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Discussion about Europe hierarchy (that is, why some countries are in some regions) should take place in Talk:Europe/Hierarchy.

Archived discussions

Constituent countries in UK[edit]

Could it not be possible to state somewhere within that the UK is actually made up of FOUR countries; England (with capital London), Wales (with capital Cardiff), Scotland (with capital Edinburgh) and Northern Ireland (with capital Belfast) as the UK is NOT a single country and there are FOUR capital cities in the UK! 09:23, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

We have a fair bit of detail on that in the UK article (arguably too much). Just remember that the the traveler comes first, and we're not writing an encyclopedia, but a practical guide for people getting around. --Inas (talk) 09:28, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
The UK is a "country of countries" though. Yes, it is made up for 4 sovereign states. But it is also ONE state/country. That's why Wales isn't listed as a member of the EU - the UK is. It's a tricky situation (like the City of London which is located within London City and has its own mayor and voting system and laws). 09:36, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
And there is a link to WP on the page, for the traveller who is concerned with the correct details of the political arrangements. --Inas (talk) 09:42, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
It was precisely BECAUSE the traveler comes first that it would be better to state the make up of the UK being England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (with their respective capital cities). 10:07, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
Why? Because they need a separate passport to get from England to Scotland? Because the currency varies? Because the Queen doesn't reign in all four nations? Why is that so critical for the European traveler to know? LtPowers (talk) 16:30, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
The division into four is also covered in Britain and Ireland. I see no reason at all to consider covering it here. Pashley (talk) 14:54, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
If we opened this Pandora's box, just imagine describing Germany or the former Yugoslav republics, like Bosnia & Herzegovina. PrinceGloria (talk) 15:07, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Add a Schengen map?[edit]

What are other editors' thoughts on including a map of the Schengen Area (like this one, or this one) with an appropriately descriptive caption? The infobox that's there now does give this information, and do I think we should leave it there (or alternatively, incorporate it into the map's caption). But I believe a map would help readers better visualize which countries are, and are not, Schengen Agreement member states. Athelwulf (talk) 05:29, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

I think I would agree. A bit of visualization is rarely bad, and in this case there's plenty of text to put a map next to. I would say go ahead and put one there and then let's see how it looks. JuliasTravels (talk) 20:46, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
A map sounds good.
What about the table above the Schengen section, showing which countries are in EU, in Schengen, use Euro, ...? Text says it is up-to-date as of 2009. How about now? Do table or text need changes? Pashley (talk) 21:18, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

Microconflict states[edit]

I rv-ed the addition of South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Northern Cyprus to the list of countries, and removed Transnistria to be consistent.

Putting these in what is essentially a countries list is problematic for a couple reasons. First and foremost, it's going to offend contributors from countries involved in the dispute, possibly turning off editors we want, and almost certainly attract editors we don't want (politically-motivated editors). People from these tiny entities are fully used to being left out of countries lists, so the reverse won't be true. Second, according to our own notions of how to divvy up content, places like N-K and S Ossetia really don't belong. Before the Russians took over, South Ossetia was basically an uncontrolled place. Visiting now is most practical on a Georgian visa—I'm not even sure if there is such a thing as a South Ossetian visa. There certainly aren't any embassies or consulates you could go to get one. N-K can only be visited via Armenia, and is for all intents and purposes part of that country.

We could put in just Abkhazia, Northern Cyprus, and Transnistria, then, as they have "more" sovereignty than N-K and S Ossetia, but why? These are meant to be navigational aids, not some sort of political statement, and I really don't think people looking at a Europe article are expecting convenient navigation to obscure, unrecognized "conflict states." --Peter Talk 03:29, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

This is a navigational page, and these states are at the same level of the hierarchy as other countries. Not listing them here means you can't get to them from our geographical hierarchy. Travelers have to deal with these states, they are in control of the territory and they'll need to follow their laws and get their visa. I think it'd be a site-wide change if we'd now suddenly go back and only deal with UN recognized states. Then we'd also have to do away with Kosovo and Taiwan. Not sure who gets better from that.
Also, I'm not sure what you mean with being political. I actually think the current way is political, as we're using international politics as a measure for which state gets listed here, instead of actual states travelers deal with while travelling there.Globe-trotter (talk) 18:10, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
I think it is necessary to make a clear distinction (here & in lower-level region articles) between these states and widely recognised ones. They have fewer embassies so getting a visa may be tricky, nearby countries may be involved in conflict with them so borders may be dangerous and/or difficult/impossible to cross, and most other countries have no embassy there so getting help once you are in them may be hard. As I see it, listing them as "countries" without some clear making of their difficult status is a serious error, quite dangerous to travellers. Pashley (talk) 18:37, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure if these should be listed at all in the Europe article, though of course they should be at lower levels. If they are, they should be clearly marked as not widely recognised. Pashley (talk) 18:41, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
I concur with Globe-trotter. We should be consistent at all levels of the hierarchy in our consideration of unrecognized states. The Europe page should contain links to Transnistria etc. as we treat them as separate countries. It is not for us to decide what "people looking at a Europe article" are expecting. It is our job to report the facts as best we can. If that involves providing information about states that no-one's heard of, so be it. You never know... It may lead us to spread knowledge rather than reinforce incorrect simplistic interpretations of the state of the world.
Travelpleb (talk) 19:59, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
I am inclined to agree with Pashley that bringing attention to their difficult status may be helpful. However, whatever we do, it must be consistent: that means that the cuddly Taiwan and Kosovo and prickly Transnistria must be treated similarly in accordance with whatever policy we come up with regarding this.Travelpleb (talk) 20:09, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Roundabouts and right of way[edit]

The edit changed the sentence on if the entering traffic or the already present traffic in a roundabout should yield give way to the other part. The current wording is completely the opposite of the practice in Denmark, and as far as I knew everywhere else in the EU. Researching the topic I did find a trustworthy source stating that in France both kinds of roundabout rules occur. But before I do something about it, I'd like to hear If anyone supports the current wording on this? Mads.bahrt (talk) 01:44, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

Electricity and AC Difference[edit]

In Europe, the rate of current is 50, not 60 as it is in The USA. This should be notes somewhere in this article, but I've not seen it.~ Ceadeus Slayer Sea of Blood -Underwater Ruins 20:27, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

It is noted on every country article; do you think that's insufficient? LtPowers (talk) 21:36, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Sorta. *pokerface* Ceadeus Slayer Sea of Blood -Underwater Ruins 17:54, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Well where do you think it would go best if we included it in this article? LtPowers (talk) 23:36, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Text overlapping on map[edit]

Swept in from the pub
This version of Europe page, showing text of regions list overlapping with map of Europe (Firefox 19.0.2 on Linux).

