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The 51 coolest neighbourhoods in the world

We polled 20,000 city-dwellers and grilled local experts to rank the greatest places for fun, food, culture and community

Edited by
James Manning
Written by
Time Out editors
&
Time Out contributors
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It’s been a rough few years for the world at large – but in many ways, a fantastic one for neighbourhoods. Although we haven’t been able to travel the world as freely as we once did, billions of us have been spending more time than ever closer to home. And in many of the world’s greatest cities, the result has been a full-blown neighbourhood renaissance.

It’s true that much-loved local shops, restaurants, bars and creative spaces have, sadly, shuttered for good. But there’s also been a whole wave of new businesses opening, driven not just by increased footfall outside city centres, but also by the ‘great resignation’. City-dwellers have quit their corporate jobs to finally follow their joy, whether it’s opening that corner café or much-needed local LGBTQ+ bar, or just spending more time living slowly and spending more time (and money) in their local area.

At the same time, local officials the world over have been re-establishing their neighbourhoods as places for people. In some cases that’s meant overhauling street space: less driving, more walking, cycling and hanging out. In others, it’s meant tackling problems like overtourism, inequality and air pollution. All of this has led to districts looking very different than they did just a few years ago – and becoming better places for locals and travellers alike.

RECOMMENDED: The 33 coolest streets in the world

Every year, we canvas thousands of city-dwellers around the world in our Time Out Index survey. As always, this year we asked them (among other things) about the coolest spots in their city right now. And for the fifth year running, we combined their views with expert input from our global network of local editors and writers, to compile our fifth annual ranking of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods.

Of course, ‘cool’ is probably the most subjective quality going. But the neighbourhoods we’ve featured below are, simply put, incredible places to be right now. They’re areas with accessible, cutting-edge culture and nightlife; brilliant and affordable food and drink; lively street life and big community vibes. They’re distinctive districts that you can walk across in half an hour or less, but could spend a whole day or more exploring. They’re great areas for people to live, visit and stay. They’re places that mix up the best of the old and new schools. Locals love them, and you will too. These are the world’s coolest neighbourhoods right now. Now, let’s get exploring.

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The world’s coolest neighbourhoods in 2022

Colonia Americana
Photograph: Bar Americas

1. Colonia Americana

Guadalajara, Mexico

It may be little explored by foreigners, but Guadalajara is known by many Mexicans as the country’s cultural capital – and right now, Colonia Americana is the epicentre of its underground scene. Located right next to 500-year-old El Centro, it’s an edgy blend of art deco and neoclassical mansions with artists’ squats and warehouses containing some of the city’s best music venues – shout out to Segundo Piso Music and Bar Americas: Latin America’s answer to Berghain. The plaza around neo-gothic Templo Expiatorio del Santísimo is prime for people-watching at any time of the day thanks to its many food carts and street performers. Creative locals sit with their laptops in any number of sleek cafés (try Café Correcto or Lluvia) and sip local tequila in dive bars on Chapultepec Avenue long into the night.

The perfect day Browse contemporary art in Tiro Al Blanco before tucking into chilaquiles and coffee in its courtyard café, Modo. For more art, check out Gamma and Paramo before heading to vibey Chapultepec Avenue to browse its weekend handicrafts market. An evening here starts late and ends early: feast on flame-licked seafood at Veneno, sink a mezcal at Pare de Sufrir and let loose on the dancefloor at Bar Americas.

Plan your trip The Guadalajara International Film Festival, the most important celebration of independent cinema in Latin America, happens in March. Catch screenings as well as live events at the University of Guadalajara.

🇲🇽 Check out the best things to do in Mexico

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Imogen Lepere Contributor, Mexico & Latin America
Cais do Sodré
Photograph: Shutterstock

2. Cais do Sodré

Lisbon, Portugal

Guess who’s back – back again? Cais do Sodré has been the heart of Lisbon’s nightlife for a good few years now, but in 2022 it’s more popping than ever. Anchorede by ‘Pink Street’ (the dazzlingly painted Rua Nova do Carvalho) and its colourful umbrellas, this is the neighbourhood where Lisbon’s most promising young chefs are opening new restaurants; where small businesses are springing to life; where much-loved bars and nightclubs are finally rising from the ashes of the past few years. (Pensão Amor and Copenhagen, we missed you!) Refurb works on the Cais do Gás warehouses by the River Tagus will soon be finished, creating a new home for three landmarks of Lisbon nightlife: Europa, Tokyo and Jamaica. And Rua da Boavista, heading over towards the Santos neighbourhood, is full of life after years of neglect. You’d better plan for a big night, because the day isn’t long enough to explore it all.

The perfect day Dear Breakfast, an all-day-brekkie spot on the Santos fringes, is the perfect place to start. Swing by Portuguese minimalist fashion house +351 on the way to our very own Time Out Market Lisbon for lunch: there’s always something new being served up here, but right now we recommend the duck and rice at O Frade. Then cross the street to Quiosque de São Paulo: a cool spot for a beer and some typical Portuguese snacks. You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to dinner round here, but Tricky’s is the most exciting spot right now, with natural wines, seasonal food and dancing. Then you’re free to wander through the streets and see where the night takes you…

Plan your trip To browse the finest groceries from independent producers all over Portugal at the Mercado de Produtores. It takes over the Praça de São Paulo every Saturday and is perfect for sunny days – of which Lisbon has around 260 a year.

🍽 Tuck into the best restaurants in Cais do Sodré

📍 Check out the best things to do in Lisbon

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Vera Moura
Directora, Time Out Lisboa
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Wat Bo Village
Photograph: Viroth

3. Wat Bo Village

Siem Reap, Cambodia

The area around the Wat Bo pagoda, one of the oldest in Siem Reap, was first developed as tourism gradually descended on Cambodia’s ‘Temple Town’ in the ’90s. But in 2021, a city-wide makeover kickstarted a serious glow-up for Wat Bo Village. Helped out by up its idyllic riverside location, it’s now an incredibly chic quarter. The vicinity of Street 26 and Wat Bo Road has become a favoured haunt for expats frequenting its numerous bars (former Pub Street luminaries Laundry and chinoiserie-themed Miss Wong), experimental Khmer restaurants in scenic settings (Banlle) and elegant design hotels (Viroth’s, Treeline Urban Resort). Stewart on 26 boosts the area’s nightlife rep with DJ nights, while organic-cooking institution Tevy’s Place doubles as a social enterprise empowering local women. Until recently a forgettable residential suburb, Wat Bo now stands unrivalled as the city’s – and arguably Asia’s – most happening area.

The perfect day Take breakfast at boulangerie-pâtisserie Paris Bakery and a morning riverside stroll, before dropping by Oko Gallery’s curated collection of hand-crafted trinkets and Cambodian curios. Head to Snack & Relax’s cooling coffee joint enlivened with koi-carp ponds, before Khmer-Western lunch at expansive, inexpensive River Café. End the afternoon at Footprint’s airy café stacked with books and artwork, then sample the chilled ambience, cocktails and adventurous dishes of Pou Restaurant & Bar at boutique retreat Maison 557.

Plan your trip The Unesco-sponsored Writers and Readers Festival, showcasing local and international authors with workshops, screenings and social soirées, returns in December. The programme is still under wraps, but last year’s festival was largely centred on Wat Bo Village.

📍 Check out the best things to do in Siem Reap

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Jonathan Evans Contributor, Cambodia
Ridgewood
Photograph: Robert Malmberg

4. Ridgewood

New York City, USA

Ridgewood, Queens sits close by the Brooklyn border, pulling in the best of each borough: the diversity and local vibes of Queens and the hip offerings of Brooklyn, specifically neighbouring Bushwick. Ridgewood’s identity, though, is old-school-meets-trendy with a mix of landmark staples, like Rudy’s Bakery and Gottscheer Hall, and buzzy new bars and restaurants like The Acre, Evil Twin and Café Plein Air. While (like all NYC neighbourhoods) it’s constantly evolving, it keeps its past intact with an impressive ten historic districts, including the rows of two-storey brick houses that define the neighbourhood. In fact, Ridgewood harbours the oldest surviving stone-built Dutch colonial house in NYC: the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House, originally built in 1709. With its enduring mom-and-pop stores and a commitment to honouring its history, Ridgewood is a sleeper hit of a neighbourhood: beloved not despite, but because of, its low-key vibe.

The perfect day Wake up to sunlight pouring through the windows at this nearby Bushwick Airbnb and grab a bagel and coffee at Norma’s Corner Shoppe. From there, you’ll want to scan the racks and shelves at OPC Buy Sell Trade, Forever Vintage, Topos Bookstore and Tiny Arts Supply. Grab lunch and a flight at Evil Twin Brewing or a bite from the iconic Rolo’s. Stroll along The Central Ridgewood Historic District (Madison Street down to 71st Ave and from Fresh Pond Road over to Onderdonk Avenue) and do dinner at Porcelain and drinks at Julia’s.

Plan your trip For the weekly Mister Sunday parties at Nowadays: a 16,000-square-foot space that acts as both a charming backyard with hammocks and picnic tables and a nightlife hotspot with dancing and a solid selection of beer.

🗺 Take a look at our Ridgewood area guide

🏠 Discover more great neighbourhoods in NYC

📍 Check out the best things to do in New York

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Shaye Weaver
Editor, Time Out New York
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Mile End
Photograph: Catherine Zibo / Shutterstock.com

5. Mile End

Montreal, Canada

Despite rising challengers like Verdun, it should come as a surprise to absolutely no one that Mile End continues its reign as Montreal’s coolest neighbourhood. Part of the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough, this pocket north of Mont-Royal Avenue is home to some of the city’s world-famous institutions as well as epic new spots. Historically a hub for Jewish immigrants and artists (and later indie bands), Mile End is an enclave for some of the city’s best restaurants, independent bookstores, flower shops, butchers, bakers and candlestick makers. It’s a walkable nook that’s home to rival bagel shops, a tea room that transforms into a champagne salon after dark, a skate park that transforms for ‘digital block parties’ (complete with dazzling projection art) and a watering hole that’s transitioned to crudo, croques monsieurs and caviar service. Add a couple of the best brunches in town and a heavy pour of expertly crafted cocktails, and you’ve got one heck of a neighbourhood.

The perfect day Café Olimpico cortado in hand, grab fresh bagels (you decide where from – it’s all good round here) and stems from Dragon Flowers (look for the network of hanging bird cages). Peruse Papeterie & Photocopie Zoubris and Drawn & Quarterly for all things writing-related, then grab a casual bite (think: jerk chicken and mango salad) from Lucki Delite. After a show at Casa Del Popolo, save room for the full-court press at Kabinet (cornichons, caviar service and creme brulée), and wash it all down with cocktails at Le Sparrow; bubbles at the Cardinal Tea Room or karaoke at Bishop & Bagg.

