Something To Declare: Amsterdam; avoid heavy footwear; off the beaten track in Spain
Saturday 30 October 2004
The fifth annual Museumnacht in the Dutch capital takes place next Saturday, 6 November.
Destination of the week: Museum Night in Amsterdam
The fifth annual Museumnacht in the Dutch capital takes place next Saturday, 6 November. More than 30 museums will open their doors from 7pm until 2am. Besides the usual permanent and temporary exhibitions, the museums have organised special presentations and performances. New Museumnacht participants this year will be the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), the Persmuseum (Press Museum) and the Waag Society.
You can get a pass granting access to all the museums, plus transport between them by boat, tram or bus. It costs €12 (£8.50) if you book in advance, for example at one of the participating museums or via Amsterdam's Uit Buro booking office (00 31 20 621 1288); or €16 (£11) on the night itself. For more information, see www.n8.nl
Flights to Amsterdam are widely available from airports across the UK.
By Vanessa Morgan
Warning of the week: avoid heavy footwear
The US Transportation Security Agency, which runs checkpoints at American airports, has started issuing footwear tips. The aim is to speed up checks. The TSA warns that even shoes that do not trigger the metal detector are likely to be inspected, and says that work boots and platform shoes are likely to require additional screening. So, to be a considerate and unstressed traveller, you should wear either flip-flops, sandals or "thin-soled athletic shoes".
Bargain of the week: off the beaten track in Spain
The Spanish government has just released its latest house-price index for each region of the kingdom. Besides being of interest to people considering buying a second home, the index bears a strong correlation to the cost of travelling - especially accommodation. Prices are much higher in Madrid, the Basque Country and Catalonia - this is reflected in above-average hotel rates in the Spanish capital, Bilbao and Barcelona. The Balearic islands are also relatively expensive, and prices in the province of Murcia have risen by 25 per cent in a year- partly due to British property buyers.
For bargain-basement accommodation, aim for the region of Extramadura (south-west of Madrid), where prices are less than one-quarter those in the capital; or Galicia (the far north-west), where price levels are just 40 per cent of those prevailing in Madrid.
By Simon Calder
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