From Berlin to Barcelona, Tallinn to Tokyo, take a tour of the 20 coolest hipster neighbourhoods of the world.
Graduate, alternative cinema lover and ‘semi-pro’ photographer? Listen to indie folk, eat organic and drink craft beer. If you have recognized yourself in this description, well, maybe you’re a bit ‘hipster’ too. Ultra skinny jeans, checked shirt – check, moustache for him, polka dot dress for her…
Hipsters around the world have their favourite places and Skyscanner has identified 20 of the most hipster. Vintage shops, cafés, bookstores (not necessarily dusty), music stores and contemporary art centres: welcome to hipster heaven.
1. MIERA IELA – RIGA
Capital of Culture 2014, Riga is at last receiving recognition of its hipness. Stroll down Miera iela (Peace Street) to see it in all its hip glory: a swarm of art galleries, vintage shops, hairdresser-bookstores, restaurants and florists bartering green plants for herbal teas. Pop into the DAD Café for home baking, several glasses of wine and an acoustic concert.
2. WILLIAMSBURG – NEW YORK
A district that does not need any introduction, the most radical now consider Williamsburg too ‘mainstream’, but it’s still a hipster mecca. There are many ‘must-see’ places, but one of the most beautiful (and tasty) is definitely Smorgasburg, the food market invades East River Park with stalls of goodies that every Saturday.
3. KREUZBERG – BERLIN
While hipsters may not be universally welcome in Berlin, it was once Euro hipster central. In Berlin’s most alternative of alternative district, admire graffiti like its high art, go swimming in a swimming pool floating on the River Spree and check out boutique Voo Store, where you’ll find many, many things that perhaps you will never use, but they will certainly make you feel incredibly cool.
4. PEARL DISTRICT – PORTLAND
Finding the most hipster neighborhood in the capital of checked shirts is a hard job, but we’ll give it to the art / food / music combo of the Pearl District. The real institution of the neighborhood is Powell’s City of Books, the world’s largest library of second-hand books. It occupies an entire city block, and of course, it has a cool café.
5. SÖDERMALM – STOCKHOLM
In Söder everything is vintage, but there are also Scandinavian designers’ boutiques for more contemporary tastes. This is the neighbourhood of Stockholm, inhabited by the characters of Stieg Larsson’s bestsellers. A special mention goes to independent bookstore Konst-ig, dedicated to art, architecture, graphic design and fashion.
6. DALSTON – LONDON
And you thought Kingsland Road was the coolest address in the country? Shoreditch? So 2010. The Guardian named Dalston as ‘the coolest place in Britain’ and who are we to disagree? Well, you might if you’ve been there. Clubs, record shops, vintage shops, spaces dedicated to art and design, and FARM: (check that colon) = cool, cool, cool.
7. AMSTERDAM-NOORD – AMSTERDAM
On the ‘other’ side of the IJ, the big bit of water behind Centraal station that no-one notices because they head in the other direction when they arrive, has been growing in coolness for a few years now. Previously a bit of a wasteland, now the disused warehouses host creative start-ups, festivals, restaurants and, once a month, mega flea market IJ Hallen,
8. FITZROY – MELBOURNE
If Melbourne is the hipster heart of Australia, Fitzroy is its epicentre. Here are the most beautiful buildings of the city, the Centre for Contemporary Photography and, once a year, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2014. And then there’s the Third Drawer Down, one of those shops that sell things as useless as beautiful: who has ever wanted a chair shaped like a donut? Or a banana as iPhone case? Maybe you.
9. NØRREBRO – COPENHAGEN
This is the place for people who love bakeries and pubs with 40 different beers (the little things that make life better). Try the Laundromat Cafè, a bar where you go to do the laundry, and while you wait for your laundry to be ready, you can drink a coffee, use the Wi-Fi, eat cake or read a magazine.
10. BEYOGLU – ISTANBUL
Calling it a neighborhood is an understatement, Beyoglu is almost a pretty town in itself, hovering between a noble past and a modern present. Lose yourself in art galleries, enjoy the music that comes out of the cafés in Istanbul, and look for treasures at vintage paradise Karakoy Junk.
11. CANAL ST MARTIN – PARIS
Friday night: young people swigging cans beside a canal. What could be considered anti-social in Maidstone is the highest realm of hipness in this gentrified piece of Paris. Join the throng for Frisbee and fizz by Point Ephémère, a former warehouse and now important cultural centre, which hosts concerts, exhibitions and artist studios.
12. FLORENTIN – TEL AVIV
Florentin is a fascinating mix of industrial and residential brand new buildings, mostly populated by artists, students and foreigners, full of boutiques, bars, street food and clubs playing all kinds of music such as Har Sinai, a small club close to the largest synagogue in the city. Evocative is an understatement.
13. MALASANA – MADRID
Many consider it the birthplace of Spanish nightlife. What is certain is that from the late ’70s, the narrow streets of Malasaña have not seen a moment of peace, and today they are in better shape than ever. You can also find a beach! At Ojalà you can eat and drink cerveza with your feet sunk in the sand, in a worthy atmosphere, as enjoying the sunset in the Balearics. Well, almost.
14. KALLIO – HELSINKI
Kallio is Helsinki’s brunch central. For example, try out Made in Kallio, a local design shop and also delicious bar, which serves blueberry smoothies on a terrace with chairs on the sidewalk, and the action spills out into the street.
15. GRACIA – BARCELONA
Gracia lies in the districts of Parc Guell and Casa Vicens. But do not think for a moment that the charm of this neighbourhood ends only with Gaudi! Its narrow streets filled with shops and libraries are there to be explored, and the squares are waiting for you at the sunset. There are many café and bars, but Heliogabal, which hosts evening concerts, is one of the best.
16. DISTRICT VII – BUDAPEST
Forgotten for years after World War Two, this place is now famous for its ruined bars located in old and abandoned buildings. Decorated with recycled pieces and a lot of imagination, these bars are the perfect example of the city’s rebirth, as they often also offer concerts, exhibitions and films. The first to have opened (and still one of the biggest) was the Szimpla: spending time in the back garden is like time travel!
17. PIGNETO – ROME
Even the touristy Italian capital has a lot to offer to the hipster. Pigneto, historic popular district, now teems with local shops and boutiques, like a hotter version of a Nordic relative. One of the most hip places is the Kino, dedicated to independent film. Not only a cinema, here you can find a bistro and attend many interesting events.
18. KALAMAJA – TALLINN
Kalamaja is not far from the city centre, but it seems miles away. There are wooden houses, quiet streets, flea markets, many bars and lovely shops as comfortable as your own living room. Among them, Klaus, that will amaze you with a tailor-made 60s style, a patio from which you can hear the sound of the sea, and a man-shaped lamp who will surprise you. Go and say hello!
19. MISSION DISTRICT – SAN FRANCISCO
One of the oldest neighbourhoods in San Fran is today is (ironically) a centre of avant-garde and cultural experimentation. Mission is a creative place, evidenced not only by its graffiti. The Precita Eyes Museum preserves them, and will take you there for a walk. You will feel like a child discovering a colourful, crazy world.
20. SHIMOKITAZAWA – TOKYO
In one of the most chaotic cities in the world, the twisting streets of this neighbourhood have been able to build a more relaxed atmosphere, where the young spirit reign and all that is considered creative occupies a place of honour. There are theatres and restaurants, lots of concert halls and many record stores, including Mona Records: an excellent starting point to immerse yourself in the realm of indie Shimokitazawa.
What do you think of our list? Got any other suggestions? Where are your hipster tipsters? Let us know below.
Translated from the original article by Sara Izzi