Cais de Sodré is 2nd coolest neighbourhood in world

Cais de Sodré is 2nd coolest neighbourhood in world

Time Out Global polls 20,000 city-dwellers; “grills local experts”

Cais do Sodré – one of Lisbon’s most ‘happening’ night spots – has been voted the 2nd coolest neighbourhood in the world, by Time Out Global.

This is by no means a first for the area. As the magazine explains, Cais de Sodré “has been at the heart of Lisbon’s nightlife for a good few years – but in 2022 it’s more popping than ever.

Anchored by ‘Pink Street’ (the dazzlingly painted Rua Nova do Carvalho) and its colourful umbrellas, this is the neighbourhood where Lisbon’s most promising young chefs are opening new restaurants; where small businesses are springing to life; where much-loved bars and nightclubs are finally rising from the ashes of the past few years. (Pensão Amor and Copenhagen, we missed you!) Refurb works on the Cais do Gás warehouses by the River Tagus will soon be finished, creating a new home for three landmarks of Lisbon nightlife: Europa, Tokyo and Jamaica. And Rua da Boavista, heading over towards the Santos neighbourhood, is full of life after years of neglect. You’d better plan for a big night, because the day isn’t long enough to explore it all…” says the text – going on to give various suggestions for “the perfect day”, with tips on “the best things to do in Lisbon”.

For Portugal, this is just another accolade to add to the significant pile. Indeed, Time Out ‘can’t get enough of Portugal’. In 2019, Arroios was at the top of the list, Alvalade was in the 2020 ‘Top 20’ – and last year it was the turn of Anjos (also in lisbon) and Foz, in Porto, for the ‘world’s coolest neighbourhoods’.

Time Out’s list runs to 51 neighbourhoods, but the significant Top 10 are as follows:

  1. Colonia Americana – Guadalajara, Mexico;
  2. Cais do Sodré – Lisbon, Portugal;
  3. Wat Bo Village – Siem Reap, Cambodia;
  4. Ridgewood – New York, USA;
  5. Fim da Milha – Montreal, Canada;
  6. Barrio Logan – San Diego, USA;
  7. Shimokitazawa – Tokyo, Japan;
  8. Cliftonville – Margate, UK;
  9. Barrio Yungay – Santiago, Chile;
  10. Cours Julien – Marseille, France.

The magazine explains that it makes it choices after talking to city dwellers and grilling local experts.

The definition of a ‘coolest neighbourhood’ is one that has “areas with accessible, cutting-edge culture and nightlife; brilliant and affordable food and drink; lively street life and big community vibes. They’re distinctive districts that you can walk across in half an hour or less, but could spend a whole day or more exploring. They’re great areas for people to live, visit and stay. They’re places that mix up the best of the old and new schools. Locals love them, and you will too…”

What Time Out may have missed is the concern by PSP police about rising crime in Lisbon nightspots, particularly Cais de Sodré. But the solutions should make the area ‘much safer’ (due to the installation of extra CCTV cameras) – and will hopefully reinforce its image as one of the coolest neighbourhoods you could hope to find.

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com