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Melbourne Officially Has The Coolest Street In The World

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Time Out’s Annual list of the 30 coolest streets in the world has seen a low-key Melbourne area take out the ‘coolest street’ crown, with an infamous Sydney strip also scraping in the top 20.

The north side of Collingwood’s Smith Street is currently the coolest street in the world. It’s brimming with all the things Time Out look for when compiling their global lists: culture, fabulous food, history, community and soul.

“Every year we poll thousands of people around the globe to discover the coolest places to live, work and play. But in this year’s Time Out Index survey, we decided to drill down a bit and go even more local, asking 27,000-plus city-dwellers which specific streets they think are the coolest too,” says Time Out.

In addition to the thousands of local opinions, they then consulted their editors and experts and came up with 2021’s list.

While Melbourne may have fallen from its usual spot in the global liveability rankings this year, this accolade is a reminder that Victoria’s capital will always be our coolest. Sorry, Sydney.

 

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Why Smith Street ranked first place

Smith Street was once the stomping ground of street gangs in the 1800s and “has a long, proud, chequered history of giving the middle finger to authority.”

Right near uber-popular Fitzroy, you’ll find everything from “rowdy footie pubs to refined wine bars, vinyl record stores to Vietnamese bakeries.” But there’s another factor that makes this strip so special: community.

According to Time Out, this buzzy thoroughfare snagged the top spot for the world’s coolest street – beating the likes of London, Barcelona and LA – because of its solid local community, who rallied around Smith Street’s businesses during Melbourne’s lockdowns.

Where Sydney got a look in

The other Aussie city to make the list is, of course, Newtown’s King Street. The gentle gentrification of this once grungy inner-west artery hasn’t dulled its indie core. Plus, it’s Sydney’s best area to head out for an evening, where you can experience “a densely packed pub and bar offering, excellent live music venues and a curious collection of restaurants (ranging from cheap Thai for under a tenner to higher-end foodie destinations).”

 

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The top five

Taking out second, third and fourth spots were Passeig de Sant Joan, Barcelona; South Bank, London; and San Isidro, Havana.  Rounding out the global top five is the classic Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles.

For the full list click here. Considering a post-lockdown visit to Melbourne and keen for ideas? Click here. If you’re staying put in Sydney, these are excellent ways to spend your Dine and Discover vouchers now the deadline has been extended.


(Lead image: Wabi Sabi Salon / Hotel Jesus both via Facebook )