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A thatched country pub, The Williams Arms, near Braunton, North Devon, England
A city pub, the World's End, Camden Town, London

A public house, informally known as a pub, is a drinking establishment licensed to serve alcoholic drinks for consumption on the premises in countries and regions of British influence.[1][2] Although the terms are increasingly used to refer to the same thing, there is a definitive difference between pubs, bars, inns, taverns and lounges where alcohol is served commercially. A pub that offers lodging may be called an inn or (more recently) hotel in the United Kingdom. Today, many pubs in the UK, Canada and Australia with the word "inn" or "hotel" in their name no longer offer accommodation, or in some cases have never done so. Some pubs bear the name of "hotel" because they are in countries where stringent anti-drinking laws were once in force. In Scotland until 1976,[3] only hotels could serve alcohol on Sundays. In Wales an 1881 Act applied the same law until 1961 when local polls could lift such a ban in a district and in 1996 the last ban was lifted in Dwyfor. The need for such polls was removed by the Welsh Assembly in 2003.[4][5]

There are approximately 53,500[6] public houses in the United Kingdom. In many places, especially in villages, a pub can be the focal point of the community, so there is concern that more pubs are closing down than new ones opening.[7]

The history of pubs can be traced back to Roman taverns,[8] through the Saxon alehouse, to the development of the modern tied house system - a period of huge growth in the number of drinking establishments.



The Ale-House Door c.1790 by Henry Singleton

There are approximately 53,500[6] public houses in the United Kingdom; a number that declines every year, so that nearly half of the smaller villages no longer have a local pub.[9] In many places, especially in villages, a pub can be the focal point of the community. The writings of Samuel Pepys describe the pub as the heart of England.

Public houses are socially and culturally different from places such as cafés, bars, bierkellers and brewpubs.

Pubs are social places based on the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages, and most public houses offer a range of beers, wines, spirits, alcopops and soft drinks. Many pubs are controlled by breweries, so beer is often better value than wines and spirits, while soft drinks can be almost as expensive. Beer served in a pub may be cask ale or keg beer. All pubs also have a range of non-alcoholic beverages available. Traditionally the windows of town pubs are of smoked or frosted glass so that the clientèle is obscured from the street. In the last twenty years in the UK and other countries there has been a move away from frosted glass towards clear glass, a trend that fits in with brighter interior décors.

The owner, tenant or manager (licensee) of a public house is known as the publican or landlord. Each pub generally has "locals" or regulars; people who drink there regularly. The pub that people visit most often is called their local. In many cases, this will be the pub nearest to their home, but some people choose their local for other reasons: proximity to work, a venue for their friends, the availability of a particular cask ale, non-smoking or formerly as a place to smoke freely, or maybe a darts team or pool table.

Until the 1970s most of the larger public houses also featured an off-sales counter or attached shop for the sales of beers, wines and spirits for home consumption. In the 1970s the newly built supermarkets and high street chain stores or off-licences undercut the pub prices to such a degree that within ten years all but a handful of pubs had closed their off-sale counters. A society with a particular interest in British beers, ales and the preservation of the integrity of the public house is Campaign for Real Ale, (CAMRA).[10]


Ye Olde Fighting Cocks in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, which holds the Guinness World Record for the oldest pub in England.

The inhabitants of Great Britain have been drinking ale since the Bronze Age, but it was with the arrival of the Romans and the establishment of the Roman road network that the first Inns called tabernae,[8] in which the traveller could obtain refreshment, began to appear. After the departure of Roman authority and the fall of the Romano-British kingdoms, the Anglo-Saxons established alehouses that grew out of domestic dwellings. The Saxon alewife would put a green bush up on a pole to let people know her brew was ready.[11] These alehouses formed meeting houses for the locals to meet and gossip and arrange mutual help within their communities. Here lie the beginnings of the modern pub. They became so commonplace that in 965 King Edgar decreed that there should be no more than one alehouse per village.

A traveller in the early Middle Ages could obtain overnight accommodation in monasteries, but later a demand for hostelries grew with the popularity of pilgrimages and travel. The Hostellers of London were granted guild status in 1446 and in 1514 the guild became the Worshipful Company of Innholders.[12]

Traditional English ale was made solely from fermented malt. The practice of adding hops to produce beer was introduced from the Netherlands in the early 15th century. Alehouses would each brew their own distinctive ale, but independent breweries began to appear in the late 17th century. By the end of the century almost all beer was brewed by commercial breweries.

The 18th century saw a huge growth in the number of drinking establishments, primarily due to the introduction of gin. Gin was brought to England by the Dutch after the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and started to become very popular after the government created a market for grain that was unfit to be used in brewing by allowing unlicensed gin production, whilst imposing a heavy duty on all imported spirits. As thousands of gin-shops sprang up all over England, brewers fought back by increasing the number of alehouses. By 1740 the production of gin had increased to six times that of beer and because of its cheapness it became popular with the poor, leading to the so-called Gin Craze. Over half of the 15,000 drinking establishments in London were gin-shops.

The drunkenness and lawlessness created by gin was seen to lead to ruination and degradation of the working classes. The distinction was illustrated by William Hogarth in his engravings Beer Street and Gin Lane.[13] The Gin Act (1736) imposed high taxes on retailers but led to riots in the streets. The prohibitive duty was gradually reduced and finally abolished in 1742. The 1751 Gin Act however was more successful. It forced distillers to sell only to licensed retailers and brought gin-shops under the jurisdiction of local magistrates.


Beer Houses and the 1830 Beer Act

By the early 1800s and encouraged by a lowering of duties on gin, the gin houses or "Gin Palaces" had spread from London to most major cities and towns in Britain, with most of the new establishments illegal and unlicensed. These bawdy, loud and unruly drinking dens so often described by Charles Dickens in his Sketches by Boz (published 1835–6) increasingly came to be held as unbridled cesspits of immorality or crime and the source of much ill-health and alcoholism among the working classes.[14]

Under a banner of "reducing public drunkenness" the Beer Act of 1830 introduced a new lower tier of premises permitted to sell alcohol, the Beer Houses. At the time beer was viewed as harmless, nutritious and even healthy. Young children were often given what was described as small beer, which was brewed to have a low alcohol content, to drink, as the local water was often unsafe. Even the evangelical church and temperance movements of the day viewed the drinking of beer very much as a secondary evil and a normal accompaniment to a meal. The freely available beer was thus intended to wean the drinkers off the evils of gin, or so the thinking went.[15]

Under the 1830 Act any householder who paid rates could apply, with a one-off payment of two guineas, to sell beer or cider in his home (usually the front parlour) and even brew his own on his premises. The permission did not extend to the sale of spirits and fortified wines and any beer house discovered selling those items was closed down and the owner heavily fined. Beer houses were not permitted to open on Sundays. The beer was usually served in jugs or dispensed directly from tapped wooden barrels lying on a table in the corner of the room. Often profits were so high the owners were able to buy the house next door to live in, turning every room in their former home into bars and lounges for customers.

In the first year, four hundred beer houses opened but within eight years there were 46,000[16] opened across the country, far outnumbering the combined total of long-established taverns, public houses, inns and hotels. Because it was so easy to obtain permission and the profits could be huge compared to the low cost of gaining permission, the number of beer houses was continuing to rise and in some towns nearly every other house in a street could be a beer house. Finally in 1869 the growth had to be checked by magisterial control and new licensing laws were introduced. Only then was the ease by which permission could be obtained reduced and the licensing laws which operate today formulated.

Although the new licensing laws prevented any new beer houses from being created, those already in existence were allowed to continue and many did not fully die out until nearly the end of the 19th century. A very small number remained into the 21st century.[17] A vast majority of the beer houses applied for the new licences and became full public houses. These usually small establishments can still be identified in many towns, seemingly oddly located in the middle of otherwise terraced housing part way up a street, unlike purpose-built pubs that are usually found on corners or road junctions. Many of today's respected real ale micro-brewers in the UK started as home based Beer House brewers under the 1830 Act.

The beer houses also tended to avoid the traditional public house names like The Crown, The Red Lion, The Royal Oak etc. and, if they did not simply name their place Smith's Beer House, they would apply topical pub names in an effort to reflect the mood of the times.

Licensing laws

The interior of a typical English pub, showing three common features: the bar (left), an old-fashioned fireplace (left of centre), and a modern fruit machine (right)

From the middle of the 19th century restrictions were placed on the opening hours of licensed premises in the UK. However licensing was gradually liberalised after the 1960s, until contested licensing applications became very rare, and the remaining administrative function was transferred to Local Authorities in 2005.

The Wine and Beerhouse Act 1869 reintroduced the stricter controls of the previous century. The sale of beers, wines or spirits required a licence for the premises from the local magistrates. Further provisions regulated gaming, drunkenness, prostitution and undesirable conduct on licensed premises, enforceable by prosecution or more effectively by the landlord under threat of forfeiting his licence. Licences were only granted, transferred or renewed at special Licensing Sessions courts, and were limited to respectable individuals. Often these were ex-servicemen or ex-policemen; retiring to run a pub was popular amongst military officers at the end of their service. Licence conditions varied widely, according to local practice. They would specify permitted hours, which might require Sunday closing, or conversely permit all-night opening near a market. Typically they might require opening throughout the permitted hours, and the provision of food or lavatories. Once obtained, licences were jealously protected by the licensees (always persons expected to be generally present, not a remote owner or company), and even "Occasional Licences" to serve drinks at temporary premises such as fêtes would usually be granted only to existing licensees. Objections might be made by the police, rival landlords or anyone else on the grounds of infractions such as serving drunks, disorderly or dirty premises, or ignoring permitted hours.

Detailed records were kept on licensing, giving the Public House, its address, owner, licensee and misdemeanours of the licensees for periods often going back for hundreds of years. Many of these records survive and can be viewed, for example, at the London Metropolitan Archives centre.

These culminated in the Defence of the Realm Act[18] of August 1914, which, along with the introduction of rationing and the censorship of the press for wartime purposes, also restricted the opening hours of public houses to 12noon–2.30pm and 6.30pm–9.30pm. Opening for the full licensed hours was compulsory, and closing time was equally firmly enforced by the police; a landlord might lose his licence for infractions. There was a special case established under the State Management Scheme[19] where the brewery and licensed premises were bought and run by the state until 1973, most notably in the Carlisle District. During the 20th century elsewhere, both the licensing laws and enforcement were progressively relaxed, and there were differences between parishes; in the 1960s, at closing time in Kensington at 10.30 pm, drinkers would rush over the parish boundary to be in good time for "Last Orders" in Knightsbridge before 11 pm, a practice observed in many pubs adjoining licensing area boundaries. Some Scottish and Welsh parishes remained officially "dry" on Sundays (although often this merely required knocking at the back door of the pub). These restricted opening hours led to the tradition of lock-ins.

However, closing times were increasingly disregarded in the country pubs. In England and Wales by 2000 pubs could legally open from 11am (12 noon on Sundays) through to 11pm (10.30pm on Sundays). That year was also the first to allow continuous opening for 36 hours from 11am on New Year's Eve to 11pm on New Year's Day. In addition, many cities had by-laws to allow some pubs to extend opening hours to midnight or 1am, whilst nightclubs had long been granted late licences to serve alcohol into the morning. Pubs in the immediate vicinity of London's Smithfield market, Billingsgate fish market and Covent Garden fruit and flower market were permitted to stay open 24 hours a day since Victorian era times to provide a service to the shift working employees of the markets.

Scotland's and Northern Ireland's licensing laws have long been more flexible, allowing local authorities to set pub opening and closing times. In Scotland, this stemmed out of a late repeal of the wartime licensing laws, which stayed in force until 1976.

The Licensing Act 2003,[20] which came into force on 24 November 2005, aimed to consolidate the many laws into a single act. This now allows pubs in England and Wales to apply to the local authority for opening hours of their choice. Supporters at the time argued that it would end the concentration of violence around half past 11, when people had to leave the pub, making policing easier. In practice, alcohol-related hospital admissions rose following the change in the law, with alcohol involved in 207,800 admissions in 2006/7.[21] Critics claimed that these laws will lead to '24-hour drinking'. By the day before the law came into force, 60,326 establishments had applied for longer hours, and 1,121 had applied for a licence to sell alcohol 24 hours a day. However, nine months after the act many pubs had not changed their hours, although there is a growing tendency for some to be open longer at the weekend but rarely beyond 1:00 am.

Indoor smoking ban

In July 2007, a law was introduced to forbid smoking in all enclosed public places in England. Scotland had introduced the ban in April 2006, and Wales in April 2007.[22] Publicans had raised concerns prior to the implementation of the law that a smoking ban would have a negative impact on sales.[23] After two years the impact of the ban has been mixed; some pubs have suffered declining sales, while others have developed their food sales.[24] The Wetherspoons pub chain reported in June 2009 that profits are at the top end of expectations,[25] however, Scottish & Newcastle's take over by Carlsberg and Heineken was reported in January 2008 as partly the result of its weakness following falling sales due to the ban.[26]

Pub Architecture

The saloon or lounge

The Eagle, City Road, Islington, London, September 2005
The Whinmoor, a typical 20th century 'estate pub' on the Stanks Estate in Swarcliffe, Leeds.

By the end of the 18th century a new room in the pub was established: the saloon. Beer establishments had always provided entertainment of some sort — singing, gaming or a sport. Balls Pond Road in Islington was named after an establishment run by a Mr. Ball that had a pond at the rear filled with ducks, where drinkers could, for a certain fee, go out and take a potshot at shooting the fowl. More common, however, was a card room or a billiards room. The saloon was a room where for an admission fee or a higher price of drinks, singing, dancing, drama or comedy was performed and drinks would be served at the table. From this came the popular music hall form of entertainment—a show consisting of a variety of acts. A most famous London saloon was the Grecian Saloon in The Eagle, City Road, which is still famous these days because of an English nursery rhyme: "Up and down the City Road / In and out The Eagle / That's the way the money goes / Pop goes the weasel.". The implication being that, having frequented the Eagle public house, the customer spent all his money, and thus needed to 'pawn' his 'weasel' to get some more. The exact definition of the 'weasel' is unclear but the two most likely definitions are: that a weasel is a flat iron used for finishing clothing; or that 'weasel' is rhyming slang for a coat (weasel and stoat).[27]

A few pubs have stage performances, such as serious drama, stand-up comedians, a musical band or striptease; however juke boxes and other forms pre-recorded music have otherwise replaced the musical tradition of a piano and singing.

The public bar

By the 20th century, the saloon, or lounge bar, had settled into a middle-class room — carpets on the floor, cushions on the seats, and a penny or two on the prices, while the public bar, or tap room, remained working class with bare boards, sometimes with sawdust to absorb the spitting and spillages, hard bench seats, and cheap beer.

Later, the public bars gradually improved until sometimes almost the only difference was in the prices, so that customers could choose between economy and exclusivity (or youth and age, or a jukebox or dartboard). During the blurring of the class divisions in the 1960s and 1970s, the distinction between the saloon and the public bar was often seen as archaic, and was frequently abolished, usually by the removal of the dividing wall or partition itself. While the names of saloon and public bar may still be seen on the doors of pubs, the prices (and often the standard of furnishings and decoration) are the same throughout the premises,[28] and many pubs now comprise one large room. However, the modern importance of dining in pubs encourages some establishments to maintain distinct rooms or areas, especially where the building has the right characteristics for this. Yet, in a few pubs there still remain rooms or seats that, by local custom, "belong" to particular customers.

However there still remain a few, mainly city centre pubs, that retain a public bar mainly for working men that call in for a drink while still dressed in working clothes and dirty boots. They are now very much in a minority, but some landlords prefer to separate the manual workers from the more smartly dressed businessmen or diners in the lounge or restaurant.

The snug

The "snug", also sometimes called the Smoke room, was typically a small, very private room with access to the bar that had a frosted glass external window, set above head height. A higher price was paid for beer in the snug and nobody could look in and see the drinkers. It was not only the well off visitors who would use these rooms, the snug was for patrons who preferred not to be seen in the public bar. Ladies would often enjoy a private drink in the snug in a time when it was frowned upon for ladies to be in a pub. The local police officer would nip in for a quiet pint, the parish priest for his evening whisky, and lovers would use the snug for their rendezvous.

The counter

It was the public house that first introduced the concept of the bar counter being used to serve the beer. Until that time beer establishments used to bring the beer out to the table or benches. A bar might be provided for the manager to do his paperwork whilst keeping an eye on his customers, but the casks of ale were kept in a separate taproom. When the first public houses were built, the main room was the public room with a large serving bar copied from the gin houses, the idea being to serve the maximum amount of people in the shortest possible time. It became known as the public bar. The other, more private, rooms had no serving bar - they had the beer brought to them from the public bar. There are a number of pubs in the Midlands or the North which still retain this set up but these days the beer is fetched by the customer from the taproom or public bar. The most famous of these is The Vine, known locally as The Bull and Bladder, in Brierley Hill near Birmingham.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the British engineer and railway builder, introduced the idea of a circular bar into the Swindon station pub in order that customers were served quickly and didn’t delay his trains. These island bars quickly became popular as they also allowed staff to serve customers in several different rooms surrounding the bar. In a modern renovated pub, where the partitions between rooms have been removed, the island can be seen.

Beer engine

A "beer engine" is a device for pumping beer, originally manually operated and typically used to dispense beer from a cask or container in a pub's basement or cellar. It was invented by the locksmith and hydraulic engineer Joseph Bramah. Strictly the term refers to the pump itself, which is normally manually operated, though electrically powered and gas powered [29] pumps are occasionally used; when manually powered, the term "handpump" is often used to refer to both the pump and the associated handle.

Types of pubs

Tied houses and free houses in Britain

A modern PubCo

After the development of the large London Porter breweries in the 18th century, the trend grew for pubs to become tied houses which could only sell beer from one brewery (a pub not tied in this way was called a Free house). The usual arrangement for a tied house was that the pub was owned by the brewery but rented out to a private individual (landlord) who ran it as a separate business (even though contracted to buy the beer from the brewery). Another very common arrangement was (and is) for the landlord to own the premises (whether freehold or leasehold) independently of the brewer, but then to take a mortgage loan from a brewery, either to finance the purchase of the pub initially, or to refurbish it, and be required as a term of the loan to observe the solus tie. A growing trend in the late 20th century was for the brewery to run their pubs directly, employing a salaried manager (who perhaps could make extra money by commission, or by selling food).

Most such breweries, such as the regional brewery Shepherd Neame in Kent and Young's in London, control hundreds of pubs in a particular region of the UK, whilst a few, such as Greene King, are spread nationally. The landlord of a tied pub may be an employee of the brewery—in which case he would be a manager of a managed house, or a self-employed tenant who has entered into a lease agreement with a brewery, a condition of which is the legal obligation (trade tie) only to purchase that brewery's beer. This tied agreement provides tenants with trade premises at a below market rent providing people with a low-cost entry into self-employment. The beer selection is mainly limited to beers brewed by that particular company. A Supply of Beer law, passed in 1989, was aimed at getting tied houses to offer at least one alternative beer, known as a guest beer, from another brewery.This law has now been repealed but while in force it dramatically altered the industry.

The period since the 1980s saw many breweries absorbed by, or becoming by take-overs, larger companies in the food, hotel or property sectors. The low returns of a pub-owning business led to many breweries selling their pub estates, especially those in cities, often to a new generation of small chains, many of which have now grown considerably and have a national presence. Other pub chains, such as All Bar One and Slug and Lettuce offer youth-oriented atmospheres, often in premises larger than traditional pubs.

A free house is a pub that is free of the control of any one particular brewery. "Free" in this context does not necessarily mean "independent", and the view that "free house" on a pub sign is a guarantee of a quality, range or type of beer available is a mistake. Many free houses are not independent family businesses but are owned by large pub companies. In fact, these days there are very few truly free houses, either because a private pub owner has had to come to a financial arrangement with a brewer or other company in order to fund the purchase of the pub, or simply because the pub is owned by one of the large pub chains and pub companies (PubCos) which have sprung up in recent years. Some chains have rather uniform pubs and products, some allow managers some freedom. Wetherspoons, one of the largest pub chains does sell large amounts of a wide variety of real ale at low prices - but its pubs are not specifically "real ale pubs", being in the city centre to attract the Saturday night crowds and so also selling large quantities of alcopops and big-brand lager to large groups of young people.

Companies and chains

Organisations such as Wetherspoons, the Eerie Pub Company and O'Neill's, were formed in the UK since changes in legislation in the 1980s necessitated the break-up of many larger tied estates. A PubCo is a company involved in the retailing but not the manufacture of beverages, while a Pub chain may be run either by a PubCo or by a brewery. If the owning company is not a brewery, then the pub is technically a 'free house', however limited the manager is in his/her beer-buying choice.

Pubs within a chain will usually have items in common, such as fittings, promotions, ambience and range of food and drink on offer. A pub chain will position itself in the marketplace for a target audience. One company may run several pub chains aimed at different segments of the market. Pubs for use in a chain are bought and sold in large units, often from regional breweries which are then closed down. Newly acquired pubs are often renamed by the new owners, and many people resent the loss of traditional names, especially if their favourite regional beer disappears at the same time. A small number of pub chains (usually small ones) are noted for the independence they grant their managers, and hence the wide range of beers available.

Theme pubs

Pubs that cater for a niche audience, such as sports fans or people of certain nationalities are known as theme pubs. Examples of theme pubs include sports bars, rock pubs, biker pubs, Goth pubs, strip pubs, and Irish pubs (see below).

In Canada the majority of theme pubs are referred to as bars, such as 'biker bar', 'sports bar', 'gay bar', 'strip bar', etc. Pubs centred on dance floors featuring DJ's or less often, live music, are usually referred to as 'dance clubs'.