On the Europe page, the map of Europe is overlapping with text from the regions list. I don't know how to fix this. I expect we are having this problem on other pages, too. Templates are involved, and the page Table of Contents (TOC) and it is just too complicated for me. I think the regions list template could be the culprit because in my attempts to sort the problem I encountered the regions list text sometimes overlapping the TOC and other times overlapping the map. Here's a screenshot of this problem viewed in Firefox 19.0.2. I hope others can solve this. I'm stumped. --Rogerhc (talk) 04:35, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

I see no issues from my Windows 7, Chrome browser, but have seen this sort of thing before. The left-aligned TOC definitely causes a lot of issues. Last I heard, we're moving towards a horizontal TOC, but I'm not actually aware where that discussion is taking place. Actually, is that discussion taking place yet? JamesA >talk 06:01, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
Wikivoyage:TOC. --Rogerhc (talk) 23:36, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
I see this in Firefox too. Does not happen in IE but the positioning of map, TOC and region list is messy and there is a lot of white space. --Traveler100 (talk) 05:47, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
I have just tried the Europe page on several browsers on a Win7 PC. Firefox and Seamonkey both have text on the map (not surprising they are both from Mozilla). IE9 has no text overlapping, but also no text next the map, giving a lot of white space. Chrome looks best, with no text on the map, and only a small block of white space. I am surprised at how different this bit of the page looks in different browsers. AlasdairW (talk) 21:58, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Is this an improvement Central Europe/sandbox? Gets the contents out of the area of the region map. Traveler100 (talk) 21:35, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Your suggestion needs to be combined with the efforts at Wikivoyage talk:TOC/Banner. But yes, verticalizing the TOC generally does take care of this problem. However, I would prefer you didn't create test sub-pages in the main namespace - please put it as a sub-page in your user space, since main space subpages are only for district articles. I'm just afraid it sets a bad example for other less savvy users, who have been known to create these sub-pages for any and every proposal no matter how little support there is. Texugo (talk) 14:25, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Page banner[edit]

I just plunged forward. Other suggestions? Danapit (talk) 11:22, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

I like the theme but most of the subject matter is obscured by the text box.Travelpleb (talk) 11:31, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
Oh wait... when I adjust my zoom, the text goes to one line, rather than two, and it looks good. I like it.Travelpleb (talk) 11:34, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
That's a really cool banner! --Peter Talk 16:19, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
That's a cool banner for Kinderdijk. If we decided to promote cliches, it would have been an acceptable banner for Netherlands. But it is totally out of place for Europe, IMHO. I love the Netherlands to bits, but this is neither the most typical nor the most important sight in Europe. It is a unique sight in the Netherlands, most of Europe does not look like that. And if we opted for a "symbol of Europe", some part of Brussels or Strasbourg, or a super-recognizable landmark like the Eiffel Tower would work well. How about a picture of one of the miniature parks of Europe, where you can have various landmarks and country sights juxtaposed against each other? I will look for one. PrinceGloria (talk) 05:01, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
A quick glance through the available photos proves we have a really awful and not really useful selection of photos of miniature parks, so if anybody would be going near one, do your community service. Meanwhile, how about this banner?
Europe Wikivoyage banner Strasbourg European Parliament.png
I know Europe is not European Union, but a fair number of destination countries are members and also apply free transit laws resulting from the EU and agreements it has with non-EU countries. The borderless nature of Europe, which consists of so many diverse states yet is somehow one, is an aspect many tourists from outside (and inside as well) decide to go to Europe for. Europe also makes many think of "socialist" laws, bureaucracy and modernity deeply rooted in often convulted history. The European Union is simply the epitomy of being "European" in the eyes of a stranger, and this photo emphasizes it all. To those who won't know what it is, it is simply nice :) PrinceGloria (talk) 06:18, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry, to me this is just not at all what makes Europe "inviting" or attractive, and although the open borders are obviously very convenient, I'm quite sure that's not why people go. I'm guessing it's not allowed under current policy, but Europe would be an excellent article to have a slowly changing banner at the top. Eiffeltower, English guards with their remarkable hats, Switserlands's mountains, a Spanish bull fighter... so many great options, but none of them single-handedly represent the whole continent :-) JuliasTravels (talk) 08:59, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
And never will. It is impossible for a single page banner to represent the multitudes that are Europe. So choose a single striking image and run with it, which is exactly what Danapit did. I like it. LtPowers (talk) 15:09, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
Continent banners are hard, I think European is the the only one that doesn't use the "some mountains somewhere" way out. And I like it. Jjtkk (talk) 15:32, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

OK, I understand that the Europarliament banner did not curry much favour, so here are two more proposals:

  1. Hoping that the "some mountains somewhere" is at least a majority favourite, one using a picture of the Alps, very European to me (those may be some Alps somewhere, but to me it is clear those are Alps and that it is in Europe)
Europe Wikivoyage banner Alps.png
  1. Since there seems to be a (perfectly understandable to me) predilection for the Netherlands, how about this banner devised from a photo of the Dutch city of Vlissingen, which can be said as representative of historic European cities, not like ones found on other continents. And this is surely a major reason for which people come to Europe.
Europe Wikivoyage banner Vlissingen.png

I still believe the Kinderdijk banner belongs in Kinderdijk and we could use a more general banner here. PrinceGloria (talk) 19:09, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

Just a thought: Europe is probably the continent where the cultural attractions outweigh the natural attractions. So how would it sound to have some Greek or Roman piece of art or architecture depicted in the banner? Or some medieval castle? But it should be something that the average reader cannot exactly pinpoint at the first glance. If we put a picture of something that anyone instantly recognizes like the Eiffel tower, Big Ben or Colosseum it is kinda "at the expense of" all the other attractions. ϒpsilon (talk) 20:25, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Ypsilon's thinking, that something cultural is preferable to something natural for Europe in particular, and that it's better to avoid the most obvious cliches for the pagebanner. That said, I really like Dana's banner, and think it fulfills that role. Also, I agree 100% with LtPowers' comment above—so much so that I considered simply quoting it in full in this comment ;) --Peter Talk 05:16, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
I think the windmills do not represent Europe very well. It's not an attraction that visitors to Europe are likely to see. They are characteristic for the Netherlands but not of any importance to Europe as a whole. I think it'd be better to get the Eiffel Tower or Colosseum on the banner. Globe-trotter (talk) 22:55, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
Don't you think those are a bit overdone? LtPowers (talk) 02:06, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
The United States have the Statue of Liberty on the banner. I don't think of the Colosseum or Eiffel Tower as overdone, but as icons for the continent. Of course other icons could be chosen. But the windmills have nothing European about them, they're only very characteristic for one particular country. Globe-trotter (talk) 02:23, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
But Eiffel Tower is way more "very characteristic for one particular country" than windmills. I have no problem with current banner but if has to be changed I'm with Ypsilon's idea of some not so famous medieval castle. Jjtkk (talk) 06:15, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Not for nothing, Globe-trotter, but the USA is a country, not a continent. I would have no problem with the Eiffel Tower on France or Paris, or the Colosseum on Rome or Italy. LtPowers (talk) 22:52, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
Agree with LtPowers that something that is iconic to a specific country is not ideal. Is the image of the timber buildings shown here generic enough? --Traveler100 (talk) 16:27, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
They're in a regional style, are they not? They're also just not as interesting as photos a majority(?) of you seem to be excluding because they are clearly from a particular country. I don't agree with those objections, though: What serves the traveler best is to select a good image that is in some way iconic of Europe, regardless of whether it is recognizably from one particular European country. Though if you really want to avoid using an image that's recognizably from a particular country, consider a natural scene, for example of mountains (which could be the Alps or Pyrenees) or coastline, or a view of vineyards, sunflower fields or the like. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:02, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
I proposed an alpine banner above, what do you make of it? I also find Traveler's banner "interesting" in the visual sense and quite representative of Europe without being too specific or cliche. PrinceGloria (talk) 17:22, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
Ikan, that's not what I said. I think something specific to one country is okay as long as it's not an overused image like the Eiffel Tower or the Colosseum. Something visually striking like the windmills is great. LtPowers (talk) 19:03, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
But others objected to the windmills. PrinceGloria, I like the Alpine image. I also like the current windmills image very much, just as you do, LtPowers. The Dornstetten image is fine, too, as long as we don't care about using a regional architectural style (correct me if I'm wrong that it is a regional style, but I wouldn't expect to see it in, for example, Italy or Spain). I don't find the image of portions of buildings in Vlissingen visually arresting. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:39, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

