Time Out: Exarcheia is on the list of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world for 2023

Exarcheia Time Out

An Athens neighbourhood appears on Time Out's list of the "40 coolest neighbourhoods on the planet" for 2023. Last year, Pagrati was on that list. This year, in the list of the most modern and interesting districts in the world, the 31st place is occupied by Exarcheia.

Topping the list is Laureles, in Medellin, Colombia. Five of the top 10 districts, according to Time Out's criteria, are located in Europe, with the Havnen waterfront in Copenhagen and the historic Smithfield section of Dublin appearing on the list for the first time.

Here are Time Out's 10 coolest neighbourhoods for 2023:

Laureles: Medellín, Colombia

Smithfield: Dublin, Ireland

Carabanchel: Madrid, Spain

Havnen: Copenhagen, Denmark

Sheung Wan: Hong Kong

Brunswick East: Melbourne, Australia

Mid-City, New Orleans, USA

Isola: Milan, Italy

West: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Tomigaya: Tokyo, Japan

"The radical district of Athens"


A historically radical neighbourhood, Exarcheia is becoming more and more of a tourist hotspot – but its character of resistance is not yet lost. It’s still a place where activists and anarchists gather, whether that’s at hangout spots like Strefi Hill or at any of the bars and cafes that line its streets.

The area is home to one of Greece’s oldest universities in the shape of the Athens Polytechnic, cultural venues from museums to record stores, and great food and drink (we recommend the vegan eats at Cookoomela).


The start of construction on a new metro station in the central square last year marked a turning point in the area, with many fearing that the spirit of the neighbourhood will be eradicated. Exarcheia’s central square has a long history of being a place to gather and stage demonstrations.

So if you want a taste of Greece’s anarchic underground culture, visit Exarcheia now.

The perfect day Grab breakfast at Raraou Cantina, followed by coffee in Selas, then take a stroll through the neighbourhood.

You’ll spot buildings with their windows cemented shut – these are former squats. For a dose of culture, mooch around the Archaeological Museum or one of the many record stores such as Le Dsk Noir, Art Rat Records or Dirty Noise.

For recreation and some fresh air, you can either go to the city’s main park Pedion Tou Areos or the famous Strefi Hill.


For dinner you have plenty of options: go Greek at AtitamosRozalia or Avli. Bars are uncountable in Exarcheia, but our tip would be I Skala, a small bar on the second floor of an apartment building.

Plan your trip For those who would like to witness the revolutionary spirit of the neighbourhood, visit on November 17, the anniversary of the 1973 student uprising against the Greek junta.

The coolest neighborhood in the world

Up-and-coming Laureles in Medellin has a reputation as a laid-back place, despite being home to the Estadio Atanasio Girardot football stadium and the famous La 70 street with its rich nightlife.

So far, however, it has resisted the gentrification seen in other Medellín neighborhoods, Time Out writes, noting that traditional fruit vendors still push their carts through the streets in Laureles.

The perfect day Rise and shine in the new Living by Armóniko, then grab your morning coffee from Rituales Café, which proudly serves coffee cultivated in La Sierra – a reborn Medellin neighbourhood that overcame a violent past. Enjoy a healthy lunch at Saludpan and an authentic Mexican dinner at Chilaquiles before ending your night dancing salsa in the basement of the no-frills Tíbiri Bar.

Plan your trip Colectivo SiCLas meets at Carlos E. Restrepo Park every Wednesday for a lively nighttime bike ride that draws 400 to 500 people on average. Don’t have a bike? They’ll lend you one.

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