What’s hot in travel

Our new monthly column rounds up all the info you need to be a savvy traveller – from the most happening new clubs, on-trend hotels and buzzing restaurants to overlooked destinations and travel news.


Iceland is near-perfect in May. The weather is mild and the evenings are long thanks to the impending summer solstice – but most tourists and backpackers don’t arrive until July, when the Northern Hemisphere’s summer holidays begin.

WHERE TO EAT: Casa Miglis

A Scandinavian meal in Havana? At the brand-new Casa Miglis, it’s possible – and tasty, too. Miglis is the latest in a string of outward-looking restaurants to open in the Cuban capital as a result of Raul Castro’s more progress-friendly stance.

WHERE TO PLAY: La Bodega Negra
The spot to be seen in London this month is La Bodega Negra, the maiden British venture from Manhattan nightlife impresario Serge Becker. While the Mexican plates in the relaxed upstairs taqueria are spot-on, head to the edgier subterranean bar area. The secret entrance is disguised behind the glaring lights of a Soho sex shop.

WHERE TO SLEEP: The Weinmeister
Berlin’s certainly not over yet, in fact the Berlin Biennale now on makes it a great time to visit. Beat the summer crowds and book a room at The Weinmeister, which has ironed out the kinks since opening in late 2010 and is now the preferred choice of Europe’s travelling fashion set. Bonus points for the quintessentially German name.

GOING UP: Spa socials
Zurich has always been famed for its lidos, but these aren't places you would typically associate with nightlife. However, day spas like Barfussbar (Frauenbadi by day) and Rimini Bar (Flussbad Schanzengraben by day) are now opening their doors by night to become hugely popular and hip nightspots where you can swap your cucumber facial for a cocktail.

GOING DOWN: Unpredictable airfares
Aside from cheaper-than-ever air travel in continental Europe, global airfares are rising sharply in 2012. In April, Qantas increased its fuel surcharge above and beyond fluctuations in the oil price – and other Asian and American airlines are tipped to follow suit.

We’ve honed in on the key trends, best new venues and essential destinations for savvy travellers in May.

Explore the nightlife of historic Istanbul with its booming club culture and bustling old-world taverns.

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