Leith in Edinburgh makes Time Out list of 'world's coolest' neighbourhoods for 2023’

The sense of pride and community fostered by long-time Leith locals and creatives keeps its unique spirit ticking on, says Time Out
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Time Out has just released its annual list of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods – and Edinburgh’s old port of Leith has made the cut fopr 2023.

Laureles in Medellín, Colombia, has been ranked as the No.1 place to live, work and play, with Smithfield in Dublin, Carabanchel in Madrid, Havnen - The Harbour in Copenhagen, and Sheung Wan in Hong Kong making up the top five.

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Laureles took the top spot this year for its authentic balance of laid back vibes alongside some of the best nightlife in the city, while maintaining a traditional Colombian feel. As well as being home to the renowned nightlife strip La 70 and Estadio Atanasio Girardot, Medellín’s main fútbol stadium and concert venue, there is also calm to be found in its parks, tree-lined streets, yoga studios and countless coffee shops.

Time Out has just released its list of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods for 2003.Time Out has just released its list of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods for 2003.
Time Out has just released its list of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods for 2003.

In 11th place, The Baltic Triangle in Liverpool ranks as the coolest neighbourhood on the UK, with Leith coming next at No.16, making it the second most exciting neighbourhood in the UK right right now.

In its description of Leith, Time Out’s Chiara Wilkinson writes: “Head to this northern corner of the Scottish capital any night of the week and you’ll find the docks buzzing.

“Connected to the centre of Edinburgh via the pub-lined Leith Walk, Leith used to be the city’s main trading port – now, those industrial buildings have been given a new lease of life: take the old Biscuit Factory, which is now an arts venue hosting vintage night markets. And while this neighbourhood has been hot news for a while, it’s only going from strength to strength – thanks to indie arts festivals like Hidden Door at Leith Theatre, innovative restaurant spots catching the attention of foodies and, finally, finished tram works.”

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Chiara concludes by saying: “Sure, Leith is undoubtedly more polished than it used to be. But the sense of pride and community fostered by long-time locals and creatives keeps its unique spirit ticking on.”

The other UK and Irish neighbourhoods that make the list Glasgow’s West End (20th) and London’s King’s Cross (24th).

Grace Beard, Travel Editor at Time Out, says: “What stands out with this year’s Time Out Coolest Neighbourhoods is that, while most of them have seen transformation over recent years, they remain resolutely local-at-heart. Exciting new openings across culture, food and drink are bringing in new crowds, but neighbourhood stalwarts – from old pubs to family greengrocers – keep it real. And they’re fun!

These are places where the city comes to play, be it an all-night party, a spot of urban fishing or a nighttime bike ride. After a few tumultuous years, it’s heartening to see communities coming together to hang out, support local businesses and have some fun.”

The 20 coolest neighbourhoods in the world right now:

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1 – Laureles: Medellín, Colombia; 2 – Smithfield: Dublin, Ireland; 3 – Carabanchel: Madrid, Spain; 4 – Havnen - The Harbour: Copenhagen, Denmark; 5 –Sheung Wan: Hong Kong; 6 – Brunswick East: Melbourne, Australia; 7 – Mid-City: New Orleans, USA; 8 – Isola: Milan, Italy; 9 – West: Amsterdam, Netherlands; 10 – Tomigaya: Tokyo, Japan; 11 – Baltic Triangle: Liverpool, UK; 12 – Cours Julien: Marseille, France; 13 – Arts District: Los Angeles, USA; 14 – Chinatown: Singapore; 15 – Fort Greene: New York, USA; 16 – Leith: Edinburgh, UK; 1 – Enmore: Sydney, Australia; 18 – Costa Caparica, Almada: Lisbon, Portugal; 19 – Hyde Park: Chicago, USA; 20 – West End: Glasgow, UK.

For the full list of Time Out’s Coolest Neighbourhoods in the World, along with details from Time Out’s local experts on why they have made the grade, visit timeout.com/coolestneighbourhoods

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