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Huw Oliver

Huw Oliver

International Commissioning Editor, Time Out

Huw Oliver is a commissioning editor on Time Out’s international team. Since 2015, he’s worked in various writing, translating and editing jobs in both the Paris and London offices. Now he oversees Time Out’s network of local experts in cities around the world, and covers emerging trends in food, art and nightlife on the global website.

Follow him on Twitter: @huwoliver

Articles (265)

The 13 best coffee shops and cafés in Bristol

The 13 best coffee shops and cafés in Bristol

These are magical times to be a coffee lover. The world has embraced speciality coffee like never before, and the UK is no different. Many British cities are now packed with charming cafes, and the best coffee shops in Bristol are right up there with the best the country has to offer. From bullet-strong espressos to increasingly complex cold brews, Bristol’s cafes serve caffeine in its most magical form.It isn’t all about flat whites and macchiatos. The best cafes here serve restaurant-quality breakfast and brunch, delectable dishes that will fill you up ahead of a day of sightseeing and a night of sampling the brilliant beers in town. Bristol gets lots of things right, and it takes some special coffee to keep the energy levels up.  

The 5 best day trips from Amsterdam

The 5 best day trips from Amsterdam

Small but perfectly formed. There, we said it. That old cliche does fit the Netherlands to a tee, and Amsterdam is a tremendous base for exploring the best that this beautiful place offers. Amsterdam itself is one of the great European cities, a destination filled with fascinating things to do (and just as much to do at night), so why not bring the two together and explore the capital before venturing into the country? With that in mind, these are the best day trips from Amsterdam. That’s right, the best. There is a little something for everyone included, and the excellent Dutch public transport network means all are pretty accessible. This country knows what it is doing, that’s for sure.  

How to do Stockholm in 48 hours

How to do Stockholm in 48 hours

Stockholm in 48 hours? A difficult task, but not an impossible one. The Swedish capital is packed with stunning sights and restaurants that are changing the expectations of traditional recipes. Packing it all into two days can be a little intense. This place doesn’t really do intense, so follow our guide to the perfect 48 hours in Stockholm and focus on pleasure. When to visit? That depends on your weather preference, but there are no bad options. Some say that Stockholm is at its most glorious in late spring and summer, but even the dark (and cold, so cold) winter has plenty to offer the intrepid explorer. Whatever the weather, Stockholm is built for enjoyment.  

Your essential guide to where to stay in Stockholm

Your essential guide to where to stay in Stockholm

There’s nowhere quite like Stockholm. The Swedish capital is one of the most unique cities on the planet, a sweeping stunner made up of 14 islands that are packed with history, beauty and a seemingly endless supply of style. It is an outrageously friendly place, but getting to know it can be strangely daunting at times. Never fear, your old buddy Time Out is on hand to provide the perfect guide on where to stay in Stockholm, one darling neighbourhood at a time. Stockholm is all innovative restaurants, lofty attractions and charm, so make your list, pick your spot and have yourself a magnificent trip.  

The 5 best day trips from Dublin

The 5 best day trips from Dublin

The Irish capital is positively overflowing with exciting things to do, but the best day trips from Dublin offer the opportunity to get to know this fascinating country a little deeper. The Emerald Isle hasn’t earned that moniker through luck, after all. Ireland is all stunning hilltops and craggy coastline, a love letter to the beauty of nature that will have breathing deep romantic sighs in no time. What’s more, most of these spots are just a car, train or bus ride from the city centre, meaning you can explore the best that Ireland has to offer and get back to Dublin in time for a pint or two. Perfect. 

The 12 best places for brunch in Dublin

The 12 best places for brunch in Dublin

Dublin and brunch are a match made in heaven, not just because of the need to soothe the head after a trip to the bars. They know how to eat here, and that is true at all times of day, so why wouldn’t it be at the weird mid-point between breakfast and lunch? Take the best parts of both and mash them through a typically thrilling Irish kaleidoscope, and you get the best brunch spots in Dublin. There are many great things to do in Dublin, and early starts sometimes mean that breakfast just isn’t possible. Do you know what is always possible? Brunch, that’s what. Enjoy.  

Where to stay in Dublin

Where to stay in Dublin

Where is the best place to stay in Dublin? That all depends on what it is you want from the Irish capital. If you want late-night excess, Temple Bar should tick your boxes, while laid-back Portobello offers something a little more relaxing. Dublin is the perfect combination of a big city and friendly community, a collection of villages that have come together to create something special. Choosing where to stay is an integral part of any memorable trip to this fabulous place. Dublin is mighty compact too, but choosing the right spot for accommodation can be the difference between a good stay and a great one. Check out our collection of the best things to do here and make your plans, but not before taking a little advice from your old pals at Time Out first.  

The 9 absolute best Athens restaurants

The 9 absolute best Athens restaurants

All those great thinkers had to eat somewhere, you know. Okay, the magnificent places that make up the best restaurants in Athens in 2022 obviously weren’t around when Plato, Aristotle, Socrates and the rest were doing their thing, but that isn’t going to stop us from drawing lines from thought to stomach. After all, eating as much as humanly possible is one of the very best things to do in all of Greece. The capital is home to some wonderful restaurants, delicious and charming in equal measure, spread across the many neighbourhoods of Athens. You’ll find everything from greasy kebabs to high-end gastronomic opulence, so don’t worry about preferences. If you want tradition, you’ll find it in spades, but the long tradition of innovation is very much alive here too. You can’t really go wrong. Work up an appetite by seeing the sights and then settle in for the meal of a lifetime.

