(CNN) – It’s one of the best parts of a vacation: that moment when you discover the side of town that’s clearly more popular with locals than tourists.
Maybe it’s the off-the-beaten-path cafe with the best coffee you’ve ever tasted, the unmarked underground bar on the street above, or the restaurant serving delicious local delicacies you’ve never heard of.
To help you discover more hidden gems on your next city break, global media brand Time Out has released its annual list of the world’s coolest neighborhoods.
Topping the 2022 roundup is the bustling Colonia Americana, located in the western Mexican city of Guadalajara. Time Out says the American Colony’s eclectic mix of historic art deco mansions and warehouse-based music venues clinched the deal.
“Guadalajara is emerging as a must-see, and Colonia Americana is the place to be right now,” Time Out Travel editor James Manning said in a statement. “It’s home to a creative community that pushes boundaries, a growing number of incredible places to eat, and some of the best nightlife in the Western Hemisphere. And the street life is unbeatable.”
The Time Out list is the result of an extensive survey in which thousands of people around the world were asked about their favorite places in their city. Time Out editors also weighed in with their local expertise to create the ultimate guide, highlighting 51 of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods. The top 20 are “simply put, incredible places to be right now,” says Time Out.
Cais do Sodré in Lisbon is home to this Instagrammable ‘pink street’.
Pawel Pajor/Adobe Stock
After Colonia Americana, there is Cais do Sodré, on the banks of the river in Lisbon, which took second place on the list. Long known for its lively nightlife, the Portuguese Quarter is now making a name for itself as a gastronomic hotspot.
“This is the neighborhood where Lisbon’s most promising young chefs are opening new restaurants,” says Time Out, which marked Quiosque de São Paul and Tricky’s as the best places to drink and dine.
Third in the 2022 round is Wat Bo Village in Siem Reap, Cambodia. According to Time Out, the area surrounding the spectacular Wat Bo pagoda has had a “great glow” in the past year. Boutique hotels Viroth’s and Treeline Urban Resort are listed as highlights, along with Tevy’s Place Restaurant, which serves delicious organic meals and also operates as a social enterprise empowering local women.
The top-rated American neighborhood came in at number four: New York City’s Ridgewood. Time Out says this Queens area’s balance of up-and-coming bars and restaurants, along with institutions like Rudy’s Bakery, which opened in 1934, earned it a spot on the 2022 list.
Meanwhile, Mile End in Montreal, Canada rounds out Time Out’s top five, described as a “walkable corner” that houses “some of the city’s best restaurants, independent bookstores, florists, butchers, bakers and candlesticks”.
Dave Calhoun, Time Out’s North America and UK content director, said the aim of the annual list was to highlight areas that are not “homogenised corporate destinations” but “have an independent and welcoming vibe”.
“You might be able to walk them in half an hour or less, but they’re packed with enough experiences to spend days exploring,” he said.
Tokyo’s Shimokitazawa is better known as “Shimokita”.
Time Out’s 10 Funniest Neighborhoods
1. Colonia Americana – Guadalajara, Mexico
2. Cais do Sodré – Lisbon, Portugal
3. Wat Bo Village – Siem Reap, Cambodia
4. Ridgewood – New York, USA
5. Mile End – Montreal, Canada
6. Barrio Logan – San Diego, USA
7. Shimokitazawa – Tokyo, Japan
8. Cliftonville – Margate, United Kingdom
9. Yungay neighborhood – Santiago, Chile
10. Cours Julien – Marseille, France