What exactly does a neighborhood have to do to become one of the coolest in the world? Should it house the liveliest and hippest restaurants and bars, or should it be an architectural marvel with some of the oldest buildings around? Is the presence of street art a must for a neighborhood to be declared cool? Every traveler’s requirements will change, but this newly released list contains a mix of everything. In fact, a destination just across the border in Singapore also ranks as one of the world’s coolest neighborhoods – read on to find out more.
The coolest neighborhoods in the world 2022
Every year a prestigious publication compiles a list of some of the world’s coolest neighborhoods, and this year a number of places in Asia have made their place in the 51 coolest neighborhoods.
The neighborhood list was the result of a combination of locations chosen by travelers from around the world and expert input, making the list something to look forward to. The top spot went to Colonia Americana in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Colonia Americana in Guadalajara, Mexico
Guadalajara is known to Native Americans as the cultural capital of Mexico, and the Colonia America neighborhood plays a big part in that. The place has the perfect juxtaposition of an art deco vibe with a neoclassical flair. This place also hosts some of the best music venues in the entire area.
Wat Bo Village in Siem Reap, Cambodia
Ranked third in the world and first in Asia is Wat Bo Village in Siem Reap, Cambodia. This neighborhood came into the limelight after Siem Reap underwent a major renovation in 2021. Its riverside location and the fact that it’s home to some of the area’s trendiest bars play a major role in the village of Wat Boa holding such a top spot.
Shimokitazawa in Tokyo, Japan
Seventh on the list is the Shimokitazawa neighborhood of Tokyo, Japan. With Japan recently lifting all travel restrictions related to COVID-19, this is the perfect time to visit Shimokitazawa, known as a paradise for all types of foodies.
Little India in Singapore
Another entry in the list from Asia is quite famous! Singapore’s Little India was ranked 19th on the list of the coolest neighborhoods. Little India has a very different vibe to Singapore’s other streets like Orchard Road or Marina Bay. It is a must-see for anyone planning a vacation to Singapore.
Wan Chai in Hong Kong
In 22nd place is Wan Chai in Hong Kong, which was a famous red-light district long ago. After the transformation, Wan Chai became a center for everyone looking for delicious dishes, refreshing cocktails and art centers, making it one of the best places for everyone.
Ximending in Taipei, Taiwan
The colorful Ximending neighborhood in Taipei, Taiwan ranked 37th in the coolest list. One of the most LGBTQ+-friendly places has graffiti-covered alleys, cocktail bars and pocket-friendly street food. This is also the go-to place for cinema lovers.
Ubud in Bali, Indonesia
Ubud in Bali, Indonesia landed at number 42. The list would be incomplete without this tourist magnet. Full of expat crowds, surreal temples, beautiful gardens, art galleries, craft shops and this is also the main hangout for the tourists.
Bandra West in Mumbai, India
Another very famous entry at number 45 on the list is Bandra West in Mumbai, India. The Kiez in the city that never sleeps is a dream for every shopping lover. And if you’re tired of trying on clothes, there are numerous restaurants and bars serving decadent food.
Thonglor in Bangkok, Thailand
Thonglor in Bangkok, Thailand, completes the Asian entries in the list of the coolest neighborhoods at number 46. If you want to take a day trip, this neighborhood is for you. From yoga studios and organic shops to some of the area’s best bars, cafes and nightclubs, you’ll find everything you’re looking for and more.
Here’s the full list
- Colonia Americana in Guadalajara, Mexico
- Cais do Sodre in Lisbon, Portugal
- Wat Bo Village in Siem Reap, Cambodia
- Ridgewood in New York City, United States
- Mile End in Montreal, Canada
- Barrio Logan in San Diego, United States
- Shimokitazawa in Tokyo, Japan
- Cliftonville in Margate, UK
- Barrio Yungay in Santiago, Chile
- Cours Julien in Marseille, France
- Shawlands in Glasgow, UK
- Dundas West in Toronto, Canada
- Vila Madalena in Sao Paulo, Brazil
- San Isidro in Havana, Cuba
- Neukoelln in Berlin, Germany
- Avondale in Chicago, United States
- Walthamstow in London, UK
- Sants in Barcelona, Spain
- Little India in Singapore
- Riona Sanità in Naples, Italy
- Silver Lake in Los Angeles, United States
- Wan Chai in Hong Kong
- Barrio de las Letras in Madrid, Spain
- Vesterbro in Copenhagen, Denmark
- West End in Vancouver, Canada
- Levinsky in Tel Aviv, Israel
- Fitzroy in Melbourne, Australia
- Kilimani in Nairobi, Kenya
- Coconut Grove in Miami, United States
- North Quarter in Manchester, UK
- Letna in Prague, Czech Republic
- North in Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Marrickville in Sydney, Australia
- Chacarita in Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Kelham Island in Sheffield, UK
- Dog patch in San Francisco, USA
- Ximending in Taipei, Taiwan
- Sea Point in Cape Town, South Africa
- Pagrati in Athens, Greece
- Santurce in San Juan, Puerto Rico
- Barrio Escalante in San Jose, Costa Rica
- Ubud in Bali, Indonesia
- Kingsland in Auckland, New Zealand
- Haut Marais in Paris, France
- Bandra West in Mumbai, India
- Thonglor in Bangkok, Thailand
- Fortitude Valley in Brisbane, Australia
- Moda in Istanbul, Turkey
- Stoney Batter in Dublin, Ireland
- FESTAC Town in Lagos, Nigeria
- Versalles in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
(Main and featured image: Nick Fewings/Unsplash)
This story first appeared on Travel + Leisure India & South Asia