SA Neighbourhoods Among Coolest in the World

November 2018 - Forbes Magazine recently asked their travel experts to list their top 12 coolest neighbourhoods in the world. The list is, in essence, an ode to the often-overlooked areas that increasingly exert a substantial pull on global tourism.

Two of South Africa's neighbourhoods, the charming seaside village of Kalk Bay in Cape Town and the creative hub of Maboneng in Johannesburg, were featured on the list, outranking Soho in London and Manhattan in New York.

Kalk Bay

Kalk Bay, Cape Town - Quaint 'hood on the False Bay coastline

Whether it's food, art or adventure tourists are after, the seaside haven of Kalk Bay, which tops the Forbes' list, has something for every visitor.

A quaint neighbourhood on the False Bay coastline, the area is known for its raw beauty, rustic fishing boats, interesting shops, vast selection of restaurants and stunning views.

Some of the most popular attractions in Kalk Bay include Olympia Cafe & Deli, famous for its freshly baked pastries and bread; The Brass Bell Restaurant; Ice Cafe, serving the best ice-cream in town made using only natural ingredients; the iconic red-and-white-striped lighthouse; and Kalk Bay Books, one of Cape Town's best book stores.


Discover Maboneng in downtown Johannesburg

With a mix of cafes, restaurants, art galleries, boutique stores and studio space, Maboneng, which was listed at number 8, is a hugely popular lifestyle attraction for local and international travellers.

Once declared no-go zone as a result of crime and urban decay, the Maboneng Precinct has now become a centre of creative energy for Johannesburg's urban artists.

Highlights of this inner-city precinct include arts-focused destinations such as Arts on Main, The Agog Gallery, the David Krut workshop, and The Bioscope independent cinema; while culinary attractions include SMACK! Republic brewery, Chalkboard Cafe, Living Room, The Blackanese, and CHE Argentine Grill.

Here is the full list of neighbourhoods featured on the Forbes list:


Sants, Barcelona, Spain

Navy Yard

Navy Yard, Washington D.C., USA

Amsterdam Noord

Amsterdam Noord, Amsterdam, Netherlands


Getsemani, Cartagena, Colombia


Maboneng, Johannesburg, South Africa


Plekhanov, Tbilisi, Georgia

Casco Viejo

Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama

District 5

District 5, Saigon, Vietnam


Keramikos, Athens, Greece


Seongsu-dong, Seoul, South Korea


Pilsen, Chicago, USA

Kalk Bay

Kalk Bay, Cape Town, South Africa

Click here to read the full Forbes' article on the '12 Coolest Neighbourhoods Around the World'.

Are you planning a holiday in South Africa? Read First Car Rental's travel guides, and get the most out of your South African holiday.

First in Car Hire. First in Service.