Plan your trip The area’s skatepark, under an overpass, transforms into an epic block party: Digital Block Party & MARCHÉ_MAPP until the end of November. Electronic music performances meet epic video projections and free mapping workshops.

📍 Check out the best things to do in Mile End

Laura Osborne
Editor, Time Out Canada
Barrio Logan
Photograph: Stacy Keck

6. Barrio Logan

San Diego, USA

Located just 16 miles north of the border, the tight-knit San Diego community of Barrio Logan is a vibrant and historic hub of Mexican-American culture. It’s anchored by Chicano Park, in the shadows of the freeway that bisected the neighbourhood in the ’60s. The park is the direct result of community activism –  protesters formed a human chain for 12 days to stop the state from seizing the land – and it’s now home to the largest concentration of Chicano murals in the world, with more than 80 world-class paintings depicting scenes from the Mexican Revolution, ferocious Aztec warriors, and larger-than-life portraits of heroes like Frida, Diego and Cesar. Along the main thoroughfare, Logan Avenue, lowriders in Chevys, Cadillacs and Buicks (with flamboyant paint jobs and gravity-defying hydraulics) line up to blast Earth, Wind & Fire from souped-up stereo systems. Sustenance comes by way of small family-owned businesses who have been serving the community plates of taquitos for decades – gracias, Las Cuatro Milpas.

The perfect day Wake up at One Bunk Barrio and grab an horchata latte at Por Vida. Make your way to Chicano Park to check out the murals, then get street tacos from Salud Tacos or rolled tacos from Las Cuatro Milpas. Stop by Bread & Salt gallery to view their latest exhibition, and end the day with some Mexican craft beers at Border X Brewing or Mujeres Brew House.

Plan your trip Every April, the free Chicano Park Day celebration features dance performances, live bands, a lowrider car show, art workshops, and food and craft vendors.

📍 Check out the best things to do in San Diego

Kai Oliver-Kurtin
San Diego & SoCal Correspondent
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Shimokitazawa
MMpai / Shutterstock.com

7. Shimokitazawa

Tokyo, Japan

Just one stop from Shibuya on the express train, Shimokitazawa – or Shimokita, as the locals call it – has reclaimed its title as Tokyo’s coolest neighbourhood. Having gone through a massive revamp since 2019 (when it last featured on this ranking), Shimokita will be almost unrecognisable to those who haven’t visited in a few years. Previously known for its vintage stores, Shimokita has evolved into a hotspot for indie film enthusiasts, café-goers and serious foodies. This hip hub has also seen countless new shopping and dining facilities pop up, including one which has transformed some dead space under the train tracks into a lively restaurant. But the area is still reliably filled with classic independent businesses and affordable options for eating, drinking and shopping.

The perfect day Start your day by getting caffeinated at Ogawa Coffee Laboratory before picking up an adorable Totoro-shaped cream puff at Shirohige’s Cream Puff Factory. Spend a few hours browsing Shimokita’s consignment and vintage shops including New York Joe Exchange and Soma (the latter for sneakers), then tuck into a meal at one of the many casual restaurants at Mikan Shimokita. Finish with a hot spring bath at the gorgeous ryokan and onsen Yuen Bettei Daita.

Plan your trip Stop by in mid-August for Shimokitazawa’s annual Awa-Odori Festival, which sees a lively parade of dancers making their way down the main Ichibangai shopping street.

🗺 Take a look at our Shimokitazawa neighbourhood guide

📍 Check out the best things to do in Tokyo

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Kaila Imada
Associate Editor, Time Out Tokyo
Cliftonville
Photograph: Shutterstock

8. Cliftonville

Margate, UK

While Margate’s Old Town delivers a good old-fashioned British seaside day out, Cliftonville buzzes with a different kind of energy. It’s home to one of the UK’s most thriving artistic communities, largely due to an influx of creative ex-Londoners who’ve flocked to the area’s affordable housing and studio spaces, plus the massive tidal ocean pool at Walpole Bay. The neighbourhood’s spine is Northdown Road, which is a block back from the coast and stretches from the Old Town to Palm Bay. Until recently a parade of charity shops and bookies, Northdown is now home to record shops, cafés and conscious groceries, as well as game-changing community-funded venues like queer bar CAMP and gallery Quench.

The perfect day Wake at the iconic Walpole Bay Hotel and walk along the beach to the Dalby Café for the town’s best fry-up. From there, head underground to explore the Margate Caves and the mesmerising Shell Grotto before grabbing an epic focaccia sandwich at Forts. Browse Northdown Road’s vintage shops and galleries, stopping for drinks at Margate Off License and Daisy, before a boogie at Margate Arts Club.

Plan your trip Margate Pride takes place in August every year. Not just a big party, this week-long, arts-led Pride festival sees Cliftonville come to life with one-off exhibitions, parties and events.

📍 Check out the best things to do in Margate

Sophie Brown Contributor, Margate
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Barrio Yungay
Photograph: Peluqueria Francesa

9. Barrio Yungay

Santiago, Chile

The colourful Barrio Yungay, located a short walk from heaving Avenida Alameda and Barrio Brasil, is on the up. Boasting national heritage status as the Chilean capital’s first planned barrio, it’s had an edgy reputation in recent years. But Yungay has now become a magnet for the young and cool: even Chile’s millennial president, Gabriel Boric, chose to move here in March 2022. Illustrious new residents aside, working-class locals stroll alongside bohemian creative types on attractive boulevards such as Lavaud, lined with a diverse array of baroque, Bauhaus and art deco façades. Yungay is home to several fascinating museums and the lush green space of Parque Quinta Normal, while an up-and-coming food scene includes restaurants serving trad Chilean fare alongside sourdough pizza parlours and speciality coffee houses.

The perfect day Kickstart things with caffeine at Brunet before tracing Chile’s dark dictatorship years at the highly poignant Memory and Human Rights Museum. For lunch, order a Chilean classic – pantruca dumplings – at Casa Kiltro before bagging some antiques (and maybe a haircut) at the Museo Peluquería Francesa. Replenish your oxygen levels strolling around Quinta Normal before grabbing a slice of sourdough pizza at the prez’s fave spot, Selvaggio Bakery, before ending the day with a pint from the 100-strong craft beer selection at Yungay Viejo.

Plan your trip The calendar at Teatro Comunitario Novedades calendar is packed with live music, so build a visit around one of this community theatre’s bolero and tango shows.

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Sorrel Moseley-Williams Contributor, South America
Cours Julien
Photograph: Alamy

10. Cours Julien

Marseille, France

East of Marseille’s swanky marina and an easy stroll from the picturesque Old Port, this gritty, buzzing quartier was once home to the city’s open air wholesale markets, and is known to locals as ‘Cours Ju’ (a play on the word ‘court-jus’, meaning ‘short-circuit’). It’s a creative hotbed littered with street markets, live music venues, vintage clothing stores, secondhand book shops and old warehouses repurposed as hip art galleries. And that’s not the only place you’ll find paintings: seek out the best of the the graffiti-tattooed district’s street art on a guided tour of its cobbled alleys.

The perfect day Trawl the vinyl record shops and vintage clothes stores near the Rue des Trois Mages or shop for spices and secondhand garms at one of the district’s weekly street markets, then climb Rue Estelle’s steep staircase to admire some street art. Make a beeline for family-owned restaurant Kaz Kreol to sip on home-cooked chayote stew and other Creole delights, before brushing up your language skills with a movie at arthouse cinema La Baleine.

Plan your trip Around the Kousskouss Festival, ten harissa- and merguez-packed days (and nights) in late August and early September devoted to this spicy semolina-based North African foodie delight.

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Heidi Fuller-Love
Contributor, Mediterranean
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Shawlands
Photograph: Deanston Bakery

11. Shawlands

Glasgow, UK

With its great parks, art, coffee and dining, Shawlands keeps Glasgow braw. The neighbouring areas of Langside, Strathbungo and Govanhill have all played their part in the Southside’s rise to eclipse the West End as the city’s best area to socialise and live in recent years – but Shawlands is the bustling nexus point of Glasgow below the Clyde. The internationally renowned Burrell Collection has recently had a multimillion-pound refurb, and it’s surrounded by buzzy independent local businesses – such as French-Japanese patisserie and design shop Godshot Studio – on the main artery of Pollokshaws Road, before it bisects with Kilmarnock Road in front of a beautiful Flatiron Building-esque sandstone tenement block. But explore the side streets too for delightful plant-based lattes and flat whites at Frankie, or superior sourdough from Deanston Bakery.

The perfect day Fuel yourself with brunch pancakes at Café Strange Brew, ready to scour the 9,000-plus objects (including paintings by Manet, Cézanne and Degas) at the Burrell Collection. Then snap a selfie with a Highland cow in Pollok Park before heading to Julie’s Kopitiam for no-fuss contemporary Malaysian cuisine. Catch a gig at boho vegan eatery and arts space The Glad Café, before finishing up with late-night drinks at Phillies.

Plan your trip Taking place each May, Southside Fringe is a week-long platform for up-and-coming performers and artists. The Fringe also hosts a monthly Maker’s Fair at Shawlands Arcade.

📍 Check out the best things to do in Glasgow

Malcolm Jack
Contributor, Scotland
Dundas West
Photograph: Seth Anderson / Flickr

12. Dundas West

Toronto, Canada

Nestled between Trinity Bellwoods and West Queen West, this stretch of Canada’s ‘city of neighbourhoods’ is a culture consumer’s paradise with boutique art galleries, snug bars, understated nightclubs and enough cosy coffee shops to keep you buzzing along. Independent shops like Rose City Goods and Easy Tiger sling hand-poured soy candles and recycled bamboo dinnerware, while speciality stores help you build a perfectly curated wardrobe for your toddler or dog. Characterised by its large population of Portuguese and Brazilian immigrants, the neighbourhood remains a cultural hotspot where you can frequent great delis and bakeries full of avós (we like mainstays Caldense or Nova Era) just as easily as upscale international eateries (see Antler and Bernhardt’s). Change is afoot: Dundas Street is due to be renamed due to its namesake’s links to historical slavery. But whatever it’s called next, right now Dundas West is Toronto’s place to be.

