Lonely Planet

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How to snap a prize photo at Amsterdam’s National Tulip Day

National Tulip Day, which brightens up Amsterdam’s Dam Square each January, is set to return this Saturday, but what exactly is it? And how can you snap that prize-winning photograph?<p>Held on the third Saturday of January each year, National Tulip Day marks the official start of the tulip season in …

Photography

Is Denver the new Amsterdam? New laws allow marijuana use in coffee shops

Denver might soon start looking a little more like Amsterdam. This Friday, businesses will be able to apply for licences that would permit patrons to use pot in public spaces like coffee shops or yoga studios.<p>There are a few restrictions. Establishments that sell alcohol are blocked from allowing …

Marijuana

Are these the most colourful neighbourhoods in the world?

Houses and residential areas tend to be designed in muted or neutral colour palettes, but there are some wonderfully vibrant exceptions to be found around the world. You could never be blue if you lived in one of these cheery and colourful neighbourhoods.<p>South Africa<p>The brightly-coloured buildings …

Travel

Rescue elephants in India get special sweaters to keep them warm for winter

Rescue elephants in India are keeping warm and safe from the freezing temperatures with beautifully embroidered sweaters.<p>The elephants live in the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Centre in the city of Mathura in Uttar Pradesh. All 20 elephants at the centre were rescued from captivity …

Wildlife

New urban park in Dallas will be 11 times larger than New York’s Central Park

As the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas, and now that includes the green spaces. Dallas is building a 10,000-acre park along the Trinity River roughly 11 times larger than New York City’s Central Park.<p>Artist’s impression of the new park. Image by Michael Van Valkenburgh …

American South

Travel along the roads of Argentina in this incredible video

If you’re considering taking a road trip, this video may be all the inspiration you need. Guillaume Juin, a French filmmaker, recently took a road trip in Argentina and turned his travels into an incredible video documenting the roads of the South American country.<p>ROADS OF ARGENTINA from Guillaume …

Travel

Get a first-class experience without a first-class ticket at Emirates’ Dubai lounge

While you may not be carrying that first-class ticket, if you’re flying Emirates out of Dubai, you can still treat yourself to a first-class experience before the plane takes off.<p>Emirates will now allow members of its rewards programme to pay for access to its lounges, which feature a variety of …

Airlines

Dubai to create over 100km of cycle track for commuters and leisure riders

Over 100km of cycling tracks are going to be created in Dubai, linking up a number of the city’s neighbourhoods. A variety of tracks will soon be under construction, offering routes for commuters, leisure riders and those keeping fit.<p>Cyclists will soon be able to use the new routes around the …

Cycling

This pop-up coffee shop in London is putting your face on a coffee to get you a date

A coffee shop in Shoreditch, London, is taking latte art one step further by using 3D printing tech to match people together. Love-seekers can head to “Espresso Yourself” in Boxpark, pick someone they fancy, then have their face lasered onto the froth of their free coffee.<p>The cup contains …

Coffee

A bubble dome, a treehouse and a train – check out the shortlist of most innovative places to stay in Ireland

The nominees for the most innovative place to stay category at the 2017 Irish Tourism Industry Awards have been revealed, and they include bubble domes, a treehouse and a train. The winner of this category will have successfully developed and promoted an innovative, creative and exciting experience …

Ireland

Juuso the bear is Finland’s hottest new artist after a solo exhibition in Helsinki

Culture vultures in Finland are flocking to an exhibition by an exciting, up and coming artist called Juuso. What makes it special? Well, Juuso is a 1000 pound brown bear.<p>Juuso made headlines around the world in 2015 when his owners released a video showing the bear creating expressionist oil …

Art

You can now ‘Champ’ in a range of beautiful medieval churches across England

Forget about camping or even glamping; 2017 is set to be the year of ‘Champing’, or church camping in England, with 12 more churches across the country being made available to rent for a special night away.<p>All Saint’s Church in Langport, Somerset. Image by Joseph Casey Photography<p>Church of St. …

England

New icons aim to eliminate confusion over how to operate high-tech Japanese toilets

If you’ve been to Japan, you’ll know that Japanese toilets are among the most sophisticated and high-tech in the world. So much so, they can be confusing so a new initiative has been introduced to help baffled tourists work out how to operate them. Japan’s Restroom Industry Association has devised …

Japan

Over 100 robots are coming to London for a groundbreaking new exhibition

A major new exhibition at London’s Science Museum will feature over 100 robots, including 12 working models. The exhibition, billed as ‘the most significant collection of human robots ever displayed’, explores 500 years of experimentation and ingenuity.<p>The term ‘robot’ was first used in 1920, but …

Robotics

New Jersey university will be home to massive Bruce Springsteen archive

Bruce Springsteen began his career in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and now the musical legend’s archive will find a permanent home just a few miles north of the seaside city. Monmouth University in West Long Branch is establishing the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music, which will …

