Two SA neighbourhoods have just been named among the coolest in the world – beating New York and London

Business Insider SA
South African filmmaker Cameron van Tonder skating down a street in Kalk Bay (Instagram: @camvantonder)
  • Kalk Bay in Cape Town, and Maboneng in Johannesburg, have been named two of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world by Forbes Magazine.
  • They beat out well-known neighbourhoods such as Manhattan in New York, and London’s fashionable Soho district to be included on the list of just 12.
  • The Western Cape believes the accolade will help to stimulate international tourism. 

The quaint seaside village of Kalk Bay, Cape Town and the creative melting-pot of Maboneng, Johannesburg, have been named two of the ‘coolest neighbourhoods in the world’ by US business magazine Forbes.

The neighbourhoods beat Manhattan in New York, and London’s fashionable Soho district to be included on the list of just 12 neighbourhoods.

The list also includes Amsterdam Noord in Amsterdam, Keramikos in Athens, and Seongsu-dong in Seoul. 

Read: The 5 cheapest places for South Africans to travel to right now

Maboneng has transformed from a no-go zone at the end of Apartheid to a “lively urban area with blossoming art and culinary scenes”, Melissa Biggs Bradley, founder of luxury travel agency Indagare, told Forbes. 

Maboneng's central street, known for its several boutiques and restaurants (supplied, South African Tourism)

Maboneng, a Sotho word meaning “place of light”, is known for the Museum of African Design in Arts on Main, a complex of restored factories and buildings which now house several galleries, restaurants and boutiques

Tom Marchant, the founder of travel specialists Black Tomato, called Kalk Bay a “vibrant harbour neighbourhood” with several picturesque cafes which are the talk of Cape Town. 

“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,” Merchant told Forbes.

An idyllic setting in Kalk Bay, Cape Town (Instagram: @the1shinigami)

“Locals have always known that Kalk Bay is a cool place, but its inclusion in the Forbes list means that many of our international visitors may now put it on their itineraries,” says Western Cape Economic Opportunities MEC Alan Winde.

“Each seaside ice-cream, delicious plate of fish and chips or souvenir bought from a small store goes a long way to growing the tourism and hospitality economy, and creating new jobs,” Winde said in a statement on Monday. 

READ: The drought seemed to hit Cape Town tourism hard — but a new report says hotels did okay

Other entries on the Forbes list include Saints in Barcelona, Navy Yard in Washington DC, Getsemani in Cartagena, Plekhanov in Tbilisi, Casco Viejo in Panama City, District 5 in Saigon, and Pilsen in Chicago. 

For the full list of Forbes’  '12 Coolest Neighborhoods Around the World' click here

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