The 11 best places to visit in Greece

The 11 best places to visit in Greece

Where to begin? Maybe it is best to start with the famous cities, the origin of modern civilisation and all that jazz, iconic centres of culture that still thrill all these centuries later. Athens is the place to start, but you can’t go wrong with any of the major Greek population centres. You’re going to find history, culture, excitement, and some of the best food on the planet.Away from all the people, Greece is blessed with more than 6,000 islands and almost as much diversity when it comes to landscape, all sprawling hills and forests bleeding into stunningly clear waters. In Greece, you can dip your toes into the sea, or you can dip your toes into the long and storied history of Western culture. The choice is yours. These are the best places to visit in Greece right now.   Discover Greece: 🇬🇷 The best things to do in Greece🏨 Amazing hotels in Greece🏝️ The most beautiful Greek islands

The 21 best art galleries in Paris

The 21 best art galleries in Paris

For centuries, Paris was the undisputed art capital of the Western world. Many pioneering, properly perspective-altering artists lived in Paris over the years – van Gogh, Picasso, Monet, Dalí and countless others – and much of their work can be found within the city’s immense number of museums, galleries, attractions, salons and other arts spaces. We say look beyond the mammoth classical institutions and check out some up-and-comers at one of several established contemporary art galleries in Paris. Be that Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac or Galerie Daniel Templon, you’re bound to catch something eye-catching (and perhaps even buyable). But whether you prefer big-name or unheard-of, old-school or contemporary, our pick of the best places to see art in Paris has you covered. Some of them are big and you should spend most of the day around them – others are actually pretty small. Many are clustered near each other too, so when you've picked out your few favoruties, have a look at where they are – you might be able to see more art than you'd think!  RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Paris This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

The 11 best things to do in Athens right now

The 11 best things to do in Athens right now

Athens comes with a certain air of expectation. It is the home of modern Western civilisation, after all, and visitors are well within their rights to expect something special when they visit the Greek capital. Does Athens meet those expectations? Does it ever. This tease of a city has cutting-edge galleries, incredible architecture and more cafes than you can shake a caffeine-fuelled stick at.  The best things to do in Athens go way beyond the famous history. Sure, you can bathe in masses of that as well, but dismiss the modern elements of the city at your peril. Athens is a city focused on the future while embracing its past, straddling that line with the grace you should expect from such a spot. Ready for a thrilling journey through the very concept of Western culture as we know it, with added delicious restaurants at every turn? Athens is the city for you.   

The 9 best attractions in Munich

The 9 best attractions in Munich

The best attractions in Munich represent everything that makes this city such a thrilling visit, from its outstanding art museums to delicious food markets. Munich is famous for its beer gardens and for good reasons, but the best things to do here will offer you plenty of distractions to keep you out of the booze tents – for a while at least. When you come to Munich, you often come for the infamous beer scene, but leave with memories of museums, gardens and glistening mountain spas. So, if it's the best of the best you're after – the cream of the crop, the top table – you've come to the right place, because we've rounded up our favourite Munich attractions. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

Listings and reviews (29)

Upstairs at The George

Upstairs at The George

4 out of 5 stars

What do you think the path to heaven looks like? A cobbled alleyway lined with smiling pals, past and present? A technicolour highway fringed with waving Maneki-neko cats? A cool, alluringly lit staircase filled with bottles of only the nicest wines? Maybe. Just maybe. Because in this new dining space at the top of a pub in Fitzrovia, you’ll find just that, opposite the toilet. Head down the corridor, tipsy, mid-meal, and you’ll feel almost like you’re about to ascend to the promised land. The charcuterie platter: moreish, every last bit Much else about this place is dreamy. It helps, of course, that the food is excellent. It’s no surprise when the kitchen is led by chef James Knappett, who’s known for running two Michelin star restaurant Kitchen Table. The food is less fancy chef’s counter diner experience and more top-shelf pub grub. The charcuterie platter: moreish, every last bit. The juniper steelhead smoked trout: an abundance of flavours, perfectly matched. The Cornish lemon sole with brown shrimp and mussels: just the right amount of buttery. The steak tournedos rossini: three layers of brown that don’t look like much but taste formidable, so good in fact that you can almost forgive yourself for accidentally ordering foie gras. Any place that prides itself on serving up ‘the best of British’ is inherently a bit annoying, but these lot smash it.   And these lot, it turns out, are a friendly bunch. And they’re super-attentive to annoying things like a coeliac coming in

Night of the Kings

Night of the Kings

3 out of 5 stars

If you’ve ever floundered when asked to tell a joke off the cuff, you’ll feel Roman’s pain. Except he has it much worse. He has to weave an entire story. All night long. Surrounded by 200 jeering prisoners nicknamed things like ‘Half-Mad’ and ‘Petrol’. Not ideal.The real name of this new arrival isn’t Roman – that’s the title assigned to him by the Dangôro, named Blackbeard, the supreme master who rules over this prison in the Ivorian rainforest. It’s a place of superstition and folklore, evocatively captured by Philippe Lacôte in this meandering movie which blends myth and reality, fact and fiction, with a generous sprinkling of song and dance.A guard describes the place as the ‘only prison in the world run by an inmate’, but the real power in Night of the Kings lies in their beliefs. One is that whenever the leader falls ill, he must kill himself. Another, which Blackbeard (Steve Tientcheu, playing a frailer version of his mayor in Les Misérables) uses to distract rival factions vying to topple him, is that whoever he assigns as Roman must tell a story that lasts the duration of the red moon. If he doesn’t, he dies too.So the basis of this story is another story: the ruminations of this young kid (Koné Bakary, fear and anxiety welling in his eyes), whose real name we never find out. Through his narrative, we learn of the period when royals still reigned over the Côte d’Ivoire. The civil war that shook the country in the mid-2000s. And a certain gangster called Zama King.Wit

