1. US citizens will soon need to register to visit certain parts of Europe
The EU recently announced that it’s creating a European Travel Information and Authorization System (aka ETIAS) that, come 2021, will require American non-visa travelers to request authorization before visiting Europe. The destinations in question are all part of the Schengen area—a zone comprised of 26 European countries without internal borders, including Spain, France, Greece, Germany, Italy and Poland. The application is expected to take no more than 10 minutes, with authorization valid for three years.
“The new ETIAS will ensure that we no longer have an information gap on visa-free travelers,” explained Dimitris Avramopoulos, European commissioner for migration, home affairs and citizenship, in a recent statement. “Anyone who poses a migratory or security risk will be identified before they even travel to EU borders. Read more here.
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2. Travelers can now visit Abu Dhabi’s Presidential Palace
If Abu Dhabi’s “Palace of the Nation” complete with expansive gardens, ornate chandeliers and gigantic white domes sounds like something you may want to see for yourself, you’re in luck. Because for the first time ever, you can! The Palace, which houses the formal offices of the President, Vice President and Crown Price, will host exhibitions celebrating Arabic customs in addition to the Qasr Al Watan Library containing over 50,000 books and resources.
“Visitor tours of the palace will serve as a knowledge base and boost cultural understanding of the UAE,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council. Read more here.
3. Your flip flop-wearing days in Cinque Terre are limited
Hundreds of thousands of travelers flock to this UNESCO World Heritage Site every year—many of whom arrive via cruise line, flip flops and sunscreen in tow, prepared for a perfect mix of relaxation and adventure. But starting this summer, the National Park authority will be instituting a public information campaign warning tourists against climbing the cliffs without appropriate footwear, going so far as to fine offenders between €50 and €2500. Read more here.
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4. A landmark Van Gogh exhibit is now live at the Museum Of Fine Arts in Houston (MFAH)
More than 50 works from Van Gogh are currently on loan from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo. The exhibition, which runs through June 27, covers Van Gogh’s complete arch as an artist—from his early years in the Netherlands, through to his Impressionism and Pointillism years in Paris, sun-drenched stint in Provence, and final years in Saint Rémy and Auvers.
“There has been no major Van Gogh exhibition in Texas for decades, and few of this scope and ambition anywhere in the country,” said David Bomford, chair of the Department of Conservation and Audrey Jones Beck Curator of European Art at MFAH. Read more here.
The exhibition opening—which comes just months after four food halls opened in the city (including Finn Hall featuring James Beard-nominated chef Jianyun Ye)—is yet another reason to visit Houston, the city that landed at No. 46 on the NYTimes 52 Places list for 2019 due to its remarkable resilience after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. Also worth noting is the restoration of the Apollo Mission Center slated to open in July, just in time for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
5. South Korea’s first ever vegan grocery store is now open
Plant-based eating in South Korea is now as accessible as ever due to Vegan Space, the first store of its kind that opened a brick-and-mortar location last August in the Haebangchon neighborhood of Seoul and an online outpost this past January. The products on offer? Vegan kimchi, Beyond Meat patties, vegan wine, tempeh, spices and even vegan shampoo. Read more here.
South Korea may not be an expert (yet) in the vegan world, but they do know a thing or two about cosmetics. Discover the best Korean beauty products here.