Tips for a green Amsterdam vacation

11 March 2021

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Friendly disclaimer! We want to be as accurate as possible, but given these challenging times, we urge you to recheck that the venues are open when you decide to travel.


Tourists can’t help but applaud and admire the Dutch, with their particular protection of, and concern for, the environment. Amsterdam celebrates bicycles, making it so easy for even visitors to minimize their carbon footprint. With its integrated public transportation, trams, and walkers, this densely populated city leads the way in reducing carbon emissions. Apparently more than 60 per cent of household waste is sorted, collected, and recycled. And as for that famous Dutch skill, harnessing wind power with thousands of wind turbines produces 20% of the country’s energy. Head over here to be a green traveler, while enjoying a picture-perfect holiday!


Tour in Eco-friendly boats and bicycles


Amsterdam, ‘The Venice of the North’ offers more than 100 km of canals and roads geared for bicycle tourists! What better way to stay sustainable and discover life at a quieter, slower pace.

Pedal boats

Linger at places you like, stop where you will, and enjoy the sights along the way with Pedalos, or canal bikes, a fun way to cruise through the waterways. Less expensive than canal cruises, these pedal boats can be hired at the quays of Leidseplein, at the Prinsengracht close to the Anne Frank house, at the corner of Keizersgracht and Leidseplein, and opposite the Rijksmuseum.

Green boats

Locals and tourists opt for the Eco Boat – a company dedicated to running green energy boats (as opposed to diesel) which is the norm among motorized boats. They will help you make your own routes to discover the ins and outs of Amsterdam, in a sustainable way.


Plastic picking boats

A Dutch company called Plastic Whale provides boat trips down Amsterdam’s canals so that tourists can help remove plastic from the water, while admiring Amsterdam’s panorama. The plastic bottles are recycled and converted to office furniture and in fact, building more boats! What a perfect way to contribute to the cleanliness and creativity of another country while you travel.

Bicycle tours

Nothing like local guides to show you Amsterdam on a 3+ hours bike tour with 15 people or less. Charming drawbridges, old warehouses, trendy boutiques and hip eateries, the Museum Quarter and pleasant breaks in parks, makes this biking tour a perfect way to absorb the history and culture of Amsterdam while you take in the sights.


Unravelog Tip: While in Amsterdam, install the interactive VaarWater App (iOS and Android) with maps and live information about routes and opening times that you can share with friends.

Eco Mama

No matter what your budget, Amsterdam spoils you with great eco-hotels with feel-good, do-good options for eco-conscious and sustainable travellers.

EcoMama accommodates a range of travellers – ‘El Cheapo’ dorms to deluxe private rooms. It uses natural stone heating and actively reduces waste with an environmentally friendly water system. €1 from guests’ bills every night is donated to charities.


Conscious hotels

At the southern end of Amsterdam’s largest park is Conscious Hotel Museum Square – close to lots of restaurants. The Tire Station comes complete with solar panels on the roof, an eco friendly patisserie appropriately named ‘sticky fingers’ and uses Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage – making this one of the most green hotels in Amsterdam.




Instock is Amsterdam’s first zero waste restaurant situated near Amsterdam’s famous windmill brewery (Brouwerij t’Ij). Surplus food from producers is rescued every day (1000 kilograms of food a week!) and transformed into culinary masterpieces for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Taste something fresh and different and eco-unique each day.


Restaurant de Kas

An onsite greenhouse in Restaurant de Kas grows herbs and vegetables to create inspired and wholesome meals. The meals are tailored around the current harvest and seasonal crop, grown near Amsterdam. While there are fixed menus, de Kas also caters to clients who prefer vegetarian or vegan requirements on request.

De Ceuvel

Urban hippies love this riverside hangout, Amsterdam’s De Ceuvel is located in what was once a shipyard.  A business park where repurposed houseboats become workspaces and kitchen waste turns to fertilizer for its gardens! This place is always fun and relaxing, with great entertainment, concerts, pop-ups, film screenings, parties and programmes – from recycling festivals, litter picking to fermentation workshops. You’d never want to leave.

It is no doubt that Amsterdam is one of the most unconventional cities in Europe that has much to offer to the intrepid traveller. Check out our elaborate itinerary that unravels Amsterdam in 3 days.

Unravelled by: ShuPri

Writer-poet-explorer, lover of quirk, design, doodles, fonts, animation, jazz, travel, yoga. Her book ‘Whimsical Brew’ is a concoction of humorous, illustrated verses from a process involving quirks of design and serendipitous mistakes.

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