Holidays for hipsters: The world's top hipster destinations

Obviously, they go to cities you haven't even heard of yet. Even hipsters have to take holidays, and ideally they would be taken somewhere extremely cool that no one else has thought to visit.

In reality though, such a place doesn't exist. Everywhere has been discovered, and as happens with plenty of the facets of hipster culture – the beards, the artisanal coffee, the vintage clothes – there's a fair bit of crossover among those seeking to be individual.

After watching a few episodes of Samuel Johnson's SBS show "Hipsters", a look into the trendy subculture currently sweeping Australia's urban centres and organic farms, I started to wonder where these guys and girls would like to travel. I think I've got it figured out.  

Havana, Cuba

If there's one thing hipsters love, it's other hipsters who don't even know they're hipsters, and Cuba is full of them. Think about it: these are people who drive '50s cars, who drink artisanal rum and sit around smoking cigars and talking about Castro and Guevara. They're as hipster as they come, without even trying. Havana is also a treasure trove of vintage stores (known there as "stores"), providing ample opportunity for the traveller to return home and say things like, "Oh, these jeans? Yeah I found them in this little shop in a suburb of Havana. You probably haven't heard of it."

Portland, USA

Portland is no secret – in fact it's the epicenter of hipster culture, a place of food trucks, craft beer, independent bookstores, artisanal organic muffins and beardy alt-folk musicians. It spawned the series "Portlandia", a satirical look at hipster lifestyle. My flatmate went to the city recently wearing an extremely uncool Bolivian llama jumper and several people offered to buy if off him. If ever hipsters wanted to surround themselves with like-minded people, then Portland would be the place to go. 

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo is so big that it can be anything to anyone, and that includes the hipster set. If you're rocking a beard and you know the provenance of the free-range organic pork you ate for dinner last night, then head directly to Shimokitazawa, a tiny and ultra-cool hipster enclave south-west of Shinjuku. Here you'll find vintage clothing, vinyl record stores, indie music venues and cafes with the city's best coffee. What more does a hipster need?

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Berlin, Germany

Berlin is cool because it doesn't even appear to be trying. And yet it's still the coolest place you've ever been. Every disused warehouse has been turned into a music venue or an indie art gallery. Every spare building wall seems to be covered in high-quality street art. There are clubs and venues catering to every fetish and whim. The politics are progressive, the food is cosmopolitan, and the fashion is on point. Hence the influx of tourists who want to be cool by association.  

Istanbul, Turkey

This is the thinking hipster's holiday destination, a place that may not sound particularly cool, but is actually a cosmopolitan city teeming with boutique fashion outlets, designer hotels and shops selling unique things that you can hang on your wall back home and endlessly talk about. Wander around the suburb of Beyoglu and you'll find small bars, traditional tea shops, antique stores and cutting edge restaurants staffed by people with pin-up girl tattoos. Take a ferry across to Uskudar, meanwhile, and you have the authenticity of the "real Asia". It's the best of both worlds.

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro is always the obvious choice for visitors to Brazil, but why would you want to go with the obvious choice? That's what everyone does. In neighbouring Sao Paulo, hipsters can get their Brazilian experience with an arty, dangerous edge. The street art scene there is one of the best in the world, the dance clubs are packed with people who aren't annoying tourists like you, and in neighbourhoods like Pinheiros and Vila Madalena you can get a ristretto while shopping for fixed-gear pushbikes.  

Stockholm, Sweden

The Swedes really know how to dress. If you're hoping to pick up a few unique items of clothing with which to impress the chinos off your hipster friends back home, then Stockholm is the place to be. The streets of trendy Sodermalm are packed with indie fashion model lookalikes, guys and girls who will flock from the organic fruit markets to the boutique shops and later on to the music venues to catch live jazz and folk. Super-hipster.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

South America's original hipsters hang out in Buenos Aires, Argentina's shabbily cool capital with its street-art-lined walls and vintage clothing and antique stores. Beards haven't quite caught on – however, in suburbs such as Palermo and Villa Crespo there's no shortage of trendy restaurants and little cocktail bars that will make you supply a password to enter. The live music scene is great. The coffee is amazing, served up in "old man" cafes populated by actual old men. It's as authentic as it gets. And that's what you want, right?

Where do you think hipsters go for holidays? What are the coolest cities in the world?

 

Email: b.groundwater@fairfaxmedia.com.au

Instagram: instagram.com/bengroundwater

 

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