We all know that the best way to really know a city isn’t to go to the central square or major museums, or even the most tourist-trodden neighborhoods. What’s more interesting is discovering the up-and-coming neighborhoods where local creatives are settling in and setting up shop.
It’s especially important in cities where overtourism is becoming a problem, such as Barcelona and Amsterdam. Sure, walk down La Rambla or explore the inner canal belt, but then get out into the places where local life is really happening.
I asked some of my favorite travel experts for their tips on the best neighborhoods to explore right now. Here’s what’s on their radar.
We can also call 2018 the year of Georgia. The former Soviet republic has become among the trendiest places to visit, and the capital of Tbilisi is always the first and last stop. The old town is charming, but both Mullins and Jonny Bealby of Wild Frontiers are more excited about Plekhanov. “It’s an area where native Tbilisians traditionally live, renowned for its old-style houses with beautiful doorways,” says Bealby. “It recently became more fashionable when the main avenue, Agmashenebeli, was renovated and especially when the Fabrika space opened. Once a Soviet sewing factory, this multifunctional space now houses cafes, bars, studios, shops and a hostel. This area is a mixture of young creatives and tourists, and there’s live music most evenings.”