Amsterdam is the capital and largest city of the Netherlands, and one of the most environmentally sustainable cities in the world. With its use of bicycles instead of cars, high recycling rates, many green spaces and ethical, eco-friendly restaurants, it's the perfect place to live and eat responsibly. Green cities strive in all areas to reduce their environmental impact and encourage citizens and visitors to adopt a sustainable lifestyle, just as this Dutch city aims to become the cleanest and most eco-friendly in the world.
And the step is very short, as it ranks third in the green cities ranking, after Boston and Paris. For years now, Amsterdam has been sailing its canals with electric boats and, at the same time, public transport, street lighting, public offices and its city hall have also converted to green energy. Particularly at the forefront of the global eco-sustainability scene, Amsterdam follows forward-looking projects and policies. Just think that, over the past 30 years, for instance, the Dutch capital's administration has encouraged the use of bicycles, now counting 500 km of bike paths that cross the city far and wide. Today, the bicycle - the city’s undisputed symbol - is the most used means of transport in Amsterdam, and over 65% of trips within the city are made on two wheels.
Green and smart are two adjectives that characterize this Dutch city, far from the established stereotypes of a simple tourist destination for those in search of a “blast”, or mischievous experiences in the red light district.
Dutch citizens are increasingly inclined to seek out zero-emission innovations. In this regard, they never cease to amaze, thus thinking about the design of restaurants, hotels, breweries and stores ad hoc. Here are, in a few lines, those that are suitable for your sustainable stay, if you decide to visit the wonderful city of Amsterdam.
A unique sustainable 4-star hotel in Amsterdam, where two Worlds connect. In the former location where ships left for Jakarta, there is this green oasis in the city center. Hotel Jakarta offers 200 Indonesian-style luxury rooms and suites. Most rooms have a balcony, with panoramic views over the IJ (a lake known to be Amsterdam's waterfront, mistakenly considered a river) on one side, and North and Central Amsterdam on the other. You can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the Café Jakarta, or have a drink at the Malabar. Be pampered in luxury, and relax by the pool, while enjoying breathtaking views. 24km from Amsterdam Airport, it is one of the most innovative examples ever built. What characterizes this unique structure are solar panels, rainwater collectors, passive solutions for climate control in the building, and strictly natural materials and from certified green places. The hotel was built entirely of bamboo, from the floors to the ceiling to the fixtures and doors, giving the structure a tropical character, while ensuring high durability. Because bamboo - in addition to being available in an immense variety of colors and types - is the plant with the fastest and most natural growth in the world, it is cheap and has properties of workability, strength, elasticity that make it reliable enough to allow the construction of a 4-star hotel with restaurant, spa and bar, and zero environmental impact.
A Michelin Green Star 2021, De Kas restaurant stands in what was the old greenhouse of a 1920s elementary school. This airy restaurant offers light, modern and - above all - carefully prepared dishes. It is not just a simple restaurant, but a real gastronomic experience between good food and sustainability. Ingredients come from the restaurant's own garden where vegetables, herbs and edible flowers are grown, while meat and fish are provided by De Kas’ trusted suppliers. All of the facility's workers are busy in the garden, harvesting produce to ensure customers receive the freshest possible ingredients. "Plant to plate" is chef Jos Timmer's philosophy.
A small venue next to De Gooyer windmill, Brouwerij 't IJ brewery produces unfiltered, unpasteurized and 100% organic beers. It's the ideal place for a break, whether alone or in company. You can enjoy great craft beers, accompanied by a snack. Based on my experience, I want to suggest three of my favorites, which I tried out a few years ago: Zatte, the first beer produced by Brouwerij, with a golden color and a fresh-fruit aroma; Wet, a reddish brown beer with a smooth flavor; and lastly Ipa, a dark beer with wonderful nuances of grapefruit and flowers. Being a small venue, my advice is to make a reservation or attend an organized tasting, in order to enjoy your experience as much as possible. If you're a beer lover like me, I recommend popping in, it will absolutely be worth it!
Amsterdam, the city of energy saving, quality of life and environmental policies, aims more and more to become sustainable in every aspect, and, above all, to transform even tourism into something beautiful and less harmful for the entire humanity. Everyone can do their part, don't you think?
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