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Top 4 Green Cities to Visit

Apr 20, 2016 by Jamie Burke

With Earth Day just around the corner, we wanted to give a shout out to some of our favorite green destinations. Whether it’s a great bike trail, beautiful park, environmentally-minded residents (or all three!), see what makes these cities the best places to go green around the globe.

Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark

Nordic countries always top lists of the greenest places on earth, and it’s no wonder why. From residents who bike everywhere to the countries’ commitment to climate-friendly design, there’s plenty for the eco-conscious to love about Scandinavia.

Copenhagen stands out for its commitment to become the first carbon-neutral city in the world by 2025. They’re already well on their way—more than 40% of residents bike to work, garden-topped “green roof” buildings are sprouting up everywhere and sustainability plays a major role in everything from the city’s world-famous restaurants to its alternative energy sources.

Great spot to go green

Restaurant Cap Horn where many seafaring men once sought respite (and a hearty supper) after a long sail, now dishes out delicious meals made with organic ingredients.

Tiergarten park in Berlin, Germany

Berlin, Germany

Berlin’s graffiti-adorned streets might belie a less gritty personality—it’s the greenest city in mainland Europe. There are over 2,500 parks in Berlin, more than any other European city, and many have reclaimed once-industrial sites. The Natur-Park Sudgelaende was once a deserted railyard, and the “mountains” at Volkspark Friedrichshain were created from wartime detritus.

A major way Berlin helps the environment? Alternative transportation. The U-bahn and the S-bahn carry more than 500 million commuters a year, and an estimated 500,000 make bikes their preferred way to get from point A to B. Like many major German cities, Berlin also abides an “Environmental Zone” law, wherein only cars that meet emissions standards are allow to drive in the center of the city.

Great spot to go green

Das Lokal dishes out farm-to-table fare in Berlin’s Mitte neighborhood, offering a menu that changes weekly, reflecting the seasonality and availability of local ingredients.

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town is ahead of most major African cities when it comes to going green. The city aims to increase its reliance on solar power and other renewable energy resources by 2024, and locally sourced products abound in the city’s markets. Table Mountain National Park is also right nearby, offering plenty of chances for outdoor adventures, including hiking, biking or even penguin-sighting!

Great spot to go green

La Motte Winery, set in the idyllic Cape Winelands, has been recognized by the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative for its sustainable, organic grape harvesting—and its delicious wines.

5 Cities making it easy to be green

Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver is in a race to become the world’s greenest metropolis, vowing to reduce city-wide emissions by 33%. By 2050, Vancouverites hope to get all of their energy from renewable resources, and eventually become a zero-emissions, zero-waste city. More than 90% of the population lives within five minutes of a park or green space, but the city hopes to make it 100% in the coming years.

You can see residents embracing the city’s green mission everywhere—from public garden plots and environmental art to organic markets and sustainable clothing shops.

Great spot go green

Granville Island was once the city’s industrial sector, but today it’s transformed into a bustling marketplace and community center. At Granville Island Public Market, you’ll find locally-sourced goods from fresh fish to fruits and veggies.

Have one of these cities on your wish list? Know any great travel tips for going green? Tell us on Facebook!

About the author | Jamie Burke
Always on the lookout for the next best meal ever, Jamie loves exploring the world—and all the great food in it. When she's not working to inspire new travelers, you'll find her biking around Boston, eating at her favorite sushi place, or hanging out at home with her family (and cat).

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