Paying to watch people living in poverty, you could argue, is intrinsically odd. Whether driving through Brazil’s favelas in a bulletproof tank or shuffling awkwardly in the dust as dancers perform a contrived cultural show, a whole industry has evolved around so-called “human safaris” – where residents are reduced to curiosities.
There was welcome news for the Isle of Man tourist board earlier this year, when figures revealed an increase in annual arrivals: from 305,800 in 2017 to 308,263 in 2018. But this figure remains way down on the 20th century heyday of the self-governing British Crown dependency.
The cover story in Sunday's print edition was about the revelations and riches of travelling with small children and seeing the world through their eyes. With this theme in mind, we'd like to hear about the good, the bad and the ugly of your family holidays, whether it was an idyllic beach break, a road trip that went wrong, an amusement park adventure, an unforgettable wildlife encounter or a totally forgettable meal. The reader who sends the best entry wins a £400 voucher.
In the 18 years I’ve spent waiting for my Hogwarts acceptance letter, I never imagined my first trip to the castle would be quite so full of sweaty toddlers.
The issue of ‘overtourism’ has never been more acute. Venice, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Mallorca and Dubrovnik have all seen protests against foreign visitors in recent years. But escaping the crowds, and so helping to relieve the pressure from Europe’s city centres, isn’t hard. Here we outline the closest national park to the continent’s most oversubscribed corners.
Where is the oldest purpose-built gaol in England? A port with a colourful history? A city that was a hot-bed of revolution? Surprisingly, it’s a prosperous market town in a Northumbrian river valley.
Berlin has become one of the most stimulating creative and cultural centres in Europe, a place not just for hedonists, hipsters and history buffs alike, but also for families (thanks to a wealth of green spaces and family-friendly infrastructure) and luxury travellers who seek five-star hotels, Michelin-starred dining spots and indulgent spas. High-end hotels here usually cost less than their London and NYC counterparts, but there’s also a spread of decent and welcoming mid-to-lower range hotels as well as hostels. You'll find great family apartments as well as value-for-money boutique experiences, and spots that breezily blend hostel and hip hotel aesthetics. Decent bed and breakfast options are also popular. Here's our pick of the best budget hotels in Berlin.
In these uncertain financial times, it might be logical to turn to new, less expensive pastures for the annual ski holiday. Destinations in Eastern Europe pride themselves on low prices, and certainly visits to Bulgaria, Romania and the others all look delightfully enticing when viewed online or in glossy brochures. Value is undeniable, the welcome is genuine, après-ski is lively (and cheap) and thousands of British visitors have a great time each winter.
Whether you’re a king of the swingers, an undercover supervillain or a self-styled Disneylicious princess, fun and enchantment abound at Disneyland Paris. Just 45 minutes by train from central Paris, 28 miles (45km) east, the hugely popular theme park can be visited on an easy Disneyland Paris weekend break. A colourful choice of themed hotels near Disneyland Paris continue the Disney experience well after the last sunburst firework has cascaded down in a riot of explosive colour and crackles on Sleeping Beauty’s bewitching baby-pink castle, as do several luxurious hotels on site. Dining – be it breakfast with Cinderella or a plate of ratatouille in a Parisian bistro frequented by a certain much-loved rat – is equally characterful.
This winter’s timetables for the Alpen Express train to nearly 100 of Austria’s top ski resorts have been released, offering skiers and snowboarders a low-emission alternative to flying this season.
Last week at ABTA’s annual Travel Convention, director of marketing at Responsible Travel Tim Williamson took his place on stage to tell 500 travel industry bigwigs what he thinks of aviation in light of the current climate change crisis: “There’s no way around this and I can’t sugarcoat this – we all need to fly less now and we need to encourage our customers to fly less.”