Sweat

Sweat

4 out of 5 stars

What does the colour pink mean to you? Forced femininity? Rose-tinted positivity? For Sylwia (Magdalena Koleśnik, magnetic), it’s both. She’s a fitness influencer and wears a lot of the stuff. In bougie Warsaw, her job gets her loads of freebies. Through her videos, TV appearances and workout demonstrations, she remains poised and professional. Occasionally she feels liked – but she wants to be loved. Her eyes betray anxiety and unhappiness. Loneliness, too. Sweat, assuredly helmed by writer-director Magnus von Horn, follows Sylwia in the build-up to a chat show interview. By the end, she’s hit breaking point. She’s misunderstood by family. Misunderstood by her 600,000 followers. Misunderstood by men. And then there’s the small matter of the stalker parked by her flat. As she tells her family, there’s a dark side to what she does. There are good days and there are bad days. But the cleverest thing? The film also poses the question: is she really so unhappy, or is that a performance too? Von Horn’s second feature is a sharp critique of the influencing world and the nefarious impact it can have on its practitioners. It could so easily have been patronising, but it feels honest. The direction is sharp, the camerawork in-your-face, and the lilting synth score by Piotr Kurek recalls Drive – as do Sylwia’s neon outfits. And through it all, Koleśnik gives a remarkable performance that nails the public/private schism at the heart of Instagram celebrity. In UK cinemas and streaming on

Those Who Wish Me Dead

Those Who Wish Me Dead

4 out of 5 stars

Danger has many flavours in Those Who Wish Me Dead. Ferocious fires rage across the Montana wilderness. So do nightmarish storms. And most unsettlingly of all, so do two damn suave assassins: an unlikely duo, played by Aidan Gillen and Nicholas Hoult, who’ve been charged with hushing up a big political corruption case.Unhappily for the protagonists in this impressively silly yet gripping western thriller, they will slay pretty much anyone who gets in their way. That even applies to Connor (Finn Little), a wise-for-his-years kid whose dad is a forensic accountant. He knows stuff he shouldn’t. They flee to the forests, Connor ends up lost and alone. And then, fortuitously, running along a creek, he meets Hannah (a fierce, assured Angelina Jolie), a ‘smoke-jumping’ firefighter who surveys the picturesque woodland from her watchtower.It’s immediately apparent she is traumatised by a recent blaze. She blames herself for failing to save three boys who were caught up in it. And so – with pacy, stylish direction from Taylor Sheridan (Sicario, Hell or High Water), who also co-wrote the script with author Michael Koryta – Those Who Wish Me Dead tracks Hannah’s attempts to save this other young kid. Ridden with flashbacks and with a punchy orchestral score, it’s a thoroughly improbable story of her internal redemption. And it’s largely pretty great.The plot abounds in ridiculousness. Twice – twice! – Hannah is struck by lightning. For some reason, the assassins start a forest fire thems

Spring Blossom

Spring Blossom

3 out of 5 stars

The Place Charles Dullin, in the lower reaches of Montmartre, is one of those Parisian squares that is always so damn busy it feels like its own self-contained world. People come and go, kids hang, there’s always a spot waiting for you at the café-terrace. This sprawling quartier acts as the stage for Suzanne Lindon’s debut feature Spring Blossom: an age-gap romance that sweeps you up in the joys and disillusions of youth.Making us all feel like underachievers, 21-year-old Lindon (daughter of actors Sandrine Kiberlain and Vincent Lindon) directs in a confident and cheerily brisk style – while also playing a version of her 16-year-old self. This Suzanne is bored. She doesn’t fit in at parties, the conversation is crap. Her parents (Florence Viala and Frédéric Pierrot, particularly loveable) are a little too sweet. Everything – and everyone – is embarrassing. Then she meets an actor at the local theatre, Raphaël (a moody and rugged Arnaud Valois), who somehow seems just as fed up with his lot. He’s 35, which makes their liaison questionable, but the film avoids overt sexuality in favour of simple emotions that make you long for the fun and freedom of early adulthood. It helps that everything is seen from her perspective. She’s fleetingly enamoured. Who is this bloke with a motorbike who parks up outside the theatre? She engineers another accidental meeting. And another. Their affinity is their ennui, the sense that their life is on pause – even if it isn’t, really. Creepiness s

