South Africans love nothing more than running with the international jet-set and to be considered part of the pack. Cape Town has long made the list of the world’s most desirable cities, and they’ve just been named as one of the 4 coolest destinations in the world, by Airbnb and VICE.
But what makes a city ‘cool’? Travel magazines like the word. They’re always keen to let you know that they know all about the latest hip destinations. But beyond popularity, these qualities are hard to define.
One thing that is common to most people who are considered ‘cool’ is that they’re comfortable in their own skin. The same can be said about cities – the hip ones aren’t trying to prove anything – they’re just being themselves.
VICE and Airbnb have used this to cool factor to create unique global experiences in four of the world’s most desirable cities. The adventures are unique - authentic expressions of the destination, giving travellers a chance to enjoy first-hand fascinating, unusual experiences. Each experience is hosted by a local to the city, and there is no doubt that these hosts are cool.
Expecting the unexpected from world-class destinations
In Paris, sex educator and writer Camille Emmanuelle shows guests a more intimate look at the nuances of this historical city of love – from private burlesque classes to the “love stores” that are promoting inclusivity in erotic culture.
Tokyo’s curated experience also deals with sexuality; filmmaker Ian Daniel welcomes guests into Tokyo’s thriving yet partially-hidden queer culture by learning how manga comics are pushing LGBTQ narratives into mainstream pop culture. The experience then explores the unique nightlife of the Ni-chōme district, which boasts the highest concentration of gay bars in the world.
New York and Cape Town’s experiences are focused on creativity. In Harlem, VICE has created a tour along with Kia LaBeija, a multidisciplinary artist whose work explores community, politics and fine art. The experience lets explorers immerse themselves in one of the most authentic subcultures truly unique to New York – Voguing. You’ll be taught the history, the dance moves, and to top it all off, get to attend a vogue party - one of the most vivid and energetic events ever.
Right here at home, Cape Town’s unique experience dives into the electronic music scene in an unexpected place - the Khayelitsha Township. World-renowned South African rapper, DJ and producer, Spoek Mathambo, teamed up with local musician Yolanda Fyrus to curate this ‘Township Techno’ tour, which invited guests to see how rhythm and beats are imprinted in the culture by learning traditional dance moves. Guests even get the chance to collaborate with a local DJ and produce their own track.
“In Khayelitsha, house music is an expression of freedom that blends traditional styles with evolving methods of music production”, says Mathambo, “though outsiders may see house music as largely European, Cape Town’s eclectic musical roots and youthful population have made it a hub of experimentation.”