Country pub

A "country pub" by tradition is a rural public house. However, the distinctive culture surrounding country pubs, that of functioning as a social centre for a village and countryside community, has been changing over the last thirty or so years. In the past, many rural pubs provided opportunities for country folk to meet and exchange (often local) news, while others - especially those away from village centres - existed for the general purpose, before the advent of motor transport, of serving travellers as coaching inns.[30]

In more recent years, however, many country pubs have either closed down, or have been converted to establishments more intent on providing seating facilities for the consumption of food, than that of the local community meeting and convivially drinking.[31]

Brewery tap

A brewery tap is the nearest outlet for a brewery's beers. This is usually a room or bar in the brewery itself, though the name may be applied to the nearest pub. The term is not applied to a brewpub which brews and sells its beer on the same premises.


The pub sign of The George, Southwark depicting St George slaying a Dragon

In 1393 King Richard II compelled landlords to erect signs outside their premises. The legislation stated "Whosoever shall brew ale in the town with intention of selling it must hang out a sign, otherwise he shall forfeit his ale." This was in order to make them easily visible to passing inspectors, borough ale tasters, who would decide the quality of the ale they provided. William Shakespeare's father, John Shakespeare was one such inspector.

Another important factor was that during the Middle Ages a large percentage of the population would have been illiterate and so pictures on a sign were more useful than words as a means of identifying a public house. For this reason there was often no reason to write the establishment's name on the sign and inns opened without a formal written name—the name being derived later from the illustration on the public house's sign.

The earliest signs were often not painted but consisted, for example, of paraphernalia connected with the brewing process such as bunches of hops or brewing implements, which were suspended above the door of the public house. In some cases local nicknames, farming terms and puns were also used. Local events were also often commemorated in pub signs. Simple natural or religious symbols such as the 'The Sun', 'The Star' and 'The Cross' were also incorporated into pub signs, sometimes being adapted to incorporate elements of the heraldry (e.g. the coat of arms) of the local lords who owned the lands upon which the public house stood. Some pubs also have Latin inscriptions.

Other subjects that lent themselves to visual depiction included the name of battles (e.g. Trafalgar), explorers, local notables, discoveries, sporting heroes and members of the royal family. Some pub signs are in the form of a pictorial pun or rebus. For example, a pub in Crowborough, East Sussex called The Crow and Gate has an image of a crow with gates as wings.

Most British pubs still have decorated signs hanging over their doors, and these retain their original function of enabling the identification of the public house. Today's pub signs almost always bear the name of the pub, both in words and in pictorial representation. The more remote country pubs often have stand-alone signs directing potential customers to their door.


The "Black Boy Inn", bilingual pub signs in Welsh and English in Caernarfon, Wales.

Pub names are used to identify and differentiate each public house. Modern names are sometimes a marketing ploy or attempt to create 'brand awareness', frequently using a comic theme thought to be memorable - Slug and Lettuce for a pub chain being an example. Interesting origins are not confined to old or traditional names, however. Names and their origins can be broken up into a relatively small number of categories:

As many public houses are centuries old, many of their early customers were unable to read, and pictorial signs could be readily recognised when lettering and words could not be read.[32]

Pubs often have traditional names. A common name is the "Marquis of Granby". These pubs were named after John Manners, Marquess of Granby, who was the son of John Manners, 3rd Duke of Rutland and a general in the 18th century British Army. He showed a great concern for the welfare of his men, and on their retirement, provided funds for many of them to establish taverns, which were subsequently named after him.

Many names for pubs that appear nonsensical may have come from corruptions of old slogans or phrases, such as "The Bag o'Nails" (Bacchanals), ""The Cat and the Fiddle" (Caton Fidele) and "The Bull and Bush", which purportedly celebrates the victory of Henry VIII at "Boulogne Bouche" or Boulogne-sur-Mer Harbour.[33][34]


Games and sports

Entrance to a karaoke pub in South Bridge Road, Singapore.

Traditional games are played in pubs, ranging from the well-known darts,[35] skittles,[36] dominoes,[37] cards and bar billiards,[38] to the more obscure Aunt Sally,[39] Nine Men's Morris[40] and ringing the bull.[41] Betting is legally limited to certain games such as cribbage or dominoes, but these are now rarely seen. In recent decades the game of pool[42] (both the British and American versions) has increased in popularity, other table based games such as snooker,[43] Table Football are also common.

Increasingly, more modern games such as video games and slot machines are provided. Many pubs also hold special events, from tournaments of the aforementioned games to karaoke nights to pub quizzes. Some play pop music and hip-hop (dance bar), or show football and rugby union on big screen televisions (sports bar). Shove ha'penny[44] and Bat and trap[45] was also popular in pubs south of London.

Many pubs in the UK also have football teams composed of regular customers. Many of these teams are in leagues that play matches on Sundays, hence the term "Sunday League Football".


While many pubs play piped pop music, the pub is often a venue for live song and live music. See:

The pub has also been celebrated in popular music. Examples are "Hurry Up Harry" by the 1970s punk rock act Sham 69, the chorus of which was the chant "We're going down the pub" repeated several times. Another such song is "Two Pints Of Lager and a Packet of Crisps Please!" by UK punk band Splodgenessabounds.

As a reaction against piped music, the Quiet Pub Guide was written, telling its readers where to go to avoid piped music.


Pub grub

Pub grub - a pie, along with a pint

Traditionally pubs in England were drinking establishments and little emphasis was placed on the serving of food, other than "bar snacks", such as pork scratchings,[46] and pickled eggs, along with salted crisps and peanuts which all helped to increase beer sales. If a pub served meals they were usually basic cold dishes such as a ploughman's lunch.[47] In South East England (especially London) it was common until recent times for vendors selling cockles, whelks, mussels and other shellfish, to sell to customers during the evening and at closing time. Many mobile shellfish stalls would set up near to popular pubs, a practice that continues in London's East End.

The Eagle, the first pub to which the term gastropub was applied

In the 1950s some British pubs would offer "a pie and a pint", with hot individual steak and ale pies made easily on the premises by the landlord's wife. In the 1960s and 1970s this developed into the then fashionable and universal "chicken in a basket", a portion of roast chicken with chips, served on a napkin, in a small wicker basket. Quality dropped but variety increased with the introduction of microwave ovens and freezer food. "Pub grub" expanded to include British food items such as steak and ale pie, shepherd's pie, fish and chips, bangers and mash, Sunday roast, ploughman's lunch, and pasties. In addition, dishes such as burgers, lasagne and chilli con carne are often served.[48][49]

Since the 1990s food has become more important as part of a pub's trade and today most pubs serve lunches and dinners at the table in addition to (or instead of) snacks consumed at the bar. They may have a separate dining room. Some pubs serve meals to restaurant standard, and these will be termed gastropubs.


A gastropub concentrates on quality food. The name is a combination of pub and gastronomy and was coined in 1991 when David Eyre and Mike Belben took over The Eagle pub in Clerkenwell, London.[50] The concept of a restaurant in a pub reinvigorated both pub culture and British dining,[51] though has occasionally attracted criticism for potentially removing the character of traditional pubs.[52]

Public houses of interest in the UK

The National Trust owns thirty-six public houses of historic interest including the George Inn, Southwark, and the The Crown Liquor Saloon, Belfast.[53][54]

CAMRA maintains a "National Inventory" of architecturally and decoratively notable pubs.[55]

Contenders for the smallest public house in the UK include[54]:

The largest public house in the UK is The Regal, Cambridge; as with many Wetherspoons it is in a converted cinema.[57]

Oldest pub contenders include[54]:

The highest pub in England is the Tan Hill Inn, Yorkshire

Pubs outside Britain

Although "British" or "Irish" pubs found outside of Britain and its former colonies are often themed bars owing little to the original British public house, a number of "true" pubs may be found around the world. In Denmark - a country, like Britain, with a long tradition of brewing - a number of pubs have opened which eschew "theming", and who instead focus on the business of providing carefully conditioned beer, often independent of any particular brewery or chain, in an environment which would not be unfamiliar to a British pub-goer. Some import British cask ale, rather than kegs, in order to provide the full British real ale experience to their customers. This newly-established Danish interest in British cask beer and the British pub tradition is reflected by the fact that some 56 British cask beers were available at the 2008 European Beer Festival in Copenhagen, which was attended by more than 20,000 people.

Irish pubs are known for their atmosphere or "craic".[60] In Irish, a pub is referred to as teach tábhairne ("tavern-house") or teach [an] óil ("house of drink").

In popular culture

Inns and taverns feature throughout English literature and poetry, from The Tabard Inn in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales onwards.[61] The major soap operas on British television feature a pub, with their pub becoming a household name.[62] The Rovers Return is the pub on Coronation Street, the British soap broadcast on ITV. The Queen Vic (short for the Queen Victoria) is the pub on EastEnders, the major soap on BBC One, while The Bull in The Archers and the Woolpack on Emmerdale are also central meeting points. The sets of each of the three major television soap operas have been visited by royalty, including Queen Elizabeth II. The centrepiece of each visit was a trip into the Rovers,[63] the Vic,[64] or the Woolpack to be offered a drink.[65]

United States president George W. Bush fulfilled his lifetimes ambition of visiting a 'genuine British pub' during his November 2003 state visit to the UK when he had lunch and a pint of non-alcoholic lager with British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the Dun Cow pub in Sedgefield, County Durham.[66]


A "lock-in" is when the owner of a public house allows a number of patrons to continue staying in the pub after the legal closing time. The origin of the lock-in was a reaction to changes in the licensing laws in England and Wales in 1915, which curtailed opening hours to stop factory workers turning up drunk and harming the war effort. Since 1915 the licensing laws changed very little, leaving the United Kingdom with comparatively early closing times. The tradition of the lock-in therefore remained and is on the whole a peculiarly British concept. As a result of the Licensing Act 2003 premises in England and Wales may apply to extend their opening hours beyond 11 pm, allowing round-the-clock drinking and removing much of the need for lock-ins.[67]

See also


  1. ^ History of the pub Beer and pub association. Retrieved 03-07-08.
  2. ^ Public House; Subscription Required. Retrieved 03-07-08.
  3. ^ "Summary of Licensing Board Policies". Retrieved 20 August 2007. 
  4. ^,
  5. ^ "Major Reform Of The Licensing Laws Completed". Retrieved 1 September 2009. 
  6. ^ a b "British Beer and Pub Association". Retrieved 22 July 2009. 
  7. ^ "Pub closures: The spirit of change - Property, House & Home - The Independent". Retrieved 21 July 2009. 
  8. ^ a b "Great British Pub". 
  9. ^ "Low sales force four village pubs to close a day - Telegraph". Retrieved 22 July 2009. 
  10. ^ "Save Our Pubs - CAMRA". Retrieved 21 July 2009. 
  11. ^ "The history of the pub". 
  12. ^ "Company History". 
  13. ^ Gin Lane British Museum
  14. ^ "Beer Houses". AMLWCH History. 
  15. ^ "Beer Houses". History UK. 
  16. ^ "Beer houses". Old Cannon Brewery. 
  17. ^ ROBINSON, WINIFRED. "The country's smallest pub? Time is called on the watering hole set up in the front room of a cottage 70 years ago Read more:". Mail Online. Retrieved 26 November 2009. 
  18. ^ "Defence of the Realm Act". Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  19. ^ Seabury, Olive. "The Carlise State Management Scheme: Its Ethos and Architecture. A 60 year experiment in regulation of the liquor trade". 
  20. ^ "Licensing Act 2003 (c. 17)". 10 July 2003. Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  21. ^ "Hospital alcohol admissions soar". BBC NEWS. Retrieved 22 May 2008. 
  22. ^ "Ban on smoking in pubs to come into force on 1 July - UK Politics, UK - The Independent". Retrieved 10 July 2008. 
  23. ^ "Hundreds of pubs to flout smoking ban - Telegraph". Retrieved 21 July 2009. 
  24. ^ "The Publican - Home - Smoking out the truth on the ban – two years on". Retrieved 21 July 2009. 
  25. ^ "UPDATE 3-Wetherspoon sees FY profit at top end of forecasts". Retrieved 21 July 2009. 
  26. ^ Scottish & Newcastle Agrees to Be Bought and Split - New York Times
  27. ^ "Time Gentlemen Please!". Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  28. ^ Kate Fox, Passport to the Pub: Tourist's Guide to Pub Etiquette, (1996) [1]
  29. ^ "In the Pub - CAMRA". Camra<!. Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  30. ^ What the country pub is by tradition SOUTHERN LIFE(UK)
  31. ^ The more recent developments of the country pub
  32. ^ Culture UK - Pub and Inn Signs
  33. ^ "E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898". Retrieved 17 October 2008. 
  34. ^ "Dictionary of Pub Names - Google Books". Retrieved 31 August 2009. 
  35. ^ James Masters. "Darts - Online Guide". Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  36. ^ James Masters. "Skittles, Nine Pins - Online guide". Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  37. ^ James Masters. "Dominoes - Online Guide". Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  38. ^ James Masters (21 February 1936). "Bar Billiards - Online Guide". Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  39. ^ James Masters. "Aunt Sally - The Online Guide". Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  40. ^ James Masters. "Nine Mens Morris, Mill - Online guide. History and Where to Buy". Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  41. ^ James Masters. "Ringing the Bull - History and information". Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  42. ^ James Masters. "History of Pool and Carom Billiards - Online Guide". Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  43. ^ James Masters. "Billiards and Snooker - Online guide". Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  44. ^ James Masters. "Shove Ha'penny - Online Guide". Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  45. ^ James Masters. "Bat and Ball Games - Online Guide". Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  46. ^ "Pub Food". Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  47. ^ "Ploughman's Lunch - Icons of England". 16 July 2007. Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  48. ^ Better Pub Grub The Brooklyn Paper
  49. ^ Pub grub gets out of pickle The Mirror
  50. ^ "Is the gastropub making a meal of it?". The Daily Telegraph. 24 November 2005. Retrieved 10 July 2008. 
  51. ^ "American gastropub: what's in a name?". Art Culinaire. via Spring 2007. Retrieved 23 July 2008. 
  52. ^ "Is the gastropub making a meal of it? - Telegraph". Retrieved 21 July 2009. 
  53. ^ Zoe Trinder-Widdess. "National Trust Website". Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  54. ^ a b c Evans, J., The Book of Beer Knowledge, CAMRA (2004), ISBN 1852491981
  55. ^ CAMRA National Inventory
  56. ^ [2]
  57. ^ "Largest Pub in the UK". Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  58. ^ "Oldest Inn in Britain". Retrieved 29 August 2009. 
  59. ^ "Nags Head, Burntwood: A little bit of history". Retrieved 29 October 2009. 
  60. ^ "What's the Craic?". Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  61. ^ "Inns and Taverns of Old London / Shelley, Henry C. (Henry Charles)". Retrieved 21 July 2009. 
  62. ^ [ Soap box or soft soap? Audience attitudes to the British soap opera], page 20, Andrea Millwood Hargrave with Lucy Gatfield, May 2002, Broadcasting Standards Commission. Retrieved 21 July 2009
  63. ^ "Coronation treat for Prince at the Rovers - Telegraph". Retrieved 21 July 2009. 
  64. ^ "BBC News". Retrieved 21 July 2009. 
  65. ^ "Emmerdale". Retrieved 21 July 2009. 
  66. ^ "An 'authentic' day out: fish and chips at the Dun Cow, for a very reasonable £1m - This Britain, UK - The Independent". Retrieved 21 July 2009. 
  67. ^ "BBC NEWS". Retrieved 21 July 2009. 


External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Wikitravel:Travellers' pub article)

From Wikitravel


The Travellers' pub is the place to ask questions when you're confused, lost, afraid, tired, annoyed, thoughtful, or helpful. Please check the FAQ and Help page before asking a question, though, since that may save your time and others'.

Please add new questions at the bottom of the page and sign your post by appending four tildes (~~~~) to it, but otherwise plunge forward!

If you have a question or suggestion about a particular article, try using talk pages to keep the discussion specific to that article.

If you are having a problem that you think has to do with the Mediawiki software, please post that on the Technical requests page on Wikitravel Shared instead.

Please sweep the pub

Keeping the Pub clean is a group effort. If we have too many conversations on this page, it gets too noisy and hard to read. If you see a conversation that could or should be moved to a talk page, please do so, and note that it has been swept in from the pub.

  • A question regarding a destination article should be swept to the article discussion page
  • A discussion regarding a policy or the subject of an expedition can be swept to the policy or expedition discussion page
  • A simple question asked by a user can be swept to that user's talk page, but consider if the documentation needs a quick update to make it clearer for the next user with the same question.
  • A pointer to a discussion going on elsewhere, such as a notice of a star nomination or or a request to comment on another talk page, can be removed when it is two months old. Any discussion that occurred in the pub can be swept to to where the main discussion took place.

Any discussions that do not fall into any of these categories should be archived to Wikitravel:Travellers' pub/Archives and removed from here 3 months after the last comment in that discussion.


Stuff that's been moved to specific talk pages:

  • GFDL and Creative Commons → Wikitravel_talk:Copyleft
  • isIn vs isPartOf → Wikitravel_talk:Breadcrumb_navigation
  • rating of traditional airlines → Wikitravel talk:External links
  • Spam filter... ouch... PLEASE HELP → Wikitravel_talk:Local_spam_blacklist/Archive_2005_-_February_2008#Spam_filter..._ouch..._PLEASE_HELP
  • Applying for a passport → Talk:United_States_of_America#Applying_for_a_passport
  • Edit Conflict / Spam Filter → Talk:Ko_Lanta Nrms 11:19, 4 November 2008 (EST)

Also, see the Travellers' pub archives for older archived discussions.

"Help translate" tag proposal

I have been doing some serious work on Ouro Preto and Mariana and other Brazilian locations, and I noticed that, unsurprisingly, there are a lot of destinations for which the English site has but a skeleton, while the Portuguese version is pretty fleshed out. I'm sure this is the case for many other locations in various other languages as well. In order to promote better cooperation between language versions, I'd like to propose a tag or set of tags for these cases, to be placed at the bottom of such an article or possibly even at the top, indicating that a more complete article exists in x language, and compelling users that speak that language to help translate the information here on en:. What do you guys think? Texugo 11:49, 4 February 2009 (EST)

I think that is a great idea. Additionally, it may be helpful to place a smaller tag at the bottom of the superior articles, compelling multilingual users to contribute to the language articles with less information. Jtesla16 15:18, 4 February 2009 (EST)
I think putting a tag in the superior articles would have us with a tag in almost every article we have, since there is bound to be at least one language version without much of an article. The number of articles which have a good article elsewhere but not here are bound to be more manageable I think. Any other thoughts? Texugo 23:17, 11 February 2009 (EST)
That's true. Your original idea is probably best then. How do we go about creating such a tag? Do we need permission? Jtesla16 08:44, 12 February 2009 (EST)
We don't need permission and I can create it if we decide on the text of the message, but I'd like to hear from a few more people and get a little broader consensus before we start.Texugo 09:58, 12 February 2009 (EST)
I think this idea is quite worthwhile, and it would be nice to also create a Wikitravel:Article translation page, on which we'd add a link to each page that has the Template:Translate template. To increase the visibility of the translation page, we could insert links into the Babel templates (e.g., [[Wikitravel:Article translation#Spanish|español]]). Language on Template:Translate could be something like "This article exists on the [[:xx:Article|XX language version]] in superior form. Please help us with translation!" --Peter Talk 11:59, 12 February 2009 (EST)

I like the way this is solved at Wikipedia (or Wiktionary?): they "star" the most high-quality language article (in the list which is already under the Toolbox), thus encouraging to improve other language versions from that starred one. --DenisYurkin 18:03, 14 February 2009 (EST)

Did someone end up creating a template for this? I think it's a great idea. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 20:50, 11 April 2009 (EDT)
And just in case anybody needed any further support, I think it is also a great and simple idea. Are you still volunteering to build the template, Texugo?

Cost of living benchmark?

