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County Antrim UK travel

Belfast named in top 20 global sustainable destinations

The city of Belfast has made been named in the top 20 official list of sustainable destinations in the world.

The international ranking was confirmed in October by the GDS-Index (Global Destination Sustainability Index), the world’s largest sustainability performance improvement and benchmarking programme for destinations.

The Top 20 list of sustainable cities was revealed at a major event in Paris, with other leading sustainable cities for 2021 listed as the likes of Zurich, Sydney, Helsinki, Cork and Brussels.

Belfast joined the GDS-Index in 2020, and after debuting at number 47 made a notable jump in performance in 2021, climbing up the rankings to number 19 among a total of 73 global destinations. The city is now recognised as one of the most pioneering cities in the world for sustainability.

Earlier this year, Visit Belfast launched the largest-ever green tourism city partnership at a dedicated ‘Sustainable Belfast’ event.

This involves a new partnership with global sustainability experts Green Tourism and gives more traders in the city the opportunity to secure gold, silver or bronze accreditation for their efforts to meet best-practice sustainability standards.

With a choice of hotels that already have the green light for being green, acres of delightful parks and well-maintained gardens, plenty of green travel and shopping options, plus an array of eco-friendly eateries, it is easy to immerse yourself in one of the world’s most sustainable cities.

Northern Ireland’s capital is famous as the birthplace of the RMS Titanic, but this compact city is easy to navigate on your own eco-friendly two feet.

Explore at a leisurely pace, whether it’s to Titanic Belfast, a self-guided Game of Thrones walking tour, an afternoon at the famous St George’s Market, or the city’s museums, art galleries and range of food, traditional music and street art tours.

There’s also plenty of stunning natural landscapes to discover – it could be a meander through the glorious Botanic Gardens, a cycle trip on the peaceful Lagan Towpath, or a climb into Cave Hill, one of a series of easy to reach hills and mountains surrounding the city.

Belfast has a wide range of cuisine to choose from and more and more restaurants are catering to vegan and vegetarian diets.

Superb plant-based food can be found in the buzzing Cathedral Quarter, where the options include 2Taps, boasting one of the city’s largest outdoor terraces, the eastern Mediterranean-influenced Buba, and EDŌ, perfect for those wanting to experience a range of tastes through a sharing themed menu.

Following the launch of Belfast’s first ever climate plan, the city has set out 30 transformational programmes to transition the city region to an inclusive, zero-emissions, climate-resilient economy within a generation.

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