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Ed Cunningham

Ed Cunningham

Contributing writer

Articles (60)

The 17 most romantic hotels and getaways in Chicago

The 17 most romantic hotels and getaways in Chicago

No matter what gets you in the mood, Chicago's hotels are perfect for a romantic vacation, staycation or bae-cation with your person. But which of the city's hotels are the most appropriate for a seriously loved-up time? Below are some of our top picks, based on everything from jaw-dropping skyline views and lavish room features to quality dining experiences from some of best restaurants in Chicago. Whether you're coming from out of town for a romantic getaway in Chicago or merely looking for a steamy staycation, these luxurious stays are sure to satisfy—so pack your overnight bag and prepare for a night to remember at Chicago's most romantic hotels.  RECOMMENDED: Discover secluded getaways near Chicago This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

10 restaurants to book for an unforgettable Mother’s Day

10 restaurants to book for an unforgettable Mother’s Day

Of all the yearly occasions you might want to skimp on, you do not want to hold back on Mother’s Day. It’s the day to treat the person who brought you into the world: to buy her loads of flowers, take her out for the day and, of course, luxuriate in a fabulous celebratory meal. But whether it’s brunch, lunch or dinner, where should be taking your mum for a treat on her big day? Luckily, we’re here to help. We’ve teamed up with Quandoo, an international foodie directory and booking platform, to help you find the best place to take your ma this Mother’s Day. Quandoo lists over 17,000 restaurants worldwide in its hassle-free, quick and free reservation system. The premise is simple: the more you use Quandoo to dine out and review restaurants, the more loyalty points you receive, and the more cashback you can get on future reservations. Sounds pretty great, huh? From innovative Indian kitchens and all-guns-blazing steakhouses to pretty food bars and communal abodes, below are ten restaurants to book for an unforgettable Mother’s Day.

Could cities soon be made of mushrooms?

Could cities soon be made of mushrooms?

Ah, mushrooms. Some are tasty, some are deadly and some will make you lick your hand and talk to the floor. But did you know that they could solve a ton of problems in the world’s cities? Some scientists believe that fungi could be used to clean rivers, as fuel in vehicles, and even to build homes. As far-fetched as it sounds, the idea of building stuff out of mushrooms is pretty well established. The technology already exists and there’s an entire professional field – ‘myco-architecture’ – dedicated to it. In 2014, New York’s Museum of Modern Art commissioned a circular tower made of 10,000 bricks containing a mix of living mushrooms and corn stalk waste. Sure, the structure – named Hy-Fi – wasn’t habitable or particularly resilient (it’s since been taken down and composted), but it did show the potential of using fungi to build stuff. Scientists working with this technology technically don’t use mushrooms exactly but things called mycelia, the root-like parts of a fungus. These can be grown into very complex, precise and strong structures, making it a really useful and adaptable building material. Photograph: Ecovative Perhaps the strongest argument for mycelia construction is that, while normal building methods are a huge contributor to climate change (and waste a large amount of natural resources), fungi are totally renewable and much more eco-friendly. ‘The possibility of replacing plastics and other environmentally damaging materials and processes with something that

Five reasons to dive into Puttshack’s bottomless brunch

Five reasons to dive into Puttshack’s bottomless brunch

Every other Sunday, everyone’s fave high-tech mini-golf bar Puttshack hosts bottomless brunch at its Bank location – and it's absolutely epic. Combining Puttshack's fab mini-golf with bottomless bubbly and tasty mid-morning nosh, Brunch Club really is a hole in one.  Which sounds bloomin’ great, doesn’t it? It’s difficult to think of many things better than mid-morning boozing, top-notch food and some healthy golf-based competition. So here are five reasons to head on down to Puttshack for a wild Sunday brunch mini-golf bonanza.

How to holiday like a Viking: six ‘The Northman’ locations to visit this summer

How to holiday like a Viking: six ‘The Northman’ locations to visit this summer

Fresh from seeing Robert Eggers’ brutal, blood-pumping Viking action flick The Northman? No doubt you’ll be dying (figuratively, of course) to immerse yourself in the Viking world, to learn more about longboats, sagas, Valhalla and more. So here’s a handy guide: where to go to dive deep into Viking lore and visit some of the film’s spectacular landscapes. The Northman’s plot takes it from Scotland to the Kievan Rus and finally to Iceland, but nearly all of the film was actually shot in Northern Ireland. Naomi Liston, The Northman’s location manager, explains her task: ‘I was looking for three countries. Hrafnsey [the opening fort] was meant to be in Scotland, Fjölnir’s farm was Iceland and then the Slav village, where the massacre took place, was in Russia. So I had to find this whole continent in Northern Ireland.’ But just because the film wasn’t shot exactly where it’s set, don’t think for a second that the settings aren’t realistic, or, for that matter, any less stunning. Eggers is renowned for being a meticulous filmmaker whose works are insanely well-researched and historically accurate – and The Northman, from its headdresses and swords to rituals and folklore, is no different. If he was satisfied with a location’s Viking credentials, you know they’re legit. And Northern Ireland has plenty of Viking ties of its own, notes Liston. ‘There’s an island called Rathlin Island where there’s the remains of Iron Age people, and Vikings went to that island as well,’ she says. ‘H

