Worldwide icon-chevron-right 43 things we’re going to do when this is all over
View over Barcelona
Photograph: Shutterstock

43 things we’re going to do when this is all over

Can’t wait to get back to exploring your city? Neither can our Time Out editors around the world. Here’s what they’ve got planned for when life goes back to normal

By Ellie Walker-Arnott

It’s been a strange few months for most of us, with much of the world’s population on lockdown, our cities turned into ghost towns and bars, restaurants, cinemas, theatres and non-essential shops closed. But things are starting to look up, as countries tentatively ease restrictions. Life as we knew it has started to return in Hong Kong, while in Madrid and Barcelona little luxuries like daily walks are back on the agenda. It’s all got our editors around the world thinking about the first thing they’ll do when their cities are properly back to normal. And spoiler: it involves a whole lot of eating out. 

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The first thing we’ll do after lockdown

Hampstead Heath swimming ponds
Photograph: anutr tosirikul/

I’m going to jump in Hampstead Ponds

‘I'm going to go to Hampstead Heath, jump in the ponds and then drink tins in the sun and get a really big Mr Whippy and the combination will make me feel sick and I'll have to go home.’
Kate Lloyd, Time Out London 

Route 58 tram
Photograph: Supplied

I want to ride the tram in rush hour

‘I cannot wait to hop on one of the old school route 48 trams at peak hour after work. That feeling of being so packed that you have to hold on with one pinky finger and a lot of determination? Yeah, I miss that. I’m also frothing to get to a gig at The Forum – Angel Olsen was due to play there this June, and I would love to be squished in under that blue ceiling with the twinkling fake stars and her warbling tunes.’ Nicola Dowse, Time Out Melbourne 



A drinking session at Thirsty Crow is on the cards

‘This makes me sound like a barfly—I’m not, I swear —but I’ve been really craving a drinking session with my friends at Thirsty Crow in Silverlake. The spot tends to play really good music, the old-timey-yet-refined-yet-cool decor is right up my alley, it draws a sweet crowd, and its signature cocktail (the Thirsty Crow, naturally) always makes for a great night.’ Tim Lowery, Time Out Los Angeles 


Chinatown NYC
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Mobilus in Mobili

I’ll go straight to Chinatown

‘The first thing I'll do is go to Chinatown with my son. We'll get dumplings, Hong Kong Cakes, shop for produce and fish and the condiments I'm working through right now, and enjoy the pulsing street life that I miss so much.’ Oliver Strand, Time Out New York


Bondi Beach at dusk
Photograph: Azucena Stelzer/Unsplash

I’ll do the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk

‘Once the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk is open again, I’ll be the first one out there. By the time I finish those six blissful kilometres, I will have earned a proper long lunch, and since I wasn’t able to make it Merivale’s hotly anticipated new opening, Mimi’s, before the distancing regulations came into effect, that’s where you’ll find me – Martini in hand, watching the tides roll away.’ Matty Hirsch, Time Out Sydney 


iradouro de São Pedro de Alcantara
Photograph: Shutterstock

I’ll drink in the view (and a caipirinha)

‘You’ll find me at Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, one of the most beautiful viewpoints in the city, with a caipirinha in my hand and many friends sitting around me.’ Vera Moura, Time Out Lisbon 

Sweet Liberty
Photograph: Ellie Groden

I’ll dance and drink until the bar closes at Sweet Liberty

‘I keep having this vision of all my friends and I piling into Sweet Liberty to dance and drink until the bar closes or we're no longer standing – whichever comes first. It's not a bar I go to often but it's always a good time when I do venture out. I'm sure I'll run into people I know but wasn't expecting to see and the night will unfold into something totally memorable and worthy of my first outing post shutdown.’ Virginia Gil, Time Out Miami 

Nina Pasta Bar

I’ll devour carbonara at Nina

‘There are so many things I miss about being outside, and sitting down to eat in a restaurant is definitely one of them. The first place I'll go is Nina, the Italian spot between La Latina and the streets around El Rastro, where I'll devour a dish of carbonara. I'll book in before I go because, though it's a lovely and cosy space, it's also small, and I reckon I'm not the only one who thinks Nina has one of the best carbonaras in the city. And when my belly's full, I'll go shopping in the little design shops in the Barrio de Las Letras.’ Noelia Santos, Time Out Madrid 

