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Are you looking for a more responsible way to travel in 2023? Then this blog post with 12 sustainable travel destinations to visit in 2023 is for you!
With the world becoming more conscious of the environment, there is no better time to embark on a journey to explore some of the most beautiful and sustainable travel destinations in the world.
Such destinations prioritize sustainable tourism practices that help protect the environment, preserve local cultures, and support local communities.
I’ve taken the time to research and compile a list of some of the best destinations for sustainable travel, with each one offering something special and unique that helps to reduce the impact on the local environment and economy.
Whether you’re looking for dynamic cities or charming hidden gems, there’s a sustainable travel destination to suit everyone. From Copenhagen to Curitiba, Reykjavik to Melbourne, these 12 cities are a great place to start!
What Makes a Travel Destination “Sustainable”?
Sustainable travel is a concept that has come to define our era – with its promise of exploring the world without leaving a footprint behind. But what does it really mean? Is simply visiting an eco-friendly destination enough for us to call ourselves ‘sustainable travelers’? Does merely taking part in responsible tourism make us any better than those who do not?
The answer is far more complex than a simple yes or no. Sustainable travel means so much more: from choosing green destinations and actively engaging in eco-friendly tourism, to making conscious decisions about where you stay and how you get there.
Sustainable tourism strives to minimize the environmental and cultural impacts of travel, while also providing socio-economic benefits to local communities. Therefore, sustainable travel destinations are those that are managed in a responsible and respectful way, ensuring that the environment and the local culture are preserved and the local economy is supported.
That’s why sustainable cities are now emerging all over the globe, offering travelers the opportunity to explore while limiting their impact on the environment. And with this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the top 12 sustainable destinations to visit in 2023!
1) Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen has become known as one of the world’s leading capitals when it comes to sustainability practices – from its zero waste policies implemented in restaurants throughout the city center to its use of green technology such as solar-powered water heaters – this lively seaside town is dedicated to creating a better future for generations ahead.
That’s why, when it comes to sustainable travel, Copenhagen is the perfect destination for a conscious traveler. Known as one of the most eco-friendly cities in Europe, the Danish capital offers plenty of ethical attractions and activities.
From its stunning parks and green spaces to its commitment to renewable energy sources, there’s no shortage of sustainability initiatives here that make it a great place to visit!
Cycling culture is alive and well in Copenhagen, making up more than half of all trips within city limits – so if you’re looking for some healthy outdoor activity while exploring Denmark’s many wonders, make sure to pedal your way around the streets of Copenhagen.
For those who prefer their adventures on two feet instead, walking tours through historical sites like Nyhavn or Amalienborg Palace provide an up close and personal glimpse into local life and customs. Not only will you be getting exercise and fresh air during your stay, but you’ll also be helping reduce carbon emissions by leaving your car at home!
Whether you’re looking for an educational trip focused on environmental issues or simply want to explore a unique corner of the planet without harming it in any way, then Copenhagen should definitely be on your list of top destinations for 2023!
2) Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver is a top sustainable travel destination that should be on your must-visit list for 2023. This vibrant city offers endless opportunities to explore its beauty while taking part in eco-friendly activities.
From its stunning coastal views to the lush forests and mountains that surround it, Vancouver provides travelers with a chance to get off the beaten path and make meaningful connections with nature without sacrificing convenience or comfort.
The city’s commitment to sustainability makes it an ideal spot for those who are looking for low-impact experiences but still want to enjoy the best of what this region has to offer.
A great example of this dedication can be found at Stanley Park, one of North America’s largest urban parks boasting over 1,000 hectares of protected land filled with beautiful gardens and paths perfect for exploring on foot or by bike.
There are also numerous sustainable restaurants and cafes throughout the city offering delicious locally sourced dishes made from organic ingredients.
No matter how you choose to experience Vancouver, this city will surely leave a lasting impression as one of your most memorable sustainable destinations!
3) Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam – a city with its own unique character that is simply unforgettable. With an abundance of canals and bridges, walking through Amsterdam is like being in a postcard.
In addition to its picturesque nature, this Dutch capital has long been known for its liberal views towards sex, drugs and art; making it one of Europe’s most pleasurable cities to visit.
These days though, Amsterdam has become a sustainable destination due to the efforts taken by local authorities which now include electric vehicle charging points along the streets as well as bike-sharing schemes across town.
The Netherlands also boasts some of the cleanest air in Europe thanks to wind turbines located offshore – so no matter how you choose to explore Amsterdam (on foot, bike or electric car!), your experience will be all the more enjoyable knowing that sustainability is at the heart of every decision made here.