The Human Voice

The Human Voice

4 out of 5 stars

This short is a starburst of immaculate Almodóvar. The emotions are big and histrionic. Alberto Iglesias’s soundtrack is punchy and opulent. The set is drenched in rich, kaleidoscopic colour. The Human Voice is the Spanish director’s first English-language film and you’ll inevitably go away yearning for more as soon as the half hour is up.An outlandishly attired actress (Tilda Swinton) is pacing about her apartment. She’s on the phone to her lover, who has now eloped with another woman. The movie, ‘freely based’ on the play of the same name by Jean Cocteau (also an inspiration for Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), follows that conversation through despair and anger and indifference before finally reaching some form of muddied closure. She monologues on their relationship, her career, her morbid fear of knives. They appear to speak for hours. The film dips in and out, showing her journey from meltdown to catharsis. But what does she do? What does she say? And what does she simply think? The woman readily admits that much of what she tells him is made up. Maybe some of the things we see – the pills, her swinging a literal axe into a suit he’s left behind – are made up too. Pedro Almodóvar makes The Human Voice a comment on artifice and theatricality: Swinton’s glances break the fourth wall and the woman’s technicolour flat, it transpires, is a soundstage in a film studio. We say – and see – unreal things in the throes of heartbreak. Swinton acts out this idea perfectl

Violation

Violation

4 out of 5 stars

That night by the fire. Wine, giggles – then what happened? He seemed sweet. She knew him well. It must have been a drunken slip-up. And just like that, rape-revenge horror Violation dexterously exaggerates and exposes your prejudices before summarily dismantling them. The aftermath is unforgettably brutal. You actually see the act of revenge before you see what triggered it; the two events are woven together in a muddle of memory. This daring and disturbing debut, by Canadian directing duo Madeleine Sims-Fewer and Dusty Mancinelli, cuts back and forth between the night of trauma and the subsequent dismemberment, exsanguination and burning of the perpetrator. Perhaps that’s why you didn’t necessarily side with Miriam (played by Sims-Fewer, fantastically physical and ambiguous) in the first place.There is little plot to follow, instead a complex jumble of flashbacks – you’re processing that night just as she is. Miriam and husband Caleb (Obi Abili) were visiting her younger sister Greta (Anna Maguire) and brother-in-law Dylan (Jesse LaVercombe). The former relationship is tired; the latter fizzes with sexual energy. But then, one night, Miriam and Dylan – long-time friends – teeter on the edge of something else too. While the rape scene is suggestive rather than explicit, the ensuing violence is anything but. The attacker is stripped, beaten and strung up – a rare reversal of horror’s typical gender roles. She even grinds his bones and sprinkles it in ice cream. (A darkly com

Simple Passion

Simple Passion

4 out of 5 stars

This is a story ostensibly about a love affair, but really just about Hélène (Laetitia Dosch), a divorced lecturer from Paris who is lost in infatuation. It’s a subtle and exquisite performance. The object of her desire is Alexandre (ballet star Sergei Polunin), a Russian diplomat and hunk with little substance beyond being able to explain the provenance of his tattoos. They couldn’t be more different. And yet this imbalance enhances the film’s central message. He likes fast cars, Putin and Dior suits. She likes the seventeenth-century English playwright Aphra Behn. But still, they are together – secretly, on snatched afternoons, consumed by their thirst. Particularly her. In one scene she goes to the cinema to see Hiroshima Mon Amour, Alain Resnais’s French new wave classic. Not a fan. It’s a male fantasy run wild, she says, the camera lingering far too long on a beautiful, lusted-after woman. And so here is another kind of film, based on the 1991 autofictional work by Annie Ernaux, in which the female gaze gets sumptuous free rein. Directed by Danielle Arbid (Parisienne), Simple Passion brims with close-ups: cheeks, ears, thighs. Time appears to slow as the camera observes Alex hazily, blearily, just as she does. There are many intense sex scenes. These are candid, realistic, unglamorous. And their relationship goes no deeper than that. They rarely speak to each other outside of her bedroom – and when they do, it’s in a broken franglais. He circles freely in and out of her

Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets

Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets

4 out of 5 stars

Michael describes himself as ‘a guy who used to do stuff, but doesn’t do stuff any more because he’s in a bar’. He shaves in the loos. He even sleeps on the sofas. The other regulars are his family. Today the Roaring ’20s is closing for good – and he doesn’t know what he’ll do without it. Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets is a document of that final piss-up: a diverse bunch of Michael-like eccentrics getting plastered over the course of one very long and very hilarious night. Things quickly get messy. Conversations go in on the weighty questions du jour – the time is around the 2016 US election – but wind up going off on tangents like: ‘Senses – now that’s something I appreciate.’ There are a lot of heartfelt deep and meaningfuls and even more hiccupping. Boobs are flashed. Arguments sizzle. Two of the barflies take an acid trip. And the jukebox? Well, it’s never not on. It all feels brilliantly chaotic and immersive and so compellingly real. Except it’s not. This so-called ‘documentary’ was shot in New Orleans, not Las Vegas. Most of the cast had never met before filming. Michael, the supposedly out-of-work central figure, is a professional actor. And yes, they’re all tearing up over a bar that isn’t actually their local and isn’t actually closing.Directors Bill Ross IV and Turner Ross have had you, basically. The brothers, known for their documentaries, auditioned hundreds of barflies from around the Big Easy, chucked them in a ‘bar that looked right’, and let them get as mashed a

