Smith Street, Melbourne
Josie WithersSmith Street, Melbourne

Time Out Names the Coolest Streets in the World Right Now

Time Out crowns Melbourne’s Smith Street the coolest street in the world, with Barcelona, London, Havana and LA completing the top five

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Time Out PR

Today, Time Out, the global media and hospitality brand that helps people explore and experience the soul of the city, debuts its first-ever list naming the World’s Coolest Streets. The top ten of 30 streets listed includes a street in Melbourne crowned number one – with Barcelona, London, Havana and LA narrowly missing out on the top spot. These incredible streets have been chosen by 27,000 city residents from around the world and by Time Out’s expert local editors and writers, for their perfect balance of local culture, food, and fun.

“Our first ever World’s Coolest Streets list celebrates the great local businesses and communities that make our cities and streets exciting,” said James Manning, International Editor of Time Out.They have kept us going through the past year and it’s more important than ever to support them as the world begins reopening. From outdoor dining to open-air culture, street life is where you can glimpse the future of our cities. Humans are social creatures and these streets are the places to be as we start eating, drinking and socialising together once again.”

The list is a first of its kind for Time Out and has been collated from the opinions of city residents via the brand’s annual Time Out Index: a global survey of more than 27,000 locals who were each asked to nominate their city’s coolest street. To rank the list, Time Out’s international network of more than 100 local editors and experts factored in food, drink, art, culture, nightlife and community vibes over the past year.

The street that has been named the coolest street in the world is the historic Smith Street in Melbourne. The street sits in the northern part of the city and buzzes with locals and visitors discovering its abundance of pubs, wine bars, restaurants and record stores. By night, Collingwood’s gay bars and live music scene draw locals who party until the early hours. With Melbourne now in its fourth city-wide lockdown, the community surrounding Smith Street has brought people together to support local businesses in what continues to be a very tough year. 

“It’s great to see this inclusive and diverse pocket of Melbourne recognised on such a global scale,” said Rebecca Russo, Time Out Melbourne Editor. “After four hard lockdowns, Melburnians have spoken and they clearly want to have fun. And boy, there’s a lot of fun to be had on Smith Street. Whether it’s digging into a parma at the pub, dancing all night at a queer-friendly club or shopping for cool Scandi furniture, Smith Street is where you can get it done – and all are welcome to enjoy it.”

Share your favourite streets and local spots via #LoveLocal – and follow Time Out’s Love Local campaign supporting the independent food, drink and culture venues that make our cities great.

Here is the full ranked list of 30 of the World’s Coolest Streets.

1. Smith Street, Melbourne

In the north of Melbourne, Smith Street is a bustling, lively place filled with independent pubs, wine bars, restaurants and more. Live music and an array of nightlife make this an exciting place to get under the skin of Melbourne – once lockdown has eased.

2. Passeig de Sant Joan, Barcelona

Passeig de Sant Joan is an avenue in the Eixample and Gràcia districts of Barcelona and was recently developed into one of the city’s first green corridors. This means the street is very pedestrian- and cycle-friendly, with plenty of outdoor seating to sit back and enjoy the local sites, while eating and drinking from one of its stylish restaurants. The area is also well-known for its amazing collection of comic-book stores called the ‘manga triangle’.

3. South Bank, London

South Bank is not only the ideal place to stroll and take in some of London’s major attractions (including some of the world’s most iconic theatres and art galleries), but it also has an abundance of great places to eat, drink and shop. The food market, pop-ups and famous skate park are all reasons to spend a day walking along the Thames.

4. San Isidro, Havana

Deep in the lanes of southern Old Havana sits the modernised San Isidro where visitors can discover great street art everywhere. Take it in while alfresco dining or sipping cocktails on the Yarini Habana roof terrace. 

5. Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles

An overwhelming number of L.A. respondents named Sunset Boulevard the city’s coolest street. The 22-mile stretch attracts visitors from all walks of life and leads you from the leafy shoreline to the ever-buzzing Hollywood media district. 

6. Witte de Withstraat, Rotterdam

This main strip cuts through Rotterdam city centre and fizzes with activity from dawn till dusk. It’s filled with great galleries, respected restaurants and, in normal times, it has the best club nights too. As elsewhere in the city, parking spaces have been given to adjacent bars and restaurants over the past year – with the result that the whole street feels like one big party.

7. Rua Três Rios, São Paulo

Near the very centre of Bom Retiro, one of São Paulo’s most historic neighbourhoods, you’ll find the fast-evolving Rua Três Rios. Only a few minutes away on foot from the beautiful Pinacoteca museum, this street and its intersections has an exhilarating gastronomic scene – thanks to its melting pot of immigrants from Italy, Korea, Greece, Bolivia, Eastern Europe and more. 

8. Haji Lane, Singapore

The colourful, pedestrian-only Haji Lane is a wanderer’s paradise filled with interesting shops selling vintage finds, fabrics and more. The range of cuisines, galleries and nightlife on offer here make it a great place to soak up the vibes all day and night.

9. Rua Rodrigues de Faria, Lisbon

Lisbon’s Rua Rodrigues de Faria is the main drag in LX Factory, a creative hub lined with restaurants, shops, studios, coworking spaces and loads of street art. It feels like a city within a city, with everything you could need from breakfast to late-night DJ sets.

10. Calle Thames, Buenos Aires

Calle Thames is a long stretch linking Palermo with Villa Crespo. This street has an abundance of independent restaurants and bars to choose from, as well as plenty of dazzling street art. Discover brand-new indoor food hall Mercat and order a cocktail at Tres Monos, one of the world’s best bars.

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