Such policies make Amsterdam not just an exciting place for tourists but also an example for other countries striving to achieve environmental protection goals!
4) Glasgow, United Kingdom
Glasgow in the United Kingdom is a beautiful city that offers a unique mix of history and modernity which can’t be found anywhere else in the world. On top of that, the city has a number of eco-friendly initiatives in place which make it easy to explore while minimizing your carbon footprint.
For example, there are several public transportation options available such as buses and trains which are all powered by renewable energy sources. Additionally, they have bike rental programs that allow you to get around town quickly and cheaply.
The city also boasts numerous parks and trails where visitors can enjoy outdoor activities with minimal impact on the environment. Furthermore, they have implemented recycling structures throughout the city center so that every resident can contribute to their cause of environmental preservation.
From exploring museums and galleries during the day to sampling delicious local delicacies at night, Glasgow has something for everyone who wants to spend quality time in this beautiful city. And with its commitment toward sustainability and culture, Glasgow is definitely worth visiting in 2023!
5) Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly getaway which at the same time is a hidden gem, Freiburg im Breisgau is the perfect destination. Located on the edge of Germany’s Black Forest region and close to France, this city provides travelers with endless possibilities for exploration – whether it’s through outdoor adventure or simply enjoying the city’s laid-back culture.
Freiburg im Breisgau is widely recognized as a sustainable city due to its focus on renewable energy, energy-efficient building codes, extensive bike and pedestrian paths, and comprehensive public transit system.
It has also implemented an advanced waste management system, including the separate collection and recycling of organic waste, paper, glass, and other materials. As of 2021, 60% of Freiburg’s electricity is generated by renewable sources such as solar, hydro, and biomass, making it one of the most sustainable cities in Germany.
The nearby Black Forest Open Air Museum offers a unique look into traditional craftsmanship while teaching visitors about sustainability practices. And don’t forget to check out their organic farm shop for fresh produce!
With so much to offer, it’s no wonder why Freiburg has become one of Europe’s most popular sustainable destinations.
Singapore is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore an eco-friendly place in 2023. It’s one of the world’s leading cities when it comes to sustainability, with an abundance of green initiatives and policies that are paving the way towards a more sustainable future.
From its electric vehicles to its pristine public transportation system, Singapore has become a model for other countries to follow in their pursuit of environmental preservation.
The cityscape itself is also breathtakingly beautiful; you’ll find plenty of lush parks, beaches, and gardens throughout the island nation. Not only that, but there are numerous cultural activities such as museums and art galleries too!
Plus, there are tons of delicious local dishes available from street vendors and restaurants alike – perfect for those who enjoy trying out new cuisines. All this makes Singapore a great choice for travelers seeking an environmentally conscious holiday experience.
7) Portland, USA
Portland is a city that radiates sustainable energy. Its bustling downtown offers plenty of activities to keep even the most adventurous traveler busy while staying eco-friendly.
From its renowned food scene and thriving art galleries, to its expansive green spaces and bike lanes, Portland offers endless ways for travelers to explore without leaving an environmental footprint behind.
The city has made huge strides in sustainability initiatives like water conservation, renewable energy use, waste reduction programs, and more – all with an aim towards creating a healthier environment for generations to come.
From farmers’ markets offering locally sourced foods, to unique restaurants serving up plant-based options – there’s something here for everyone who wants to make their vacation as green as possible.
With so much emphasis on protecting the planet, it’s no wonder Portland has become one of the top 12 destinations for those looking to travel sustainably in 2023!
8) Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki is a beautiful and modern city that is dedicated to preserving its environment and culture. The city has made sustainability a priority by utilizing technology and innovation to reduce waste and pollution. From electric buses to bike-sharing systems, Helsinki has it all!
The city also boasts an impressive food scene with plenty of vegan options available throughout the city. There are several restaurants serving locally sourced ingredients with an emphasis on sustainability. And don’t forget about the amazing outdoor activities around Helsinki!
Hiking trails, beaches, parks, lakes – whatever you’re looking for, you can find it here. Plus, there’s always something going on at one of Finland’s many festivals or events.
With its commitment to environmental preservation and diverse activities, Helsinki will not disappoint those seeking adventure while making sure they make a positive impact on their surroundings.
9) Reykjavik, Iceland
Reykjavik is a stunning place to visit for your 2023 sustainable vacation. Not only does it have some of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe, but it also has a commitment to sustainability that makes visiting here an extremely rewarding experience.
From its renewable energy initiatives and conservation efforts to its eco-friendly tourism practices, Reykjavik is doing everything possible to reduce its environmental impact while still providing tourists with an amazing adventure they’ll never forget.
