Sustainable Travel Ideas for Amsterdam

The most common correlation between sustainable travel and Amsterdam is usually a back-handed joke about both being “green.” Amsterdam has gained a world- wide reputation for being the mecca of all things prostitution and pot, and this reputation is particularly popular in the comparatively censored United States. Apparently, Amsterdam is not happy about its reputation of being the land for debauchery, because it is reported that the city is considering making most of its recreational drug indulgences for residents only. That is, foreigners and travelers can no longer partake in this pastime. Since the process of obtaining such contraband goes against the ideals of the sustainable traveler, this announcement does not come as a disappointment. It does open up possibilities for Amsterdam, however. What can the sustainable traveler get into in Amsterdam? Surprisingly, quite a lot.

Denmark is known as one of the most pleasant countries in the world, with stress levels lower than the vast majority of Americans. Part of this low stress lifestyle comes from their acceptance of physical activity as a form of mobility. The primary form of transportation around Amsterdam is by bike. Even if tourists venture off into older villages outside of the city, they will see that villagers rely on bicycles in lieu of cars as well. Visiting Amsterdam during sustainable travel presents the perfect opportunity to participate in their bike riding culture. There are several bike rental shops around town, but there are also a number of organized bike tours as well. Consider an environmentally- friendly bike tour to see the sights of Amsterdam. Mike’s Bike Tours offer an array of bike tours that vary in duration and skill level.  This bike tour company operates year round and, subsequently, bike tours are tailored to accommodate the time of year.

Another legal and sustainable activity in Amsterdam is to visit their fresh famers markets. No sustainable travel to Amsterdam would be complete without a trip to one of their vibrant farmers markets. Several farmers markets operate throughout the area, but Farmers Market on Noordermarkt is one of the most popular. This farmers market has been operating since the 80’s, before the popularization of farmers markets increased. This is a community favorite that attracts patrons from all over. Farmers Market on Noordemarkt provides the perfect backdrop for understanding Amsterdam’s true people and culture, not the stereotypical land for lawlessness portrayed in movies. This market offers natural cheese, sustainably produced eggs and fish, spices, and even homemade cakes. The types of products offered changes and grows as days go by. Many local vendors also cook up their own healthy meals, so tourists are able to enjoy healthy food from Amsterdam on the go.

Bike tours and farmers markets are just two of the many options for sustainable travel to Amsterdam.  Don’t wait for laws to be changed to enjoy what Amsterdam really has to offer.

Photo Credit: Paul Holloway