Friday night theater. Here to see FALLEN👌#visit_berlin  (at Maxim Gorki Theater)

Friday night theater. Here to see FALLEN👌#visit_berlin (at Maxim Gorki Theater)

Getting ready for the weekend 👯 #selfie (at http://travelsofadam.com)

Getting ready for the weekend 👯 #selfie (at http://travelsofadam.com)

6 of the Best Cities for Hipsters (Excluding Brooklyn & Portland)

By Adam Groffman

You can tell me all you want that the hipster trend is over, that the hipster subculture is tired and boring. I don’t care. It doesn’t matter where I am or where I go, I tend to find myself in hipster hotspots in just about every city I visit. And do you know why I look for hipster cities or hipster neighborhoods? Because these are seriously cool, authentic and interesting places. Whether it’s the chef of a restaurant who cares passionately about serving only local, organic food. Or a vintage shop owner who’s just trying to upcycle, recycle or maybe even just keep the past alive. Hipsters, trend-setters, millennials, kids, yuppies — whatever you want to call them…these are the locals who are trying to show off the best of their hometown, their neighborhood. And you can’t fault them for that.

I recently shared my top picks for the world’s best hipster cities as part of an article in the NYC Metro newspaper, but I figured it’s also worth sharing here on my blog with some of my additional travel tips (and one additional city!). Enjoy :)

Berlin

Photoautomat in Berlin

Best thing to do in Berlin for a souvenir? Step into one of the many photoautomats and get your picture taken — only €2!

Without question, it’s Europe’s coolest city. With 24-hour nightlife, a growing culinary scene and affordable living, Berlin has attracted people from all over the world. DJs want to play Berlin’s clubs and artists want their work shown in the hundreds of independent galleries. (Sidenote: this week is Berlin Art Week!) I love Berlin for its independent spirit and creative culture – there is always something interesting happening in Berlin.

Top Things To Do in Berlin

  1. Eat at Street Food Thursdays in Markthalle Neun
    It’s always crowded but it’s often a good place to sample some of Berlin’s best food trucks. Show up early, though, for a better experience!
  2. Swim in a pool inside a river at Badeschiff (Arena Club)
    Cost is only 5€ and you can take awesome selfies that will make all your friends jealous.
  3. Shop for your souvenirs at the weekend flea markets
    You’ll find everything from vintage postcards, East German bric-a-brac and trendy t-shirts. Makes for great authentic souvenirs!
  4. Get the ultimate Berlin selfie at a Photoautomat
    These old photo machines are scattered all over Berlin and at 2€ for a black-and-white filmstrip, you can take as many as you like until your hair looks perfect. Best done after a long night of drinking and clubbing.

East London

Brick Lane on Sunday

The Brick Lane Sunday Market – you could spend all day here and still not have enough time to properly shop!

Shoredtich and Hackney have turned from working class neighborhoods to gentrified versions of their former selves. Speakeasy bars, food trucks and fashion shops that sell goods not just for you but for your pets are on every street. And with enough vintage markets to clothe a nation, the fashion in Shoreditch is a big draw – I love the quirky but cool style.

Top Things To Do in East London

  1. Take a Shoredtich food tour with Eating London
    It’s not the cheapest but it’s a great way to take in the neighborhood with a bit of beer, cider, food, history and street art.
  2. Shop quality vintage clothes at the Brick Lane Sunday Market
    People might tell you that you’re supposed to visit the Camden Market, but all the good stuff is actually at the Brick Lane market each and every Sunday.
  3. Get cocktails at the speakeasy bar in Breakfast Club (Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town)
    The Breakfast Club restaurant serves some decent American food, but the real treasure lies hidden behind the 1950s refrigerator. Reservations recommended. The cocktails aren’t cheap but they’re done well and the vibe inside is super cool.

Austin

guacamole sushi

Guacamole sushi at the Roll On Diner in Austin

The new Portland, Austin attracts freespirits, hippies and more than a few aspiring musicians. Sometimes it feels like there are more food trucks than people in Austin. There’s a reason they want to “keep Austin weird.” I think the coolest part of Austin is probably the foodie scene – you can get everything from trendy foods at a food truck, to Texas-themed sushi.