The perfect day After waking up in this trendy rental loft that reflects the area’s arty inhabitants, head to brunch at The Federal, Milou or just south to the newly-opened location of BB’s Diner. Check out the art and enjoy a cocktail at Cry Baby Gallery and cap off your evening with dancing at Mahjong Bar or karaoke at Bar Mordecai.

Plan your trip Do West Fest in early June serves as the official kick-off to summer in Toronto. The 14-block street fest is a celebration of food, shopping, and culture in the neighbourhood.

📍 Check out the best things to do in Toronto

Lydia Hrycko
Contributor, Canada
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Vila Madalena
Photograph: Alf Ribeiro / Shutterstock.com

13. Vila Madalena

São Paulo, Brazil

The São Paulo neighbourhood of Vila Madalena owes its bohemian character to the students of Universidade de São Paulo, who arrived in the ’80s seduced by the lure of cheap rent and cheaper caipirinhas. Today, youthful trendy types still abound: tattooed twenty-somethings party in Rua Aspicuelta’s abundance of bars from late afternoon to sunrise, though nightly samba shows draw in multigenerational crowds too. Artisan cafés and avant-garde galleries round up Vila Madalena’s cultural cachet, but the highlight here is Beco do Batman (Batman’s Alley): a community-owned open-air graffiti gallery showcasing the work of São Paulo’s finest street artists.

The perfect day Grab a coffee-to-go and a pão de queijo (cheese bread) from Coffee Lab and make for Beco do Batman before the crowds arrive. For food, try Carlos for the best pizza outside of Italy, or do as the locals do and soak up a soccer game and some live samba with fried snacks and a bucket of cerveja estupidamente gelada (stupidly cold beer) at a traditional boteco like Posto 6 or Salve Jorge.

Plan your trip The Vila Madalena Arts Fair, held on the last Sunday of August, attracts quality craftsmen and independent artists from Brazil and beyond.

📍 Check out the best things to do in São Paulo

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Dougie Loynes Contributor, Brazil
San Isidro
Photograph: Alamy

14. San Isidro

Havana, Cuba

Rum-sodden and rebellious, Old Havana’s San Isidro sizzles after dark. Its narrow streets were once a designated ‘zone of tolerance’: somewhere the government turned a blind eye to prostitution. They are now a mecca for art instead, largely thanks to the lauded Cuban actor Jorge Perugorría. When he alchemised an abandoned bread factory into Galería Taller Gorría in 2016, he started an explosion of murals from local and international names that has been slowly consuming the barrio’s crumbling mansions ever since. It has also birthed its own resistance movement against Cuba’s restrictive regime, spearheaded by local artists and musicians. Rooftop bars, shadowy salsa joints and a soundsystem on every corner: San Isidro has it all.

The perfect day Kick things off with pasta, people-watching and daiquiris at Jesús María 20. Enjoy the area’s open-air art before heading to Galería Taller Gorría to see yet more daring contemporary work from Cuban names. Follow croquettes and empanadas with a cigar and more rum at Paco’s Mar and round it all off with fiendishly strong mojitos and live jazz at rooftop bar Yarini.

Plan your trip Havana’s carnival happens throughout July and August, turning seemingly every street into a party.

📍 Check out our guide to Havana

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Imogen Lepere Contributor, Mexico & Latin America
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Neukölln
Photograph: Stephanie Braconnier / Shutterstock.com

15. Neukölln

Berlin, Germany

The spirit of Berlin is alive and well in Neukölln, a well-loved haven for local families of all stripes as well as fresh-faced expats. Often associated with busy roads where Lebanese grocers, Turkish restaurants and new-wave coffee shops spill into the pavement, Neukölln is also rife with wide-open green spaces – like the disused-airport-turned-public-park Tempelhofer Feld, the Versailles-esque Körnerpark and the vast and scenic Hasenheide. But while Neukölln is a hotspot for natural wine shops, boutiques, and cheap-as-chips all-hour pubs, it’s also a neighbourhood by and for the people: a hub of community and solidarity whose residents launch city-wide protests to fight for their rights – and those of their neighbours.

The perfect day Wake up in the heart of the action at Mercure Hotel, then swing by Isla on your way to Sonnenallee and its many side streets, where you’ll have your pick of Lebanese, Turkish and Syrian eateries (Azzam is particularly popular). Either take in the sun at Tempelhof or catch the latest show at KINDL, then grab a bite at Crazy Bastard Kitchen and end your night on a high note at Oona Bar.

Plan your trip Make the most of Berlin’s long, hot summer nights at the gorgeous open-air cinema in Hasenheide. It opens from late spring to early autumn, weather permitting.

🗺 Take a look at our Neukölln neighbourhood guide

📍 Check out the best things to do in Berlin

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Nathan Ma
Contributor, Germany
Avondale
Photograph: Shutterstock

16. Avondale

Chicago, USA

Once a nexus for Chicago’s Polish community, Avondale is now equally defined by some of the city’s best Mexican food and a truly madcap array of small businesses – like The Brewed, a horror-themed coffee shop, or bug museum and education centre The Insect Asylum. Take a walk down Milwaukee Avenue and you’ll discover everything from trendy new bars and airy plant stores to decades-old sausage shops catering to the neighbourhood’s Polish-speaking population. Avondale is a rare place that feels equally welcoming to families, arty twenty-somethings and working-class Chicagoans – and as the neighbourhood deals with rising rents and other symptoms of gentrification, community organizations are hard at work to make sure it stays that way.

The perfect day Grab pastries and breakfast sandwiches at Loaf Lounge (its chocolate cake was made famous by streaming show The Bear) before admiring Polish cathedral- style architecture at the Basilica of St Hyacinth and stocking up on Korean staples at Joong Boo Market. Tacos at Taqueria Mazamitla make for a quick dinner, then cap off your night with a round of white Russian slushies while you play the vintage lanes at Avondale Bowl, or see what’s on at the bar-slash-music-venue Sleeping Village.

Plan your trip Freedom Fest is the latest iteration of Chicago’s many summer drinking festivals. It’s hosted by craft-beer stalwart Revolution Brewing and goes down smoothly in July.

🗺 Take a look at our Avondale neighbourhood guide

📍 Check out the best things to do in Chicago

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Emma Krupp
Editor, Time Out Chicago
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Walthamstow
Photograph: God's Own Junkyard

17. Walthamstow

London, UK

If you’re from London, Walthamstow has a bit of a rep. It’s where all your friends moved five years ago: the place with more prams than people, where the streets are awash with hoppy IPAs, sourdough pizza and obnoxiously expensive houseplants. But this isn’t just where people priced out of Hackney go to have kids: there’s loads to do, tons of nice people call it home, and it’s an actual creative hub, a place where stuff gets made. Over on Blackhorse Lane you’ve got the formidable Blackhorse Workshop, home to some of the city’s most creative folk, and the climbing wall-meets-yoga studio-meets-co-working space Yonder. On the other side of the neighbourhood there’s God’s Own Junkyard, the neon-sign warehouse that’s a major local attraction, and right next door the Wildcard and Pillars breweries, The Real Al Company beer and cider taproom and artisanal gin-makers Mother’s Ruin. Local stadium Wadham Lodge is home to mighty non-league football team Walthamstow FC, making pitchside craft beer an attractive proposition. Finally, you’ve got a new comedy-centric theatre – Soho Theatre Walthamstow – opening in the old Granada cinema next year. And what’s cooler than a theatre? Nothing, that’s what.

The perfect day Blackhorse Studios café is a lovely place to start the day. Swerve, if you like, the very popular William Morris Gallery and check out instead the Vestry House Museum of local history. Cineastes will want to check out the Empire Cinema, which not only shows a great selection of Walthamstow-friendly arthouse and foreign films, but is also relatively cheap. Meanwhile the lovely Etles Uyghur is a great opportunity to properly get to know one of China’s lesser-known (in London, anyway) regional cuisines. And no evening in Walthamstow is complete without a visit to the beer-and-pizza-powered Blackhorse Beer Mile.

Plan your trip Whenever they decide to open Soho Theatre Walthamstow, which should give the neighbourhood’s already formidable cultural credentials a barely needed boost. Or Christmas. Walthamstow looks really nice at Christmas.

🗺 Take a look at our Walthamstow neighbourhood guide

🏠 Discover more great neighbourhoods in London

📍 Check out the best things to do in London

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Joe Mackertich
Editor, Time Out London
Sants
Photograph: La Borda 2

18. Sants

Barcelona, Spain

Sants is (and feels) quite some distance from the centre of Barcelona, and that’s part of the reason that it’s remained the kind of place we love. This neighbourhood represents the Barcelona that simply refuses to disappear: simple, open and welcoming, a mixture of quiet streets and lively squares. It’s a place where tradition and activism meet: here you’ll not only find La Borda, a new cooperative housing project that challenges real-estate speculation, but also a secret museum of old sewing machines (head to Carrer Premià, 44). New businesses, like soon-to-open record and bookshop La Conxita de Sants, sit next to shops that have been there forever. And there’s no shortage of standout restaurants: check out the exquisite tapas at Can Violí or the down-to-earth classics at Bartolí. In this friendly and lively corner of the city, everyone can find something that’ll make them feel at home.

The perfect day Wake up in this cool Airbnb with its own roof terrace and start your day with pastries at Forn Baltà. Then go window-shopping down Carretera de Sants, one of the longest commercial streets in Europe. Fill up on tapas amid the bustling atmosphere of Plaça d’Osca, then walk along the elevated gardens of the Rambla de Sants, suspended over train tracks – or, if it’s raining, visit the lovely independent bookstores La Inexplicable or Barra/Llibre. If you’re on a budget, grab some dinner at the no-nonsense Bodega Montferry. If not, finish your day with spectacular views from the twenty-third floor restaurant at the Nobu Hotel.

Plan your trip For Festa Major de Sants, the neighbourhood’s traditional celebration at the end of August. You’ll be amazed by the colourful decorations in the main streets, alongside a bustle of community events and street concerts.

🏠 Discover more great neighbourhoods in Barcelona

📍 Check out the best things to do in Barcelona

Eugènia Güell
Writer and Video Editor, Time Out Barcelona
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Little India
Photograph: Chee Boon Pin

19. Little India

Singapore

Just a stone’s throw from the centre of town but nothing like the paved sidewalks of Orchard or the picture-perfect Marina Bay waterfront, at Little India you get the real Singapore. The wafting scent of curry in the air, a backpacker’s pub hidden in the back of an alley, and the back-and-forth haggling banter carried out in wet market Tekka Centre: no matter the time of day, it’s a neighbourhood that’s always filled with people and life. But what we like most about it is that it’s a no-frills district, and a stark contrast to the rest of the city’s old-school shophouses and picturesque heritage sites. Whether you’re tucking into paper-thin thosai for breakfast or strolling through late-night supermarkets at 2am, there’s always a buzz to Little India.

