The World's Chicest Cities, A Can't-Miss Top 10

Whether you have big plans to traverse the globe or just a little hankering to get out of town, the most important part of the whole planning process is picking out where you're going to go. And there are a variety of chic, design-centric options out there to choose from. We're hardly suggesting this is a comprehensive list, but we are telling you that the 10 cities that follow (and the must-visits stops we're recommending for each) are our favorite stops around the globe, when it comes to style stalking.
And hey, even if the furthest you're planning to go today is from the couch to your TV (hey, it's called the laziest day of the year for a reason), we're thinking you'll enjoy the gorgeous, around-the-world eye candy, anyway. This is the stuff daydreams are made of, after all.
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We already told you all about them, and as promised, the ladies of Fathom are now serving up some genius, real-life travel advice, here on R29. Follow them on Twitter @FathomWayToGo, tell them about your own travels on Facebook, and sign up for their weekly wanderlusty newsletter here.
Opener Image: Photographed by Piera Gelardi
1 of 10
Antwerp
The city has been synonymous with edgy, avant-garde fashion since the '80s, and there's still a radical feel to the place, although a softer side is emerging, too.

Stay: You'll want to pin every room in De Witte Lelie to your "dream interiors" Pinterest page.
De Witte Lelie, Keizerstraat 16-18 (near Ambtmanstraat); 32 32 26 19 66.

Shop: Helder is a sweet interiors shop and design studio — one of our favorites.
Helder, Vrijdagmarket 13 (near Drukkenijstraat); 32 32 89 43 18.

Eat: Hangar Eenenveertig, designed by Belgian architect Jo Peeters, has a grand European cafe vibe, with loads of contemporary quirks.
Hangar Eenenveertig, Sint Michielskaai 41 (near Scheldestraat); 32 32 57 09 18.

See: The City Museum of Antwerp is a mesmerising Jenga-style building on the water, and Cafe Storm — at the tippy top — is the best place to have a coffee and take in the view. Antwerp Fashion Museum pays homage to the active, international, and creative approach of local designers. And Antwerp’s open air contemporary art gallery, Middelheim Museum, is like a Surrealist dream.
The City Museum of Antwerp, Hanzestedenplaats 1 (near Godefriduskaai); 32 33 38 44 34; Antwerp Fashion Museum, Nationalestraat 28 (near Kammenstraat); 32 34 70 27 70; Middelheim Museum, Middelhheimlaan 61 (near Beukenlaan); 32 32 88 33 60.

Photo: iStock
2 of 10
Seoul
The fast-paced, high-context city is totally indie, constantly evolving, and as vibrant as — you guessed it — Gangnam Style.

Stay: Park Hyatt Seoul has sweeping city view, deep plunge tubs, and thoughtful amenities like a hidden kettle cupboard. If you make it out of the room, have a drink at the cool Timber House lounge.
Park Hyatt Seoul, 606 Teheran-ro (near Yeongdong-daero); 82 2 2016 1234; The Timber House, 606 Teheran-ro (near Yeongdong-daero); 82 2 2016 1291.

Shop: In a town where concept shops are a competitive sport, Koon with a View stands out for its indie Japanese and Italian designers and for the cute garden café in the back.
Koon With A View, 546-5 Sinsa-dong; 82 2 3443 4506.

Eat: Gwangjang Market in Dongdaemun is a teeming, 24-hour assault on the senses. Stop and order anything that looks good — street food is an art in Seoul — and wash it down with Makkeolli, a fizzy rice wine.
Gwangjang Market, 6-1 Yeji-dong (near Jong-ro); 82 2 2267 0291.

See: The new Simone Handbag Museum has a collection of bags dating back to the Middle Ages. If you're inspired by what you see, head downstairs and take a bag-making workshop.
Simone Handbag Museum, 17 Dosan-Daero (near Garosugil); 82 2 3222 0912.

Photo: iStock
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3 of 10
Brooklyn
Old-World techniques meet a New-World spirit in the borough of makers, where artisans, designers, craftsman, foodies, and entrepreneurs take a handmade approach to urban living.

Stay: An old factory on the waterfront becomes the epitome of New Brooklyn Style at Wythe Hotel. Industrial, farmy, laid-back but high-end, renovated, rediscovered, and topped with a roofdeck bar.
Wythe Hotel, 80 Wythe Avenue (near North 11th Street); 718-460-8000.

Shop: The Future Perfect, Le Grenier, and Darr represent the local design spectrum. Marketplaces like Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg pack a design punch.
The Future Perfect, 115 North 6th Street (near Berry); 718-599-5278; Le Grenier, 19 Greenpoint Avenue (near West Street); 718-569-0111; Darr, 369 Atlantic Avenue (near Hoyt Street); 718-797-9733; Brooklyn Flea, 1 Hanson Place (near Flatbush Avenue); Smorgasburg, 45 Main Street (near North 6th Street).

