Six of The World’s Best Cities for More Sustainable Transport and Stays
There’s nothing like exploring a city on foot to get a real feel of the place. It’s the best way to discover hidden gems, interact with locals and have an as authentic as possible travel experience, all while keeping the environment top of mind. And if your feet get weary, explore the sights more sustainably on public transport or on a bike. According to our research, more than half (55%)* of global travelers are planning to take slower modes of transport to reduce their environmental impact in 2022. Additionally, three quarters (76%)** of global travelers will choose a place to stay if it has good sustainability accreditation. So with that in mind, we share six of the world’s best cities for more sustainable transport options based on traveler reviews***, including more sustainable stay options in these destinations that have received the Booking.com Travel Sustainable badge - all for when it’s safe to travel again.
A city to lose yourself in for days, Kyoto is a fascinating blend of ancient history and modern hustle and bustle and one of our most recommended destinations by global travelers for sustainable travel. Known for its historical temples, tea ceremony and flower arranging traditions which you can try first hand with an Ikebana Flower Arranging Workshop, it’s also a thriving, forward-thinking metropolis. The city’s many sights are relatively spread out so you’ll need to catch public transport in between, but the best way to explore each area is on foot. A particularly interesting walk is around the Kiyomizu-dera temple, where shrines and stalls selling snacks make up a lively hub of activity.
Where to Stay: Just a short walk away from the Kiyomizu-dera temple and from many restaurants in the nearby area to experience traditional Japanese cuisine, Kyomachiya Suite Rikyu is a Japanese-style machiya townhouse centrally located in the Higashiyama ward of Kyoto. This property offers an authentic and more sustainable stay, as renewable energy is used throughout the property. Guests can relax after a day of walking in this charming, traditionally styled accommodation.
Laid out in a grid formation and with streets numbered, there’s little chance of getting lost in New York however far you wander in our top endorsed destination for walking. Make your way through Manhattan on foot discovering the varied neighborhoods, from SoHo to Midtown, and of course Central Park. To explore the bohemian scene in the city, book a walking tour of Greenwich Village to uncover the cozy streets and historical houses in the artistic neighborhood. Experience the walkable city like a local but should you need it, you can always hop on the subway like a true New Yorker.
Where to Stay: Located in the pedestrian-friendly and iconic Times Square, the LUMA Hotel offers a stylish and more sustainable stay in the heart of Manhattan. Featuring modern and spacious rooms, guests can also enjoy the fantastic restaurant and bar for a delicious meal or a creative cocktail. The hotel is also a short walk away from the Empire State Building so guests can easily wander over to and up the famous building to enjoy unbelievable views of the Big Apple.
For an idyllic Scandinavian city break, Copenhagen is a wonderful destination full of incredible architecture and royal history. Copenhagen is known for being a bike-friendly city and, according to our endorsement data, is a top destination for cycling. The best way to explore the Danish capital is by a guided cycling tour where you will pedal round both famous landmarks and lesser-known spots. On the tour, travelers also learn how to lower your carbon footprint and how Copenhagen became one of the most sustainable and energy-efficient cities in the world. Enjoy the food scene or some cold water swimming to awaken your inner Viking.
Where to Stay: Immerse yourself in Danish design with a stay at Copenhagen’s first skyscraper, the Radisson Collection Royal Hotel. The hotel even offers bicycles for hire so guests can explore the city like a local. Located near the charming Tivoli Gardens and the Copenhagen Central Station, the hotel offers fashionable rooms and a state of the art fitness center and spa to unwind after a day in the city.
The enchanting and colorful city of Marrakech is full of buzzing energy for travelers to immerse themselves in. To explore the city’s fascinating history, book a guided tour of Bahia and Badi Palaces where travelers can visit two opulent Marrakech palaces. Admire the architecture, sprawling gardens and experience a glimpse into the former affluence of this majestic city before finishing the tour with panoramic views over the medina of Marrakech from a hidden terrace. Morocco is also often credited as one of the most sustainable countries in the world. The country’s efforts to prevent climate change through renewable energy and its ban on plastic bags highlight Morocco as a genuine eco-conscious destination and is also recognized by our travelers as a recommended sustainable travel destination.
