We asked Time Out editors from cities across the world to reveal their favourite hidden gems – so that you can live like a local next time you travel.
8 A hidden beach in land-locked Madrid
Smack in the centre of the buzzing barrio of Malasaña is Ojalá – a restaurant with a sandy beach on the bottom floor, complete with a bar and fluffy cushions. Time Out Madrid Calle de San Andrés, 1, 28004 Madrid, Spain. +34 915 232 747. grupolamusa.com/restaurante-ojala.
7 A tropical oasis in a brutalist arts complex in London
The Barbican is a vast 1960s concrete housing estate and arts complex, and if you’re into brutalist design it’s pretty amazing. What a lot of people don’t know is that it also houses the Barbican
Conservatory – the second biggest conservatory in London and a hidden oasis filled with tropical plants. Time Out London Silk St, London EC2Y 8DS, UK. +44 20 7638 4141. barbican.org.uk.
6 An award-winning bar in a back-alley basement in Singapore
The entrance to Operation Dagger – unwashed floor, plain glass door, illegible scribbling on the top – is so nondescript that even the building it’s in doesn’t have a name. It opens to a dingy staircase that leads further down to the bar, which lies under a cloud of light bulbs and against a backdrop of shelves, on which stand rows of tinted bottles labelled with a grid of faded drawings (codes for each liquid). Time Out Singapore #B101, 7 Ann Siang Hill, Singapore 069791. +65 6438 4057.
5 A live music venue in a Hong Kong hair salon
Every Saturday, owner and live music fanatic Benky Chan opens the doors to tiny hair salon
Visage One and turns it into a jazz bar with some of the city’s best musicians playing nose-to-nose with a small group of music lovers. Time Out Hong Kong 93 Hollywood Rd, Central, Hong Kong. +852 2523 8988.
4 Free entry into Barcelona’s most beautiful church
Did you know that there is free entry into Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece, the Basílica de la
Sagrada Família, during Sunday mass every week at 9am (entry normally starts at 15 euros)? You’re welcome to go in and have a look around if you are respectful of those who are there for mass or prayer. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a choir performance. Time Out Barcelona
Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013, Barcelona, Spain. +34 932 0804 14. www.sagrada familia.org.
3 A museum in an elevator shaft in New York
Since 2012, New York’s smallest museum, called Mmuseumm, has been displaying the seemingly ordinary as extraordinary in a tiny abandoned Tribeca elevator shaft. Oddities and quirky objects like a collection of cornflakes (yes, as in the cereal) and ‘not bombs’ (items like a Taco Bell wrapper and a dildo with an LED light that were once mistaken for bombs) are displayed on the brightly lit shelves. Time Out New York 4 Cortlandt Alley, New York, NY 10013, USA. +1 888 763 8839. www.mmuseumm.com.
2 Skyline views from a bathroom in Chicago
Chicago has no shortage of breathtaking views, but one of the city’s most undercover vistas can be found in a ladies’ restroom (sorry, dudes). Take in the sprawling skyline from the bathroom at the Signature
Lounge on the 96th floor of the John Hancock Center. Time Out Chicago 875 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA. +312.787 9596. www.signatureroom.com.
1 Rope swings in San Francisco parks
Rope swings are hidden all over San Francisco’s many parks, offering some of the best views in the city. Perhaps the two most famous swings are at the top of
Billy Goat Hill, where residents can swing while admiring an expansive view of downtown SF, and Kirby
Cove in Marin, where you’ll find the rope swing dangling between two old trees with a direct view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Time Out San Francisco
New York’s smallest museum is in an elevator shaft
Mmuseumm, New York City