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From Lisbon to Tokyo via Lagos: Arroios, Shimokitazawa and Onikan top Time Out’s list of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods right now

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Time Out PR

Arroios in Lisbon was today revealed as the world’s coolest neighbourhood right now. It is followed by Shimokitazawa in Tokyo, Onikan in Lagos, Wedding in Berlin and Historic Filipinotown in Los Angeles, which top the list of the 50 most exciting neighbourhoods according to Time Out, the global media and entertainment brand that inspires and enables people to explore and enjoy the best of the city.

The list draws on a survey of more than 27,000 people around the world, who were asked to name the best and most underrated neighbourhoods in their city, as well as the knowledge of local Time Out editors and city experts across the world. This global network of local writers, who know the city like nobody else, identified areas with a buzz around them – places where cool new venues were opening, the cost of living was relatively affordable and visitors could experience the best of the city’s up-and-coming culture, food and drink scenes. This research resulted in a countdown of 50 must-see but often lesser-known neighbourhoods across the world to stay, eat, drink and go out in. It looks beyond tourist hotspots to the places that should be on every savvy traveller’s bucket list. Read the full list at

1.     Arroios, Lisbon

Lisbon’s Arroios tops the list as the world’s coolest neighbourhood right now – a multicultural hub where street art meets food from around the world, underground culture and historical treasures. Ramiro serves some of the best seafood in town, while over at Casa Independente (a reclaimed nineteenth-century palace) there’s a multidisciplinary arts programme plus great cocktails.


2. Shimokitazawa, Tokyo

With a legacy of countercultural cool and a whole lot of underground cred, Shimokitazawa (often simply known as ‘Shimokita’) is known for its vintage and consignment shops, independent restaurants, cafés and bars, often frequented by Tokyo’s creative set. Further out from central Tokyo than the more commercially developed neighbourhoods of Shibuya and Shinjuku, it is easy to access from Shibuya station and to explore on foot. After picking up a vintage bargain, explorers can head to Ten To Sen for a hybrid of spicy ramen and soup curry.


3. Onikan, Lagos

Creatives have been flocking to the historic Onikan district of Lagos in search of authentic surroundings, adding workspaces, galleries and bars to its eclectic mix of architecture. Travellers can explore the sprawling Balogun Market, then fill up on jollof rice at long-serving stalwart Ghana High, before  finishing the night at a STROBE safe space party on the rooftop at 26 Moloney Street, run by creative collective hFACTOR.


4. Wedding, Berlin

Wedding may well be one of Berlin’s most underrated neighbourhoods, continuing to champion the off-the-radar charm that the city was once known for. The area is home to bustling markets, traditional drinking establishments and vast public spaces, serving a diverse range of locals. From its classic German pub experiences to its underground art shows, Wedding is a reminder of what gave the German capital its electric atmosphere in the first place.


5. Historic Filipinotown, Los Angeles

Still in the early stages of its ascent, HiFi – as it is known for short – reflects L.A. at its best: a convergence of cultures that, unlike many developing areas in the city, is retaining its sense of character, culture and community. The area is home to some of the city’s most exciting new food openings, and visitors can take in the sights by hopping aboard a traditional Filipino jeepney for the Classic Hidden HiFi Jeepney Tour, with stops at local mainstays like Temple Seafood Market and Unidad Park.


6. The Waterfront, Hobart

The opening of the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) has transformed the tiny Tasmanian state capital into a must-visit destination for urban explorers looking for food, wine, nature, art and culture. Staying by the city’s historic harbour makes it easy to catch the quirky MONA ferry – then, after checking out its ancient Greek amphoras and boundary-pushing avant-garde works, visitors should head back to the Waterfront to experience the best of the city’s seafood-driven dining scene and finish the night with a nightcap from one of  Tasmania’s world-leading whisky, gin and wine producers.


7. Strasbourg-Saint-Denis, Paris

SSD remains the centre of Parisian cool, thanks in large part to hospitality duo Arnaud Lacombe and Guillaume Le Donche, who have turned Rue des Petites-Écuries into the home of some of the city’s hippest venues. Nearby, the multicultural Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis has seen waves of new openings without drifting into the bourgeois-bohemian clichés of other parts of the city. Behind a decrepit facade and an inch-thick layer of posters, visitors can discover one of Paris’s best cocktail bars, Le Syndicat, which sources 100 percent of its booze from French producers.


8. Astoria, New York

Looking for the diversity, flavour and energy that some people complain can’t be found in New York these days? In Astoria, Egyptian restaurants and hookah bars rub shoulders with the striking street art of the Welling Court Mural Project and some of the city’s most distinctive museums. You’ll find a vast range of locals running errands at decades-old shops, feasting at new restaurant openings and raising huge glasses of Czech beer at the outdoor-drinking staple Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden.


9. Embajadores, Madrid

The most diverse and lively neighbourhood in Madrid, Embajadores mixes the florists of Plaza Tirso de Molina with Indian restaurants, bars serving traditional Spanish montadito tapas, street art, and hip bars such as Sala Equis: a former X-rated cinema that serves cocktails and screens arthouse films. Wondering when to visit? Try October for the Tapapiés tapas festival, or May for CALLE Lavapiés, an event in which dozens of urban artists decorate the facades of landmark bars and shops.


