Travelling is one of the best things you can do in your life. As the saying goes, it’s the only thing you buy that actually makes you richer. But when it comes to the practical planning of a big trip, there are a few things to consider, especially if you’re going to a new place with dietary requirements.
Veganism is fast on the rise across the world but not every destination is massively vegan-friendly, especially in parts of Europe where butter, eggs, cheese and meat are staple parts of their cuisines. So, if you want to enjoy food that isn’t an amalgamation of side dishes and disappointing starters, consider visiting these best vegan cities mentioned below!
7 Best Vegan Cities in Europe
As one of the largest cities in the world with a huge, sprawling population it’s no wonder that the capital of the UK is one of the best cities for vegans in Europe. From completely healthy vegan cafes to plant-based takes on your greasy fast food favourite, there’s a lot to love about London’s vegan food scene.
Budget wise, there’s everything from quick, street food style takeaway and cafes all the way up to Michelin starred fine dining and everything in between. London consistently tops the lists of best destinations for vegans in Europe with the sheer amount of choice on offer both in cuisine and in price.
Amsterdam has long had a pretty great reputation for travellers who visit Europe, offering a laid back, eco-friendly approach to tourism. It’s easy to see why the cycling capital of Europe also has a ton of great, environmentally-friendly vegan restaurants, bars and cafes to hang out in.
In the Dutch capital, veganism is only getting more popular with the amount of vegan places to eat tripling in the last few years. With a tendency towards attracting younger tourists and working professionals, it’s not surprising that this vegan shift is happening, when we know young people are driving the eco-friendly, vegan revolution.
It might be strange to see Barcelona on a list for the best vegan destinations in Europe. After all, Catalonian and Spanish cuisine is known to be heavy on cheese, meat and fish, especially when it comes to tapas culture and traditional paella.
However, due to its warmer climate and beach culture, there is a growing trend of raw desserts and lighter, more sustainable vegan cuisine that’s only gaining more and more traction. So much so, that the city actually actively promotes Meat Free Mondays in order to help the citizens become healthier and more eco-conscious.
Despite its widely professed love of sausages and doner kebabs, Berlin is actually known as the vegan capital of Europe. With so many vegan bakeries, cafes, restaurants and even deliciously sinful fast food joints to try, you can eat until you burst while exploring Germany’s beautiful capital.
Not convinced? Berlin is also home to one of Europe’s biggest vegan festivals, Veganes SommerFest. During the summer months, this huge vegan festival is jam packed full of thousands of like minded, cruelty free foodies who are having a great time and being eco-friendly while they do so.
Gothenburg might not be the first European destination you might think of visiting, but the Swedish harbourside city is fast becoming the environmentally-friendly hub of Europe. Separate from just adding more vegan restaurants, cafes and bars to it’s thriving shopping and dining scene, Gothenburg locals have taken a holistic, eco-conscious approach to running their businesses and cities.
It was already a trendy city to visit for its plethora of artisanal bakeries, vintage stores and record shops but now with a full focus on protecting the beautiful surrounding environment that Gothenburg calls home, there is a boom in the amount of vegan-friendly establishments throughout this Nordic city.
Forget what you know about Scottish cuisine. Yes their national dish is haggis and you definitely don’t want to know what that actually is, and yes traditionally there has been an emphasis on fresh seafood and game meat, but now their capital city is leading the vegan charge and bringing some much needed plant-based magic to Scottish cuisine – you can even get vegan haggis now!
This is mostly driven by the surrounding area and the new modern Scottish cuisine that features a lot of local produce and foraging, meaning that a lot of plants and flavours that were overlooked in the past are now being transformed into delicious, vegan and vegetarian dishes.
As another coastal capital that has a cuisine that has long relied on seafood, it may be surprising to see the Portuguese capital listed as one of the top vegan destinations in Europe, but when you think about its location – that’s actually one of the key reasons it’s emerging as a vegan hotspot.
Being reliant on the sea and the coastline not only for fishing, but for tourism, it’s in the interest of the people of Lisbon to keep the environment clean, happy and healthy. One major way of doing that is by opting for more vegan cuisine. With this new eco-friendly attitude, Lisbon and the surrounding areas are getting higher levels of sustainable travellers seeking out yoga and surf retreats with delicious vegan-friendly meals. Sounds like plant-based paradise, doesn’t it?
The 7 Best Vegan Cities in Europe You Need to Try!
On the face of it, travelling around Europe as a vegan might seem like a daunting prospect, especially if you don’t fancy cooking for yourself all the time, but as you can see, there are plenty of amazing options for vegan cuisine across the continent. This is a trend that’s only growing year on year with chefs and foodies getting more experimental with local ingredients and putting plant-based spins on traditional recipes.
Whatever kind of European trip you’re looking for, whether it’s a historic city break, a bustling metropolis, a hipster paradise or even a laid back beach holiday, there are so many delicious, independent, eco-conscious, vegan businesses all across Europe just waiting for you to pay them a visit. What’s your favourite vegan friendly country in Europe? Let us know!
Don’t forget to check out HostelPass for epic discounts on hostels, tours, and more in all the best vegan cities in Europe.