Top Things To Do in Austin

  1. Drink Mexican Margaritas at Trudy’s
    These drinks are an Austin institution! The food is really great here, too.
  2. Swim at Barton Creek
    When the weather’s nice, all the locals head to Barton Creek to cool off and show off their bodies. Pro tip: you can avoid having to pay if you don’t mind hanging out in the area that gets all the runoff from those wealthier than you.
  3. Enjoy the nightlife and live music clubs on Sixth Street
    Sure it’s crowded with drunk college kids and a whole lot of “bros”, but it’s still a great place to have fun in Austin. Try the Library themed bar for cheap drinks, a chill atmosphere and a more erudite setting (even if it’s all fake).

Somerville

Somerville Honk Festival

At the Somerville Honk Festival

It’s where Boston’s hipsters live and hang out, Somerville has the college town’s best coffee and some of Boston’s best restaurants. With Boston’s quirkiest street festivals (such as HONK!), Somerville always has something exciting and interesting happening. For a fun time, just head to Davis Square and take in the ridiculousness of the locals.

Top Things To Do in Somerville

  1. Try the coffee at True Grounds
    It’s a great little café to get some work done, enjoy some quality coffee or just sit-back and people-watch.
  2. Get brunch at Highland Kitchen
    With a southern style menu and cou
  3. Visit during the What the Fluff? Festival (every last Saturday of September)
    Located in the heart of hipster Somerville at Union Square, the What the Fluff? festival celebrates that marshmallow goo you used to put on your PB&J sandwiches. The fluff stuff comes from Somerville and the festival includes random events, cool t-shirts and a cooking contest.

Toronto

Toronto Kensington Market

You’ll find thrift & vintage clothing at the Kensington Market in Toronto

Sometimes considered a cleaner version of NYC, Toronto’s Queen Street West neighborhood is far from tame. The Ossington neighborhood is packed full of trendy bars located in-between dive bars, with cupcake bakeries and cute cafes scattered among them.

Top Things To Do in Toronto

  1. Drink at 416 Snack Bar
    It’s a small and often crowded bar, but their menu is awesome. They serve a huge variety of foods and cuisines and still manage to keep it all tasting well. Plus the drinks aren’t half-bad either!
  2. Eat in Toronto’s massive Chinatown (along Spadina Avenue)
    Toronto is famous for being so multicultural (you’d be hard-pressed to find a local Torontonian in town) so it’s no surprise that they’ve got a vibrant (and delicious!) Chinatown.
  3. Visit during Toronto International Film Festival
    The annual TIFF festival (each September) is a great time for celebrity-spotting. But if you can manage to get tickets to some of the premieres, it’s also a great opportunity to catch indie flicks and maybe be the first of your friends to see that next big hit. The TIFF festival often premieres movies which go on to win other prestigious awards.
  4. Eat artisan grilled cheese sandwiches
    This Toronto eatery, Cheesewerks, serves a variety of cheese-related foods (from fondue to mac & cheese). And the best part? It’s all made from local Canadian products. Plus they organize their own events such as an anti-TIFF film party!

Stockholm

Hipster shopping Stockholm

These Sandqvist backpacks (and knock-offs) are all over Stockholm. No hipster can go without one.

Just maybe the coolest city in Scandinavia, Stockholm seems to get all the latest trends while the news is still hot in Brooklyn. And not just the fashion, but the beer, too! Brooklyn Brewery recently opened up a brewery in Stockholm owing the fact that the city consumers almost as much of the beer as Brooklyn does. You’ll find most of the Stockholm trendsetters and hipsters in the  Södermalm neighborhood. And probably at cafés that also sell clothes, vintage clothing stores with in-house barbers or even hotels that sell their furniture!

Top Things To Do in Stockholm

  1. Go shopping at Grandpa
    This Södermalm institution sells everything from vintage posters and furniture to fashion finds from local Swedish brands such as Uniforms for the Dedicated. From wandering around their store, though, you can clearly tell it’s not about the brands, it’s about the specific products — all meticulously selected and curated because they’re the best of the best.
  2. Try the food (and drinks!) at Marie Laveau
    Also in Södermalm, this restaurant/bar/club/café serves country-style cooking along with great cocktails. Plus they’ve got a long menu of local craft beers!
  3. Visit the Stockholm Photography Museum
    The Fotografiska museum hosts some of Sweden’s best photography exhibitions and the museum is open late (11pm on Thurs-Sat!) so it’s great for tourists trying to fit in a lot of sightseeing. Or for late-night dates. You decide.

Read the original version of this article on the NYC Metro website here. And make sure you’re subscribed to my blog (via BlogLovin) as I’ll be publishing more in-depth hipster city guides to each of these cities and more over the next few months! Follow me on Instagram @travelsofadam to see where I’m at today and what I’m eating for lunch :-p

The post 6 of the Best Cities for Hipsters (Excluding Brooklyn & Portland) appeared first on the Travels of Adam blog.