How about the second proposal above with some typically European architecture? I find this a very nice photo anyway, and works well as a banner. It can be tricky to cut a castle into a banner so that it looks alrighty. What is wrong in the banner proposed above? PrinceGloria (talk) 06:22, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

I think it is a very short sighted view to consider wind mills something characteristic for a single country. There are dozens of windmills in Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Poland or Belgium to start with, which are a very characteristic part of European cultural landscape. The idea of selecting a wind mill for European banner was quite premeditated in this respect. But feel free to come up with a better suggestion. --Danapit (talk) 06:32, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Both myself and Traveler100 just did. What do you make of our proposals? PrinceGloria (talk) 16:45, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
PS. My earlier comment about windmills which somehow went to the wrong place:
Those particular windmills are as Dutch as can be without actually eating a Pindakaas sandwich covered with De Ruijter hagelslag. There are windmills everywhere in Europe, but they don't look like that. In fact, there are windmills all over the world, because they are not a European exclusive. What is a European exclusive is the built environment several hundred years old and built in particular architectural styles - even if bits of it can be found someplaces else, it is clearly a foreign element (as much as a pagoda would be in Europe, even if several exist). And if we can find a reasonably common denominator for the European architectural heritage it would fit just right. PrinceGloria (talk) 07:18, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Here are some more ideas, with things that I think conjure up "Europe" in hopefully a not quite so iconically nation-specific way as the Eiffel Tower:

Bavaria banner Neuschwanstein Castle.jpg
Venice banner Grand Canal panorama.jpg
Montreux banner Château de Chillon.jpg
Maidstone banner Leeds Castle.jpg
Vatican banner Rafael's "School of Athens".jpg

I think I like the first two best. If not used here, they can be used elsewhere (the Montreux and Lake Geneva banners are begging to be replaced in particular). --Peter Talk 00:41, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

All of those are great banners! The one that most says "[name of city]" to me is the view of the Grand Canal in Venice, so for those of you who want to avoid nation- and region-specific banners, that's the one you probably wouldn't want to use. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:53, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
Those are all brilliant banners, and I agree they should ALL be put to good use regardless of which becomes the banner for Europe in the end. My comments below:
  1. The Venice banner is obviously too Venice for the whole of Europe but would do brilliantly as a banner for Venice as such
  2. The Leeds castle banner, I am afraid, proves what I thought - medieval castles don't make attractive banners :/
  3. The Neuschwanstein banner is too recognizable to me, besides Bavaria really does need a new banner...
  4. The Montreux banner is just perfect if you'd ask me, the only problem is what will the banner for Montreux and Lake Geneva then be...?
  5. The School of Athens banner is very creative and ingenious IMHO, I am all for it becoming the European banner. It symbolizes Europe on so many levels without referring to a specific country or attraction. Bravo!

Cheers, PrinceGloria (talk) 05:50, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Tending to favour the School of Athens banner too. I think it is almost impossible to find a picture of a building or landscape that is not regional specific, and could represent the whole of Europe.--Traveler100 (talk) 07:11, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
I was fine with the mills but I'm also happy with any of these banners, as they are fine too. I too think the Venice is the most specific, and I like the idea of the School of Athens one. Good work, Peter. I'll say it again though... I would love to see a slow slideshow of such banners for articles as huge as continents :P JuliasTravels (talk) 07:31, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
Peter, that's a tough selection! Any of them would be great. If the mills (my first option) need to go, I vote for Lake Geneva or School of Athens, they are really brilliant ones. Danapit (talk) 08:06, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
I still like the windmills, but I think Nuschwanstein is the most obviously European of the new choices. LtPowers (talk) 12:51, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
Unfortunately, looking more closely at the Nuschwanstein pic, it's poorly stitched as a panorama and includes a number of exposure issues and ghost images. LtPowers (talk) 12:53, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Can we agree on the School of Athens being the most universally appealing choice among us here and use it as a banner for this article from now on? PrinceGloria (talk) 06:23, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

I'm afraid that's probably my least-favored of the available options. I don't see universality as a desirable goal; I prefer well-composed and striking photography over trying to somehow shoehorn all of Europe into one image. LtPowers (talk) 23:55, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
Oh sorry, your opposition was not apparent to me from your comments above. Does anybody else share LtPowers' concerns or have their own other ones. If not, we may then go the majority route if my perception of support for the School of Athens was not misguided. PrinceGloria (talk) 03:19, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
PS. Just to make sure - I find the School of Athens photo to be both striking and very well-composed (both the photo and the original painting, obviously).
I know you wish to change the banner and some of us indicated our preferences for a new banner in the case of change, but do we have a consensus for change at all? I would keep the existing one. But I would be slightly biased, wouldn't I ;) Danapit (talk) 14:46, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

Free beer?[edit]

Swept in from the pub

As part of an advertising campaign, in Europe but only Canadians can open the big red fridges. Can we provide a map for thirsty travellers? Pashley (talk) 11:21, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

I don't see why not, if we have someone willing to create a map. It would make a nice subsection to Europe#Drink with a paragraph and a map. Do you think we should add a listing to every city where there's a fridge? Nick1372 (talk) 19:34, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
Hmm. Do we want to collaborate with Molson like that? It would be participating to promote an advertising campaign, after all. Texugo (talk) 19:49, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Texugo. There is also the fact that they are not useful to most travellers. If a city has so many there's one in every street, then maybe a line in that city' Drink section? Nicolas1981 (talk) 06:10, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, I think it's funny enough that a mention is warranted, but definitely not a map. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:19, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

Regions, again[edit]

I think we should think about diving and merging some regions, because it is harmful that one region (e.g. Central Europe) has plenty of inhabitants (in this case 165 mln people) while another has only 6.5 million residents (Baltic States). Please consider it.

