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It’s undeniable that the travel industry plays a significant role in creating economic stability and driving growth in different locations worldwide. However, the downsides are clear… Environmental damage, overcrowding, and strain on resources are just a few ways increased tourism can adversely impact a destination.

Because of this, many ecotourism destinations are taking crucial steps to reverse course and save fragile ecosystems. From visitor limitations to bans on megaships and vacation rentals, governments are taking drastic measures.

Want to take care of the world and still see it? Learn about the top 10 sustainable destinations in the world.

Check out sustainable travel tips to start reducing your impact and traveling greener.

#1 Costa Rica

Costa Rica under clouds

Boosting biodiversity has been cited as one of the largest priorities in restoring equilibrium for the sea, land, and atmosphere. Costa Rica is one of our ecotourism destinations and a world-leading cultivator of biodiversity, with almost 6% of the world’s species living here. From Corcovado National Park to Puerto Viejo, you can indulge in green activities in Costa Rica for as little as $70 a day. Here, parks are UNESCO-protected to safeguard them against deforestation and help guarantee that tourists encounter a dazzling cast of wildlife at every turn. 

#2 The Green Island of Eigg: Scotland

A view of Eigg over blue water

Scotland is one of the most sustainable countries in the world. But having disconnected from the mainland electricity supply in 2008, Eigg is the first island in the UK to be self-sufficient in renewable energy. It balances water, solar, and wind power. This offers enough power for the 10,000 tourists who visit every summer, earning its place as an eco-friendly destination. 

Despite Eigg’s modest size, it has several places to visit – the climb up An Sgurr can be rewarded with the best views of the Highlands. You can also walk around Laig Bay, taking in the views of Muck and mighty Rum while being mesmerized by the ethereal interplay of sea, sand, and sky. From at least $100 a day, you can enjoy the aesthetics and ethics of the Island. 

#3 Wilson Island: Australia

White sand on a beach on Austria

Wilson Island is committed to maintaining sustainability, which earns a rank among the top 100 green destinations. It has 100% solar and battery power and a ban on single-use plastic. The adult-only island is the ideal place to relax and disconnect. And with just $80 a day, you can completely indulge in green activities including nature walks, snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding, and kayaking. 

#4 Norwegian Fjords: Norway

A fjord in Norway, one of the most sustainable destinations in the world

Norway has been cited as one of the top eco-friendly destinations in the world due to its minimal carbon footprint. The pristine fjords are a prime example of the nation’s dedication to preservation. It has strict regulations on petroleum production and hunting, which ensures it has crystalline waters, cascading waterfalls, and snow-capped mountains. Today, you can explore the fjords by kayak or enjoy views of some of the bluest water in the world on abundant hiking trails. The country strives to have the world’s first liquid hydrogen fuel cell ship by 2023. 

#5 Grenoble: France

Grenoble in France is one of the most sustainable destinations worldwide

Situated in South-East France, the city of Grenoble has been named Green Capital of Europe, 2022. It sits where three valleys meet and is surrounded by the Vercors, Belledonne, and Chartreuse mountains. Getting around is easy and eco-friendly. You can board a train or use the city’s cycle-share scheme Metrovelo, with 7,000 bikes and 200 miles of cycling routes. Hikers can enjoy the nature trails zigzagging around the mountains. Moreover, the food scene has embraced sustainability, with several restaurants like the Jeanette using only local produce. 

#6 Stockholm: Sweden

Stockholm under sunset skies

Euromonitor International has named Sweden number one on its Sustainable Travel Index. Most tourists visiting Sweden often start their adventure in Stockholm, the capital city. Public transportation in Stockholm has achieved its goal of 100% renewable energy on trains, metro, and buses. Also, Stockholm is a compact city, a delight to explore, with some truly excellent museums, making it a top ecotourism destination. 

#7 Amsterdam: The Netherlands

A row of colourful houses in Amsterdam

For over two decades, the Netherlands has had a national environmental policy plan. It has been able to successfully meet 70% of its goal to lower air pollution and carbon emissions. In fact, Amsterdam has been voted one of the most sustainable destinations in Europe. Also, the Netherlands has over 15,000 km of bike paths, making it one of the most bike-friendly nations in the world. 

#8 Montevideo: Uruguay

A view of Montevideo, one of the world's green destinations

More than 95% of Uruguay’s energy is supplied by renewable energy sources, that you can easily recognize upon seeing the solar panels in Montevideo’s airport. It has clean air, luscious forests, and waters teeming with innumerable wildlife. It’s no wonder Uruguay is one of the most sustainable countries and has been named the third-best country in environmental sustainability.

