Time Out Editorial Guidelines

Everything you need to know about our editorial standards and our ethical guidelines for creating content


Time Out Group is a leading global media and entertainment business that inspires and enables people to make the most of the city.

Time Out’s digital and physical presence comprises websites, mobile, social media, magazines, live events and Time Out Market. Across these platforms Time Out distributes its high-quality content – curated by professional journalists – around the best food, drink, music, theatre, art, travel and entertainment across 315 cities and in 58 countries. Time Out is monetising this global reach and its strong traffic via digital and print advertising as well as e-commerce.

Time Out is headquartered in London (United Kingdom) and listed on London's AIM stock exchange, trading under the ticker symbol 'TMO'.


Time Out maintains a high ethical standard when it comes to treating staff and third parties fairly, and our content never attacks people or businesses, but rather contributes constructively to the community conversation about what's going on in the cities we cover.

We exist to make it easy for our readers to explore new places, be it in their own backyards or across the globe. We always want to be respectful and responsible when writing about these places, so we follow these guidelines, which reflect who we are and what we stand for.

If you see anything being promoted on our site that’s incorrect or unethical, let us know at hello@timeout.com. While we’ll immediately remove anything inaccurate, offensive or unethical (or anything that inadvertently supports any business guilty of the above), it’s important to note that the independent opinions of and recommendations from our writers are essential to our mission, and we stand by them. That being said, if you see anything on our site that you know to be shady, or that offends you, or that you think may be offensive to others, we want to hear about it. We’re striving to make Time Out as inclusive as possible, and any input from our readers will be taken seriously and greatly appreciated. 


If anything sex-related could be even remotely exploitative, we avoid it. That being said, Time Out is pro-empowerment and all for exploring the sexy side of cities, so when we’ve done our research and the club/show/sex dungeon/etc. is legal and fully consensual, we bring on the kink.

We may sometimes comment on the legality/prevalence of drug use in an area, but we do not endorse drug use. In places where drugs like marijuana are legal, we approach them in the same way we do alcohol – have fun, be responsible, make good choices.

Same goes for politics: If it’s relevant to a visitor’s experience we’ll state facts about a destination’s politics, but we’re not a political publication and therefore do not endorse political figures.


Time Out has a hard no-tolerance policy for the following:

    -Game hunting

    -Vendors of conflicted products (ivory, tortoise shell, other animal parts, etc.)

    -Slum tours

    -Any organisation using exploitative tactics, be it toward children, animals, indigenous people, marginalised communities, etc.

For animal-based activities, our rule of thumb is if the experience in question uses animals for entertainment or riding only (without a conservation effort as the main focus), it’s a no. Animal sanctuaries, zoos and aquariums are always vetted.

Time Out is pro animal welfare, so while we concede that there are ethical ways to hunt game, we avoid including hunting hotels, tours, outfits, etc. in our coverage.

For venues/organisations involving children (schools, orphanages), we always make sure these organisations are well-vetted and any aid given actually goes to the welfare of the children.


We strive for a diversity of voices and experiences both in what and who we cover, and who we hire.

When researching and writing about experiences in a destination, we do our due diligence: Who owns these businesses? Who gets a leg up from our recommendation? (The ex-pat venue may be more easily accessible, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a better choice for either our readers or the community.)

We always strive to use respectful language when referring to POC, the LGBT+ community, indigenous populations, etc. (This is also a good way for us to vet any experience we’re considering covering—if they’re not using respectful language, there’s a chance they aren’t using respectful practices either.)

NEWS VERSUS FAKE NEWS (opinions, name-calling, etc.)

We will never report opinions as facts. We only publish news that's relevant to going out in a destination and/or a destination’s identity.

Time Out is opinionated but positive, and we don’t dis people or brands: haters might hate but we’re not going to join in!


We write editorial content primarily, and will always be transparent if our content is anything other than our own expert opinion (see Paid Content, below).


We do not accept payment or receive gifts in exchange for our editorial content. While our editors do attend press events and occasionally arrange for complimentary meals, tickets and experiences with PR representatives, we always ensure our coverage of these experiences is completely independent, that complimentary access to venues or events never influences our reviews, and that no conflict of interest ever occurs.


The content on our site comes from expert writers, and is attributed as such in our bylines. If there is content on our site that comes from another outside source, we will always attribute that information to whatever publisher or source it comes from.


At Time Out, we produce a variety of content that’s funded by advertisers in both our magazines and on our digital platforms. If a piece of content has been paid for by an advertiser, you’ll know as it will be clearly labeled. We also sell advertising space but you’ll spot those a mile off – they look like your everyday ads. Our funded content falls into three categories:


This is controlled editorially, which means an editor at Time Out has given it the go-ahead if they think it will appeal to our readers. Our Editorial team creates it, and the client does not have sign-off. It’s labelled as ‘sponsored.’


This is overseen by our Sales team. They consult the Editorial team about its look and feel, and make sure it upholds our values and editorial standards. Both Time Out and the client have sign-off. It’s labelled as ‘advertorial’.


This is where we give space in our magazine or digital platforms over to a client. Again, this is overseen by our Sales team, and there’s no sign-off from Time Out – the only instances where we’d intervene is if we think it’s inappropriate for our readers. Ads aren’t labelled but you’ll know them when you see them – they don’t look like Time Out content.


Time Out never includes listings for commercial reasons; we do, though, add links that enable our users to book the things we’re recommending. Sometimes these direct users to our affiliate partners, via what we call an affiliate link.

An affiliate link is a standard website address that also has a unique tracking ID tacked to the end. This unique tracking ID tells the website the user has come from Time Out. We receive a small amount of commission every time something is booked or purchased following one of these referrals. However, not all of our booking buttons use affiliate links – some are simply there to help direct our readers.

Some of our affiliate partners include: Skimlinks, Booking.com and GetYourGuide. Often, data is stored by our affiliates to help deliver better products, marketing and content to users – but Time Out does not share any of its own data with affiliates. (Click here to read the Time Out cookie policy.)

Although Time Out receives revenue for each booking or purchase made via affiliate links, curation by local experts is key to what we do. Therefore, selections are always independent from commercial concerns and the main function of our booking buttons is to help our audience engage with the great things we’re recommending.


At Time Out we define plagiarism as any content not created originally by our editors or expert writers specifically for Time Out’s use. We have a no-tolerance policy for plagiarised content, and always attribute as necessary (see Attribution & Sources, above).


Time Out editorial content is fact-checked to make sure that all the information is up-to-date and correct; all of our content has a time-stamp to indicate the last time each piece of content was checked. We check prices, location, transport details, opening times, dates and other things we think are useful. This is done by our writers, editors, and eagle-eyed production staff to ensure accuracy.


If any information in Time Out editorial content is factually incorrect, we will fix it as soon as we know about it. Please email hello@timeout.com to give us a heads up. Where a substantive correction has been made, this will be clearly flagged. We do not change star ratings on reviews, or the independent opinions of our writers.


We never use photography on any of our platforms without consent and authorisation from the owner. Authorised images are obtained from a variety of sources, including:

  • Image agencies (Shutterstock, Getty, etc.)
  • Commissioned photographers
  • Press photography: owned by venues, events and PR agents, with permission to be used on print or digital (or both)
  • Flickr (creative commons only)
  • Embedding a tweet/instagram post
  • Royalty-free stock images sites