Cocoon

Cocoon

3 out of 5 stars

How did you spend all those interminable school summers? Hard to say, probably. Nothing really happened; nothing really could happen. Yet back then, time appeared to stretch out to infinity. It felt as if everything could change in a matter of weeks: your friends; what you were into; perhaps even your entire sense of self. It usually either totally sucked, or was totally the best time ever.For Nora (Lena Urzendowsky, understated yet magnetic), the hot Berlin summer of 2018 sways languidly from one extreme to the other, eventually settling somewhere happy-ish between the two. She’s 14 – not a good age, we can all agree – and this is her year of self-discovery and transformation. The slow, meditative, occasionally brilliant Cocoon, the second film from German director Leonie Krippendorff, captures it all before the memories begin to fade.With her alcoholic mum pretty much off the scene, Nora whiles away the summer months peering in her jars of caterpillars, and reluctantly tagging along to parties with her older sister. It’s awkward and intimidating. She feels very much out of place.Then comes her first period, her first love, her first sucker-punch rejection. Romy (a charming Jella Haase), a new girl and another outsider, enters the picture, and after a few drowsy, sunny afternoon snogs, summarily leaves. And so, as in the manner of so many coming-of-age films, Nora realises romance isn’t all it’s made out to be.But she comes out stronger. By the summer’s end, she has a firmer

Muscle

Muscle

4 out of 5 stars

The main reason I don’t go to the gym is that I’d have no idea what to do with any of the outsize instruments of torture you generally find there. It would be carnage. At best, I’d be laughed straight out the door. At worst, I’d slip up on my pulldowns and, tragically for my family and anyone who has to clear up the mess, definitely die. That’s why I stick to history books and baking.You fear for Simon (Cavan Clerkin, on very relatable form as a meek everyman) when he enters the crazed fray of Atlantis, his dingy local gym. He befriends Terry (a typically boisterous and charismatic Craig Fairbrass), who bullies him into letting him be his personal trainer. Bad move. Whenever anything goes wrong in Simon’s life, Terry reels him in with his horrifying banter and enviable henchness. Girlfriend left you? I’ll keep you company, buddy. Lost your telesales job? Work for me, mate.But Terry is a stalker – and an ex-con. So now Simon has to host hellish drug-fuelled sex parties, hang out with Newcastle’s dodgiest lowlifes, and partake in Terry’s transnational criminal schemes. All because he tried to lift – once. Terrible luck.Part-psychological thriller, part-black comedy, Muscle’s plot is strictly notional. It’s a mood piece where the mood is brooding, intimidating and frankly, to be escaped. Sadly for Simon, escape is not an option. Throughout, director Gerard Johnson (Tony, Hyena) captures the toxic dynamic between these two very different men with humour, poise and plenty of provo

Jarv Is... Stream ‘Beyond the Pale’

Jarv Is... Stream ‘Beyond the Pale’

Jarvis is being Jarvis all right. He opens and closes his hands as if plucking his words out of thin air, then flashes a look that suggests he’s surprised at what’s coming out of his own mouth. He spins around, hands thrust towards the ceiling. Then the gawky, magnetic ex-Pulp frontman looks up, freezes: he’s in a cave. Considering how fraught and claustrophobic life in lockdown can feel, it’s apt that this streamed performance of ‘Beyond the Pale’ – the debut album from Cocker’s new band Jarv Is – was recorded inside an actual grotto, known as the Devil’s Arse, in Derbyshire. Somehow, the resulting film from directors Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, ‘Live From the Centre of the Earth’, doesn’t amplify the sense of being hemmed in. In fact, it’s a mesmerising – if fleeting – ticket out of there. A so-called ‘alive album’ (it’s a bunch of overdubbed live recordings), ‘Beyond the Pale’ feels as though it was made to be consumed this way. The record alone can’t capture the thrill of the live experience, but the band are experimenting with another medium – the concert film – creating a rare example that isn’t an afterthought, a memento for those there. The camerawork by Erik Wilson (‘Paddington’) is full of edgy angles and effects. The lighting veers from dancefloor lasers to glittering galaxies to a burning sun that appears to engulf Cocker entirely. His excellent and unsurprisingly cool band look like they’ve been swiped at random off Stoke Newington High Street. There’s creepy

News (403)

How this tiny Russian neighbour is fighting to save its tourism industry

How this tiny Russian neighbour is fighting to save its tourism industry

In a previous era, Riga was a tourist destination on the up. The Latvian capital was a common stop for northern European cruises, and also a big draw for young people after a cheap night out. But even though the pandemic may have faded, the Old Town is still deserted. Dive bars and souvenir shops are empty, and new openings are struggling for custom. As you may have guessed, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is to blame. We were there last week to take the pulse of the city on Victory Day, which marks the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany – and the start of its occupation of Latvia. This year, celebrations had been banned. Instead, the Latvian government designated it a day of remembrance for victims of the Ukraine war. Antonijas Street, home to the Russian Embassy, was lined with flags, candles and banners, along with five or six police cars. Slabs of blue and yellow lit up the Freedom Monument and Riga Castle. A huge ‘Glory to Ukraine’ concert was held at the National Opera.  But the city still felt more than slightly on edge. Latvia, after all, is a country with strong Russian links. Nearly one in four inhabitants of Latvia is Russian, rising to 38 percent of those living in Riga (compared with 44 percent who identify as Latvian). Some of the greatest names in Latvian culture, from ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov to sculptor Vera Moukhina, were ethnic Russians. And while the majority of Russian locals no doubt disapprove of the invasion of Ukraine, many still tune i

Iceland just hosted the world’s most remote club night – and it was really spectacular

Iceland just hosted the world’s most remote club night – and it was really spectacular

