A “hipster city” typically refers to a place that is known for its alternative, indie, and counter-cultural scene.
While the definition of a hipster city can vary depending on your own individual perspectives and evolving trends (are hipsters even still relevant in 2023?), there are several characteristics that I’ve decided to associate with the cities I’ve chosen for my travel series of Hipster City Guides:
What makes a city cool?
Artistic and Cultural Vibes: Hipster cities often have a thriving arts and cultural scene, with numerous art galleries, theaters, music venues, and street art. They tend to attract artists, musicians, and other creative individuals.
Independent Businesses: These cities often have a proliferation of independent businesses, including boutique shops, vintage stores, record shops, and specialty coffee shops. Locally owned and operated establishments are highly valued.
Alternative Fashion and Style: Hipster cities are often known for their unique fashion sense. People in these cities tend to embrace alternative styles, vintage clothing, and a mix of retro and contemporary fashion trends. Individuality and self-expression through personal style are emphasized.
Craftsmanship and DIY Culture: There is often a strong focus on craftsmanship and do-it-yourself (DIY) culture in hipster cities. People appreciate handmade goods, artisanal products, and activities like crafting, woodworking, brewing, and urban farming.
Sustainable and Organic Lifestyles: Environmental consciousness and sustainability play a significant role in hipster cities. These cities are often at the forefront of organic and local food movements, promoting farmer’s markets, community gardens, and eco-friendly initiatives.
Specialty Food and Drink: Hipster cities are known for their diverse culinary options, with a focus on local, organic, and artisanal food and beverages. They tend to have a thriving food truck culture, craft breweries, specialty cocktail bars, and vegetarian/vegan-friendly establishments.
Tech and Entrepreneurship: Many hipster cities have a burgeoning tech and entrepreneurship scene, attracting startups and innovation. These cities often have co-working spaces, incubators, and a supportive community for entrepreneurial endeavors.
Embracing Quirkiness and Unconventionality: Hipster cities celebrate individuality and tend to be accepting of alternative lifestyles and subcultures. Quirkiness, non-conformity, and the celebration of niche interests are often embraced and encouraged.
Bicycle-Friendly and Walkable: Hipster cities often prioritize alternative modes of transportation, such as cycling and walking. They may have extensive bike lanes, bike-sharing programs, and a walkable layout with vibrant neighborhoods.
Where are you going?
Simply click on the city you’re planning to visit to view my travel tips.
Each guide includes information on the best bars, nightlife, food, restaurants and things to do among lots of other local travel tips and recommendations!
The Hipster City Guides were the Gold Award Winner for best travel series online for 2016.
Hipster Destinations & City Guides
- Manchester, England
- Barcelona, Spain
- Stockholm, Sweden
- Rome, Italy
- Ljubljana, Slovenia
- Cologne, Germany
- Berlin, Germany
- Brussels, Belgium
- Bruges, Belgium