Best Neighbourhoods for Young Professionals
Ah to be young. With no strings, no commitments and no qualms about upping sticks and spending a few years pursuing wealth, wisdom and wild times in a country halfway round the world. If we were still young (and/or professional) here are the top ten neighbourhoods we’d be looking to move to in 2015.
Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, NYC
The financial, cultural and media hub of the eastern United States, New York provides plenty of employment opportunities for young professionals along with some of the highest salaries. With excellent subway connections to Manhattan, with Brooklyn’s trendiest bars and hippest hangouts within walking distance and with rents cheaper than in some of the borough’s other neighbourhoods, Prospect Heights is a great choice for a footloose and fancy-free expat.
When the hipster trend hit the UK it began in the neighbourhood of Shoreditch and then quickly spread eastwards with the gentrification of previously working class neighbourhoods in Hoxton and Dalston. Today hipsterdom almost encompasses the entire borough of Hackney so wherever you choose to put down roots you won’t be far from an organic food store or custom bike shop. With great new overground rail links and plenty of buses, Hackney is well connected to the city centre to which young people from all over europe flock in search of career opportunities.
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Surry Hills, Sydney
The Australian economy seems to have avoided the kind of fallout from the global financial crisis that afflicted economies in Europe and the US and as such employment prospects for skilled expats are plentiful. This is especially true of the nation’s largest city.
Added bonuses include the abundant sunshine, beaches and healthy lifestyle. Our top neighbourhood pick is Surry Hills, once home to the Sydney rag trade and now the home of many a vintage clothing store as well as the city’s hottest chefs and hippest bars. There are excellent transport links to the CBD too.
West Queen West, Toronto
Described by the Lonely Planet as ‘Toronto’s coolest neighbourhood’, West Queen West is, as the name implies, located towards the western end of the 5km long Queen Street West. Like many of the neighbourhoods on this list, it was once seen as a rather run down area but is now choc-a-bloc with cafes, restaurants, galleries and boutique hotels. In easy reach of Toronto’s CBD, at the forefront of a strong Canadian economy, the area also boasts street markets and Trinity Bellwoods Park. But be prepared for a long search for digs – Toronto’s rental market is massively oversubscribed.
Bornheim, Frankfurt am Main
Frankfurt is vying with London to be Europe’s pre-eminent financial centre and with banks in the UK capital making big layoffs young bankers in search of career advancement – and who don’t mind living in a much smaller, much quieter city – could do a lot worse than the home of the ECB, Bundesbank and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Bornheim is Frankfurt’s youngest and trendiest neighbourhood. It’s linked to the CBD by the U4 line and is crammed with cafes, restaurants and shops.
Silver Lake, Los Angeles
The one time home of Kiefer Sutherland, Ryan Gosling and Christina Ricci is certainly the most star-spangled suburb on our list. Not as lively as Hollywood, or as up-market as Beverly Hills, what Silver Lake lacks in glitz it more than makes up for with hipster chic. Young professionals making the move to La La Land and looking for affordable accommodation, plenty of bars and restaurants and a not too punishing commute to Hollywood or Burbank, could do a lot worse than this ‘burb or it's eastern, equally hip neighbour Echo Park.
Mission, San Francisco
Thousands upon thousands are employed by the high-tech industries of Silicon Valley making the area around San Jose very attractive to migrants from all over the world.
But for a young professional with cash on the hip and time to kill, living in nearby San Francisco, and the hipster mecca of Mission in particular, offers way more entertainment than a Palo Alto pad. Yes, the commute is punishing but think of the cocktails, the coffee, the moustaches!
North Point, Hong Kong
Hong Kong has a lot of pull factors for young go-getters on the lookout for a CV bolstering, savings account swelling few years overseas. With a financial centre on the up and with English one of two official languages, Hong Kong offers employment prospects galore. Especially for women, who hold 30% of all senior management roles. But if you’re living abroad why limit yourself to an expat area? Why not soak up the sights, sounds and tastes of a much more authentically local neighbourhood. North Point offers easy access to the usual expat hangouts while also giving you the opportunity to integrate more fully into the Hong Kong scene.
Holland Village, Singapore
Singapore is crawling with expats. Which isn’t surprising when you consider that the ex-British colony is now one of the world’s top three financial centres, facilitating the exchange of commodities, energy, capital and information between east and west.
The influx of foreign workers, attracted by high salaries and relatively low tax rates, has caused rental prices in the city-state to skyrocket. Holland Village is no exception but does offer a more bohemian vibe than many of its equally expensive counterparts, with a large hawker centre and a good selection of restaurants and cafes.
Green Point, Cape Town
If you move to Cape Town in search of sun, sea, safaris and laid back, low cost living why live in the hustle and bustle of the City Bowl? In a city where you’re never that far from the CBD anyway and where waterfront living is eminently affordable, why not check out trendy Green Point? As well as the city’s gay culture hotspot Green Point also boasts the city’s new football stadium, proximity to the bars, restaurants, cinemas and shops of the V&A Waterfront and some beautifully rugged Atlantic coastline.