The 13 best sex and dating podcasts

The 13 best sex and dating podcasts

Modern sex, dating and romance can feel, at times, like exceptionally tricky business. Each new technological development and social shift lays a new tripwire, making it even harder to keep up with what’s going on. How on earth are you supposed to keep track of it all? There is a simple way: start listening to one of these excellent sex and dating podcasts. There are literally hundreds of podcasters out there revealing all their worldly romance tips. There are so many sex and dating podcasts out there, in fact, that it’s hard to know what’s worth a listen. Which ones are trustworthy? Which are fresh? Which are interesting? And are some better than others when it comes to representing the experiences of LBGTQ+ communities and BIPOC? Sex and dating podcasts can be as tricky as the world of romance itself – but we’re here to help. Check out some of the best podcasts about lurve, lust and everything in-between. RECOMMENDED:🎧 The best podcasts to listen to right now💤 The best sleep podcasts✊ The best political podcasts😂 The best comedy podcasts👩 The best podcasts for women

The most spectacular astronomical events of 2022

The most spectacular astronomical events of 2022

Whenever life down here on Planet Earth gets a bit too much, there’s something reassuring about being able to escape to the cosmos. Not literally, obviously (unless you’re Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk), but there’s still a certain escapist bliss in studying the night sky. From eclipses and shooting stars to meteor showers, planetary alignments and moon phases, space is the greatest show off Earth.  Although pros will want to splash out on a fancy telescope, for most of us stargazing is free, infinitely rewarding and a great way to fill up all that free time we seem to have on our hands these days. If you can, it helps to find a spot far away from the light pollution of the city (here are the best stargazing spots in the UK and USA), but the brightest astronomical phenomena are easily visible from your local park or even your window – as long as it isn’t cloudy, of course. This year you’ll be able to spot the regular meteor showers and full moons (each with its own name) as well as a total lunar eclipse and two spectacular solar eclipses. To help you spot shooting stars, see a ‘pink moon’ or tell your penumbral from your annular eclipses, we’ve pulled together a list of the upcoming astronomical events we’re excited about. Read on for the most jaw-dropping cosmic events of 2022. 

Five Unesco world heritage sites at risk of destruction in Ukraine

Five Unesco world heritage sites at risk of destruction in Ukraine

Obviously, when it comes to Russian invasion of Ukraine, people have to come first. Providing safe corridors for evacuation from cities on the front line, assisting refugees in the asylum process, and working with charities and humanitarian groups to help people on the ground – this is all stuff that should take priority. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t worry about other things in Ukraine, too. History and culture are vital to human societies – and are especially important when their very existence is threatened by imperialistic aggression. As we’ve seen in all over the world from Syria and Mali to the Balkans, immensely valuable cultural sites aren’t immune from destruction in warfare. Ukraine currently has seven Unesco World Heritage sites, many of which could be destroyed in the current invasion. They aren’t all at risk (after all, it’s pretty difficult to destroy an entire forest, and there’s an ancient Greek colony in Sevastopol which has been under Russian occupation since 2014) but some could certainly be threatened – especially with recent allegations of increasingly indiscriminate Russian bombardment. Below are five that are at risk right now. RECOMMENDED: 17 ways you can help the people of Ukraine right now

The 10 best wireless earbuds

The 10 best wireless earbuds

A few years ago, wireless earbuds were a luxury. Everyone thought they were a bit OTT; maybe even that they looked a bit silly – after all, what was ever wrong with good old-fashioned wired earphones? Then the pandemic happened, and, with mask-wearing, wireless earbuds really came into their own. Once people tried a tangle-free, faff-free lifestyle, they didn’t look back. These days, the market is brimming with hundreds of models of wireless earbuds. And they vary a heck of a lot. While there are key differences in comfort, battery life, sound quality and noise cancellation tech, in-ear buds also come with huge style differences. Some are minimal and fashionable, while others can be so ridiculously chunky that they make you look like some kind of android. Luckily, we’re here to point you towards the best earbuds for every occasion. Below we’ve sorted your big-brand knock-offs from your budget bargains – read on for the top ten best wireless earbuds on the market. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

