Once upon a time when we wanted to take a summer trip to Europe we were subjected to extortionately seasonally priced hotels or worse – *shudders* – a shared dorm in a hostel.
But now, whether it’s Asia, Australasia, or North America we’re visiting, thanks to Airbnb, we can stay in lesser known areas off the beaten track and experience some local flavour in nearby districts.
The short-term housing website has compiled a list of the top 16 neighbourhoods to travel to in 2016, based on growth over 2015, and insider tips from hosts living in the areas.
Whether you’re nestled in a downtown neighbourhood a stone’s throw from the big city, or in a cool region with its own brand of unique charm, here are some local gems you should check out – before everyone else does.
1.Chūō-ku in Osaka, Japan (7000% growth)
Chuo-ku is one of the wards in the city they call Japan’s anti-Capital, Osaka. And thanks to the Osaka Castle, the Uru-Namba alleyways, with eateries and bars, it’s easy to see why it’s topped the list. There’s shopping at the Kuromon Market, great eats at the Shrimp Shrimp Namba Ebi Bar, and lots of for whiskey and wine in a wild west setting at the DandeLion.
2. Banglampoo in Bangkok, Thailand (1230% growth)
Chances are you’ll fly into Bangkok if you travel to Thailand, but if you want to stay somewhere a little less hectic than the Khao San Road, this northern neighbourhood has plenty to offer. Check out the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew and mingle with musicians at boutique bar Jazz Happens.
3. Brickfields in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1200% growth)
This residential neighbourhood is a short walk to the Petronas Towers and other tourist attractions; but is also neatly tucked away from all the noise and hubbub. It’s known as Little India thanks to its high proportion of Indian restaurants and there are some pretty cool temples and historical government buildings in the area.
4. Capucins in Bordeaux, France (950% growth)
The ‘belly of Bordeaux’ shouldn’t be overlooked in terms of its cuisine, because the area has more to offer than fantastic wine (although you should obviously check that out too). There are oysters and tapas to compliment your beverage, and don’t forget to check out the Rue Sainte Catherine – the longest pedestrian shopping street in France.
5. Koukaki in Athens, Greece (800% growth)
Bordering the historical district of Plaka, Koukaki is a residential district, so if you’re looking to get a bit of rest and relaxation between days of exploring Athens, this is a great place to look. It has two café and restaurant-filled pedestrian zones and a large weekly vegetable market every Friday.
6. Triana in Seville, Spain (750% growth)
A neighbourhood on the west bank of Guadalquivir River, this district of Seville is considered very different in style from the rest of the city. Residents of the area, Trianeros, can enjoy traditional pottery, museums, and a vibrant flamenco culture with its own festivals, like Velá Santana and La Esperanza de Triana.
7. Hammerbrook in Hamburg, Germany (400% growth)
Known locally as Hammerbrooklyn, this sleepy little area only had a population of 435 back in 2006. Now, in 2016, it’s being recommended as a great place to stay whilst visiting Hamburg, thanks to its proximity to the city, the Berliner Boger, and its beautiful canals that you can float along.
8. Kaneohe in Ohau, U.S.
Located about 12 miles from downtown Honolulu in Hawaii, Kane’ohe is a beautiful spot that literally translates to ‘bamboo man’. There’s plenty to do here but Kane’ohe Bay, the most photographed spot on the island, is an incredible place to barbecue, snorkel, and maybe even see some hammerhead sharks.
9. Meireles in Fortaleza, Brazil (285% growth)
If the beaches of Meireles aren’t enough to tempt you, jump on a boat to a nearby fishing village. Fortaleza is known for its comedians and the forro music and dance scene; and any night of the week you can seek out a place to light up the dancefloor to it.
10. Roma Sur in Mexico City, Mexico (275% growth)
Once an area of aristocracy, this is now a district full of people, food, music, and culture. Check out the Cine Tonal if you like Independent cinema and hang out with local creatives and enjoy the artisanal pizza.
11. Oak Lawn in Dallas, U.S. (260% growth)
A health lover’s dream, Oak Lawn is an outdoor paradise, with the Katy Trail, a paved jogging and biking trail that’s well-lit 24/7. The neighbourhood has one of Dallas’ best patio scenes, with a stunning selection of places to grab a beer. And if you like your drinks with a side of music, head to Kylde Warren Park on a Thursday.
12. Poncey Highland in Atlanta, U.S. (240% growth)
The beltline trail has helped to make this neighbourhood more pedestrian friendly, and as a result exhibitions are hosted all over the area. Youngblood is a great boutique with items made my local designers, and you can relax after with a fresh made popsicle from the King of Pops cart.
13. District VII in Budapest, Hungary (145% growth)
Home to many a craft beer and plenty of great nightlife, District VII, more commonly known as Erzsebetvaros, is an old Jewish quarter filled with gorgeous architecture. There are some great ruin bars in the area, as well as street food, shopping and galleries galore.
14.The Bukit Peninsula, Bali (130% growth)
If you booked a trip to Bali for the beautiful beaches, and that’s how your sentence ends, this is the spot for you. It’s scenery, not party scene, so don’t expect wild nightlife. But the Balangan beach, cliff-hanging Uluwatu temple, and restaurants make this a great place to watch the sunset.
15. Richmond in Melbourne, Australia (126% growth)
Right next to the Melbourne museum, and on the border of Fitzroy, this is an amazing spot for great food, amazing rooftop bars, and live bands and DJs. It’s got a huge selection of coffee shops, brunch spots, and thanks to plenty of murals and galleries walking along the streets feels nothing short of bohemian.
16. Consitucion in Buenos Aires, Argentina (125% growth)
This is a foodies dream; from fine dining and pizzerias, to the many pastries and custards in the area to whet your appetite. Head to some of the milonga clubs, and if your head isn’t too sore in the morning explore the arts and music scene or catch a magic show at Bar Magico.