Like it or not, life is a bit different since the novel coronavirus pandemic hit.
Seemingly endless lockdowns, social distancing, and supply issues have changed our priorities when it comes to where we live. People now value more than just nightlife and good restaurants; they want a sense of community and sustainability in urban areas. “Time Out” recently conducted their annual poll of more than 27,000 city dwellers to determine the best neighborhoods in the world. Here are the top 10 cities that piqued our interest and have us itching to pack our bags!
1. Nørrebro, Copenhagen, in Denmark.
This city has it all: gorgeous historic buildings mixed with modern architecture, waterfront cafes and bars, live music, flea markets, fresh foods, and a dazzling interactive art exhibit. The city also promotes “Car-Free Sunday,” a day to ditch motorized vehicles and hit the bustling city streets on foot.
2. Mile End & Mile-Ex, Montreal, in Canada.
Nicknamed the “hipster capital of Canada,” this gentrified district is known for its music and art scene. The band Arcade Fire got its start here! People here speak both French and English, giving the city an exciting feel that is uniquely Quebecois.
3. Jongno 3-ga, Seoul, in Korea.
“Time Out” called this neighborhood “the heart and soul of Seoul.” While it has its fair share of art galleries, historic landmarks, and museums, Jongno 3-ga is also home to quaint streets filled with street vendors, shops, and older residents playing board games in the park.
4. Chelsea in New York City.
When we picture Manhattan, we think of skyscrapers and busy subway stations, but Chelsea feels more like a cute New England town nestled among the urban jungle. It’s got green space galore, including the popular High Line, an old railroad track converted into a walking path, Hudson River Park, and the new Little Island floating park, which locals say is the perfect spot to catch the sunset.
5. XI District, Budapest, in Hungary.
The XI District is also known as Újbuda, and it sits along the banks of the Danube River. With plenty of greenery and outdoor spaces, this neighborhood fared better than most during COVID. The city embraced open-air dining and outdoor theaters and concerts due to social distancing, and several abandoned buildings were renovated and repurposed to bring new life to the region.
6. Richmond, Melbourne, in Australia.
This district is a popular place to go for authentic Vietnamese food; plus they’re known for factory outlet stores where you can score a good deal on everything from furniture to haute couture. There are tons of trendy restaurants and pubs, and people here take care of one another. The Richmond Churches Food Centre has given out free food to all for the past 30 years, which was especially needed during Melbourne’s lockdowns.
7. Leith, Edinburgh, in Scotland.
Leith is a port-side neighborhood in the northern part of Edinburgh that is known for its artsy culture. With multiple theaters and creative businesses, performance spaces, and frequent live music, there’s always something going on in this vibrant part of an ancient city.
8. Ngor, Dakar, in Senegal.
Dakar is the capital of Senegal, but it doesn’t look like any city we’ve ever seen before! Perched on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, surfing is a popular pastime for locals and tourists alike. Waterfront restaurants line the streets, providing the perfect spot to unwind after a day playing on a sandy beach. Local communities make a point to keep their shores clean, hosting regular cleanup days and even banning certain plastics from city limits.
9. Dalston, London, in England.
Dalston is a quintessential London neighborhood. There are lots of the requisite pubs, including the famous Duke of Wellington on Portobello Road, but there are also many parks, jazz clubs, vegan cafes, and secondhand shops to keep you busy.
10. Dublin 8, Dublin, in Ireland.
Who doesn’t love Dublin? This corner of the city still has most of its original buildings, so it has that quaint Irish feel you’d expect. It also has pubs and art exhibits, a distillery to tour, and plenty of markets, vendors, and street artists to find your next treasured keepsake.
Who else is ready to move? If you need us, we’ll just be over here packing our bags.
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