Experience Eataly like never before during Restaurant Fest this March

Experience Eataly like never before during Restaurant Fest this March

It’s pretty much an undisputed fact that everyone (yes, you included) loves Eataly. And how could you not? For casual Italiano fans and connoisseurs alike, Eataly is a literal heaven on Earth. Supremely tasty food? Check. A fabulous selection of vino? Of course. An enormous market packed full of the finest Italian ingredients ? You betcha. Which is why the return of Restaurant Fest, Eataly’s signature dining event , has us drooling. This March 4-20, the Eataly stores in both Flatiron and Downtown are set to be taken over by more Italian  dishes and wines than you can possibly imagine – and menus are starting at $19! So what even is Restaurant Fest? Well, in short, it’s an all-out celebration of all things Italian food. It’s the chance to indulge in some of Eataly’s finest dishes and drinks, and to take part in some pretty cool events, activities and experiences, too. As you can imagine, the food is top-of-the-range. Along with the  phenomenal two-course menus starting at $19, experience Eataly like never before with all new features like a roaming mozzarella cart, trays of coccoli con prosciutto (fried balls of goodness stuffed with prosciutto), and tiramisu directly from the pan, just like Nonna makes it.  It goes without saying that, for a meal this decadent, you’ll want to pair it with something equally delectable, and Restaurant Fest caters to that, too. From rare regional wines to cocktail carafes, Eataly will offer over 100 wines by the glass starting at just $10 and fu

The eight best record players to buy online now

The eight best record players to buy online now

Sure, some people reckon CDs are back on the rise, but vinyl certainly isn’t going away any time soon. In this age of music streaming, records are often the best way of supporting your favourite musicians. And what do you need once you’ve got a full rack o’ records? You need a good player, that’s what. As vinyl fans no doubt already know, record players are notoriously tricky things to buy. Not helped by the fact that vinyl snobs can be some of the web’s most irritating dudes/dudettes, buying a record player can lead you down very, very deep rabbit holes with different designs, levels of audio quality and countless other variables. Needless to say, you can also end up spending a pretty ridiculous amount of cash.   The perfect record player can depend on loads of things, from your current hi-fi set up to your budget. As a bare minimum, we imagine you’ll want something with a lovely depth of sound – and certainly not something that'll scratch up your discs. Below we’ve got a mix of record players and turntables (the difference being that the latter don’t usually include speakers or a preamp) for a range of uses and budgets. Read on, and prepare to revolutionise your vinyl listening experience. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

The best milk frothers to buy online right now

The best milk frothers to buy online right now

Mmm. There’s nothing quite like that thick, creamy frothed milk you get on top of a cappuccino at a proper coffee shop. For loads of us, it’s probably a main reason why we treat ourselves to a barista-made coffee. But you might not have to venture down to your nearest Pret or Starbucks every time you fancy frothy coffee for much longer – these days, you can get a proper milk frother to make top-grade milk foam from the comfort of your own kitchen. So how difficult can it be to froth some milk? Well, it’s more complicated than you think. You can get manual milk frothers, handheld ones and ones that are built into coffee machines. Some are also milk heaters, while others specialise in hot or cold froth. Plus, some are more effective with different kinds of milk. See? There’s loads of variables at play. Luckily, we’re here to point you towards some of the finest milk frothers in the business. From high-tech, glitzy machines to traditional, hand-powered devices, below are eight top milk frothers, for whatever your needs. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

Listings and reviews (14)

Halloween Jack the Ripper Tour

Halloween Jack the Ripper Tour

Tracing the exploits of a gruesome serial killer, the Jack the Ripper tours are scary enough as they are. But add a Halloween theme and the opportunity to drink a potentially frightful amount of booze? Even more spine-chilling. A collaboration between Spitalfields cocktail bar Discount Suit Company and walking tour company London’s Walks, the Halloween edition of the Jack the Ripper tour will explore the streets of the East End, led by charismatic Ripper expert Simon Whitehouse. But, vitally, it’ll include booze. Lots of it. Starting off with a complimentary hot punch, the hour-and-a-half-long tour will wind up at the Discount Suit Company itself, where there will be special 'Rocket Lolly' and 'Notorious' cocktails to mark the occasion. Tour guests will also receive a 25 percent discount off their final bill. Tours will start at 12pm, 2.30pm & 5pm

Frock Me! Vintage Fashion Fair, Kensington Town Hall

Frock Me! Vintage Fashion Fair, Kensington Town Hall

Fun fact: Frock Me was the first vintage fair in London. Back in 1997, founder Matthew Adams started the fair at Kensington Town Hall, which prided itself on a mix of fashion and decorative arts. It then moved to Chelsea Old Hall, taking more of a focus on fashion – but remaining London’s original, most essential vintage fair. For one date in November, Frock Me will be returning to its original venue in Kensington Town Hall. Promising 70 exhibitors with an enormous range of fashion (ranging from the Victoria era through to slightly more modern designer outfits), there’ll also be watches, jewellery and a pop-up café. For the fashion fanatics, preview tickets (11am-12pm) are £10. General admission (12:00-17:30pm) is £5, reduced to £3 with an NUS card.