PS The number of inhabitants correlates with the number of monuments (and other places to sightseeing) —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)

Only imperfectly. It's very difficult to get consistent population figures at this size; it's more important to have recognizable travel regions that the traveler would recognize. LtPowers (talk) 14:03, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I was also thinking this division is imperfect and should be changed, but after trying to chart out some alternatives in my mind, I realized it is imperfect just like any other alternative. The reason to keep it as it is is mainly that we would have to do a new map and edit a huge amount of articles if we changed anything. I don't really consider this being a big problem, the "regional" articles within Europe are for the most part redundant and entirely skippable to individual country level, this should be the least of our worries right now IMHO.
The tourist attractiveness of a region or a number of attractions is absolutely not correlated with the number of inhabitants. Otherwise, nobody would be living in Bochum. PrinceGloria (talk) 15:14, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
To some extent it is, but you are right. I just wanted to compare that it is obvious that Central Europe region is too extended here and thus it has many of its attractions belittled while some less interesting places only because they are placed in a small region can be showed in the limelight. 12:32, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
Can anyone do something about that (i.e. divide the Central Europe)? 14:51, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
You'd have to come up with a division that made more sense for the traveler... do you have any proposals? LtPowers (talk) 15:54, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
How about splitting out the DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) counties? And also Liechtenstein. I know Switzerland is not totally Germanic in language and culture but then the language and culture of many regions in Europe are not strictly following the current borders. Traveler100 (talk) 18:43, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
If we had a new DACH division, would you propose abolishing the (tiny population region of) "Baltic States" by lumping Estonia in with a new "Nordic countries" region and have Latvia and Lithuania joining the same region as Poland? Or would Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania all join in with a new "Nordic and Baltic region ? --W. Franke-mailtalk 19:02, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
What is wrong with a small region group if they have a common culture, geographical area or history?
And what exactly is that common culture you are talking about? H2ppyme (talk) 12:41, 21 March 2016 (UTC)
It might make sense to combine the current "Nordic countries" and "Baltic states" into a single region, but it would have to be called "Northern Europe". "Nordic and Baltic" is silly and, unlike "Britain and Ireland" instead of "British Isles", there is no reason for it. Pashley (talk) 02:05, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
How about just five regions: Western, Central, Eastern, Northern, and Southeastern Europe? Powers (talk) 19:08, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
While I don't wish to comment on individual regions, I would say that taken as a whole, the current region divisions make sense from the travellers' perspective, more so than a simple 'compass point' division. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 23:00, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
Well the current divisions would still be in place, I think, just grouped directionally. Powers (talk) 18:33, 25 March 2016 (UTC)
Why should regions be split by population? Surely the criteria is whether there is enough to write about a specific region that is common to a number of countries? If you look at Malta or Belarus they are directly under Europe in the breadcrumbs while Germany, with many more articles, is group with a large number of countries under central Europe. Traveler100 (talk) 20:09, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
I find the existing division is logical and don't see any harm with regions not being equal sizes. None of the proposed changes so far make much sense to me. Danapit (talk) 05:25, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

Europe has an empty 'Eat' section[edit]

It seems strange that Europe has until now nothing to say about eating :)

Perhaps some people can contribute their nation's cuisines? As an English person I'm hesitant to start this :P Andrewssi2 (talk) 12:20, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

Europe is not alone here. Unfortunately, the problem is same with all the continents. --Saqib (talk) 12:28, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
I have filled it in with whatever I could come up with, for better or worse. I hope it will be a start of a creative discussion and fruitful process :) PrinceGloria (talk) 13:19, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
Ha, sometimes things go faster than you'd expect ;-) You were ahead of me, but I saved it nonetheless. Feel free to revert or cut. JuliasTravels (talk) 13:35, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
Awesome work guys! Thanks so much! I really can't think of anything to add at a continent level.
Saqib : I did add a sentence to Asia#Eat a few weeks back. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 14:22, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

Euler diagrams, etc.[edit]

I feel like this content and this diagram and table are encyclopedic in character and not of much practical use to travelers, so I moved them here:

Here is an Euler diagram showing the various agreements and a ready reference table, up to date as of 2014:

Supranational European Bodies-en.svg

{{Europe reference table}}

Please discuss. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:29, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

I agree that the diagram and table have too much details, but they are better than nothing. WIth a quick glance at these visuals, the average traveler would get a quick overview of things that they would care about: currency (i.e. the eurozone), border control (Schengen Area), and the various customs unions in Europe. What improvements to these do you suggest? Edge3 (talk) 00:37, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
The members of the Schengen Area are already listed in an infobox at the beginning of the "Get in" section, where it's most relevant, and the Eurozone countries are shown in "Buy," where that's most relevant. So my suggestion is to leave things in the article as they are. If you think it's very important to have a list of all the Eurozone countries, in addition to the map of them and prose mention of Kosovo and Montenegro having unilaterally adopted the Euro, I suppose you could, but if a reader can't even recognize the countries of Europe on the map, I'm skeptical that they'll be able to get much from an alphabetical list of countries. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:48, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
The diagram is indeed TMI for a traveller. The table is very useful and I would put it back. I know most of the information contained therein as I live and travel within Europe mostly, and quite frequently, but had I not, I'd want a reference table like that to plan my European journeys. It may not be that easy for an American or Asian traveller to make that out from prose, especially distinguishing between Slovenia and Slovakia, or particular Balkan countries. PrinceGloria (talk) 09:16, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
Just a heads up - that table is already present in our European Union article. --Nick talk 09:48, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the heads-up - if we still haven't merged that redundant article into this one, we should stat! PrinceGloria (talk) 18:25, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
First, I disagree that that table is so useful, as I mentioned before. But if a consensus forms that it is, it should be de-encylopediaed. "6 Independence disputed, claimed by Serbia" is not a worthwhile thing to mention in a table. I also dislike the obviously Wikipedia format of the table, with seemingly exhaustive information and footnotes. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:38, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
I actually created a new table Template:European_Union_reference_table for the European Union article and made it more EU relevant and less encyclopedic.
In terms of the table above, I also don't believe it is very useful for a traveler and more relevant to Wikipedia. I would say that the 'Regions' section covers everything well enough considering the large number of countries involved. Andrewssi2 (talk) 01:55, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Firstly, I believe that presenting this kind of data in encyclopedic format is very useful. You may foo-foo at it as "Wikipedia-style", but I'd hate to fish through paragraphs of text or many different articles to see if I need different currencies when visiting Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia, or whether landing in Switzerland from the US will clear me for customs and passport control for the entire EU. I'd also want some info on time zones.
Secondly, the table is of no use if it is only for EU members. Tourists won't learn the composition of the EU by heart. It is very worthwhile to include ALL European countries so that tourists could double-check if a given country is a EU member (and more importantly, if it uses the Euro and is in Schengen, which may not be related to their EU membership).
We may want to remove the footnotes, but I believe they do no harm, and only two are "encyclopedic" rsther than providing extra useful information. Perhaps the data on when a country joined the EU and whether it is an official applicant is not as useful, but otherwise, I am all for including the table back in the article. And merging the redundant European Union back in as well. --PrinceGloria (talk) 05:50, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

