6 Hip Neighborhoods in Europe That Need to Be on Your Radar

Tonio Vega via Flickr

Tonio Vega via Flickr

The idea of hipness is a bit like that of beauty: it’s in the eye of the beholder. But there are some neighborhoods where the recent influx of style and creativity is impossible to deny. These neighborhoods make great places to visit while on vacation because they offer plenty of one of our favorite pastimes: people-watching. Furthermore, aside from the people, these spots usually come with some of the most interesting culture, food, shopping, and activities the city has to offer. Basically, if they were Emojis they’d be the long-awaited taco Emoji. They’re too cool for school, they’re so hip they hurt...so without further adieu, here are six of Europe’s hippest neighborhoods right now.


1. Grunerlokka in Oslo

DJ Animal via Flickr

DJ Animal via Flickr

Cheap, edgy, urban…ah, those familiar
words of a newly trendy neighborhood — we know them well. Grunerlokka has formerly been described as being all three ,and while it’s still most definitely
urban, it is a welcoming, interesting place to see a livelier side to Oslo.
You’ll find vintage stores and independents selling everything from clothes to
bikes — but for shopping, the Sunday Birkelunden flea market is great for a
rummage. Watch the world go by from cafes like Supreme Roastworks and
restaurants like the bohemian Fru Hagen. It may be stylish, but Grunerlokka is a
relaxed area of Oslo that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Hotel Pick: Stay at the upscale boutique
Scandic Vulkan. In walking distance of Grunerlokka, here the rooms are stylish and
the hotel houses a trendy restaurant and bar.

2. Kreuzberg in Berlin

Nacho Pintos via Flickr

Nacho Pintos via Flickr

Choosing one area of Berlin as its most hip
is not easy, but then as Mr. Norm-core himself, Chris Martin, once said, “nobody
said it was easy.” Given that it has a floating swimming pool on the River
Spree and more graffiti than a 1970s NYC Subway train, and it once had the highest density
of businesses accepting Bitcoin, it has to be Kreuzberg.  

Hotel Pick: The comfortable Relexa Hotel
Stuttgarta Hof
is located in the heart of Kreuzberg. Some of the modern rooms
come with balconies and an extensive breakfast buffet is included in the
nightly rate.

3. Hackney Wick in London

Matt Brown via Flickr

Matt Brown via Flickr

If you define a hip neighbourhood as one
where you’ll find the entrepreneur’s spirit of enterprise alive…well, then
Hackney Wick has to be one of the hippest. Breweries, restaurants, fish smokers,
clubs, and markets have helped the area evolve into a tiny enclave of London with a strong independent spirit. Even the presence of the 2012 Olympic site
casting a shadow from the other side of the Regent’s Canal almost goes
unnoticed. For a day trip, take a long walk from Shoreditch to Hackney Wick
before stopping in at Crate Brewery to eat pizza and drink beer next to the
water.

Hotel Pick: Keep the hip vibe rolling with
a stay at 40 Winks, an eclectic mashup of Jane Austen, Frida Kahlo, and Lewis
Carroll interiors in a boutique 18th-century townhouse.

4. 7th District in Budapest

Daniel Edwins via Flickr

Daniel Edwins via Flickr

If you don’t already know about “ruin bars,” then it’s time you did because not only are they the most creative examples of
transforming old abandoned buildings into vibrant hang-out spots, but Budapest
loves them. Szimpla Kert, the most famous of these bars, is in the achingly
cool 7th District neighborhood. Perfect for people-watching, great
for cafe-crawling, and home to some of the best Jewish comfort food in the city,
it remains a must-visit.

Hotel Pick: Located next to the Hungarian
State opera, K+K Hotel Opera is an impressive-looking building from the outside.
Inside, its rooms are cheerful and functional, which is what you want after
wandering the shabby-chic neighborhood.

5. Canal St Martin in Paris

Spixey via Flickr

Spixey via Flickr

Cheap rents and warehouse space combined to
launch Canal St Martin’s status as one of the most stylish neighborhoods in Paris. Those days
may be gone but what remains is an idyllic canal-side area filled with chic
cafes, indie cinemas, and no shortage of poseurs to watch. To fit in, wander the
canal with your Baudelaire tucked under your arm (for carrying, not reading) while stopping in at the many artisan bakeries, thrift shops, and wine bars.

Hotel Pick: Situated right on the
picturesque Canal St Martin, Le Citizen Hotel is decorated in an attractive
Scandinavian style that goes well with its stunning location.

6. Malasana in Madrid

Alvaro Ibanez via Flickr

Alvaro Ibanez via Flickr

In Madrid, the term for hipster is “modernos.” And Malasana is the
place they call home. Also where you can find the Spanish capital’s main LGBT scene (along with in neighboring Chueca), the area has a strong nightlife appeal along with some of
the best cafes, shops, and bars in the city. For a late-night trip back in time, try famous Malasana dive bar, La Via Lactea, which means “The Milky Way.”  

Hotel Pick: The quirky decor at Hotel Abalu
Madrid Centro
is the right fit for a stay in Malasana. To go along with the
stylish interiors the hotel offers other appeals like a 24/7 bar and Segway
rentals.

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