Huntington Library
Photograph: Michael Juliano

I’ll stop and smell the roses at Huntington Library Botanical Gardens

‘My apartment may not have a backyard, but that’s no matter because I have the Huntington Library – or at least I did, until it temporarily closed. I may be a bit biased here (I’m a member and it’s only about five minutes from my home), but it’s easily the finest outdoor venue in SoCal – and first on my list to visit. I imagine I’ll slip right back into my usual ritual on that next trip there: Stroll through the prickly desert gardens, past the plump base of an ombu tree, up the hilly bamboo forest and into the neighboring Japanese and Chinese gardens. Every visit usually ends with a stop to see what’s blooming in the rose garden, where my wife sniffs each blossom and I instead poke fun at the rose names (like Hanky Panky and Ketchup and Mustard).’ Michael Juliano, Time Out Los Angeles 


I’ll spend the afternoon on a roof terrace

‘When we go out again it will be sunny (I hope), so I’ll spend the afternoon in a Lisbon terrace or rooftop – I particulary like Ferroviário, Topo Martim Moniz and Crack Kids. Then, I will enjoy the amazing and cheap ramen at Panda Cantina, a burger at Ground Burger or a pizza at Valdo Gatti. Afterwards, I’ll take a walk in Príncipe Real and Chiado. I will never complain about there being too many people in the street again!’ Francisca Dias Real, Time Out Lisbon

Xi'an Impression London
Photograph: Britta Jaschinski

I’ll order my usual dish at Xi’an Impression

‘There aren’t many restaurants where I will order the exact same thing every time – but Xi’an Impression is one of them. The cosy, no-frills restaurant opposite Emirates Stadium serves up incredible Chinese food, inspired by the street food of Xi’an. When lockdown ends, I’ll order a big old plate of their Biang Biang noodles – massive, wide noodles served in a fiery chilli sauce with slow-cooked beef. It’s not exactly a small portion but I might have to order two just to make up for lost time.’ Isabelle Aron, Time Out London 

Photograph: Courtesy Luis Nieto Dickens

I’m going dancing at Elsewhere

‘I’m going to go out dancing at Elsewhere or Good Room, so I can finally show off the moves I’ve been diligently perfecting over the last few months in my apartment. I’m just looking forward to going anywhere that has a better sound system than my iPhone in a glass.’ Will Gleason, Time Out New York



I’ll have a pint at The Cherry Tree

‘The first thing I plan to do when life returns to normal is open my front door, walk the 12 short metres across the road to The Cherry Tree pub and have an ice-cold pint of Moretti in the sun-soaked beer garden (okay, maybe I'm overly optimistic about the sun, but I can dream). Then, I'm going to take a stroll down Lordship Lane, stop at the East Dulwich Tavern for a swifty, before heading to Franco Manca for whatever's on the specials board. After that, it's back home via the EDT (again) for a final pre-bed beer. Bliss.’ George Blew, Time Out London 

Platja de la Barceloneta
Photograph: Shutterstock

I’ll go for a dip at Barceloneta Beach

‘I'm looking forward to taking a dip at Barceloneta Beach. After that, I'll have a paella at Can Ros, one of my favourite restaurants there. I've been working on my own rice dishes, and they've improved so much I could win a Michelin star, but nothing compares to sharing a delicious paella with friends by the sea.’ María José Gómez, Time Out Barcelona 


Hunky Dory
Photograph: Courtesy Hunky Dory/Breanne Furlong

I’ll eat a Hunky Dory egg sandwich

I've purchased so many gift cards from my favorite restaurants like Hunky Dory, I can't wait to have an excuse to use them. Just thinking about all the weekend mornings eating Hunky Dory's egg sandwiches makes me start to tear up.’ Emma Orlow, Time Out New York