The city’s many attractions are perfect for anyone looking to explore nature without damaging it in any way. Visitors can take part in whale watching tours or horseback riding excursions along the coastline.
They can also enjoy activities like kayaking and glacier hiking, all of which provide travelers with a unique perspective on this breathtaking landscape. And if you’re looking for something more urban, the city boasts fantastic restaurants and bars as well as world-class art galleries and museums.
With so much to see and do, there’s no doubt that Reykjavik will be an unforgettable destination for your next holiday. And by taking advantage of their commitment to sustainability you can rest assured knowing that your trip won’t damage the environment either.
10) Curitiba, Brazil
Curitiba is a city in Brazil that boasts an impressive commitment to sustainability and continues to be one of the greenest cities in South America. The city offers plenty of eco-friendly options for travelers looking to experience its beauty while reducing their carbon footprint.
The public transportation system is among the best in all of Latin America, with bus routes connecting every corner of Curitiba as well as surrounding areas. The city’s well-developed bus rapid transit (BRT) system operates on dedicated lanes, reducing traffic congestion, air pollution, and making it an affordable and accessible option for locals and tourists.
Also, bike lanes are available throughout the city and electric scooters make getting around easy and affordable. And if this wasn’t enough, many of the restaurants offer vegetarian and vegan dishes made from locally sourced ingredients, helping reduce food miles and ensure that only the freshest ingredients are served.
Curitiba also has a network of parks, public gardens, and green spaces, as well as social programs that provide services, education, and job training to low-income residents, helping to reduce poverty and inequality.
This commitment to sustainability as well as plenty of opportunities for sightseeing, shopping at local markets or simply soaking up the sunshine on beautiful beaches nearby make Curitiba an ideal destination for conscious travelers!
11) Oslo, Norway
This picturesque capital city of Norway is another excellent sustainable destination for 2023 due to its numerous green initiatives – from reducing carbon emissions emission to promoting electric vehicle usage.
Oslo has a unique energy-saving plan that includes ambitious goals such as halving their CO2 emission levels by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. To achieve this goal, the government provides financial assistance for those investing in renewable energy sources such as solar panels or wind turbines.
Additionally, there are various public transportation options available including buses, light rail systems, bike lanes and even boat services along the Oslofjord. All these measures reduce both pollution and traffic congestion within the city limits.
Moreover, Oslo encourages citizens to live sustainably through its “Green Capital City Program” which offers incentives like free access to charging stations for electric vehicles and discounts on eco-friendly products at local stores. As if all these weren’t enough reasons already to make it one of your top 12 sustainable destinations in 2023!
12) Melbourne, Australia
Last but not least, there’s Melbourne which is known to be the most sustainable city in Australia. This metropolis has made great strides towards sustainability with its green initiatives and policies that make it an ideal place for eco-tourism.
Melbourne’s commitment to being energy efficient, reducing waste, conserving water, and protecting biodiversity are just some of the reasons why this beautiful city should be on your radar if you’re looking for a sustainable travel destination in 2023.
The city encourages citizens to adopt more environmentally friendly practices through their Sustainable Living Program which provides resources and education on how individuals can reduce their carbon footprint while enjoying their life in Melbourne.
From its beautiful parks and gardens to engaging cultural events like live music performances or art exhibitions at galleries around town, there are plenty of ways to experience all that Melbourne has to offer without hurting the environment.
Plus, taking public transportation instead of driving helps visitors reduce emissions too! What better way to enjoy exploring a new place than getting out into nature whilst also knowing that your actions have minimal environmental impact?
With so many incredible sustainable destinations to choose from, it can be hard to decide where to go. But regardless of the destination you pick for your next trip, keep in mind that sustainability should always be one of your priorities when planning and taking any vacation.
Sustainable travel helps protect our planet’s resources and promote responsible tourism practices. Plus, it makes for a more enjoyable experience overall!
So whether you are looking forward to lounging on some of the world’s most beautiful beaches or exploring new cultures, remember that there is no shortage of great eco-friendly places to visit around the globe!
If you are now ready to book your trip to one of these sustainable travel destinations, I encourage you to consider using Giving Getaway for your travel essentials such as hotels, flights, rental cars, and more.
By booking through Giving Getaway, you’ll not only have an amazing trip, but you’ll also make a difference. 50% of the commission earned from each completed booking goes towards organizing charity events, such as the 2021 Christmas gift drive for kids and teenagers in a children’s home in Montenegro.
So, book your trip with Giving Getaway and make a positive impact while enjoying your travels!