Animal Therapy: The Cats of Louis Wain

Animal Therapy: The Cats of Louis Wain

Despite being tremendously popular in his time, artist and illustrator Louis Wain has been somewhat overlooked of late. Luckily enough, he’s soon to receive the Hollywood treatment, being played by Benedict Cumberbatch in an upcoming film, The Electrical Life of Louis Wain. And while that film is sure to invigorate Wain’s legacy with the respect it deserves, you can get ahead of the curve by heading over to the Bethlem Museum of the Mind. Wain is best known for capturing cats in all their various forms, and the Bethlem’s exhibition is a glorious display of some of his finest illustrations. Expect a vibrant, characterful world of felines, ranging from the anthropomorphic to absurd. Animal Therapy: The Cats of Louis Wain is free, but you can still support both the exhibition and the Bethlem Museum of the Mind by buying from their online shop or via direct donations. The Bethlem Museum of the Mind is open Wednesday to Friday and the first and last Saturdays of month, 10am to 5pm. See the museum’s visitor page for more details

Growing Underground Urban Farm Tour

Growing Underground Urban Farm Tour

Would you ever imagine that a mere 33 metres below Clapham High Street, there lies one of the UK’s most cutting-edge urban farms? Us neither, yet that’s where you can find Growing Underground, a farm fashioned out of a former Second World War bomb shelter. Cultivating veggies using LED tech and hydroponic systems, the farm produces pesticide-free, carbon-neutral and nutrient-rich greens that taste delicious. Snoop around and discover more about the history of the tunnel and the farm’s sustainable credentials during a 75-minute tour, which includes a fresh micro herb salad to take home with you. Green in more ways than one. 

RA Supports: Afghanistan Emergency Fundraiser

RA Supports: Afghanistan Emergency Fundraiser

As Afghanistan reels from decades of war and a brutal Taliban takeover, many of us are looking for ways to help the around 18 million Afghans in need of humanitarian assistance. And how better to lend a hand (or, more accurately, a bit of cash), than the Afghanistan Emergency Fundraiser? A joint project from Resident Advisor, The Right To Dance – a War Child fundraising movement – and Choose Love, the AEF will take over at The Cause in Tottenham for an all-night club event with an all-star line-up. The aim is to raise £10,000 for Afghans in need. When we say the names topping the AEF’s bill are huge, we really mean huge. Mercury-nominated duo Bicep and global megastar DJ The Blessed Madonna lead the way, though other names on show include ambient techno maestro Daniel Avery and UK garage revivalist DJ Banana, among plenty of others. There’s never been a better excuse to get down to The Cause, have a boogie, and raise money for a very, very worthy cause.

Museum of Architecture Gingerbread City

Museum of Architecture Gingerbread City

An entire city of gingerbread. Imagine that. Well, many of you probably don’t have to imagine it – you might’ve seen it with your very eyes. The Museum of Architecture’s Gingerbread City exhibition is hugely popular, and has been running for several years. It returns in December, featuring over 100 architects, landscape artists, engineers and ecologists, all working together to craft a mini settlement made entirely of gingerbread and icing. The MoA’s Gingerbread City features all the manor houses, town halls and skyscrapers as usual though, within the guidelines of this year’s theme of ‘nature in the city’, there are also meadows, parks and forests – as well as models showing the effects of pollution, flooding and climate change. This year’s exhibition takes place at a new pop-up location near Knightsbridge. Given the amount of gingerbread on display, needless to say the Gingerbread City is essential Christmas viewing. Our advice? Eat something before you go – it’s a nightmarishly mouth-watering place to be hungry. 6-7 Motcomb Street, SW1X 8JU. Tickets go on sale on the Gingerbread City website on October 11. 

For The Music Festival

For The Music Festival

We’ve all missed live music, but isn’t local live music enjoyable on an entirely different level? Watching musicians get a break before they become global superstars, and having that feeling of discovering genuinely fresh talent for yourself? For The Music clearly think the same: born in lockdown, throughout the pandemic they platformed local acts with a series of filmed web episodes. Now, For The Music is curating its own, real-life festival to give a stage to some of East London’s finest local talent. The line-up promises ten acts throughout the day, ranging in style from R&B and hip hop to funk and indie rock. The setting, inspired by Jools Holland’s live lounge, will also feature local behind-the-scenes crew, as well as an array of street food and craft beer stands.  Tickets are free and on the door.

Goose Island Presents... Hazy Sessions

Goose Island Presents... Hazy Sessions

How much you can recreate a tropical environment without relying on the weather at all? Hazy Sessions is giving it a go, promising to cram uplifting beats, a VW camper van bar and truckloads of barrels of a ‘juicy’ new IPA on to the outside terrace of Westfield White City . The latest instalment of Goose Island Presents, this day-long event launches the Chicago-based brewery’s latest addition to its IPA range, Today’s Haze. If you don’t like fruity beers, maybe steer clear: this new brew is apparently ‘flooded with mango, citrus and stone-fruit character’. Let’s hope all that tropical effort doesn’t get drowned in bucketing rain.

Queen’s Park Book Festival

Queen’s Park Book Festival

Too many book festivals don’t have enough festival. It isn’t that there’s too much emphasis on books (how could there be?) but that there’s just not enough partying, drinking and grooving with your fellow bookworms. But not Queen’s Park Book Fest. Held, as always, in the public park, it’ll combine literary celebs with stand-up comedy, local history and lectures on pressing issues of the day. And crucially, each day is capped off by a party into the night. Not like a rave but, you know, just a jolly good time.