It’ll be my regular Zoom dinner party but IRL

‘I have a weekly dinner party with friends, which has turned into a slightly awkward shouting-at-the-laptop Zoom dinner. I can’t wait to meet up with them in person at a cheap and cheerful BYO joint in the ‘burbs and eat lots of spicy food with even spicier gossip. I am also desperate to return to Melbourne’s arts precinct - there is something deeply calming and just the right amount of fancy about going to the NGV, Malthouse Theatre or the Arts Centre to see a show or exhibition. Cass Knowlton, Time Out Melbourne

brooklyn bridge sidewalk
Photograph: Shuttertsock

I’ll spend a day wandering around Brooklyn

‘I can't wait to walk around Brooklyn: I'll stop by Books Are Magic, grab a mint chip cone at Van Leeuwen and just enjoy being out and about.’ Danielle Valente, Time Out New York 


McElhone Place, Surry Hills
Photograph: Larissa Shearman

I’ll have a boozy pasta feast at Il Baretto

‘I can’t wait to gather the troops and have a loud, wine glass-clinking pasta feast at Il Baretto, a neighbourhood Italian joint in Surry Hills. A cozy, low-lit restaurant squeezed in with bodies and filled with overlapping chatter is what I miss. Maybe we’ll stroll around Crown Street after, dipping into another bar or two – I don’t think we’ll be ready to go home just yet.’ Divya Venkataraman, Time Out Sydney

La Station
© Come Cerezales

I’ll dance with my friends at The Station

‘I'll go to The Station, a former coal station that’s become a musical hotspot and events space reminiscent of underground Berlin. I’ll explore its three rooms, outdoor stage and two indoor stages, playing everything from hardcore punk to pure techno. Why? I dream of dancing with my friends in a huge open-air space, listening to music with a beer in my hand.’ Houssine Boucham, Time Out Paris

I’ll be visiting Lisbon’s stationery shops

‘The first thing will most likely be a trip to discover the best stationery stores in the city. One of the things that have kept me happy during this period is being able to be creative and I already need new material. I love to send and receive snail mail and I almost ran out of my stock of beautiful paper, stickers and washi tape decorating envelopes to my pen friends. I also really want to buy new colourful pens at Ponto das Artes in Chiado.’ Raquel Silva, Time Out Lisbon 


I’ll take a long walk through El Retiro park

‘After so many days without leaving the house, the first thing I want to do is breathe fresh air. I'll head out with my baby for a long walk through El Retiro park, where we'll wander among the trees and green meadows, and around the huge lake. We'll sit on the terrace at Arzábal, where I'll gobble up some of their incredible croquettes with a glass of vermouth, and afterwards we'll head to La Castela, to remember how amazing it is to taste their delicious tapas surrounded by the din of other diners. And for the final flourish to this wonderful day, an artisanal strawberry ice cream at The Pâtissier.’ Marta Bac, Time Out Madrid 


It’s going to be dumplings followed by tennis

‘I’m hopping on the 7 train and going to Flushing, Queens, to do the two things I miss the most: dining out and playing tennis. I'll stuff myself with dumplings and noodles because I'll need all those carbs before stepping onto the courts at the U.S. Open.’ Bao Ong, Time Out New York 


I’m ready for an epic impromptu sesh

‘While virtual dinner parties and Zoom drinks have helped me remain connected to my nearest and dearest, it’s organised fun. I long for those quick catch-ups that turn into an epic impromptu sesh. Perhaps a light lunch at The Winery in Surry Hills, that slinks into the early evening courtesy of several bottles you never intended to buy, before piling into an Uber to Newtown to crack open some Mar-tinnies at the Continental. Or Sunday brunch at Bloody Mary’s in Darlo that winds-up at the Green Park for a few G&Ts and then inevitably onwards to the Berro. Basically, I’m missing the opportunity to make poor life choices!’ Maxim Boon, Time Out Sydney 

