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Understanding affiliate links

Time Out’s policy on affiliate links


Like many publications, Time Out includes affiliate links in some pieces of content. These links enable our users to buy/book via the primary vendor for products we’re writing about – whether that’s buying tickets for an event, booking a venue or purchasing a product. These links do not influence the content that we produce. 

What is an affiliate link?
A trackable link that leads from Time Out to one of our partner websites. The unique tracking code on each URL lets the partner website know where each user has come from.

Why does Time Out use them?
Primarily because we want to make it easier for users to experience the world’s best cities, but we also receive a small commission from any bookings or purchases made via our affiliated partners. These include direct booking companies such as and an automatic affiliate link creator called Skimlinks, which connects various publications with thousands of retailers.

Why you should trust Time Out
Time Out has been curating the best of the city since we launched in London back in 1968. That’s more than half a century of recommending incredible events, places, things to do, products and experiences. We go way beyond London, too – we’ve got expert editors, writers, photographers, videographers and contributors across the world, with a global footprint that spans more than 300 cities and destinations. That means whenever we recommend something, you’ll know that it leverages local expertise, industry insight and a wealth of knowledge from people who are dedicated to finding the best things to do each and every day (and night!), wherever you are in the world. 

What do we look for?
Our mantra really is pretty simple: we want to showcase and shout about the best things happening in cities and destinations across the world. But we don’t necessarily look at things like everybody else does. We know our audience, and we know they don’t just want the obvious things that everybody else is talking about. That’s why our writers, editors and contributors spend their days and nights seeking out the things not everyone knows about; the up-and-coming talent, the hottest new places to go, the hidden gems, and the people and things you need to know about right now. Obviously, we can’t write about everything, but we use our expertise and understanding of our audience to preview, review and write about the things we know will be of interest to everyone who loves our content.

How we review
We only ever give a star rating to something we’ve experienced ourselves. When you see a five-star hotel review you know we’ve stayed there. When you see a rave restaurant review, you know we’ve eaten there. When you read our take on that West End theatre show you’ve been looking forward to, you know we’ve seen it. We’re incredibly proud of the credibility our editorial team brings to our content (and it’s something we fiercely protect, too), so if you see a star rating, you can be assured that what we’ve written is an honest and trustworthy piece from an expert – an expert who has actually experienced the thing they’re talking about. And one final thing we’d like you to know: our content team has total independence. The content they produce is always created outside of any commercial factors. In short? We don’t sell reviews – and we won’t ever sell reviews.

How we curate
We curate the best of the city in a few different ways. Where we have reviews, we’ll use those as the building blocks for our ‘best’ lists. That means that when you read our ‘best restaurants in London’ list, each and every one of the restaurants in the list has been visited by our critics, and ranked accordingly. Same goes for theatre, art, and any other verticals in which reviews are core to our editorial approach. When it comes to curated Airbnb content, we combine our detailed knowledge of the neighbourhoods and cities we cover (because our in-depth knowledge of the cities we talk about gives us a unique perspective on the best places to stay) with the properties we’ve visited, as well as insights from Airbnb themselves (including ratings, user reviews, descriptions, imagery and the quality and ratings of the hosts). For hotels and attractions we follow a hybrid approach: we’ll have a lot of reviews but we’ll complement those reviews with non-reviewed content, too – again, leveraging information from a wide variety of sources, working alongside our local expertise and understanding of where people should stay and what they should do in the cities we know like the backs of our hands. 

Affiliate links are not the same as paid-for content. For more information about this please visit our page on promoted content.

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