One thing I try to research before visiting somewhere is the relative cost of living, ie how much spending money I'm going to need. Has there been any discussion previously on ways of incorporating any sort of easy benchmark of this into articles or as part of the templates? I'd love to be able to see at a glance that in Riga a diet coke is going to cost me 1.5lats and a pizza for lunch 4 lats. For instance. How to do it in a way useful to all is another question. Has this cropped up before? Andyfarrell 19:04, 31 March 2009 (EDT)

He, I'd be all in for swapping either Government or Religion out of the quick boxes in favour of the Big Mac Index, though I wouldn't know what to do with countries without McDonalds'. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 19:14, 31 March 2009 (EDT)
This is already an objective. See Wikitravel:Country_article_template#Costs. How much money you will need, a cost of common items should be included in the Buy section of country articles, including how much a Big Mac costs, if you like. --Inas 19:33, 31 March 2009 (EDT)
I'd like to see both government and religion leave the quickbox (since that information belongs in "understand"), but I do think adding an infobox to each country's "buy" section displaying its big mac index score would be useful. It should be year end data, so it will be simple to update without following every fluctuation. --Peter Talk 20:20, 31 March 2009 (EDT)
Generally, the relative costs of things are found in the Buy section, although only some countries' articles mention such info. You'd need to find an appropriate index. Cost of living indexes and "most expensive for expatriates" include things like taxes, housing, etc. To further complicate things, prices can be drastically different throughout the country. Accommodation may not be uniform...for instance, a 4-5star hotel in an African capital might be comparable to that of a major European/US city, while small hotels and hostels might be drastically cheaper. It also depends on how you travel...W. Europe generally has much higher prices than the US, but for a long-distance trip, there's the Eurail and hostels everywhere...while long distance travel in the US is very expen$ive and cheap hostels are only found in some large cities. A week in Washington (in a hostel & using the subway) can be much cheaper than a week in London...but a week travelling from NYC to LA is probably much more expensive than a week going from London to Paris to Rome. I'm not against doing a price comparison...but there's LOTS of factors which may need to be spelled out to be effective. AHeneen 23:06, 31 March 2009 (EDT)

We did have an article called "What things cost" that was deleted after a very long messy discussion. I argued for keeping it, and rewrote most of it in the process. Put it up for undeletion? Use some of its text (my rewrite was of course brilliant :-) in a new article? Pashley 01:05, 1 April 2009 (EDT)

Could we add something like per capita GDP as a cost indicator in country articles? Could we automate getting the data? There's more than one way to calculate or estimate it, though. Wikipedia has several articles, one here, with links to data sources. Pashley 01:31, 1 April 2009 (EDT)

The main reason we didn't keep that article, though, was that we decided the information belonged firmly in country articles' buy sections (if I remember correctly). Per capita GDP's effects on PPP are very ambiguous and often marginal, especially as PPP is determined by a bunch of additional causes unrelated to per capita income. The big mac index is widely regarded as the most important and accurate measure of varying price levels across nations, so, while imperfect, I think we should limit site-wide information about country PPP to this index, while allowing ourselves greater latitude to go into details in each country's buy section. (E.g., while Japan has exceptionally high food costs that will show up in the big mac index, their high-end electronics are actually quite cheap by international standards.) --Peter Talk 01:40, 1 April 2009 (EDT)
Lets just make the guideline for the Buy section a little more prominent. I'm sure its not difficult to people to include the costs of a few common items in the buy section to give an idea of what things are going to cost, they probably just don't think of it. In the Australia article you will certainly find the cost of a few different styles of meals in the Eat section, what to expect to pay for accommodation in the Sleep section. Its not much good putting the costs of transport in the Get around or Get in sections because they vary so much between locations, but you will find pretty accurate costs in many of the City articles, as well as finer grained costs of accommodation. These are surely the three biggest costs travellers will encounter. I don't really see what is missing there, or what benefit there would be in putting it in a standardised table. I don't know if per capita GDP has any consistent relation to the costs of travel. The USA has a per capita GDP higher than Japan or Australia, but I would say it is cheaper to travel in. The Big Mac index is not a good judge of buying power, it is not officially available for many countries, and it smacks a bit of American cultural imperialism when applied to countries where you have to work a day to buy one. If people want to put the cost of a Big Mac into the Buy or Eat section of a country, where it is relevant to assess the costs of travel there, they are already very free to do so, and this should be encouraged where appropriate. --Inas 01:51, 1 April 2009 (EDT)

One of the many pieces missing from this puzzle is price ranges for the Eat section (and reaching a consensus on Wikitravel talk:Restaurant listings#price ranges what exactly price given for restaurant should reflect: only main dish / average set of meals for this establishment [type] / three-course full meal or something else]]). Anything constructive will be highly appreciated on this. --DenisYurkin 16:43, 1 April 2009 (EDT)

Glad I asked. That's given me some idea of the opinions on this! Thanks particularly to Sertmann for drawing my attention to the Big Mac Index, I like it, but think it's too narrow a measure - it doesn't tell me how much spending money I need to take. It doesn't appear that there is a quick and easy solution to go in an infobox so I guess I will just spend a little time adding to the Costs sections on places I know. Andyfarrell 18:52, 4 April 2009 (EDT)

I'm glad you asked too. I came onto wikitravel as I'm looking into some voluntourism in Argentina, and would really like to see cost of travel there, but there's nothing in the country listing. I also read the "what things cost" discussion. I personally think it would be very hard to start to create, in a user-generated guide like this, but guidelines on cost could be added under anything that costs. Like, in the template, there are "costs" under "buy" but there could be costs under eat, drink, sleep, contact, but how are you supposed to monitor how people enter the data? Since there's nothing really comparable, as, yes, you could go to McD's, but it's the traditional food that most people want to try when travelling, so you can't compare it properly. I'd like to see something like "Budget" included in the country's page, whereby people could list basic costs for living as averages (Food shopping for week = x-yUSD @Date/Year, Rent for month = x-yUSD) Although I would be looking for this more for slightly more long term forays into places. I mean, if there was a budget section added, there would be no easy way to regulate it, but at least the idea to add it would be there, so those who knew anything about the cost of living in a country, would be able to include a budget for a week of a backpackers holiday, long-term stay in the country, or a more luxurious holiday, like a week in a hotel with B&B & eating out each night, with restaurants/whatever listed as low-end, middle or high end in the prices of the place. Not sure how this could be done, but it's a contribution I suppose! ElectricSocks 00:19, 10 September 2009 (EDT)

I like the idea of benchmark like this:
a budget for a week of a backpackers holiday, long-term stay in the country, or a more luxurious holiday, like a week in a hotel with B&B & eating out each night
I think I could contribute few bits of this for a country or two from my previous visits. No objections if we try this as a subsection of Understand in a respective country's (or city's) article? --DenisYurkin 18:25, 17 September 2009 (EDT)
Does anyone have any feedback, on whether Australia#Costs is a reasonable cost of living benchmark section, or whether it it is useless prose? I'd like to think it is more useful to have a section like this, than a big mac index. --inas 20:11, 30 September 2009 (EDT)
It may be a bit long but I think it's good overall. I'd move it after the "Currency" section, though, since that's where the Australian dollar is introduced. LtPowers 22:26, 30 September 2009 (EDT)
Excellent example, great work! I even think we need a dedicated page listing showcase sections of each kind, where this link should be definitely added. --DenisYurkin 03:58, 1 October 2009 (EDT)

Airport guidance

Following a series of edits by User:DavidG, who edited several Get in by plane sections to list all the cities that can be accessed non-stop from that airport, I think we need some guidance on how to handle such cases. I'm suspicious of its usefulness, but someone else did the same thing to Albuquerque a while back and I decided to let it stay, so I'm really on the fence about this. PerryPlanet Talk 11:58, 2 April 2009 (EDT)

My rule of thumb is that it's useful for those airports where the destinations can be counted on the palm of one hand, but beyond that it's kinda pointless. Just name the busiest routes/airlines and let the user work out the rest. Jpatokal 12:29, 2 April 2009 (EDT)
One big problem with what DavidG is doing is that he's not using disambiguated links. He's linking to New York and Buffalo instead of New York (city) and Buffalo (New York) (just for two examples). LtPowers 21:50, 2 April 2009 (EDT)
This information is not very usfull either. There are no information about witch airlines that operates this routes. There is also the problem that routes changes often, so this information quicly get outdated. ViMy 09:39, 25 August 2009 (EDT)

Why is this website written as if every tourist were white?

It is. You can't deny this; take a look at Germany#Stay safe and the section about Turks/Arabs. Also, I didn't know Russians were non-white, that's news to me (and offensive).

Not only this, my problem with this site is that none of it is sourced. Unlike Wikipedia, there seems to be no sourcing whatsoever. This is potentially critically important on a travel site where people may have printed off a document. One bit of vandalism to a route number and it could cause serious problems to people.--Clyde Cash 18:33, 1 May 2009 (EDT)

I am a complete mixture, I look kinda like Tiger Woods if I was to give an example of what I was like racially but taller, broader and more muscular; I was born to an African American-Mexican American father and a Russian-American mother and I have lived in Scotland for 8 years, and my girlfriend is British Chinese. Please don't assume things. I also have Asperger syndrome.--Clyde Cash 18:41, 1 May 2009 (EDT)
Well, since I can't deny this, I will have trouble responding to your point. But this website is actually written by some 50,000 people, so it must just be that we've succumbed to group think on a very large scale. More to the point though, if you see something that you think can be improved, plunge forward and fix it yourself!
Regarding sourcing, have you ever seen a travel guide that provided footnotes? We try to keep things fair, and the "proofing" mechanism that wikis provide (anyone can correct any error) is generally a lot more foolproof than trusting some drug dealer's second hand information. [1] --Peter Talk 18:57, 1 May 2009 (EDT)
The Stay Safe section of the Germany article certainly could use some editing. Would you be interested in giving it a shot, Clyde? LtPowers 19:03, 1 May 2009 (EDT)
Lest anyone be confused, Clyde is engaged in a silly bit of provocation that doesn't really warrant a response unless you're really bored — and in that event, stimulating alternatives such as alphabetizing your socks might still be preferable. Gorilla Jones 19:05, 1 May 2009 (EDT)
Couple comments to this. I'm trying to familiarize myself with Wikitravel. On the Buenos Aires page I thought there were sections that were irresponsibly written and I also thought sourcing might police the situation, though reading the Style differences note, I agree with the approach. I don't think this comment is not worth (limited) discussion though. I'm not sure how differences in reporting will play themselves out. As for me, I have taken LtPowers invitation to heart and tried to fix inconsistencies, contradictions and so on. Hopefully my efforts will be appreciated rather than annoy.--EKMSID 02:12, 4 July 2009 (EDT)

Well, I can't say to speak for the whole of Germany, I've been there several times. I've also been to Romania and Bulgaria several times, and Finland as well. The problem is with sourcing. Wikipedia relies on accurate sources for every statement. This site, it has NONE of that. None whatsoever! It's bullshit if you believe people should go printing off articles and some person entering bullshit could make people change their route I mean WTF? That shit is not on.-Clyde Cash 19:40, 1 May 2009 (EDT)

We are not Wikipedia. Check out Wikitravel:Welcome, Wikipedians#Style differences, which explains how we are different. If you don't trust our travel guides without references, don't use them. Plenty of other people do. LtPowers 21:45, 1 May 2009 (EDT)
But seriously. Please show me a travel guide that lists sources. And what sources would we list anyway? Have you actually thought about it? Should we list the local phone book as a source for each hotel listing, Rand McNally for every set of directions we give? Texugo 01:15, 1 August 2009 (EDT)
Or we could all just stop beating around the bush and say to clyde that if you don't like the way things are written here and you do not want to plunge forward and make changes, then maybe you should leave and find a different website. Simple. Joshuadrooney 05:25, 18 August 2009 (EDT)
Sorry, but I just read this and I fail to see how one could include sources in a travel guide? Eh, what are people supposed to do? The street scape of Prague is a must see... please refer to this for proof? I mean, that's a nonsense comment. LikeThatWillHappen 21:28, 10 October 2009 (GMT)

My problem is that nearly every article assumes that the reader will not like the local cuisine because it is too spicy/salty/sweet/ethnic for them and goes on to recommend a whole bunch of "western" fast food chains. Even for culinary meccas such as Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore. I love how Lonely Planet's guide to Beijing says, "There's a lot of Starbucks, we'll leave it up to you to figure out where they are." Rickvaughn 22:24, 23 October 2009 (CST)

In general, I agree, but there are exceptions. I live in China and mostly eat Chinese food. When I travel to Yangshuo, I want the guide to tell me where the good Western food is. In Hong Kong, I'm looking for the Indian places, since there are none where I live. If I visit Beijing, I'd like to know where to find good coffee. (For me, Starbucks does not qualify.) Also, there are places where Western fast food may be a good option, see the last paragraph of China#By_plane_2 for example. Pashley 00:01, 24 October 2009 (EDT)
Actually, Singapore doesn't have a single "western" fast food chain listed. It has a couple of local chains offering local food, and it does have a bunch of good Western restaurants, because most travellers start yearning for familiar food after a few solid weeks of nasi goreng or pad thai...
I do agree, though, that Wikitravel's food coverage is generally pretty weak, and I make a point of trying to improve it whenever I can. Jpatokal 09:43, 24 October 2009 (EDT)

Smartphone apps redux

Just a quick announcement - as previously threatened, further up this page, I've gone and written an iPhone app intended to make it easy to update Wikitravel from your phone. Yesterday I submitted the app to the App Store (where I will charge the outrageous price of $0.00) and released all of its code at under the BSD open-source license.

I'll keep you posted as to if and when the app is approved and available. In the meantime, if any techies out there want to improve the app, or to clean up the crude Android version I have working, let me know. I'd do it myself, but I have a job writing an iPhone app for pay over the next few months, and I fear that that has to take precedence... Rezendi 23:11, 3 August 2009 (EDT)

Link to Google Maps from all Sleep pages

Could the website-developer-gurus give us the ability to add links to all the Sleep pages to Google Maps. Jumping there will show us where all the listed hotels, hotels, etc are. Good idea? Too hard basket?

This could apply to Eat sections as well... but Sleep would be a good start!

Aidan 19:43, 5 August 2009 (EDT)

Why Google Maps? LtPowers 20:50, 5 August 2009 (EDT)
See the discussion on shared here [2], and also have a look at the Wikitravel:Mapmaking Expedition. There is a school of thought that Wikitravel should have its own open content maps with sleep entries on them, another that OSM provides a more compatible distribution mechanism. It is all fairly academic while most tech requests seem to languish right now, and we are limited to what we can export and load as png files. It might not be hard to plot the XML sleep listings via google maps with an external app, you would think. --inas 21:41, 5 August 2009 (EDT)
Why not use OpenStreetMap and custom overlays? OpenStreetMap could also benefit enormusly from the travel information, contributors here have :) 09:40, 22 November 2009 (EST)

Correct category for luggage storage

I often spend a few hours in a town on my way to my final destination, and for this purpose, luggage lockers or luggage offices are rather useful to lock away the greater part of my travelling gear. I'd like to add a line regarding these things to a couple of towns, however I'm wandering where this best fits in the existing structure of most articles. Ok, the luggage storage at Cork's "Parnell Place" bus station is easy enough -- I assume that wants to be in "Get in / by bus". However, what about the internet café in Dublin's centre, that just happens to have a "left luggage service" in addition the usual row of computer terminals? As far as I can tell, it doesn't fit in any of the pre-existing categories. Where does this sort of thing want to go? --Dave b 19:10, 10 August 2009 (EDT)

See Wikitravel:Where you can stick it. Best to put the info into Get in, for consistency, although I can see arguments for a few different sections. --inas 19:14, 10 August 2009 (EDT)


I've opened up a discussion about this template on its talk page; please review and comment there. LtPowers 10:01, 15 August 2009 (EDT)

Smartphone apps redux, redux

Me again. I am pleased to announce that the "iTravelWrite" iPhone app, used to easily update Wikitravel listings from the comfort and safety of your own iPhone or iPod Touch, has been approved by Apple and is now available - for free, yes, free! - from the iPhone App Store. Just go to the App Store and search for "itravelwrite".

The big advantage of editing from a mobile device that you can use its location awareness to easily geotag listings, so that down the road they can be shown on maps. You can either edit listings directly or jot down quick notes to be integrated into Wikitravel later on.

As noted above, I've also open-sourced the app's source code at

So, please go right ahead and download it, use it, experiment with it - and send bug reports or suggestions to "". I like to think it's pretty intuitive, but there are a few help screens baked into it as well, just in case. And bear in mind that this is the app's initial release, and so far I'm the only person to have tested it - so I expect there might still be a few glitches and some awkwardness to iron out.

Hope people find it useful!

Rezendi 21:57, 16 August 2009 (EDT)

Downloaded. Thanks for your work on this! I've already started playing with it a little. Will let you know what I find...Texugo 22:38, 16 August 2009 (EDT)
Yeah, there are problems with it — see this edit, for example, or further feedback at User talk:‎. Gorilla Jones 23:12, 16 August 2009 (EDT)
I haven't done any test edits so I can't comment on that functionality yet, but I have noticed the following things:
  • The listing screen looks really nice and easy to use, and the I'm There button is gonna be great, though i haven't yet tried it. The only problem here is that the description box is often not big enough to display all the text.
  • - Special characters (accented letters, etc.) do not display properly.
  • - Articles look nice, although I really want to be able to edit the text portions of articles too, not just the listings.
  • - I especially like the way the district articles/region link from the main article, etc., though it would be nice to be able to see their descriptions too.
  • - I have only tried Spanish and Portuguese, but I don't think any of the other language versions are working yet. Searching on them yields no results for articles that I know are there.
Texugo 00:05, 17 August 2009 (EDT)
Thanks for the feedback. I'll try and get an updated version out next month. It's always an iterative process, I fear...
Rezendi 12:01, 18 August 2009 (EDT)

Thanks a million for working on this, downloaded the app, but I have no wireless so I can't really test it - does it support page catching akin to wikiamo? would be wicked for us iPod Touch users with no phone connection - as far as I know it's OpenSource so you might be able to steal the code from them, if it's not implemented yet. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 13:50, 18 August 2009 (EDT)

50k articles

I've already posted this message on Shared, but wanted to make sure people here didn't miss it:

FYI, we're about to hit 50,000 articles across all language versions in the next two–three weeks or so! Sounds to me like a good time for a press release, preferably in multiple languages. --Peter Talk 16:54, 17 August 2009 (EDT)

To that end I've been keeping stats on a google spreadsheet as long back as the data is uniform, was going to upload the graphs when we hit the mark, but if someone does a press release, it might be useful to have the spreadsheet and graphs (note that I'm on a really wide screen so it's probably going to look rubbish on narrower screens :oD )--Stefan (sertmann) Talk 17:39, 17 August 2009 (EDT)
Curiously we'll hit around 2 million total edits at just about the same time if I'm not mistaken --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 17:40, 17 August 2009 (EDT)

It's official shared:Multilingual statistics -- Wikitravel now has 50076 articles! Jpatokal 06:51, 21 August 2009 (EDT)

Double posting again (from Shared): my comment looks a little silly now! I think we actually hit 50,000 articles at 06:44, 17 August 2009 GMT. And the 50,000th article was en:Charlotte Pass. (If I haven't made any accounting errors.) --Peter Talk 18:48, 21 August 2009 (EDT)
I'll take your word for it, but can I ask how you figured that out? Jpatokal 01:59, 22 August 2009 (EDT)
Accounting error #1 discovered—it should be en:Khancoban at 07:00, 17 August 2009 GMT.
I checked the newpages logs across all language versions that increased their page count over the last period. There were 78 articles created from 00:00 17 August 2009 CST (Chicago time: GMT-5) to the time of the StatScript update. From there, it was just a matter of finding which was the third article created on 17 Aug (on Chicago time), and that's Khancoban. I'd trust this better, though, if someone else looked into it and came up with the same result.
The only part of this work that was a pain was having to log in to all these versions & setting the date/time in my preferences for each and every one... --Peter Talk 17:13, 22 August 2009 (EDT)

I screwed up my OpenID

Ok...I can't read and follow instructions, I logged in with my OpenID and created a new account, this is not what I wanted to do. I currently have an account that I want to link to my OpenID. Who can I contact to get this mess straightened out? may now return to your regularly scheduled programming...

Redbear 15:51, 26 August 2009 (EDT)

How to merge two articles

I want to merge two articles. How is this done? I doubt that there will be any objection, as I am so far the only person to edit either, and having nearly completed them I see that they would be better as a single article. What is the procedure? I have looked for this information without success. Cheers, Pbsouthwood 07:52, 29 August 2009 (EDT)

There's no programmatic way to do it. Just copy text from the source article and paste it into the destination article, then redirect the source to the destination. Make sure your edit summaries indicate that it's a merge and link to the other article involved (e.g., "Merging text from [[Foo]]"). LtPowers 11:14, 29 August 2009 (EDT)

Thanks, will do. Perhaps you would take a look after it is done to see if I have done all the required things. Cheers, Pbsouthwood 06:12, 31 August 2009 (EDT)

Along this same line: I'm new around here, and was going to check before I made such a drastic change. I grew up in Texarkana, TX, and went looking at the page for nostalgia's sake. The residents of Texarkana, TX and Texarkana, AR, pretty much consider the two cities as one, with two not-so-distinct sides. The wikis for the two cities at the moment are listed in two districts. Would combining the pages into one be acceptable, and would navigation be an issue for users navigating hierarchically from the main page down through the regions and states to the cities? heyuka 2101, 6 Sep 09 (PDT)

Welcome. If that is the division that would feel natural to the traveller, there is no problem with a destination article that straddles two regions. There are a few like that already, see Albury-Wodonga, for an example. We have redirects at our disposal should we need to simplify the process for someone navigating the regional hierarchy. --inas 00:14, 7 September 2009 (EDT)
Thank you. That seems like a perfect example.

Photo attribution

Do we want to go down the path of putting attribution on each photo if requested by the author? See [3]. The CC-BY-SA licence says we must provide attribution reasonable to the medium, but I think we should act in good faith here, and if the author doesn't want their work used here with our standard attribution, then we just remove their image. --inas 20:36, 1 September 2009 (EDT)

This has come up in the past and the consensus was that photos in articles should not have credits on them; I think it was related to Wikitravel_talk:Copyleft#JensANDMarian_VFD_discussion. If a user wants a credit in the caption and doesn't want the image to be used without it then my preference would be to simply VFD the image. -- Ryan • (talk) • 20:50, 1 September 2009 (EDT)
Also discussed on Shared to the consensus of no credits in photo captions. The photo is marked all rights reserved on Flickr, but Peter did the original grab, so I expect she originally had it as CC and changed the licensing in the months since then. I'm fine with deleting it. Gorilla Jones 20:52, 1 September 2009 (EDT)
Okay, I'll just vfd the image. Following on from the discussions pointers above, I think it would be possible to automate adding the credit from the photo template to an attribution template within the article, should this every prove desirable. Doesn't seem to be a big issue at the moment. --inas 22:04, 1 September 2009 (EDT)
My hunch here is that this was simply a misunderstanding—I'll send Karen a note. FYI, I got permission directly from her to license the image (at this low resolution) under CC-by-SA 3.0. --Peter Talk 12:49, 3 September 2009 (EDT)
This came up because of the need to click through twice to the attribution information (once for the photo page on :en, then again to :shared). Karen noticed this when checking whether iguide (which mirrors our content) provided proper attribution. (The iguide site admin was actually the one who added the thumbnail caption attribution.)
I created a duplicate page here with the attribution info as a courtesy to her (and because I really want to keep that photo), but this is obviously a larger problem that cannot reasonably be solved in this way. This really needs to happen. --Peter Talk 20:13, 3 September 2009 (EDT)
Making a local copy seems a bit of a hack, and only solves the issue for one language version. If we don't hold out much hope for the tech request, I think we just develop a quick imageattribution template, which just puts the type of licence and attribution in a small font at the bottom of the page with the other attribution info. for now, we just use it for the difficult cases, but we could easily automate it at some stage if required. Would solve a few other problems with licencing and attribution of images as well. --inas 21:33, 3 September 2009 (EDT)

IsPartOf Tag

Is there are a way to view all articles that are marked as part of another with the IsPartOf tag?

