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John Bills

John Bills

Writer, Time Out Travel

John Bills grew up in Mid Wales, but a mixture of boredom and tragedy eventually led to him visiting and writing about small towns in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and hunting down the best Bosnian food (if someone tells you it’s found in the Baščaršija, they haven’t been elsewhere in the country). He has been lucky enough to live in Prague, Ljubljana, Belgrade, Mostar and Sarajevo as well as the UK, and his travel writing and editing work for Time Out covers all those destinations and many more.

Articles (68)

11 of the most breathtakingly beautiful road trips around the world

11 of the most breathtakingly beautiful road trips around the world

You could say that life is one big road trip, but that is bordering a little too close to poetry. Why not just go on a big ol’ IRL car journey instead? The world is filled with incredible roads that stretch on and on, traversing mountainscapes, coastlines and memorable spots that have dominated travel bucket lists for years.  You’ll need plenty of fuel and a carefully curated list of road trip podcasts lined up, but we promise it’ll be worth it. Our selection of the best car journeys in the world will take you through some of the planet’s most scenic routes, and some really, really long stretches of road. There’s a lot to see out there, so fill up the tank and, well, hit the road! RECOMMENDED: 🚞The most incredible train journeys around the world✈️The most underrated destinations in the world🌃The best cities in the world🌍The weirdest places in the world

The 20 best things to do in Cardiff

The 20 best things to do in Cardiff

Cardiff is a lively city, especially on big sporting days when it can feel as though the entire Welsh nation descends on the capital to cheer on the team in red. Luckily for visitors, the Welsh are a tremendously friendly bunch, and thanks to the apt title 'City of Castles' and Cardiff's charming streets and gorgeous beaches, the place is great for a roam. Our pick of the best things to do in Cardiff covers every category, be it innovative restaurants or positively thrilling museums. There's an abundance of culture to sink your teeth into, and a plethora of great spots to shop 'til you drop. If you’re looking to squeeze all of this into a day then check out our handy guide to the perfect day in the capital, and then set about exploring the best of the rest that Wales has to offer. You’re in for a serious treat, butty. RECOMMENDED:🏨 The best Airbnbs in Cardiff🌉 The best things to do in Bristol☀️ The best things to do in the UK This guide was recently updated by ex-Cardiff resident Adam England. At Time Out, all our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. 

The 15 most beautiful places in the UK, according to travel writers who’ve seen them all

The 15 most beautiful places in the UK, according to travel writers who’ve seen them all

For all of the stick we give the UK – the grey skies, the pigeons, the Greggs sausage roll packets littering the pavements – it’s actually a pretty gorgeous country. In London alone, you can be goggling over the Barbican’s brutalist beauty one moment, the next, you might be basking in the tranquility of Hampstead Ponds. Add the turquoise coasts of Cornwall, the rugged mountains of Snowdonia and the fairytale wonder of Scotland’s highlands and islands to the mix, and you’ve got a country which is as good looking as they come.  When we set about curating this list of the most beautiful places in the UK, we called on our network of expert travel writers. These guys have have personally experienced the pinch-me moment of seeing every place on this list IRL – so we can guarantee you there is no catfishing going on here. Of course, you’ll find the usual suspects – you can’t argue with the magic of the Isle of Skye, after all – but you’ll also find some more surprising beauty spots to add to your travel bucket list.  Chiara Wilkinson is Time Out’s UK features editor, based in London. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines and check out our latest travel guides written by local experts.RECOMMENDED:🚂 The UK’s 12 most beautiful train stations🇬🇧 The 35 best things to do in the UK🏝 The 30 most beautiful places in the world🏠 The 25 best Airbnbs in the UK

The 11 best restaurants in Copenhagen

The 11 best restaurants in Copenhagen

If you didn’t know already, Copenhagen’s food scene is a very exciting place indeed. You may already have heard of Noma, Copenhagen’s notorious high-end New Nordic restaurant – it will be closing at the end of 2024, making space for a new wave in the city.  A newer addition to our list is Alchemist, which has fought its way to the top bracket of the World’s Best, but we’ve also got Danish bakeries, family-run Taiwanese dishes and the classics serving up seasonal fish, meat and veggies. It’s not all expensive, but the blowout meals are there if you fancy it. Whatever you fancy, here are the best restaurants in Copenhagen right now.  RECOMMENDED:🍸 The best bars in Copenhagen📍 The best things to do in Copenhagen🏛️ The best museums in Copenhagen💃 The best nightlife spots in Copenhagen🏘️ The best Airbnbs in Copenhagen This guide was last updated by Laura Hall, a writer based in Copenhagen. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. 

