Wikivoyage:Tourist Office

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Welcome to the Tourist Office

The Wikivoyage Tourist Office is a place where you can ask travel-related questions about any place in the world. Wikivoyage volunteers will do their best to find the relevant information (or just reply off the top of their expert heads) and reply to you.

This page is for travel-related questions which have not yet been addressed in Wikivoyage's destination guides. Queries regarding general information on other topics may be made at Wikipedia's Reference desk; information on how to contribute to Wikivoyage is at Help:Contents; and questions about Wikivoyage may be posed at the Pub.

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Answered questions will be moved to the Archives after two weeks of inactivity.

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Fastest Commercial Airline travel between Australia & New Zealand[edit]

Who/which Airline was/is the fastest speed attained by a commercial airline passenger jet between Australia and New Zealand, or fastest crossing of the Tasman Sea by a commercial passenger aircraft between Australia & New Zealand? Asked by: Hemi2k6 (talk) 11:29, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Do you mean from Australia to New Zealand, or v.v? You'll probably find the Coolangatta to Auckland can be the quickest trip over, but not necessarily the other way. --Inas (talk) 01:32, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

visa application for Australia[edit]

Asked by: Pdeastham (talk) 15:40, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

Hi! To enter Australia, everyone except New Zealanders need a visa. If you are a short term visitor and a citizen of certain western (& western-like Asian) countries it's free, otherwise it costs. Have a look at our Australia article for the basics about visas to Australia. For more details and the actual application, check out the Department of Immigration's web page. ϒpsilon (talk) 15:50, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Mostly it's only the Europeans who get a free eVisitor for Australia. Most other developed countries have to pay a $20 fee to cover the cost of a ETA. New Zealand citizens can get a visa on arrival. As ϒpsilon says, see the Australia article --Inas (talk) 00:04, 16 September 2014 (UTC)


I'm trying to find out about a place that I think is called Kamberra. It appears to be a micro state in the Pacific. I recently picked up a banknote which is from "Banco De Kamberra" and the currency is Numismas. But I can find very little about it online and we don't appear to have a page about it. When I google it, most of the stuff that come up is about the banknotes, which appear very colourful and have pictures of film stars/Albert Einstein, etc. on them. The most information I can find about it is on this page which is again about currency. Is this a real place, or some kind of joke? I mean...if it's such a small 'micro-nation' then why does it have such a well known and diversely colourful currency??? Asked by: 16:09, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

It's not a real place. I've read a little bit about different micronations (practically unrecognized countries) but I haven't heard of this one. Micronations often claim some land (uninhabited islands, deserted oil drilling platforms, parts of Antarctica etc.) but for Kamberra I cannot even find anything like that. There's just a site touting those banknotes, a Facebook page and some other pages about them. You can consider your banknotes works of art by some creative person. ϒpsilon (talk) 16:25, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

which is the airport with the shortest runway in England[edit]

Asked by: 11:48, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Depends what you count as an airport... a training field in Netherthorpe (a suburb of Sheffield) has runways as short as 309m TORA (Takeoff Run Available) / 392m LDA (Landing Distance Available), while a list of the "top five shortest runways in the world" puts Barra, Scotland (twice the size at 677.7m) as shortest-in-UK and fifth-shortest worldwide. K7L (talk) 15:46, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Promote our Chambre d'hotes[edit]

How can we promote our Chambres d'hotes with wikivoyager?

Asked by: 15:00, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Start by reading Wikivoyage:Welcome, business owners and some of the pages it links to. Create an account for yourself so people can tell who is posting and can contact you. Create a user page that explains you are the owner/manager/whatever of the establishment and gives a link, then add the place in the appropriate article. Don't tout in either place. Pashley (talk) 15:20, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) We don't promote here; our mission is to serve the traveller. As such, we're looking for useful information (names, locations, prices, hours, property description) as {{listing}}s which inform the traveller. Find the most local article for your city. If you are in Paris, you will find that article is divided into districts or arrondissements. Choose just one of these arrondissements (such as Paris/1st_arrondissement#Sleep, using whichever district is closest to you) and add the listing template in the appropriate price category:
  • {{sleep | name= | alt= | url= | email= | address= | lat= | long= | directions= | phone= | tollfree= | fax= | price= | checkin= | checkout= | content= }}
There is a listing editor (just click "[add listing]" in the appropriate "Sleep" subsection for your district or arrondissement) where you can fill in the basic info and a short, free-form description (content) for the individual establishment.
A similar procedure applies in the French-language article, but "Sleep" is "Se loger" (for instance, fr:1er arrondissement de Paris#Se loger). There are also versions of these pages en langues étrangères at varying levels of completeness. K7L (talk) 15:35, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Is St. Petersburg, Russia, safe?[edit]

I recently saw an advertisement for a "RopeFest" event in St. Petersburg, Russia, in November. I've already decided not to go, because I can't afford the time or the money. But I became interested in going next year. My question is not about this "RopeFest" event but about St. Petersburg, Russia, in general.

Is it safe for a nearly middle-aged single Finnish man to go to St. Petersburg, Russia, all alone? I've been there once before, but it was in a large tourist group. I've never been there alone. A friend of a friend told me in the early 2000s that Vyborg is no place for a Finn to be alone in, and I guess St. Petersburg is worse than that. But that was a decade ago.

The population of St. Petersburg is almost that of the entire country of Finland, if not more so. That alone makes me worried. And as far as I've understood, the crime rate in Russia in big cities in the west is pretty high. It might be far lower in the countryside in Asia, but that's not where I'm planning to go. And as well as that, I don't speak or understand any Russian. I can read the Cyrillic alphabet, but that's it.