The perfect day Start your day right with a Karnataka-style thosai from South Indian vegetarian joint MTR, which uses a 60-year-old recipe for perfectly crisp batter. Once properly fuelled, head over to Tekka Centre for the full wet-market experience. Originally an abattoir, today Tekka draws crowds with its hawker stalls and fresh produce. For accommodation, few places are more characterful than one of Figment’s Petain Road conservation shophouses.

Plan your trip There’s more to Little India than just good food – be sure to go for the annual Artwalk Little India in January. It’s part of Singapore Art Week and takes you through this culturally rich precinct’s wall murals and art installations.

🗺 Take a look at our Little India neighbourhood guide

📍 Check out the best things to do in Singapore

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Pailin Boonlong
Deputy Editor, Time Out Singapore
Rione Sanità
Photograph: Alamy

20. Rione Sanità

Naples, Italy

Wedged between Naples’s Archaeological Museum (which houses relics from the destruction of Pompeii) and the palace-topped Capodimonte Hill, Rione Sanità has long been one of the city’s most colourful and characterful neighbourhoods. Born as a Greco-Roman-era burial ground – and still hiding hundreds of paleo-Christian tombs beneath its buzzing streets – these days Sanità is renowned for its Baroque architecture, bustling markets and local eateries. A gritty and hip district teeming with storied artisans, master pizza makers and social collectives, Sanità represents a new wave of Neapolitans who are committed to community, excellence and celebrating their legendary city.

The perfect day Wake up at Atelier Inès, a boutique B&B and art studio, before heading underground to explore the spooky, eerie tunnels of the Catacombe di San Gennaro. Taste one of the city’s best pizzas at Concettina ai Tre Santi followed by a cream-filled fiocco di neve pastry at Pasticceria Poppella. Pop into Palazzo dello Spagnolo for beautiful Baroque architecture and shop at the 100-year-old Omega boutique for handmade leather gloves, before kicking back and enjoying a glass of wine at Antica Cantina Sepe.

Plan your trip Time your visit to catch the next instalment of Edit Napoli, a new design fair which debuts in October 2022 to link up traditional crafts and technology.

📍 Check out the best things to do in Naples

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Livia Hengel
Contributor, Italy
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Silver Lake
Photograph: Unsplash / Gerald Schombs

21. Silver Lake

Los Angeles, USA

While you can single out a specific block or two elsewhere that’s sparked more excitement of late, no neighbourhood as a whole continues to be as cool as stalwart Silver Lake. It’s no wonder our LA readers voted so overwhelmingly for this eclectic neighbourhood for the second year in a row. Sure, the once-boho stretch of Sunset Boulevard continues to borrow more from its yuppie Westside neighbours (see: the arrival of Venice spots De Buena Planta and the Win~Dow, plus an upcoming Pizzana outpost). But Silver Lake, whose namesake reservoir moved one step closer to a recreation-forward makeover this year, keeps us coming back thanks to its cluster of culinary surprises, like vegan strip-mall pizza at Hot Tongue, the revival of Spanish-inflected party spot Bar Moruno and the arrival of Peruvian-Japanese patio Causita.

The perfect day Order a green chutney pizza at Indian-inspired spot Pijja Palace, then pick up some non-alcoholic tonics from Soft Spirits to tote with you to a picnic at Silver Lake Meadow. A few blocks away by the border of Echo Park and Frogtown, catch a show at the Elysian, the go-to spot right now for outside-the-box comedy.

Plan your trip Make sure your stay falls over a Tuesday afternoon or Saturday morning, when the Silver Lake Farmers’ Market brings superlative produce and vintage finds to Sunset Triangle Plaza.

🗺 Take a look at our Silver Lake neighbourhood guide

📍 Check out the best things to do in Silver Lake

🏠 Discover more great neighbourhoods in LA

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Michael Juliano
Editor, Time Out Los Angeles
Wan Chai
Photograph: Tatum Ancheta

22. Wan Chai

Hong Kong

Once Hong Kong’s notorious red-light district, Wan Chai has evolved into a bustling neighbourhood whose quaint streets showcase a diverse food and drink scene, art hubs, quirky cafés and trendy boutiques – all scattered between contemporary buildings, historical landmarks and revitalised urban gems. Even during trying times, the area has continued to flourish, welcoming new restaurants and bars plus a cross-harbour railway section linking parts of the city, and expanding the vibrant promenade overlooking Hong Kong’s famous harbour. This year, Wan Chai hosted two of the biggest art events in the region – Art Basel and Art Central – and lit up some of the city’s most colourful lanterns during the Mid-Autumn Festival.

The perfect day Start with a scenic jog at the newly expanded Wan Chai Promenade and soak in the picturesque Victoria Harbour, then get your caffeine fix at one of the neighbourhood’s many cafés before touring the fascinating Wan Chai Heritage Trail. Grab a seat at Samsen for some Thai food or chow down on tasty dim sum at Woo Cheong Tea House before browsing the artisan shops of Lee Tung Avenue. End your day by sipping serious cocktails at Japanese bars Mizunara: The Library or Kuromaru.

Plan your trip Visit during the Mid-Autumn Festival and witness the neighbourhood lit up with some of the most colourful lanterns displays in town. Historical four-storey tenement building Blue House was a highlight this year, decorated with hundreds of lanterns hand-painted by its close-knit community.

🗺 Take a look at our Wan Chai neighbourhood guide

🏠 Discover more great neighbourhoods in Hong Kong

📍 Check out the best things to do in Hong Kong

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Tatum Ancheta
Editor-in-Chief, Time Out Hong Kong
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Barrio de las Letras
Photograph: La Santoría

23. Barrio de las Letras

Madrid, Spain

Once known as the crucible of Spanish Golden Age literature, in recent years Madrid’s Barrio de las Letras has developed a reputation for late-night partying. But now a new daytime vibe is emerging: creative gastronomy, designers, artisans and boutique businesses are taking over its pedestrianised streets. You can shop for up-and-coming fashion labels at Colmado Shop, vintage garms at La Veintinueve, designer jewellery at Andrés Gallardo and handmade bags at Oficio Studio. Or you can chow down at Michelin-starred Gofio and Yúgó the Bunker, or local gourmet pioneer TriCiclo. And when you’re done, the sightseeing essentials of the Paseo del Prado and Puerta del Sol are only a few steps away.

The perfect day Start with a filter coffee and a morning bun at Acid Café, then take a trip back in time at the house-museum dedicated to the Golden Age writer Lope de Vega. Keep the ‘Made in Spain’ theme going with a walk through national crafts at the Royal Tapestry Factory, then take a deep dive into Spanish wine and cooking at Vinoteca Moratín. There’s just time for a nightcap at La Santoría before hitting the hay at the historic Palacio de Tepa hotel.

Plan your trip On the first and third Saturdays of the month, the neighbourhood’s shops bring out their treasures onto the Calle Huertas for the open-air Mercado de Las Ranas.

🗺 Take a look at our Barrio de las Letras neighbourhood guide

📍 Check out the best things to do in Madrid

Noelia Santos
Editora, Time Out Madrid
Vesterbro
Photograph: Shutterstock

24. Vesterbro

Copenhagen, Denmark

Bustling and lively, Vesterbro in Copenhagen is littered with famous historical streets, picture-perfect canal swimming spots, boutique shopping and attractions like the Glyptoteket museum and the famed Tivoli fairground. Despite vast gentrification, it still has a neighbourly feel with its mix of students, young professionals, families and long-time locals. In the sunshine, grab a bottle of to-go wine from KIHOSK on Sonderboulevard and lay on the grass enjoying the spacious leafy street. (If you fancy a book to go with your bevvy, why not dip into the work of revered local novelist and memoirist Tove Ditlevsen?) And if it’s not so sunny, Vesterbro is home to two historic and adorable picture houses – Vester Vov Vov and Dagmar – which both show mainstream blockbusters, indies and old classics daily.

The perfect day Make huge new architectural gem Villa Copenhagen your base, with its decadent rooftop pool, onsite bakery and insane brunch buffet. Then visit the gloriously historic Glyptoteket before heading on to Tivoli Gardens, which is one of Europe’s oldest, sparkliest and most twee fairgrounds. But leave time to indulge in Scandi seafood – langoustines and martinis? Yes please! – at Les Trois Cochons on Vaernedamsvej.

Plan your trip Halloween and Christmas are both huge at Tivoli, so plan your trip accordingly.

🗺 Take a look at our Vesterbro neighbourhood guide

📍 Check out the best things to do in Copenhagen

Sara Schmidt
Contributor, Denmark
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West End
Photograph: Flickr / GoToVan

25. West End

Vancouver, Canada

Don’t confuse Vancouver’s West End with the West Side (across False Creek) or West Vancouver (a different city altogether); you’ll find this trendy neighbourhood on the city’s downtown peninsula, just south of Coal Harbour. Once a quiet enclave for the elite, the West End is now boisterous. Davie Village serves as home base for the city’s LGBTQ+ community (be sure to pop into the historic Little Sister’s Book & Art Emporium for some queer lit) and you’ll find bars serving all types of folks along Davie Street. For restaurants and retail, you can’t beat Denman and Robson Streets. Robson skews high-end, while Denman is the place for hole-in-the-wall eats. But the real colour here is provided by mother nature in the form of 405-acre Stanley Park and the aptly named Sunset Beach.

The perfect day Wake up at The Burrard, a ’50s motel converted into a hip boutique pad with a palm-filled courtyard. Grab a cruiser bike and head for the seawall, pausing at Tartine Bread and Pies for pastries. Ride all the way around Stanley Park, then make your way to Kingyo on Denman Street for fabulous Japanese small plates before dancing the night away at Celebrities: Vancouver’s biggest gay nightclub.

Plan your trip Don’t miss Vancouver’s annual Pride Festival, one of North America’s largest. Weeks of parties and events culminate in a Pride Parade that draws upwards of 100,000 people to the West End. As if that wasn’t enough, Pride overlaps with the Celebration of Light, the world’s longest-running offshore fireworks competition, held at the end of July at English Bay.

