SPONSORED — As a self-proclaimed expert on all things “hipster,” I’ve come across a handful of ways to judge a city’s hipness. You can count coffee shops, record stores, avocado toasts, craft breweries, or any number of buzzwords. Everyone has their own definition of what makes a place cool, but there are certain identifiers. It’s that commitment to quality, a diverse and multicultural population, a community of similar but different personalities, a place where creativity thrives.
Europe has all of that spread out among its 50 countries, but of course some cities and some neighborhoods are just that much more…special. Luckily, I teamed up with TravelSupermarket again this year to produce a detailed list of Europe’s most hip neighborhoods.
The Hip Hang-Out Neighbourhood Index covers up-and-coming neighborhoods in the UK and Europe that we think will get trendy travelers excited in 2018 and beyond. And no, we haven’t based the ranking on beard-to-face ratios—although that was rather tempting! Instead, we looked at everything from trendy coffee shops and vintage fashion outposts, to traveler value and creative culture—anything that would set a destination apart from the rest of the pack.
Using all that data, here’s the top 5 hip neighborhoods of Europe. Click through to discover more about each neighborhood and let me know down below what you’ve found to be the coolest neighborhood of Europe.
Europe’s Top 5 Hip Neighbourhoods – TravelSupermarket
1. Langstrasse (Zurich)
Just west of Zurich’s central train station (Hauptbahnhof), Langstraase is (literally) a long street. For many years, it was Zurich’s notorious red light district, however it was also Zurich’s most multicultural neighborhood, part of District 4.
Since the early 2000s, when the city re-invested into the neighborhood, Langstrasse has become the focal point for Zurich’s nightlife and increasingly attracts trendy locals looking for better prices with Zurich’s same sense of style. Late-night food, bars, and clubs make it the place to be each night, especially weekends. Read more about Langstrasse here.
2. Norrebro (Copenhagen)
Norrebro’s location in the northwest of Copenhagen once isolated the region from the city centre, helping to foster a community vibe and a welcoming place for squatters and a diverse group of people. As the city has expanded, however, Norrebro is increasingly the cultural heart of a hip Copenhagen.
Iconic places such as the Superkilen park attracts people day and night for its artistic representations from the neighborhood’s multi-ethnic nationalities-plus a really cool sports area makes it a casual hangout. Read more about Norrebro here.
Related: Copenhagen Travel Tips
3. Vesterbro (Copenhagen)
Copenhagen is so cool, it makes the Hip Hangout list twice! While Norrebro is predictably cool with its multicultural background, Vesterbro in the city centre, is a growing hotspot. The area includes Copenhagen’s former red light district and meatpacking district-both still operating slightly underground with seedy stripper bars and gritty dives among the new, up-and-coming trendy boutiques and fancy restaurants.
The meatpacking district is made up of several large warehouses and former slaughterhouses now split into independent restaurants, bars, and galleries-making it a family-friendly place during the day and the newest nightlife hotspot after hours. Read more about Vesterbro here.
4. Bahnhofsviertel (Munich)
Just south of Munich’s central train station Hauptbahnhof, the Bahnhofsviertel is actually just a small jungle of streets that are part of the much larger Ludwigsvorstadt borough of Munich. In-the-know locals call the area Bahnhofsviertel or even Little Istanbul.
The area, predictably, is heavily populated with Turkish supermarkets, bakeries, cafes and small restaurants and it’s just that international flair which has made the district so popular. Independent venues such as City Kino (an art-house cinema with a beer garden-remember: this is Munich, after all!) and Café Marais (a cafe located in a former haberdashery that still sells furniture and jewelry alongside their top-notch paninis and coffee) keep the area especially unique. Read more about Bahnhofsviertel here.
5. Rosenthaler Platz (Berlin)
Rosenthaler Platz was part of East Berlin during the latter half of the 20th century. Its rugged appearance and alternative spirit has survived through the decades, even with the influx of locals, expats and tourists that have increased prices in the area.
For many years, the area was cut off from the world (Rosenthaler Platz was a “ghost station” where trains wouldn’t stop), but today it’s a busy, commercial district. Each June, the Torstraßen Festival takes over the square and surrounding streets with live music acts and open-air parties. Read more about Rosenthaler Platz here.
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My personal favorite neighborhood? Copenhagen takes the cake! It’s such a cool, hip city—my favorite in Scandinavia—and surprisingly affordable, too! Rounding out the rest of the list are neighborhoods in Vienna, Athens, Antwerp, Paris and Budapest. See the full list (plus a special selection of the U.K.’s most hip neighborhoods) on the TravelSupermarket website.