If I decide to go to "RopeFest" next year, I plan on spending the most of my time at the actual event. Outside the event's opening hours, I plan on seeing some of the most famous tourist attractions of the city, but I have no plans of exploring every little street or going out to the local nightlife.

As far as I've understood, Finns require a visa to visit Russia at all. That shouldn't be a problem, I had no problems with it when I visited St. Petersburg on the tourist group trip. But I'm not at all sure where to find a hotel there.

I'd be grateful if someone could answer my queries and worries here. Asked by: JIP (talk) 18:40, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Firstly, check out the Saint Petersburg guide - even though much of it is a mess as of now. Been there myself on a visa-free cruise (St. Peter Line, you know) a year and a half ago, there were two of us. I had a slightly uneasy feeling while there (probably just from stories one hears about safety in Russia) — nothing bad happened. Russia is not the safest part of Europe, though there are certainly more dangerous places in the world. Also, just the fact that a place has a large population does not necessarily mean it's more dangerous, a friend of a friend who was doing business there in the 1990s got stopped and robbed on the highway. In the city there are at least more people around that see what happens. The most important thing is to avoid looking like a tourist or rich; dress down, don't show all sorts of electronic gadgetry or a map or a huge camera and don't make a big scene while taking photos. On the upside, a Finn doesn't stick out that much in Russia as in, say, Latin America.
It's very useful to know basic Russian, don't expect people who aren't in the tourist business to speak English. If you're alone, remember you don't have anyone to watch your back. Also, even if the national drink costs 1/6th of what it does here...don't.
Yup, pretty much everyone needs a visa to Russia, the exception is if you arrive and leave by ship and don't stay for more than 72 hours in the country. All in all, I would strongly advice you to bring a Russian-speaking friend. Alexander perhaps can give some more advice. ϒpsilon (talk) 15:41, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
OK, thanks. I looked at the event info, and it looks like it lasts three days, from early evening to late evening each day, ending well before midnight. It is located very close to the centre, on one of those big islands where the Neva river flows into the Baltic sea (I couldn't make out their names on Google Maps). I should have no problem finding a hotel there, but I'm not at all sure how I would travel between the hotel and the event. I visited a similar event, BoundCon, in Munich last year, and had no problems during the entire time. I managed to both see the whole of the event and to see the most important tourist attractions of Munich itself, and getting back to the hotel close to midnight, all alone, was no problem. I had no safety concerns during the entire trip. But is St. Petersburg any different? The only native Russian speakers I know are a couple of co-workers, and my uncle married a Russian woman, and thus both he and their children speak Russian fluently. But I don't think I could ask any of them to accompany me to this kind of event in St. Petersburg. JIP (talk) 18:42, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
I think it should be the same in the central part of Saint Petersburg. If you are not sure, check with your hotel or with the organizers of the event, or, in the worst case, call a taxi that should not cost you more than 10 Euro. --Alexander (talk) 19:13, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Lots of tourists visit St. Petersburg every year. It is absolutely safe for everyone who knows how to survive in a big city. Unless you plan to go off the beaten path, you will be in tourist areas where most of the relevant information is translated into English, and there is a good chance that people will speak some English too. There is nothing to worry about.
Regarding the hotel, will offer you hundreds of options. Just check the hotel information, read what other people write about their stay, and make your choice. The city has quite a few of small private hotels located in old residential houses in the city center, and I would say it is a very rewarding experiene to stay there because you will get a glimpse of real life and perhaps some interesting experience. --Alexander (talk) 19:13, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, with common sense you should be fine. I'd recommend taking a beginner's course in Russian before your trip if you can - in non-touristy restaurants, shops etc. it will be useful. ϒpsilon (talk) 19:58, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
One more problem. I saw advice about not looking rich or like a tourist. I don't look rich, but I look like a tourist. I am passionate about photography, and carry a DSLR camera wherever I go. Especially on a tourist trip, I like to photograph whatever I see. I don't know if photography is allowed in "RopeFest", but it was in BoundCon, and I took about 6000 pictures during my entire trip, of which 4000 were of BoundCon and 2000 of Munich itself. Will openly carrying a DSLR camera in St. Petersburg make me a target for crime? In any case, I won't be going very far from the city centre, and I won't be out in the city in the middle of the night. As soon as the event is over, I'll be heading straight to my hotel to sleep. JIP (talk) 18:20, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
No, it won't make you a target. Thousands of tourists hang around with such cameras, and you will see that local people also have tons of non-budget electronics (smartphones are especially popular). There are certain districts where I would not recommend you to carry your camera openly in the middle of the night, but that's a pretty standard advice for any big city including Helsinki. That's all I can say for now. When you know which district you want to stay in, I could perhaps give you a more detailed advice.
Note also that a bigger danger comes not from your camera itself but from things that you may want to shot. Avoid taking pictures of police and those buildings that they guard. Otherwise, you may be suspected in assisting terrorists (very stupid, I know). There were lots of similar issues in the subway, which was a real pity because subway stations in Russia are beautiful. Fortunately, this was released several years ago. As of now, you are allowed to take pictures in the subway, but only with a non-professional camera and without flash. Railway stations remain a more sensitive place, so you better avoid using your camera inside the station building and on the platform (making a shot of the building from outside is no problem).
You are also supposed to pay extra charge for taking pictures in many (but not all) museums. --Alexander (talk) 08:55, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Beijing guide[edit]

I am looking for a private or semi-private guide for a 2-day, 1-night trip to the Great Wall, starting in Beijing, in late October. Accomodations could be either camping or a modest guest house. Asked by: 20:05, 17 September 2014 (UTC)David