Specifically, I am trying to identify all articles which have been marked IsPartof Bali.--Burmesedays 10:20, 6 September 2009 (EDT)

Sadly, no. The best I've got for you is to use the search function to look for "{{IsPartOf|Bali}}". LtPowers 10:24, 6 September 2009 (EDT)
Thanks. I really ought to have thought of that myself. A search for each of IsPartOf|Bali and IsIn|Bali seems to do the trick. --Burmesedays 10:39, 6 September 2009 (EDT)

Tokyo Disney Resort article status

I just completed a prolific overhaul of the Tokyo Disney Resort article, which included replacing the flawed map with a more accurate one. However, I'm not quite sure if it meets the quality of a guide or even star article. Please, let me hear some comments before I decide whether to push the article status up to guide. Jonathan 784 19:16, 7 September 2009 (EDT)

Whoops, forgot to mention that this was an unsuccessful nomination for Collaboration of the Month. Jonathan 784 19:18, 7 September 2009 (EDT)

It's a lot better than it used to be and could almost squeak by as a guide in my book, but the lead pic is terrible, and the restaurants and hotels need proper listings. Jpatokal 00:34, 8 September 2009 (EDT)
I think JPatokal pretty much summed up the issues with the article as it is. I got rid of the box about driving, because that information belongs on the Japan page. If your goal is to push this to a star article, then I think the "See and Do" section should be more than just a summary of what each place offers. It should be more like the Walt Disney Pages: Walt Disney World/Hollywood Studios

every attraction is listed as something to See/Do, and I think it makes a much more complete and informative article. Right now, in order to know what the attractions are, we have to "Visit the Screening Room" as it says in the article, but I believe the goal of Wikitravel is to be the sole source of information. With that, I don't think it's a good idea to give links to websites with better information. That shows a weakness in our article. ChubbyWimbus 00:56, 8 September 2009 (EDT)

Many parts seem to take the style of, you've been to Disneyland or WDW, and now here are the differences. As far as possible each article should stand on its own. I'm sure if I were to edit the WDW so the opening line of the attractions section says, fans of the Japanese Disneyland will be disappointed, because the Magic Kingdom is just the same, it wouldn't be the best opening. Sure the info has a place in both articles, but primarily we should be describing the park, and putting any required comparisons in a subsection. --inas 01:13, 8 September 2009 (EDT)

Travel Guide Writing Contest

Hi, wanted to inform you of our new travel guide writing contest. The winning titles will be showcased on the world's largest book fair in Frankfurt, and the grand prize is a trip to the fair to meet with renowned publishers from all over the world (think Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, etc.). There will be over 300,000 visitors and 10,000 journalists on the fair - a big opportunity to jump into a professional travel writing career.

Participation is free and you keep all copyrights on your guides. Please have a look at GuideGecko Travel Writing Contest.

(P.S.: Not sure if this belongs here... If not, please move and let me know. Thanks!) DanielQuadt 02:52, 8 September 2009 (EDT)

Disambiguations - a newbie question

I'm very new to this and already have my first question that someone with more experience should be able to offer an informed opinion about. I was editing a page for Nelson (British Columbia) which was linked from the West Kootenays but noticed when searching for Nelson I ended up at Nelson on the South Island of New Zealand.

Is it worthwhile trying to deal with this? I've read the info on disambiguations and I understand what a possible solution is although I'm a bit uncertain how to DO it, but is this something that merits some action or is this something that could/should be ignored for now?

Thanks - Dave McCormick 2 pm PDST, Sep 9, 2009

The template is at Wikitravel:Disambiguation pages. You're right that there should be some sort of disambiguation for Nelson. There are a fair number of Nelsons in the world, and although Nelson, N.Z. is probably the biggest, I don't think it's so well-known that it gets the famous city exemption.
I'll move the existing Nelson article to Nelson (New Zealand) and update the links pointing to it. Finding the pages that contain those links is easy with the "What links here" entry on the left sidebar. - Dguillaime 18:11, 9 September 2009 (EDT)

Thanks - most helpful. something new every day! Dave McCormick 7:14 pm PDST, Sep 9, 2009


See: User talk:Magicmushroom

Moving back to a previously used article name

I created a travel topic Diving in Africa, then decided it would be better as Scuba diving in Africa, but have now realised that the original name is more concise and is unlikely to be confused, so would like to move back, but when I tried to move back, I got the message that the name already existed.What is the procedure here? I dont want to cut and paste as that would lose the history. This must have happened before, so can someone who has dealt with it please inform me. Thanks, Pbsouthwood 12:38, 20 September 2009 (EDT)

I suspect Diving in Africa will need to be deleted by an adminstrator before Scuba diving in Africa can (re)use that article name.--Burmesedays 12:47, 20 September 2009 (EDT)
Indeed, and no sooner said than done :) --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 12:52, 20 September 2009 (EDT)
Much obliged for the quick action Stefan. Unfortunately as I feel my way into the dive guide structure I will probably be chopping and changing quite a bit, as there is less of a precedent to follow than for the regular guides. I would like to have as few hierarchical levels as conveniently possible, and I am not sure at this stage whether the "Diving in Continent" articles will be worth the trouble, or whether the "Scuba diving" topic should include the continent level and go directly to countries as the next level down. I am fairly sure that "Diving in Country" is a useful level, and also that "Diving in Local Region" within countries will be necessary for countries where the conditions vary significantly between regions, or where there are large nunbers of dive sites in each region. South Africa, USA, Australia and Indonesia come to mind immediately, and there are sure to be others. I'm afraid I will be troubling you sysops again. Possibly quite a bit. Comments and opinions would be welcomed. Cheers, Pbsouthwood 17:18, 20 September 2009 (EDT)
Looking at the top level, you could maybe change the approach to adding continents/countries as they develop, rather than the other way around - it makes for some leaner articles. I don't mind the experimenting, it's for a worthy cause, anything that can open up divers eyes to wikitravel, is a good thing in my book, as most online resources out there are either too region specific or heavily trending towards rubbish. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 17:30, 20 September 2009 (EDT)

Korean WT

Discussion swept to shared:Talk:Internet Brands#Korean WT

Is someone in touch with the Korean translators somewhere? Someone should point them at the IB response, and I'm not sure having a Korean translation on the English WT is really what they want. They may well be better off doing translations in advance offline. --inas 23:41, 30 September 2009 (EDT)
The live version is here! please continue the discussion in shared about who the bureaucrats are going to be --Steph 4:42 pm, 20 October 2009 (EDT)

Editing Credits

Discussion swept to User Talk:IainP

Addition to toolbox - upload image in new window

Maybe I am doing things the hard way, but I often need to upload a photo to go into a specific place in an article. This must be a common requirement - and it is useful to have the article and the upload page in shared open at the same time. Could one of the less technically challenged add a link to the toolbox which will open an upload page in a new window, so that the relevant article remains open and the image link can then be cut and pasted into the article with minimum effort and risk of messing it up. At present I open a second window by a relatively complicated procedure. This is something I do often enough to warrant a single click. Cheers, Pbsouthwood 01:28, 28 September 2009 (EDT)

What browser and operating system are you using? I can just right-click and select "open in new tab", or click my scroll-wheel (which does the same thing). That's about as easy as it gets. LtPowers 13:02, 28 September 2009 (EDT)
Internet Explorer 6.0 on Windows XP. There may be a setting I havent set, but the actions you describe don't work for me. Pbsouthwood 02:36, 29 September 2009 (EDT)
Upgrade to IE 7 (it's free here: and you will be able to do as suggested above.--Burmesedays 05:26, 29 September 2009 (EDT)
Basically any new browser that have tabs, when you're doing major work on sites like wikitravel, they are indispensable once you get the hang of them. So I'd really recommend you to upgrade to a modern browser; options include Internet Explorer 8, Firefox, Safari, Opera and Google chrome, the two latter are especially good for slower computers. —The preceding comment was added by Sertmann (talk • contribs) .
Thanks, I will try that. Cheers, Pbsouthwood 16:08, 1 October 2009 (EDT)

Handling eat/drink/sleep entry when not in a destination

I've been wondering this a long time but haven't seen it addressed before. What if you want to add a nice restaurant/bar/inn/whatever, but it's sort of all by itself - not near a city or park. For example "Chinati Hot Springs" [4] - a rustic resort in remote West Texas that's not really near anything (I can think of plenty of other examples, though, too). Marfa and Presidio are probably the closest towns, but it's about equally far from - and quite out-of-the-way of - both. Should I create an a new page for one of the border towns that it's close to, just so this article can have a home (even if there's nothing else to add to that page)? Or can we just add it to the Region (the Help section's literature seems to indicate we should not)? In general, what is the policy? Thanks, Army of me 02:30, 29 September 2009 (EDT)

I'm not sure about policy, but for towns that can never sustain a usable status by itself, I'd prefer it if we used the lowest level regions instead. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 04:22, 29 September 2009 (EDT)
It might be appropriate to describe such venues in prose rather than as a bulleted listing in its relevant lowest level regional article? If listings start appearing in regional aricles then it opens up a bit of a hornet's nest. --Burmesedays 20:29, 29 September 2009 (EDT)
Nothing is close to anything else in west Texas; even 100 miles is considered close out there, so in this particular case, and since it's a resort, I'd say put it in the Get out section of whatever the nearest town is. Texugo 00:14, 30 September 2009 (EDT)
Before posing this question, I was initially going to handle it as Stefan suggested but I will gladly do it another way if need be. Supposing I did put it in the Get Out section, would I still format it the same way as, say, a Sleep entry (in reference to my example)? Would I include it in both the Marfa and Presidio articles, since it's about as close to both (and thus duplicate information)? I still wonder how to deal with this in general, though - say if it was a restaurant or a bar, would people still be comfortable with putting it in the Get Out section? If it were just prose in the lowest-level regional article, wouldn't the users miss out on useful info such as prices, hours, contact info, etc.? Perhaps it's a flaw in the current system - rigidly boiling down things to a town or a park, that is. Army of me 01:07, 30 September 2009 (EDT)
This is a dilemma. Having any listings in a region article invites others to add listings to that article, and then creates a model upon which new users will think that region articles should have listings, leading them to add listings to other region articles, when they in fact belong in city articles. This causes two problems: touts love putting their listings higher up in the hierarchy, and if a listing belongs in a city, it will often get duplicated in the region article, which is a waste of our work.
But that leaves us with the types of listings you've identified, which really don't belong in the "nearest" city article. I agree with the above, that we should either put these in the get out sections of the nearest article (although that can lead to more duplicate content, as you point out) or in the appropriate lowest-level region article. Neither is a great solution. --Peter Talk 02:44, 30 September 2009 (EDT)
A third option would be to create an article for the resort area. If it's that isolated, it should have a suite of amenities available, shouldn't it, enough to support a stub destination article at least? LtPowers 09:20, 30 September 2009 (EDT)
The term "resort" is actually a bit tongue-in-cheek here. The rooms are somewhat rustic and there's no dining or activities officially "offered" at the resort (though there's plenty of independent hiking and wildlife viewing to be done). But it is known as a waypoint for more adventurous travelers and for its awesome spring-fed baths and pools to soak in (natch) and would be a shame to not include it at Wikitravel. Thanks to everyone for the responses; I can see it's not at all a cut and dry issue and darned if I can see what the best solution is.... Army of me 00:51, 5 October 2009 (EDT)

Very often I stay in "the middle of nowhere" pansions which either are not in a village at all, or are in a village that have no other interest for a traveler. For Sleep, I don't support putting it into GetOut (I'll never find it there when I'm looking for accommodation in the area) or creating a article for a village that worth absolutely no other content (same reason). I vote for sticking to "Sleep" for the nearest town (if there is any), or to a region level--with some policy to patrol additions that should belong to a town level. --DenisYurkin 12:01, 30 September 2009 (EDT)

Cities and Regions

In my work on China and Denmark I have noticed that a certain region will often have a number of municipalities (or prefectures) each having one large city and a number of smaller towns where the large city is large enough to have its own article but where the other towns are not. Is it then acceptable to create an article for the large city and include listings also for the surrounding towns in that or would it be better to create both a region article for the municipality/prefecture (with listings for the surrounding towns but no listings for the large city) and a city article for the large city (with listings only for the city)? And if the first alternative is chosen, should it then be considered a city article or a region article? ClausHansen 18:13, 29 September 2009 (EDT)

Are you sure the towns can't support their own articles? A town has to be pretty darn small not to be considered worthy of a destination article. If there's anything to do there, you might as well create an article. LtPowers 18:49, 29 September 2009 (EDT)
As for Denmark, I presume we are talking about the small towns on Zealand eh? they usually don't have a place to sleep, and hence disqualifies. I tend to put such listings in the largest nearest town, or breaking the MOS and putting them in lowest region article in the hierarchy. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 19:02, 29 September 2009 (EDT)
I agree with with LtPowers that if there anything significant to see or do there, and it is more than just an attraction seen from another town, it should have its own article. If the town is an attraction best seen from another city, and there is nowhere to sleep thee, include the info in the neighboring city article. Regions should be summary articles, and not contain see and do information for towns without hotels. --inas 01:55, 30 September 2009 (EDT)

Article status

I am a little confused as to the precise meaning of ...listings and layout closely match the manual of style. I see for example that Gili Islands has just been bumped to guide status. Yet many of the listings there are effectively bulleted prose and do not use listing templates. There are other similar examples. The first ever article I did any serious work on here was Nusa Lembongan and I was told then that to have guide status the article needed to use standard listing templates and not the mass of bulleted prose that was already present there (spent many hours putting that right!!). What is the policy please? --Burmesedays 09:56, 30 September 2009 (EDT)

The policy is as you state it. If you disagree with Jani's promotion of the article to guide status, the proper place to discuss that is on the article's talk page. LtPowers 11:50, 30 September 2009 (EDT)
I am not specifically disagreeing with any promotion of any article - this issue is widespread. I used the Gili Islands article as an example as it happened today. I was seeking a clarification of policy for which I believe this is the correct place? Thank you. --Burmesedays 11:54, 30 September 2009 (EDT)
Since we don't follow a nominations process for guide articles, they are often promoted by users who are unfamiliar with the ins and outs of our article status criteria. Re: Gili Islands, they use a city article template, and thus follow Wikitravel:City guide status. I would, though, call Nusa Lembongan a strong guide—not terribly far from star status, and the Gili Islands a rather weak guide. --Peter Talk 16:50, 30 September 2009 (EDT)
I think you may be right about Gili Islands. Almost none of the listings are formatted properly. I think sometimes when users notice a lot of content, they bump up articles that may not actually meet the criteria. Also, I think some people prematurely bump up articles that they have worked on, because they are proud of them. You can always bump them down. In this case, because the user who gave it guide status is known, you could message him about it. In cases where you simply notice an article with an inappropriate status, you can change it without discussion. If someone is watching the page and disagrees with you, you can discuss it from there. ChubbyWimbus 22:36, 30 September 2009 (EDT)
I think the method of plunge forward first, and then revert and discuss if anybody objects generally works well. If it came to a discussion, I'd certainly support Gili Islands being a guide. I see the using of the listing templates as very optional, as the listings there are formatted well, and I think the text is good. --inas 23:53, 30 September 2009 (EDT)
Agreed -- AFAIK templated listings are not a requirement for guide status, it's sufficient for listings to be properly done in the "old format". For third-world places like the Gilis, it's also important to remember that there are no street addresses, fixed line phone numbers etc, so "Name. Description. Price." really is a complete and compliant old-style listing for many places.
Also -- and this may be more my view than site policy? -- all statuses up to and including guide are fundamentally about how much content the article has. On this count, the Gili article certainly qualifies, the lack of map being the major issue as far as I see. It's only Star that demands near-perfect formatting as well. Jpatokal 00:00, 1 October 2009 (EDT)
If bulleted listings in the "old format" are acceptable to meet the bar of closely follows style etc., then I do think this should be made very clear. I am sure I am not the only user who has spent a lot of time changing perfectly clear bulleted prose into template format. Time which could have been spent creating original work. --Burmesedays 00:09, 1 October 2009 (EDT)
I suppose it would be presumptuous of me to suggest that you find the appropriate policy document, plunge forward to make that part of the documentation clear, and if anyone reverts or objects, we'll discuss it there :-) --inas 00:44, 1 October 2009 (EDT)
Please don't feel that your formatting was done in vain! Cases like what JPatokal mentions (a city where none of the attractions have opening/closing times, addresses, prices, etc.) are exceptional. Most locations will have these things, and formatting things properly makes them more complete and brings them closer to star status. Even those places that lack some of the categories will eventually have to be formatted with as much information as is available, so your work is good for the page!
Actually, I made the suggestion here [5] to make formatting a prerequisite for Destination of the Month, because a lot of problems with nominations are related to improper formatting. No one has given their thoughts yet, but proper formatting is definitely a good thing, although it can be tedious work. ChubbyWimbus 02:52, 1 October 2009 (EDT)
Just to be clear here, converting everything to the proper listing templates is definitely Good(tm) and a long term goal for every article on the site, but we haven't started enforcing their use as a requirement yet. Jpatokal 03:22, 1 October 2009 (EDT)

Chip and PIN.

I've noticed in quite a few European articles, people trying to describe "Chip and PIN" credit cards, which are now required to access certain services. The cards are being variously described in multiple city articles, as some services move towards only accepting these cards. I think we should just standardise on calling them "Chip and PIN", cards. I know it is a bit of a slogan, but at least it means people who don't understand what they are, can go to Wikipedia, or do a google search and find the info pretty quickly. Otherwise if we start describing them as smart cards, etc, people are still going to have difficulty understanding them if they don't know what they are, and will have more difficulty finding info on them. I can't imagine anybody familiar with the cards, not understanding what is meant by Chip and PIN, and certainly everyone in the UK and Ireland would. --inas 20:33, 1 October 2009 (EDT)

Fine with that, though I'd suggest we also allow credit card with chip. it's still completely incomprehensible to me how a system without PIN codes actually work, can people in Australia just stick their card in a ATM and get money? --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 21:06, 1 October 2009 (EDT)
In the U.S. quite a few gas stations want you to enter the zip code of the cardholders address to use the payment at the pump, as they attempt to cope with credit cards without a PIN. It also makes that option not available to international cards. In Australia all credit cards can have a PIN, although not all of them have a Chip yet. You certainly can't use a card in an ATM etc without a PIN, but I haven't seen any applications in Oz that require you to have a Chip yet. --inas 22:12, 1 October 2009 (EDT)

And don't forget the toll roads in France... just pop your Mastercard in and the payment is made without any verification... safe... —The preceding comment was added by (talk • contribs) .


Any chance anyone have any idea to get this into the interwiki of this template? and does anyone not think that would be a mighty fine idea? you can see my feeble and failed attempt in the history. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 23:44, 6 October 2009 (EDT)

Your attempt seemed to work for me. LtPowers 11:13, 7 October 2009 (EDT)
I can't work out what you are trying to do Pbsouthwood 16:56, 9 October 2009 (EDT)

Fundamental issue of target audience

I have just got back from a holiday and I printed out the pages of the cities I was going to (as guides are expensive) and borrowed city guides from the hostels if they had one, a major problem I had was several pages about stuff that did not really interest me accommodation (which I had already booked), tinpot museums etc. Everyone prints out and then reads wikitravel while wikipedia is read on the spot. Obviously there is no way to code in the possibility of ticking boxes and then print, so that is quite a problem.
An additional example of a the problem of target audience, British architecture is unique, in particular the 19th century (Victorian), as it doesn't obey European classical canons (due to genius' creative licence and Continent=inferior) and say a European (disobedience to canons is heresy) or an American (used to Neo-palladianism as the standard architecture for an 18-19th century important building, like the Whitehouse say) who knowns something about architecture may want to know more about it, while someone who is just there for the cheap booze may be confused not knowing why the guide is going about the Greeks and Romans (put notes in parenthesis in case).
Wikitravel at the moment is inferior to a guide book, but if the target audience issue could be resolve one would have personalized guide books. Any ideas? say tagging paragraphs or something? -- 06:35, 7 October 2009 (EDT) (squidonius on wikipedia)

Crikey. Some big questions there. And some assumptions that I would not necessarily agree with. Defining a target audience is nigh on impossible I would say. Certainly when I write here I try to be as wide ranging as possible and not preach to any particular audience. If as a user you want personalised sections, why not just copy, paste and print just those that you want? I don't see the benefit of being any more sophisticated than that. As far as Wikitravel being inferior to a guide book. Well it is not a guide book... it is seeking to be more than 20,000 different guide books. Of those 20,000, some of the more developed guides are certainly superior to any relevant printed books I have seen.--Burmesedays 08:10, 7 October 2009 (EDT)
Wikitravel's attempt at addressing this is itineraries for specific interests, eg. Literary London or Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay.
Re: being able to print only the parts you want, Wikitravel Press has a roll-your-own-book project on the back burner, but it's not going to be reality anytime soon. Jpatokal 08:45, 7 October 2009 (EDT)
I don't believe that everyone prints out Wikitravel guides without reading them. I have used information from these guides, and I always read it before I use it. How do you know if it contains the information you need if you don't read it? If you choose to print a guide without reading it beforehand, I think the fault lies with you, not the guide. Similarly, if you buy a random guidebook and don't open it until you are already on the trip, you will waste time searching through the guidebook for the information you want (if it is even there at all). All guidebooks have accommodation listings. I don't think Wikitravel is any more frustrating in regards to having these sorts of parts. For me, the "Eat" section is mostly useless, but I understand that many others find it useful. As Burmesedays pointed out, if there are sections you really don't want, you can always copy and paste OR print it all and highlight the places you want to go. ChubbyWimbus 14:17, 7 October 2009 (EDT)
I think the concept of printing what you want is a good idea if it can be made easily practicable. Cut and paste does not look easily practicable. How do you get the formatting to work? If there is/could be a way to write to a document file which can then have unwanted sections deleted, it may work reasonably well. I would also be interested to know what the roll-your-own-book project is intended to produce. Pbsouthwood 16:11, 9 October 2009 (EDT)

Merge Scuba diving in Asia with Scuba diving

Swept to Talk:Scuba diving Pbsouthwood 06:12, 14 October 2009 (EDT)

'iTravelWrite' iPhone app

Just a quick note: after some revisions to address community concerns, the new version of my iPhone app "iTravelWrite", which allows people to edit Wikitravel from their iPhones, is available, up, and running again. Let me know at if you run into any problems with it, or have any concerns.

