Holidays often take British tourists to the well-worn path. Travellers are generally keen to tick off bucket list destinations and to visit the gems cities are most known for. And while there’s nothing wrong with this approach, holidaymakers shouldn’t forget that heading off the beaten track can throw up some incredible highlights.
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This month Lonely Planet publishes its new book Secret City, an insider’s guide to the world’s coolest neighbourhoods.
The team has shared with Express.co.co.uk five of the best under-the-radar destinations to add to your travel list for after coronavirus.
Woodstock – Cape Town, South Africa
“One of the hippest neighbourhoods in the city, Woodstock is home to microbreweries, craft distilleries, coffee roasteries and art studios,” explains Secret City.
“At heart, it’s still an industrial district – after dark you’d be wise to summon a ride-share service to get from A to B.
“Thanks to its slow gentrification, there are plenty of newly opened attractions and hidden sights to seek out, some even sitting on the main roads.”
Head to Altona Fisheries for famous foot-long sandwich the Gatsby, visit the enduringly popular and ever-busy Neighbourgoods Market on a Saturday and drink beer with a view of Devil’s Peak at the Drifter Brewing Company.
Vesterbro – Copenhagen, Denmark
Lonely Planet writes: “What was once the meat-packing district is now one of the city’s favourite evening hangouts.
“Vesterbro long had the questionable accolade of being Copenhagen’s seediest neighbourhood, with residents crammed into 19th-century tenement blocks, and plenty of unsavoury transactions on the streets.
“A clean-up in the 1990s kick-started its transformation into the hipster ’hood of today, albeit still with rough edges.”
Hang out at Kalvebod Wave on the waterfront, try out the excellent but casual restaurants at War Pigs Brewpub and go for a dip in one of the several harbour baths – Havnebadet Fisketorvet is the most popular.
Euljiro – Seoul, South Korea
“Discover noodle dishes and craft brews in this trendy, industrial-chic neighbourhood,” enthuses the book.
“Minutes from Seoul’s touristy Myeongdong neighbourhood, Euljiro is an industrial quarter filled with printing presses and hardware shops.
“Men in their 50s reigned supreme here five years ago, but recent gentrification has brought in hidden bars and cafes as well as millennial-aged hipsters.”
Eat signature dishes naengmyun, buckwheat noodles in ice broth, and bulgogi, marinated, pan-grilled beef at famous old restaurant Wooraeoak, snap top Instagram photos at Hotel Soosunhwa and peak into Seoul’s history (and shop) at the Sewoon Shopping Centre.
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Karlín – Prague, Czech Republic
“This neighbourhood east of the Old Town was forced to completely reinvent itself after the damage caused by the 2012 floods, which left it in ruins,” details Secret City.
“In a way, the restorations helped to establish an alternative side of Prague – rough around the edges but much more hip.
“It’s impossible to find the same vibe in the occasionally artificial-feeling city centre; head instead to Karlín, which is liveliest at lunch hours and on weekends.”
Savour a coffee at hipster joint Můj Šálek Kávy, sample authentic wines of the former Habsburg Empire at Veltlin and check out Kasárna Karlín – an exceptional space converted from former army barracks. It’s host to concerts, a summer cinema, exhibitions and workshops.
Campo de Ourique – Lisbon, Portugal
“At the end of the line of iconic tram 28, Campo de Ourique doesn’t feature on most tourist itineraries,” explains the book.
“The wide streets of modernist-style pastel-coloured buildings aren’t full of landmarks, but they’re brimming with local shops and family-owned restaurants.
“This is the Lisbon you’ll gloat about to friends and family, never fully unveiling all the spots you found on your wanders.”
Explore Casa Fernando Pessoa, the home where poet Fernando Pessoa lived his final years – a treasure trove of the modernist’s life, tuck into typical hearty and affordable daily specials at Imperial de Campo de Ourique and experience lively neighbourhood market Mercado de Campo de Ourique.
Reproduced with permission from Lonely Planet © 2020
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