19.01.2018 "Only in Boston"

My new guidebook Only in Boston is out now. Discover Boston's Revolutionary history, visionary urban planning and world-class cultural institutions with this explorer’s guide to the Massachusetts’ capital. Colonial-era relics and heritage trails, industrial remains and ethnic enclaves, hallowed universities and contemporary art spaces. Available now from bookshops and online.

03.12.2017 Timeless Travels, Intrepid Traveller

With her remarkable stamina and a penchant for hats, Rosita Forbes blazed a trail from Africa to Afghanistan, writing a series of books about the people and places she encountered. Travel writer Duncan J.D. Smith follows in the footsteps of this now largely-forgotten lady explorer in an article for Timeless Travels magazine.

24.11.2017 'Only In' Guides Sales Flyer for 2018

19.09.2017 Timeless Travels, Intrepid Traveller

In 1925 renowned British explorer Lieutenant Colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett headed into the Amazon jungle. Searching for a lost city, he was never heard from again. Travel writer Duncan J.D. Smith picks up the trail of one of the 20th century’s greatest adventure mysteries in this article for Timeless Travels magazine.

30.08.2017 Budapest sans pareil

A French-language edition of Only in Budapest has been released as Budapest sans pareil by Hungarian publisher Kelet-Nyugat. Thoroughly updated and containing many new photos, it is the perfect companion for independent cultural travellers. Bon voyage!

18.08.2017 Timeless Travels

Timeless Travels magazine describes Only in Edinburgh as "a most delightful guide and a great read…Full of unusual and quirky places to discover, its longer-than-usual guidebook entries give a great sense of the city and its history…Whether you want to follow in the footsteps of J K Rowling, discover secret gardens, uncover unusual places to eat or an Art Deco petrol station, the 103 mini essays give the reader the feeling of discovering the real Edinburgh and not just the well-known tourist spots…A must read for anyone visiting Edinburgh."

04.06.2017 Urania Descending

I'm flattered to play a small role - as a waiter - in musicians/film maker Tav Falco's recent offering, Urania Descending. An American girl arrives in Vienna and becomes quickly embroiled in a quest for lost treasure. A black-&-white film poem infused with metaphor and mood, where the past overtakes the present, and the present overtakes the past.

07.03.2017 An Ancient Edinburgh Village

An article on Cramond Village, Edinburgh extracted from the recently "Only in Edinburgh" and published in the Spring 2017 issue of Hidden Europe magazine. Archaeologists have unearthed evidence for a Mesolithic campsite in Cramond from as early as 8500 BC. This makes it the earliest known site of human settlement in Scotland.

25.01.2017 Inside Travel Writing

An interview with author and Urban Explorer Duncan JD Smith at on travel writing, inspirations and destinations, and how to avoid writer's block.

09.12.2016 A Resort in Ruins

The ruins of the holiday resort of Kupari (near Dubrovnik on the Croatian coast) are a sobering reminder of an all-too-recent war in Europe. In this new article for Hidden Europe magazine, travel writer and urban explorer Duncan JD Smith tells the story of how a luxury resort built for Yugoslav military elite was reduced to ruins in 1991 during the Croatian War of Independence.


11.11.2016 Only in Edinburgh

Duncan JD Smith's new book Only in Edinburgh is out now. Designed for city explorers, this groundbreaking guide promises to take readers quickly off the beaten track – and under the city’s skin. This is the Edinburgh of secret gardens and haunted theatres, mysterious monuments and unexpected underworlds, industrial relics and unusual places of worship. Set off on your own urban expedition through the Scottish capital. Available from Amazon and all good bookshops.

12.10.2016 Interview with Ancient History Encyclopedia

In this exclusive interview, James Blake Wiener of Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE) speaks to travel writer, historian, and photographer Duncan JD Smith about his early influences, his favourite authors, and the unusual perspectives he shares in his 'Only In' Guides. Reveling in hidden gems, abandoned ruins, and little-known museums, Duncan's books about major European cities are filled with fun bits of history and archaeology.

13.09.2016 Introducing the Urban Explorer

The Urban Explorer dives into a city to tell its story. A historian by trade, he peels off a city's layers to get to its core, without crowds, ticket booths and gift shops. Duncan JD Smith on travel writing and old school urban exploring. An in-depth interview at EuroMen Travel.