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Never gets old! #thattoweragain 😍 (at Museum Island)

Never gets old! #thattoweragain 😍 (at Museum Island)

I love Berlin in the sunshine! ☀️🚲👌 (at Bundestag)

I love Berlin in the sunshine! ☀️🚲👌 (at Bundestag)

Hotel Rival in Stockholm: Sleeping in a Former Cinema

By Adam Groffman

Hotel Rival Stockholm

When preparing for my weekend trip to Stockholm, I knew one thing: hang out on the Södermalm island. From reading the Girl with Dragon Tattoo books and from my extensive research into Stockholm travel tips (thanks Pinterest!), I knew this was the island for me. The tens of thousands of islands that make up the Stockholm archipelago are seemingly endless, but Södermalm is clearly the city’s coolest. (And we’re not talking weather, but vintage shopping, bars, food, etc etc etc…).

And that’s how I ended up staying at the Hotel Rival, right smack in the center of the Mariatorget square and a 10-minute walk in two separate directions to both Stockholm’s Old Town (Gamla Stan) and the super-trendy SoFo neighborhood (more on that later). The hotel’s location couldn’t be more perfect. Convenient to the touristic sites in the old town, to the music festival I was attending on the weekend and to the amazing vintage shopping in SoFo.

Upon checking in to the hotel, and meeting with the concierge (who runs his own independent Stockholm travel blog), I quickly learned a bit more about the property and the Södermalm area of Stockholm. But I needn’t have had to speak with the friendly front desk staff because walking up to my room, it was quickly apparent this was a cool hotel. The front lobby is reminiscent of the 20th century cinema from the same property, with a theater space still existing, a coffee shop at the front and a cocktail bar in the atrium.

Other bits of style appeared throughout the hotel. A glass-framed elevator takes guests up to their rooms (with panoramic views looking out over the colorful roofs of Södermalm). Each room comes with a mixed bag of DVDs and CDs which you can play on the in-room stereo. And many of the rooms come with balconies (mine looked out on the backside of the property so it was also quiet and relaxing). The rooms all reflect the cinema theme of the hotel. Large theater curtains and iconic movie stills & celebrity photographs dot the walls. (Make sure to check out the old Polaroids on the wall in the restaurant!)

Hotel Rival’s design wasn’t obnoxious as sometimes happens in design hotels, but actually was quite practical. Small design flourishes add just the bit of style to make it that much more special. And its location in the heart of the Mariatorget square make it a great option for travelers looking for more than just a place to sleep. This is a place to experience Stockholm and get a feel for the Södermalm vibe. Check for deals on Booking.com with room prices from 150€ per night, or view more information on their official website.

Hotel Rival Stockholm

Hotel Rival Stockholm

Hotel Rival Stockholm

Hotel Rival Stockholm

Hotel Rival Stockholm

Hotel Rival Stockholm

Hotel Rival Stockholm

Hotel Rival Stockholm

Hotel Rival Stockholm

The post Hotel Rival in Stockholm: Sleeping in a Former Cinema appeared first on the Travels of Adam blog.



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Gotta love those Berlin rooftops! 🇩🇪 Guten morgen Berlin!  (at Unter den Linden)

Gotta love those Berlin rooftops! 🇩🇪 Guten morgen Berlin! (at Unter den Linden)

Home in Berlin and straight to the theater to see a queer-themed play/performance ✌️#dasistsoberlin (at Maxim Gorki Theater)

Home in Berlin and straight to the theater to see a queer-themed play/performance ✌️#dasistsoberlin (at Maxim Gorki Theater)

The Eiffel Tower is WAYYYY taller than expected!

The Eiffel Tower is WAYYYY taller than expected!

Perfect Paris👌 (at Eiffel Tower)

Perfect Paris👌 (at Eiffel Tower)

One Weekend as a Swedish Hipster at Popaganda Festival

By Adam Groffman

Popaganda

French pop band YELLE performs during Popaganda 2014

Stockholm has long been described to me as one of Europe’s trendiest cities. And with a history of good design (IKEA), fashion (H&M), films (Ingmar Bergman) and music (ABBA…I guess), it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Swedish capital city is at the heart of Scandinavian culture. So rather than making my first visit to Stockholm purely as a tourist, I made the decision to visit during one of the city’s coolest indie festivals: Popaganda.