You can read more about the project at its site site and/or its source code repository (it's open-source.)

I'm also developing an app that will be more generally interesting: an app that will allow you to download Wikitravel pages onto your iPhone or iPod touch, navigate them with an iTunes-like interface, and show you their listings on a map. It's basically complete - I'm going to submit to the App Store in the next week - so hopefully it will be available as of November. Like iTravelWrite, it will be free. Rezendi 14:01, 10 October 2009 (EDT)

starting new pages with no info

I notice that ClausHansen has this evening just created about ten new pages with only the line "xxxx is a city in Zealand". What is the purpose of this? Does it not just enable Wikitravel to claim that it has lots more articles than it really does?Shep 16:51, 12 October 2009 (EDT)

No, the purpose is to start with a clear structure for the region and then afterwards begin to fill contents into those new articles. Is it a problem to do it that way? ClausHansen 16:56, 12 October 2009 (EDT)
Me and Claus is trying to organize the whole island into a sensible hierarchy, making sure all attractions has somewhere to go (per Talk:Southwestern_Zealand). I would have liked it if we had finished North Zealand first, but all those cities are slowly (but steadily) filling up, so I guess there is no harm done. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 17:01, 12 October 2009 (EDT)
Creating blank guides is not a bad thing. Contributors are more likely to add to a guide that already has an outline than they are to start the page themselves. For a traveller searching for a guide, these pages make it more frustrating. In this case, the articles were being created for organizational purposes, but in cases where articles are simply created and left as outlines, I don't think it's an issue unless it is done in excess. ChubbyWimbus 19:07, 12 October 2009 (EDT)
I have no problem with the "creating a structure or hierachy" approach (although I get my kicks from finding somewhere I know that no one has written about and then trying to write about it!) but it appears to be that every time we do an "x is a city in y" the number on the front page stating "So far we have 22,399 destination guides" changes. This seems dubious at best. How can " x is a city in y" be regarded as a destination guide?Shep 00:52, 13 October 2009 (EDT) Don't you think that people might not rapidly get pissed off with Wikitravel if every time they do a search all they get is "x is a city in y"?Shep 00:55, 13 October 2009 (EDT)
I do not see any problem with this at all, especially when structuring or re-structuring an article which has sub-articles/sub-regions etc. It is by far the easiest way to organise the structure. In any case and as already stated, starting an empty article is often a good way to get others to plunge forward using a proper template.--Burmesedays 00:59, 13 October 2009 (EDT)
Shep, if you'd like your browser to show you a different link color when there's a stubby "non-guide" article at the other end of the link, go to Preferences > Misc and change "Threshold for stub link formatting" to a suitable number (say, 500). Alas, the front page counter isn't smart enough for this kind of thing... Jpatokal 06:21, 13 October 2009 (EDT)
Thanks, but I am more worried about the casual user of Wikitravel. If someone goes right now to South Zealand they get a long list of links to what they must assume are helpful articles. After clicking on five or six links and finding virtually nothing they might well conclude that Wikitravel is a waste of time. The South Zealand page can provide the structure, you do not need the individual pages until you have something to say. I've been doing a bit of work on Umbria. Someone has added a few cities to the list but they don't have pages and it should be clear to the slightly more than casual reader that there is nothing there. Is this not a better way of presenting things? Shep 13:41, 13 October 2009 (EDT)
Every article has to start somewhere. I agree it might be better to leave redlinks until there is something substantial to say about a location, but I'm not about to suggest deleting even the stubbiest of stub articles either, so long as they're valid destinations. LtPowers 15:00, 13 October 2009 (EDT)

Wikitravel writing class

Some (Boston, metinks, high) school are using Wikitravel as part of their writing class, excellent idea if you ask me, and they are blogging about about the process:

Alicia, Andrew, Becca, Brianna, Courtney, John, Keith, Kelly, Lauren, Liam, Matt, Rachel, Thomas, Victoria, Zachary

I like the scientific approach where they have been asked to read though the guidelines, and attempt to follow it - a very good example of modern teaching methods. Oh, and this rant is highly amusing :o) --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 20:11, 12 October 2009 (EDT)

I saw a couple of "my major is" remarks in the about me sections, so I think this might be a college class. If it's a writing class, it looks very informal to me. AHeneen 04:41, 14 October 2009 (EDT)

what is a city?

The main page talks of Kilkenny being Ireland's smallest city. But by the Wikitravel definition anywhere is a "city" so any village with 500 people qualifies for the city template. I guess this confusion is partly the result of different usage in the US and Europe. I tend to write of towns not cities and that seems to be the usage for Kilkenny in that it is the smalled connurbation that qualifies it to be called a city in Ireland. Have you tried to resolve this confusion before? Perhaps in addition to a meta-region template we also need a " small city" template? Shep 13:07, 17 October 2009 (EDT)

City definitions in different parts of the world are certainly confusing. As you rightly say though, just about any inhabited place is a city as far as WT is concerned and that makes life easy. Do you mean a different a small city template to the one here? --Burmesedays 13:14, 17 October 2009 (EDT)
Well, the small city template you link me to seems to be the city template that is provided for any new article so I hope you can understand my confusion. For me, as an Englishman, a city is probably 100,000 plus (the original definition was a place that had a cathedral). For American readers it must be confusing to read that Kilkenny is the smallest city when they refer to any small town as a city. My concern is therefore for consistency more than anything else. For small places I think you could probably drop Get Around, merge See and Do, (See or Do) and perhaps merge Eat and Drink. Shep 13:31, 17 October 2009 (EDT)

Try comparing them side by side big vs small, there are quite a few differences; Understand Cope sections are missing, and Get in, Eat and Sleep sections are not broken into subsections. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 13:39, 17 October 2009 (EDT)

The template when you begin a new article doesn't say Small City, it says City. I was comparing the City template with the Small City template you linked me to. I believe we need a Smaller City template as well.Shep 02:03, 18 October 2009 (EDT)
I don't think there is an issue here. There is no strict policy saying you can't have an understand section for a village, or you must have a cope section in cities over 1 million. A small village with lots of attractions and accommodation may have subsections, and a large city with few visitor facilities may have none. Pick the best fit template for the city/village/town you are creating, and pick out the other bits you need. --inas 03:25, 18 October 2009 (EDT)

Where do you draw the line

While adding internal links to some dive sites, I found that a number of links which I had not expected to work, did. A bit of investigation shows that the whole Cape Peninsula appears to be excessively subdivided. The problem appears to be with what constitutes a city. Officially Cape Town is the only city on the Cape Peninsula, but there are destinations splitting it up as small as Boulders, which is a beach (attraction?) in Seaforth, a suburb of Simon's Town, which though it was historically a town with it's own municipality, has been a suburb of Cape Town for decades. Cape Town is certainly large enough and spread out enough to justify districtification, but it seems to have been broken up too much. Many of the current suburbs would be big enough to stand alone except for them being parts of the mother city. I dont have the experience, the time, or the interest to deal with this, as I am already extremely busy with my core interest of dive guides, but I can have a go at tagging articles for merging once I know how best to deal with them.

  • Atlantic Seaboard is either a district of Cape Town or a sub region of the Cape Peninsula, but either way, all the "cities" in it are suburbs of Cape Town.
  • Somerset West, Strand and Gordon's Bay are also officially part of Cape Town, as the same bureaucracy administrates them all (Cape Town City Council). Should they be considered districts of Cape Town?
  • The issue is complicated by the Table Mountain National Park, which is also on the Cape Peninsula, and can reasonably be a destination as you can sleep there. Parts of Cape Town are separated from each other by bits of park.Its a can of worms, but will have to be dealt with some time.

Cheers, Pbsouthwood 01:25, 20 October 2009 (EDT)

Hmmm, I'm at loss here, many of these towns (especially in False Bay) are quite extensive, and merging them would require a fair bit of sorting as well as deleting unattractive hotels and restaurants of little or no interest to travellers (else there would be way to many). If anything it should me merged into either a False Bay or a Cape Peninsular and False Bay guide, with the amount of content, merging it in with Cape Town is infeasible. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 11:57, 20 October 2009 (EDT)

The point I was trying to make is that Cape Town is a large city, made up of a large group of contiguous suburbs, and a scattering of disconnected suburbs. The disconnected suburbs are sometimes in small connected groups, and as the city grows, more and more of these disconnects are becoming connected. There are several possible ways of dealing with this connectivity or lack thereof, and the manual of style and definitions for regions do not provide much useful guidance.

  1. All suburbs of a city which is officially under one management are considered to be sub-article districts of the city. In this case Simon's Town, Hout Bay, Fish Hoek, Noordhoek, Scarborough, Somerset West, Gordon's Bay etc would be districts, not independant cities, as would City bowl, Waterfront, Observatory, Tamboerskloof, Bellville, Parow etc
  2. All contiguous suburbs would be considered parts of the city, grouped into convenient districts, such as Northern suburbs, Southern suburbs, Helderberg, Tygerberg etc as commonly used by the locals, and the disconnects would be separate cities.
  3. The status quo, in which there is no apparent pattern, and neighbourhoods within suburbs have their own independant articles, such as Boulders, which is a small area in Simon's Town, which is part of a group with Glencairn and Dido Valley, which is administratively part of the Southern Suburbs district of Cape Town

To complicate matters a bit, Simon's Town, as an example, would be in the False Bay region, and also in the Cape Peninsula region, while Hout Bay is in Atlantic Seaboard and Cape Peninsula, while Strand and Gordon's Bay are both in False Bay and Helderberg, and all of them are in Cape Town. Its a can of worms. Pbsouthwood 13:25, 20 October 2009 (EDT)

partnership with TripAdvisor?

I wonder whether we (or WikitravelPress? Or IB?) ever considered any kind of partnership with TripAdvisor?

The idea is straight simple: they have much more(?) experts with local knowledge, tons of (very unstruсtured) content--while Wikitravel has bullet-proof community guidelines and tons of organized content. Business reasons and politics aside, such a partnership would seem very logical.

Yes, it's a flame bait--but I'm still serious :-) --DenisYurkin 10:38, 20 October 2009 (EDT)

Would be a nice concept being able to freeload on tripadvisor, but they own the copyright to all the user contributions over there, and they would never allow those to be freely licensed. It's their bread and butter. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 10:54, 20 October 2009 (EDT)
I had a look at their "terms & conditions" text. Looks like their licensing is utterly incompatible with ours.
The content and information on this Website ... as well as the infrastructure ... is proprietary to us. You agree not to otherwise modify, copy, distribute, transmit, display, perform, reproduce, publish, license, create derivative works from, transfer, or sell or re-sell any information, software, products, or services obtained from or through this Website. Additionally, you agree not to:
  • (i) use this Website or its contents for any commercial purpose;
  • (ii) access, monitor or copy any content or information of this Website using any robot, spider, scraper or other automated means or any manual process for any purpose without our express written permission;
  • ...
  • (v) deep-link to any portion of this Website for any purpose without our express written permission; or
  • (vi) "frame", "mirror" or otherwise incorporate any part of this Website into any other website without our prior written authorization.
  • (vii) attempt to modify, translate, adapt, edit, decompile, disassemble, or reverse engineer any software programs used by TripAdvisor in connection with the Website or the services
Also, on the "about us" page "TripAdvisor® Media Network provides travel suppliers with graphical advertising opportunities and a cost-per-click marketing platform." That may be where IB is heading, but it does not match our current policies.
I cannot see that such a partnership would be either possible or desirable. Pashley

Currently they have some number of articles (attached to destination) which are awful in content and duplication. We could provide texts for that section, and simplify cross-site user authorization so that users authorized at TA could easily contribute to the articles. The rest at AT could remain as it is now (to begin with). --DenisYurkin 11:20, 20 October 2009 (EDT)

I think I've said elsewhere a few times that I wouldn't trust WT's Sleep and Eat sections, I always go to tripadvisor for accommodation, and local reviews for eat. We all know that outside of the fifedoms, most of the accommodation and restaurant entries are entered by vested interests. The WT content is usually great for attractions and logistic info. As far as cooperating with tripadvisor, they are free to take our content anytime they like. They could do it right now, if they wanted to. I doubt IB hold any bargaining chips for a partnership. If they did, I think it would be a good thing. I'm not sure what we can do to improve the situation with eat and sleep listing within the wiki framework, but we could have start by being a little tougher on vested interests. Tripadvisor at least start with a policy of not allowing business owners to write their own reviews. We do pretty much the opposite--inas 05:32, 21 October 2009 (EDT)
If we can't trust our Sleep and Eat (as you say), and if we can't resist pressure from apartment agencies and hotels in some articles, maybe it's time to revisit our "welcome business owners" policy? --DenisYurkin 13:05, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
Yes, seems to do little to assist with good contributions, rather perpetuating the attitude taken by some business owners that they have a right to place their advert on wikitravel. Much to the detriment of the site, IMO. The source of a strong consensus for that article in the first place also seems to not be apparent. --inas 14:45, 3 November 2009 (EST)
It's a very long established policy with over two years of practice holding it up. I'd still be happy to relook it, though. We didn't have the problems with business owners back then that we do today—I'd wager at least half of contributions from non-regular users are coming from business owners and their employees... And I should say that I'm not at all pessimistic about our ability to judge who's who—I can practically smell them on recentchanges. --Peter Talk 23:45, 3 November 2009 (EST)

Explore Wikitravel through Google / Bing Maps

You can explore wikitravel by clicking on a continent on the Main Page and then drilling down from there.

Wouldn't it be great if you could explore the website using Google or Bing Maps? You could put it on the Main Page. The visitor could zoom-in on a country and see all the cities and towns that have articles and then click on an article of interest.

I guess this would be a big job, as you'd obviously have to associate the geo-coordinates to each article... unless there's an easier way? Aidan 01:26, 21 October 2009 (EDT)

Nice idea. Google Maps offers Wikipedia articles embedded; many of our articles would have a corresponding Wikipedia article (though different in content) - perhaps the coordinates for many could be sourced there? Andyfarrell 10:19, 21 October 2009 (EDT)

English Wikitravel and Simple English Wikitravel There is the discussion and also i proposed a simple english wikitravel because en wikitravel right now is only for people who are experts at knowing about listings. Simple would be for anyone who doesnt understand that well if the wording was more simpilar then it would work out nicely i know this will probably get shot down but i'am really pushing for this... Seabanks 10:29, 23 October 2009 (EDT)

Support and Comments Seabanks 10:38, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
Hmmm. With the amount of work left to do on the full en Wikitravel, I think you are going to find support for a Simple version very hard to come by. --Burmesedays 10:55, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
Alot more work to do can be done by experienced users just saying a simple wikitravel could help young people seniors disabled people etc. Seabanks 11:00, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
To me, a "simple English" WT would need to use simple English, and be aimed mainly at younger readers and people for whom English is a second language. That would be a fine idea, if we had the volunteers to do it. I doubt we do, but you could try starting one. In local terms, it would be a "language expedition" to start a new language version. See Wikitravel:Expeditions.
I do not think "simple English" has anything to do with listings. Yes, those can be complicated. However, you don't have to use them. Just putting in the information and leaving it for someone else to standardise the format is perfectly acceptable if that's what you want to do. Pashley 11:30, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
I think that's a fairly good idea; such a project could definitely come in useful if implemented correctly. However, in my experience on other similar projects, "Simple" isn't really an accurate term. What about "Basic English"? –Juliancolton |  Talk 12:00, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
Personally, I always aim at simplifying any text I see (and care of) here at English Wikitravel--and find easier and widely-used synonyms for the words I find myself difficult to understand. And I've never seen any opposition or reverts for my such efforts. Maybe when I admit right now I'm doing that I find some opposition? Then please speak, anyone? --DenisYurkin 12:17, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
Writing clear, simple, concise English is I am sure welcomed by everyone here Denis. That is a different thing to a so-called Simple Wiki version though. As Julian Colton says, perhaps Basic English is a better term for what is normally imagined by this. I like Pashley's idea of treating it as a language expedition --Burmesedays 12:24, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
So what's fundamental difference, in a nutshell? --DenisYurkin 12:25, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
A simple English Wiki is I believe (I might be wrong) aimed at readers for whom English is a 2nd language or who are learning English. Writing in clear, concise English it a bit different and should be everyone's aim here.--Burmesedays 13:16, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
Basic difference is that writers are expected to limit their use of English to make it easier for readers.
Consider this example from Wikitravel:Tone: North Korea's human rights situation can and should be summed up as an "Orwellian nightmare", as opposed to noting that "some organizations have expressed concern about less than full compliance to international human rights standards, a charge vigorously denied by the Foreign Ministry." That is fine for English WT, but "Orwellian" does not work as simple English. Neither a ten-year-old nor a foreign student learning English can be expected to get the reference. For a Simple English version, you would need something like. "The North Korean government has very tight controls on almost everything, and any criticism of the government is treated as a crime."
You can tell stories in English with a limited vocabulary, 2,000 words or so. Several publishers have books like that for English learners. Presumably one goal of SE WP is to write an encyclopedia using some such limited vocabulary, and defining all the other words used. Writing a travel guide that way is obviously possible too.
It is not just vocabulary, though. Keeping most sentences short and using simpler syntax are also issues. Pashley 13:08, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
Yes. And just because it's simple English, doesn't mean it's easy to write that way. I've tried writing a couple of Simple English Wikipedia articles and it's fairly taxing work. While a Simple English Wikitravel might be a noble goal, I would not support taking editing time and effort away from the English Wikitravel while there is still so much work to do and so few volunteers. LtPowers 13:30, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
I'm really not a fan of the concept, it has been suggested before. In my view we're simply not large enough to split the English effort in two, we are so much smaller than Wikipedia. That being said, if you can gather a team of committed users (our rule says at least 3, but I prefer a bit more), I would have a hard time saying no. For the moment we have our hands full setting up a Korean and Turkish version though. more here. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 13:53, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
I agree with Stefan. In my opinion, if English is a second language, then it would be more worthwhile to contribute to the Wikitravel language version that is written in your first language OR start an expedition to get a Wikitravel version of your native language (if it does not exist). Having a guide in a language you are fluent in is better than having a guide in a language you are limited in. I don't see the point in creating travel guides to help people with their English. Simple English doesn't seem useful to me; a small step above Esperanto. But, as he states, if enough support were rallied behind such a version, I couldn't really oppose. ChubbyWimbus 14:25, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
Maybe I'm in minority here, but I believe that with current number of active contributors in English Wikitravel we'd better encourage every non-native speaker to contribute to English version as long as he's comfortable with writing to it. I don't mind that new language versions are created, but if all their contributors could write to EN:, I'd dream they do. Exactly for the same reason I almost never contribute to RU: (my native language): it will take dozen years for articles outside world's 10 most visited cities to become usable.
Even for LP I find its language needing more simplicity (or basicness? :-).
With all that in hand--yes, I would vote that our current EN: use more of "has very tight controls on almost everything, and any criticism of the government is treated as a crime"--than Orwellians. And I feel it a right thing to turn every Orwellian into its meaning, in simple words.
And if I'm not alone in this position, I vote for focusing efforts of those willing to create Simple:EN to help to existing EN instead--and for us frequent contributors at EN: to help them feel comfortable here. --DenisYurkin 16:25, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
The "Orwellian" thing is listed as an example of "lively writing", although I agree that even many native English speakers will not know what an "Orwellian nightmare" is. I want to clarify that I was not suggesting non-native speakers should not contribute to the English version. I am simply saying that if their English is bad to such a degree that they can't understand what is written, then they should consider contributing to their own language versions. I have no problem with non-natives contributing, even if there are some mistakes in grammar. If they struggle too much, though, their efforts may be better focused on building up their own language version articles. ChubbyWimbus 16:54, 23 October 2009 (EDT)

Simple English is treated as a language version on all other wikis, and I don't see why we should do otherwise. How to start a new language version is covered under our wts:Language version policy. --Peter Talk 17:15, 23 October 2009 (EDT)

I suspect that "all other Wikis" are simply following suit of Wikipedia, and for Wikipedia I can see the sense in a Simple English version; it's an educational tool and a Simple version will help a lot of people improve their English. For the traveller, I'm not sure there is the same goal. I'm more convinced by the arguments for the usefulness of either full-blown English or own-language versions of guides. Particularly when there is so much scope for work to be done on guides in the En version. As has been said, people are free to set up such a project, but I don't support the idea as I think it'll just create an empty guide which won't serve the traveller well for a long time. Andyfarrell 18:56, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
Ok many of you seem like this is not a good idea but i will try and round some people up. Who here supports this idea and who opposes it?
  • Support Seabanks 19:12, 23 October 2009 (EDT)
  • Oppose. --DenisYurkin 19:19, 23 October 2009 (EDT)

This doesn't seem like an entirely serious proposal to me - Pashley already provided a link to Wikitravel:Expeditions which links to shared:How to start a new language version. That policy spells out what needs to be done, so if the user who proposed this idea is serious, follow the procedures in that guideline. Any other discussion is merely a diversion. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:49, 23 October 2009 (EDT)

But the Expedition page spells it out in plain English. You may need to rewrite it in "Simple English" first.
Seabanks: May I ask what your native language is? If the English version of Wikitravel is confusing for you, wouldn't it be helpful for you to plan a trip with a guide in your native language? The English version is not any more useful than the Chinese version, for example, except that it currently has a lot more articles and more content. No language version is more important than another. ChubbyWimbus 00:19, 24 October 2009 (EDT)

I'm not sure exactly what I'm being asked to support here.