Raise Three Fingers: a fundraising event for Myanmar

Raise Three Fingers: a fundraising event for Myanmar

For one of her first post-pandemic performances, Laura Marling is lending a hand to Raise Three Fingers, a community of artists and creatives acting in solidarity against Myanmar’s military coup. Marling’s folky, rocky delights might be the main attraction at the organisation’s event in Southwark’s Marlborough Sports Garden, but she’s part of a packed schedule. Over the course of a one-day festival, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly co-headlines, and there’ll be photography and art exhibitions, live comedy, keynote speeches, a craft fair and an auction. That’s a lot! And it’s all for a great cause – all proceeds go to Mutual Aid Myanmar, Advance Myanmar and Myanmar Crisis Action.

Open City Documentary Festival

Open City Documentary Festival

The great thing about non-fiction cinema is that its best stuff always leaves you knowing a bit more, thinking a little differently, seeing the world as an even more complex place than before. And no, not all documentaries do that – I’m looking at you, ‘Tiger King’ – but the kind shown at Open City Documentary Festival do. This year’s edition, as usual, spans stories from more different countries, peoples and eras than I can really do justice to, from a study of rural Japanese communities to an exploration of modern female labour in the UK. Embarking on a hybrid format after the pandemic, the festival will be showing 46 new films from 26 different countries, as well as putting on filmmaker Q&As, panels and workshops. The Open City Documentary Festival takes place at various venues across the city from Sep 8-14 and is online Sep 13-23.

Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience

Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience

I’m sure most of us, at some point in our lives, have wanted to be in the magical universe of Harry Potter. And luckily enough, that immersive experience has arrived! Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience gives you the chance to hurl spells and interact with magical characters, meeting centaurs, nifflers and plenty of other beasts from the world of the ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Fantastic Beasts’ film series. Behind the magic, A Forbidden Forest Experience features the technical wizardry of award-winning theatrical designers and experiential creators. The experience is a night-time woodland trail at Arley Hall and Gardens in Cheshire and includes food and drink inspired by the wizarding world, as well as the opportunity to shop for plenty of Harry Potter merch. RECOMMENDED: find out which Hogwarts house you belong in with our Harry Potter house quiz

News (464)

Japan has finally reopened its borders to international visitors – but there’s a snag

Japan has finally reopened its borders to international visitors – but there’s a snag

It feels like we’ve been waiting for Japan to open for a long, long time. After two years of being completely banned, tourists are finally being allowed back into the country – albeit with a lot of restrictions. The country reopened in April to some overseas residents, business travellers and foreign students. And now it has opened up its borders to limited numbers of international tourists. This stage in Japan’s reopening is being described as a period of ‘test tourism’. So what does that actually mean? Well, the ‘tests’ come in the form of very few packaged tours, which will be analysed by the government before deciding when the country will resume normal levels of tourism. While individual tourists remain barred from visiting Japan, if you don’t mind being part of a tour company, your trip of a lifetime may be mere weeks away! Needless to say, there are more than a few complications as to who can actually attend these ‘test tourism’ tours. They’re currently only open to triple-jabbed travellers from the USA, Australia, Thailand and Singapore, and all travellers have to book through travel agencies.  Currently the rules for entering Japan are complicated – to say the least. There’s currently a cap of 10,000 arrivals per day (which is increasing to 20,000 in June), and only those from a list of 106 countries (see that list in full here) can enter. Schools or companies have to sponsor individuals hoping to enter, and visitors must self-isolate on arrival. Currently, you need

Google Maps ha lanzado una nueva función para viajar en el tiempo

Google Maps ha lanzado una nueva función para viajar en el tiempo

Para celebrar el quince aniversario de la función 'Street View', Google ha anunciado que la empresa nos dará la posibilidad de viajar en el tiempo. Pero no, no es tan revelador como pensáis. La herramienta no te permite ir tan lejos: solo se remonta al nacimiento de 'Street View', en el 2007. Así que no esperes ver el nacimiento de la civilización ni nada de eso. Es más probable que veáis algo un poco más pequeño, como la construcción de un supermercado local o el derribo de un antiguo aparcamiento. Por ejemplo, la aplicación muestra la construcción de Hudson Yards en Nueva York. ¿Cómo podéis hacerlo? Id a Google Maps y dejad caer a la persona amarilla en una carretera (activando así 'Street View'). Deberíais ver un pequeño icono de un reloj en la parte superior izquierda (pronto lo podréis ver también a través del móvil, en la parte inferior de la pantalla), que abre una nueva ventana emergente donde podéis mover el control deslizante a través del tiempo y mostrar cómo el sitio ha cambiado en los últimos 15 años.  Actualmente, estas nuevas herramientas solo están disponibles en ordenador y también están en proceso de lanzamiento en los teléfonos inteligentes iOS y Android. Los cambios en Barcelona Foto: Google MapsCalle del Comte Borrell En el número 117 de la calle Comte de Borrell, en el barrio de Sant Antoni, se contrapone un cruce lleno de coches en el año 2008, con la supermanzana de Sant Antoni, donde se convirtió la acera en una plataforma única y se añadió vegetaci

