As the world’s cultural melting pot, Europe’s cities are constantly reinventing themselves for the better. Peppered with incredible architecture, picturesque villages and a dark history, Europe is a never ending source of artistic and creative inspiration. Channelling all the pent up energy of its edgy millennials, neglected areas across the continent are experiencing a revival. A celebration of alternativeness is rippling through our favourite getaway cities and we’re here for it! Follow the trail of obnoxiously chic cafes and vintage shops to discover Europe’s most hipster neighbourhoods.
Arguably Europe’s coolest city, an air of glamourous grit hangs over the German capital. True to the city’s cultured lifestyle, the main hipster hub Kreuzberg, embodies the movement with its street-art, quirky eateries and free-spirited locals. Holding on to a strong Turkish influence, the area is full of great food places and casual bars. Start your experience in the Bergmannkiez area and sift through multiple thrift shops, clothing boutiques and kick back in an artsy café. Take a stroll through Viktoriapark and grab a bite to eat from one of the stalls at the much-loved Markthalle Neun. Home to the infamous Eastside Gallery, indulge your inner photographer and snap away at the 150 plus murals painted on the remnants of the Berlin Wall. A trip to the edgy city isn’t complete without a stroll through this hipster haven.
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Flights to Berlin
Once a hive for political anarchists, this little corner of the Greek capital packs a powerful punch. Sitting in between the University of Athens and Politechion, the streets of Exarchia are anything but scary. Wander through a maze of politically charged muralled walls and embrace the alternative vibe of the area. Browse the vintage record shops and order a beer at one of the many live music bars in the square. As the creative hub for youth culture in Athens, the neighbourhood is home to some of the best nightlife you’ll find and is a great place to go for some Mediterranean style dining al fresco.
Check out where to take the best photos in Athens to prepare for the inevitable Instagram photo shoots before you go!
Flights to Athens
Home to the Instagram-famous Cereal Killer Café, Brick Lane is known as one of the edgiest streets in the British capital. For many years, the area’s big claim to fame was its connection with the Jack the Ripper Murders, but in recent times Brick Lane has become a by-word for hipster chic. Think street-art covered buildings and concealed vintage markets and you’ve pretty much got the vibe. Attracting the self-proclaimed artistic types from all over, the area boasts countless galleries, The Old Truman Brewery clothing market as well as a variety of vintage boutiques. Head for the cobbled streets for warehouse exhibits, rainbow bagels and cutting edge designers. As a popular neighbourhood with Bangladeshi migrants, you’ll also find some of the best curry houses in the UK here. Charge your cameras, fish out your most Insta-worthy outfits and travel east to experience the London art scene like you’ve never done before.
Carry on your exploration of the city with five of London’s finest novelty cafes.
Flights to London
Known to locals as Erzsebetvaros, the old Jewish Quarter is trending as the quirkiest neighbourhood in the Hungarian capital. Remnants of the Jewish influence still linger with its abundance of Kosher shops and the Moorish Grand Synagogue, but the area has also taken on a new reputation as the city’s party central. Housing the famous Szimpla Kert, the quarter’s dilapidated buildings are the original site of the historical ruin bars and the surrounding streets are littered with bustling clubs and pubs. With its wall rehabilitation programme, the area is coming back to life in the most colourful way possible and its artisanal eateries are attracting groups from across the globe. District VII is most definitely on the rise so get there quick before the magic is ruined and it becomes every hipster’s nightmare – generic!
Kick off your night on the town with the best bars for beer in Budapest.
Flights to Budapest
Hugging the right bank of the river Vistula, Praga has claimed the title as Warsaw’s most alternative neighbourhood. Officially becoming part of the city in the 19th century, the home of the national stadium is viewed by many as the most authentic part of Warsaw (it escaped demolition during WWII). Sitting opposite the tourist infested Old Town, the area has tons of great attractions such as the Soho Factory which houses the Neon Museum, design shops and restaurants, as well as the Praga Band monument. The eastern district is also noted for having some of the best clubs in the city and is undeniably the most artistic part of the Polish capital.
Don’t break the bank and discover Warsaw on a budget.
Flights to Warsaw
Skip the romance and the Eiffel Tower to hang with the cool kids on the banks of Canal Saint Martin. The waterway connecting northeast Paris to the Seine, is a vibrant scene for artistic creation and is a welcome escape from the throngs of over excited, pushy tour groups. Venture over the iron footbridges, grab some supplies from the cheap grocery stores and set up the ultimate all-day Parisian picnic by the edge of the water. Lined with shabby-chic bars and trendy bistros, the area is the best place to live like a local and experience the French capital with an unexpected edge. Built in the 19th century by Napoleon and sitting in the 10e arrondissement, the canal is used regularly as a backdrop for feature films.
Continue your culture trip with the fashion lover’s guide to Paris.
Flights to Paris
For this next one you’re going to need a helmet and an open mind as you bike through the streets of Copenhagen’s multicultural Norrebro. Dotted with kebab shops and indie stores, the main street of the neighbourhood, Norrebrogade, is said to be one of Europe’s busiest cycling streets and the hub of the capital’s nightlife. Wander round Ravnsborggade and Sankt hans Gade for the ultimate vintage shopping spree and peer into the gates of Assistens Cemetery to see the grave of literature’s iconic Hans Christian Anderson. With its high-end eateries, artisan coffee, flea markets and late-night bars, you’ll be converted to the hipster way of life in no time.
Thinking of having a weekend away soon? Plan in advance with our guide for two days in Copenhagen
Flights to Copenhagen
It’s near impossible to create a list of hipster havens without including Europe’s outrageously liberal pioneer, Amsterdam. Directly across the water behind the Central Station, Amsterdam Noord embodies the alternative culture and is synonymous with creative innovation. Home to some of the city’s most iconic sites, the stylish waterside hangout is constantly changing and mixing it up. Visit its cutting edge architectural gems, such as the A’DAM Tower and EYE Filmmuseum and grab a drink in one of the refurbished shipyard container bars at NDSM Warf. Take some time out to relax in one of the area’s art galleries or mingle with locals at the stalls of the Pekmarkt.
Satisfy your cravings whilst sightseeing with our guide to the best of Amsterdam restaurants.
Flights to Amsterdam
On the tip of Sodermalm, Hornstull has risen from the ashes and is Stockholm’s trendiest up and coming neighbourhood. cultivating an edgy vibe whilst holding onto the friendly welcoming atmosphere of the Swedish capital, the stretch of waterfront is the new must-see attraction. Offering up a newly built mall, fine dining, bars and an impressive café culture, the streets are bustling with creative individuals and entrepreneurs cooking up the next big thing. Spend the weekend tasting the local cuisine from the food trucks at Hornstulls Marknad and party the night away in some of the city’s best clubs. Make the trip west and you won’t be disappointed.
Embrace the way of the hipster and see Stockholm on a budget.
Flights to Stockholm
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- Lucy Norris