Buster Mantis
Photograph: Scott Chasserot

I’ll have a rum punch at Buster Mantis

‘I'm going to go to Buster Mantis in Deptford and order a rum punch. Then I'm going to go to the loo and marvel at the fact that – even after months of lockdown – the urinals are still full of chewing gum.’ Chris Waywell, Time Out London

Vesta’s wild boar lasagne is on the menu

‘It'll be a feast for me! First, I'll head to my favorite Astoria restaurant, Vesta, for their incredible meat and cheese board and wild boar lasagna (which is enough to share), and then finish it off with a scoop of chocolate milk and cookies from Ample Hills.’ Shaye Weaver, Time Out New York 


View over Barcelona
Photograph: Shutterstock

I’ll watch the sun set over Barcelona

‘I’ll probably go up Montjuïc at sunset and admire the views of Barcelona from the stairs of the MNAC, the National Art Museum of Catalonia.’ Borja Duñó, Time Out Barcelona 

I can’t wait to waltz into work late

‘After giving every single one of the Time Out Melbourne team an eye-poppingly big cuddle when we get back to the office, I’m just looking forward to returning to my regular train-work-fun schedule. Breezily walking to the train station in the morning, waltzing into work late because of said train, working, then going and having a drink with a friend or seeing a movie at my local theatre. Might sound boring but I miss boring.’ Rebecca Russo, Time Out Melbourne


bone daddies
Photograph: Bone Daddies

I’m going to eat ramen

‘I’m going to eat ramen. Probably at Tonkotsu or Bone Daddies in Soho, but if I meet a man on the street with a tureen of the stuff, that will be fine too. I think about it regularly – partly because we’re watching a lot of Studio Ghibli movies and they eat a lot of ramen in those. Or maybe it’s because a spicy, steaming bowl of Japanese noodles seems somehow totemic of everything I miss about being out and about in London. What I once took for granted seems crazily exotic now.’ Phil de Semlyen, Time Out London

I’m having lunch at La Cantine

‘I’ll grab my dear friends and stroll over to Bushwick’s La Cantine, one of my favorite luncheonettes in town. We’ll all order their hearty chicken cutlet on baguettes and slices of dark chocolate brioche bread pudding, before heading further east to Ridgewood for an afternoon dance at Nowadays.’ Collier Sutter, Time Out New York 


torre de belém
Fotografia: Arlindo Camacho

I’ll walk along the Belém waterfront

‘I’ll go for a walk along the Belém waterfront. Then, maybe I'll head down to Cais do Sodré to see the sunset over the river at Crack Kids, and chug some slushies while I'm at it.’ Tiago Neto, Time Out Lisbon 

Westerns Laundry
© Patricia Niven

I’ll head to London’s South Bank

‘I‘ll venture to central London to remind myself that it’s still there. I’ll take in the city skyline from upclose (well, closer than my current vantage point in north London) by walking over Hungerford Footbridge and following the Thames along the South Bank. Afterwards I’ll go for an enormous dinner somewhere small and packed where you have to share tables and shout over your fellow diners. Maybe Lina Stores or Kricket or one of my local faves Westerns Laundry.’ Ellie Walker-Arnott, Time Out London 

summer 2016
Photograph: Shutterstock

A hot dog at a ball game for me

‘A hot dog at a ball game. Doesn't need to be a Yankee game or the Fuku sandwich at Citifield, could be at the Brooklyn Cyclones in Coney Island or the Staten Island Yankees. I've had more than my fair share of stove-top-boiled hot dogs at home recently, but they aren't the same without the smell of freshly cut grass, the crack of the bat and a bland American beer.’ Rocky Rakovic, Time Out New York 


©Ana Viotti

I’ll drink all the craft beers at Musa da Bica

‘I’m going to head to Musa da Bica, a craft beer bar, after work and then have dinner at Lupita, one of the best pizzerias in town. I’ll also go to Café do Paço, a traditional steakhouse in Lisbon, and order the bife à Café do Paço, a beef steak served with a special sauce and with chips.’ Sebastião Almeida, Time Out Lisbon 