Entertainment

In Pictures: London’s annual Magical Lantern Festival is open for the season

This year’s annual Magical Lantern Festival has opened London, unveiling a host of exciting things to do and see, including light sculptures, virtual reality installations, an ice bar, games and a mini funfair with a 600 sq metre synthetic ice rink.<p>A woman walks through a canopy of lanterns during …

Festivals

In Pictures: Chinese New Year travel rush gets underway

Often called the ‘world’s largest annual human migration’, Spring Festival is the biggest travel period in China, and for Chinese travellers around the world.<p>A young boy looks out of a window in a train as he goes back home with his parents for the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year, also known as …

China

Travellers from these countries can visit the most destinations without applying for a visa

Avid travellers will know that the process of getting a visa to visit another country can be tedious. But for passport-holders from certain countries, needing a visa is a rare occurrence.<p>Germany has come out on top of the Global Passport Power Rank 2017, created by Arton Capital. The list ranks …

Travel

The world’s first hand-dripped green tea shop has opened in Tokyo

A minimalist style shop dedicated solely to the art of hand-dripped green tea has opened in Tokyo, making it the first of its kind to be unveiled anywhere in the world.<p>The shop uses special hand-dripping techniques to extract the best flavour out of each tea selection. Image by Tokyo Saryo<p>Located …

Tokyo

The ultra-rich can now take a US$13.8 million private jet trip around the world with 50 friends

While most people planning their summer travels are looking for the best deal available, the ultra-rich have a new option for luxury – a $13.8 million private jet trip around the globe.<p>The opulent new experience comes from the travel company DreamMaker, which has created a trip around the world on …

Travel

In Pictures: Japan celebrates ‘Little New Year’ at Oiso no Sagicho festival

One of Japan’s smallest festivals and best-kept secrets took place earlier this week; the incredible Sagicho festival at Oiso Beach.<p>Used decorations from the New Year will be burned. Image by John S Lander/LightRocket via Getty<p>Oiso no Sagicho has been observed for more than 400 years and is thought …

Festivals

Iconic film maker Stanley Kubrick’s stunning French holiday home is up for sale

A beautiful French villa formerly owned by iconic director Stanley Kubrick has gone on the market for €1.4 million.<p>The property date back to the 17th Century and has been beautifully restored. Image by Christie’s International Real Estate<p>Unlike the foreboding character of The Overlook Hotel from …

Luxury Lifestyle

A guide to Copenhagen’s neighbourhoods

The image most often associated with Copenhagen is that of the colourful buildings and tall ships lining the sparkling waters of Nyhavn. This beautiful and beloved spot in the the aptly named Indre By (inner city) is undoubtedly the most familiar area for visitors to the city. But look a bit …

Travel

Australia’s indigenous artists are calling for fake Aboriginal souvenirs to be made illegal

Visitors to Australia love picking up Aboriginal-style keepsakes, but the country’s indigenous arts community is calling on the Government to make changes to the law to make it illegal to import and sell fake Aboriginal souvenirs.<p>It isn’t breaking the law at present for shops to sell imitation …

Australia

Costa del Snow – Spain’s southeast coast is under a blanket of white

The southeast coast of Spain is known for nearly year-round sunshine. But freezing temperatures have seen the coastal areas of Valencia, Alicante, Murcia and the Balearic Islands covered in a rare carpet of snow.<p>A cold front from Siberia has seen temperatures plummet and beaches transformed from …

Spain

We’re travelling even more than ever, according to the World Tourism Organisation

A global study has shown that we’re travelling even more than ever, according to the World Tourism Organisation, the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. Their research shows that 46 million more overnight visitors …

Travel

Feline chilled inside Turkey’s cat village, which has playgrounds, villas and hammocks

A cat village has been set up in Antalya, Turkey, with villa-style houses, hammocks and playgrounds designed exclusively for approximately 100 street cats.<p>The village was built by the founder of the Street Animals Protection Association, Mehmet Orhan, his wife Müjgan and volunteers in the …

Wildlife

Watch these daredevils skate on thin ice over a sunken prison and quarry in Estonia

A pair of daredevils in Estonia decided to literally skate on thin ice to capture an incredible video of them gliding over an underwater prison.<p>Alari Teede, a videographer from Estonia, shot the video as he skated on the ice with his friend Meelis Võsu. Teede told Lonely Planet that while he runs a …

Baltic States

Rare ruby seadragons captured on camera for the first time ever in Western Australia

The name of the ruby sea dragon is so magical that it almost sounds like something make believe. But real and very much alive it is as scientists have proven for the first time after filming the tiny creature in the waters off the coast of South Australia.<p>Josefen Stiller of UC San Diego explained …

Biological Species

What happens on a self-driving electric bus in Vegas, stays on the self driving bus in Vegas

The United States’ first self-driving bus rolled into downtown Las Vegas earlier this month.<p>The route is a short three blocks, but according to transit operator Keolis, it marks the first time an autonomous vehicle has shuttled passengers on a public road in the US. Although it’s only a test, the …

Transportation