about their impact on the environment.

Urban gardening and green spaces

Barcelona is also a leader in promoting urban gardening and creating green spaces within the city. The concept of urban gardening has gained popularity as it allows residents and visitors to grow their own produce and contribute to a more sustainable food system. The city has converted abandoned spaces into community gardens and supports initiatives where locals can grow their own vegetables and herbs. Additionally, Barcelona has numerous parks and green areas that provide a refreshing escape from the bustling city streets. These green spaces not only enhance the city's aesthetic appeal but also contribute to cleaner air and a healthier environment.

Barcelona's commitment to renewable energy and urban greening make it a top choice for travelers seeking sustainable destinations in Europe. By visiting Barcelona, tourists can support and experience firsthand the city's efforts towards a greener future.


Edinburgh, Scotland

Located in Scotland, Edinburgh is known for its sustainable travel initiatives and commitment to preserving its cultural heritage.

Efficient public transportation

Edinburgh boasts an efficient and well-connected public transportation system. The city offers a comprehensive network of buses and trams, making it easy for visitors to explore the city while minimizing their carbon footprint. Additionally, Edinburgh encourages cyclists with numerous cycling lanes and bike-sharing programs, promoting eco-friendly transportation alternatives.

Cultural heritage preservation

Edinburgh takes great pride in preserving its rich cultural heritage. The city is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the historic Edinburgh Castle and The Royal Mile. These cultural landmarks are carefully maintained to ensure their longevity and provide visitors with a glimpse into Scotland's history and traditions. The city also promotes sustainable tourism practices by organizing tours that focus on heritage preservation and promoting responsible travel.

With its efficient public transportation system and commitment to preserving its cultural heritage, Edinburgh stands out as one of the most sustainable travel destinations in Europe. Visitors can experience the beauty of the city while minimizing their impact on the environment and supporting responsible tourism practices.

Note: For more information about Edinburgh and its sustainable travel initiatives, you can refer to the Edinburgh City Council website.



Whether it's reducing carbon emissions, preserving natural resources, or supporting local communities, sustainable travel has become increasingly popular. Europe offers a plethora of destinations that promote eco-friendly practices and provide unique experiences for conscious travelers. By choosing a sustainable destination and adopting eco-conscious travel practices, you can contribute to the preservation of our planet while enjoying memorable vacations.

Benefits of sustainable travel

Sustainable travel offers a range of benefits, including:

  1. Environmental preservation: Choosing sustainable destinations helps protect fragile ecosystems, reduce carbon emissions, and conserve natural resources.

  2. Supporting local communities: Sustainable travel helps generate income for local businesses, artisans, and residents, promoting economic growth and preserving cultural heritage.

  3. Authentic experiences: Sustainable destinations often provide opportunities to engage with local communities, traditions, and cuisines, offering a more enriching and immersive travel experience.

Choosing a sustainable destination

When selecting a sustainable travel destination, consider the following factors:

  1. Environmental policies: Look for destinations that prioritize environmental conservation, have initiatives to reduce waste or promote renewable energy.

  2. Preservation of natural areas: Choose destinations known for their protected areas, national parks, and wildlife sanctuaries.

  3. Local community involvement: Opt for destinations that involve and benefit local communities through responsible tourism practices.

Tips for eco-conscious travel practices

To make your travel more eco-conscious:

  1. Choose eco-friendly accommodations: Look for hotels or guesthouses with sustainable practices such as energy efficiency, locally sourced materials, or recycling programs.

  2. Use public transportation or walk: Reduce carbon emissions by opting for public transportation, biking, or walking whenever possible.

  3. Minimize waste: Carry a reusable water bottle, shop with reusable bags, and avoid single-use plastics.

Remember, by being mindful of your impact on the environment and supporting sustainable practices, you can make a difference and enjoy fulfilling and responsible travel experiences in Europe.