Duncan Madden is a freelance travel writer who writes guides and reviews for Time Out, Geographical, Forbes, Culture Trip, Square Mile and more. He was shortlisted twice for the AITO Travel Writer of the Year award, and writes about France, Costa Rica and more. 

Duncan Madden

Duncan Madden

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The 14 best things to do in Cologne

The 14 best things to do in Cologne

Centred around a towering Gothic cathedral, this cultural urban oasis is a stone’s throw from Dusseldorf yet feels a world apart. A city where Germany's old traditions meet modern influences, the best things to do in Cologne will keep you entertained all day and all night. Köln, to use its German name, is at its best during its world-famous Carnival celebrations – a city-wide fancy dress party fuelled by beer and good spirits, starting on Shrove Thursday and running right through Easter weekend. But when the party finally fades, you’ll find there’s something to do in Cologne all year round. Get a taste for the fiercely protected Kölsch brews, test your sweet tooth at the Chocolate Museum, dance the night away to techno and eat your bodyweight in pork and potatoes before you leave. RECOMMENDED:📍 The best places to visit in Germany📍 The best things to do in Berlin📍 The best things to do in Frankfurt Duncan Madden is a writer based in Cologne. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. 

The 16 best hotels in Nice

The 16 best hotels in Nice

The French Riviera is Europe’s capital of cool. Also the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes department on this cobbled coast, Nice has long been a draw for sun-worshippers, partygoers, artists and holidaymakers alike, looking for unique things to do along the stunning coastline. The result is a city awash with fantastic hotels. From Belle Époque era grand residences and townhouses rich in period detail to minimal modern boutique hotels and eccentric artsy retreats, the choice really is boundless. And as Nice is rumoured to have more hotel rooms than any other French city (not to mention top Airbnbs), competition keeps standards high and prices surprisingly low for even the best rooms in the best hotels. Here then are our top picks, confidently striding the full gamut of rooms to select the cream of the crop catering to every possible taste, budget and location. Something for everyone then? Mais oui! Updated May 2024: As with pastries, such a delectable selection makes it hard to choose. To Remedy this very good dilemma to have, we've added two new stays that we feel are particularly noteworthy for their cosiness and proximity to the beach. RECOMMENDED:📍Check out the best things to do in Nice🛏 See our list of the best Airbnbs in Nice Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in and review every hotel featured, we've based our list on our expert knowledge of the destination covered, editorial reviews, user reviews, hotel amenities and in-depth research to find you the best sta

The 10 best things to do in Buenos Aires

The 10 best things to do in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is a chaotic melting pot, that is for sure. Argentina’s premier metropolis is all culture and colour, a city obsessed with tango, food, football, history and tango. No, that isn’t a typo, the capital’s obsession with tango deserves mentioning twice. Don’t believe us? You wait and see. This city isn’t for the meek. The best things to do in Buenos Aires give visitors a taste of the madness that sweeps people off their feet daily. The restaurants are elite, the local markets are as bustling as the word allows, and the hotels are stunning. Don’t forget your dancing shoes, because this place is obsessed with tango. Yes, it deserves a third mention. RECOMMENDED: The best Airbnbs in Buenos Aires

13 best beaches in Nice

13 best beaches in Nice

Ready for the French Riviera at its absolute best? You need to visit the beaches in Nice. There’s a reason these stretches of sand regularly get visits from the world’s rich and famous; they are little pockets of style and serenity, and they don’t get overrun with tourists like other popular spots do.  Oh, and don’t be put off by the clientele. In our guide, we’ve included beaches, coves and réserves that are perfect for all budgets. Some of them sandy, some of them pebbly, and all of them are perfect for swimming.  Generally speaking, you want to visit one of these gems between April and October when things are hot. Any earlier in the year and you might not get to see ‘em shine. Oh, and we've included beaches that are good for kids too. Nice has some of the best beaches in France (there, we said it), and these are the best beaches in Nice.  RECOMMENDED:📍 The best things to do in Nice🍴 The best restaurants in Nice🛍️ The best shops in Nice🏘️ The best Airbnbs in Nice Planning your next trip? Check out our latest travel guides, written by local experts.

The 13 best shops in Nice

The 13 best shops in Nice

Wonderful, glorious Nice. So nice, in fact (see what we did there?), that you’re probably going to want to get a little something to remember your trip by. Or maybe a few little somethings. Or perhaps a whole suitcase or two.  Whatever kind of retail therapy you’re after, there’s more than enough to get going with in Nice. Here you’ll find artisan cheese stores, classic souvenir shops and weekend markets, as well as the aptly-monikered Golden Square and pick up some new threads before heading out for that gourmet evening dinner. Here are the best shops in Nice.  RECOMMENDED:🍴 The best restaurants in Nice📍 The best things to do in Nice🏖️ The best beaches in Nice🏨 The best hotels in Nice This guide is by travel writer Duncan Madden. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. 

