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Europe's 10 Hippest Cities

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By Alix Farr

The true meaning of hip can be elusive. Maybe it's a barber shop doubling as an art gallery, which serves lattes on the side? Or maybe it's the coolest bar on the block which keeps adding crazy ingredients to cocktails (bacon Bloody Mary anyone?) Or is it the record store with thousands of vintage singles? Trip.com's compiled ratings from our Trendster Tribe to see what they thought about Europe, and here are the ten winning cities. Check them out, and then book your trendy European hotel here.

Photo: Berlin by: La Citta Vita flickr - Courtesy: Trip.com
Lots of Germany's big businesses left Berlin during the Cold War to escape the tensions and economic chaos brought about by the division of the city. After the Wall fell, they stayed away, leaving a vacuum of affordable urban space that young, artistic, self-starters flocked to, leaving a permanent impact. Now, Berlin is the hipster and startup hub of Europe. Its wild nightlife, and creative vibe touches everything from the fashion to the street art, and affordable foodie scene helped launch it to the top of our list. It's no longer a secret, however; with rents and prices on the rise, the time to visit is now.
Photo: Södermalm by: amsfrank flickr - Courtesy: Trip.com
Ikea aside, from fashion to music to food, this city is one of the first in Europe to get (or write) the memo about the latest trends. The island of
is hipster central, where you'll find stylish boutiques, trendy bars and restaurants, vintage stores, green spaces perfect for a gathering of bearded hipsters, and awesome hotels for those who want to spend a few days reveling in the energy.
Photo: FREITAG Store Zürich by: Rosmarie Voegtli flickr - Courtesy: Trip.com
Zurich is slowly making space among the banks and chocolate, at least in the the Zurich West ("Zuri-West") neighborhood. Here, recycled cargo containers house a fashionable bag company (
), an old railway viaduct was transformed into trendy shops and cafes, and artist studios, thumping clubs, and cultured theaters have taken over spaces once known for being more industrial not-so-chic.
Photo: Harpa Concert Hall by: scott1346 flickr - Courtesy: Trip.com
If you have heard about Iceland's brutal winters, you may be surprised to know that Reykjavik's population is young and incredibly vibrant. But sun isn't necessary to enjoy the best of the city - including the hipster coffee and beer scene, the all-night-long-and-oops-it's-6am nightlife, and the brilliant and quirky art and design culture. Though maybe you'd still appreciate it all a little more in the summer.
Photo: Mykonos Town (Chora) by: ilkerender flickr - Courtesy: Trip.com
This is the lux sort of hip: high-end food and cocktails, exciting nightlife, and elegant hotels. While it's easy to imagine that a city known for attracting the world's rich, famous, and fashionable in the mid-20th century would have fallen out of style by now, Mykonos has remained an ever-evolving trendy getaway for decades, just don't expect too much flannel and craft beer.
Photo: Northern Quarter by: ReflectedSerendipity flickr - Courtesy: Trip.com
Going from industrial hub to one of Europe's hippest cities, Manchester has a flair for independent thinking. Indie music and art proliferate throughout the city, but there's also the Northern Quarter, known for its shabby-chic cafes, shopping, and underground nightlife -- a model hipster neighborhood if ever there was one.
Photo: Dublin by: Abdullah Bin Sahl flickr - Courtesy: Trip.com
What type of hip would you like with your rollie? Craft beer? Bars with board games? Designer cocktails? Innovative new restaurants? Cafes with artisanal coffee and comfy couches lined with the city's burgeoning techie class? You name it, Dublin has it. Just head to the (literally named this) "hipster triangle" just south of Temple Bar.
Photo: Seville by: Olivier Bruchez flickr - Courtesy: Trip.com
While many of Spain's other cities (see:
and
) became modern cool quite a while ago, but Seville long remained a holdout. But in recent years, the historic charm has merged with the trendy, creating a culture that manages to keep one foot in the past and the other in a hipper future. You can still spend the days taking in the architecture by horse-drawn carriage and the evenings enjoying impassioned flamenco shows, but now you can also sip coffee in experimental art cafes, watch theater productions in offbeat bookshops, add to your wardrobe in eccentric design shops, and retreat for some rest in airy, elegant boutique hotels.
Photo: Klub Alchemia by: Andrew Stawarz flickr - Courtesy: Trip.com
Many post-Communist European cities have done well in the 21st century, emerging as some of the coolest spots on the continent and making traditional cultural centers like
and
seem like yesterday's news. Krakow is one of the leaders of this group, keeping just under-the-radar enough to remain hip (as opposed to, say, also-cool-but-we're-tired-of-hearing-about-it
). Some highlights include warehouses transformed into art galleries and museums, a lively nightlife scene (especially in Kazimierz, the Jewish quarter), bohemian cafes and new restaurants boasting fresh ingredients and modern menus.
Photo: Copenhagen by: Thomas Rockstar flickr - Courtesy: Trip.com
A city that's home to a restaurant (
) ranked No. 1 in the world four times is certainly not the least obvious choice for a top hip European city, but Copenhagen isn't just one kind of cool. In addition to being on the cutting edge of fashion -- not only in food but also in design, art, and so much more -- the city has a youthful population keeping a rebellious and avant-garde culture alive. This sort of spirit is especially present in neighborhoods like Vesterbro, a former red-light/meatpacking district that's now knee-deep in vintage shops, stylish cafes, and colorful buildings and murals, plus a coffee shop decorated in retro motorcycle gear and a gym that doubles as an art gallery. How's that for hipster?

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