What’s the furthest you’ve travelled for a night out? Until last week, my record was Manchester or perhaps Liverpool – both two hours or so by train from London. Not very far, in other words. But now I can say I’ve travelled 1,283 miles to one of the most remote places on Earth. And it wasn’t to hike. Nor was it to go wildlife-spotting. In fact, I went to a disco. Þingeyri, in Iceland’s Westfjords region, is the kind of place where news travels fast. This village of around 250 people sits on a fjord fringed by towering basalt mountains. It has a church, a café, a small hotel and, bizarrely, a co-working space. And for two nights only, the town hall hosted Detour Discotheque: the first in a new series of club nights in the world’s most unexpected places. It’d been the talk of the village (and the whole region) for months. Photograph: Visit Westfjords Safe to say they’ll be reminiscing about it for decades, too. Overnight, the population had ballooned to a hefty 400, with visitors travelling in from as far as Los Angeles and Boston. The town hall, usually host to meetings and the odd wedding, was decked out in technicolour balloons and sparkling streamers. A huge disco ball spun from the ceiling. The vibe was school disco, but with a lot more good music (and local Reyka vodka). The first night featured resident DJs (founders Jonny Ensall, a former Time Out staffer, and Joss Bibby); the second an international lineup of Rahaan (a Chicago disco legend), Norsicaa (an eclectic d

Thailand is scrapping pre-departure tests for vaccinated travellers

Thailand is scrapping pre-departure tests for vaccinated travellers

We could all do with a sun-splashed adventure after the horror of the past two years – and for many of us, jetting off to an island paradise is now an actual possibility. As of May 1, Thailand will no longer require visitors to get tested before travelling, regardless of their vaccination status. That means your trip of a lifetime to destinations including Bangkok and Phuket will be just that little bit easier.  As of February, fully-jabbed travellers have been able to enter Thailand without having to quarantine. Visitors who aren’t vaccinated must either take a PCR test (which comes back negative) in the 72 hours before they enter the country, or book a five-day stay at an approved hotel, quarantine and take a PCR on the final day. Easy choice if you ask us... All arrivals also have to hold at least $20,000 (£15,175) worth of travel insurance, and download a tracking app to ensure they comply with the rules. If you’ve done all that, you’ll be free to explore the country as you please.  Previously, a ‘sandbox scheme’ meant that tourists could visit certain islands, but only if they took a series of tests and stayed in particular hotels. Tourists are now allowed throughout the entirety of the country, although Covid restrictions are still in place. In Bangkok, a curfew means the city’s once-hallowed nightlife scene has been subdued somewhat, as case numbers continue to increase across the city.  Under the country’s current ‘visa exemption’ scheme, travellers from the UK, USA

ベネチア入域の事前予約を6月から開始の予定

ベネチア入域の事前予約を6月から開始の予定

ベネチアを訪れたことがある人なら、この街が何十年にもわたって過密状態にあることを知っているだろう。リアルト橋やサン・マルコ広場周辺の石畳の路地を歩くと、リラックスしたバカンスを楽しんでいるというよりはラグビーをしているような気分になるほど、ピークシーズンには多くの観光客でごった返す。 しかし、2021年から市は「反撃」を開始している。特にターゲットとなったのは、日帰り観光客。彼らは、水平線を遮るクルーズ船からベネチアの主要観光スポットに流れ込むことが多く、街の通りを渋滞させ、街の資源に負担をかけている。 そのため2021年夏には、ユネスコ世界遺産に登録された歴史地区へのクルーズ船の寄港が禁止に。またイタリア政府も、マスツーリズムから壊れやすい生態系を保護する目的で、ベネチアのラグーンを国定公園に指定した。 以前から計画されてたベネチアへ入る際の「入域料」を徴収する取り組みに関して、市政府は2022年6月からの試験的導入を目指し、事前予約をできるようにするための準備を進めている。現在のところ、試験運用は半年続く予定だ。 この取り組みの運用開始後、(少なくとも12月までは)人々はベネチア訪問のための予約が求められる。予約者は取得した「QRコード」を使って、ベネチアの主要なポイントに設けられる改札を通って入域することになる。 入域料はハイシーズンで10ユーロ(約1,390円)、閑散期には3ユーロ(約420円)にまで下がる見込みだ。ベネチアの住民、会社員、学生など、毎日のように街へ往来する人たちには、携帯電話の「バーチャルキー」を使って入域可能になる。 だからといって、改札を不正に通り抜けようとすることはお勧めしない。改札は、市街地に設置された500台のカメラと連携していて、入域料を払っていない「迷子の観光客」を捜索するそうだ。 原文はこちら 関連記事 『ベネチアがオーバーツーリズム抑制のため改札を導入』 『パリ発、環境に優しいモダンな寝台列車が2024年に運行開始』 『浮遊都市は我々の未来になるのか』 『ヨーロッパで夜行列車路線が続々拡大』 『イタリアの食文化を堪能、スターバックス銀座店がリニューアル』 東京の最新情報をタイムアウト東京のメールマガジンでチェックしよう。登録はこちら

