What exactly does a neighbourhood have to do entail to become one of the coolest ones in the world? Should it be home to the most vibrant and happening restaurants and bars, or should it be an architectural marvel with some of the oldest buildings residing in the vicinity? Is the presence of street art a must for a neighbourhood to be declared as cool? The prerequisites for every traveller will change but this newly released list has a mix of all. In fact, a destination just across the border in Singapore also has a place on the ranking of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods — read on to find out more.

Coolest neighbourhoods in the world 2022

Every year a prestigious publication compiles a list of some of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world and this year a few spots in Asia have found their place in the 51 coolest neighbourhoods.

The list of neighbourhoods was the outcome of a combination of places picked by travellers from all around the world and experts’ inputs which makes 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 as the cultural capital of Mexico by the natives and the neighbourhood Colonia America has a big role to play in it. The place has the perfect juxtaposition of an art deco vibe with a neoclassical feel. This place also hosts some of the best musical events in the entire area.

Wat Bo Village in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Taking the number three spot in the world and the top most spot in Asia is Wat Bo Village in Siem Reap, Cambodia. This neighbourhood came into the limelight after Siem Reap went under an intense makeover in 2021. Its riverside location and the fact that it houses some of the most chic bars around the area play a major role in Wat Boa village taking such a top spot.

Shimokitazawa in Tokyo, Japan

Coolest neighbourhoods
Image Credit: Matt Hanns Schroeter/Unsplash

Taking the seventh spot on the list is the Shimokitazawa neighbourhood in Tokyo, Japan. With Japan recently removing all the COVID-19-related travel restrictions, it is the perfect time to visit Shimokitazawa which is known to be a haven for all types of food lovers.

Little India in Singapore

Coolest neighbourhoods Singapore' little india
Image Credit: Charles Postiaux/Unsplash

Another entry in the list from Asia is a quite famous one! Little India from Singapore grabbed the 19th spot on the coolest neighbourhood list. Little India has an entirely different vibe when compared to the other streets of Singapore such as Orchard Road or Marina Bay. It is a must-visit for everyone planning a holiday in Singapore.

Wan Chai in Hong Kong

Hong Kong
Image Credit: Alison Pang/Unsplash

Standing strong at the 22nd spot is Wan Chai in Hong Kong which was a famous red-light district a long time ago. After the makeover, Wan Chai became a hub for anyone and everyone who is looking for some delicious meals, a refreshing cocktail and art hubs, which makes it one of the best spots to visit for everyone.

Ximending in Taipei, Taiwan

coolest neighbourhoods ximending Taiwan
Image Credit: Supasit Chantranon/Unsplash

The colourful neighbourhood of Ximending in Taipei, Taiwan took 37th place in the coolest list. One of the most LGBTQ+friendly spots has alleys full of graffiti, cocktails bars and pocket-friendly street food. This is also the go-to place for cinema lovers.

Ubud in Bali, Indonesia

Image Credit: Anastasia Pelikh/Shutterstock

At the 42nd spot was Ubud in Bali, Indonesia. The list would have been incomplete without this tourist magnet. Full of expat crowds, surreal temples, beautiful gardens, art galleries, craft shops and this is the main hangout spot for the tourists as well.

Bandra West in Mumbai, India

Image Credit: arun sambhu mishra/unsplash

Another extremely famous entry to the list at the 45th spot is Bandra West in Mumbai, India. The neighbourhood in the city that never sleeps is a dream for any lover of shopping. And if you get tired of trying on clothes, there are ample restaurants and bars that serve decadent food.

Thonglor in Bangkok, Thailand

coolest neighbourhood
Image Credit: Tanawat Chantradilokrat/Shutterstock

Completing the Asian entries in the coolest neighbourhood list is Thonglor in Bangkok, Thailand at 46th place. If you want a day out, this neighbourhood is where you should be. From yoga studios and organic stores to some of the best bars, cafes and nightclubs in the area, you will find everything you are looking for and more.

Here’s the complete list

  1. Colonia Americana in Guadalajara, Mexico
  2. Cais do Sodré in Lisbon, Portugal
  3. Wat Bo Village in Siem Reap, Cambodia
  4. Ridgewood in New York City, USA
  5. Mile End in Montreal, Canada
  6. Barrio Logan in San Diego, USA
  7. Shimokitazawa in Tokyo, Japan
  8. Cliftonville in Margate, UK
  9. Barrio Yungay in Santiago, Chile
  10. Cours Julien in Marseille, France
  11. Shawlands in Glasgow, UK
  12. Dundas West in Toronto, Canada
  13. Vila Madalena in São Paulo, Brazil
  14. San Isidro in Havana, Cuba
  15. Neukölln in Berlin, Germany
  16. Avondale in Chicago, USA
  17. Walthamstow in London, UK
  18. Sants in Barcelona, Spain
  19. Little India in Singapore
  20. Riona Sanità in Naples, Italy
  21. Silver Lake in Los Angeles, USA
  22. Wan Chai in Hong Kong
  23. Barrio de las Letras in Madrid, Spain
  24. Vesterbro in Copenhagen, Denmark
  25. West End in Vancouver, Canada
  26. Levinsky in Tel Aviv, Israel
  27. Fitzroy in Melbourne, Australia
  28. Kilimani in Nairobi, Kenya
  29. Coconut Grove in Miami, USA
  30. Northern Quarter in Manchester, UK
  31. Letná in Prague, Czech Republic
  32. Noord in Amsterdam, Netherlands
  33. Marrickville in Sydney, Australia
  34. Chacarita in Buenos Aires, Argentina
  35. Kelham Island in Sheffield, UK
  36. Dogpatch in San Francisco, USA
  37. Ximending in Taipei, Taiwan
  38. Sea Point in Cape Town, South Africa
  39. Pagrati in Athens, Greece
  40. Santurce in San Juan, Puerto Rico
  41. Barrio Escalante in San José, Costa Rica
  42. Ubud in Bali, Indonesia
  43. Kingsland in Auckland, New Zealand
  44. Haut-Marais in Paris, France
  45. Bandra West in Mumbai, India
  46. Thonglor in Bangkok, Thailand
  47. Fortitude Valley in Brisbane, Australia
  48. Moda in Istanbul, Turkey
  49. Stoneybatter in Dublin, Ireland
  50. FESTAC Town in Lagos, Nigeria
  51. Versalles in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

(Main and featured image: Nick Fewings/Unsplash)

This story first appeared on Travel + Leisure India & South Asia

written by.

Nishtha Grover

Senior Editor, Growth
A travel fanatic who loves exploring new dishes and cultures only to later write about them. Nishtha has previously worked with The Hindustan Times and India Today as a Lifestyle Journalist. You will either find her reading, trying new skincare products or sleeping during her spare time.
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