Ever the purveyors of up-and-coming cities, a new year brings yet another opportunity for Hg2 to whip out our crystal ball and be the first to tell you where will be hip and happening in the coming year.


In a country known for it’s exclamatory ‘O Canada!’ national anthem, there’s no city with more O’s to shout about than Toronto. Thanks to the attendance of indie heartthrobs like Ryan Gosling, the city’s annual Toronto International Film Festival generated more Hollywood buzz than Lindsay Lohan’s playboy cover. Along with the launch of a Shangri-La and Trump Tower, we have high-expectations from this low-key city for 2012.

Browse Hg2 Toronto here


Ever since the heyday of the cocaine cartels, Colombia has been stuck with a bad rep, but as the disco powder haze wears off foreigners are starting to take notice of the capital’s rich cultural offerings, mouth-watering foods and lively party scene. Bogota has all the trappings of any big city and the flair of a small Latin town – skyscrapers and world-class architecture sit alongside colourful colonial houses – making this the perfect city to explore the many layers that have been hidden behind violence all these years.

Browse Hg2 Bogota here

New Orleans

Many travellers know of the city thanks to the city’s annual Mardi Gras Festival, but since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has slowly been rebuilding itself. Now bigger and bolder than ever, New Orleans is back with a bang, reinstating itself as the favourite city of the Deep South.

Browse Hg2 New Orleans here


Seasoned nomads and jaded tourists; this one is for you. Despite the old cliché left by Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat, the largest city of Kazakhstan has more to offer than mankinis and vodka. Nestled in the foothills of the Zailiyski Alatau Mountains, head to Almaty in the summer when the tree-lined streets are perfect for wandering through the city’s cafes, shops, bars and historical landmarks. Be sure to get there before the tourist buses disembark.

Browse Hg2 Almaty & Astana here


Having long played the beast alongside the Capetonian beauty, sadly the city has been better known for its crime rate than its cityscape. Beyond the violent façade, Jo’burg is the city that’s seemingly always on a Red Bull Buzz and people beyond the border are starting to take notice of the city’s urban edge and gritty-cool party scene, even receiving the seal of ‘cool city’ approval by the opening of a number of independent boutique hotels like the Ilali.

Browse Hg2 Jo’burg here.

And finally…


2012 is London’s year. The streets are being frantically scrubbed, roads mended and building work finalized in the nick of time as the world’s gaze turns on the city. The greatest show on earth arrives in the form of the Olympic Games, the Queen celebrates 60 years on the throne with her Diamond Jubilee (just 4 years short of Queen Victoria’s record) and the most comprehensive collection of Leonardo’s ever shown continues its run. 2012 is going to be London’s year to shine.

Browse Hg2 London here

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