You now have to pre-book entry tickets before visiting Venice

You now have to pre-book entry tickets before visiting Venice

If you’ve ever visited Venice, you’ll almost certainly be aware of the city’s decades-long struggle with overcrowding. In peak season, the city is so rammed with tourists that navigating the cobbled alleyways around the Rialto Bridge and Piazza San Marco can feel more like rugby than a relaxing vacay. But last year the city started to fight back – specifically targeting day-trippers. These tourists often stream off horizon-blocking cruise ships towards Venice’s many major attractions, clogging up the city’s streets and straining its resources.  Last summer the city banned cruise ships from its historic centre to help retain its Unesco world heritage status. The Italian government also declared the lagoon a national monument to help protect the fragile ecosystem from mass tourism. Now local authorities are going ahead with a plan to introduce pre-booking, along with charging an entry fee. The scheme will start in June, requiring people to book online before visiting. They’ll be sent a QR code that will let them through turnstiles at Venice’s main access points. Ticket prices will vary depending on when you book: they’re likely to reach €10 (£8.30 or $11) at peak times, dropping to €3 (£2.50 or $3.40) when it’s extremely quiet. Don’t think you’ll be able to cheat your way through, either. The electronic gates will be backed up by 500 cameras in the city centre to search for stray, non-ticketed tourists. Residents, workers and students who travel to the city every day will be ab

A Hans Christian Andersen-inspired fairytale museum has just opened in Denmark

A Hans Christian Andersen-inspired fairytale museum has just opened in Denmark

Chances are, you’re already pretty familiar with the tales of ‘The Snow Queen’, ‘The Ugly Duckling’, ‘The Little Mermaid’, ‘Thumbelina’ and ‘The Princess and the Pea’. But a new museum in Denmark aims to tell all those magical stories anew – through immersive exhibits, gardens, and a series of sound and light installations. Hans Christian Andersen, the Danish author responsible for more than 100 fairy tales (and, indirectly, a whole truckload of Disney movies), grew up in the then-rural town of Odense before moving to Copenhagen as an adult. Odense was a place of age-old traditions and superstitions, and young Hans developed a deep passion for literature and nature on trips with his father into the forest. The complex – which has just opened fully after a soft launch last year – is split up into a series of cylindrical structures with glass façades that blend in naturally with the surrounding gardens. Narrow wooden columns create the impression of an indoor forest, while the buildings’ concave roofs will be topped with hanging flower gardens. Photograph: H.C. Andersens Hus, Laerke Beck Johansen The attraction is also home to a café, an underground museum and a ‘children’s space’ that will host events and workshops. It has been built just near his childhood home, which was already open to visitors – making the city a mega-attraction for Andersen fans, in the same way Stratford-upon-Avon is for Shakespeare. Architects Kengo Kuma and Associates took inspiration from Andersen’s

2022年「世界で最も幸せな国」は5年連続でフィンランド

2022年「世界で最も幸せな国」は5年連続でフィンランド

この2、3年、我々は明らかな理由から、気を落とさないでいることが難しくなっている。しかしある国では、この大変な時代にもかかわらず、幸せはごく自然にやってくるようだ。 美しい北極圏の風景、森の恵みを採集して楽しむ伝統、屋外での水泳やサウナへのこだわり……。フィンランドといえば、こうした特色が多い浮かぶ。ある種の空想的な夢の国ともいえるこの北欧の小国が、国連の『世界幸福度報告2022年版』により、世界で最も幸せな国に選ばれた。そう、「再び」だ。 この報告は毎年発表されているが、コロナ禍においてそのフォーカスを調整。パンデミックが与えた影響と、世界中の人々が困難にどのように向き合ったのかについても注目している。しかし、そのような変更があった中でも、フィンランドは今年も1位を獲得。それでころか、5年連続でそれを成し遂げているのだ。 報告書の執筆者たちはこの理由を「フィンランドは、困難な状況下での社会的サポートについて、常に高い評価を得ている。そうした環境が、この1年間においても、集団的な穏やかさが生み出される上で重要な役割を果たしたのだろう」と述べている 今年の『世界幸福度報告』では、フィンランドと同様に社会的サポートが充実している北欧諸国がランキング上位を独占。トップ10の残りのほとんどはヨーロッパの国々が占めている。ランキングは以下の通りだ。 世界幸福度報告 2022年度 「幸福度」ランキング(国連) 1. フィンランド 🇫🇮2. デンマーク 🇩🇰3. アイスランド🇮🇸4. スイス🇨🇭5. オランダ 🇳🇱6. ルクセンブルク🇱🇺7. スウェーデン🇸🇪8. ノルウェー🇳🇴9. イスラエル🇮🇱10. ニュージーランド🇳🇿 原文はこちら 関連記事 『アウトドアサウナできるキャンプ場9選』 『サウナ特有の魅力に迫る「サ展」が池袋パルコファクトリーで開催』 『アメリカのフーディー都市ランキング、2021年のトップはポートランド』 『2021年、世界のベストシティランキング』 『東京で楽しむ世界の朝ごはん6選』 東京の最新情報をタイムアウト東京のメールマガジンでチェックしよう。登録はこちら 

You can stay on this remote Swedish island with its own lighthouse

You can stay on this remote Swedish island with its own lighthouse

My gosh, we’d really like to go off-grid right now. Somewhere isolated. Somewhere barren but still beautiful. Somewhere where you almost feel like you’ve reached the very edge of the planet. The island of Hamneskär, off Sweden’s western coast, is just that sort of place. For decades, this rocky island has been home to a lighthouse, a few random outbuildings and a house for the lighthouse keeper’s family. Now the house and surrounding buildings have been restored and turned into a luxury nine-bedroom hotel, Pater Noster – making it quite possibly the ideal off-the-beaten-track place to escape to. The island has a longstanding reputation for its perilous location – surrounded as it is by hundreds of jagged rocks hidden beneath the water’s surface – that led to it becoming a refuge for many a shipwrecked sailor. These days, visitors can only reach the island by helicopter or expertly-manned boat. Photograph: Erik Nissen Johansen Once you’re there, you can take tours of the lighthouse and enjoy freshly caught seafood at an on-site restaurant. The hotel will also offer deep-sea fishing, scuba-diving, sailing, kayaking and seaweed-cooking classes. Or you could simply chill out, read a book, and watch the sun set over the waves. With rooms starting from £442 ($563, A$800), it’s not the cheapest getaway – but then again, when was the last time you stayed in a place as exhilaratingly wild as this? Got five minutes to spare? Want to tell us what life is like in your city? Take the

Can you guess which is the happiest country in the world?