Brits will have to pay to visit the EU from next year

Brits will have to pay to visit the EU from next year

Brits travelling to or through the EU: your trips are soon going to get just that little bit more expensive. From the end of this year, anyone travelling on a British passport between the ages of 18 and 70 will have to pay €7 (£6, $7.50) to enter or transit through any EU country. The added faff and cost is a consequence of the UK’s exit from the European Union, which means that British citizens will no longer enjoy freedom of movement throughout the bloc. Bloody Brexit, eh? A new visa system for visiting EU countries called the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is set to come into force at the end of 2022. When it’s launched, Brits will need an official ETIAS visa waiver in order to keep visiting European countries. It will be required for trips of up to 90 days (if you want to stay longer, you’ll need another visa entirely) for both tourists and business travellers, and will need to be obtained at least 96 hours before departure. And while this might all sound quite complicated (and spenny), it isn’t as bad as it sounds. The fee doesn’t have to be paid every time you enter an EU country. The waiver lasts for three years, so you only have to get a new one either once it runs out or if you get a new passport. Plus, the ETIAS visa waiver system isn’t just for UK citizens. It also applies to passport-holders of plenty of other countries around the world, from the USA and Canada to Brazil, Japan and Australia. You can see a full list of ETIAS countries

Google Maps ha llançat una nova funció per viatjar en el temps

Google Maps ha llançat una nova funció per viatjar en el temps

Per celebrar el 15è aniversari de la funció 'Street View', Google ha anunciat una cosa força especial: l'empresa ens està donant la possibilitat de viatjar en el temps.  Però no, no és tan revelador com penseu. L'eina no et permet anar tan lluny: només es remunta al naixement de 'Street View', l'any 2007. Així que no esperis veure el naixement de la civilització ni res d'això. És més probable que vegeu alguna cosa una mica més petita, com ara la construcció d'un supermercat local o l'enderrocament d'un antic aparcament. Per exemple, l'aplicació mostra la construcció de Hudson Yards a Nova York. Com ho podeu fer? Aneu a Google Maps i deixeu caure la persona groga a una carretera (activant així 'Street View'). Hauríeu de veure una petita icona de rellotge a la part superior esquerra (aviat ho podreu mirar també a través del mòbil, a la part inferior de la pantalla), que obre una nova finestra emergent on podeu moure el control lliscant a través del temps i mostrar com el lloc ha canviat en els últims 15 anys. Un cop ho acabeu, podreu passar moltes hores de diversió explorant. Actualment, aquestes noves eines només estan disponibles a l'ordinador i també estan en procés de llançament als telèfons intel·ligents iOS i Android. Els canvis a Barcelona Foto: Google MapsCarrer del Comte Borrell Al número 117 del carrer Comte de Borrell, al barri de Sant Antoni, es contraposa una cruïlla plena de cotxes l'any 2008, amb la superilla de Sant Antoni, on es va convertir la vorera en una

You can stay in the prison where they filmed the new season of ‘Stranger Things’

You can stay in the prison where they filmed the new season of ‘Stranger Things’

Are you just a little bit into Stranger Things? Well, here’s a rental that’ll blow your mind. A prison where they filmed some of the show’s upcoming fourth season has been turned into an incredible Stranger Things-themed Airbnb. The century-old Lukiškės Prison in Vilnius, Lithuania, serves as an appropriately cold and severe setting for the fourth (apparently darker and creepier) season of the hit Netflix series. But if you’re worried that the Airbnb is as austere as the prison the Lukiškės represents in Stranger Things, fear not. The cell you’ll be staying in is kitted out with lots of home comforts – including plenty of ST-themed décor like 1980s-style furniture and the first season’s famed coloured fairy lights. Considering it is, y’know, a prison cell, the place is pretty damn swanky.  And the actual room isn’t everything this Airbnb has to offer. The rental also includes a tour of the prison, as well as visits to the exact filming spots used in the show. Here are a few photos of Lukiškės Prison and the themed rental. Photograph: Olga Posaskova / Go Vilnius Photograph: Olga Posaskova / Go Vilnius Photograph: Saulius Ziura The prison only ceased functioning as an actual prison in 2019, so it retains quite a severe vibe – to say the least. These days, however, it’s known as Lukiškės Prison 2.0 and is an arts and culture venue.  If you’re interested in staying in the Airbnb, you can check availability and find out more here. Did you see this crane pod in Amsterdam, whi

Could Berlin really go car-free?

Could Berlin really go car-free?