Where to stay in Costa Rica

Where to stay in Costa Rica

Listing Costa Rica’s natural wonders, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a paradise too perfect to be possible. From climbing majestic volcanic peaks to surfing barrels on Caribbean and Pacific coasts, ziplining through cloud forest canopies to farm-to-table dining in underrated San José, its diversity of things to do is its strength. Famously peaceful, welcoming and eco-aware – it aims to be the world’s first completely carbon neutral country by 2021 – Costa Rica caters best to laid-back, nature-loving travelers with a sense of adventure and a healthy appetite. Here are five distinctly different locations that typify the warm and welcoming Costa Rica experience. RECOMMENDED: 🍽️ The best restaurants in Costa Rica🛏 The best Airbnbs in Costa Rica

Les 10 millors coses per fer a Buenos Aires

Les 10 millors coses per fer a Buenos Aires

La ciutat més gran de l'Argentina és un gresol de cultures i colors, de menjar i futbol, història i tango, sobretot tango. Un lloc que vibra amb la vida i com només poden fer-ho les grans ciutats: movent-se al seu propi ritme, sense dormir i en constant ebullició les 24 hores del dia. Una ciutat de veïnats i les seves particularitats, que els fan diferents els uns dels altres i dignes de visitar per separat, amb la seva particular mescla de cultures locals i nacionals. A Buenos Aires hem ballat als seus carrers, menjat les carns en els millors restaurants i explorat mercats locals, atraccions, botigues i hotels per a descobrir el que realment ho fa màgic.... i el nostre primer consell si la visites: el primer que has de posar a la teva maleta són les teves sabates de ball. Has fet alguna cosa en aquesta llista i t'ha encantat? Comparteix-ho amb l'etiqueta #TimeOutDoList i etiqueta @TimeOutEverywhere. També pots trobar més informació sobre com Time Out selecciona les millors coses per a fer a tot el món.

The 14 best things to do in Costa Rica

The 14 best things to do in Costa Rica

Flanked by the Caribbean and Pacific oceans, and largely covered in lush, protected jungle, Costa Rica is a biodiverse natural wonder. Unsurprisingly, its verdant land attracts nature lovers and thrillseekers alike and its government has pledged to become the first carbon-neutral nation by 2021. This Central American country has also been voted the world's happiest country on more than one occasion (perhaps due to its lack of army). Green achievements aside, whether you’re looking for eco lodges and fine-dining or beers on the beach after a sunset surf, the options for adventure, dining and where to stay are endless. So get stuck into Costa Rica at your own pace, because there’s only one thing that matters and you’ll hear it everywhere you go: pura vida, the pure, simple life. RECOMMENDED: 🍽️ The best restaurants in Costa Rica🛏 The best Airbnbs in Costa Rica

15 fun and unforgettable things to do in Mexico

15 fun and unforgettable things to do in Mexico

Sure, the alluring turquoise waters lure just about every visitor to Mexico’s famous beaches. But there's more to this vast country that lies beyond the surf and beneath the surface. Walking tours of ancient civilizations and must-see exhibitions at world-class museums offer a deeper appreciation of Mexico's culture-rich heritage, while natural beauty abounds in cenotes, jungles, caves, and along rivieras. Throughout it all, savor regional flavors whilst experiencing big cities and small towns alike—here are the best things to do in Mexico. RECOMMENDED: 📍 The best things to do in Mexico City😋 The best restaurants in Mexico

The 10 best markets in Buenos Aires

The 10 best markets in Buenos Aires

Microcosms of the neighborhoods they inhabit, markets – or ferias – are one of the best things to do in Buenos Aires, and a great way to immerse yourself in the culture, mingle with locals and pick up a few treats. Argentines never throw things out, which – along with their artisanal prowess – makes for market nirvana. You’ll find a market (many lined with restaurants and even top hotels) in almost every neighborhood in the city, but many are worth going out of your way to visit, whether that’s to pick up a vintage bargain, a local masterpiece or just to watch life unfurl in a riot of dance and color on the cobbled streets. RECOMMENDED:📍 The best things to do in Buenos Aires🍴 The best restaurants in Buenos Aires🛏 The best hotels in Buenos Aires 🏠 The best Airbnbs in Buenos Aires

7 things you can only do in Berlin

7 things you can only do in Berlin

Whenever you're visiting any big city, you might find yourself overloaded with information: incredible architecture, tourist-baiting attractions and simply not enough time to see everything you want to see. Berlin is no different, with its reputation for the arts, nightlife and history. Whether you’re climbing the Reichstag or getting your culture on at Museum Island, there are plenty of big sights to see. But take a breath and dive in a bit deeper: you’ll lay bare a cultural hotchpotch of the weird, wonderful, gritty and sophisticated. Step out of tourist town and you’ll find each kieze – or neighbourhood – has its own distinct approach to, well, everything… RECOMMENDED: Here are the 16 best things to do in Berlin right now This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.