@Andrewssi2: I think Template:European_Union_reference_table would look great on this article, but would it be appropriate to add all European countries, including the non-EU countries? Or should we just modify Template:Europe reference table? Edge3 (talk) 01:20, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Check out User:Andrewssi2/Europe_Table_Experiment . It needs the rest of the European countries appended to the bottom, but I think it makes things a little clearer. I also changed the Schengen area indicator from Y/N because that was actually unreadable. Feedback? Andrewssi2 (talk) 02:25, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
So far, it looks good! The timezones might not be recognizable to someone that is not European, so maybe we could use "Western", "Central", and "Eastern" instead? I'm not sure if this is the best way to make the table more readable. Edge3 (talk) 02:33, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Updated again with that suggestion, as well as removing currency codes. The information we are giving is around whether Euros can be used, and from that perspective it isn't too useful to know the Romanian currency code as well.
I'm thinking the time zone is still hard to read. Could we replace with a graphic of some sort? Andrewssi2 (talk) 02:48, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Actually, I'm not sure why it's necessary to have time zone. Do we provide time information for other continents or regions? Edge3 (talk) 03:22, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Because it is useful for travellers. I live in and travel mostly across Europe, and I still do check my time zones for some countries from time to time. It really does make a difference. I would keep with the universally used designations of CET, GMT etc for time zones. "Western" is ambigious, this is also used in the US or Russia for entirely different time zones. PrinceGloria (talk) 04:11, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Question about upgrading to Usable status[edit]

Can we start a community discussion on whether this article on a Contenient should be upgraded to at least Usable status? --Clarkcj12 (talk) 21:33, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

Let's see (Usable region):
  • Has links to the region's major cities and other destinations (the most important of which must be at usable status or better) Yes
  • Get in section describing all of the typical ways to get there Yes
  • The most prominent attractions are identified Yes with directions.

I would say it IS usable. Except in "Other destinations" at least countries could be mentioned for each of them (for directions). Danapit (talk) 08:29, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

Reference table[edit]

Do we want to use Template:Europe reference table here? It is currently proposed for deletion at VfD. Edge3 (talk) 01:38, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

We absolutely do! WTF about the VfD, to say it politely!?! PrinceGloria (talk) 05:51, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
Actually we dropped discussing this a few weeks ago. I beleive we opted for a simpler more traveler friendly varient rather than the encyclopedic Wikipedia version? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 07:50, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
I am not sure how this table can be even simpler, but at any rate some version thereof must stay. Where is the simple version then? PrinceGloria (talk) 08:48, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
Are we talking same table? The symbol and rail columns can go, as well as the year when they joined EU. I thought we were going to use an expanded version of the European Union table? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 09:01, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
Should we still keep the EU column, as y/n? I think we should. It is probably a bit confusing for overseas visitors which countries are in the Schengen, where Euro is used etc. so I would prefer to keep the table in the article in some form. ϒpsilon (talk) 09:16, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
We should keep: EU, EUR, Schengen, Time Zone and perhaps add capital and maybe "our" region. PrinceGloria (talk) 09:23, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Schengen template[edit]

I think the {{Schengen}} template, used in articles on many European countries, is awkward, and suggest the content is moved to a travel topic page and replaced with a very short introduction. See template talk:Schengen. Please participate in the discussion there. --LPfi (talk) 12:19, 14 July 2014 (UTC)


The history section is too brief (especially when we compare it to that of the USA) and was inaccurate in some places. I started adding a few things but I think before it grows to be five paragraphs long we should find some sort of consensus as to how long it should be and what to include and what not to include on what grounds. to give a brief list of "headline" that I think SHOULD DEFINITELY be mentioned how's this:

  • Pre-historic times, Neanderthals, Ice-ages and emergence of civilization
  • Roman times and Greek influence maybe a passing mention of Carthage
  • Fall of Rome (continued existence of East-Rome) and the period of migrations (Huns, Goths, Vandals to name a few major groups)
  • early middle ages, Muslim conquest of Spain, rise of the Frankish empire (don't know if anything of note happened east of the Elbe in that time but it might be worth mentioning if it did)
  • Battle of Tours and Poitiers, rise of the Karolingians, Charlemagne
  • end of the Karolingian empire/dynasty, emergence of "France" and "Germany"
  • Somewhere there: Christianization Scottish and (especially) Irish monks, role of monasteries in the "development" of settlements and cities
  • The Vikings and first European "discovery" of America
  • 1066 and all that
  • Emergence of urban centers of trade and learning and city states (Northern Italy, Germany, Netherlands etc.)
  • First universities in Bologna, Prague etc. (perhaps mentioning in passing, that there were similar things prior to that in Cairo and Bagdad and that some of these also still exist)
  • the "black death" (now believed to be caused by yersinia pestis)
  • the Renaissance and the emergence of vernacular literature (as different from Latin literature) as well as some examples of Renaissance architecture
  • 1453 (end of the last remnants of East-Rome) and 1492 (Columbus sailed the ocean blue, because he was a stupid moron who couldn't calculate the circumference of the earth correctly)
  • First wave of colonialism, Spanish and Portuguese crimes against humanity in their conquest and conversion of the Americas in the name of god and crown
  • Shakespeare
  • Thirty years war (or eighty years war for the Dutch among us) and baroque architecture and literature as a result of that
  • Absoultism, absolutist residences (Versailles but also Dresden or Potsdam)
  • The Enlightenment; Kant, Voltaire, Rousseau
  • The French revolution
  • Napoleon and the Congress of Vienna
  • The Romanticist movement and their impact on poetry and politics (rise of nationalism)
  • 1848
  • a sentence or two about the Crimean and the French Prussian war and their results as well as the formation of Italy through war
  • Colonialism second edition: Africa, Tsingtao, Hong Kong, Macao, South East Asia, India and islands
  • World war one "the original catastrophy of Euroean history"
  • a sentence or two about the troubled period "between the wars"
  • the rise of fascism and world war two (with a mention of Italian fascism and the Spanish civil war)
  • The cold war
  • European unification
  • 89/90 and all that
  • The economic crisis and the ramifications for (especially southern) Europe

I think that would be all and yes I fully expect it to be longer than the USA history section once this is done, because you can't fit everything that happened in Europe before 1776 into two or three paragraphs as you can with the USA. The buildings of that earlier era are still around (I happened to live in one for some time) and the historical narratives will influence travellers.Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:57, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