For $70 a day, you can enjoy the rich history and a jumble of attractive landmarks in Montevideo. Don’t miss the eye-catching part art-deco, part gothic Palacio salvo and the 18th –century mansions and churches adorning the cobbled streets of its historic center. 

#9 Azores Islands: Portugal

Azores islands viewing distant mountains

The private oasis in the Atlantic Ocean is known to preserve its marine life and landscapes while promoting green tourism. The islands are proof that countries can accomplish sustainable tourism by reserving locations for travel and supporting it with completely renewable energy. Some of the initiatives being taken include rainwater harvesting and using renewable energies like solar, wind, geothermal, and hydroelectric. This is done to help lower energy consumption and protect its natural resources and landscapes. 

#10 Helsinki: Finland

A church rising up in Helsinki, currently the 5th most sustainable of travel destinations in the world.

Finland ranks very high on its societal commitment to attaining carbon neutrality by 2050 according to the Environmental Performance Index. It has also continued focusing on water and sanitation, habitat conservation, and biodiversity, and is now among the greenest vacation destinations in the world. 

Consequently, Helsinki has been named the fifth most sustainable destination in the world. While in Helsinki, you can visit the Nuuksio National park, which offers nice restaurants, information centers, and well-maintained trails. The city is relatively affordable, and you’ll just need $117 a day to enjoy the green ambiance. 

The takeaway – summer 2022 sustainable destinations

As an eco-friendly traveler, you can travel in a greener, cleaner way. It all starts with selecting destinations that champion ecotourism and sustainability. These sustainable destinations are making the planet a better place while inviting tourists to explore them in an eco-friendly way. 

Follow these green travel influencers to discover more tips and tricks on travelling sustainably. Or check out these 7 tips to make your vacation greener to keep growing!

THE best travel destinations in the world… What are they? Where are they? Two questions most commonly asked by the kind of people who can’t go more than a few weeks before they unexpectedly find themselves boarding a plane to the other end of the world. But where this time? The world is simply bursting full of tons of different attractive locations making actually choosing one destination pretty darn difficult. So keep reading for the TOP 40 best places to visit in 2020 which will shortly have earned a place on your travel bucket list. 

Here is part 1 of the most interesting destinations worldwide. (Stay tuned for part 2 of the best places to visit in 2020!)

#1 Sicily, Italy

View on the coastal city Cefalù in Sicily
What an amazing view on the coastal city Cefalù, Sicily!

The first place you should have on your bucket list is Sicily in Italy for its breathtaking views and interesting culture. Sicily is the biggest Mediterranean island and has over 922 miles of coastline meaning there are beaches that range from smooth and sandy to rocky and jagged. Either way, you’re guaranteed A) a tan and B) some amazing sites at this location.

Although there’s not really a bad time as such, May is definitely a winner for Sicily. The weather is stable and mild (with an average of 23 degrees) -although the water is still a little bit cold (17 degrees is perhaps something best left for the brave/silly!).

And by the way, who knew that there are also flamingos in Sicily? In the Vendicari nature reserve, you can observe these Yoga-loving pink birds in saltwater lagoons. Vendicari is located at the southern-most point of Sicily’s east coast and is a mixture of sandy beach, dunes and lagoons.

#2 Marrakech, Morocco

The botanical garden Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech
In the Jardin Majorelle, you can find over 300 different plant species from 5 continents.

If you’re looking for an up and coming destination to travel to in 2020, then Marrakech, Morocco is the perfect location. Particularly for someone who is active and wants a unique cultural experience. In Marrakech, you can experience a candlelit dinner in the middle of the desert, along with belly dancers, fire eaters, or even camel rides.

In our extended article about Marrakech you’ll find more tips on what to do in Marrakech and why everybody needs to feel the magic of Morocco at least once in their life! Wandering about in the Medina, visiting a ‘riad’ (essentially a beautiful courtyard-garden in the middle of a town house) or challenging yourself in the Atlas are just some of your options.

For all the solo travel ladies out there: Marrakech is one of the most safe destinations worldwide! Check out our list of the best AND safest world destinations for women traveling alone.

#3 Dubrovnik, Croatia

Aerial view on the port of Dubrovnik with boats

Game of Thrones fans will love traveling to Dubrovnik, Croatia if they want to see the set of King’s Landing, but this destination also appeals to history and culture buffs. You can spend your time walking the ancient city walls that face the Adriatic Sea or learning about their interesting and unique culture.