Can you guess which is the happiest country in the world?

For obvious reasons, it’s been pretty hard to keep our spirits up over the past couple of years. But in one particular country, happiness still appears to have come quite naturally – even in hella fraught times. With its beautiful Arctic landscapes, rich heritage of foraging and fondness for outdoor swimming and saunas, Finland certainly sounds like some sort of utopian dreamland. And now this small Nordic nation has been named the happiest country in the world… again. The United Nations’ annual World Happiness Report has shifted its focus slightly during the pandemic, looking more closely at the effects of the past two years and how people around the world have coped. But even despite those changes, Finland still ranked number one – for the fifth year in a row, in fact. The report’s authors said this could be because Finland has always ranked very high on social support in times of trouble, which have likely been crucial in creating collective warm-and-fuzzy feelings over the past year. Oh, and it’s not just Finland. The entire Nordic region always seems to smash these sorts of rankings, and this year they once again dominate the upper end of the list. The rest of the top ten is mostly made up of European countries, with a few surprise entries making their way into the list. Here is the top ten in full: 1. Finland 🇫🇮2. Denmark 🇩🇰3. Iceland 🇮🇸4. Switzerland🇨🇭5. Netherlands 🇳🇱6. Luxembourg 🇱🇺7. Sweden 🇸🇪8. Norway 🇳🇴9. Israel 🇮🇱10. New Zealand 🇳🇿 So now you

Time to tell us exactly what you think about your city

Time to tell us exactly what you think about your city

It’s time to tell us what you think of London. Shockingly, it’s now been two years since we all panic-exited our offices and gleefully embraced the novelty of wfh. What a shitter it turned out to be. But now, somehow, life in London appears to be pretty much normal again. So, what’s actually changed? We’ve just launched the Time Out Index 2022, our fifth annual poll of city-dwellers around the world, and we want to find out everything about life in this city post-pandemic. What do you think of the London restaurant scene now? The bar circuit? How easy is it to date? To find new pals? What do you think of the art and nightlife? Plus where, dare we say it, is the coolest part of town? This return to the good times is a big relief. Doing stuff is why we’re here, after all. We’re here for the food, for the culture, for the nightlife. We’re here to find new friends or because our friends are already here. And many of us stuck around throughout the pandemic for all those very legit reasons, too. You’ll find the survey on our website (it only takes five minutes), and as ever, we’ll be using all your responses to come up with our annual rankings of the world’s best cities and coolest neighbourhoods. Last year, London came thirteenth in the former and Dalston was your pick for the latter (no doubt takeaway pints, pedestrianised streets and ‘parklets’ had something to do with it). So… what do you think this year? Outraged that someone might name Manchester a better city? Think Camberwe

We’ve just announced the winners of the Time Out Love Local Awards 2021

We’ve just announced the winners of the Time Out Love Local Awards 2021

We’ve all had to become a lot more familiar with our cities, neighbourhoods and homes over the past couple of years. And if this year’s Love Local Awards are anything to go by, we still really, really cherish the places we call home. Which is lucky, isn’t it? In this year’s awards, there were a whopping 187,000 votes as you guys championed your favourite places in 11 cities across the world. All those votes are a celebration of your beloved local restaurants, pubs, bars, cafés, shops, music venues, galleries and theatres – the places that make your city what it is. Now we can finally reveal the winners. Here they are in full... UK: London North America: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Boston, Montreal Spain: Madrid, Barcelona (ES) and Barcelona (CAT) Portugal: Lisbon and Porto

Morocco is finally reopening its borders after a two-month flight ban

Morocco is finally reopening its borders after a two-month flight ban

Back in November, Morocco brought in a strict lockdown, closing borders to all travellers in response to rising Omicron case rates. Moroccan nationals could return, but entry was forbidden for everyone else and flights were banned. From February 7, however, that will all change, as the country finally reopens to international visitors again. According to the country’s flag carrier Royal Air Maroc, the easing of restrictions will apply to travellers from 67 nations that are exempt from Morocco’s visa requirements. These include the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and all EU member states. Any potential holidaymakers will want to consider that flights in and out of the country are still limited, and face masks remain mandatory in all public places.As for testing requirements? These aren’t clear just yet, but the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) currently states that ‘when flights resume’ visitors will need to provide proof of full vaccination, plus a passenger locator form and a negative PCR test result from within 48 hours of arrival. The same rules apply for those arriving by ferry. Children under six are currently exempt from testing rules. With Omicron still raging across the globe, your holiday options look a bit sparser than previous years. But if you play it right and do your research, it seems you could be heading to one of Morocco’s legion of top beach resorts this summer. Could be worse, huh?