Away from its faceless seafront towers, Rio's backstreets, hidden corners and leafier neighbourhoods provide some brilliantly eccentric, intimate hotels. In terms of style, tropical influences tend to rule the roost, but there is also enticing faded colonial grandeur and lavish design aplenty to be found in the dramatic shared spaces of Santa Teresa’s Mama Ruisa or at La Suite's dramatic perch on top of the Joá hills. Alternatively, Selina’s self-styled rock ‘n’ roll suites will bring the essence of lively Lapa right into your room. Here's our pick of the best boutique hotels in Rio.
When I was small, my mum used to create a miniature snow scene every December on our piano. She would scrunch up balls of newspaper and run sheets of cotton wool over the top.
It is with great joy that I announce the arrival of our third baby. Basil is a cross between a spaniel, a poodle and some rather less refined ancestry – “a messy poo”, suggested the eight-year-old, with ominous foresight, as we loaded our baggage and the puppy into the car and headed for Fforest Farm in West Wales. I say 'our' baggage. We humans were sharing two small overnight cases. Basil was travelling with a crate, his own bed, two blankets, toys and his own chef (me).
Cheese, cider and ancient spelt: why Somerset provides the ultimate weekend for food fanatics
Last week Turkey launched a cross-border offensive on Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria, prompting the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to update its advice for British travellers.
New York is a city of extremes, and while you can spend thousands of dollars per day, you can also dive into the city’s culture with money to spare. Begin by exploring on foot – an affordable way to witness NYC in motion without spending a dime. Free museum hours, public parks, street festivals, not to mention public transit, allow visitors to be up close and personal with NYC while remaining on a shoestring budget. Likewise, accommodations can be light on the wallet, so rest easy because you’ll have more cash to spend. These New York hotels offer comfortable, convenient places to stay on a budget.
Edinburgh thoroughly deserves its reputation as one of the most beautiful and fascinating cities in the world. Of course, you can’t think of Edinburgh without thinking of the International Festival, Fringe and Hogmanay, but it also has its year-round thriving café culture, vibrant and varied nightlife, great shopping and a strong contemporary arts scene. Charming too, are the independent hotels that invite visitors to enjoy the intimate and more personal side to Scotland's vibrant heart. From Gothic-revival love nests and Art Deco ships, to Michelin-starred restaurants with rooms, here's our pick of Edinburgh's finest boutique hotels – perfect for those who like the small things in life.
Cruise ships can sometimes get into tight spots, but last week was a full-on breathe-in moment for Fred Olsen’s Braemar when it became the largest vessel to pass through Greece’s Corinth Canal.
Edinburgh is a cosmopolitan city, with a thriving café culture, vibrant and varied nightlife, great shopping and a strong contemporary arts scene. There’s no off season really; festivals – from film to jazz to food and beyond – happen every month, not to mention Hogmanay, International Festival and Fringe. While there are many incredible luxury hotels in and around the city centre that offer sumptuous bedrooms and excellent facilities, a handful are just as comfortable, arguably more characterful and equally as well-placed for exploring the city, but at an affordable price for those seeking a budget stay. Here's our ultimate guide to Edinburgh hotels that won't break the bank.
Peering at the menu behind the counter, I worry for a moment that I’ve succumbed to sudden onset macular degeneration. I struggle to read the offerings: h cks, he e nd om t toa ti
Sixty years ago Dubai was little more than a village. Pearling and fishing propped up the economy and around 25,000 called it home. To put that into perspective, more people attend Sunderland’s football matches on a typical Saturday afternoon.
Once upon a time, Florence’s hostel accommodation came in the form of multi-bedded dormitories with lumpy mattresses, communal bathrooms, strict entry times and questionable hygiene. Things are very different now and the lines between budget hotel and hostel are blurred. The hostels listed here all have smaller rooms, good facilities (some even have kitchens where you can whip up a plate of pasta al pomodoro) and brightly decorated rooms with decent beds; one even has a pool. If privacy is important, many have the odd single or double room, but prices for these nudge towards the rates of a one or two-star hotel. Here's our pick of the best hostels in Florence.