Eat: Vinegar Hill House encapsulates the rustic, time-worn charm locals crave. 606 R&D represents the clean, streamlined look that's taking over.
Vinegar Hill House, 72 Hudson Avenue (near Water Street); 718-522-1018; 606 R&D, 606 Vanderbilt Avenue (near Saint Marks Avenue); 718-230-0125.

See: We're rooting for Dustin Yellin's soaring Red Hook art space, which hosted art shows, symposiums, and exhibitions before it was damaged during Hurricane Sandy.
Pioneer and King.

Photo: Courtesy of Wythe Hotel
4 of 10
Mexico City
The sprawling, colorful capital referred to as D.F. (Distrito Federal) has always been a hybrid of artisans and industry, but the city is currently enjoying a renewed enthusiasm for homegrown design. And we're loving it.

Stay: Hotel Brick in the emerging Roma neighborhood mixes classic and cozy Mexican styles and has a lively lobby scene.
Hotel Brick, Orizaba 95 (near Tabasco); 800-500-1100.

Shop: Common People is a 5,000 square-foot concept shop in the swanky Polanco neighborhood. And our other favorite, Chic by Accident, is a dramatic furniture shop and Mexican-design showroom housed in a refurbished mansion from the '20s.
Common People, Emilio Castelar 149 (near Lafontaine); 5281 0800; Chic by Accident, Álvaro Obregón 49 (near San Juan Francisco); +52 55 5511 1312.

Eat: The high-energy Contramar has a legendary seafood menu and is excellent for people-watching.
Contramar, Durango 200 (near Oaxaca); 5514 3169.

See: El Museo del Objeto del Objeto (Museum of the Purpose of the Object) is dedicated to the design, packaging, and advertising of everyday objects.
El Museo Del Objeto Del Objeto, Colima 145 (near Córdoba); 5533 9637.

Want More? Check out Fathom's guide to Mexico City.

Photographed by Piera Gelardi
5 of 10
Amsterdam
The city has an impressive display of contemporary public spaces that merge seamlessly with centuries-old canals, cafes, and bike lanes.

Stay: Hotel Droog is a single hotel room — and extension of the pragmatic, humor-filled Droog design shop. For something with a seedier history, we suggest Lloyd Hotel. It used to be a prison, but now has swings, hot chocolate, and free magazines and flyers for all design happenings around town.
Hotel Droog, Staalstraat 7B (near Groenburgwal); 020 523 5059; Lloyd Hotel, Oostelijke Handelskade 34 (near Piet Heinkade); 020 561 3636.

Shop: Moooi is a pristine white box filled with the work of hot-shot Dutch designers and products from international design fairs (the name is a play on "beautiful"). Also check out The Frozen Fountain, which showcases local up-and-comers of Dutch design. Oh, and HEMA is the Dutch version of Muji.
Moooi, Westerstraat 187 (near Tichelstraat); 020 528 7760; The Frozen Fountain, Prinsegracht 645 (near Molenpad); 020 622 9375; HEMA, Kalverstraat 212 (near Singel); 020 422 8988.

Eat: Hotel De Goudfazant is a creative seasonal restaurant in a hangar-like, industrial-chic space.
Hotel de Goudfazant, Aambeeldstraat 10H (near Mokerstraat) 020 636 5170.

See: Brush up on photography history past and present at FOAM. And Public Library Amsterdam, as sleek as an Apple Store, would cause your local branch to throw a jealous fit.
FOAM, Keizersgracht 609 (near Vijzelstraat); 020 551 6500; Public Library Amsterdam, Oosterdokskade 143 (near Annie M.G. Schmidtsraat); 050 253 0900.

Photo: Courtesy of Hotel Droog
6 of 10
Marfa
Head into the desert to enjoy the slow, sizzling artisanal and Minimalist art scenes in Marfa.

Stay: Choose to stay in a luxurious teepee, renovated Airstream trailer, or eco shack at the truly unique El Cosmico.
El Cosmico, 802 South Highland Avenue (near Madrid Street); 877-822-1950.

Shop: Marfa Book Store Co. is a local hangout with a huge selection of regional books, an impressive collection of poetry, and loads of in-store events.
Marfa Book Store Company, 105 South Highland Avenue (near San Antonio Street); 432-729-3906.

Eat: Food Shark is a '70s-era food truck that serves fantastic gourmet fare including a renowned version of falafel, called the Marfalafel.
Food Shark, South Highland Avenue; 432-386-6540.

See: It's here that Donald Judd installed huge, gleaming, conceptual concrete pieces on the side of the road. And it's where, even more curiously, a conceptual Prada store lives in a one-room adobe building.
U.S. Route 90

Want More? Check out Fathom's guide to Marfa.

Photo: Courtesy of Food Shark
7 of 10
Copenhagen
A charming city on the water with a love of functional design, modern architecture, and innovative cuisine.

Stay: Hotel Guldsmeden Bertrams is a nineteenth-century townhouse nestled in the hip Vesterbro neighborhood.
Hotel Guldsmeden Bertrams, Vesterbrograde 107 (near Kingosgade); 45 33 25 04 05.

