This guide explains each of Wikitravel's standard article sections and what sort of information each should contain. If you have a specific type of item in mind and want to know where it goes, check out Wikitravel:Where you can stick it. If you have a specific type of article in mind and want to know what sections it should have, use Wikitravel:Article templates. The individual article templates also include more detailed information specific to each kind of article.
The lead section does not begin with a header; it's all the text before the first section heading.
For destination articles, this is where you should put identifying information about the destination, so that the traveller has some idea what you're talking about. Try to link to the next higher level in the geographical hierarchy—link to the country for top-level regions, for instance. Rough borders for the area help give context here, too. You can put in a few sentences of interesting titbits, but try to leave detailed information on history, culture, etc., for the Understand section.
Only used in Continent, Country, and Region articles. Not required; use only if there are subregions to list.
Most countries can and should be divided into smaller areas, called "regions", with articles about each region giving more detailed information. Regions can also be divided into sub-regions.
Try to divide up an area into traditional or well-agreed regions, according to the guidelines on the geographical hierarchy page. List them here, with links to the article pages for each region, and a short description of the region to give travellers some idea of what the region is about.
If the regions have specific names ("county", "state", "province", "canton", etc.) feel free to change the name of this header to "Counties", "States", etc. Remember, though, that legal divisions don't always make the best divisions for a travel guide.
Be sure to provide a brief description of each region, per Wikitravel:One-liner listings.
Countries and territories
Only used in Continent and Continental Section articles. Required in Continental Section articles. Each continent is a little different though, so use best judgement.
Only used in Country and Region articles. Required unless there are no individual settlements within a region.
Some regions (and even some countries) are so small that they only have a few cities; you can simply list them here, rather than making up regions or sub-regions. Otherwise, don't list every single city in the area! List cities alphabetically, to a maximum of nine. For Countries, and for Regions that are legal divisions of a country (such as a U.S. state), list the capital city first.
Be sure to provide a brief description of each city, per Wikitravel:One-liner listings.
Only used in Country and Region articles. Optional only if no "other destinations" exist.
Sometimes an area has destinations that aren't really cities; for example, large national parks like the Grand Canyon, or archaeological sites like Angkor Wat. List other destinations alphabetically, to a maximum of nine.
Be sure to provide a brief description of each "other destination", per Wikitravel:One-liner listings.
Only used in Huge City articles. Required.
Most of the meat of the information about a huge city is divided up into the individual district articles. You should list the districts here, as well as a short blurb (per Wikitravel:One-liner listings) about the district that lets readers know what is most relevant about the district for travel, what neighbourhoods constitute the district, etc. Every district listed should have clearly defined borders to make it easy for other Wikitravellers to know where to stick new listings. See the District article template for the structure of district articles.
Used in any destination article. Required for Country, Region, Large City, Huge City, and Park articles. In Country articles, this section should come before Regions, not after.
This section of the page is where you give deeper background information about the destination. This can vary widely depending on the destination type. For countries, information about its culture, its people or peoples, and relationships to other countries are useful. For cities, focus on what makes the city unique within its country. Don't duplicate information that can be found in other sections. Also, try not to go too deeply into information about lower levels in the hierarchy, except perhaps in how they relate to each other; leave that for the region or city articles.
Understand has a few standard but completely optional sub-headings:
- People (for country/region articles)
- Holidays (for country articles)
- Read (for iconic literature about the destination, not for travel guides)
- Visitor information (for tourism information centers/offices and contact information)
Feel free to add others as necessary.
Only used in Country and Region articles, and very rarely in city articles. Required in Country articles. In Country articles, this section goes after "Get around".
Describe the language or languages used in the area. How well can you get by with only English or another foreign language (French in Vietnam for example)? Also include information about the writing system -- will travellers need a bilingual map? It's often useful to link to the phrasebook for each language used. If English is the only language used, you can just state that, and that should be enough.
For regions and cities, only include information that differs from that of the containing country. Don't include the section unless there's something notable to say.
Used in any destination article. Required in all cases.
This section should contain information on how to get to the destination. For countries, give visa or other legal information, as well as warnings about border crossings. For other areas, information should involve getting to the location primarily from within the next highest levels in the hierarchy. For example, for getting into a U.S. state, focus on routes from nearby states and from other areas of the country. For getting into a city, list driving directions from nearby cities, not from a city on the other side of the country, and don't include extensive customs information (which belongs in the country article).
"Get in" sections should have a subsection for each of the major modes of transportation used to get to the destination, in order of prominence. The subsections should be named (but not necessarily ordered) as follows:
- By plane
- By train
- By bus
- By car (for all private motor vehicles)
- By boat (or "By ferry")
- By thumb (for hitchhiking)
- By bicycle
- By foot (for walking; rare)
Used in Park articles. Required.
Entrance fees, camp site fees, hiking permits and fees along with any notable rules and regulations.
Used in any destination article. Required in all cases except for District articles.
This is the spot to give general information about how to get around the destination once you are there. An overview of travel possibilities: air, train, and bus travel, long-distance taxis, ferries, etc. Try to keep the information general in the articles covering larger areas, with more specifics as you get down further in the hierarchy.
Use subsections like those for Get in. Only include subsections that make sense for the level in the hierarchy and the specific destination.
Used in any destination article. Required in all cases. May be combined with "Do" if making a distinction between attractions and activities is difficult or unnecessary (as with amusement parks or very small destinations).
This is for attractions in the area. Attractions are passive by nature, involving things that are more-or-less permanently available for viewing. Galleries and museums, zoos, parks, and landmarks are examples. Scenery and observation towers also fall under "See".
