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Best Places to Go Green in Europe

Eco-tourism in Europe has become increasingly popular (and necessary), as environmentally conscious travelers and cities look to minimize their impacts locally and globally. Here are three of the best options for visitors who want to leave a smaller carbon footprint on their next European holiday.

Copenhagen

Widely considered one of the greenest, most livable cities in the world, Copenhagen is an eco-tourist’s dream. In 2014, the super-bike-friendly Danish capital was named that year’s European Green Capital, a designation that reflects the city’s commitment to efficient infrastructure, green spaces, and sustainable development.

Copenhagen is famously bicycle-centric, making it one of the least polluted, and most charming capitals in the world. Visitors can use the city’s ubiquitous bike paths to get from the harbor to the Tivoli gardens to the National Museum of Denmark, all without hailing a single Uber.

After a day of cycling, refuel at one of Copenhagen’s many spectacular restaurants, where organic produce and Michelin stars abound. Also, you can rest easy at night knowing that the vast majority of the city’s chic, stylish hotels are eco-friendly.

Need extra tip? Hire local vacation photographer at Localgrapher (they have photographers in over 110 destinations worldwide). Great photos are always to he a most appreciated (and eco-friendly) souvenir.

Amsterdam

These days, Amsterdam is known as much for its green initiatives as its red lights. The Dutch capital, home to beautiful museums, friendly people, and plentiful outdoor spaces, has made a concerted effort to reduce emissions.

Options for green transportation are everywhere in Amsterdam. Take an electric boat through the gorgeous canals that crisscross Amsterdam’s idyllic neighborhoods; explore the city by bicycle like a true local; or, if you’ve managed to overindulge (in Dutch cheese, obviously), take advantage of the city’s easily navigable public transportation system.

Barcelona

The stunning capital of Catalonia has only become more alluring since the city began introducing new green initiatives, putting a focus on cleaning its dazzling beaches and tree-lined streets.

Although it’s a large city, Barcelona is easy to explore by foot. Fawn over the city’s verdant parks and architectural gems, while strolling along the wide-open boulevards. Or, get on the easy to use Metro to visit Gaudí’s beautiful Park Guell or Sagrada Família.

After walking all morning, enjoy sustainably sourced seafood at on one of the city’s picturesque beach restaurants. Then grab a coffee, and head over to the Plaza Catalunya to relax and people watch. Finding a place to stay should be easy, as the city is full of hip boutique hotels, many of which implement green programs to offset their environmental impact.

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