Where to Stay: The Riad Itrane is just a short walk from Jamaâ El Fna square and offers sun terraces with views of the Atlas Mountains and the Medina. The traditional riad features a swimming pool and serves Moroccan food specialities, which are mostly organic, for guests to enjoy their meals on the patios.
This European hotspot is paradise for the aimless wanderer as you can get wonderfully lost among the cobbled streets and quaint courtyards. Become an urban adventurer and explore the neighborhoods in one of our top endorsed destinations for city walks to discover the bohemian art scene and trial the world’s finest brews. To experience the city post sunset, book an evening tour beginning at the entrance to the Bridge Tower in the Old Town, where visitors can stroll across the Charles Bridge with views of the Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral. Learn about the history of the preserved medieval city and enjoy some of the city’s best spots for night photography.
Where to Stay: Just a short walk from the historical old town, the Hotel Planet Prague offers a cool, comfortable and more sustainable stay as the hotel refrains from using single-use plastics. Some rooms feature a terrace with views overlooking the beautiful city where travelers can sit back and relax with a cold drink after a full day exploring the city on foot.
The vibrant capital of Taiwan has an abundance of casual and tasty food places to explore and a natural beautiful scenery. Whether interested in the creative arts, the city’s complex history or the world renowned night markets - Taipei has endless attractions to see and things to do. The city also features eight national parks, magnificent mountains, offshore islands and relaxing hot spring resorts for a diverse adventure. The city is easy to navigate with a well mapped public transport system, so not surprisingly one of the top endorsed destinations for convenient public transport by our travelers.
Where to Stay: Sustainable property CityInn Hotel Taipei Station Branch II offers modern and minimalist rooms in the heart of the Taiwanese capital. The hotel is just a short walk away from Taipei’s Main Train Station which travelers can utilize to travel across the city by public transport.
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who plan to travel for business or leisure in the next 12-24 months. In total 24,055 respondents across 31 countries and territories were polled (including 501 from Argentina, 1003 from Australia, 500 from Belgium, 1001 from Brazil, 500 from Canada, 1000 from China, 1007 from Colombia, 1001 from Croatia, 508 from Denmark, 1002 from France, 1000 from Germany, 1005 from Hong Kong, 1000 from India, 502 from Israel, 1003 from Italy, 1002 from Japan, 500 from Mexico, 501 from The Netherlands, 501 from New Zealand, 500 from Peru, 1000 from Russia, 1005 from Singapore, 1002 from South Korea, 1002 from Spain, 501 from Sweden, 501 from Switzerland, 504 from Taiwan, 500 from Thailand, 1000 from the UK, 1002 from the US and 501 from Vietnam). Respondents completed an online survey in August 2021.
**Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of of 29,349 respondents across 30 countries and territories (1,000 from USA, 1,007 from Canada, 1,000 from Mexico, 964 from Colombia, 1,000 from Brazil, 1,000 from Argentina, 999 from Australia, 941 from New Zealand, 1,001 from Spain, 1,000 from Italy, 1,000 from France, 1,000 from UK, 1,000 from Germany, 1,003 from Netherlands, 986 from Denmark, 1,000 from Sweden, 997 from Croatia, 1,005 from Russia, 1,003 from Israel, 1,000 from India, 1,000 from China, 1,005 from Hong Kong, 968 from Thailand, 963 from Singapore, 1,000 from Taiwan, 1,005 from Vietnam, 1,000 from South Korea, 1,000 from Japan, 1,002 from South Africa, 500 from Kenya ). In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have traveled at least once in the past 12 months and must be planning to travel in 2021, and be either the primary decision maker or involved in the decision making of their travel. The survey was taken online and took place in March 2021.
***Endorsement data from Booking.com based on the most recommended and relevant destinations by global travelers for Sustainable Travel, Walking, Cycling, City Walks and Convenient Public Transport