Wikitravel:What is an article?
In order to keep Wikitravel organized and consistent there are guidelines about when a subject gets its own article. In this area there are two competing principles:
- Articles should be relatively self-sufficient so that travellers can print them out, put in their back pocket, and use for travelling around.
- At the same time, articles should not be so long that they're impossible to read, print, or use.
So, here are some rough guidelines for what topics should have their own articles, and what shouldn't. Nothing here is set in stone, but exceptions to these guidelines should have good justifications.
What does get its own article?
Geographical units on the geographical hierarchy should have their own articles. There should be articles about:
- Continents like Africa (formatted using the Wikitravel:Region article template).
- Continental sections like Southeast Asia (formatted using the Wikitravel:Region article template).
- Countries like Brazil (formatted using the Wikitravel:Country article template).
- Regions like Normandy (formatted using the Wikitravel:Region article template).
- Cities like Tokyo (formatted using the Wikitravel:Huge city article template).
- Districts like Greenwich Village (formatted using the Wikitravel:District article template).
- National parks like Yosemite National Park (formatted using the Wikitravel:Park article template).
A common test to determine whether a subject gets its own article is the "can you sleep there?" test. While there are numerous hotels and other lodging options in a city like London, you can't sleep in a museum or park within that city; such parks and museums should thus be listed as attractions within an article about the city.
For regions, we only add a level of regions when there are too many cities or too much content in the existing breakdown. As a result, the regional hierarchy at Wikitravel doesn't strictly follow any official organization—and frequently is much "flatter" than the official political/administrative breakdown.
With city districts, consider also When to districtify recommendations--only create a separate article for a district when you have enough content for it, and the borders for a new district are well-defined.
What does not get its own article?
Individual attractions should not have their own articles (in general). Their information should be listed in the city or possibly district that they're in. With a few very rare exceptions (see below) there should not be articles about individual:
- Companies (hotels, restaurants, bars, stores, nightclubs, tour operators, etc).
- Museums, statues or other works of art.
- City parks, town squares or streets. (Districts named after streets like San Francisco/Castro Street and Singapore/Orchard are OK.)
- Festivals or events.
- Transport systems or stations.
- Bodies of water (see Wikitravel:Bodies of water).
- Uninhabited islands.
We prefer that attractions, sites, and events be included in the article for the place they're located (see where you can stick it for details). For example, a lake might be listed under the "See" section of the closest town, and a bar would be listed under the "Drink" section of the town in which it is located.
If an attraction is really famous and travellers may not know the city or region it is in, then create an article with the attraction name as title, but make it a redirect to the city or region and put the description in the city or region article. For example, Taj Mahal redirects to Agra.
There are exceptions to every rule, and Wikitravel is no different. Be aware, however, that if you think something deserves an exception you should be ready to defend your position. Cases where exceptions are made include attractions, sites, or events that are far away (too far for a day trip) from any city and would require an overnight stay, or so large and complex that the information about them would overload the city article. Some examples of possible exceptions include:
- Complex and remote state/provincial parks or monuments such as Mount Robson Provincial Park (formatted using the Wikitravel:Park article template)
- ...but not state or city parks that primarily serve as recreational sites for day visitors.
- ...but not individual ruins in or near modern cities.
- ...but not amusement parks usually visited as part of a trip to a city, such as Coney Island or Tivoli
- ...but not typical metropolitan or regional airports.
- Famous tourist trains that a traveller would choose to ride for its own sake such as Trans-Siberian Railway
- ...but not trains only for transportation without extensive exposure to scenic beauty or on board entertainment.
In general, a good rule of thumb is that information about attractions, sites, and events should always be initially placed into the article for the place they're located in, and only when that information becomes large and complex should a new article be considered. As with most decisions on Wikitravel, consensus drives the process, but we try to err on the side of consistency and not make these exceptions unless we absolutely have to. Before starting an article based on one of the above exceptions, start a discussion to explore whether it would be appropriate.
Other types of articles
In addition, the following categories of articles are given their own articles:
- Itineraries should have their own articles (formatted using the Wikitravel:Itinerary article template).
- Phrasebooks should have their own articles (formatted using the Wikitravel:Phrasebook template).
- Travel topics should have their own articles.