📍 Check out the best things to do in Vancouver

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Christina Newberry
Contributor, Canada
Levinsky
Photograph: Boris-B / Shutterstock.com

26. Levinsky

Tel Aviv, Israel

Edgy, eclectic and never mainstream, Levinsky prides itself on its distinctive energy. Sat between too-cool-for-school Florentine and Tel Aviv’s shabby central bus station, Levinsky is known as a hub for Persian, Turkish, and Ethiopian immigrant communities, but in recent years has started to attract young chefs, musicians and artists too. Boutique hotels and artisan cafés have popped up next to established institutions like Burekas Pinso, which has been serving traditional pastries for over 70 years, or the tiny deli shops of Levinsky Market, a foodie favourite. And it’s not just the food that’s good here: secondhand clothing, jewellery and book stalls spring up on weekends, as well as spontaneous street parties that give this no-frills neighbourhood a real sense of community.

The perfect day Start healthy with one of Café Kaymak’s vegan breakfasts before browsing Levinsky’s market for local spices. For lunch, dip into some of the best hummus in town at Golden Grain (Garger HaZahav), then treat yourself to some sesame-rich halva at Yom Tov Delicatessen. Hit the Teder.fm bar for a late-night gig and crash in comfort at the Dave Levinsky Hotel.

Plan your trip Tel Aviv’s long-awaited light rail us due to open in mid-2023 and its Red Line will go right under the neighbourhoods next to Levinsky, stopping at Allenby and Elifet Sts – making it easier than ever to explore the city from here.

📍 Check out the best things to do in Tel Aviv

Dan Savery Raz Contributor, Israel
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Fitzroy
Photograph: Shutterstock

27. Fitzroy

Melbourne, Australia

Characterised by terrace houses, narrow streets covered in street art and modern wine bars retrofitted into heritage buildings and Victorian-era architecture, Fitzroy is Melbourne’s artsy and eclectic beating heart. On Brunswick Street you’ll find secondhand shops, dive bars, bumping nightclubs and some of our city’s best eateries – and with vegan and veggie options on practically every block, it’s a must for plant-based eaters. Meanwhile, leafy Gertrude Street has gone from a well-trodden thoroughfare to earning the distinction of the second coolest street in the world: no surprise, with some of the city’s coolest retail stores, galleries, bars, pubs, restaurants and cafés.

The perfect day Pick up some handmade fashion, food and curios at Rose St Artist’s Market, then make your way to Naked for Satan’s rooftop, where you can get a paddle of infused vodka shots – the perfect pairing for sprawling views of the city skyline. When you’re ready for a feed, pop downstairs to next-door neighbour Little Hop for tacos and freshly made chips and guac, then finish your night with drinks in the beer garden at Shady Lady: a fun, unpretentious dive bar that looks like your grandma’s house exploded all over it.

Plan your trip If you want to live like the locals, plan your trip around the Rochester Hotel’s beloved weekly comedy night, the weekend Rose St Artist’s Market and a gig at the Night Cat: its circular stage makes sure everyone has a great spot.

🗺 Take a look at our Fitzroy neighbourhood guide

📍 Check out the best things to do in Melbourne

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Adena Maier
Lifestyle Editor, Time Out Melbourne
Kilimani
Photograph: IndustryAndTravel / Shutterstock.com

28. Kilimani

Nairobi, Kenya

Kilimani is the place to find the heart and soul of Nairobian life. Compact enough to walk around and yet bursting with a vibrant arts and entertainment vibe, it’s here that you can walk past the president’s formal residence at State House and, five minutes later, watch monkeys gambol in an indigenous forest at Nairobi Arboretum. Like much of Nairobi, Kilimani’s gems are hidden beneath frenetic traffic and half-built high-rises, but scratch the surface and you’ll find a thriving social scene: art galleries, nightclubs, coffee shops and bars, together with some of Nairobi’s best restaurants, and new venues opening up all the time. Ditch the tourist trail and hang out where Nairobi goes to party.

The perfect day Grab an authentic Eritrean coffee at Kesh Kesh, then head to the Yaya Centre, Kilimani’s best mall, where you’ll find elegant boutiques and quirky stalls. Grab an Ethiopian lunch at Habesha, then stroll down to Kioko Mwitiki Art Gallery for groundbreaking contemporary art with an African flair. End the day sipping cocktails by the pool at the sublime Social House. It’s one of Nairobi’s hippest destinations, with four storeys of bars, restaurants, nightclubs and bedrooms – the perfect place to lay your head after a busy day.

Plan your trip For the Sunday Maasai Market at the Yaya Centre: your chance to shop for traditional crafts, clothes and jewellery, made and sold by Maasai tribespeople.

Nadine Murphy Contributor, Kenya
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Coconut Grove
Photograph: Shutterstock

29. Coconut Grove

Miami, USA

Not for the first time, Miami’s oldest continuously-inhabited neighbourhood is in the midst of a renaissance. First settled by Bahamians in the 1800s, in more recent decades Coconut Grove has been a hippy enclave, a playground for cocaine lords and a college hangout. Now, after more than a decade in flux, it’s once again Miami’s most exciting neighbourhood – thanks, in part, to a spate of recently opened bars and restaurants, including new waterfront options and a Michelin star recipient. CocoWalk, its central open-air shopping mall, has been entirely overhauled, complete with a new movie theatre and popular shops. But the thing we love most about Coconut Grove is its homegrown charm. You’ll find local art, an excellent farmers’ market, Miami-bred chefs, historic members’ clubs, a decades-old lemonade truck and a magnificent waterfront villa-turned-museum among the many reasons to visit.

The perfect day If it’s Saturday, you’re stopping for groceries at the Coconut Grove Organic Farmers’ Market before heading to Panther Coffee to caffeinate. Pop into Books & Books for something to read while you sit down to breakfast or brunch at Chug’s across the street. Spend the rest of the afternoon biking or walking the Commodore Trail, watch the sunset over cocktails at the new waterfront spot Bayshore Club and then make your way back to Main Highway for gourmet tacos at Los Félix: one of the neighbourhood’s two Michelin-starred restaurants. Enjoy a nightcap at The Taurus before walking back to your room at the newly renovated Mayfair House Hotel & Garden.

Plan your trip The Coconut Grove Arts Festival brings together nearly 300 international artists for three days of showcases and meet-and-greets over Presidents’ Day weekend in February. It’s a fun, family affair for art enthusiasts and the perfect excuse to get outside in the balmy Miami winter.

🗺 Take a look at our Coconut Grove neighbourhood guide

🍽 These are the best restaurants in Coconut Grove

📍 Check out the best things to do in Miami

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Virginia Gil
Editor, Time Out Miami
Northern Quarter
Photograph: John B Hewitt / Shutterstock.com

30. Northern Quarter

Manchester, UK

Despite ongoing competition from Ancoats next door, as far as we’re concerned the Northern Quarter has reclaimed the title of Manchester’s coolest neighbourhood for 2022. Stevenson Square and some surrounding streets have been permanently pedestrianised, making for a fresher stroll around the centre of the city’s café and bar culture, with its stunning mix of Georgian houses, Victorian pubs and modern hangouts. No matter what the trend, the Northern Quarter always seems to be one step ahead – whether it’s vegan dining, pop-up bars or even the street art adorning its walls and shop shutters. In fact these murals, part of the Outhouse Project supported by local art shop Fred Aldous, exemplify the neighbourhood: always changing and moving forward whilst remaining respectful of the past.

The perfect day Take breakfast with a strong coffee at Ezra and Gil, followed by a browse for quirky handmade knick-knacks in Oklahoma and a flick through the records at Vinyl Exchange. Spend the afternoon picking out something special in the Craft and Design Centre before heading to pioneering food hall Mackie Mayer for dinner. End the day with a gig at Band on the Wall before retiring to the best aparthotel in the city, Native.

Plan your trip Manchester’s brand new Mayfield Park connects with the Northern Quarter to bring much-needed green space to the city centre – and in 2023 it’s due to start hosting events, so keep your eyes peeled for the schedule.

🗺 Take a look at our Northern Quarter neighbourhood guide

🍹 Explore the best pubs and bars in the Northern Quarter

📍 Check out the best things to do in Manchester

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Rob Martin
Correspondent, Time Out Manchester
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Letná
Photograph: Aivita Arika / Shutterstock.com

31. Letná

Prague, Czech Republic

Although it’s just across the River Vltava from Prague’s densely packed Old Town, vibrant Letná offers great contrast – notably thanks to its abundance of open space. In 1989, hundreds of thousands of Praguers huddled together at Letná Park in sub-zero temperatures to finish off communism. Today, on summer evenings, they play sport, have picnics, or head to the Letná beer garden for a drink with fabulous views of the Old Town below. The wider neighbourhood (along with neighbouring Holešovice) is part of Art District 7, and the Trade Fair Palace showcases modern art and merits a visit for the functionalist architecture alone. Of all Prague’s districts, Letná has notably bounced back since 2020, and the numerous eateries and independent shops are evidence of its strong local spirit.

The perfect day Grab brunch at Café Letka, then work it off by exploring the neighbourhood’s other green space: ancient Stromovka Park. Refuel with some locally-sourced international fare at The Farm Urban Kitchen and Coffee and take in a gallery or museum – the National Technical Museum, complete with a crop of vintage Škodas, is much more fun than it sounds. Take an afternoon pause for coffee and gooey cake at Alchymista before a movie at the old-school Bio Oko cinema. For accommodation, try Mama Shelter hotel, where brutalist-style communist-era luxury gets a funky makeover.

Plan your trip There’s always something going on at Letná Park, including the summer Letní Letná theatre and circus. Or check the schedule of big-hitter exhibitions at the Trade Fair Palace.

📍 Check out the best things to do in Prague

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David Creighton Contributor, Czech Republic
Noord
Photograph: fokke baarseen / Shutterstock.com

32. Noord

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Just five minutes’ (free) ferry across the River IJ from the city’s tourist-packed centre, Noord feels like a different world. It’s that rare thing: a neighbourhood that has retained its gritty, post-industrial charm despite becoming an epicentre of all things cool. A former wasteland once known for squatters and petty crime, the area hasn’t so much been transformed as upcycled: the brick warehouses, metal prefabs, and old shipping containers are still here, but now they house vegan restaurants, pop-up breweries and cutting-edge art. Endeavours here – and the people behind them – have a deeply ingrained social justice and sustainability theme too. Wander around NSDM wharf, marvelling at the street art and the sense of creativity and ingenuity, and see how urban regeneration – which continues apace – should be done.

