The literal definition of a hipster is this: “A person who follows the latest trends and fashions, especially those regarded as being outside the cultural mainstream.” Over the last few years, hipster culture has become huge: skinny jeans, beards, indie music and Pabst Blue Ribbon. Hipsters tend to prefer local, craft beers and small, indie businesses, as opposed to big, corporate megastores. Is that a bad thing?
If you think about it, many of us can benefit from hipsters moving into our areas. Who would really complain about having more art galleries or local restaurants? How about venues that play live music and pubs that sell unique, local beers? If you find hipsters interesting, here are 15 cities to check them out!
15. Paris, France
Paris. The city of wine, romance and artists. And yes, those artistic types have brought a touch of the modern, bohemian lifestyle to this classic European city. Specifically, in the Canal St. Martin neighborhood, where it’s not uncommon to see intricate works of graffiti lining the canal walls. A popular place for students and artists to hang out, the area is beautiful all on its own.
14. Tel Aviv, Israel
There’s a neighborhood known as Florentin that routinely gets ranked as one of the most hipster neighborhoods in the world – and with good reason too. It started out as a working-class district filled with warehouses and factories. But today, the population has shifted from working-class to artists and creative types, and it’s been this way for some time.
13. Austin, Texas
Austin’s unofficial motto is “Keep Austin Weird.” The motto is intended to encourage people to support local businesses and anything indie. And you’ll find a ton of indie stores and restaurants, along with live music and novelty shops. Some might even say Austin is more hipster than Portland, though that might be a tough call to make.
12. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is already a hip destination, known for its beautiful beaches (and women). But little do most folks know, B.A also has a neighborhood that’s a hipster haven. Palermo has several districts including Palermo SoHo and Palermo Hollywood – which happens to be the nightclub district. The neighborhood is filled with low-rise buildings and trendy, unique shops.
11. Madrid, Spain
If you’re a hipster, or as they call you in Spain a modernos, and you’re lucky enough to find yourself vacationing in Madrid, you don’t want to miss out on visiting Malasana. Malasana is a vibrant and lively quarter that’s considered the center of the hipster trend. There’s a nightclub for every interest, including a few that specialize in BDSM, nudists, 1980s themes and other non-mainstream interests. Also, there’s a small gay scene located nearby in Chueca.
10. Portland, Oregon
Portland has been a hot city in the United States for the last few years, and recently it even ousted the nation’s capital as the top city for people to move to. More people move to Oregon than move out, and a large chunk of them happen to be young Gen Xers. Part of the appeal is the affordable cost of living, especially compared to San Francisco and Seattle, both of which are relatively nearby.
9. Amsterdam, Netherlands
If you’re ever in Amsterdam and you wonder where all the hip, young people are, then all you have to do is look north. The Noord neighborhood is separated from the rest of Amsterdam by a body of water, so yes, it’s easy to forget it’s there at all. But if you want to find it after arriving at Central Station, just look where everyone else is going and then go in the other direction. The Noord area was once derelict, but as with many hipster cities, it’s now young and revitalized.
8. Melbourne, Australia
Fitzroy was Melbourne’s first suburb, created in 1839. Today, it offers up one of the most bohemian and hip neighborhoods in Melbourne. So what does a hipster do when visiting Fitzroy, you ask? Well, they might grab breakfast any time of day or visit any one of Brunswick Street’s pubs or bars. Or they might wander the many vintage shops or visit a record store, or even visit the Rose Street Artist’s Market on Saturday. Of course, no hipster neighborhood would be complete without art, and Fitzroy has plenty of that to offer up as well.
7. San Francisco, California
San Francisco, specifically the Mission District, is hipster heaven. Like many areas on this list, the Mission District used to be the poorer part of town, mostly for working-class people. There are a number of festivals, art centers, restaurants and bars, many of them local, that draw people here. Not only that, but the Mission walls and fences are decorated with a number of murals that are inspired by traditional Mexican paintings by Diego Rivera.
6. Tokyo, Japan
The neighborhood of Shimokitazawa, otherwise known as Shimokita by the locals, has been at the forefront of the hipster culture for decades now, and to this day, it’s still very much a place to visit for vintage stores, record stores, small theaters, live music and more. Shimokita is also a very colorful place, with tons of murals and street art decorating the neighborhood. It’s no wonder this neighborhood is so popular with hipsters, both Japanese and foreign alike.
5. Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen is quickly becoming one of Europe’s top foodie destinations, and many of the great restaurants, cafes and coffeehouses that stand out also happen to be located in the hippest part of town – Norrebro. Within Norrebro, you’ll find Jaegersborggade, which is its own little village filled with artists, environmental activists, and foodies. While the area wasn’t always as trendy as it is today, the resurgence can be credited to the arrival of the Coffee Collective, a specialist coffee roaster, and Noma, a restaurant that has been ranked as the best restaurant in the world by Restaurant Magazine.
4. Helsinki, Finland
Separated from the city centre of Helsinki by the Siltasaarensalmi street and over a bridge is where you’ll find the neighborhood of Kallio. The bridge, in a way, symbolizes the divide between the more bourgeois centre and the working-class Kallio. Because Kallio is the working-class area, rents have historically been cheaper than other parts of the city. Most of the flats are small, which makes them suitable for younger, single people including students and artists.
3. Seattle, Washington
Seattle just happens to be one of the biggest hipster havens in the United States. There isn’t just one neighborhood where the trendy, modern types hang out, oh no. You can expect to see bearded men and skinny-jean wearing chicks at Capitol Hill, an area that seems to be the epicenter of cool. But you also have neighborhoods like Ballard and Georgetown that are also hipster meccas. One of the most popular places for hipsters to eat brunch, however, is at Linda’s Tavern on Capitol Hill.
2. Montreal, Canada
The Mile End neighborhood of Montreal is often called the Hipster Capital of Canada. It’s no surprise when you think about it. Artists such as Mordecai Richler and the band Arcade Fire are known to have started out their careers here. For many, walking around the neighborhood reminds them of Brooklyn, New York. Artists are to be found on every street corner, including at least one collective in a former tire factory.
1. Stockholm, Sweden
Meander through the streets of Sodermalm, a neighborhood located in Stockholm, Sweden, and you’ll find vintage stores, unique shops, art galleries and more alongside wonderful restaurants and bars to stop in for a drink. If Sodermalm sounds familiar, it might be because Lisbeth Salander and other characters from the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson hail from here, and much of the action from the books take place in this very district. It’s easy to see why Larsson would choose this area once you take a look.