24.06.2016 Only in Paris

A new edition of a ground-breaking guidebook to Paris is out now. “Only in Paris” by writer and explorer Duncan JD Smith tells the story of the city through an original and eclectic mix of unusual locations. Eccentric museums, covered passageways, secret gardens, idiosyncratic shops and unexpected places of worship. love it and have given a very positive review.

02.06.2016 Photos from Montenegro

A new gallery of images from the Bay of Kotor and surroundings in Montenegro.

22.03.2016 Europe at Your Convenience

'Only In' Guides author and publisher Duncan JD Smith extols the virtues of Europe's more unusual public conveniences in a Blog post for Longitude Books in Minneapolis.

28.01.2016 Only in Paris

A positive review of the 2nd edition of "Only in Paris" by my good friends at Minor Sights. "At Minor Sights we’re all about discovering the not-so obvious attractions that are overlooked by tourist hordes and guidebooks alike. We recently came across a brilliant guidebook to Paris that takes the exact same approach. Minor Sights readers will be familiar with suggestions like the Cité des Fleurs and the Musée des Arts Forains, but there are plenty of other options, including obscure religious communities (discreet Armenians, Ganesh-worshipping Hindus, and onion-domed Russian Orthodox churches), lots of bones (including those of Louis XVI and empress-cum-saint Helena) and the Original Crown of Thorns (yup, that one!)."

17.12.2015 Mysteries at the Museum

Duncan talks about Vienna's forgotten inventor of the motor car, Siegfried Marcus, in an episode of the enormously popular US television series "Mysteries at the Museum" (available on the Travel Channel). German-born Marcus, who spent much of his working life in Vienna, is credited with being the first person to use an internal combustion engine to propel a four-wheeled vehicle. Long overshadowed by Messrs. Daimler and Benz, who pioneered the mass production of automobiles, the legacy of Marcus was further diminished by the Nazi regime, who couldn't tolerate the fact that a Jew had played such a significant part in the development of the motor car. The story of Marcus can also be found in the latest edition of "Only in Vienna".

20.10.2015 The 'Only In' Guides

City tales from unusual perspectives providing independent travellers with unforgettable memories. Perfect for visitors who want to escape the crowds, as well as for inhabitants who thought they already knew their city. Set out on your own urban expedition through Europe's most fascinating cities!

26.09.2015 Pink Penguins

A unique celebration of Penguin Books' early 'Travel & Adventure' series, published between 1936 and 1959, when Britain still had an empire and the world clung on to its last few unexplored corners. In line with Penguin's original policy of colour-coding these pocket-sized sixpenny works of literature according to genre, 'Travel & Adventure' titles were cerise pink.

14.08.2015 Monemvasia: The Greek Gibraltar

In the southern Peloponnese, the island citadel of Monemvasía once enjoyed a key strategic location on major Mediterranean shipping routes. No wonder, therefore, that many have sought to secure control of the rock that is often referred to as 'the Greek Gibraltar'. Explore with Duncan Smith in this new article in hidden europe magazine.

06.07.2015 Only in London

New 1st edition of "Only in London" available now!
Explore the treasures of old London and the delights of the new with this fascinating guide to an ever-changing city.
Published by The Urban Explorer and available in the UK from Waterstones, Blackwells, Foyles, Stanfords, and Daunts, and worldwide from Amazon. For further details visit

06.06.2015 Photo selection

I'm delighted to have a selection of my travel photos on display at the website of the British Guild of Travel Writers.

28.04.2015 A Corner of Cambridgeshire

The latest issue of "Hidden Europe", a wonderful magazine dedicated to the road less travelled, is out now. It includes my article on Ely Place, a side street in London's Holborn, which holds curious and ancient echoes of distant Cambridgeshire. It features in Duncan's new book "Only in London".

20.03.2015 Only in Vienna

"A very special book. A Rosetta Stone for tourists - and for the Viennese an explorer's guide to places we thought we already knew" (A reader)
Published by The Urban Explorer and available in the UK from Waterstones, Blackwells, Foyles, Stanfords, and Daunts, and worldwide from Amazon. For further details visit

26.02.2015 'Only In' Guides

A new 'Only In' Guides flyer is now available for download.


08.02.2015 New London Photos

New London photo galleries online. Unique locations, hidden corners and unusual objects from the forthcoming book "Only in London".