The Popaganda Festival has been running for years, though it’s only been in its current location (a public swimming pool complex) for the past few. This year’s headliners included all female vocalists, with Swedish pop star Veronica Maggio headlining along with Swedish international pop group Icona Pop, plus Lily Allen from the UK. The festival lineup included a good mix of Swedish and international bands, though the entire festival felt rather small and personal. Always a good thing at a music festival where large-scale lineups can compete for audiences! Popaganda’s two stages never competed for an audience and you could even enjoy the music from one of the outdoor public swimming pools (though it was a bit cold for most people!).

My favorite performers at the festival included Yelle, Nonono, London Grammer, Lily Allen, Icona Pop and Veronica Maggio. Some I knew of beforehand, others I’d only heard on Spotify in the weeks leading up to the weekend. Festivals are always a great place to discover new bands and the mix between indie and more established pop performers made the Popaganda Festival especially great for finding new music. The organizers did a great job of selecting a mix of both local and international bands which also make the festival great for not just the local Stockholm hipsters, but also music-minded tourists.

Popaganda

Street food vendors sold food during the music festival, including these tasty Vietnamese Bahn Mi sandwiches

Popaganda

Beer is only allowed in certain areas of the festival, so be prepared to line up along railings to see performers!

Popaganda

A phone capture during Icona Pop’s performance

Lily Allen at Popaganda (Stockholm Festival)

Lily Allen performing at Popaganda in Stockholm – she’s just like you’d imagine her bubble gum pop!

Another feature of the Popaganda festival that stood out this summer, was the fact that this year’s headlining acts were intentionally all female. Something I didn’t even notice until it was pointed out to me! It seems gender equality is a popular topic of discussion in Stockholm, and it was no different for this indie festival, even if it was more covert. Elsewhere in the city, political posters dotted the streets in the lead-up to yesterday’s election. You may have already read a bit about Sweden’s Feminist Initiative political party (this story was particularly interesting if you’re unfamiliar).

Gender equality isn’t just a discussion in Sweden, but it’s actually visible. During my weekend, while touring around the hipster SoFo neighborhood of Södermalm one Friday morning, the area seemed to be crowded with stay-at-home dads. Even when I wasn’t looking to discover Swedish politics, it seemed to pop up regardless! It appears that there’s more than just style in Stockholm.

Popaganda

Hands in the air! This isn’t a boring festival – people actually will dance :)

Popaganda

The festival grounds includes plenty of space to chill out between sets

Popaganda

Icona Pop performs during Popaganda 2014

What You Need to Know

Tickets for the 2-day Popaganda festival were 750 KR (a reasonable 85€), though day passes could also be booked online or at the entrance. Be prepared for rain because this time of year is essentially the last weekend of summer weather. Umbrellas aren’t allowed in and may be confiscated at the door, so wear waterproof shoes and be prepared to buy an overpriced poncho if you don’t bring your own! While this is definitely a “Swedish” festival, as in it’s main audience is Swedish, you’ll still be fine speaking English and won’t have trouble meeting other people while there. More information about the festival is available on their official website: popaganda.se

Popaganda - Stockholm Indie Music Festival

Where to Stay

Stockholm - Hotel RivalThe festival is located on the Södermalm island of Stockholm — probably the most hipster part of the capital. But it’s also well-connected with the city through public transportation and with the early end time each night before midnight, it’s easy to get from the festival grounds to wherever your’e staying. If you want to continue the music theme for a weekend in Stockholm, Hotel Rival is located also on Södermalm. Each room in the hotel comes with your own library of DVDs and CDs and the hotel’s location at Mariatorget is a great place to base yourself for a weekend between sightseeing and the festival. Room prices from 150€ per night, or more information on their official website: rival.se

Getting around Stockholm is easy with the Stockholm Card which provides free or discounted entry to many museums, plus free access on public transportation. It’s especially useful if you don’t want to worry about queing up to buy tickets when the festival ends each night. More tourist information about Stockholm can be found on the city’s official website: visitstockholm.com

Check the travelsofadam.com blog for more Stockholm travel tips!

The post One Weekend as a Swedish Hipster at Popaganda Festival appeared first on the Travels of Adam blog.



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Paris from the rooftops 🇫🇷 (at Latin Quarter, Paris)

Paris from the rooftops 🇫🇷 (at Latin Quarter, Paris)

Travels of Adam is a hipster travel blog of interesting stories from around the world. This is the more hipster version of said travel blog.

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