The annual quest to identify the world’s most vibrant, exciting, and captivating neighbourhoods has culminated in a list that showcases the global diversity of urban life.
This year, over 12,000 city-dwellers weighed in to nominate their favourite local spots, resulting in a list that spans continents and cultures.
Topping the 2023 list is Laureles, located in the heart of Colombia’s bustling city of Medellin. Known as the hometown of renowned musicians J Balvin and Karol G, Laureles boasts a unique blend of modernity and tradition. Despite being home to the Estadio Atanasio Girardot soccer stadium and the famed nightlife street La 70, Laureles has managed to retain its laid-back charm. Traditional fruit vendors can still be seen pushing their carts through the streets, a testament to the neighbourhood’s resistance to the rapid gentrification seen in other parts of Medellin.
The list, compiled by global publisher Time Out, is a testament to the world’s ever-evolving urban landscapes. This year’s rankings reflect the rise of post-pandemic digital nomadism, with many neighbourhoods witnessing an influx of community spaces, multi-purpose cultural centres, and a plethora of new cafés. Yet, amidst this transformation, the essence of these neighbourhoods remains rooted in their local ethos. The blend of new developments with long-standing establishments ensures that these areas retain their authentic charm.
Europe dominates the top 10, with five entries. Smithfield in Dublin, known for its rich history, secured the second spot. Madrid’s artsy Carabanchel and waterfront Havnen in Copenhagen also made their debut on the list. Asia’s representation comes from Hong Kong’s bustling Sheung Wan neighbourhood, while Mid-City in New Orleans stands out in the US, particularly for its culinary delights.
The essence of these neighbourhoods is their community spirit. Whether it’s banding together post-disaster, protesting the demolition of cultural venues, or simply creating spaces for fun and interaction, these areas exemplify urban resilience and camaraderie.
Time Out’s Coolest Neighborhoods for 2023
- Laureles: Medellin, Colombia
- Smithfield: Dublin, Ireland
- Carabanchel: Madrid, Spain
- Havnen: Copenhagen, Denmark
- Sheung Wan: Hong Kong
- Brunswick East: Melbourne, Australia
- Mid-City, New Orleans
- Isola: Milan, Italy
- West: Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Tomigaya: Tokyo, Japan
See the full list of 40 neighbourhoods here.