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Two South African neighbourhoods have just made the top of a list for the coolest in the world, beating out places like New York, London and Paris!


South Africa – The Forbes list asked some of their favourite travel experts for their tips on the best neighbourhoods to explore right now and both Johannesburg and Cape Town topped the global list!

“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,” wrote Forbes contributor Ann Abel, who compiled the list. “What’s more interesting is discovering the up-and-coming neighbourhoods where local creatives are settling in and setting up shop.”

Abel said these neighbourhoods are “especially important” in cities where tourism has overrun many of the traditionally hip neighbourhoods. The list was based on conversations with travel experts and these Forbes experts have chosen these up-and-coming neighbourhoods in South Africa as some of the coolest in the WORLD!!!

Johannesburg: Maboneng (number 8 spot)

“A no-go zone until the end of Apartheid in 1994, Johannesburg’s Maboneng has since transformed into a lively urban area with blossoming art and culinary scenes,” says Biggs Bradley.

The compact neighbourhood is known for cultural attractions like the Museum of African Design, Arts on Main—a complex that was previously a series of dilapidated buildings and now has many cool galleries—restaurants and boutiques. The culinary offerings are widely diverse, with restaurants that specialize in everything from Ethiopian cuisine to health food.

“One of the best spots for a meal is Che Argentine Grill, which offers delicious specialities like empanadas and a live tango band on weeknights.”

Cape Town: Kalk Bay (number 1 spot)

“A seaside haven slightly removed from the bustle of Cape Town, the former fishing village Kalk Bay is attracting more than just the local surfer community,” says Marchant.

“Blanketed with quaint cafes, rustic fishing boats and colourful storefronts, this vibrant harbour neighbourhood is recently the talk of the city. Olympia Café, a standby for locals, is an ideal launching pad for a day of False Bay coastline exploration. An intricate origami installation created by Kalk Bay local Sanae Sawada decorates the walls of the iconic café, which is just steps from the charming seal-invaded wharf.”

Here’s the full Forbes list for the 12 coolest neighbourhoods around the World:

12. Barcelona: Sants
11. Washington, D.C.: Navy Yard
10. Amsterdam: Amsterdam Noord
9. Cartagena: Getsemani
8. Johannesburg: Maboneng
7. Tbilisi: Plekhanov
6. Panama City: Casco Viejo
5. Saigon: District 5
4. Athens: Keramikos
3. Seoul: Seongsu-dong
2. Chicago: Pilsen
1. Cape Town: Kalk Bay

Sources: Forbes
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and man in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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