It’s that time of year again! After much wrangling of the data (and a whole load of heated office debate), we’ve just published our much-anticipated annual ranking of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods. This year, it was based on responses to our annual Time Out Index survey, which polled 27,000 city-dwellers in March. These were then supplemented with the opinions of our local editors and contributors, and our panel of experts finally ranked the lot.
Taking into account everything from restaurants, bars and clubs to community spirit and sustainability, the list features 49 districts across the globe. And as you might well expect, plenty of super-duper-cool neighbourhoods from the good ol’ US of A ended up making the cut.
Coming in at number two, barely a shade off the top spot, was Andersonville in Chicago. The historic Swedish district not only has beaches, restaurants and bars aplenty, but also has a vibrant LGBTQ+ scene and dozens of ace community and environmental initiatives. Chicagoans are famously proud of their city – and places like Andersonville give them a good reason to be.
Following in hot pursuit at number six was New York’s Chelsea. Proof that ‘coolness’ doesn’t have to be new or up-and-coming, Chelsea’s recent focus on sustainability and green space meant it ranked very highly. Of course, it helped that the area is packed with loads of great bars and art galleries too.
The only other US neighbourhood in the list’s top half, L.A.’s Silver Lake, was ranked 14th. This part of town has been one of the city’s coolest, most carefree areas for decades now, but its new metro line and a succession of urban changes ensured it came high this year.
A little further down, Brickell in Miami came 28th, partly thanks to the Underline (a new, ten-mile linear park), while Boston’s intellectual hub Central Square was 39th – due, in part, to its recent boom in eco-conscious businesses.
In fact, this year’s list placed particular emphasis on sustainability and environmentalism. And while there’s a long way to go in tackling the climate crisis, these US communities are all leading the way in taking action from the ground up. Plus, they’re all absolutely lovely – and well worth a visit if you’re ever in town.
Wondering how the rest stack up? Now read our full ranking of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world for 2021.