Study Reveals the Greenest Urban Holiday Destinations

If you’re planning an eco-friendly holiday this year, then online travel specialist TravelBird has compiled the Green Cities Index 2018, with the best urban destinations for the environmentally-minded traveller.

TravelBird looked at the largest OECE counties for comparison, hand-picking 50 cities with the emphasis on prominent tourist destinations. Its results recognise cities making the most efforts to be sustainable from preservation of areas of ecological importance to making efforts to improve quality and quantity of green spaces.

The travel specialist analysed the area within the city limits of each location against three main categories of green space; Natural, Man-Made and Food Production. Within each larger criteria, the amount of varying types of greenery such as woodlands, parks, public gardens, golf courses, orchards, vineyards, farms and more was calculated.

The results show how many square metres of park or woodland each city has for every inhabitant, creating an easy visualisation of how much green space a visitor could benefit from during a trip. In addition, TravelBird calculated the percentage that each type of green space accounts for in every destination.

The index analyses data from city maps across the globe, making it the number one choice for the earth-conscious holidaymaker.

The results found that in terms of square metres per person, the greenest city is Reykjavik in Iceland, followed by Auckland in New Zealand, Bratislava in Slovakia, Gothenburg in Sweden and Sydney in Australia. Europe’s Prague, Rome, Bern and Hamburg followed behind.

Europe fared even better in the top greenest cities based on the percentage of green space. Prague topped this list, followed by Madrid, Vienna, Edinburgh and New Zealand’s Auckland. The study also looked at Woodland and Park destinations.

Fiona Vanderbroeck, Chief Traveller Officer at TravelBird, said: “The World Health Organisation has reported that urban green spaces help individuals to feel more relaxed, reduce stress levels and also help protect against harmful pollutants. With many of our travellers seeking refuge from the grind of their daily routine, the thought of a city break might have once seemed contradictory to the idea of a relaxing vacation – but this index, highlighting the various green cities around the world, proves otherwise.

“Many popular city destinations around the world have made significant strides towards both preserving and manufacturing green spaces. With this index we aim to inspire travellers to see city trips differently – inviting them connect with nature whilst also enjoying the vibrancy, culture and liveliness they look for in a city getaway.”