Exploring the World’s Coolest Districts: Time Out’s Top 40 Picks of 2023

  • 04.11.2023 20:32
  • Bruno Arcos

Time Out has unveiled its annual list of the 40 coolest districts in the world, as voted on by city residents from across the globe. Curious much? Then let’s dive into the districts that made the cut and check out if there are any Irish representatives.

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For the 2023 edition, 12.000 people took part in the Time Out’s survey, sharing their thoughts and experiences about the neighborhoods in their cities. As part of the evaluation process, participants were asked to take a wide range of factors into account, including social and cultural initiatives, accessibility to open and green spaces and the overall atmosphere. Plus, the widespread presence of cafes, restaurants and other recreational areas also played a pivotal role in the rankings.

After much deliberation, the 2023 list was topped by Laureles, a district located in the beautiful city of Medellin, Colombia. Interestingly, Laureles is hailed as a “place of contrasts”, where residents and visitors can appreciate the vibrant nightlife at the famed La 70 nightclub, as well as the grand Estadio Atanasio Girardot, a hub for football and concerts. Furthermore, Laureles boasts countless parks, lush greenery, yoga studios and picturesque cafes, radiating a traditional Colombian atmosphere through its many fruit vendors, who spend the mornings pushing their carts along the streets, as they’ve been doing for decades.

Surprise, surprise – the silver spot is coming to Ireland! Smithfield, a district within Dublin, earned the second spot on the list, much due to its seamless blend of tradition and modernity. Here, you can find The Cobblestone, a historic pub that is regarded as the birthplace of traditional Irish music, but also modern venues like Third Space, aimed towards digital nomads, alongside a myriad of bars, vegan-friendly restaurants, craft cafes and pizzerias.

Finally, the third place went to Carabanchel, one of Madrid’s most thriving districts. While it was once considered a working-class neighborhood, it’s seen today as a hub of life and creativity. While exploring Carabanchel, you’ll find plenty of modern art galleries and contemporary creative spaces, but also traditional food fairs run by local organizations. A pretty unique blend! Unsurprisingly, and like many hip, developing districts, Carabanchel is going through a strong process of gentrification as of now, attracting artists and foreigners while pushing out older residents.

The 40 coolest districts in the world according to Time Out:

  1. Laureles, Medellín (Colombia)
  2. Smithfield, Dublin (Ireland)
  3. Carabanchel, Madrid (Spain)
  4. Havnen, Copenhagen (Denmark)
  5. Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
  6. Brunswick East, Melbourne (Australia)
  7. Mid-City, New Orleans (USA)
  8. Isola, Milan (Italy)
  9. West, Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  10. Tomigaya, Tokyo (Japan)
  11. Baltic Triangle, Liverpool (England)
  12. Cours Julien, Marseille (France)
  13. Arts District, Los Angeles (USA)
  14. Chinatown, Singapore
  15. Fort Greene, New York (USA)
  16. Leith, Edinburgh (Scotland)
  17. Enmore, Sydney (Australia)
  18. Costa da Caparica, Almada (Portugal)
  19. Hyde Park, Chicago (USA)
  20. West End, Glasgow (Scotland)
  21. Sea Point, Cape Town (South Africa)
  22. Neukölln, Berlin (Germany)
  23. Haut-Marais, Paris (France)
  24. King’s Cross, London (England)
  25. Hannam-dong, Seoul (South Korea)
  26. Coral Gables, Miami (USA)
  27. Richmond District, San Francisco (USA)
  28. Vinohrady, Prague (Czech Republic)
  29. El Clot, Barcelona (Spain)
  30. San Miguel Chapultepec, Mexico City (Mexico)
  31. Exarcheia, Athens (Greece)
  32. Bebek, Istanbul (Turkey)
  33. Ponsonby, Auckland (New Zealand)
  34. Zhongshan, Taipei (Taiwan)
  35. Bonifacio Global City (BGC), Manila (Philippines)
  36. Downtown, Montreal (Canada)
  37. Dotonbori, Osaka (Japan)
  38. The Annex, Toronto (Canada)
  39. Song Wat, Bangkok (Thailand)
  40. Cantonments, Accra (Ghana)
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