The perfect day Load up on fresh coffee, cake, and sandwiches at The Coffee Virus – A Lab before exploring the immersive audiovisual installations and interactive video works at the Nxt Museum. Have lunch at Café de Cueval, the quintessential Noord hotspot, before an afternoon exploring whatever’s going on at NSDM Wharf. For a riverside dinner, check out Stork or Hangar, with post-meal beers at Oedipus Brewing. End the night at Sexyland World, a conceptual nightclub and creative space where the program changes daily, before resting your head at the Sir Adam boutique hotel; the views from its tower are spectacular.

Plan your trip Get your rave on at Amsterdam Dance Event, the world’s biggest dance and electronic music festival: much of it happens in and around Noord’s bars, clubs, and warehouse spaces. It’s always great, but its big comeback edition in October 2022 is sure to be a banger.

🏠 Discover more great neighbourhoods in Amsterdam

📍 Check out the best things to do in Amsterdam

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Derek Robertson
Contributor, Netherlands
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Marrickville
Photograph: Marrickville Metro

33. Marrickville

Sydney, Australia

Marrickville has a complex identity. The traditional land of the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation, it’s a formerly industrial swathe of land in the Cook’s River basin that’s since become a desirable postcode for families – but there’s still a lot of manufacturing and business rubbing shoulders with those beautiful federation homes and terraces. Waves of Greek and Vietnamese residents have also left their mark, and it’s got a healthy dose of creative colour on top thanks to a new influx of arts communities that’ve moved out of central Sydney. Marrickville has been called both ‘the new Newtown’ and ‘the new Paddington’, but it’s very much its own suburb with its own distinct identity: a proper melting pot that’s as much a destination for dining as it is for auto repair and wholesale provisions.

The perfect day If you’re going to start your day with coffee (and you probably should), make it Ona’s – where you can also fill your belly with homemade waffles or a cheese toastie. Then potter around the Marrickville Organic Markets to find handicrafts, plants, secondhand books and clothing, before a roll for lunch at bona fide institution Marrickville Pork Roll (veggie options are available if pork isn’t your thing). Afterwards, try (and fail) to try everything on tap at craft brewery Batch, before taking in live music or some guaranteed-to-be-weird theatre at artistic collective Red Rattler.

Plan your trip If you can, visit in March during Inner West Fest: the annual celebration of everything great about Sydney’s Inner West.

🗺 Take a look at our Marrickville neighbourhood guide

🏠 Discover more great neighbourhoods in Sydney

📍 Check out the best things to do in Sydney

Chacarita
Photograph: Flickr/Sebastián Dario

34. Chacarita

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Chacarita (which translates as ‘little farm’) might easily have once been confused with neighbouring Buenos Aires barrios Palermo Hollywood and Villa Crespo thanks to its low-rise architecture, cobbled streets and independent restaurants. Its only distinguishing feature used to be housing South America’s largest necropolis. But it’s now turning heads as BA’s foodie central, famed for its two trendy main drags: Avenidas Dorrego and Jorge Newbery. The latter combines a recently-opened bike lane with local hotspots like legit Mexican Ulúa, Cuervo roaster and café and vegan fungi specialist Donnet, while other notables include Apu Nena’s southeast Asian tapas and Anchoita – both of which are currently two of the most in-demand tables in town. There’s also a wine scene pioneered by Naranjo bar, Dua Lipa’s choice of watering hole on her recent South America tour, and backed by Anchoita Cava and Lardito. Culture-wise, take in a play at Teatro El Regio, bop about to Hot Chip at C Complejo or catch live music at the Movistar Arena.

The perfect day Start with huevos rancheros at Lupe Lonchería before picking up a travel tome at the delightful Falena bookstore (its basement doubles up as the Japanese-inspired jazz-kissa club Black Forest). Stroll around the cemetery before lunching on pizza a la parrilla at Mil y Pico, then snap up some design originals – homewares at Ries Estudio, stylish womenswear and menswear at Greens and hand-woven textiles at Facón – before dining at Condarco. For a late-night drink, order a malbec vermouth at La Fuerza. And for one final midnight bite, guzzle down a slice of muzza – Argentina’s signature pizza – at legendary parlour El Imperio.

Plan your trip Be sure to visit Parque Los Andes in November, when the lilac jacaranda trees flourish. While its concrete tribute to the eponymous mountain range is a little weak, its pavements are handed over to a fun flea market every weekend.

📍 Check out the best things to do in Buenos Aires

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Sorrel Moseley-Williams Contributor, South America
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Kelham Island
Photograph: Alamy

35. Kelham Island

Sheffield, UK

Once home to derelict warehouses and a few old-school pubs, Kelham Island has undergone a hefty transformation. Those old boozers (thankfully) remain but Kelham’s once-empty spaces are now filled by a glut of independent bars, restaurants, shops, cafés and breweries. A manmade island formed in the 1100s when a stream was diverted to power a nearby mill, Kelham Island is now a unique bit of Sheffield thanks to the beautiful waterway that runs through it. Walkable from the city centre, it has all the hallmarks of a hip neighbourhood – including street food markets, microbreweries, Michelin-guide grub and a vegan bar run by screamo frontman Oli Sykes – without being insufferably so. It’s still a functioning working area, so in between the serene waterside beer gardens, killer tacos, amazing ale, flea markets and food halls, you’ll get a sense of Sheffield’s rich industrial history.

The perfect day Breakfast-up at Grind Cafe, then head off to Kelham Island Museum, coffee at Gaard and some shopping (Kelham Island Books & Music or Kelham Flea for vintage and antiques). Tuck into lunch at Cutlery Works (the largest food hall in northern England), ready for an afternoon beer run – via Fat Cat, Heist, Alder, Kelham Island Tavern, Gardeners Rest and the Riverside – and then dinner at Domo or, if you’re feeling flush, Jöro. Finish at Factory Floor where DJs play through their bespoke audiophile soundsystem and you can try their unique drip-infusion spirits.

Plan your trip Be here on first weekend of the month for Peddler Market: a market that merges street food from across the UK with live music, DJs, makers stalls, craft beers and cocktails.

📍 Check out the best things to do in Sheffield

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Daniel Dylan Wray
Correspondent, Yorkshire & North-East England
Dogpatch
Photograph: Flickr / Dale Cruse

36. Dogpatch

San Francisco, USA

Despite its waterfront location and Bay Bridge views, the Dogpatch was, for a long time, a gritty and desolate place filled with shipyards and factories. Now it’s one of San Francisco’s most rapidly developing neighbourhoods and a haven for creatives taking advantage of the (slightly) more affordable studio and housing options. The Dogpatch skyline is a mix of industrial buildings and modern apartment buildings, alongside a recent boom of independent shops, buzzworthy restaurants, and urban wineries. Bonus: the area is easily walkable, so grab your comfiest kicks and head out to explore.

The perfect day Start with brunch at the sprawling and stunning new RH restaurant, Palm Court, near Pier 70. Use the afternoon to explore Dogpatch’s many tasting rooms and wine bars, like Ungrafted, a modern café with a master sommelier at the helm. End the day with dinner at the newest, and largest, outpost of SF’s fave Greek spot, Souvla. Crash at a modern Airbnb with rooftop views.

Plan your trip As soon as possible to check out the Institute of Contemporary Art San Francisco, which literally just opened. The 11,000-square-foot space aims to provide fresh ways to showcase contemporary works by local talent and artists of colour, and admission is free.

🗺 Take a look at our Dogpatch neighbourhood guide

📍 Check out the best things to do in San Francisco

Clara Hogan
Correspondent, Northern California
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Ximending
Photograph: Shutterstock

37. Ximending

Taipei, Taiwan

Loud, proud and unpretentious, Ximending (or ‘Ximen’, for short) remains the preferred hangout of Taipei’s cool cats. This vibrant corner of the city is famous for its LGBTQ+-friendly district of cocktail bars, cheap street eats, budget stores selling souvenirs, sex toys and trinkets and quirky alleys of graffiti. There’s also a row of cinemas, plentiful ’70s shopping malls to explore, and historical buildings well worth a gander such as The Red House octagonal theatre and the always-elegant Zhongshan Hall. Ximen really comes alive at night, when the neon buzzes on and the music starts thumping – and after a lull over the past two-and-a-half years, the area is currently springing back to life with new clubs, pubs and restaurants.

The perfect day Wake up and smell the coffee at the venerable Fong Da, then light an incense stick at the 300-year old Tianhou Temple across the road before shopping for souvenirs in Ximen’s maze of streets and malls (phallus-shaped pineapple cakes are a longstanding favourite). After a zen moment with a pot of cha at Eighty-Eightea Rinbansyo tea room, it’s time for snacks at the night market before slipping into Hanko 60, a speakeasy deliciously disguised as a cinema. Finally, crawl into bed at the sleek Amba Taipei Ximending boutique hotel.

Plan your trip The Golden Horse Film Festival, held this year from November 2, is East Asia’s answer to the Oscars. Films are screened on Ximending’s Cinema Street (Wuchang Street).

📍 Check out the best things to do in Taipei

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Dinah Gardner
Contributor, Taiwan
Sea Point
Photograph: Sunshine Seeds / Shutterstock.com

38. Sea Point

Cape Town, South Africa

Sea Point is Cape Town’s cool beachfront face: an oceanside ’burb heaving with quirky local businesses, and with enviable transport links to nearby beaches like Clifton and Camps Bay. Home to a mix of long-term families, young professionals, creative types and immigrant communities, Sea Point is known throughout Cape Town for the spine-tingling sunset views on its seven-mile Beach Road promenade, and for Regent Street: the neighbourhood’s main road and a hub of hot hotels and lip-smackingly diverse food options.

The perfect day Kick off with a morning swim at the Sea Point Pavilion, then head to Mojo Market for a choice of at least 30 vendors offering bagels, coffee, fresh juices and even a mussel and oyster bar. Work your way around Regent Street’s vast array of shopping options before packing up a picnic ready for a light lunch on the beach – then why not kayak out into the Atlantic to spot some dolphins? Back on dry land, you should walk along the promenade at dusk before sitting down at La Perla: a restaurant known for its seafood dishes and elevated tables ideal for gawping at the sunset.

Plan your trip The warmer months from November to April are the time to visit, especially if you can catch ace annual events like March’s Cape Town International Jazz Festival.

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Yazeed Kamaldien Contributor, South Africa
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Pagrati
Photograph: Alamy

39. Pagrati

Athens, Greece

Pagrati’s rise to super-hip status has been swift. Despite its proximity to central Athens and the Panathenaic Stadium – home to the first modern Olympic Games – the neighbourhood has always flown under the tourist radar. But where once it was considered bland, today it’s a magnet for creative types who flock to its hip bars, blasting everything from rock and blues to hip hop, and to the artisanal restaurants that have swept in over recent years. Do yourself a favour and wind your way through the narrow alleyways and diverse streets: a curious mix of neoclassical and modern architecture lined with bohemian cafés, with occasional views of the mountains that surround the city. No matter which corner you turn, you’re likely to end up at one of the many squares: central meeting points for locals and welcome respites from the traffic-filled streets.