Earlier this year, Berlin pitched one of Europe’s boldest visions for a car-free future. Fifty thousand Berliners signed a petition by the Berlin Autofrei campaign calling for a law to ban cars from within the city’s S-Bahn ring. The proposed area covers a whopping 88 square kilometres, which is roughly equivalent to London’s zones 1 and 2, and would be the largest car-free urban district in the world. Thanks to its huge popularity, the petition was officially considered by Berlin’s local government. However, it appears to have been stalled by the city’s Senate, who have criticised the bill for being too radical, and it looks almost certain to be rejected. So is the dream officially over for the city’s anti-car campaigners? Well, it might not actually be the end of the story. When a bill like this one is rejected, its organisers have the option to take the issue to a public referendum and potentially override the decision of the local government. For the referendum to be triggered, the petition will need to reach 170,000 signatures.   Now, when we say car ban, obviously the proposals don’t advocate for no vehicles at all. Public transport would still be allowed into the zone, as well as people who depend on a car for their trade or because they have impaired mobility. Emergency services would also be exempt and, because sometimes people really do need to drive (to move house, for example), each citizen would be permitted up to 12 rented car journeys a year. Getting rid of car

Podries cobrar 50.000 lliures per mudar-te a una illa escocesa

Podries cobrar 50.000 lliures per mudar-te a una illa escocesa

Et ve de gust canviar el teu dia a dia per un estil de vida molt més relaxat? Doncs escolta: no només podries mudar-te a una de les illes més boniques i remotes d'Escòcia, sinó que a més et podrien pagar per fer-ho. No, no estàs somiant... El govern escocès ofereix 50.000 lliures esterlines (58.855 euros) per traslladar-se a una illa de la seva elecció. Els diners es lliuren en forma de val, amb la idea que la gent utilitzi aquestes 50.000 lliures per a comprar cases, obrir negocis i, en general, donar un impuls a les comunitats insulars. S'espera que els "golden hellos", com se'ls anomena, es concedeixin a 100 persones abans del 2026. I a quines illes es pot viure? Bé, en realitat no s'ha especificat, així que pots suposar que qualsevol illa escocesa poc poblada i una mica remota està disponible. Des de les Hebrides fins a les Orkney, tot el que necessites per aconseguir els diners és ser jove (idealment amb família) i justificar adequadament les teves raons per mudar-te a l'illa. Encara que es podria pensar que el pla és, pel que sembla, una cosa bona en general, hi ha hagut crítiques. Alguns han argumentat que el govern escocès hauria de gastar els diners en coses com millorar el transport i la connectivitat de banda ampla, fent així que les illes remotes siguin més atractives per viure-hi. En qualsevol cas, els bons es començaran a repartir a l'estiu. Podeu obtenir més informació aquí. NO T'HO PERDIS: Coses per fer a Barcelona al maig Llegeix el número de maig de Time Ou

Podrías cobrar 50.000 libras por mudarte a una isla escocesa de ensueño

Podrías cobrar 50.000 libras por mudarte a una isla escocesa de ensueño

¿Te apetece cambiar tu día a día por un estilo de vida mucho más relajado? Pues escucha esto: no solamente podrías mudarte a una de las islas más bonitas y remotas de Escocia, sino que además te podrían pagar por hacerlo. No, no estás soñando... El gobierno escocés ofrece 50.000 libras esterlinas (58.855 euros) por mudarse a una isla de su elección. El dinero se entrega en forma de bono, con la idea de que la gente utilice esas 50.000 libras para comprar casas, abrir negocios y, en general, dar un impulso a las comunidades insulares. Se espera que los "golden hellos", como se les llama, se concedan a 100 personas antes de 2026. ¿Y en qué islas se puede vivir? Bueno, en realidad no se ha especificado, así que puedes suponer que cualquier isla escocesa poco poblada y algo remota está disponible. Desde las Hebrides hasta las Orkney, todo lo que necesitas para conseguir el dinero es ser joven (idealmente con familia) y justificar adecuadamente tus razones para mudarte a la isla. Aunque se podría pensar que el plan es, por lo que parece, algo bueno en general, ha habido críticas. Algunos han argumentado que el gobierno escocés debería gastar el dinero en cosas como mejorar el transporte y la conectividad de banda ancha, haciendo así que las islas remotas sean más atractivas para vivir. En cualquier caso, los bonos empezarán a repartirse en verano. Puede obtener más información aquí. NO TE LO PIERDAS: Cosas para hacer en Barcelona en mayo Lee el número de mayo de Time Out Barcelon