10.   Pilsen, Chicago

Pilsen may well be Chicago’s most recognisable neighbourhood, decorated with distinctive murals from a vibrant public art scene. It houses one of the US’s largest Mexican art collections (at the free National Museum of Mexican Art) and some of Chicago’s most authentic Mexican cuisine, alongside institutions established by waves of European immigrant communities. After dinner, piano bar Tack Room is the place to be, where the live music line-up includes audience requests and singing along is very much encouraged.


11.   Peckham, London

Peckham has cemented itself as one of London’s foremost cultural hotspots, and over the past year even more restaurants, bars and club nights have established themselves along the area’s well-known Rye Lane and  previously residential backstreets. With some of the capital’s most reputable arts colleges just a 436 bus ride away, the area has become home for south-east London’s burgeoning artistic scene while staying true to its multicultural roots. If the queue is too daunting at alfresco drinking spot Frank’s Café, visitors should head to club venue and culture space CLF Art Café (known as the Bussey Building) for drinks at its rooftop bar.


12.   Soi Pridi Banomyong/Phra Khanong, Bangkok

Young Bangkok locals and expats have been slowly moving eastwards across the city in search of cheaper rents and smaller crowds, and now they have landed at Soi Pridi Banomyong, also known by the name of its nearest Skytrain station: Phra Khanong. A once-quiet, now-buzzing residential quarter, it now combines elegant, decades-old homes and old-school shophouse restaurants with cafés, bars, galleries, boutiques and creative open-air markets. The Goja Art Gallery is home to contemporary art by breaking Thai and Japanese artists, and also hosts regular hip hop nights.


13.   Footscray, Melbourne

On Melbourne’s west side, Footscray is an inner-city cultural melting pot which is home to residents hailing from Vietnam, Ethiopia and all points beyond and between. Visitors can pick from a banh mi, a goat curry or a cannoli all on the same street, before heading to Mr West – a temple for lovers of top-quality craft beer, wine, spirits and cocktails. The area’s growing culture scene is focused around the Footscray Community Arts Centre (FCAC), a hub for contemporary arts and community involvement.


14.   Zhongshan, Taipei

Zhongshan was the centre of Taipei’s high life in the ’70s and ’80s and has now reclaimed its spot as the Taiwanese capital’s hottest neighbourhood. The elegance of yesteryear remains, alongside new, ultra-modern concept malls such as Eslite Spectrum. Taipei’s Little Japan is in the east of the area, where the lanes are alive with restaurants and bars, and in the west, the city’s youth frequent the cafes, cinemas and galleries popping up in renovated heritage buildings.


15.   Kerem Hateimanim and Shuk HaCarmel, Tel Aviv

Kerem Hateimanim is as authentic as they come, its long-established Yemenite eateries and quiet backstreets drawing foodies, surfers and global explorers. Flanked on one side by a shimmering stretch of Mediterranean Sea and on the other by Tel Aviv’s best-known market and the neighbourhood’s coolest hangout, Shuk HaCarmel. Visitors can grab a beer and a snack from the market and then wander around the lanes all the way to the beach.


16.   Kypseli, Athens

17.   Jalatlaco, Oaxaca

18.   District 3, Ho Chi Minh City

19.   Juárez, Mexico City

20.   Poblenou, Barcelona

21.   Jamestown, Accra

22.   Verdun, Montreal

23.   Overseas Chinese Town, Shenzhen

24.   Holly, Austin

25.   Bom Retiro, São Paulo

26.   Katendrecht, Rotterdam

27.   Ancoats, Manchester

28.   Corktown, Detroit

29.   Gemmayzeh and Mar Mikhaël, Beirut

30.   Barranco, Lima

31.   Dogpatch, San Francisco

32.   Vesterbro, Copenhagen

33.   Naeja-dong, Seoul

34.   Yppenplatz and Brunnenmarkt, Vienna

35.   Easton, Bristol

36.   The Junction, Toronto

37.   Kadıköy-Moda, Istanbul

38.   Kelvinbridge, Glasgow

39.   Oltrarno, Florence

40.   Old Havana, Havana

41.   Melville, Johannesburg

42.   Stoneybatter, Dublin

43.   Bartók, Budapest

44.   Downtown, Miami

45.   Tanjong Pagar, Singapore

46.   Nové Město, Prague

47.   Bandra West, Mumbai

48.   Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong

49.   Old Xuhui, Shanghai

50.   Dorćol, Belgrade


James Manning, Global Projects Editor of Time Out, said:Time Out has always been about helping people discover the best of the city, and with this epic list our local editors and contributors have identified the neighbourhoods that are setting the pace for city life in 2019. These 50 neighbourhoods are places where you’ll find delicious food, incredible bars and cutting-edge art, culture and nightlife at every turn, as well as proud, progressive city-dwellers promoting the values of diversity and coexistence. From Bangkok to Barcelona, Taipei to Toronto and Havana to Hobart, these are the neighbourhoods you should be exploring right now.


Hugo Torres, Senior Editor of Time Out Lisbon, said:Arroios feeds the heart and soul of Lisboans: a multicultural melting pot with neighbours from almost 100 nationalities that keep it alive and constantly renewing itself. This is how Lisbon has been for centuries: inhabited by people from all over the world, bringing their culture, clothes and food, enriching the city. The neighbourhood is filled with markets, bookshops, cool stores, plenty of nightlife and an energetic political scene. It’s walking distance from the city centre – but actually, you might never want to leave.”


Read more about the 50 coolest neighbourhoods right now here:

Follow the countdown of the 50 coolest neighbourhoods at

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