So 2016 didn’t quite go according to plan for many people, but take heart in the fact that regardless of what the news is reporting, there are countless people around the world doing work for good causes and that you can help support these people when you visit their wonderful cities.
In our first annual Good Cities to Give Back to list, we’ve rounded up five city breaks for 2017 that make giving back to local causes incredibly easy. Not only are they beautiful and exciting cities to visit, they are also home to many inspirational people and organisations doing work for good causes.
Prague, Czech Republic
We start our list of good cities with the Czech capital. This was one of the first cities we fell in love with, and after having returned on a few occasions we have discovered more and more every time. We recently published our list of Where to Drink for a Good Cause in Prague, showing all the great organisations that you can give back to while enjoying a coffee or a beer. There is so much more to do in Prague – like going on a walking tour with formerly homeless citizens through Pragulic, or giving back by shopping at charity stores like the Prague Thrift Store.
Heading to Prague? Find out where you can give back to local causes with our City Guide to Prague.
New York City, USA
This is a city that is bursting with places that give back to the community. In keeping with the New York style, the organisations are diverse and inspiring. Food trucks such as Drive Change train and support young former criminals in creating a better life. Cafes like the Hot Bread Kitchen support low income families and minority workers. There are ice cream stalls like Blue Marble Ice Cream, where every ice cream bought helps support their non-profit partner that works with women and local farmers in Rwanda. For when you’re looking to shop, head to the Cure Thrift Shop and help support people suffering from diabetes.
Our City Guide to New York City will be big and is coming in 2017! Sign up to our newsletter to find out when.
Tourism is having a major impact on Barcelona, with many residents being forced out of their homes to make way for tourists, or the current residents having to put up with the growing number of AirBnB flats being let out in their buildings. We do still recommend visiting this beautiful and fascinating city as there are so many great causes you can support as a tourist. Instead of renting an apartment, you can stay in the INOUT hostel that supports and employs disabled people, who would otherwise find it difficult to find work. You can go on a walking tour of the city with Hidden City Tours, where they train formerly homeless people to be tour guides. After a long day of walking around, grab a bite to eat at Mescladis, a cafe that trains unemployed immigrants to work there – you can even take a cookery course.
If you’re heaving to Barcelona be sure to check out our City Guide to Barcelona, showing you more places where you can have a positive impact.
Siem Reap, Cambodia
After taking your time marvelling at the beautiful architecture of the many temples around Siem Reap, be sure to spend some time giving back to causes in the city itself. There is plenty on offer here to suit many tastes. Spend an afternoon with local artists and craftsmen with the fantastic Backstreet Academy organisation. Go for an evening out at a spectacular circus with a difference at Phare Circus, who help educate and train young Cambodian artists. Sleep at the Mad Monkey Hostel, who partner with a number of charities to ensure they run their business in a socially responsible way. Fancy something sweet? Then be sure to check out Blossom Cafe, a non-profit cupcake boutique that supports and trains vulnerable Cambodian women. These are just a few of the many fantastic organisations in this city, and we’re hoping to round them all up soon with our City Guide to Siem Reap.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
We round up our list of good cities with the Dutch capital, home to many great organisations. There will no doubt be a social enterprise that interests you. If you’re into good beer and brewery tours, we recommend supporting mental health at the Brouwerij de Prael. If you’d rather go on a city walking tour, then walk with a former drug addict with Amsterdam Underground. There is also a growing restaurant scene which takes surplus food from supermarkets that would otherwise be wasted and creates delicious meals from them – Geef is our favourite, as their profits also go towards feeding those who cannot afford to eat.