This Swedish City Is the Most Eco-Friendly Destination in the World

For the eco-friendly traveller, it doesn’t get any greener than Gothenburg, Sweden.

Named the “world’s most sustainable destination” by the Global Destination Sustainability Index, this popular Nordic vacation spot is filled with pretty canal-lined streets, thoughtful local cuisine and endless outdoor adventures.

Best Stay

Crossing the Atlantic by jet to get to Sweden is unavoidable, but you can help offset the carbon footprint of air travel by staying at an Airbnb listing. Studies have shown that staying with the property-sharing company results in a significantly lower environmental impact than traditional accommodations, including energy savings and reduced water usage. Plus, a stint in a real Swedish home is the best way to immerse yourself in that famous Scandi design.

Best Souvenir

Clogs are ideal for anyone who spends a lot of time standing – they’re the ultimate gardening shoes – and recently they’ve made a stylish comeback. Haga Trätoffelfabrik offers a smorgasbord of wooden shoes, which they’ve been cobbling by hand at a nearby workshop since 1933. Slip on classic designs, as well as sandals and open-toed styles, in hard-to-find colours like neon pink and leopard print.

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Best Spa

Housed in a building that dates back to 1876, Hagabadet is a temple to the great European tradition of the water cure. This urban oasis of water wellness is a two-storey labyrinth filled with pools of various temperatures, steam rooms, saunas and relaxation rooms. Spend an afternoon enjoying the waters or call ahead to book a massage, facial or detox treatment that incorporates fresh seaweed, hand-picked just an hour down the coast. (Looking for a Nordic spa experience in Canada? Calgary has you covered.)

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Best Coffee

Partake in the daily Swedish ritual of fika (an afternoon coffee break with friends or co-workers). Stop in at Da Matteo’s on Magasinsgatan, where you can sip your java in a quiet cobblestone laneway with a snack from their on-site bakery (they’re known for their sourdough bread and kanelbullens, the Swedish cinnamon roll) before perusing the street’s local shops. Coffee/dog lovers should check out Viktors Kaffe where locally roasted beans are served under the watchful eye of Lorcan, the namesake owner’s rescue dog.

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Best Parks

You don’t have to go far to practise friluftsloven, the popular Nordic law that nature should be protected for all to enjoy. Slottsskogen is a large urban park that has a zoo filled with Nordic animals, like Gotland ponies. After exploring the manicured plots and greenhouses of the Gothenburg Botanical Garden, make your way to the adjacent nature reserve, where you can hike serene wooded trails. And just outside of the city on the island of Stora Amundön, you’ll find secluded beaches and even an underwater snorkelling trail.

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The best part? They’re all easily accessible by public transit.

Originally Published in Best Health Canada

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