The 15 best places to travel alone

The 15 best places to travel alone

Nothing sounds quite as liberating as upping sticks and going to see the world, at whatever pace, and for however long you want. The freedom of only being tied to your own schedule is the beauty of travelling solo, and it seems like lots of us are catching on.  Travelling the world alone has only grown in popularity since we came out of pandemic restrictions, with many of us adopting the ‘life’s too short’ mindset, and working up the courage to just book that damn flight. And why shouldn’t we? There’s such an abundance of places to travel solo, some so glorious that you won’t even notice you don’t have company.  Of course, there are some things to consider if you’re jetting off solo. Safety, especially for women travellers, is an important element to factor into your planning, among plenty of other aspects that need weighing up. We’ve done our research: here is our list of the best solo travel destinations in the world.  RECOMMENDED: 🧗‍♀️ The best destinations for solo female travel☀️ The prettiest islands in the world🌆 The best cities in the world 🖼️ The most beautiful places in the world

15 of the most spectacular places to swim in the world

15 of the most spectacular places to swim in the world

Is that you, summer? We don’t want to jump the gun, but sunny days are right around the corner, and summer means swimming. Dust off the bathing suit or hit the shops to pick up a new piece because we’re about to dive headfirst into the waters. Unless diving is forbidden, of course, in which case we’ll approach and enter the water safely and responsibly. Just kidding! If you’d rather swim in the wild, the best places are a fascinating collection of rivers, lakes, pools, and sinkholes. These are perfect for paddling and pretty good for the body and mind. Wild swimming is having a moment, and these gorgeous spots combine natural beauty with the benefits of a length or three.  RECOMMENDED: ⛱ The 31 best beaches in the world🥾 The 16 best hikes in the world

15 of the oldest cities in the world

15 of the oldest cities in the world

Without meaning to state the obvious, Earth is old. Very old. Ancient, you could say. Humans? Okay, not quite as old as the planet, but pretty old nonetheless. The third rock from the sun has been inhabited for a rather long time, and it hasn’t always been about bustling metropolises and urban charmers. It took a long time for humans to settle down, but we sure created some magic once we did. Today, it is difficult to imagine a world without cities. Many of humanity’s earliest settlements have been lost to the ruthless apathy of time, but there are still plenty of cities worldwide that are as old as the hills. This is a list of the world’s oldest cities, although a cursory glance at the selection will reveal a caveat. For one, we’ve tried to incorporate all continents for the sake of geography. Antarctica is omitted (sorry, Antarctica), but completists will sleep better knowing that Base Orcadas is the oldest settlement there. Also, we’ve tried to keep this to places that are safe to visit. With all that in mind, let’s celebrate the oldest cities in the world. RECOMMENDED: ⛰ The best places to travel alone🏖 The best beaches in the world🇪🇺 The best European city breaks

The 11 most luxurious train rides in the world

The 11 most luxurious train rides in the world

Travelling by rail can be one of the most luxurious ways of getting around. And no, we aren’t just talking about the Orient Express (though that is, indeed, very fancy). The world is full of opulent, luxe rail routes – and they come in all shapes and sizes. Some are veritable palaces on wheels, whilst others offer dazzling views or fine dining, and they offer you the chance to see the world at a much more leisurely pace – no zooming past mountains here.  But it’s not just the journey worth boarding for. So many routes are built around packages for travellers which often include plenty of day trips and stop-offs around every corner – kind of like a cruise. It isn’t just the train that’s fancy, it’s the entire trip, so get ready to be amazed, as here is our pick of the very best luxury train routes from across the world. RECOMMENDED: 🏫The most beautiful train stations in the world🚅The best train journeys in the world🗺️The best train journeys in Europe☀️The best train journeys in Asia🎭The best things to do in the world

The 19 cities with the best public transport in the world – according to locals

The 19 cities with the best public transport in the world – according to locals

Where would we be without public transport? With more and more of us consciously trying to reduce our reliance on car travel, to help our own health and that of the planet, trains, buses and trams are the unsung heroes that could literally save the world. Sure, a crowded bus on the morning commute isn’t the most pleasant, but when it comes to exploring the world’s greatest cities, it’s the best way to discover a new place through the eyes of a local. And a few of the world’s best public transport networks even double up as cultural treasure hunts, making the mundane spectacular with sublime art and design. To identify the cities with the world’s greatest public transport, we surveyed more than 20,000 city-dwellers around the world from more than 50 cities, back in 2023, by simply asking: is it easy to get around your city by public transport?  Many iconic networks didn’t quite make the cut. There was no room for Istanbul’s continent-crossing ferries, the fairytale trams of Lisbon, Melbourne and Manchester, or Bangkok’s elevated Skytrain. But in the cities that were included, at least four out of five locals had good things to say about each of them. And they spanned the whole globe, from Montreal to Mumbai and Stockholm to Shanghai – and even the USA. So, without further ado, these are the best cities in the world for public transport, according to locals. RECOMMENDED:🌎The most beautiful train stations in the world🚅The best train journeys in the world🎭The best cities in th