Pay £3 extra and Eurostar will plant a new tree when you book

Pay £3 extra and Eurostar will plant a new tree when you book

While being much better for the planet than planes and cars, train travel still isn’t exactly good for the environment. Trains powered by diesel still, obviously, emit harmful gases into the atmosphere, while even fully electric trains often get their energy supply from power stations fuelled by fossil fuels. In short, unless a train is totally powered by renewable energy, it has a negative impact on the environment. Which is why it’s still so important that train companies try and get a bit greener. And the latest to have a go at this is Eurostar, which is now offering to plant trees when they book. The scheme is part of a partnership with Trees 4 Travel, a reforestation charity with projects focusing on protecting ecosystems and biodiversity. So here’s how it works: at checkout, a passenger can pay £3 ($3.80) for a tree, which will then be matched by Eurostar. Trees 4 Travel then uses that cash to fund its reforesting projects around the world. Pretty simple, huh? Except that there’s a catch. The tree-planting scheme is currently only available on Eurostar for Business, which is the platform dedicated solely to companies that want to book Eurostar tickets on behalf of their employees. In other words, this nifty tree-planting feature isn’t really available for most Eurostar customers. So here’s hoping they open it up to the rest of us sometime soon. You can find out more about Eurostar’s partnership with Trees 4 Travel here. Did you see that Eurostar will soon be linked up w

Why this small German town is putting every single cat into lockdown

Why this small German town is putting every single cat into lockdown

After the past couple of years, needless to say we’ve all had enough of lockdowns. But house cats? Well, they had it easy. While we were all shuttered away, kitties went about their usual day-to-day. The lucky bastards. But soon cats in a small German town are going to get a taste of what it’s like to be locked down. House cats in Walldorf, a picturesque town in the south-western German state of Baden-Württemberg, are going to spend much of this summer trapped inside. So why is Walldorf inflicting such misery on the town’s poor kitties? Well, the local authorities want to try and protect some local bird species from extinction. The cat lockdown is part of much wider conservation efforts, especially those concerning the crested lark – one of Germany’s most critically endangered bird species. The crested lark is so vulnerable because it nests on the ground, which means that its eggs are particularly exposed to predators like house cats. In 2021, only six of the birds were recorded in Walldorf. The town’s other measures to protect the lark include pausing construction work and laying traps for magpies and foxes. And it isn’t just this summer that the cats are being locked up. Walldorf residents are expected to keep their feline friends indoors from April to August for the next three years – or face a €500 (£425, $534) fine. And if a cat kills a crested lark, that fine could rise to a whopping €50,000 (£42,500, $53,400). There are, of course, a few more nuances to the scheme than

Google Maps has launched a cool and fascinating new ‘time travel’ feature

Google Maps has launched a cool and fascinating new ‘time travel’ feature

To celebrate the 15th birthday of its Street View feature, Google has announced something pretty special. That’s right, the company is giving us the ability to travel back in time. Pretty sweet, huh? Before you get ahead of yourselves, no it isn’t quite as revelatory as you think. The tool doesn’t let you travel back that far: it only goes back to the birth of Street View in 2007. So don’t expect to see the birth of civilisation or anything like that. You’re more likely to see something a bit more minor, like a local supermarket being built or an old car park being demolished. The above example shows the construction of Hudson Yards in New York.  So how do you see all this stuff? Well, go onto Google Maps and plonk the little yellow person down on a road (thereby activating Street View). You should see a little clock icon in the top left (or, if you’re on mobile, at the bottom of the screen), which then opens up a new pop-up where you can move the slider through time and show how a place has changed over the past 15 years. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll have hours of fun exploring ahead of you. These new tools are currently only available on desktop, and are currently in the process of being rolled out on iOS and Android smartphones, too. Over the past decade and a half Street View has amassed 220 billion images in more than 100 countries. Since 2007 the tool – and the places it maps – have changed a lot, so it’s nice to see so much of the company’s archives being opened

Germany’s €9 travel pass: 5 spectacular train journeys you need to know about

Germany’s €9 travel pass: 5 spectacular train journeys you need to know about

Faced with the twin motivations of the climate crisis and the need to drastically reduce reliance on Russian natural gas, earlier this week Germany announced an ambitious new public transport scheme. For three months from June, all transport across the country will cost just €9 (£7.70, $9.60) per month. Ridiculous, we know.  Which means an uber-low-cost train trip through Germany should be on everyone’s bucket list this summer. But where should you go? Well, that’s why we’re here. Now, there are obviously a few T&Cs when it comes to the €9 pass. The key thing is that it doesn’t apply to all trains – it’s only valid on Deutsche Bahn routes operated by Regional Bahn (RB), Regional Express (RE), S-bahn and U-bahn. In other words, it doesn’t apply to high-speed routes like the Inter City Express (ICE).  But fear not, there are still many, many trains included in the pass. So, within those limits, here are five rail journeys you should definitely have on your to-do list over the next few months. Berlin U-1: Friedrichshain to Charlottenburg Not all U-bahns are underground: take Berlin’s majestic U-1, for instance. Ride this gorgeous line between Friedrichshain and Charlottenburg and it’ll take you over the River Spree via the iconic two-storey Oberbaum Bridge, then whizz you through Kreuzberg on the overhead line. Needless to say, it’s one of Berlin’s prettiest and most scenic train routes.   Photograph: BeautifulBlossoms / Shutterstock.com   Black Forest Railway  Winding its way