We actually worked hard to make this section briefer and tie it more closely to links to places a visitor might be interested in. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:18, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
As of pretty much now the history section of Germany has 2188 words the history section of the USA has 1858 words the history section of Europe has 1186 words and we are arguing about whether it is too long. I don't want to have a long history section for a long history section's sake and being concise and brief while still correct is - I think - a very important thing, but a) I think the history section leaves out too much important stuff (no mention of the French revolution; come on!) and b) it isn't very consistent to have a much longer history section in other articles. I think we should come to some sort of consensus as to what should and shouldn't be put into a country's or region history section before the same issue arises again and again. I can live with a brief history section that basically consists of: there were the Romans they aren't here any more there was war, there isn't now. We have the EU. But if such a thing were to be decided it should be across the board and not just for one region/country. And I think the USA and the EU/Europe are comparable in terms of size/population/current importance/strength of the central government/diversity to not justify any one of them being a "special case". Of course some of the content of a history section for Europe could be moved into the country articles but some of the content of the history section of the USA could also be moved to the pages about individual states. I hope we can find some constructive way to find a suitable compromise to not clog the history section with unimportant information but also avoid leaving out important events that a traveller might care about (or visit the sites of). Kind regards and best wishesHobbitschuster (talk) 17:41, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
Actually, I believe I "misspoke": It's the Germany article that we spent a lot of time cutting down. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:44, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
So what would you consider to be things that are mentioned in the history section of Europe but shouldn't and what would you consider things that aren't mentioned but should? I for one think that e.g. the "black death" and the thirty years' war are pretty damn important events of a pan-European scale that should be mentionedHobbitschuster (talk) 18:21, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
Sorry to butt in, but I would like to voice my opinion that we should not consider what is "important", but rather what helps the traveller understand the destination they are visiting. We need to make sure we can make a connection between every historical event or fact mentioned and a particular destination or POI. I believe we can do so for the 30-years war, and any war where spheres of influence in Europe changed (e.g. why are there Spanish influences in the Netherlands, or why are so many places in continental Europe named after Napoleon), but I am not sure we can make a straight connection between the "black death" and Europe as it is experienced now. PrinceGloria (talk) 18:47, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
No problem, in fact I want more people to join this discussion. your proposal sounds remarkably similar to mine that I made here: Wikivoyage:Travellers'_pub#a_policy_regarding_history_sections.3F so maybe we should come to a consensus there before moving on here. Best wishesHobbitschuster (talk) 18:54, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
Definitely with PrinceGloria here. Each item should be relevant to the traveler's current experience or otherwise we may as well just copy and paste from WV. 1066 (for example) is a very distant event even in England whereas the French revolution did have widespread effects throughout Europe (and the world) which can still be seen today. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:08, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
That sounds like a nice ideal, but in practice context is important. The displacement of the Anglo-Saxons in favor of the Normans starting in 1066 probably isn't vital to European history, but it absolutely should be mentioned in United Kingdom#History, for instance. Powers (talk) 22:23, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
If context is important then basically we should add all historical events that happened in Europe for the past 4,000 years? Obviously some are more significant than others and we should be judicial in their selection--Andrewssi2 (talk) 03:51, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

In order to find some way to proceed I think we should here discuss which events/eras should be mentioned in the history section, and I think we should start with mentioning things that should be included and a rationale for that. And afterwards we can discuss reasons why something shouldn't be mentioned. I think judging from the discussion we already have the French revolution / coalition wars (continued political importance, ramifications of Napoleon's conquests on the "landscape" as well as names of places) and the thirty/eighty years war (for Spanish influence in the Netherlands as well as its tremendous influence on central European culture, settlement patterns and history) I would add (well they are already there) colonialism (as they shape migration to and from Europe to this day, something travellers can "see" with their own eys) and the Roman Empire (buildings and cities from Roman times continue to exist). We should probably mention both world wars and Nazism and maybe even the war of 1870/1871, as there are a ton of monuments to commemorate it in Germany and the reasons for France's antagonism to Germany (a main reason of world war I) lie in that event. We should also mention the medieval times and maybe one or two notable dynasties of that time (the Staufer in central Europe, the Plantagenet in England/France, the Capet and their descendants in France) as they built a ton of fortresses and castles that are a major draw for tourists. And probably it isn't entirely ill-advised to mention the Renaissance and the rise of cities as political entities (as we already kinda do) because Rothenburg ob der Tauber or Florence would look vastly different today if they hadn't been politically important an economically powerful at some point in history.Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:37, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

Just as feedback, I actually can't parse the previous paragraph in any meaningful way. It is too hard to read.
If I read the guidance at Wikivoyage:Continent_article_template#Understand, I would say that adding too many events is not consistent with the aim of this guide. I believe we need a history section that summarises and reflects Europe's history as distinct from the other regions. I copied the guidance (and made bold the important text) here:
"This section of the page is where you give deeper background information about the continent: its history, culture, its people or peoples, relationships between the countries, etc. Some information about present-day situations in the continent that are relevant to travelers are broken out in separate sections below, 'so don't duplicate that information here. Also, try not to go too deeply into information about the separate countries, except perhaps in how they relate to each other; leave that for the country pages." --Andrewssi2 (talk) 04:04, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
I think there also is a problem of style. The present version gives me associations to a text book passage, perhaps partly because of paragraphs too long to be easily read. I think hinting about important events is better than trying to be complete (some paragraphs mention too many persons, events, peoples or countries). Those interested enough will fill out the gaps from other sources. The Iron curtain must be explained, but what countries there were on what side can be left to the country articles (and Wikipedia). The traveller should be familiar with the phenomenon, but him or her being surprised when stumbling upon actual remnants (physical or cultural) is nothing we can hinder – and not always bad. --LPfi (talk) 14:14, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
I agree that there is a style deficit. It is difficult to tell a short story of the European continent as a whole and so the tendency would be to just list a sequence of events.
The Iron Curtain scenario you describe is certainly what I am thinking as well. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:05, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

When does a continent become usable?[edit]

Europe is currently considered an outline. This may well be due to a failure to update the classification, but I am wondering, whether a guide or even star level article about a continent is even feasible... Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:54, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