The perfect day Wake up to breakfast with Acropolis views at Athens BlueBuilding, before making your way to the Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation to browse artwork from Picasso, Miró, Van Gogh and all the rest. Head for coffee at Chelsea Hotel, then end the day with dinner at The Vegan Vandal and drinks at one of the many bars on tucked-away Timotheou Street.

Plan your trip Visit between May and September when Palas Cinema, the oldest movie theatre in Athens, hosts open-air films on its outdoor terrace.

📍 Check out the best things to do in Athens

Katie Silcox Contributor, Greece
Santurce
Photograph: Shutterstock

40. Santurce

San Juan, Puerto Rico

This 500-year-old district of the Puerto Rican capital covers all the bases when it comes to art, food and history. First inhabited by the Tainos, the indigenous people of Puerto Rico, then by Spanish colonisers, San Juan’s Santurce became a hub for Afro-Caribbean culture when freed slaves from neighbouring islands settled in the neighbourhood in the mid-1700s. The fusion of cultures is still very much alive today: Santurce’s architecture combines colonial-era homes with funky, pastel art deco buildings from the ’40s and modern beach houses. And those who live and work in the neighbourhood are also diverse: college students, families who’ve been here for several generations, emigrants from other Caribbean islands, and now people from the mainland USA (largely due to contested tax breaks for foreigners). Walk along Calle Loíza for your pick of restaurants, bars, and shops; head north to the Condado and Ocean Park areas of Santurce for beach time; and hit La Placita for nightlife.

The perfect day Start with coffee and pastries at Hacienda San Pedro, which sources beans from its namesake farm in Jayuya, a couple of hours’ drive away. After, head to El Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico to pay homage to prominent Puerto Rican artists like José Campeche and Francisco Oller. Wind up at El Patio de Solé for a traditional lunch of rice and chicken with stewed beans, and then walk along Calle Cerra to check out colourful murals by local artists. If you want to cool off, it’s off to Ocean Park for a dip. End the evening with live bomba music at La Terraza de Bonanza and a nightcap with the local creatives at La Penúltima.

Plan your trip The holiday season in Puerto Rico extends to mid-January: a fun time to visit, with plenty of live music and craft events.

📍 Check out the best things to do in San Juan

Jessica van Dop DeJesus
Contributor, Puerto Rico
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Barrio Escalante
Photograph: Alamy

41. Barrio Escalante

San José, Costa Rica

For a long time, Costa Rica’s capital was somewhere you’d pass through to get to where you were going. But recently a generation of local chefs have returned home, having travelled and trained around the world, and honed in on Barrio Escalante, lending Calle 33 a new nickname: Paseo Gastronómico. Many are bringing a sense of urgency to their country’s proud (but increasingly threatened) legacy of hyperlocality. The restaurant Franco has redirected some of Costa Rica’s best coffee – historically exported – into local hands, whilst Sikwa works closely with indigenous Bribri farmers to reproduce ancient, native recipes. Meanwhile, Isolina Restaurante has mastered a distinctive fusion of fine dining and home cooking in what used to be the home of the Escalante family, after whom the area is named. It sources its seasonal ingredients from small producers, resulting in an irresistible menu: try the arracache hash browns, yams in seabass broth, and veal cooked in caramelized garlic and served with hibiscus reduction.

The perfect day Pick up a Costarricense coffee from one of the barrio’s nameless, garage-style pit stops, and head to Franco’s for candied bacon or passion fruit and pistachio pancakes. On Wednesday nights, catch an experimental film at Cooperación Española Cultura and a DJ set at Sikwa, then head to Apotecario for cocktails and kombucha before a night on the dancefloor at LGBTQ+-friendly club Neon Ice.

Plan your trip Self-proclaimed ‘jungle bartender’ Liz Furlong (known for her agave bar, CATA, in the surf town of Tamarindo) is bringing her foraged and freshly-picked ingredients to a new cocktail bar later this year. It’s called Curandero – the name means ‘medicine man’ – and is a stone’s throw from Escalante.

📍 Check out the best things to do in Costa Rica

Anna Prendergast
Contributor, Costa Rica
Ubud
Photograph: Elena Ermakova / Shutterstock.com

42. Ubud

Bali, Indonesia

Millions of yearly visitors to Bali bypass the beaches and head straight for the inland town of Ubud. And who can blame them? Beginning in Nyuh Kuning, an outlying village popular with Bali’s colourful expat crowd, the route into central Ubud is lined by sublime Balinese gardens, Hindu temples guarded by fierce effigies and flowery offerings, as well as a pervasive soundtrack of tinkling gamelan music. You might even encounter a mischievous long-tailed macaque that has strayed from the nearby sacred monkey sanctuary. And then you hit the main drag, which is teeming with boutiques, artisanal craft shops, art galleries, restaurants dishing up the latest culinary health trends and cool cafés vending Indonesian coffee – all existing cheek-by-jowl with traditional island architecture, and framed by luminous rice fields and thick rainforest. It’s not hard to see why this place gets a hold on people.

The perfect day Make a healthy start with a sun salutation in one of the many yoga retreats that dot central Ubud, then spend the morning photographing the lotus-pond-fronted Saraswati Temple. Lunch in Warung Rama, where Ibu Dayu specialises in gado gado (a delicious Indonesian salad served with a peanut sauce) made from ingredients bought daily from Ubud Market, before sticking around for a cooking class at Ibu or seeking out some Balinese wayang puppets at Neka Art Museum. Catch a traditional dance at Ubud Palace at sunset before heading over to Bali Bohemia opposite the Monkey Forest to watch local troubadours regale an audience clutching bottles of Bintang beer.

Plan your trip Skip the rainy season in November and March (unless you like mosquitos) and visit in August for the annual Ubud Jazz Festival, held at the Agung Rai Museum of Art.

🗺 Take a look at our Ubud guide

📍 Check out the best things to do in Bali

Thomas Bird Contributor, Bali
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Kingsland
Photograph: Portland Public House

43. Kingsland

Auckland, New Zealand

Inner-city Kingsland is centred around all things local – you won’t see flashy franchises here. The string of historic buildings down New North Road houses everything from vintage stores to sourdough pizzerias and late-night dessert cafés. Craft beer is brewed onsite at the Urbanaut Brewing Co. Coffee is hand-roasted at Atomic Coffee Roasters. At the rakish Portland Public House, you can groove to Auckland’s best local bands. And if you’re hungry? Kingsland’s eclectic food scene is second to none. Peruse menus from family-run Jordanian or Jamaican restaurants or settle in at an intimate Italian spot. And if that weren’t enough, tucked surprisingly inconspicuously behind Kingsland’s main shopping street is Eden Park: New Zealand’s largest stadium, which offsets the general bohemian vibe with steady streams of fans bound for sports games, concerts and exhibitions.

The perfect day If you’re visiting on the third Saturday of the month, stop by the Kingsland Craft Market to shop for handmade local products. When you get thirsty, pop into Garage Project’s Cellar Door for a tasting of New Zealand’s premium craft beers before splurging at Phil’s Kitchen for dinner. For an extra-special experience, sports fans can book a night at The Staydium: luxury glamping domes inside Eden Park.

Plan your trip Kingsland will hum with huge sports events throughout the next 12 months, with the Women’s Rugby World Cup at Eden Park until November 2022 and the Fifa Women’s World Cup bringing even more buzz in July 2023.

📍 Check out the best things to do in Auckland

Petrina Darrah Contributor, New Zealand
Haut-Marais
Photograph: Merci

44. Haut-Marais

Paris, France

Everyone knows about the Marais – but we’re not talking about the area around Rue des Rosiers, crawling with falafel-hunting tourists, or even the hub of gay Paris around Rue Sainte Croix de la Bretonnerie. A few streets to the north, the triangle outlined by Rambuteau, Temple and Saint-Sébastien Froissart metro stations is where Paris’s most stylish hangouts are born. There’s Les Enfants du Marché, a fabulous wine bar-restaurant tucked away at the back of the Marché des Enfants Rouges; contemporary art galleries like Suzanne Tarasieve, Emmanuel Perrotin and Thaddaeus Ropac; the Picasso Museum and the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation; countless vintage shops and ethical concept stores (bonjour, Merci!). And dotted around them you’ll find the cream of Paris’s mixological crop, shaking up a storm. Santé!

The perfect day Grab a coffee at Recoin, the retro bistro recently opened by the team behind the ever-popular Café du Coin, before channelling your inner flâneur on a stroll around the neighbourhood and its galleries. Stop for lunch at Les Enfants du Marché before checking out the merchandise at Merci: impeccably tasteful gifts guaranteed. Then it’s time for drinks at the Cambridge Public House, which combines top-notch cocktails with the laidback atmosphere of an English pub. Yes, in Paris!

Plan your trip It’s worth visiting whenever you can book in at nearby Lago, the brand-new restaurant by sustainable chef Chloé Charles. This is a dining room that you can book out in its entirety, where the menu is up to you (based on what seasonal produce is available) and where you can choose the pace of the meal, from cocktails to dining to after-dinner dancing. It’s a proper Parisian first.

🗺 Take a look at our Marais neighbourhood guide

🏠 Discover more great neighbourhoods in Paris

📍 Check out the best things to do in Paris

Rémi Morvan
Staff Writer, Time Out Paris
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Bandra West
Photograph: Shutterstock

45. Bandra West

Mumbai, India

The perennial queen of Mumbai’s suburbs, Bandra West has earned a lasting place on any traveller’s must-visit list. Between Linking Road and Hill Road, you could spend an entire day just shopping for clothes, shoes and accessories at the street market and the boutique stores (right now you should hit up Pernia’s Pop-Up, Nicobar, Anokhi, Bombay Shirt Company and Nappa Dori). This is also Mumbai’s health-food hub, dotted with cafés that serve everything from avo toast to açai bowls to some of the best coffee in India. But above all, it’s the young and energetic vibe that makes Bandra West so attractive: you’ll spot everyone from college students sporting the latest fashions to Bollywood celebrities doing their coffee runs. (The neighbourhood is dotted with the houses of famous actors, drawing flocks of fans trying to catch a glimpse of their favourite star.) Call it bougie or even hipster if you like, but this is still Mumbai’s place to be – and be seen.