The 11 most scenic train journeys in the UK

The 11 most scenic train journeys in the UK

Whether you’re keen to admire the stunning vistas of the Scottish countryside, or just after a setting to pretend you’re in a music video, staring longingly out at the mesmerising beaches of Cornwall or the mountains of Wales, these train journeys will make you feel like the main character in the window seat.  You could be a solo traveller craving some luxury transport, or just looking to take the kids on a wholesome family day out – either way, these railway trips will have you covered. Stretching from the very top of the country in Mallaig to the very bottom down in St Ives – and right across to Coleraine in Northern Ireland – here’s where to get your railway fix on your next UK holiday. All aboard! RECOMMENDED:🌊The best indoor and outdoor water parks in the UK☀️The best wild swimming spots in the UK🌴The most beautiful hidden beaches in the UK🏂The best extreme outdoor activity breaks in the UK🏞️The most beautiful national parks in the UK

The 18 best city breaks in Europe for 2024

The 18 best city breaks in Europe for 2024

The city break continues to rule in 2024. According to ABTA, city breaks overtook beach holidays as the UK’s favourite type of trip last year – and travel booking site Opodo has reported that nearly half of all trips taken in 2023 were between two to four days. Long live the long weekend, eh? When it comes to cramming in the best food, nightlife and culture in one whistlestop weekend, Europe really does spoil you for choice. Of course, there are the classics – Rome, Amsterdam, Paris – but the continent is packed with lesser-known second cities and more obscure cultural capitals that make for the ideal affordable city break in 2024.  From gastronomic delights and cultural cubby holes to all-hours party hotspots, Europe’s best city breaks tick all the boxes. But with so many options, where should you head? Well, we’ve narrowed it down for you: in our list of Europe’s best city breaks, everywhere from France to Bosnia and Herzegovina is covered. See you out there! RECOMMENDED: 📍 The absolute best things to do in Europe🗺 The most underrated travel destinations in Europe🛤 The ultimate Europe Interrailing itinerary

The world’s best places to retire

The world’s best places to retire

Work, work, work. It gets a bit too much sometimes, and we can all be forgiven for dreaming of life once we’re off the clock. What does that dream retirement look like? Different things to different people, of course, but the accessibility of global travel means that more and more are choosing to spend their retirement abroad. And when you consider the options, you can’t blame them. There are many magnificent places to retire in our glorious world, and many of the best have certain things in common. An agreeable climate and affordable cost of living make sense as the two most important criteria, while beautiful surroundings and vibrant culture certainly don’t hurt. Whether you are looking for life by the sea or days spent hanging out with wildlife, these are the best places in the world to spend your retirement. RECOMMENDED:🌏 The best places to travel alone☀️ The sunniest travel destinations on earth🌃 The best cities in the world right now

News (4)

Aquests són els llocs embruixats més terrorífics del món

Aquests són els llocs embruixats més terrorífics del món

El món és un lloc terrorífic. Els esperits habiten tots els racons del planeta, perduts entre aquest món i l'altre, a la recerca de la pau, la serenitat o potser d'algunes persones vives per espantar (no tenim criteri per assegurar els motius dels fantasmes, després de tot). Els llocs més embruixats del món són una barreja de racons clàssics fantasmagòrics i alguns llocs menys previsibles; des d'antics hospitals i mansions fins a pubs de muntanya i pobles abandonats. Les celebracions de la temporada més esgarrifosa estan en marxa, però aquests cementiris i fortaleses aterridores poden fer que la por sigui massa real. Passes? Xiuxiueigs? Sanglots de vídues pretèrites? No sabem de què parleu... 1. Poveglia, Itàlia Foto: Shutterstock Venècia pot ser el lloc més romàntic d'Europa, però també és un dels més encantats. Podeu inserir aquí el vostre comentari sobre l'amor maleït, però sort per trobar la teva veu al fred de Poveglia. Aquesta illa abandonada es va utilitzar com a estació de quarantena durant més d'un segle abans d'acollir un hospital psiquiàtric, que va tancar el 1968. Fa tanta por que els visitants estan prohibits, presumiblement per por de... Bé, per por. 2. La Isla de las Muñecas, Mèxic Foto: Shutterstock La Isla de la Muñecas en realitat encara fa més por del que indica el nom. El propietari d'aquesta illa situada al sud de la Ciutat de Mèxic va començar a penjar ninots dels arbres a la dècada del 1940, aparentment per allunyar els mals esperits, i va acabar cr