same rule as region Wikivoyage:Region guide status. --Traveler100 (talk) 12:55, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
This might sound silly, but which of the following is not met here? "Gives you different choices for which linked destinations (i.e., the 5 to 9 item cities, subregions, and other destinations lists) to visit (all usable status or better), and information on multiple attractions and things to do. Listings and layout closely match the manual of style, and all the standard sections have well-developed prose. All important ways to get in are detailed, along with some suggestions for where to go next, with one-liner descriptions, and thorough information on getting around. At least 2–3 good-quality photos accompany the article; preferably showing famous or important attractions." Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 13:02, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
Some of the sub-regions are still at outline, but I think in most cases that is just because no one has updated them not that do not deserve to be usable. The status of many article have not been updated. To get a country to usable the regions need to be usable and its major cities. So it does take some work cascading up the status from the bottom. And to get cities and bottom level regions from Outline to Usable properly does take some work. —The preceding comment was added by Traveler100 (talkcontribs)
If you look at the article status requirements, you'll soon see that according to our current rules Wikivoyage would have to be a complete travel guide to everywhere in the world in order to allow continents to be upgraded to Guide or Star. Even Usable continents would require an upgrading hundreds and hundreds of articles on all the layers below... ϒpsilon (talk) 14:29, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
But we currently have two usable continents... Antarctica and Oceania. If it stands as it is the least useful continents (in terms of numbers of travelers visiting and interested in the places) are the only useable. Rather strange if you ask me... Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:31, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
The status requirements for subcontinents and continents are too strict, IMO. As people are using such articles mainly for overview and general planning, the pyramid of requirements could be reset above country level. For subcontinent to be useful, I think it's enough that the article gives a general overview of the subcontinent, the country articles are simply there (even if they are outlines), the cities and other destinations listed are usable and that it'll tell you how to get in and around and mentions things to see. Continents would be useful if all subcontinents are useful etc. ϒpsilon (talk) 16:02, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
Following advice by User:Ikan Kekek I have now raised the issue here. Please contribute Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:14, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
This is a problem for large countries and even some cities as well as for continents. Examples include China and Shanghai; the latter includes a table for keeping track of progress. Pashley (talk) 16:18, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
Sorry to bring this up again, after the issue has been quiet for two months, but .... by the letter of the policy, shouldn't Europe be "useable"? It Has links to the region's major cities and other destinations it has a "get in" section with all the detail you could possibly need and The most prominent attractions are identified with directions. As for the cities that are linked under the nine cities: They all have usable status or above, with Paris, London and Istanbul even at guide status. From a strict "letter of the policy" standpoint that is all we need to make "Europe" "usable". Or did I misunderstand something again? Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:54, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
The "most important" continental sections have to be at least Usable. Britain and Ireland, Central Europe, Greece, Iberia, Italy, Russia, and Nordic Countries are all Outlines. Powers (talk) 14:23, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but it doesn't say that on this page. The subdivision appears to only get important once we reach guide. Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:16, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
You're right. I missed that it wasn't the same list of items as Guide. I've done some investigation. The current wording (more or less) was installed as a result of this discussion. No one suggested then that subregions (Continental Sections in this case) had to be Usable in order for the parent article to be useable. I think it was written specifically to exclude subregions, which I find odd, but there you have it.
That said, three of the Other Destinations are Outlines: Białowieża National Park, Blue Lagoon, and Plitvice National Park. Are any of them among the "most important" for Europe?
-- Powers (talk) 23:28, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't think either of those places is all that essential. While the blue lagoon is a place some people may have heard about, it is at the very edge of Europe (Iceland) and from a geological standpoint might not be part of Europe in any way after all (being part of the mid oceanic ridge of the Atlantic, rather than the Eurasian plate). The other two places are places hardly anybody would ever know about if it weren't for their being linked here. Maybe we should clarify that just because you can link 9 "other destinations" it doesn't mean you have to. Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:57, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

Not drinking[edit]

The intro of the Drink section states that "alcohol is considered a standard part of leisure gatherings" and "[often] a de rigeur part of a proper midday". While this is true, it is only part of the truth. There are also many social gatherings, events and parties where alcohol is not served and many where getting drunk is frowned upon. Also not drinking at parties where the others are, is possible. A more nuanced view may be important especially for those who have reason to avoid alcohol (or who have bad experiences of "wet" parties).

Over here not drinking is also quite common and accepted. Going to have to drive, being pregnant or having a "white month" (a period without alcohol) would be reasons universally accepted (and for a foreign quest, any reason should be). In most circles just stating you do not want alcohol (this time) would be enough, and at more formal parties you might be asked whether you want drinks with or without alcohol. Absolutism is not too uncommon, though in some circles going to a party (of a certain type) without going to drink may be considered odd.

Are your impressions the same? Do this apply to all Europe? I have some doubts, but better to have those in the know tell about other parts of the continent.

--LPfi (talk) 17:29, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

While teetotaling is certainly rarer than in most other parts of the world (especially the middle East or the Americas), I could think of two people in my more or less immediate social circle who don't drink ever without it being considered odd or remarkable by most who know about this. In my personal experience nobody objects to abstention from alcohol for a "good reason" such as pregnancy, driving, being a dry alcoholic, doctors advice, sickness or a damaged liver. Not drinking "just because" or for religious reasons may draw the occasional odd stare or derisive question, however. But still while alcohol is very much a part of social live and there are certain events that wouldn't function without alcohol (just imagine a "dry" Oktoberfest) you shouldn't have a problem in adult company unless you prefer to hang out with the "like totally wasted, like oh my god, so drunk" crowd one might expect in cheap hostels or during bachelor(ette) parties as well as in bad college movies... Or am I mistaken? One thing where Europe and America notably differ is that having one beer with lunch is common and both beer and wine are commonly and traditionally drunk for taste and not to get drunk. In my perception all too many Americans only know the extremes of total dryness or getting wasted beyond sense or reason. Or am I mistaken?Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:49, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, at least in Mediterranean countries it's common to have a glass of wine with a meal even if you aren't celebrating something. On the other hand, the further north you go in Europe the more "American" the drinking culture becomes. ϒpsilon (talk) 18:09, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
Well at least traditionally when going to a Bierkeller in Franconia you will have a beer with your food, but you won't go there to get drunk. That may be different in Northern Germany, where they drink more Korn, though Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:32, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
My experience with fellow students and others in France and Italy in the 1990s was that many people didn't drink wine every day, and that plenty of people avoided wine because of "liver pain" or a belief that a diet meant substituting mineral water for wine. Besides, a lot of people simply preferred mineral water. They really didn't drink nearly as much as most Americans would have probably thought they would. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:08, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
That's true; also here in Scandinavia it's not as popular among the youth to get hammered on the weekends as it was 15-20 years ago. Many people have a beer now and then with a meal or in the sauna, occasionally visit the local pub etc. and many also do entirely without. Then there's the 5-10% of the population who drink half of all of the alcohol that's consumed. Binge drinking is less common in Central Europe/UK and in the Mediterranean it's non-existent among the locals. ϒpsilon (talk) 07:29, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

Old discussion, but anyhow... The further east and southeast you go in Europe, the more often you will be served hard liquor at any event. It will be difficult for you to decline, even at social gatherings, since drinking alcohol is a part of the social structure in those countries. Today, you might get away with bringing your own beer (preferably local beer) to keep up appearance. Philaweb (talk) 11:50, 23 November 2018 (UTC)

Chip and pin and persistence[edit]

With this edit, the paragraph on chip-and-pin and American credit cards needs re-writing for clarity and flow. The new edit seems inappropriately strident in its tone. I was going to take a stab at re-writing but I have no idea how accurate the information is, and what should be kept/removed. Any suggestions? Powers (talk) 15:06, 8 December 2015 (UTC)

