(CNN) – It’s one of the best parts of vacation — that moment when you discover the side of the city that’s clearly more popular with locals than tourists.
Maybe it’s the usual coffee shop with the best coffee you’ve ever tasted, the underground bar that’s not marked on the street above, or the restaurant that cooks delicious local food that you’ve never heard of.
To help you discover more hidden gems on your next city break, global media brand Time Out has released its annual list of the world’s most beautiful neighborhoods.
Topping the 2022 collection is Colonia Americana, located in the city of Guadalajara in western Mexico. Time Out says Colonia Americana’s eclectic mix of historic Art Deco mansions and warehouse-based music venues clinched the deal.
“Guadalajara is just emerging as a must-visit — and Colonia Americana is the place to be right now,” Time Out Travel editor James Manning said in a statement. “It’s home to a boundary-pushing creative community, a growing number of amazing places to eat and some of the best nightlife in the Western Hemisphere. And the street life is unbeatable.”
Time Out’s list is the result of an extensive survey in which thousands of people from around the world were asked about their favorite places in their city. Time Out editors also drew on their local expertise to create the ultimate guide, highlighting 51 of the world’s most beautiful neighbourhoods. The top 20 are “simply put, incredible places to be right now,” says Time Out.
Cais do Sodré in Lisbon is home to this “pink street” for Instagram.
Pawel Pajor/Adobe Stock
Hot on the heels of Colonia Americana is Lisbon’s Cais do Sodré River, which took second place on the list. Long famous for its vibrant nightlife, the Portuguese Quarter is now making a name for itself as a foodie hotspot.
“This is the neighborhood where Lisbon’s most promising young chefs are opening new restaurants,” says Time Out, name-checking Quiosque de São Paul and Tricky’s as top places to drink and eat.
Third in the 2022 gathering is the village of Wat Bo, in Siem Reap, Cambodia. According to Time Out, the area surrounding the spectacular Wat Bo has had a “serious glow” in the past year. Boutique hotels Viroth’s and Treeline Urban Resort are listed as highlights, along with Tevy’s Place restaurant, which serves delicious organic food and also works as a social enterprise empowering local women.
The highest-rated American neighborhood came in at number four – New York’s Ridgewood. Time Out says the Queens area’s balance of new bars and restaurants, along with establishments like Rudy’s Bakery, which opened in 1934, earned it a spot on the 2022 list.
Meanwhile Mile End in Montreal, Canada rounds out Time Out’s top five, described as a “walkable destination” that hosts “some of the city’s best restaurants, independent bookstores, florists, butchers, bakers and producers of candlesticks”.
Dave Calhoun, Time Out’s head of content in North America and the UK, said the aim of the annual list was to highlight areas that are not “homogenised, corporate destinations” but instead “have an atmosphere of independent and welcoming”.
“You might be able to walk through them in half an hour or less, but they’re packed with enough experiences to spend days exploring,” he said.
Tokyo’s Shimokitazawa is better known as “Shimokita”.
Time Out’s Top 10 Most Beautiful Neighborhoods
1. Colonia Americana – Guadalajara, Mexico
2. Cais do Sodré – Lisbon, Portugal
3. Wat Bo Village – Siem Reap, Cambodia
4. Ridgewood – New York City, USA
5. Mile End – Montreal, Canada
6. Barrio Logan – San Diego, USA
7. Shimokitazawa – Tokyo, Japan
8. Cliftonville – Margate, UK
9. Yungay neighborhood – Santiago, Chile
10. Cours Julien – Marseille, France
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