04.01.2015 Only in Zurich

Revised 2nd edition of "Only in Zurich" available now!
"Your book has helped me see Zurich through a fresh lens" (A reader)
Published by The Urban Explorer and available in the UK from Waterstones, Blackwells, Foyles, Stanfords, and Daunts, and worldwide from Amazon. For further details visit

19.12.2014 The Huntingdonshire Historian

A new website celebrating the life and work of my grandather, Philip G. M. Dickinson, the Huntingdonshire Historian.

18.11.2014 Raw Travel Vienna

The Urban Explorer reveals Vienna above ground and below to Raw Travel television.

03.10.2014 Only in Budapest

Revised 3rd edition of "Only in Budapest" available now!
"A fascinating read for all Budapest dwellers looking for some adventure and discovery" (Budapest Sun).
Published by The Urban Explorer and available in the UK from Waterstones, Blackwells, Foyles, Stanfords, and Daunts, and worldwide from Amazon. For further details visit

25.08.2014 Five New Editions

New for 2014! Five new editions of the 'Only In' Guides published by The Urban Explorer. These city tales from new perspectives provide independent travellers with unforgettable memories. Available in the UK at Waterstones, Blackwells, Foyles, Stanfords, and Daunts, and worldwide from Amazon. Explore more at

20.06.2014 Stones of Vienna

Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss is the world’s most famous painted embrace. Its presence in Vienna has long attracted visitors, where the familiar image has found its way onto everything from cufflinks to dog jackets. But what of the studios where the enigmatic artist conjured up such trail-blazing imagery?

25.03.2014 'Where God Grew Stones'

Patrick Leigh Fermor's 1958 book on the Mani region of southern Greece helped put the little-known area on the map. Today it pulls the tourist crowds, yet it still retains a raw appeal. Travel writer Duncan JD Smith dives deep into Mani to explore the otherworldly landscapes of this arid peninsula in a new article in hidden europe magazine.

17.03.2014 Photo Library

Duncan's photo of a male lion patrolling Kenya's Maasai Mara has been selected to illustrate meditation specialist and psychic Tara Ward's Facebook page.

08.03.2014 'Only in Budapest'

"I came across your Budapest guide while in the city recently, and would like to congratulate you on an excellently researched and written book. I thought I knew the city quite well, but I was surprised by how much I didn't know or hadn't discovered yet. It definitely helped to make the trip that much more interesting - the Museum of Photography and the Children's Railway in particular are great recommendations." (A reader)

"If you are interested in learning more about the history, culture, and people of Budapest, this is an excellent choice. It’s not going to give you the run-of-the-mill lists of hotels, restaurants, museums, etc. (you will need other resources to find out about the practical aspects of Budapest). However, it will give you one to two page blurbs on about 100 interesting and unusual places to go and see. These do a great job of giving a feel for the atmosphere, culture, and overall vibe of the city. If you care to learn why Budapest is the way it is and to understand its culture, this is a great book." (


06.03.2014 'Only in Paris'

"Wonderfully well-written and beautifully photographed, an intriguing and inspiring fresh look at Paris beyond the typical tourist hotspots, history and anecdote draw you into a deeper understanding of Paris through the centuries, assisted serendipity! Yet another gem from the ‘Only In’ series by Duncan Smith." (


27.03.2014 Stones of Vienna

Vienna is one of Europe’s great romantic cities. Its ancient streets are adored by visitors, especially when the soundtrack is provided by the nostalgic clatter of horses’ hooves. Few realise, however, that the city’s equestrian life extends well beyond the Fiakers and Lipizzaners of the historic First District. Join Duncan on a visit to Vienna's historic racing tracks.

14.01.2014 Goodreads

All of Duncan's books can now be reviewed by readers at Goodreads. Your reviews are always welcome.

14.12.2013 New-Look Website

New for 2014! Completely re-designed website for The Urban Explorer, now with enhanced photo library, media pages, and other features.

20.11.2013 'Only In' Guides

The 'Only In' Guides are now available in the UK from Amazon, Waterstones, Blackwells, Foyles, Stanfords, Daunts and all good booksellers.

12.10.2013 'Only in Paris'

The story of Paris told through an original and eclectic mix of unusual historic locations. Quiet cloisters, eccentric museums, covered passageways, secret gardens, and unusual shops.