And if you are in Croatia for a while, you could visit the capital city, Zagreb. Located in the middle of the country, it’s a little bit less touristy but it’s not far away from the coast with its beautiful beaches either. Moreover, the city is perfect for a cheap trip in Europe.

#4 Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo during the Christmas season with thousands of LED lights
During Christmas, Tokyo becomes a sea of lights. Christmas is a good time to travel to Tokyo. Photo source: www.shutterstock.com/ cowardlion

No matter who you are, traveling to Tokyo, Japan should be right up there on your bucket list. It is an awesome place to travel if you want to experience the main sights, pop culture, and even ancient temples they have to offer. Tokyo is going to be an even more awesome place to travel in 2020 because it is hosting the summer Olympics.

Tokyo is beautiful in the Christmas season as well! Especially around the city center, buildings and streets are decorated with thousands of Christmas lights. Have a look around the Marunouchi area to find Tokyo’s tallest Christmas tree. The Keyakizaka street is perfect for strolling around: over 700,000 LED lights light up the street! Which is partly why Tokyo is one of the craziest Christmas spots worldwide

#5 Tel Aviv, Israel

View on the Tel Aviv beach with skyline

Tel Aviv, Israel is a great destination for families and couples who like to travel and is also one of the most LGBTQ friendly cities in the world. This city is an awesome place to walk or bicycle through and see wonderful cites. If you enjoy delicious food, then check out some of their culinary tours on your trip.

And if you are a foodie who likes to discover the culinary culture of a country you should know that Tel Aviv is sometimes called the vegan capital of the world! With 5-8% of the population eating vegan, Tel-Aviv boasts the highest percentage of vegans worldwide. Check out our TOP 9 vegan-friendly cities for more.

#6 Cape Town, South Africa

Place to visit in 2020 Cape Town

Cape Town, South Africa is a great location if you’re looking for a luxurious getaway with your partner. This destination has magical views of its oceans and wonderful botanical gardens. Make sure to visit Table Mountain which offers a great view of Cape Town as well as the Atlantic Ocean. 

Pssst…. what with Cape Town’s many nature spots (and perfect sunsets!), it’s also a perfect city for silence-seekers! If you need a break or a location to refresh your mind this is your destination!

#7 Los Cabos, Mexico

Unique rock formation of Los Cabos as one place to visit in 2020
Photo source: www.shutterstock.com/ Ruth Peterkin
Beautiful and unique rock formations in Cabo San Lucas, a village of the area Los Cabos

Los Cabos, Mexico is a great travel destination for families because it has some of everything on offer. You can spend your days playing on beautiful golf courses, relaxing by the ocean and fishing, and spend your evenings eating at delicious restaurants and watching the beautiful sunsets.

#8 Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Piccho as one place to visit in 2020, aerial view

Traveling to the lost city of Machu Picchu, Peru is on many travel bucket lists and for good reason. This is a historical city in 2430 meters filled with so much culture and unique architecture. You will love walking through the lost city and enjoying the unique view!

#9 Melbourne, Australia

Little alley in Melbourne, colourful painted
Melbourne – a city full of creativity! Stroll through the streets and be impressed by the colourfully painted walls.

First, Melbourne, Australia is an amazing city filled with vibrant art and amazing culture. This destination is awesome for young travelers and art lovers, offering tons of live performances for the culture-curious.

But… right now, Melbourne is one of the many cities along the southern and eastern coasts of Australia which is being hit by the devastating side effects of one of the world’s worst-ever bushfire seasons, with more than 6.3 million hectares burned so far and at least 25 people dead along with an estimated half a billion animals.

If you’d like to help fund the fight against these devastating fires, go donate here to the Trustee for New South Wales Fire Service and Brigades or to WIRES to help preserve Australia’s wildlife or research some of the many other non-profits battling the fires.

#10 Montreal, Canada

Skyline of Montreal in sunset light

If you’re wanting the French feel but don’t want to travel all the way to Europe, then your next best bet is heading over to Montreal, Canada. Montreal is an awesome spot for your next travel location because it is a safe destination – especially if you’re going solo.

Foodies who enjoy traveling should try to head to Montreal during one of their famous food festivals such as Burger Week,  La Fête des Restos, or MTL à Table to name a few that happen all year. 

For any couples who are planning a romantic getaway – and the way to Paris or Rome is sadly too far – have no fear! 😉 Montreal is a go-to-romantic destination. You can find out why this should be on your travel bucket list under the TOP 7 super romantic getaway list for couples with a small budget.