The perfect day Start your day with a coffee and croissant at Subko Coffee Roasters and Bakehouse before heading to Bandra Fort for a majestic view of the Bandra Worli Sea link. If that’s helped you build up an appetite, get a hearty breakfast at The Nut Cracker café – then walk through Waroda Road, Chapel Road, and Saint Veronica Road up to Mount Carmel Church to catch the murals of Bollywood actors by local artists, plus a glimpse of the area’s historic houses. For lunch, dive into a warm bowl of ramen at Izumi or enjoy the Indian flavours at Joshi House. Then head to the Carter Road Promenade for a glorious sunset and a pre-drink at Toto’s Garage, followed by a bowling night at Game Palacio: the city’s latest nightlife hotspot.

Plan your trip Bandra West is a visual treat all year round, but the area really gets glammed up for Christmas.

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Kasturi Gadge
Contributor, India
Thonglor
Photograph: Palette Artspace

46. Thonglor

Bangkok, Thailand

It may be a slender neighbourhood, dissected by the frenetic Thonglor Road and fenced in by artery streets above and below, but there’s not much you can’t find in Thonglor. It’s leading Bangkok’s post-viral recovery with a new wave of trendy cafés and bars, reopened and revamped nightclubs and craft beer halls, stalwart yoga studios and climbing walls, plus snazzy food markets – all dotted around temples, offices and residential buildings which range from modernist villas to high-rise condos. There’s a green-minded vibe, too with organic stores such as Lemon Farm (think Bangkok’s answer to Whole Foods), salons like Sunday Organic who source the most eco-minded products, and sustainable café Patom Organic Living, which roasts beans from Chiang Rai and sells a lush range of homewares and toiletries. Hip, conscious and loved by expats and locals alike, Thonglor buzzes night and day.

The perfect day Wake up and go for a rooftop swim at swanky yet affordable hotel The Residence on Thonglor. Grab a coffee at Pacamara Coffee Roasters before settling in for brunch at Bartels, whose on-site bakery serves incredible sourdough. Browse the local art scene at Palette Art Space and Thonglor Wall, then head to Let’s Relax Onsen and Spa for some R&R. After that, head to Bo.lan for the finest Thai plates in town (though make sure you’ve booked ahead!) and end your day at Bluebird Jazz Bar for live jams until the small hours.

Plan your trip November is prime time to go, with rainy season quelled and Loy Krathong, Thailand’s festival of lights, coming up in the middle of the month.

🗺 Take a look at our Thonglor neighbourhood guide

📍 Check out the best things to do in Bangkok

Lucie Grace Contributor, Thailand
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Fortitude Valley
Photograph: Will Johnstone

47. Fortitude Valley

Brisbane, Australia

The burgeoning creative hotspot of Fortitude Valley is located about a mile and a half from Brisbane’s central business district. Most of the action in this thriving, cool-kid neighbourhood centres around bustling James Street: a green, shaded oasis in a city that bakes in summer, with trees lining the pavement and vines climbing up the walls of boutique stores and the popular Calile Hotel. Of course you’ll find cafés, bars and chic retailers here, but there’s a reason the Valley is dubbed ‘the suburb that never sleeps’. At night it transforms into a live-music hub, with young party-seekers descending upon the excellent range of clubs, bars and concert halls. If you want to party, this is one of the best places in Australia.

The perfect day Wake up in your suite at Hotel X Fortitude Valley, and head to their LA-styled rooftop pool for a few laps before the weather heats up. Head to James Street for a spot of shopping, and grab a coffee at one of the many cafés lining the street. Pick up a day pass (available from Monday to Thursday) for the Calile Hotel and grab a spot of lunch before lazing the afternoon away on the chic pool deck. Duck into the Institute of Modern Art before catching a gig at The Zoo, then party the night away.

Plan your trip September is the best time to head to Fortitude Valley: that’s when Australia’s answer to SXSW swings into town. Big Sound drops up to 150 artists into the live gig precinct to showcase the best in Aussie music.

📍 Check out the best things to do in Brisbane

Bianca O'Neill
Arts & Culture Editor, Time Out Australia
Moda
Photograph: okanozdemir / Shutterstock.com

48. Moda

Istanbul, Turkey

If there’s one district on Istanbul’s Anatolian side whose popularity never seems to waver, it’s Moda. Located on the shores of the Marmara Sea in Kadıköy, one of the most vibrant districts in Turkey’s biggest city, Moda owes its charm to its peaceful, nostalgic streets and its ever-expanding array of great places to eat and drink. Undimmed by the trials of the last few years (when its coastal promenade was a real blessing), Moda is home to a diverse mix of Istanbulites, from hip young types through to families who’ve lived here for generations. The neighbourhood spirit is what keeps people here, as well as the huge range of places to have a good time – whether you’re getting lost in a book in a local café by day, sipping raki by the sea at sunset, or partying till late in the local bars.

The perfect day Begin with brekkie from Brekkie – the croissants here are delicious, especially eaten amid the greenery of Yoghurtçu Park with a sea view. Take a poke around the Barış Manço Museum, dedicated to a legendary Turkish rock ’n’ roller. For lunch, we recommend Çiya Sofrası: the perfect spot for local delicacies. Then take a walk down to the beach for an afternoon coffee at the restored Moda Pier. For dinner, try Cibalikapi Balikcisi for delicious appetizers and the traditional pairing of raki and fish. If you’re feeling highbrow, spend your evening at a classical concert at Süreyya Opera House. If not, Bina is ideal for late-night drinking and dancing, with DJs every night of the week. And if you need a place to crash, Kuzen Hotel is right in the middle of things, with a great garden terrace.

Plan your trip In summer for one of the most popular events of the annual Istanbul jazz festival: Gece Gezmesi (Night Out). It takes over various venues in Moda and across Kadıköy with the best new names from Istanbul’s independent music scene.

🗺 Take a look at our Moda neighbourhood guide

📍 Check out the best things to do in Istanbul

Seda Pekçelen
Managing Editor, Time Out Istanbul
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Stoneybatter
Photograph: Alamy

49. Stoneybatter

Dublin, Ireland

Ask any Dubliner where they want to live in the city and there’s a good chance you’ll heard the word Stoneybatter. Why do so many locals covet a tiny, garden-less cottage here rather than something more spacious elsewhere? Because the vibe is unbeatable. Nestled between Phoenix Park and the River Liffey and only a short walk from the city centre, this hip enclave is awash with funky pubs, idyllic cafés and some of the best eats in Dublin. Not only that, but there’s a real sense of community pride here that isn’t replicated anywhere else in the city. To get a real sense of it, head to some of the local pubs like Frank Ryan’s or Mulligans and just soak up the atmosphere – along with a few pints, of course.

The perfect day Stoneybatter’s all about the food: a day here is best spent with various forks in hand. Start with an avo-toast brunch at Slice Café, a buzzing spot with locally-sourced ingredients and banging coffee, then head down to Walsh’s or The Glimmer Man and nurse a creamy pint of plain. If you’re peckish, head to the beer garden to find the tiny Vietnom food truck, which boasts some of the best street food Dublin has to offer.

Plan your trip June isn’t just when the weather is at its best: it’s also when the Stoneybatter Festival takes place. This three-day celebration fills the neighbourhood with tons of food, culture, music and family-fun activities.

🗺 Take a look at our Stoneybatter neighbourhood guide

🕒 Find out how to do Dublin in 48 hours

📍 Check out the best things to do in Dublin

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Éadaoin Fitzmaurice
Contributor, Republic of Ireland
FESTAC Town
Photograph: Google

50. FESTAC Town

Lagos, Nigeria

Also known as Festival Town, this Lagos enclave was built for FESTAC ’77: the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, which Lagos hosted in 1977. As well as more than 5,000 dwelling units originally built for participants of the festival, this planned estate is now where you’ll find one of Lagos’s largest malls plus an array of five-star hotels and international restaurants – and the homes of a handful of former Nigerian football stars. Although some of its buildings and avenues have become rundown in recent years, Festac has evolved into a tight-knit hub of contemporary urban life, from wild nightspots to fine dining in baronial restaurants to social street gatherings blasting with highlife music. Unlike other parts of Lagos, the Festac social scene is a leveller: it can be hard here to tell who’s wealthy and who’s not.

The perfect day Wake up at the Golden Tulip Hotel and start your day with freshly-brewed coffee from the café there, then browse the hotel’s free mini-art gallery. Head out for a walk over the Festac Link bridge and across the neighbourhood to grab some samosas at Sweet Pea Edibles. Stroll back to Lagos’s famous Festival Mall, where you can buy pretty much everything. For dinner, you’ll want to try some of Lagos’s best Chinese meals at The Pentagram or taste the Nigerian delicacies at Greenland Kitchen. Nightlife is mostly championed by Festac’s host of hotels, but getting down on the buzz of recently launched Kickers nightclub is unrivalled.

Plan your trip For the annual Festac Music Festival, which aims at reenacting the memories of FESTAC ’77. It’s set to be held this December.

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Chidinma Iwu Contributor, Nigeria
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Versalles
Photograph: Shutterstock

51. Versalles

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Millions of people visit Mexico’s Pacific surf city of Puerta Vallarta each year, but only a fraction find themselves in Versalles. It’s an inconspicuous part of town, boxed in by the commercial stores of Avenidas Francisco Villa and Francisco Medina Ascencio – but in between is an L-shaped neighbourhood housing a clutch of Vallarta’s coolest shops and restaurants. This charming area feels like a small town in itself, with its cobbled roads, bougainvillea, and traditional single-storey homes, and its calm is a refreshing contrast to the nearby tourist neighbourhoods of Centro, Cinco de Diciembre, and Zona Romantica. But it’s not all peace and quiet here: when you are ready to paint the town red, Calle España has the city’s best dining and nightlife, with street-style tacos waiting at La Mucca and smoky mezcal cocktails at La Tatema Mezcaleria. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that the city’s beaches are only a few blocks away.

The perfect day Wake up at Zen Harmony and walk to Le Jardin Sucré for a medialuna before joining a yoga class at Full Circle. Afterward, order a latte to go from Miscelánea then hunt for souvenirs at Bodeguita, with its homemade crafts and jewellery. Have lunch at cevicheria LAMARA then pop into La Expedición and unwind with a board game, before dinner at Versalles newcomer Masame.

Plan your trip On Friday evenings throughout the high tourist season from December to May, Versalles hosts a weekly open-air market, with food and craft vendors.

📍 Check out the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta

Lola Méndez
Contributor, Mexico & Latin America
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