For articles using the Small City, Big City, District, and Park templates, you can include a brief overview, but the majority of the section should be made up of listings for individual attractions.
For articles using the Country, Region, and Huge City templates, don't give full details about each attraction. If there are some attractions that people are going to be expecting, or just attractions that people really shouldn't miss, make sure to call them out and link to the location where the full listing can be found.
Used in any destination article. Optional, but only if there's literally nothing to do. May be combined with "See" if making a distinction between attractions and activities is difficult or unnecessary (as with amusement parks or very small destinations).
This is for activities in the area. Activities are usually active by nature, plus scheduled events. Sports (both participatory and spectator), casinos, theatres, and tours are examples. Recreational activities like hiking, boating, or skiing also fall under "Do".
For articles using the Small City, Big City, District, and Park templates, you can include a brief overview, but the majority of the section should be made up of listings for individual activities.
For articles using the Country, Region, and Huge City templates, don't give full details about each activity. If there are some activities that people are going to be expecting, or just activities that people really shouldn't miss, make sure to call them out and link to the location where the full listing can be found.
Used in any destination article, but mostly in Country, Big City, and District articles. Optional.
For larger destinations, this should include general information about schools and classes for language, culture, or other activities that international travellers may be interested in. City guides can include specifics, as well as unique opportunities for learning. Don't just list local colleges, though; make sure they have specific value for a traveller.
Used in any destination article, but mostly in Country articles. Optional.
What options are there are for travellers to find work in the area? Ideas on jobs, work visas, volunteer opportunities and resources, etc. Be more specific the farther down in the hierarchy you are.
Used in any destination article. Required for Country articles; optional otherwise, but only if there's literally nothing to say on the topic. This section appears after Talk in Country articles.
This section varies widely depending on the level in the geographical hierarchy. For countries, this section must include information on currency and currency exchange, shopping customs, duties and taxes, and attaining funds from home.
For all other levels, the section should contain information on goods that can be purchased in the area. Be general in Region and Huge City articles; specific listings should only be in Small City, Big City, District, and Park articles.
Used in any destination article. Required in all cases.
Information on location-specific food. Keep this as general as possible, except in the lowest-level articles, which should contain the actual restaurant business information. Do mention any general types of restaurant that travellers should look for (or avoid!). Mention national/regional/local cuisines, and hints for vegetarians or other people on special diets.
Restaurant listings should be divided, if necessary, by price or by cuisine.
Used in any destination article. Optional.
Information on location-specific nightlife. Keep this as general as possible, except in the lowest-level articles, which should contain the actual bar or nightclub business information. You can and should mention areas with especially good nightlife, or interesting musical traditions. Also give an idea of bar and club etiquette, if it differs from the surrounding region.
Bar listings should be divided, if necessary, by price or by types of drinks served.
Used in any destination article. Required in all cases.
Information on the type of accommodations (pensions, guest houses, hostels, motels, etc.) travellers will encounter, as well as rough price ranges. Small City, Big City, Park, and District articles should include listings. Other articles should avoid specifics, but can mention national/regional chains and discount programs.
Listings should be divided, if necessary, by price.
Used in any destination article. Optional.
Words of warning for travellers not familiar with the area's climate or culture. Include crime safety, natural hazards, regions of war and civil unrest, and any other potential dangers. If there are local or national safety contacts, note them.
Used in Country articles; most other articles should just use Stay safe. Optional but strongly recommended for Country articles.
This section is for medical information, including local health hazards, medical, pharmacies, etc. Note any significant outbreaks of contagious diseases, recommended shots, and requirements for obtaining medicine or medical attention in the country. If there are national hotlines for medical emergencies, or local numbers that are standardized (like 911 in the USA), list them here.
Used in any destination article, but mostly in higher levels of the hierarchy. Optional, but strongly recommended for Country articles.
List here any common mistakes visitors make about the area in question. In many parts of the world, certain parts of the body, buildings, people, or other objects are subject to custom and etiquette that may be different from the traveller's home culture. Should short-sleeved shirts and short pants be avoided in churches or temples? Is it OK to eat with your left hand? What about respect for the elderly, children, government officials, etc.?
Don't repeat information that should already be known by a majority of visitors, or that is common to most cultures. Much of that information is already found in the travel topic "Respect", and we don't need to have it in every country article.
Used in any destination article. Required in country articles; optional otherwise.
This section varies greatly depending on the level of the hierarchy. It contains information about staying in contact.
For country articles, discuss phone networks and the telephone country code; postal services; and prevalence of Internet access. For lower levels in the hierarchy, provide more specifics, including Internet cafes, area codes, and the like.
Used in any destination article, but mostly in lower levels of the hierarchy. Optional.
This section is for common non-emergency services that the traveller might need: haircuts, babysitting, pet care, libraries, consulates, religious services, etc.
Used in any destination article. Optional but strongly recommended (except for Country articles).
Information about destinations that would serve as a good "next stop." Provide a brief description of other nearby destination suggestions, neighbouring cities or day-trip ideas. Don't duplicate information that's up in Get in. For large regions, if it really makes no sense to suggest any nearby destinations, you may leave the section out, but be careful.
Is "Get out" the opposite of "Get in"?
We realise that this section title confuses many and there is a consensus to change it. However, it has not yet been agreed by IBadmins whether we should change it to Go next or when and how the change should happen.
In the section "Get out", we want you to write suggestions about where to go next; either as the next stop on your travels (in this case they will have their own separate articles you can link to) or where to go next just for a day trip - whether those places already have their own Wikitravel article or not.
It is not intended to be a section about how to find the best transport out of town!