The Quick Report

The 10 ‘Coolest Neighborhoods in the World’ Includes Only One US City

In a recent poll, thousands of local experts and city-dwellers were asked to name the coolest neighborhoods in the world. They took fun, food, culture, and community into consideration, and here are the best. Only one was in the US.

The 10 ‘Coolest Neighborhoods in the World’

Looking for the best place you can go to seek fun, great food, amazing culture, and a sense of community? Keep reading.

A recent poll of over 12,000 people sought opinions on what they thought were the “greatest neighborhoods” in the world. Surprisingly, only one of those was in America. According to the results, these are the 10 coolest neighborhoods in the world:

10. Tomigaya, Tokyo, Japan

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Tomigaya is a district of Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. It’s less than a fifteen-minute walk from Shibuya Crossing, the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing, but feels a world away. As of October 2020, it was home to around 9,499 people.

What to check out: Beasty Coffee for desserts, Katsudonya Zuicho for lunch, Taberu Fukudaitoryo for cheap eats, The Bellwood for an evening cocktail, and Trunk Hotel Yoyogi Park for stellar lodgings. 

9. Amsterdam-West, Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Amsterdam-West is a borough that is West of the city center. It’s less frantic than the bordering tourist havens of the Jordaan and Museumkwartier and is local-centric.

What to check out: Museum Het Schip for a community space, Back to Black for coffee, Dignita for brunch, Bilderdijkstraat Street for shopping and snacking, Cafe l’Affiche or Bar Mimi for cocktails, nNea for pizza, Lab111 for classic movies, Bar Strangelove for more cocktails, and Hotel Alp for lodging.

8. Isola, Milan, Italy

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Isola is a lively and high-energy quarter with plenty of local heart. where you’ll find colorful street art, indie shops, galleries, wonderful restaurants, and excellent bars.

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What to check out: L’Ile Douce for pastry, Deus Cafe for lunch; Room 37, Live in Vintage, or Ambroeus for vintage wares; Key Gallery for creative inspiration; Blue Note for jazz; Bob for cocktails, E…brezza for wine; Restaurants such as Freda, Ratana, or Casa Ramen.

7. Mid-City, New Orleans, USA

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From the French Quarter, the Lafitte Greenway on foot, streetcar, or bike to reach Mid-City, which sits midway between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain. 

What to check out: the annual Jazz and Heritage Festival at the Fairgrounds; breakfast at Cafe du Monde; New Orleans Museum of Art; Home Malone for art, jewelry and gifts; Parkway Bakery & Tavern for a po’boy for lunch; rent a kayak to paddle around Bayou St. John; Italian sweets at Angelo Brocato; predinner cocktails at Finn McCool’s or wine at Swirl; for dinner Mandina’s or Cafe Degas; dancing and bowling at Rock ‘n Bowl; lodging at the Canal Street Inn.

6. Brunswick East, Melbourne, Australia

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This is an eclectic neighborhood and community-focused urban village that keeps getting cooler. You’ll find multicultural eateries, live music venues, and lots of comfy bars here.

What to check out: Wild Life Bakery for coffee and carbohydrates; Lygon Street Nursery and Northcote Pottery Supplies for shopping; CDMX for lunch; Waxflower for wine, or Bahama Gold, Noisy Ritual, or the B.East for cocktails.

5. Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

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One of the liveliest districts in Hong Kong is full of antique stores, art galleries, cafés, boutiques, and hip restaurants and bars.

What to check out: Tai Ping Shan Street for coffee and breakfast (it’s one of many pet-friendly cafés); Soul Fresh for smoothies and desserts; Liang Yi Museum for history and a collection of Ming and Qing Dynasty furniture; Cantonese restaurant The Chairman for dinner; and cocktails at Mostly Harmless.

4. Havnen, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Described as the living room of the city, this neighborhood is where everyone comes to play. If you love water and water sports, you’ll find everything here.

What to check out: Rent the free Green Kayak or solar-powered Go Boats, or floating rafts, paddle boards, or swimming pools; breakfast at Hart Bageri; Opera Park; La Banchina for lunch; take a dip in the harbor; Rosforth & Rosforth or Den Vandrette for drinks and dinner; lodging at Kaj Hotel.  

3. Carabanchel, Madrid, Spain

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Spain’s version of SoHo is filled with cutting-edge creative spaces. Trendy art galleries are drawing artistic and creative types like a magnet.

What to check out: Breakfast at Merinas, which also puts on art shows; Sabrina Amrani Gallery for culture; wine and cheese at La Grifería; lunch at Casa Enriqueta; homebrewed beer at Patanel; more beer at El Observatorio Musical (pro tip: watch the sunset from the rooftop); rock music at Gruta 77.

2. Smithfield, Dublin, Ireland

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This neighborhood is where tradition and activism meet, where history is maintained while being fused with the future.

What to check out: Proper Order for breakfast; Phoenix Park; Token for retro arcade phone and vegan eats; indie films at the Light House Cinema; dinner at Fish Shop; cocktails at Frank Ryans; warehouse graves and art exhibitions at The Complex; lodging at The Generator.

1. Laureles, Medellín, Colombia

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Home to the famous strip of nightlife known as La 70, this area is not as hectic and noisy as you might think and actually has a laid-back reputation. It’s chill with tranquil parks, yoga studios, coffee shops, fruit vendors, restaurants, and more. It’s also home to Estadio Atanasio Girardot, Medellin’s main fútbol stadium and concert venue.

What to check out: Rituales Café for coffee; Saludpan for lunch, and authentic Mexican Chilaquiles; salsa dancing at Tíbiri Bar; lodging at Living by Armóniko.