I’ll buy myself a present to remind me of this time

‘I'm already thinking of what to do when life returns to “normal” (and also what normal means to me from now on). Besides getting together with family and friends and having a drink in a bar with a terrace and after picking up the books I bought in advance on international book day in my local bookshop, I might buy myself a symbolic present from one of our local jewellery designers to remind me of this tumultuous time we had in spring 2020.’ Eugènia Sendra, Time Out Barcelona 

Monster Sushi
Photograph: Monster Sushi

I’ll eat some really good sushi

‘There are so many things I want to do, like go to the beach or the Sunday market in Premià de Mar, but what I'm really looking forward to is eating some good sushi and the mortadella and pistachio pizza at Garden Pizza.’ Erica Aspas, Time Out Barcelona 


I want the boisterous ritual of yum cha

‘One thing that can’t be replicated at home is the boisterous ritual of yum cha. I miss having the trolley-pushers shout at me in Cantonese with dishes I don’t want to order, having to translate specials to the table and making requests for chilli oil so many times that the restaurant manager gives me four serves at once. When the restrictions are lifted, you’ll probably find me in a cloud of steam, chopsticks in hand, on a table with nine of my closest friends shaming them for soy-ing everything.’ Jess Ho, Time Out Melbourne 

La caníbal

I’ll set off on a culinary tour of Madrid

I'll set off on a nostalgic culinary tour that takes me through various neighbourhoods around the city. I'll start near where I live, with a natural wine and a cheese board at La Caníbal, then grab a vermouth and some grilled prawns at El Boquerón, a Galician red wine and a 'tortilla de patata' omelette at La Lorenza, and then finally I'll put myself in the capable hands of Gintas at Savas bar. Three cocktails later, it's either head home or carry on.’ Gorka Elorrieta, Time Out Madrid 


The beautician will be my first stop

‘The very first thing I'll do is go to the beautician. After that, a good brunch at Miolo (best carrot cake in Lisbon) and a big picnic with lots of friends and my dog at Jardim do Campo Grande. The day will end at Bairro Alto, with mojitos at Mojito Compay Tasca Cubana to forget everything that went through.’ Inês Garcia, Time Out Lisbon 

Fotografia: Kit Suman/ Unsplash

I’ll head to Parque Eduardo VII

‘I’ll stroll through the grass of Parque Eduardo VII. I’ve also been dreaming of a good cocktail. I’ll go to the Monkey Mash bar, an easy-going place by the team at Red Frog, one of the busiest bars in the city. I’ll drink any cocktails with a good dose of rum!’ Renata Lima Lobo, Time Out Lisbon 


I’ll take my parents out to Kateh

‘Before the world went mad, a Persian restaurant opened close to where my parents live in London. Time Out gave it a good review (back when we used to review restaurants) and I thought to myself 'I should take mum and dad there, that would be a nice thing to do'. I never quite got round to suggesting it. Seven (or is it eight?) weeks into lockdown and I now wish I'd made the effort. So, to the staff of Kateh, please excuse my late arrival. My parents and I will be with you shortly.’ Joseph Mackertich, Time Out London 

An empty cinema with red chairs.
Photograph: Graham Denholm

I will run screaming towards the very first cinema that raises the shutters

‘I will run screaming towards the very first cinema that raises the shutters, even if I have to sit on the floor eating choc tops while they sweep up. Movies are an inextricable part of my DNA and my mind, heart and soul has gone into stand-by mode without them. Before the Great Indoors, I’d catch 3-5 a week in cinemas on top of whatever I’d stream at home, but the latter never beats the former. I’d probably even sit through “Cats” again if that was all that’s on offer. Probably. Meow.’ Stephen A Russell, Time Out Sydney 


I’ll need to visit the hairdresser

‘I will probably start off with a stroll through downtown Cascais, have some pizza at Lambrettazurra, go from Guincho to Boca do Inferno and just take in the beautiful sea view this small town near Lisbon has to offer. After having taken in all the fresh air I'm missing so much, I'm bound to visit Slash, a Lisbon hairdresser, and do some long-overdue damage control.’ Steffany Casanova, Time Out Lisbon 

Daydreaming about future trips?


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