The often smoggy and polluted streets and sidewalks of the city may not immediately conjure images of the term sustainable, however city tourism can in fact be done in a sustainable and responsible manner. When planning on visiting a city, there are several things to be taken into consideration. First and foremost, try to minimise your carbon footprint through your choices of transportation. If possible, try to get to the city by car or train, rather than flying there. This of course depends on your location and available infrastructure. In many parts of the world, such as Europe and East Asia, for example, using the established train networks will get you to your destination without the hassles that come with. In this way you will be able to discover mesmerising scenery along the way, like smaller towns and villages, and getting a feeling of the surrounding region before arriving at the city. While already at the city, there are further transport-related considerations that could be taken, namely related to public transport vs. walking. Ideally, when it comes to walkable distances, try to avoid transportation such as taxis etc. as much as possible. Staying physically active is always good for health reasons plus you get the chance to enjoy every small step and the views that come with it. In case you and/or your travel companion(s) are for one reason or another unable to walk, consider taking the public transport, before opting for an uber/taxi, so that the city is not further polluted by cars. In the case of distances that are not walkable, a nice way to see a city in a bird’s eye view are the so-called “hop on-hop off” buses. Nowadays, these buses run in more and more cities. You can sit upstairs, in the open air and see everything really well. Another useful tip is to try deviating from the beaten track. In the back streets you’ll often discover the local way of life in its authenticity. Here you will most likely find the best restaurants as well. Finally, a pro tip to take into consideration is the time period of your visit. Going during high season is not advisory, given you don’t enjoy being in-between huge crowds. Instead, think about opting for either the pre- or post-season. During these periods, evenings are usually a lot quieter, therefore enabling you to enjoy a beautiful sunset and a special atmosphere. Finally, you could always try researching more eco-friendly activities, such as parks/open air-museums that can be enjoyed on foot and outdoors. Another special tip for a budget and environmentally friendly activity is to rent a kayak from greenkayak. This organisation offers kayak rentals for free in Germany, Ireland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. In exchange you will have to collect trash along your paddle route. This can be real fun, as sometimes you will even find some very interesting things.
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