Shop: Simply Chocolate sells space-age candy bars covered in foil wrappers with bright graphic fonts and quirky names like Minty Cindy and Grainy Sue. For a more big-ticket purchase, know that the royals shop at Illums Bolighus for home goods. It’s also the perfect spot to pick up design-centric souvenirs like Iittala Vitriini Boxes and Normann Copenhagen whisks.
Simply Chocolate, Østergade 52 (near Nikolaj); 45 42 13 56 22; Ilums Bolighus, Amagertorv 10 (near Niels Hemmingsens Gade); 45 33 14 19 41.

Eat: You can’t go to Copenhagen without tasting smørrebrød, Denmark’s traditional open-faced sandwich. Aamanns is a local favorite and its more casual offshoot, Smørrebrødsdeli, is perfect for take-out.
Aamanns, Vester 12 (near Wiedeweltsgade); 45 35 55 33 44.

See: Tage Anderson Boutique and Museum showcases the Danish flower artist and interior designer’s otherworldly creations.
Tage Anderson Boutique and Museum, Ny Adelgade 12 (near Borgergade); 45 33 93 09 13.

Want More? Check out Fathom's guide to Copenhagen.

Photographed by René Riis
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8 of 10
Berlin
The grit and edge of New York and the glittering lights of Paris are now to be found in the capital of Germany on the banks of the river Spree.

Stay: The Dude is a gorgeous, under-the-radar townhouse hotel with a private lobby, stunning spiral staircase, and Kartell lamps.
The Dude, Köpenicker Straße 92 (near Wassergasse); 30 411 988 177.

Shop: Manufactum marries German pragmatism and design. Everyday objects are artfully designed and produced using Old European standards and beautiful displays. And just be forewarned: Do You Read Me? is a magazine junkie's dream.
Manufactum, Hardenbergstraße 4 (near Steinplatz); 30 240 338 44; Do You Read Me? August Strasse 28 (near Koppenplatz), 30-695 49 695.

Eat: Katz Orange takes advantage of seasonal ingredients and deceptively simple (and delicious preparations). Ditto for the Brooklyn-feeling Little Otik.
Katz Orange, Bergstrasse 22 (near Invalidenstraße); 30 983 208 430; Little Otik, Graefestrasse 71 (near Mülenhoffstraße); 30 503 623 01.

See: The Boros Collection is a wild assortment of contemporary art housed in an indestructible bunker in the middle of town.
The Boros Collection, Reinhardtstrasse 20 (near Albrechtsraße); 30 275 940 65.

Want More? Check out Fathom's guide to Berlin.

Photo: Courtesy of The Dude
9 of 10
Sydney
The sun is always shining and the beach is never far in this laid-back coastal city, which has a slight hippie vibe with an Asian flair.

Stay: QTSydney is a new contemporary hotel where gargoyles and original timber floors mix with quirky furnishings and oversized soaking tubs.
QTSydney, 49 Market Street (near George Street); 2 8262 0000.

Shop: The Society Inc. is full of curious odds and ends — Victorian masks, porcelain fortune cookies, and felted animals are all painstakingly sourced and curated by owner and interior stylist, Sibella Court.
The Society Inc., 18 Steward Street (near Alexander Street); 2 9331 1592.

Eat: Mouthwatering modern Cantonese is served at Mr. Wong’s, a former nightclub space done up in '30s-Shanghai style.
Mr. Wong’s, 3 Bridge Lane (near George Street); 2 9240 3000.

See: Summer visits are not complete without an evening at the OpenAir Cinema. Save your appetite for its anything-but-ordinary movie snacks, which include Japanese curry udon noodles and homemade ice-cream sandwiches from Pat & Stick's.
OpenAir Cinema, Fleet Steps (near Mrs Macquaries Point); 2 9331 1755; Pat & Stick’s; 2 9114 6377.

Want More? Check out Fathom's guide to Sydney.

Photographed by Piera Gelardi
10 of 10
Matera
The ancient cave city in Italy's Basilicata region looks — no, is! — paleolithic. But the UNESCO site has a thriving music community and nascent contemporary art and design scene, too. It has been named Cultural Capital for 2019.

Stay: Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita is a stunning collection of cave dwellings with candle light, a freestanding Starck egg tub, and pristine linens. Local bread, honey, and cheese are served for breakfast in the deconsecrated cave church next door.
Sextantio, Via Civita 28 (near Via Madonna delle Virtu); 0385 332744.

Shop: Pop into thoughtful storefronts like Libreria dell'arco (maps, books) and Shibuya (CDs, coffees) during an evening stroll.
Libreria Dell’Arco, Via Ridola Domenico 37 (near Via Allesandro Volta); 0385 311111.

Eat: Laboratorio di Gelateria Artigianale i Verzi degli Angeli uses only the finest, purest ingredients in its incredibly addictive gelato — quite possibly the best in the land.

See: MUSMA (Museum of Contemporary Sculpture) displays huge works within a labyrinth of stone caves.
MUSMA, Palazzo Pomarici (near Via San Giacomo); 39 366 9357768.

Photographed by Jeralyn Gerba
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