If it is trying to write relatively simple clear English — being aware that some readers are second language speakers, that local slang does not work well with an international audience, and so on — well, we already try to do that and I'd say we generally do it fairly well. Of course, there are places where it could stand improvement. By all means, please plunge forward and fix some.
If it is trying to start a simplified English language version, that's a possible expedition. See links above for how to start one. I'm convinced this would be a fine idea, in theory. However, I'm not certain either that there would be enough people interested, or that putting resources there rather than into normal English WT is worthwhile. If you start the expedition, I'll certainly watchlist it and I may have some comments, but I'd need some convincing before I put any significant work into it.
If it just means you think listings, or other parts of the WT interface, are too complicated, see my comment above ".. you don't have to use them. Just putting in the information and leaving it for someone else to standardise the format is perfectly acceptable if that's what you want to do." Note that starting a "simple English" version would not solve this problem. If you want to make changes there, see Wikitravel:Listings and its talk page.

So, all-in-all, I see nothing here that I could support yet. Pashley 04:00, 24 October 2009 (EDT)

It seems to me that it would be a site written using the 850 words of Charles Kay Ogden's Basic English. –Juliancolton |  Talk 10:37, 24 October 2009 (EDT)

Page caching and breadcrumbs

When someone removes the breadcrumb template from a page, and then the page caching doesn't work properly following a revert, then the breadcrumb trail will not display, and even cause the trail to break on pages below it in the hierarchy. I figured I'd note this here in case anyone else saw the problem and was confused. --Peter Talk 14:16, 26 October 2009 (EDT)

Star nominations

Some comments, objections, support, praise to our current Star nominations are long overdue, slackers! --Stefan (sertmann) talk 08:11, 2 November 2009 (EST)

Pinnacle has been nominated since 13 October, there is no outstanding objections - lot's of comments, but few people involved - I'd say last call on this one, but it would be nice with involvement of some more people since we are breaking new ground here. Would be nice to get this right from the start. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 20:16, 28 November 2009 (EST)

The Copenhagen lead article has been nominated for star by moi, comments, praise, critique please. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 20:16, 28 November 2009 (EST)

Particularly with the Pinnacle nomination, it is a bit disappointing that so few users have commented. Indeed, only the same small handful of users have really commented on any of the current nominations. --Burmesedays 00:09, 29 November 2009 (EST)
I agree, and thank those who have commented for their time. Why do you think so few have commented? Peter (Southwood) Talk 01:02, 29 November 2009 (EST)
Well there are only a handful who have commented on any of the current nominations. I suspect it is a combination of that general situation and users thinking they cannot comment on a diving article unless they dive. The latter is mistaken I believe as anyone can have a view on the presentation and quality of an article whether they understand the subject matter or not. --Burmesedays 01:11, 29 November 2009 (EST)

Session management -- venting

Re: shared:Tech:Users_who_log_in_don't_stay_logged_in#Happening_again.2C_in_a_big_way, I've been logged out four freaking times in the past ten minutes. Are other people having this problem? It happens to me regardless of what pc I use, and regardless of which internet service. --Peter Talk 17:24, 3 November 2009 (EST)

Yes, me too. And not only :en but also :shared. --Burmesedays 20:19, 3 November 2009 (EST)
Haven't had it happen to me in months, but I'll keep an eye out for it. LtPowers 22:15, 3 November 2009 (EST)
I have the same problem all the time. Rastapopulous 16:31, 4 November 2009 (EST)

iTravelFree - a free Wikitravel-gateway iPhone app

I'm happy to report that my pet-project Wikitravel-gateway iPhone app, iTravelFree, has passed the stern inspection of Apple's App Store and is now available for download worldwide. It lets you easily browse all Wikitravel content from your phone (or iPod Touch), and displays listings on a map, too.

For app links, a screenshot-laden tutorial, and help and FAQ files, see here: As per the name, it is absolutely free. (There is a paid version, but it is functionally identical; I'm hoping that the guiltware model will offset some of my server and development costs.)

It's still sort of in beta test - the app itself seems pretty robust, but the server it connects to (a Google App Engine service that fetches, caches, and parses Wikitravel for the app, converts addresses to lat/long coordinates, etc.) could do more in terms of cleaning up the data. So please be gentle with it. :)

Let me know if you have any problems with it, and I welcome any advice/comments - here, on my talk page, or by email at

Enjoy! Rezendi 13:05, 4 November 2009 (EST)

Angolan citizenship

Guys does anybody know how to get angolan or actually now that I think of it ethiopian citizenship I am desperate for a new life and when I arrive I plan to get involved in government. I don't care about the downsides don't try to dissuade me I have been studying countires for seven years so I know what you will say. Just tell me can a seventeen year old get any of these and how long does it take are there short cuts I would like to do a tour in the military but please help and I hold american citizenship I hate it here I long to leave and Africa I have comne to love. I wish to join the govermen tI will to anything to prove my ardent patriotism for both countries. Please help god dammit anybody help I want to defect and can't wait any longer I wanted to wait till I am older but my hate for this country is too great help help help my depression cannot be ended until I leave when I go to toher countires I become happy then I come back and I feel like shit I don't care about freedom both angola and ethiopia are reasonably free I don't care just help. I don't care what I have to do even die in battle but I want to live the angolan dream the ethiopian dream and to help my new home become even more powerful and rich then they already are help please this sounds I know wierd but I have exahusted all hope one more time please just help. —The preceding comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

I wonder if they have the concept of the Angolan Dream? Or patriotism in those terms. This rant sounds to have a very Americocentric slant on it. :-) Funny choice of countries too - what's wrong with the Namibian Dream, eh?! Andyfarrell 17:29, 4 November 2009 (EST)

I just asked for help no there is no concept of the dream there but I feel it personally and I like Namibia but I don't want to live in the second least densly populated nation on earth So can someone still help me and not make fun of what I said —The preceding comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

This area is for discussion about the running of the wikitravel wiki. It isn't really a forum to ask travel related questions, or to plan your new life. Hope the lifestyle comes together. --inas 20:49, 4 November 2009 (EST)

Waiting Period

I just proposed a districtification of an article. What is the typical waiting period for districtification?Rastapopulous 16:32, 4 November 2009 (EST)

What article? You should get at least a couple of other Wikitravellers who agree with the split (and no loud opposition) before you go ahead. Jpatokal 21:26, 4 November 2009 (EST)
Brooklyn. There had been talk for a while but no one had a big overall proposal, so I drew one up in talk: Brooklyn.Rastapopulous 21:50, 4 November 2009 (EST)
Districting can potentially be a slow process, especially if a) no one has yet joined the discussion and b) if no mapmaker is interested. Fortunately, you will have both once I finish my response ;) --Peter Talk 00:58, 5 November 2009 (EST)

Docent Stuff

It seems to me that actually figuring out who is the docent for an article is rather difficult and nonintuitive. Am I misssing something? Rastapopulous 10:14, 5 November 2009 (EST)

Never had anyone ask me anything about Copenhagen, but it's useful for wikitravel work sometimes. In case you missed it, you're listed right under the search bar as the destination docent, though I agree it's probably hard to notice, unless you know what to look for. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 10:31, 5 November 2009 (EST)
If my memory is right, this is the last discussion on the problem: Wikitravel talk:Docents#In-article docent identifier (ignore that the section name is from a different story). In a nutshell, we considered several ideas on how to overcome that, but neither gained a consensus. Maybe you could help us to move on. --DenisYurkin 15:57, 5 November 2009 (EST)
I liked the idea of a template, although the one shown was a bit too "loud." I personally think a small note in a little template at the bottom might be the best. Rastapopulous 16:28, 5 November 2009 (EST)
I wonder if a larger template at the top of the talk page might not work better. Sometimes people ask questions about the destination on the talk page; maybe if there was a clear "This destination has a docent" box at the top of the talk page, it might direct those people in that direction. And if it's on the talk page, it isn't cluttering up our travel guides. LtPowers 19:43, 5 November 2009 (EST)
Sounds great--except the hypothesis that those "one-click" visitors mentioned elsewhere don't normally visit Talk page at all. --DenisYurkin 14:58, 6 November 2009 (EST)
Yeah, that's the problem. I know some people click on the talk page to ask questions, but I don't know percentages. LtPowers 22:31, 6 November 2009 (EST)
Is there any way to measure these statistics? Rastapopulous 23:02, 6 November 2009 (EST)

Category vs Tag

What is the difference between a Category and a Tag. I have been trying to work this out and the more I read the more confusing it gets. I have just looked at the edit page for Template:Tag and find:

<rdf> <> dc:subject "{{{1}}}" . </rdf> <includeonly> [[Category:{{{1}}}]] </includeonly>

Does this mean that a Tag is a Category or what?.

Policy on Wikitravel:Categories indicates that categories are to be avoided, and the Talk page suggests controversy. No apparent consensus emerges.

Wikitravel:Tags gives the impression that Tags are OK and we can use them freely. The Talk page provides little useful information.

One of the reasons I ask is that Export pages offers a feature where it appears that you can quickly select a whole category or start by selecting a whole category and delete unwanted articles, which could be useful if there were useful categories available to select. Article status does not seem to be useful in this context.

This all comes from trying to work out how to get all the sub-articles of a given article together in case you want to print them out.

If anyone knows the answer to that problem, please let me know.

Peter (Southwood) Talk 04:56, 7 November 2009 (EST)

I've never heard of tags before. It looks like an old feature that Evan liked but never got off the ground. You can see it's not widely used, and in fact at this point I'd call it deprecated. My impression is that Evan and the other early editors had a lot of great ideas about how to organize content, but they required stuff that normal MediaWiki couldn't do. Things like docents and breadcrumbs were implemented using RDF, which is a great idea in theory (machine-readable content) but has caused numerous problems in the places where it interfaces with MediaWiki. Personally, I'd like to see us find a more built-in MediaWiki way to add stuff to the sidebars and breadcrumbs; we can keep RDF but I don't think we should be basing what the user sees on that RDF code. LtPowers 11:56, 7 November 2009 (EST)
And just as a side note, do we know of anyone actually using the RDF we have on the site? LtPowers 11:56, 7 November 2009 (EST)
As you say, the main use of RDF is the breadcrumb navigation trail (Foo : Bar : Baz City), which uses RDF internally to figure out the paths. I'm not aware of anybody using RDF outside the site, but then, IB doesn't seem to have any interest in making WT easier to reuse. Jpatokal 10:47, 8 November 2009 (EST)

East Anglia

Please see Talk:East Anglia. Can someone address the misclassifications in East Anglia? Thanks. Shep 11:11, 7 November 2009 (EST)

Regarding use of a crawler to download content

I am working on a project in the field of data mining and machine learning in the travel domain, for which we require high-quality content to conduct some experiments. It would be great if we could have access to the data dumps. Alternatively, would it be fine if we crawl through a section of this website ? 08:52, 9 November 2009 (EST)

See Wikitravel:Terms of use#Spiders --inas 16:51, 9 November 2009 (EST)
If you want data dumps then use Special:Export. —The preceding comment was added by (talk • contribs)

Linking Google map and Who can rock to edit

Let say I am creating a destination on Wikitravel, and I would like to show the place on Google map which give tourists a clear sense about where the place is. So as many of you know, if you search a place on Google map, you can see not only the location of place, but also a link which is added to any website. I do not think we need to have permission to use this link. So my question is simple, linking Google map to Wikitravel (e.g., see more detail direction ".....") is not allowed?

Another question is that one day a guy made page that I am creating rocked. So I could not edit anymore. Who can do this? Does the guy has a kind of authority given from Wikitravel? —The preceding comment was added by (talk • contribs)

No, linking map services is not considered acceptable, amongst other reasons because it's a secondary source and cannot be used in a printed article.
Edit warring is considered especially bad form and may result in temporary article protection. - Dguillaime 18:13, 9 November 2009 (EST)
If the anonymous user's comments are regarding Monticello (Illinois), please read Talk:Monticello (Illinois) and User talk:Ariel Lickton. The article was locked in an attempt to get the attention of the user making the edits - I put links to the relevant guidelines in the edit comment [6] and those changes were later undone. Since the "undo" link is immediately next to the edit comment it seemed unlikely that the comments could have been missed, so temporary protection seemed warranted. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:30, 9 November 2009 (EST)

Site maintenance

Site will be down roughly 6AM–10AM GMT on Wednesday. I'd usually add this to MediaWiki:Sitenotice, but I don't want to interfere with the current message. --Peter Talk 07:44, 10 November 2009 (EST)

I'd say it's important enough to put up there. We could either put them on separate lines or just replace the upgrade notice for the few hours there are remaining. LtPowers 10:27, 10 November 2009 (EST)
Done. --Peter Talk 10:40, 10 November 2009 (EST)
Is it done? I didn't notice any interruption of service! --Rein N. 06:01, 11 November 2009 (EST)
Seems that way. Then again, we can't really be sure that our ever reliable site host did anything, or decided to do this later. --Peter Talk 08:41, 11 November 2009 (EST)

Missing map templates

I tried to download the map templates (svg) Image:Wikitravel-map-template-PD.svg but got the message "Data not available". Is it something I am doing wrong? Peter (Southwood) Talk 11:46, 10 November 2009 (EST)

Don't know but I would not use that one anyway. I spent quite a lot of time a month or so back getting myself up to speed on Wikitravel maps and I am afraid that a lot of the resource in the Wikitravel Map Expedition article is out of date (although it is still helpful). I fully intend to get around to updating that article soon. I have to go right now but I suggest you read the correspondence between myself and the ever helpful Peter in my talk page section here (and other useful map making snippets on the same page). There are some current templates linked in that discussion I think. Sorry not be more helpful at this stage but I must go to bed! --Burmesedays 12:04, 10 November 2009 (EST)
Still can't get any svg to download. I think I am missing an important step. I click on any link that ends in .svg and I get the same message "Data not available". Either there are no svg versions, or I am doing something wrong, but there don't appear to be instructions to do anything else. Peter (Southwood) Talk 14:14, 10 November 2009 (EST)
I do not have any problems with accessing or downloading those svg files. I suspect it can only be a local problem at your end. Have you tried just copy and pasting the url instead? Eg [7] --Burmesedays 20:34, 10 November 2009 (EST)
Make sure you are saving the link below the "SVG image," rather than the "thumbnail" itself. I do that all the time... --Peter Talk 23:11, 10 November 2009 (EST)


Is there any way to write them on Wikitravel? Rastapopulous 19:12, 10 November 2009 (EST)

Type them in using whatever method your operating system has available, or use the HTML codes as an alternative. There's no special tool on WT, it simply accepts whatever text goes into the box. - Dguillaime 20:06, 10 November 2009 (EST)


Are very wide panorama-type pictures allowed to illustrate a destination? (example: [8] Rastapopulous 19:27, 10 November 2009 (EST)

I don't see why not. Use <br clear="all"/> to make it appear underneath (rather than next to) the text, and use |center instead of |thumb or |left or |right. You can see an example of this on Southern Tier. LtPowers 22:09, 10 November 2009 (EST)
How do I add a caption then? If I try to do it now, the picture reverts to full size, which is too big. Rastapopulous 11:08, 11 November 2009 (EST)
I've added a caption to it without it reverting to full size. Seems to have worked. Andyfarrell 11:28, 11 November 2009 (EST)
Yes. I think the problem was caused by the fact that I didn't add |thumb. The Wikitravel:How to add an image article, while fairly clear on how to use individual elements, is not very helpful for combining elements. Rastapopulous 11:35, 11 November 2009 (EST)
Sorry, I should have specified that. LtPowers 13:11, 11 November 2009 (EST)


According to the How to make a Map article (using opensource maps), to make a map that has the attractions pointed out on it, you need to have all attractions in the new listing format. What I'm curious about is: will the software simply not work if there are any attractions not in that format or will it simply skip them? Rastapopulous 20:10, 11 November 2009 (EST)

It would make it much easier to answer your questions if you linked to the article you are referring to. Do you mean this article about using OpenStreetMap (not "opensource") data? --Burmesedays 20:33, 11 November 2009 (EST)
Yes, that one. Rastapopulous 22:44, 11 November 2009 (EST)


We are now running a beta mobile version of You can check it out at This is a read only version and is based on Wikipedia’s mobile site . It’s only viewable from non-wap mobile devices, IPhones and Blackberries that contain Opera browsers. Users can sill opt to use the standard web version if they prefer to do so.

We’d love to hear your feedback and you can do so by posting here.

--Ibsteph 5:08 pm, 12 November 2009 (EDT)

Early outage..

Have IB bought forward their outage several hours. The system has been hardly usable today.. --inas 22:05, 11 November 2009 (EST)

The outage was supposed to be yesterday but was not noticeable. Today is not good though, I agree. --Burmesedays 22:22, 11 November 2009 (EST)
Seems back to normal now, but almost unusable for a few hours there. --inas 00:46, 12 November 2009 (EST)
Completely dead for 3 hours for me, just back. I suspect they were a day late with the server maintenance.--Burmesedays 05:35, 12 November 2009 (EST)
After the maintenance, my browser often waits server's response for a long time, and then it gives me an error message "server connection was reset". Terribly unstable for me. What's wrong with the servers? -- Tatata7 11:07, 12 November 2009 (EST)
I'm still getting frequent slowness. LtPowers 14:32, 12 November 2009 (EST)
I had escaped this problem until now—very slow. --Peter Talk 12:27, 13 November 2009 (EST)
I was completely unable to access from about 12 - 4 PM EST today. Rastapopulous 16:00, 13 November 2009 (EST)
Hi guys, we are aware of the problem. We're working 24/7 to get it resolved. I will keep you posted on updates Ibsteph 5:20 pm, 13 November 2009
Hi Ibsteph, Thank you for the clarification. It would be nice if someone could post a notification that a problem is being worked on rather than leaving us to struggle pointlessly for days. I have wasted several hours over the last 3 days trying to make edits, Multiply that by the number of contributors and it is thousands of lost hours and possibly more importantly, lost goodwill/credibility due to the frustration. Cheers, -- Peter (Southwood) Talk 00:39, 14 November 2009 (EST)
Wikitravel has experienced intermittent website outages caused by a cyber attack. Our troubleshooting team has resolved the issue, and the site should now be functioning normally. We appreciate your patience and understanding, and apologize for the inconvenience caused by this attack.Ibsteph 11:20 am 14 November, 2009 ( EST)
I'm still having issues, especially with Special pages like Recent Changes. Oddly I can sometimes get though by switching to my obscure Epiphany browser, but right as i type this my Firefox browser has been trying to load the Travellers pub for 5 minuttes. :o/ --Stefan (sertmann) talk 14:37, 14 November 2009 (EST)
Are there any further details about the "cyber attack"? It's possible that this could simply be someone's script misbehaving - there was a recent user request about setting up a spider to retrieve data (above), I've had a script running for the past two weeks to spider the site, and I'm sure other individuals are probably also trying to retrieve site content. All scripts should be abiding by Wikitravel:Terms of use#Spiders and thus not cause site issues, but if you could provide any additional details the Wikitravel community might be able to help identify the source of this "cyber attack". -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:52, 14 November 2009 (EST)
No, this isn't a script misbehaving, a spider, or anything like that. This was an attack and an investigation is in progress. --IB-Dick
You still have problems. I have been unable to access the site via with my normal IP address (Indonesian) for the past 19 hours. However, I am now here using a public proxy called from that IP address. A routing problem still I guess? Or have you blocked some IP/region addresses after the attack? Being in Indonesia, I have been blanket blacklisted before in that fashion. --Burmesedays 05:03, 15 November 2009 (EST)
No worries, Same here in Denmark, so you are not being discriminated - would be an atrocity to, considering our target audience. It all seems to be a completely unrelated DDoS attack on Internet Brands from a horde of angry vBullitin users over new licensing terms for the popular software IB also owns. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 05:15, 15 November 2009 (EST)
Thanks Stefan for the re-assurance and explanation. It's a pain using a proxy due to login handling but just have to continue doing so until things are back to normal. --Burmesedays 05:55, 15 November 2009 (EST)
Steph, Dick whoever, this is a total pain. At 16.40 GMT on Nov 15th I can still only access WT via a non-Asian resolving proxy server (same goes or your whole IB stable of sites). That makes session management a nightmare, uploading impossible and editing hard. Do you have routing problems as well after the DOS attack? Signed, me, burmesedays (proxy chucks me out when I try to login).
There are still a few locations that can't access the site. We are aware of it and we know why it's happening. We are working on addressing the issue and should have it fully resolved in a matter of hours. Once again, we are sorry for the inconvenience. Dick

Down for the last few hours, and now every second page load is failing. I'll come back tomorrow. --inas 17:04, 15 November 2009 (EST)

Intermittent problems today with regular DNS errors. But a huge improvement on yesterday. --Burmesedays 02:50, 16 November 2009 (EST)
We are continuing to work on stability, but please keep reporting any ongoing issues here. Ibsteph 9:41, 16 November 2009 (PST)
Still problems with access this morning. --inas 16:53, 16 November 2009 (EST)
Had another outage just 2 minutes ago, while saving some work - and now while saving this - keeps redirecting to "http://localhost/install.php" - GAHR! --Stefan (sertmann) talk 17:13, 16 November 2009 (EST)
and again at 12:33 CET...(stefan)
same problem as Stefan. DNS failure and redirecting to localhost/install.php. Right now I here using a US proxy as that is the only way I can access the site. --Burmesedays 20:26, 16 November 2009 (EST)

When I try to access the main page, it automatically directs me to the Korean version. Yesterday it loaded the main page from back when Shimla was a DotM. 17:02, 16 November 2009 (EST)

I think that is an annoying, but unrelated issue. As for the old main page I think that's a catching/proxy issue though, try hitting F5 an extra time. It's a bug we've had for ages. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 17:15, 16 November 2009 (EST)

Hmmmm. After noticeable improvement yesterday, the situation is worse again today for me. It is surprising that 3/4 days after the event, major issues remain and if anything, accessing the site is more difficult than it was 36 hours ago. --Burmesedays 21:45, 16 November 2009 (EST)

Getting alternate connection reset, and redirect to localhost. site still effectively unusable. --inas 22:54, 16 November 2009 (EST)
This (if it works) will be the first time I have been able to edit this page since about Thursday. Mostly I cant even read the latest version. -- Peter (Southwood) Talk 00:43, 17 November 2009 (EST)
Any update on the situation would be appreciated IB. Stoney silence on this matter on your corporate site I see. I think we have all been patient and understanding (crap happens) but I am now struggling as to why the situation for is still so bad (and at times, getting worse), four/five days after the DoS attack on your server. --Burmesedays 10:28, 17 November 2009 (EST)
Everything seems to be working fine on our end. I have reported this thread to tech and will get back to you shortly. It would also be helpful if you could post in which part of the world you live as we have seen some issues coming from the Australia / Asia side. Please know that our tech is working hard and 24/7 to resolve all ' aftermath effects' of this attack. Your continued patience in the matter is much appreciated. Ibsteph 10:09 AM, 17 November ( PST)
I've also had huge accesiblity issues from Copenhagen, Denmark, WT have been unaviable for the majority of the day. Curiously i'm getting a wide range of different errors today, which is a change from yesterday. From simple "timouts" and "no response from server" over "SQL - too many connections, wikidb" errors and finaly the frequent "redirects to http://localhost/install.php". To make things even more bizare I can right now access WT with my obscure Ephiphany browser, while Firefox won't load at all - since we have elections here, I've been on a lot of other sites with my Firefox browser without the slightest hickups. I also tried from a IE machine at my local university which couldn't access either. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 13:29, 17 November 2009 (EST)
That message btw, took 6 attempts to go through, and which used to suffer from issues too, is working fast and fine today. gahr! --Stefan (sertmann) talk 13:36, 17 November 2009 (EST)
I'm frequently getting redirects to localhost as well, and I'm not even overseas. I'm in upstate New York. LtPowers 13:55, 17 November 2009 (EST)
Thanks guys. Tech is aware and is looking at it right now. Ibsteph 11:18 AM, 17 November, 2009 ( PST)
I am having great trouble getting this message uploaded from South Africa. Peter (Southwood) Talk 14:39, 17 November 2009 (EST)
Difficulties here in the UK. Andyfarrell 18:25, 17 November 2009 (EST)

Out again this morning. Same issues. Redirect to localhost. After several days of issues following the scheduled outage, is there any more info than, it is being looked at?

