Amsterdam is the ideal location for eco-conscious tourists. Interestingly, in 2010 Amsterdam was nominated for the European Green Capital 2010 award. The city encompasses an eco-friendly attitude including tree-lined canals, famous parks and 400km of cycle lanes. All this makes it a great place for the eco-conscious to have a city break. We have put together some eco-tips and activities you can do that will make your stay as green as can be.
So, when you first think of transportation in Amsterdam, the first thing that comes to mind is cycling! To be sure, it is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world. It’s the best eco-way to see the city just like one of the locals. Furthermore, the city is equipped with well-designed cycle lanes and flat streets to guarantee a smooth and pleasant bike ride.
It’s not only environmental-friendly but also the fastest way to get around in the city. You can explore the Dutch capital on a bike ride along the canals, with its museums, Dutch-style houses, and typical cafés.
If you are not a confident bike rider, to handle Amsterdam’s crowded streets then worry no more! You can always take a bike guided tour to guide you through the crowds.
If biking is not your thing, then you can always explore the city on foot. Amsterdam is small enough for you to walk around and walking along the canals will allow you to discover lively neighbourhoods such as the Jordaan and picturesque path spots. In addition to this, there are free guided walks offered around the city.
Boat it out
Amsterdam, also known as the “Venice of the North,” can be explored via its canals. Visitors can either hire a pedal boat at Leidseplein quays and go at their own pace or take a tour on one of the electric boats which are powered by natural gas and other sustainable fuels.
The Dutch city has an amazing and well-organised public transportation network, which includes trams, metro, bus, ferries, and trains. Notably, most of these run-on green electricity and are convenient and easy to navigate. Tourists can buy 1-day to 7-day tickets or the iAMsterdam City Card which gives visitors unlimited rides.
The Plastic Whale
For an eco canal cruise choose the Plastic Whale. It’s a special boat that was created by a company that harvests plastic out of the canals with the help of passengers and uses this plastic to make more boats and office furniture.
The Plastic Whale offers its guests a two-hour outing, seeing some of the most famous landmarks that are best viewed from the canals. During those two hours, guests are provided with snacks and drinks and are also invited to participate in collecting some of the waste that is littering the beautiful waterways. It is important to highlight that collecting plastic is not mandatory for any guest.
The Plastic Whale also holds competitions between groups onboard awarding prizes for the team with the largest amount of plastic retrieved, as well as one for the most original object collected. A must for any eco-warriors out there.
Choose an Eco-Friendly Hotel
In Amsterdam, most hotels are becoming more energy-efficient and implementing energy-saving measures. Additionally, more than 50 hotels are being rewarded a Green Key certificate, which indicates that their facilities are sustainable.
One of the best eco-friendly hotels is The Conscious Hotel, which has three locations in the city and offers guests a 100% sustainable experience. A modern hotel with furniture, which is made from recycled plastics. They also serve a big, healthy and organic breakfast. Likewise, the hotel has solar panels on the roof and an eco-product shop. Plus, they offer in their rooms non-toxic shampoo which comes in large, refillable pump bottles. This hotel is a favourable choice for eco-conscious guests that want to keep their carbon footprint to a minimum whilst visiting the city.
Other eco-friendly hotel options include; EcoMama Hotel and Zoku Amsterdam
Ecological shops and markets
What better way to support local farmers other than purchasing organic fruit and vegetables to snack on during the trip. If this sounds like something you would be interested in doing then make sure you check out the Farmers Market (Boerenmarkt) at the Noordermarkt square.
Another hotspot for eco-conscious tourists is the colourful flower market, which runs along the canals. Brighten up your day by having a pleasant walk and browsing the colourful world-famous dutch tulips, which is the national flower of Holland.
If you are into thrift shopping, then the vintage markets and upcycling shops in the Pijp district are worth a visit. Another location to check out is the Haarlemmerdijk and the LENA fashion library, which allows you to borrow quality vintage and designer clothing.
The Netherlands is the place to go for eco-friendly places and activities, and you’ll be spoilt for choice in Amsterdam! These tips are a snapshot of how to have an eco-conscious trip to the ‘Dam, once you’re there