Top 20 Sustainable European Destinations to Explore in 2024 – Travel And Tour World

DiscoverCars.com has compiled a list of the top 20 most sustainable cities in Europe. The ranking considers several factors: proximity to the nearest airport, carbon dioxide emissions from a round trip originating from London Heathrow, the proportion of hotels offering electric vehicle charging points, the availability of vegan restaurants, the presence of natural attractions, and pollution levels. The analysis focused on the three largest cities in each European country.

Aleksandrs Buraks, Head of Growth at DiscoverCars.com, comments:

“It’s a really interesting range of places around Europe that are reflected in our top 20 list. While many of the destinations on the list are capital cities – many of which have taken on impressive regeneration projects aimed at becoming greener – others are not the biggest city in their country. For instance, we have Hamburg, Ghent and Turin in our top 20, fantastic cities which should never be overlooked.

“We enjoyed learning about all the different sustainability initiatives countries are introducing, like Denmark’s ‘reverse vending machine’ recycling scheme, in which you can return empty cans and either receive a small payment or make a payment to charity in your name. It’s great to see all the bright ideas people are coming up with to protect the environment and keep their cities green!”

Ranking Country Climate Impact (Round Trip KG CO2) % of Hotels with EV Charging Points % of Vegan Restaurants No. of Nature Spots Pollution Total
1st Edinburgh, UK 288 1 37 42 Low 89
2nd Zurich, Switzerland 414 5 22 33 Low 88
3rd Paris, France 220 1 17 309 Low 86
4th Barcelona, Spain 594 1 18 163 Low 85
5th Rotterdam, Netherlands 198 8 15 27 Low 84
6th Hamburg, Germany 436 6 14 53 Low 81
7th Ghent, Belgium 200 3 19 23 Low 80
8th Copenhagen, Denmark 536 3 14 56 Low 77
9th Turin, Italy 582 2 17 41 Low 76
10th Limerick, Ireland 373 4 28 15 Low 75
11th Salzburg, Austria 642 6 19 24 Low 75
12th Vaduz, Liechtenstein 528 17 24 7 Low 74
13th Budapest, Hungary 754 1 17 92 Low 73
14th Luxembourg City, Luxembourg 327 7 17 16 Low 73
15th Gothenburg, Sweden 684 11 15 36 Low 73
16th Helsinki, Finland 884 5 13 72 Low 70
17th Parnu, Estonia 1017 1 27 31 Low 69
18th Monte Carlo, Monaco 638 18 24 5 Low 69
19th Porto, Portugal 666 1 17 49 Low 69
20th Oslo, Norway 682 5 16 25 Low 64
The top five sustainable cities are as follows:

Scotland
Edinburgh claimed the top spot with a score of 89 out of 100. Renowned for its beauty and history, Edinburgh boasts extensive green spaces for both residents and visitors. One can ascend Arthur’s Seat in Holyrood Park, an ancient extinct volcano, for panoramic views of the city.

Zurich, Switzerland
Following closely was Zurich with 88 points. The city’s Old Town, or Altstadt, is perfect for exploring on foot or by river cruise. Numerous tour operators offer electric boat rides, promoting local sustainable businesses.

Paris, France
Paris is dedicated to sustainability, demonstrated by the removal of 70,000 parking spaces in 2021, which were replaced with trees, bicycle parking, and electric vehicle charging stations.

Barcelona, Spain
In fourth place is Barcelona, the vibrant capital of Spain, scoring 85 points. The city is a haven for eco-conscious food enthusiasts, hosting 1,557 vegan restaurants.

Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Completing the top five is Rotterdam, with a score of 84. This port city is ideal for exploring by water, with options to rent environmentally friendly electric boats.

The next five cities in the top 10 sustainable list include Hamburg, Germany; Ghent, Belgium; Copenhagen, Denmark; Turin, Italy; and Limerick, Ireland.

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