We understand your frustrations. We DID have a routing problem that has been resolved but we are still seeing latency and the tech team is actively looking at the site trying to mitigate the problem. I will check in with you again in 24 hours. We are sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate your continued patience while we try to resolve the matterIbsteph 5:20 pm , 17 November, 2009 ( PST)
Still the same issues. If this edit uploads, it will be after 7 attempts to login to the site, all of which timed out. And the issue is clearly not regional (which would be slightly understandable if you have had a routing problem with Asia/Australia as you say). This discussion reports the same (or similar) difficulties from Denmark, UK, Australia, South Africa, Indonesia and New York State.--Burmesedays 20:51, 17 November 2009 (EST)
Have had problems both in New York City and right now on Long Island Rastapopulous 20:56, 17 November 2009 (EST)
For the most part, performance should be returned to normal. We still haven't found the source of the localhost/install.php problem, but that's because we can no longer replicate the issue. If anyone is still experiencing it, please let us know. Email delivery of system messages is currently being delayed by 4+ hours due to a massive queue that has built up. We expect this to be resolved within the next 12 hours. Dick 19:05 17 November 2009 (PST)
Absolutely nowhere near returned to normal as would seem clear from recent posts in this discussion. Whilst trying to reply to your edit, I have had two errors. First, a re-direct to localhost/install.php and then "The webpage cannot be found. DNS error occurred. Server cannot be found. The link may be broken." --Burmesedays 22:39, 17 November 2009 (EST)
Likewise, I just had two consecutive edits finish 23 minutes apart, since the second was trapped by redirects and then a non-responsive website. The redirect is nothing particularly complicated - just a HTTP 302 response, easily reproducible during those periods. - Dguillaime 22:50, 17 November 2009 (EST)
Failing repeatedly again for me today, from China. I've been getting the localhost redirect of-and-on for days now. Pashley 22:54, 17 November 2009 (EST)
I'm still getting it quite a bit today too. Texugo 23:57, 17 November 2009 (EST)
I'm still getting errors even now. Rastapopulous 01:05, 18 November 2009 (EST)
Had 404 Error this morning and couldn't assess WT. Now it's first time it actually works but do edits is close to impossible from Switzerland. jan 05:48, 18 November 2009 (EST)
Situation worse than it was 48 hours ago. Editing is near impossible and even a simple page load, no better than 50:50 chance. Constant time outs and redirects to localhost/install.php. Even when trying via a US proxy server, requests are timing out as the IB server response is too slow. Are other IB sites still as crippled as Wikitravel? --Burmesedays 06:21, 18 November 2009 (EST)
No, I've been testing some of the major ones like,,, and when I got errors on Wikitravel, and they are all working normally. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 06:33, 18 November 2009 (EST)
I figured as much. Even more reason why a proper explanation is in order. I have kind of had enough of platitudes along the lines of "things are back to normal" when they patently are not. --Burmesedays 06:41, 18 November 2009 (EST)
In Chiba, Japan, I still have the localhost/install.php problem. I cannot do daily patrol on Japanese version, since page reload and links in left navi rarely work because of the problem. Also it's hard to edit here because of the same error. -- Tatata7 09:32, 18 November 2009 (EST)

No improvement from my side either, still having massive problems today. How about you try and follow up on that mail between myself and Brent and do a much needed upgrade of our Mediawiki platform (latest stable version is up to 1.15.1 now), if we're going to have downtime anyway - might as well have it now, and who knows if you are in the blank on solving this, isn't this as good an attempt on a solution as any? --Stefan (sertmann) talk 05:57, 18 November 2009 (EST)

Wow, I can get to the edit screen! It's been four days since I've been able to get any edits through—not even to report that I have been experiencing the exact same issues as all the people above, except worse (apparently). I'm not sure how many attempts this edit will require, though... The idea that things have been "back to normal" except for "latency issues" is just insulting to one's intelligence. --Peter Talk 09:57, 18 November 2009 (EST)

We're looking at it right now. What I thought fixed it, didn't fix it. Dick

Things seem much better for me right now. I did want to mention something that I noticed when I was having problems. The problem seemed much more likely to occur if I opened a link in a new tab than if I opened it in the same window. I don't know if that's worth anything, but there you go. LtPowers 14:50, 18 November 2009 (EST)
We found a routing conflict, but I won't want to sound the all clear without being more confident. Once again, I can't get the localhost/install.php redirect, but that doesn't mean it's not happening. If anyone sees that, please reply so we know we need to continue to troubleshoot. I'll be clicking around trying to get it. Dick
Bizzarrely enough, now I can't seem to see the changes to this page w/o editing it or checking the changes--even reloading doesn't do anything. Not sure if that's a related problem or not. Rastapopulous 15:27, 18 November 2009 (EST)
That's a cache server issue which is long-standing (but more apparent than ever in the past week). Easiest way to deal with it is to edit the page and hit the purge cache link at the bottom. --Burmesedays 19:42, 18 November 2009 (EST)
I'm able to use the site again (hooray!), and I'm not getting any more error messages. It is slower than before the attack, though. --Peter Talk 20:40, 18 November 2009 (EST)
Same here--Slower, but once again, I can edit with ease!! Rastapopulous 20:45, 18 November 2009 (EST)
Huge improvement today. First time since the atack that I have been able to use the site properly for a period of more than 10 minutes. --Burmesedays 23:20, 18 November 2009 (EST)
No slower than normal today. Have been able to make edits without interruption. Cheers, -- Peter (Southwood) Talk 03:46, 19 November 2009 (EST)
Today, I feel comfortable in editing ja, shared and here. Thank you tech team! -- Tatata7 06:05, 19 November 2009 (EST)
Things seem unusually slow today, but I'm not sure if that's on my end or Wikitravel's. Rastapopulous 12:40, 19 November 2009 (EST)

Do not upload

Do we really need a toolbox link in the lefthand column to a page that just says "do not upload from here"? You really only need to see that gigantic warning once, and we already have a link in the navigation box to shared that says "upload". Texugo 07:33, 16 November 2009 (EST)

AFAIK it's been removed from everywhere it was possible to remove it without IB involvement, was a brute hack Tatata and Peter did a while ago. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 08:12, 16 November 2009 (EST)
If Texugo is seeing it somewhere, that might help explain why we occasionally get uploads to :en. Tex, where did you see it? LtPowers 11:13, 16 November 2009 (EST)
I was seeing it on every page until I started typing this response a few minutes ago. Then when I submitted it, I had a round of those "localhost redirects" discussed above, and now the "don't upload" link isn't there anymore. I'll let you know if it comes back. Texugo 00:34, 18 November 2009 (EST)
More likely the uploads to en result from people creating the image link in the text, and then clicking on it to create the file. Still, how they get by the huge banner on that page is still a mystery. --inas 19:19, 9 December 2009 (EST)
As far as I can tell, an image redlink goes to the standard article edit page, not to Special:Upload. LtPowers 19:55, 9 December 2009 (EST)
clicking on this --> Image:Iansface.jpg takes me to Special:Upload --inas 20:05, 9 December 2009 (EST)
Ah, so it does. I was using a redlink that looks like this: Image:Iansface.jpg. Interesting that it's different. I wonder if we can make a software change to fix that. LtPowers 13:50, 10 December 2009 (EST)
The two links are different - Inas's link is to include an image in an article (if the image doesn't exist a link to the upload page is generated), and your link is to view/edit the image information page. The same behavior applies to categories - [[Category:Category]] adds a category to a page, and [[:Category:Category]] generates an inline link to the category information page. It's standard Mediawiki behavior, so there isn't really a software change to make. -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:58, 10 December 2009 (EST)
I'm aware of that distinction. But I still thought it interesting that the redlink generated when an included image is missing is different from the one generated when a linked image is missing. It seems to me that there ought to be a way to change the default behavior when including a missing image to link to shared or to some other page rather than Special:Upload. LtPowers 14:03, 10 December 2009 (EST)

South Africa World Cup 2010

World Cup starts in a few months and while the SA articles are mostly in good condition the surrounding countries are not. Most of the countries already have massive amounts of advertising going on in SA with a couple even changing visa rules for the duration due to expected tourist load so it seems like it might be worthwhile to get some key articles in usable condition before the event. I am working on Mozambique right now and will be adding more to the various articles but there is a lot of work that needs to be done. A short list of what I think should be looked at with priority:

greap 11:16, 16 November 2009 (EST)

Regions maps and the U.S. states

Time for a bit of bragging on behalf of the Wikitravel:Regions Map Expedition. We've just finished regioning and mapping every last of the fifty states of America! Go ahead, click on any U.S. state, and you'll see a pretty map and a well organized set of regions. (If you'd just like to see a crazy one, click here.)

This is a huge milestone for the expedition, and arguably for the site, so I'm breaking out a little bottle of champagne:

*       *       []
 _*    *_       ||
|*|    |*|     |* |
|_|    |_|     |__|
\*/    \*/     | *|
_|_    _|_     |__|

The next goal, and perhaps the biggest fish in the sea, will be all the countries in the world! --Peter Talk 23:52, 18 November 2009 (EST)

What was the last one? Rastapopulous 00:07, 19 November 2009 (EST)
Kentucky#Regions --Peter Talk 00:27, 19 November 2009 (EST)
A very, very big kudos to you and the rest of the map-making team. Having well defined regions and these amazing maps is probably the single most valuable contribution that anyone could make towards pushing Wikitravel forward, so a HUGE and hearty thanks from this sadly Inkscape-illiterate admirer of what has been accomplished. -- Ryan • (talk) • 02:02, 19 November 2009 (EST)
Fantastic job. That is some achievement. Large thanks and huge congratulations to everyone involved. --Burmesedays 04:27, 19 November 2009 (EST)
Congrats! Now all we need is the rest of the world :P Jpatokal 05:24, 22 November 2009 (EST)

Price Classifications

Does anyone know what the usual price classifications for Budget/Midrange/Splurge for Europe (both Restaurants and Hotels)? Rastapopulous 16:27, 19 November 2009 (EST)

It varies widely from destination to destination, I'm sure. LtPowers 17:57, 19 November 2009 (EST)


How does one do dashes w/ wiki markup? I tend to use them a lot. Rastapopulous 10:38, 19 November 2009 (EST)

I don't know about wiki markup, but html will produce ndashes and mdashes. You'll have to edit this section to see the code itself, but it's basically ampersandmdashsemicolon:

--Peter Talk 10:50, 19 November 2009 (EST)

I seem to remember that a long while ago, three hyphens --- made a long dash and two a short one. But there was a furor of pedantry at Wikipedia about this and the usual endless discussion. I may of course be recalling that all wrong. In any case, I always use html :). --Burmesedays 11:07, 19 November 2009 (EST)
&ndash; and &mdash; are the codes Peter was trying to explain. =) As for the double- and triple-hyphens, that's an old typewriter trick that works well enough on talk pages and the like but isn't considered good form for publishing. And there's no MediaWiki feature that automatically converts them. LtPowers 11:35, 19 November 2009 (EST)

Announcement: Wikitravel Mobile version

We are now running a beta mobile version of You can check it out at This is a read only version and is based on Wikipedia’s mobile site . It’s only viewable from non-wap mobile devices, IPhones and Blackberries that contain Opera browsers. Users can sill opt to use the standard web version if they prefer to do so.

We’d love to hear your feedback and you can do so by posting here.

--Ibsteph 9:54 , 20 November 2009 (PST)

I don't use mobile apps, but I think it'd be great if you registered for an account instead of posting from an IP address. =) LtPowers 13:01, 20 November 2009 (EST)
From OperaMini can only view the homepage, articles linked from the homepage or by manually entering a url. I.e, search does not work - returns as link broken. Had a quick look at the Hilversum article (one of the best on Wikitravel) and it shows well in this format. And yeah, it would be good if you did not appear here in red Steph :) --Burmesedays 13:10, 20 November 2009 (EST)
Erm, I think she does have an account guys. I don't see an IP address, and the red just means she's not created a homepage. Andyfarrell 03:39, 21 November 2009 (EST)
Ah, I see. Her entry was written un-logged-in, but she included a signature manually. See what you mean; at a glance it's like any other contribution, but when you look at the edits it strikes a bum note. Andyfarrell 03:45, 21 November 2009 (EST)

Anon vandalism

Special:Contributions/ Can we get them blocked? Eco84 00:26, 22 November 2009 (EST)

No advice from Captain Obvious

Inspired partly by User:Inas#Respect, I whipped up a little page for a new pseudo-policy called Wikitravel:No advice from Captain Obvious. Comments welcome -- is this worth elevating from personal rant to an actual policy? Jpatokal 05:22, 22 November 2009 (EST)

  • Support This is a pet hate of mine on wikitravel. Tarr3n 05:42, 7 December 2009 (EST)
  • Support - I like it. Texugo 09:23, 7 December 2009 (EST)
  • Support, but see also my query on its talk page. Pashley 09:59, 7 December 2009 (EST)
  • Support - It's exactly what we needed. PerryPlanet Talk 13:52, 7 December 2009 (EST)
It's bumped up to a part of the Manual of Style now, and the redirect obvious points to it. Please help me link it in where appropriate. Jpatokal 17:31, 11 December 2009 (EST)

North Korea

Has the North Korea article been protected? For some reason I cannot edit it... indeed there is no edit tab.--Burmesedays 08:49, 22 November 2009 (EST)

And now after four reloads, I can. How wierd is that? --Burmesedays 08:50, 22 November 2009 (EST)
I had protected it yesterday, but that protection expired five hours before your message here, and I'm pretty sure it shouldn't have prevented you from editing, as you are an autoconfirmed user? --Peter Talk 10:49, 22 November 2009 (EST)
It was very odd Peter. The edit tab was missing. I exited WT, cleared my local cache and came back and still the same. Only on the North Korea page. Then after 4 reloads, all was well. I can't even begin to understand that one! --Burmesedays 10:55, 22 November 2009 (EST)

Changing of Name

How can I change my login / screen name? —The preceding comment was added by Jasperng (talk • contribs)

Generally you can't, it requires a bureaucrat to go down in the boiler room and flick some switches, and he is not available at the moment due to travelling afaik. With just 4 contributions (and two of them here), I would suggest you just open up a new account with the new name. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 12:39, 4 December 2009 (EST)


There are a couple of tasks that could use more hands, neither vital but both useful. I try to do a couple of each daily, and others are clearly doing quite a few. However, it needs a few dozen more people to get them all done.

One is welcoming new users. Find them by looking at the Recent changes page, go to their talk page (not the user page, a mistake I've made too often), insert {{subst:welcome}} ~~~~ and save the page.

Another is adding IsPartOf to articles that lack it, so that breadcrumb navigation works, you get a list like "Europe France South Marseille" at the top of the article. There is a list of articles without these at User:Nicolas1981/Syntax checks/no-ispartof-nor-isin (thanks, Nicolas!). If you fix an article, or find it is already fixed, please delete it from the list. Pashley 00:13, 7 December 2009 (EST)

Hi Sandy, I had a look on Nicolas page and the list must be rather outdated. The Bangkok, Chicago and Paris articles on the list were all linked and had a working ispartof/isin link. I will have a look but some articles are even Star articles for quite some time (e.g. Paris arrondissements are for years star) jan 09:38, 8 December 2009 (EST)
well, afaik it's not trivial to generate a new list unless we get hold of Nicolas script (and a new one would not be sorted, which took some effort). So I think just removing any entries already updated is the best solution. I've done a fair bit of work on this lately, and I'd say it's only about 1-in-10 that has been updated. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 14:48, 10 December 2009 (EST)
Until recently, noone thought to add isPartOf to districts, because breadcrumb navigation on districts doesn't use it. The IsPartOf is only required for the RDF.
I have scripts which check for missing isPartOf, as well as many other syntax type things, from time formats to spelling, incorrect section headers, and first party pronoun use in listings.
I'm happy to run them to update lists if anyone wants updated ones.--inas 15:06, 10 December 2009 (EST)
Do you have one that can exclude articles categorized as itineraries, travel topics, disambiguation pages and phrasebooks? I'm not keen on sorting out all those again. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 15:46, 10 December 2009 (EST)
It ignores redirects altogether. It regards isPartOf in disamb, travel topics, and itinerary articles as errors. The real problem is these pseudo-regions, which are very hard to tell from a normal region article, and there is a good argument for not putting isPartOf on them, and I generally ignore them. At the same time as doing this I'm trying to parse the regional hierarchy, so I'll be able to eventually tell a dead-end region from a real one, but there is heaps of RDF that could make this task easier. It also hazards a guess at what the isPartOf should be, it understands subpages should be isPartOf parent pages, and it understands lead lines of the form "zorktown is a city/town in zork" --inas 17:06, 10 December 2009 (EST)
What are pseudo-regions—an extra-hierarchical region? If so, no isPartOf should direct to it, but the article itself should indeed use isPartOf, as with any destination guide. --Peter Talk 18:39, 10 December 2009 (EST)
From what I understand, this is an example. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 19:39, 10 December 2009 (EST)
Ah, would it be appropriate to add disambiguation templates to such articles? --Peter Talk 20:51, 10 December 2009 (EST)
Perhaps a more customized version that makes it clear the page isn't trying to disambiguate between multiple places with the same name, but rather that we don't have a single article for the named place. LtPowers 21:49, 10 December 2009 (EST)
Is it allowed to remove the phrasebook articles and other ones that don't need IsPartOf? Would clean up the list as well. Globe-trotter 09:13, 14 December 2009 (EST)
There is good progress on Nicolas' list, thanks to a number of people. Once that is done, Inas's script should be run for an up-to-date list.
Another task that needs more hands is adding related tags to all the articles for places on the UNESCO World Heritage List; see Talk:UNESCO_World_Heritage_List#Related. More generally, the Wikitravel:World_Heritage_Expedition is already doing good things but could use more participants. Pashley 20:32, 22 December 2009 (EST)
We have a UNESCO CotM in the works, which I think could finish that task. --Peter Talk 22:19, 22 December 2009 (EST)


The last time the proportion of patrolled edits was this high was probably about a little over two years ago, and this is hugely helpful to avoid duplicating effort and generally keeping the site clean. A big thanks to those putting in the effort to hit that "marked as patrolled" button. Looks like a lot of effort in particular on the parts of Burmesedays, Inas, and Sertmann—thanks! --Peter Talk 01:20, 9 December 2009 (EST)

