Cape Town CBD makes list of top 50 coolest neighbourhoods in the world

21 September 2018 - 15:02 By AFP Relaxnews and Staff reporter
Time Out recommends tourists check out the many new bars that line Bree, Loop and Long Streets in Cape Town's City Bowl District.
Time Out recommends tourists check out the many new bars that line Bree, Loop and Long Streets in Cape Town's City Bowl District.
Image: Gallo Images / Mark Skinner

Cape Town's City Bowl District has made Time Out's top 50 list of coolest neighbourhoods in the world right now.

The city centre joins international neighbourhoods such Strasbourg-Saint-Denis in Paris, Embajadores in Madrid and Euljiro in Seoul. 

Time Out's coolest neighbourhoods list is a list for tourists who hate being tourists. The ranking zooms in on neighbourhoods within some of the biggest cities in the world, highlighting the spots where locals go to eat, mingle, shop and create. 

Topping the list is Embajadores, Madrid, which is hailed for its exciting nightlife, food, street art and high culture. 

"This is where people from near and far live side by side, cooking up a bustling cultural life," says Time Out. 

By day, the Plaza Tirso de Molina is home to florists. By night, the square is filled with revellers headed to the city's hottest club of the moment, Medias Puri. 

Locals also head to the area for cheap but "divine" Moroccan lamb tagine, Indian food or to sip on cocktails at the Sala Equis, a former adult cinema turned watering hole. 

In second spot is Seoul's Euljiro, an industrial area lined with printing presses and warehouses, alongside hidden bars, restaurants and cafés. While the presses hum to life printing out the next day's news, the city's beautiful young people check into warehouses-turned bars like the Seendosi. 

Rounding out the podium is Medellin's Nueva Villa de Aburra in Colombia, home to the city's rockers, punks and metalheads; a rotating list of spectacles like dinosaur amusement parks and gladiatorial contests; and festivals that celebrate everything from hot sauce to electronic music. 

Cape Town's CBD came in at number 21. Time Out says the neighbourhood is blessed with natural wonders such as Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and Signal Hill and is also home to some of the country’s finest restaurants.

"Everything in the CBD is within a 20-minute walking distance, so you’ll barely need to take a taxi, and it’s the perfect base to visit Cape Town’s better known attractions or hit up beaches, farmers’ markets or the V&A Waterfront," Time Out says.

To compile the ranking, the city guide polled 15,000 people around the world about the best - and most overrated - neighbourhoods in their city and tapped their network of local Time Out editors and writers around the world. 

Respondents were asked about areas that were seeing an onslaught of cool new openings in lesser known parts of the city, beyond the tourist traps. Editors also considered the affordability of the area; whether it would be of interest to visitors; and the level of local activity. 

Here are the top 10 coolest neighbourhoods, according to Time Out: 

1. Embajadores, Madrid

2. Euljiro, Seoul

3. Nueva Villa de Aburrá, Medellín

4. Metaxourgeio, Athens

5. Princípe Real, Lisbon 

6. Strasbourg-Saint-Denis, Paris 

7. Neukölln, Berlin 

8. Yanaka, Tokyo 

9. Highland Park, Los Angeles

10. Fitzroy, Melbourne

Visit Time Out for the full list.