It has been described as one of the great emerging travel trends, the popularity of so-called ‘hipster holidays’.

Hipster holiday packing! Cities are benefiting from  new trend.

Hipster holiday packing! Cities are benefiting from new trend. Image by markus spiske / CC BY 2.0

The iconic hipster, the bearded twenty something with perfectly coiffured hair, a tattoo and an ironic sense of humour, may be a figure of fun for some, but for cities looking to reinvent themselves – they have been a godsend.

And it is exactly the things that constitute a hipster holiday, straying away from the mainstream and seeking out the unfamiliar, which has every major city in the world happily trying to carve out its own uber-trendy outposts.

Hipster explained.

Hipster explained. Image by zinger / CC BY 2.0

It seems like every city now has a hipster mecca, with the epicentre of the trend generally considered to be Williamsburg in New York’s Brooklyn.

Other major US cities boast their own havens of hipsterism, with some of the best known in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury and Mission, and Silver Lake in Los Angeles.

Streets of San Francisco.

Streets of San Francisco. Image by Dave Glass / CC BY-SA 2.0

The area of Shoreditch has become almost a by-word for all things hipster in London while other famous European destinations include Kreuzberg in Berlin, District VII in Budapest and Miera iela in Latvia.

Colourful murals now adorn what is left of the Berlin Wall.

Colourful murals now adorn what is left of the Berlin Wall. Image by Sagie / CC BY-SA 2.0

Caroline Bremner of Euromonitor International said: “The hipster trend will only evolve as destinations become more popular and mainstream, resulting in other edgier locations becoming the new alternative haunts.

Boutique hotels have started opening up in hipster areas, but hotel chains are likely to struggle due to the independent nature of consumers.”

Airbnb under scrutiny for illegal advertising. Image by Gustavo da Cunha Pimenta / CC BY-SA 2.0.

San Francisco is the home of Airbnb. Image by Gustavo da Cunha Pimenta / CC BY-SA 2.0

Euromonitor’s survey on the growth of hipster holidays says popular areas are generally defined by a combination of pop-up restaurants, vegan cafes, independent shops and craft galleries.

“Airbnb and its peers have played a central role in opening up these areas to tourists,” they said, “as many lack hotels, with private rentals often being the only option for staying locally”.

Hipster holidays offer advantages for large cities, particularly ones that suffer from overcrowded city centres in peak season.

Amsterdam, for example, has been actively encouraging hotels to open outside mainstream areas, and making local and regional transport to get to them cheaper.

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