Stefan pointed out to me a few weeks ago that "marking as patrolled" really does save time for other patrollers and since then I have been trying to do that as often as possible. And, it is just nice seeing a screen of 500 recent changes with very little red on it. --Burmesedays 02:23, 11 December 2009 (EST)
I think too many (especially long time admins) has become a bit to cocky on this task, I myself thought I was able to sniff out the bad ones on the recent changes page, but as it turns out when I've made a concious effort to go through everything - this is clearly not the case.
For years we have let too much slip by, and the consequences are rather dire if you ask me. Once a few "listing name - listing url" listings have slipped by the nets, new edits tend to imitate what's already there, increasing the burden, and decreasing the value of WT - and it's getting really widespread.
So I'd really encourage some more thorough patrolling from everyone, with me and Burmesedays doing a great effort already, it's really not that much extra effort checking everything when you're doing the rounds anyway. I just open the page, and hold ctrl down on all the red exclamation marks I see to open them all into new tabs, and go through them methodologically - if just two more people starting doing this (near) daily, patrolling everything would be a breeze, especially if it was one from the American time zone with Asia and Europe covered already. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 20:58, 28 December 2009 (EST)
A hearty hear-hear to all of that. The only thing I would add to Stefan's comments is to ask that more users (administrators especially) specifically mark edits as patrolled. I do waste a lot of time looking at changes which have already been patrolled but not marked as such.--Burmesedays 21:10, 28 December 2009 (EST)
Well, since we have renewed interest in actually trying to patrol our recent changes, I'll re-float this idea for a collective-action promoting expedition. I'd be happy to sign up for 4 hours out of the day—it's just 10 minutes. --Peter Talk 10:49, 29 December 2009 (EST)
It is clear that in the past 24 hours more users have been marking edits as patrolled. Well done! --Burmesedays 19:55, 29 December 2009 (EST)

As I start to patrol I notice how badly written many contributions are. Can we suggest for new pages that people consider working first in Word (cutting and pasting the template), using the grammar and spelling checker of Word to improve their contributions, and then pasting back into Wikitravel? Shep 01:49, 2 January 2010 (EST)

I would rather suggest using Firefox, which has a built-in spell checker. Word doesn't always copy+paste well to/from non-Office applications. LtPowers 13:33, 2 January 2010 (EST)
I cant seam to git it to work on my computer even though I have enabled the boxxes to check the speeling. Anyway, I am hopefully not the problem but there are an awful lot of new entries with bad English and I was thinking that we could give them some useful advice on quality control rather than just say "download the template and start typing" Shep 02:23, 3 January 2010 (EST)
I think Word is the best option for what Shep is trying to achieve. It does handle some formatting and characters rather poorly, but that is far outweighed by the fact that it lives on more PCs in the world than Firefox. A few words encouraging the use of a spell-checker would certainly not go amiss.--Burmesedays 21:38, 4 January 2010 (EST)
Word has a nasty tendency to convert quotation marks, dashes, apostrophes, and occasionally other characters into Microsoft-specific variants, so just be careful when using it as an editor. While these conversions won't break articles, they won't display consistently across all browsers. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:41, 4 January 2010 (EST)
They also tend to screw with re-use when converting to other formats—better to recommend Firefox or a decent text editor, if anything at all. --Peter Talk 23:19, 4 January 2010 (EST)
It may just be contributors who speak poor English as a second language. While we certainly want nicely written articles, we shouldn't be prude to contributors who add useful information. Just like new contributors aren't condemned for violating the MoS, should we extend similar courtesy to non-native English speakers? If you were contributing to a WT version in a language which you understand but don't have a good handle on, would you like them pointing out all your mistakes and leading you to a web browser or to Word to correct them? As far as Word goes, if we assume that these are people who don't speak English fluently, then they probably would be using Word in a different language and does Word spell check in other languages(in this case, English)? Just a couple of thoughts...AHeneen 02:12, 5 January 2010 (EST)
Word will spellcheck any language you want it to, as long as you have the right dictionary installed. I don't know which dictionaries are installed by default on foreign copies of the product. LtPowers 08:41, 5 January 2010 (EST)

Text size in edit box

Is there any way to increse text size in the edit box? I upgraded to IE8 and everything shrank down to almost illegible. I can change text size on the rest of the screen in view|text size from IE toolbar, but the edit box text size doesnt change and is giving me major eyestrain. I have the same problem on Wikipedia. Cheers, Peter (Southwood) Talk 15:03, 11 December 2009 (EST)

Same issue here. I would strongly suggest using a better browser Peter. Firefox of course but I use Google Chrome a lot for Wikitravel these days - extremely fast. And it takes literally seconds to download.--Burmesedays 22:20, 11 December 2009 (EST)
Maybe try to check your font settings in the control panel. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 17:59, 13 December 2009 (EST)
I found a zoom control in the bottom right corner which has sorted the problem. Peter (Southwood) Talk 03:41, 17 December 2009 (EST)

Image for Travel topic:World languages

I made an image, knowingly Perhaps this image could be made for a new travel topic:World languages; intented to explain the world languages best learnt for global travel. 06:11, 13 December 2009 (EST)

We do have an article like that somewhere, but concerning the map, I think there are some errors. If "light yellow" (English as a second language) is the color used in South Korea and Japan, I would call that misleading... Shouldn't all of Quebec be green (French)? More of central Asia knows Russian, Kenyans and Tanzanians speak English as a second language, The "light black" is actually dark green, are you sure that Mandarin is known by all of Southeast Asia?, etc. ChubbyWimbus 17:29, 13 December 2009 (EST)

Quite a nice idea but some problems with the implementation. In addition to the errors pointed out by ChubbyWimbus above:
  • Malaysia and Singapore do not speak Indonesian. Malaysia should be English as 2nd language. Singapore could arguably be primary English speaking.
  • Africa has a number of issues.
  • What does the light grey denote?--Burmesedays 00:34, 15 December 2009 (EST)
really on the en wikitravel, the propensity to speak English is the most useful fact to an English speaking traveller, i would have thought. Holland, Scandinavia, etc - before going to learn another language which is a second language to the country anyway.. --inas 00:45, 15 December 2009 (EST)
The light grey presumably denotes nations where none of the colored languages are spoken. To add another issue, Icelandic is spoken in Iceland. If this map were used, I think it could only possibly be used for the Phrasebook International (which is currently nominated for deletion). Otherwise, the languages spoken in each country are covered in country articles along with whether or not English will be understood. ChubbyWimbus 00:53, 15 December 2009 (EST)
The basic idea is good, but the topic is complicated.
In Canada, French is the primary language for all of Quebec, much of Northern Ontario and parts of other provinces, but English is widely spoken in those areas as well. There's huge variation, though; in some areas (e.g. parts of Montreal), you're fine with just English, but in others (e.g. Northern Quebec) you're helpless without French.
Mandarin is useful almost anywhere in China, since it has been the lingua franca for centuries and the only language used in education, government and national media for 50-odd years. However, for Hong Kong & Macau, Cantonese is more important. Mandarin is also an official language in Singapore, but other Chinese dialects are more widely used.
In many places, language use has political overtones. Speaking Mandarin in Tibet or English in Quebec may irritate some people.
For travellers, the most important languages are what Phrasebook International calls regional languages. Quoting that "Learn some of a regional language. Russian for Central Asia, Arabic for the Middle East and North Africa, French for some parts of Africa, Spanish for Latin America. This may be easier than trying to learn the local languages and is more widely useful." I'd like to see a map that emphasizes those. Pashley 20:20, 15 December 2009 (EST)
This map looks like an attempt to do that, though. It just has a lot of errors. I mean, aside from the languages listed, there are not so many other "linguistic spheres". Some, like Korean or Japanese, could be listed, but they have no sphere of influence. You could make a case for Swahili, but English is understood by most people that speak it. I'm on the fence about the usefulness of any such map, although I would be surprised if the phrasebook international got very many hits anyway. ChubbyWimbus 22:39, 15 December 2009 (EST)
The world's major regional languages
The world's major regional languages

Here's an attempt to create something more useful for our purposes. I initially tried to have English on the map too, but deciding which countries to include was just impossible—I think a separate color coded map showing the percentage of people per country that you'll be able to reasonably communicate with in English would be much more useful. This one just looks at the top 7 (I think) languages in order of relevance for travelers, and shows for which countries the language should be useful. The most obvious weakness is that this map cannot show tiny countries.

Having a Talk article devoted to language and travel might be interesting. --Peter Talk 00:15, 16 December 2009 (EST)

Awesome map, but English surely is missing, at least for Canada, United States, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. German is tricky, but I think it at least should be listed for Germany, Austria and most of Switzerland. English will get you further in the Netherlands (though German is partially understood), and I'm not sure if either German, Russian or English should be the best language for East-Central Europe. Southeast and East Asia is complicated as well: I don't think English fits here, even though it's probably the best language for the area. Globe-trotter 07:07, 16 December 2009 (EST)
Yes, this map is much better. Is Persian worth adding? Farsi is the main language of Iran, Dari one of two in Afghanistan and they are mostly mutually intelligible. Tajik and I think some other Central Asian languages are related.
I think English would need its own map, broken up into a scale: UK/US/etc. where it is the primary language, areas like Quebec/India/Singapore/etc. where it is an official language & widely spoken but not the main daily language, places like Amsterdam and where you can generally get by with only English, places like Paris where it is harder, places like most of China where you can expect English only from 5-star hotel staff and the odd student. Pashley 08:10, 16 December 2009 (EST)
What about Hindustani? (Is that term still in use?) My understanding is that spoken Hindi and Urdu are, at least mostly, mutually intelligible. The written forms use different alphabets, Sanskrit-derived for Hindi and Arabic/Persian for Urdu. Does that qualify as a regional language for the subcontinent? Pashley 08:33, 16 December 2009 (EST)
My first thought was similar to Peter and Pashley's - a map to show the English speaker how they'll fare in the countries of the world. Perhaps grouped by percentage of English speakers, or by category eg "Almost universal",..."Typically only hotel reception staff". But going beyond that I think there would be merit in similar maps for other major world languages - then the traveller can get an idea of where their Spanish or Russian will get them by. Andyfarrell 10:35, 16 December 2009 (EST)
English-speaking percent of population by country
English-speaking percent of population by country
The problem with English is that it is a global language, useful almost everywhere, very often overlapping with the lingua francas we're trying to show above—the map quickly becomes a mess. I found a handy wikipedia:List_of_countries_by_English-speaking_population, but it's quite incomplete, and consequently, so is this map.
I've added Persian, German, and Hindustani (I didn't realize Urdu and Hindi were so clearly mutually intelligible!), as you can see from the updated thumb above. I'm not terribly convinced a working knowledge of Farsi will go very far in Tajikistan, whereas Russian will get you everywhere you want to go. The other Central Asian languages are all Turkic. --Peter Talk 01:16, 17 December 2009 (EST)
This map is much better than the originally proposed map! One thing: It appears that Spanish is the language of northern Quebec on this map. Shouldn't it be French, as well? (this comment is about the regional language map) ChubbyWimbus 01:27, 17 December 2009 (EST)
I have no idea why Quebec is frustrating Inkscape so, truly, it is a troublesome province. --Peter Talk 01:47, 17 December 2009 (EST)
I love the (potential of the) English map. As well as filling in the blank countries it could do with refining further region by region within countries, eg in Yucatan it seemed a lot more than 0-5% spoke some English. Perhaps we could do that by compiling traveller experiences in text form first. I like the idea of a general Talk article within travel topics, which could use this map plus some of the material from Phrasebook International which it could possibly replace, and be a general guide to coping with language when travelling. Andyfarrell 03:14, 17 December 2009 (EST)
The "Talk" article idea sounds like a good solution to the Phrasebook International problems discussed on the votes for deletion page. I agree that using countries as the primary unit makes certain parts seem as though they speak more or less English than they do, but it's also a lot more manageable than dividing every country by state/province/prefecture. If the map is accompanied by text, I think differences could be pointed out in the text. The map is just a general overview, so people considering travel to a certain region can go to that region's article to learn more specific information about it. ChubbyWimbus 03:39, 17 December 2009 (EST)

Austria should be fit with German on the map. Switzerland is a harder case, it's split between German, French and Italian: most of the country speaks German though. Globe-trotter 20:54, 22 December 2009 (EST)

I started a Talk article. Pashley 21:17, 22 December 2009 (EST)

is not of the place or church that it claims to be... what should I do with it?

Also shouldn't there be some information on the images page of what to do to rectify problems like this?

Cheers. 14:39, 18 December 2009 (EST)

The image itself is hosted on Shared, and I have responded to your message on the image's talk page. --Peter Talk 17:59, 18 December 2009 (EST)

Book creator

Wikipedia now has a feature that lets users create their own books, exportable as PDF or other formats.

Could we add that here? They use categories as one way to select articles for inclusion; is there some way to use our breadcrumbs for that? Pashley 22:21, 30 December 2009 (EST)

It's called the Collections extension and it's a MediaWiki plugin built by PediaPress. I floated the idea of installing it to IB about a year and a half ago and have prodded them occasionally every now and then afterward, but I'm sure you'll be shocked to hear that I haven't heard back. Jpatokal 06:34, 31 December 2009 (EST)

Copyright Map

I'd like to make a Wikitravel-style map based of this: [9]. Could anyone tell me if that's allowed, copyright-wise? globe-trotter 18:00, 4 January 2010 (EST)

Definitely, our upload form stipulates that when uploading an image without a specified license, you consent to its being licensed under CC-by-SA. And furthermore, User:Lex was well aware of this (although you would be on perfectly sound legal footing to use the map even if he were not). --Peter Talk 18:04, 4 January 2010 (EST)
OK, thanks for the info :) globe-trotter 19:00, 4 January 2010 (EST)
Lex listed the source as Tourism NT, presumably the official tourism agency of the Northern Territory. I'm not clear on how that's compatible with CC-by-sa 1.0, unless NT government sources are automatically public domain. LtPowers 19:32, 4 January 2010 (EST)
Yes, but it seems like User:Lex is an employee of Tourism NT, which would mean that the official tourism agency of the Northern Territory agrees with the CC-by-SA 1.0 license? globe-trotter 19:39, 4 January 2010 (EST)
The permissions got a bit scattered, but he definitely stated that he had permission to license his text and uploaded files, and that he was tasked by his agency for the specific purpose of improving WT coverage of their region. It's fully kosher. --Peter Talk 20:09, 4 January 2010 (EST)

Added Languages to Babel

Just letting people know that I added the following languages to Wikitravel:Babel:

  • Swahili
  • Tamil
  • Wolof
  • Yoruba
  • Tagalog (some were there, I added the other levels)
  • Korean (some were there, but it was not listed on the page. I added the other levels.)
  • Zulu (only the beginner and intermediate levels)

I don't think many people check the Babel page after they initially add what is there, so I thought I'd mention it here so you can add them, if you know any of them or wish to pretend you know any of them. ChubbyWimbus 03:24, 5 January 2010

Photo Galleries

I notice one of the Administrators is removing photo galleries with the notation that they do not follow the Manual of style. These were acceptable in the past at the bottom of a page and the gallery function still works on this site. I can find no mention of this in the manual of style. If that is true, then the gallery function should be disabled. 2old 14:12, 5 January 2010 (EST)

It's used on pages like Angkor#Motifs and Okinawa#Eat, so I don't think it should be disabled. I can't find the policy either, but I seem to recall some opposition to general galleries somewhere. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 15:00, 5 January 2010 (EST)
They most often violate wts:Image policy#Minimal use of images, and are rare enough where I've become prejudiced against them as deviant in style. --Peter Talk 17:00, 5 January 2010 (EST)
While I appreciate both of your statements. I distinctly remember that it was suggested in very early conversations that they be used at the bottom of articles, so they load last. Evan was even involved in that suggestion. I think they may be rare due to few people knowing how to implement them. Regardless, there is no mention of them in the Manual of style and any suggestion they do not follow the manual of style is bogus. 2old 09:49, 6 January 2010 (EST)
It is pretty rare to find a gallery that either doesn't overload the article with images, or that the images wouldn't be better off inline with the text. However, certainly in the two examples given, the gallery used appears to me to be fine.
Placing galleries at the end of the article to speed loading seems misguided. Most browsers will download the images simultaneously, and slow down the entire network connection anyway. Except where there are many images inline, I doubt there would be a difference whether they were at the beginning or the end. --inas 22:49, 6 January 2010 (EST)
If the gallery is in a sub-article it will not overload the article with images, and should avoid the problem of bandwidth as the user would only look at them if desired. This was used in Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Pinnacle/Gallery after some discussion on Wikitravel:Star nominations and could be used as another option. I agree with Inas that the galleries mentioned above are appropriate as they stand. I think that galleries have their uses and should not be disabled. Perhaps a guideline on recommended usage would be appropriate. Cheers, Peter (Southwood) Talk 03:56, 9 January 2010 (EST)

CC license upgrade -- status / consistency

Hi everyone!

I am wondering, what the status of the license upgrade is...

On the top of the "Main Page" I read that the upgrade "has been approved". And in the footer of the "Main Page" it also states "Text is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0, ...".

Still, the logo here links to the old license and on some sites (e.g. the footer says, text is available under the old license, too.

So, please get me a status! :-) —The preceding comment was added by (talk • contribs)

The logo link is waiting on IB to fix it -- who knows how long that'll take. However, the footer issue you saw is the dreaded caching issue that happens around here quite a lot. If you force-reload the page (Shift-F5 in most browsers), edit it, or manually purge the cache for that page (link also on the edit page), it'll update the footer immediately and display "Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0" like it should. It'll also correct itself automatically for all pages as the cache expires, but that will take at least several more days. It's a little bumpy, I know! - D. Guillaime 13:22, 6 January 2010 (EST)
Which logo? --Peter Talk 15:55, 6 January 2010 (EST)
The CC graphic at the far left of the page footer. - D. Guillaime 16:36, 6 January 2010 (EST)
I tried simply deleting the image, but no luck. --Peter Talk 16:45, 6 January 2010 (EST)
Not ours to delete, it's actually linking to CC's own server: [10]. That's probably something else IB should fix, now that I see it....
What needs doing is discussed at shared:Talk:License upgrade#New license?, though it's not clear if anyone has actually requested these specific changes from IB yet. Discussion should continue there. - D. Guillaime 17:13, 6 January 2010 (EST)

Policy on marihuana/pot/weed

What's Wikitravel policy on this topic? I know the policy on sex tourism is quite far-going, so what about pot? I'm trying to rework the "coffeeshops" section in Amsterdam, should it contain any listings? advice where to get it? health advice? or should we omit any listings at all and just mention it exists? Technically it's still illegal to smoke it in the Netherlands (it's just not enforced in practice). --globe-trotter 09:01, 9 January 2010 (EST)

If it is illegal, then I think it should be treated as such. Certainly no listings, maybe some advice, would be my take. This is very relevant to lots of Asian destinations as well ("Bob serves the best Happy Pizza in Sihanoukville".... etc... yawn... --Burmesedays 09:10, 9 January 2010 (EST)
It's only technically illegal (when reading laws), in practice the police does not enforce these laws. This is mostly done to make the Netherlands comply with some international treaties. --globe-trotter 09:26, 9 January 2010 (EST)
How about a paragrpah of prose explaining that and giving some rough pointers as to where to find a smelly coffee shop? --Burmesedays 09:29, 9 January 2010 (EST)
That's not too hard, there are about 300 (!) of them scattered all over the city =P But yes, will do that :) --globe-trotter 09:40, 9 January 2010 (EST)
Ah, another question: should it be in "stay safe" or "drink"? As we don't list any specific listings, I think "stay safe" makes most sense. --globe-trotter 10:06, 9 January 2010 (EST)
As for the Netherlands, where it's illegality is but a technicality, I think it's quite safe to write as much about the topic as you see fit. It's one of the major tourist draws, so of course we should provide visitors with the best advice we can. I would personally have loved some good recommendations when I was in A'dam this summer. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 10:14, 9 January 2010 (EST)
It would make sense to have some kind of official Wikitravel policy on this. And yes, it's a major tourist draw, some of the tourists only come to Amsterdam just to do that. But on the other hand, we also don't list Thai "massage parlors" around Ratchadaphisek, which are also illegal but tolerated in practice. I know it feels different (the coffeeshops in Amsterdam have an official government license), but it's hard to draw the line. --globe-trotter 10:29, 9 January 2010 (EST)
I think sex tourism is an different ballpark altogether. WT indirectly encouraging slave trade, child abduction and HIV preveilance, even though it might be tolerated by the police, is not the same thing as a government licensed coffee shop. Amsterdam (along with the licensed Bhang sales in India) is clearly a special case, and the only gray area I can think of, is the government licensed brothels in e.g. Nevada - which are conveniently handled by the Sex tourism policy. Besides, after briefly skimming through our Illegal activities policy I see nothing that would disallow handling Amsterdam's coffee shops as normal listings. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 11:45, 9 January 2010 (EST)

I'm not so fussed on the policy - but lets keep well clear of the euphemisms please. If we decide to list we owe a duty to travellers to use plain and clear English. If we are listing a coffee shop supplying hashish and/or marijuana leaf, then we should say so explicitly - none of this nonsense about "smelly" or other such. We shouldn't assume that a traveller is necessarily aware of the legal situation either, and we should make this clear also. --inas 18:06, 10 January 2010 (EST)


Up to date as of January 15, 2010
(Redirected to pub article)

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




Etymology 1

Short form of public, from public house


Wikipedia has an article on:




pub (plural pubs)

  1. A public house, where beverages, primarily alcoholic, may be bought and drunk. Many pubs also provide food and/or entertainment.
Derived terms

See also

Etymology 2

Abbreviation of publication




pub (plural pubs)

  1. A publication.
    registered pubs


Etymology 1

Short form of publicité



pub f. (plural pubs)

  1. Television ad or advert.
Derived terms
  • pause pub

Etymology 2

From English pub



pub m. (plural pubs)

  1. pub





pub m. inv.

  1. pub



English pub


Inflection for pub Singular Plural
common Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Base form pub puben pubar pubarna
Possessive form pubs pubens pubars pubarnas

pub c.

  1. pub

Simple English

Redirecting to Public house


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