Estos son los lugares embrujados más terroríficos del mundo

Estos son los lugares embrujados más terroríficos del mundo

El mundo es un sitio terrorífico. Los espíritus habitan todos los rincones del planeta, perdidos entre este mundo y el otro, en busca de la paz, la serenidad o quizás de algunas personas vivas a quien asustar (al fin y al cabo, no tenemos criterio para asegurar los motivos de los fantasmas). Los lugares más embrujados del mundo son una mezcla de rincones clásicos fantasmagóricos y algunos sitios menos previsibles; desde antiguos hospitales y mansiones hasta pubs de montaña y pueblos abandonados. Las celebraciones de la temporada más escalofriante están en marcha, pero estos cementerios y fortalezas aterradoras pueden hacer que el miedo sea demasiado real. ¿Pasos? ¿Susurros? No sabemos de qué habláis... 1. Poveglia, Italia Foto: Shutterstock Venecia puede ser el sitio más romántico de Europa, pero también es uno de los más encantados. Puedes insertar aquí su comentario sobre el amor maldito, pero suerte para encontrar tu voz en el frío de Poveglia. Esta isla abandonada se utilizó como estación de cuarentena durante más de un siglo antes de acoger un hospital psiquiátrico, que cerró en 1968. Da tanto miedo de que los visitantes están prohibidos, por miedo a... Bueno, por miedo. 2. La Isla de las Muñecas, México Foto: Shutterstock La Isla de las Muñecas en realidad aún da más miedo de lo que indica el nombre. El propietario de esta isla, situada al sur de la Ciudad de México, empezó a colgar muñecos de los árboles en la década de 1940, aparentemente para alejar a los malos

El transporte público de Madrid, entre los 15 mejores del mundo

El transporte público de Madrid, entre los 15 mejores del mundo

¿Dónde estaríamos sin el transporte público? Nuestro mundo está cada vez más dominado por ciudades que crecen día a día, y cada vez más está más claro de que el tráfico de automóviles en constante aumento es una mala noticia para nosotros y para el planeta. En este contexto, los trenes, autobuses y tranvías son los héroes anónimos que, literalmente, podrían salvar el mundo. Está claro que un autobús abarrotado en hora punta no es exactamente la experiencia de un viaje de ensueño. Pero cuando se trata de explorar alguna de las mejores ciudades del mundo, no hay mejor forma que coger un tren y descubrirla a través de los ojos de quienes las habitan. Y algunas de las mejores redes de transporte público del mundo funcionan incluso como una experiencia cultural en sí misma, con diseños y calidades sublimes. Para identificar las ciudades con mejor transporte público, encuestamos a más de 20.000 habitantes de 50 ciudades de todo el mundo. Simplemente preguntamos: ¿es fácil moverse por tu ciudad en transporte público? Y en las ciudades que se muestran a continuación, al menos cuatro de cada cinco habitantes tenían cosas buenas que decir sobre la red de transporte público de su ciudad.  Madrid, en el puesto número 12  La clasificación la encabeza Berlín, con un 97% de los encuestados satisfechos con su red de transporte público. A la capital alemana le sigue Praga y Tokio, con un 96% y un 94% de satisfacción respectivamente.  Para encontrar una ciudad española tenemos que bajar hasta

This Balkan country could join the EU – here’s why travellers should be excited

This Balkan country could join the EU – here’s why travellers should be excited

After years of working to meet requirements, Bosnia and Herzegovina is finally on the highway to EU membership. The European Commission has granted candidate status for the country – and the skies over Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Mostar and the rest shine a little brighter (though the autumn weather might also have something to do with that).  What does that mean for travellers? Good things, hopefully. Having lived here on and off for the last 13 years, I’ve heard the term ‘undiscovered gem’ get drilled deep into the ground – but I’m more than happy to say that Bosnia and Herzegovina might just be the most underrated travel destination in Europe. EU status would likely bring improvements to infrastructure, road and air connections and the rest, while the possibility of Schengen status has clear benefits for friction-free border crossings. We’ll wait and see what happens, but there are plenty of reasons for optimism, both for Bosnians and travellers. So why should you be excited? Because Bosnia and Herzegovina is a stunning conveyor belt of beauty packed with history, culture, great food and great people. Sarajevo teems with history, while the Stari Most (Old Bridge) in Mostar is one of the most impressive bridges on the planet; the nightlife in Banja Luka goes all night long, while the streets of Tuzla, Trebinje and Bihać are packed with charming cafes and romantic restaurants. On the subject of the latter, you haven’t eaten grilled meat until you’ve done so in Travnik, with the el