Travel Briefs

Japanese tour company Omakase (omakase-tour.com) offers private one-day tours for travelers in wheelchairs in Tokyo (“Barrier-free Tokyo”) and Osaka (“Barrier-free Osaka”).

The 7-hour Tokyo tour visits Asakusa shrines, Sensoji Temple and Sumida Park, then the neighborhoods of Shibuya, Harajuku and Omotesando. ¥24,000 (near $222)for a single wheelchair member or ¥16,000 per wheelchair member and ¥14,000 per accompanying non-wheelchair member....

CONTINUE READING »

Helsinki Biennial 2020, the inaugural art festival of what is expected to become a yearly event, will be held June 12-Sept. 27, 2020, on a former military base on the island of Vallisaari in Helsinki, Finland.

At least 35 Finnish and international artists will exhibit on the theme of “The Same Sea,” the notion that everything is interdependent. At least 80% of the art exhibited will be new works, with many pieces being site-based. Visit helsinkibiennaali.fi/en.

CONTINUE READING »

A law banning smoking in restaurants, cafés and bars in Austria — initially planned to go into effect in May 2018 (Nov. ’17, pg. 48) before being scrapped by a new government (Feb. ’18, pg. 5) that was, itself, later scrapped due to scandal — was finally instituted on Nov. 1, 2019, with little fanfare.

CONTINUE READING »

On a walking tour with Free Tours By Foot (www.freetoursbyfoot.com), YOU get to decide how much you pay for the experience. Free Tours By Foot’s volunteer guides lead thematic tours in eight major European cities and have partnered with other companies to offer free tours in Europe, the UAE, India and the Americas.

Available tours include an East London food tour, a tour of medieval Barcelona and a Berlin Wall tour. The “free” tour includes only the guide; any food...

CONTINUE READING »

On the 4½-hour, guided “Culinary Bike Tour,” offered by Foods of Copenhagen (Skraa, Baggesensgade 4C, Copenhagen; phone +45 20 16 15 19, foodsofcopenhagen.com), bikers visit five restaurants in neighborhoods such as historic Christiana, semiautonomous Freetown and hip Refshaleøen.

Leisurely paced tours, round trip from St. Andrew’s Church, begin at 11:30 a.m. and cover 6 miles (with no hills) in the Danish city. DKK1,200 (near $178) includes bike and safety...

CONTINUE READING »

In the West End of London, England, the world’s first cheese conveyor belt restaurant, Pick & Cheese (Seven Dials Market, 35 Earlham St., London; www.thecheesebar.com), opened in September.

A conveyor belt carries glass-dome-covered plates of English cheese past seated diners, who are charged per number of plates they take, with prices, ranging from £2.95 to £5.25 (near $4-$7) per plate, based on plate color. Items also can be individually ordered off a menu....

CONTINUE READING »

UK-based travel company Thomas Cook went belly-up on Sept. 23, leaving more than 155,000 tourists stranded around the world. Using assistance from private airlines chartered by the UK government, the largest peacetime repatriation of British citizens was effected to return travelers booked with Thomas Cook to the UK. Citizens of other nations who were on vacations booked through Thomas Cook were not included in that repatriation.

The company, which described itself as the oldest tour...

CONTINUE READING »

Travelers from 52 countries, including the US, Canada and UK, now can visit Saudi Arabia on tourist visas, introduced Sept. 27, 2019, for the first time. Evisas are available in one-month single-entry and one-year multiple-entry versions.

To apply for an evisa, visit visa.visitsaudi.com. A passport with at least six months of validity from the planned date of entry to Saudi Arabia and the address of your accommodation are required. (No proof of accommodation booking is required, only...

CONTINUE READING »