The Best and Most Sustainable Summer Activities to do in Amsterdam

Written By Alla Levin
July 17, 2019
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Sustainable things to do in Amsterdam

Sustainable tourism is a growing trend eco-friendly travelers are taking to heart. Tourists like this are hoping to leave a positive impact on the environment and society of the place they are visiting.

There are many small changes a traveler can make to be more environmentally friendly, but to be truly sustainable, the activities you choose to do in your selected destination city also need to be reviewed. In Amsterdam, there are many activities and things to do that allow you to explore the city and the culture, while making a low impact on the environment.

A simple way for you to help is when walking the city streets of Amsterdam, strolling through the Vondelpark, and walking the canals along the Jordaan, pick up the trash you see and recycle it. Keep an empty bag with you that can be used to collect plastic, paper, and other items so that you can recycle it later. This helps keep these items out of the city streets and canals and improves that area of the city. And while walking, don’t forget to use your reusable water bottle to stay hydrated!

Museum Quarter with the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh MuseumMuseum Quarter with the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum

While staying in Amsterdam, there are many sites you may have to travel to see, like the Museum Quarter with the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum.

To get there, instead of hailing a taxi or ordering an Uber, think first about renting a bicycle, renting an electric scooter, or simply walking to your destination. Using modes of transportation that are less harmful to the environment help keep the air cleaner for the city’s inhabitants. Biking in Amsterdam is particularly useful as bikes are a part of the Dutch culture! The infrastructure of Amsterdam is designed with bikes in mind, which makes this mode of transportation king while in Amsterdam.

It is even said that there are more bikes than citizens in Amsterdam.

Some hotels in Amsterdam are considered green hotels or eco-hotels. These hotels are designed with sustainability in mind for their guests. A green hotel may be LEED-certified for energy efficiency or they might use non-toxic housekeeping practices. These hotels many times serve local organic food, ask guests to reuse linens and reduce their use of towels, have composting programs, and use recyclable flatware and tableware.

Staying at one of these hotels is a sustainable choice in itself, but they also would be great ambassadors to learn about other sustainable activities Amsterdam may offer. These hotels often provide bicycles to their guests as well as other amenities to make sustainable traveling easier. In Amsterdam, two green hotels are the Conscious Hotel in Vodelpark and the Ecomama Hotel in Centrum which is a hostel.

Most travelers do not consider their morning coffee and pastries and evening meals to be another way to offer sustainability. Eating ethically while traveling is a growing trend. Travelers want to be more mindful of where they eat, how the food is produced and its effect on the environment. This can be difficult while traveling due to language barriers and the inability to ask these questions before dining.

By preparing an itinerary and doing your research, you can plan days of incredible eating without compromising your desire to be green. Shopping locally means less fuel is being used to transport food, unlike your favorite brand names from home. Look into local markets for local specialties and fresh options that support the community.

Restaurant Spelt and Lt. Cornelis in AmsterdamRestaurant Spelt and Lt. Cornelis in Amsterdam

Restaurant Spelt and Lt. Cornelis in Amsterdam is listed as a green restaurant that offers authentic Dutch food. SNCKBR in Amsterdam offers sustainable guilt-free snacks and small bites for you and your friends to try.

If you’re interested in learning more about sustainability while in Amsterdam, try visiting the NEMO Science Museum. NEMO offers exhibits on water power, renewable energy resources, and water conservation. NEMO is an incredible place to visit to explore hands-on science with real-life applications in sustainability and conservation.

Goatfarm Ridammerhoeve in the Amsterdam Forest

To see more of the local countryside of Amsterdam, visiting the Goatfarm Ridammerhoeve in the Amsterdam Forest provides a one of a kind experience. This is a working farm you can visit to see, goats, lambs, chickens, pigs, cows, and horses. You can enjoy an organic lunch on-site and try ice cream made from goat’s milk.

The farm also offers workshops on making goat cheese as well as a market to purchase homegrown vegetables and hand made cheeses from the farm. Visitors enjoy seeing the hard work that goes into owning a farm like this and tasting the fruits of the farmer’s labor and dedication.

While on your tour of Amsterdam, there are many easy and fun ways to travel with sustainability in mind. When choosing your accommodations, take the extra time to read about your hotel’s green practices.

Switching to a different hotel can ease the effects of your stay by saving water and energy. When eating, choosing natural local foods helps provide for the local economy, while also avoiding imported plastic packaged foods. Local restaurants are often eco-friendly and can offer authentic Dutch cuisine with food from local farms. To get around the city, keep other modes of transportation in mind, especially biking while in Amsterdam.

Not only does it help the environment, but it will also offer you the real experience of living and traveling in Amsterdam as the locals do.

Lastly, when selecting your activities for your trip, try to incorporate visits to local places that are eco-friendly including museums, science centers, restaurants, and farms. Using these ideas you will be able to craft an unforgettable and authentic trip to Amsterdam while respecting the environment and protecting the beautiful city. Are you interested in more sustainable trips?

Check out our top 10 list of most environmental countries.

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