#11 Chiang Mai, Thailand

Places to visit in 2020: the elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai
A unique experience is waiting for you in Chiang Mai: Visit the elephant sanctuary and meet the animals

Travelers who are looking for a little bit of the city feel as well as an adventure feel will love going to Chiang Mai, Thailand. When you go to Chiang Mai you must visit the elephant sanctuary so you can feed and bathe the elephants who are in the rehabilitation center. 

And because we all love discovering local food and sweets in Chiang Mai it’s time for ‘Khanom khrok’, a pancake made out of rice flour and coconut milk. Yum, right?!

#12 Galway, Ireland

A shopping street in Galway, colourful decorated

The land of leprechauns, the craic, and Guinness, Ireland is a stunning country that is definitely worth a visit. One of the best places to visit in 2020 has to be Galway, and this year the spotlight will be shining as this Irish city becomes the 2020 European Capital of Culture.

Explore the colorful shops and centuries-old cathedral in the day, and head to one of the city’s many atmospheric pubs for a great night out. If you are looking to learn more about the history of the area, the Galway City Museum is a great place to learn all about the origins of this vibrant bohemian city in the Emerald Isles. You might not want to sleep if you take a trip to this seaport city as their streets are packed full of live and digital art, as well as music, theatre, and dance performances. 

A 2 1/2 hour drive by car takes you to Dublin, the capital city of Ireland. A lot of people prefer the train though (approximately 3 hours).

#13 San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Bird's eye view on the main square of San Miguel de Allende
Photo source: www.shutterstock.com/ Rubi Rodriguez Martinez

If you’re looking for a unique area to travel to in 2020, then San Miguel de Allende, Mexico is the city for you. This is a great city for people looking for elegant accommodations while also seeking a bit of adventure.

#14 Porto, Portugal

Dom Luis bridge in Porto in sunset

Porto, Portugal is filled with delicious foods, abundant wine, breathtaking sights, and perfect weather for travel. You will find great places to stay for a reasonable cost in Porto. 

#15 Berlin, Germany

Girl in front of Brandenburger Tor in Berlin

Of course, Berlin is on our list as well. We promise we’re not biased just because we’re based here – Berlin really has got so much to offer!

Pack your day with a sightseeing tour from Brandenburg Gate, along the elegant street, Unten Den Linden with a stop at Bebelplatz to look at the chilling Empty Library Memorial all the way to the number one attraction, the TV Tower.

Berlin is a hotspot of culture with Museum Island providing proof and tons of flea markets adding character. But we’ll stop raving on about it now and let you check out these top secret Berlin insider tips. Shhhh 😉

#16 Mendoza, Argentina

Argentinian vineyards in front of the Andes mountains
Photo source: www.shutterstock.com/ Thomas Barrat

Wine and nature lovers should add Mendoza, Argentina to their travel bucket list as soon as possible. This city is filled with organic vineyards so you will be sure to find your next favorite wine. 

Plus, you know – hot weather, and one of the most varied landscapes out there.

#17 Cairo, Egypt

Fruit stands with tasty fruits in the streets of Cairo, Egypt
Photo source: www.shutterstock.com/ MikeDotta

Cairo, Egypt is a city filled history and attracts millions of tourists to its pyramids. This city has amazing views and offers around the clock activities meaning you will always have something new to learn. 

What to do in Cairo? Explore the iconic Pyramids of Giza and its citadels, take a glimpse into the oriental souks, or get lost in the old town with its soaring minarets and mosques.

#18 La Paz, Bolivia

View on the city of La Paz, Bolivia with aerial cable car urban transit system
Photo source: www.shutterstock. com/ saiko3p

If you’re looking for another up and coming travel destination, then La Paz, Bolivia is the perfect destination for you. The city is promised a radiant and inspiring future in tourism as a result of its unique architecture and delicious cuisine. 

#19 Dordogne, France

With picture-book scenery and fairy-tale romance, Dordogne is a beautiful region located right in the southwest of France. There are more than 1500 castles in the county, as well as world heritage sites, including Roman ruins and the famous caves of Lascaux.

Best Places to Visit in 2020 – what’s your #20?

This is the first part of our list of the best and most exciting places to visit in 2020 worldwide. Maybe you’ll put some of these cool destinations on your travel bucket list for 2020 and the future!

We hope you are inspired now and maybe you have an amazing travel tip for us as well..? Which is your favorite place? Which destination would you recommend? Let’s complete this cool travel list of the places to visit in 2020!