First off, I am not sure if they are required - if the sign says "VISA Electron" rather than "VISA". That said, it is never appropriate to be rude - it would be better to consult your bank beforehand rather than go and lash out at a shopkeeper or their staff in a foreign country. It is also always advisable to carry an electronic-enabled card, as far as travel advice goes. PrinceGloria (talk) 17:10, 8 December 2015 (UTC)
Generally speaking (at least in Germany) credit cards are much less likely to be widely accepted than in the US. If you go to e.g. a Christmas market you would certainly have to take cash, as the stands taking cards (if any) are few and far between... Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:44, 8 December 2015 (UTC)
Well of course it's inappropriate to be rude (by definition), but the question is whether it's inherently rude to request that your PIN-less card be accepted, even if it requires involving a manager? Powers (talk) 19:28, 8 December 2015 (UTC)
My experience with the payment services industry is that training in handling non-chip-enabled cards is often no longer provided to retailers and their staff. So you may truly find yourself against the wall and you will be causing much trouble if insisting to pay by embossed card with no chip despite being told that they cannot process it. It is much better to advise people to carry cash, also for reasons mentioned by Hobbitschuster. PrinceGloria (talk) 21:18, 8 December 2015 (UTC)
But is what the article stated correct: that retailers are required to accept a signature in place of the PIN, by their agreements with Visa and Mastercard? If that's true, I fail to see how it's rude to insist they follow the agreement. Powers (talk) 18:33, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
Many Western hemisphere banks are upgrading to chip-and-pin systems, less than a decade behind Europe. Bravo, perhaps?
On the other hand, while it is almost certainly more secure than the stuff it replaces, there have been known attacks for several years. Pashley (talk) 22:35, 8 December 2015 (UTC)
It appears that U.S. banks, at least, while required to issue cards with chips, are doing so without the PINs. That resolves the magnetic stripe issue, at least for terminals with chip readers, but still makes them difficult or impossible to use overseas. Powers (talk) 18:33, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
Is a bank in the US required to tell me how I use them if a PIN is required? Also what about shorter PINs? In some countries six digit PINs are usual. All cards (credit or debit) I have ever owned had four digit pins... Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:02, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
I have no idea -- thus all my questions in this thread. Powers (talk) 19:30, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Afaik, many European banks require the use of pin codes with credit cards. For that reason I need to give my pin code when I use my credit card in the US, even when holders of US credit cards don't. The US machines (in the restaurants and shops) simply recognize that I'm using a Dutch credit card, and know that those require a pin. I almost always have to go behind the counter to insert it. On the other hand, European retailers do not have contracts directly with Visa or other foreign credit card firms, but with their own bank. The bank handles the transactions. For that reason, many retailers need ask you for your pin if you want to use a credit card in their European business. JuliasTravels (talk) 15:19, 13 December 2015 (UTC)

(Indent reset) Well from my personal experience in Germany I have been asked for a PIN and not asked for a PIN without much rhyme or reason, sometimes at the same store on different days. Judging from the behavior of the people at the counter not even they know... Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:25, 13 December 2015 (UTC)

In the future, you shouldn't have to go behind the counter in the U.S.; Visa and Mastercard are requesting all merchants get chip-readers. Powers (talk) 20:15, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it's a process, and rules still differ between countries, banks, shops and even terminals within shops. The fact of the matter is, however, that it is simply not true on a European level that you can insist on using your card without a code. Managing a company that does allow cards, I can say that our terminals are debet card terminals, for which we pay extra fee to allow foreign credit cards. We have no procedure at all for signatures. We do accept the new debet card and mobile phone "touch and go" under 25 euro without a code. For this, eligible debet cards and mobile phones can just be held close to the terminal for a few seconds. Above 25 euro, those require a code as well. If we would face a customer who insists to use a foreign credit card without a code, I think our staff would contact police to report suspicious behavior, so I definitely think that advice was terrible advice, even if it might work in some places :-) PrinceGloria rewrote the section, it seems good now. JuliasTravels (talk) 13:06, 16 December 2015 (UTC)

The formulation in the "connect" section[edit]

Is rather strange and might be misleading. Could one of you have a look at that please? Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:40, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

I've also understood that you can dial 112 from a cell phone even if it doesn't have a SIM card. What I don't understand is why on earth operators in Germany would ignore incoming calls from cell phones without SIM cards. --ϒpsilon (talk) 19:45, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
That's what I was getting at. Wouldn't it be highly dangerous and irresponsible to ignore any 112 calls? Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:54, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Well, this document from 2012 seems to confirm that Germany did not accept 112 call from mobiles without a sim then. I only found it at first glance, and I'm not sure what the current situation is though. JuliasTravels (talk) 20:43, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
I assumed it meant instead of specifically "ignore", that phones don't work in Germany without a SIM card, even when dialling 112. I know that you can call the emergency services without a SIM in the UK, and would have assumed you could in Germany too (as you're right, it would be dangerous), but I left it since I don't know for sure. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:51, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
The German Wikipedia article says (I translate loosely): "In Germany the originally established possibility to make emergency calls without functional SIM card was abolished due to frequent misuse (at certain times up to 80% of all calls)..."
I also thought it was possible, but apparently not any more. Danapit (talk) 20:25, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
There is a brief discussion in Talk:European Union#Germany and UK; exception for 112?. W. Frank made an experiment (in Glasgow, Scotland; in 2014), where SIMless phones did not work for 112 (but one did when calling 111, the Australian emergency number). Do SIMless phones now work in the UK? --LPfi (talk) 09:43, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
111 is the (non-emergency) number for the NHS, so nothing to do with Australia. You can definitely phone 999 (the national emergency number) without a SIM, and I see no reason for 112 to be any different, but then again I haven't specifically tried it. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 17:55, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Ice hockey?[edit]

There is a section about "ice hockey". As a Canadian, I of course think there is no such thing; the name should be just "hockey" and the game Brits & others play on grass (and call "hockey") should be called "field hockey".

Is there a policy behind this, e.g. using British English for Europe since that is the EU standard? Pashley (talk) 23:51, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

In a North American article then I think "hockey" and "field hockey" should be used and in an European article "ice hockey" should be used, as they are the terms that are used in the regions (at least for UK and Germany, could debate that for Sweden). --Traveler100 (talk) 06:07, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
In an international sense there should be a distinction between ice hockey and field hockey, although I'm of the opinion that mentioning either is not relevant to a travel article describing the Europe region (both are pretty niche) --Andrewssi2 (talk) 12:34, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
They may be niche in certain parts of Europe and Field Hockey certainly has no mass appeal, but Ice Hockey does have a significant following in countries like Slovakia, the Czech Republic, several Nordic countries and even Germany. Not to mention the Kontinental Hockey League centered in Russia that has some of the best non-NHL Ice Hockey in existence. Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:47, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
Policy is to use British English where that is the local standard, so also for Europa. In this particular case it's not even just about policies regarding British vs US English, since the use of "hockey" and "field hockey" would be utterly confusing. I hope we never want to use confusing terms just to deal with the silly varieties of English discussion. JuliasTravels (talk) 13:14, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
"Field Hockey certainly has no mass appeal"? Not in Europe, but it is huge in at least India and Pakistan, perhaps elsewhere in that region. Pashley (talk) 13:45, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
That is what I meant to say. Field Hockey has little to no mass appeal in Europe. Similar things can be said for a number of sports that are huge elsewhere but not in Europe Hobbitschuster (talk) 14:19, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

The lede[edit]

In the very first sentence, the lede, rather than giving any reason for why anybody would want to visit Europe, it just states that many people do with a spuriously exact number that has not been edited since the migration. And what comes after is not that much better. I think it would be best to dump the current lede and start from scratch. Thoughts? Hobbitschuster (talk) 02:58, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

A rewrite would be good. No concrete ideas, though. /Yvwv (talk) 13:16, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

I'm not sure how the current boring one-sentence lede is supposed to be an improvement over what was there before. Powers (talk) 03:05, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

It's purpose is to invite a new lede to be written disregarding whatever there was before. Hobbitschuster (talk) 03:12, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
I don't think that's an acceptable strategy, though. Of course anyone is free to rewrite or change, and if there's incorrect information (like the number of visitors), it's fine to delete that part. Simply deleting the entire existing lede of a high profile article as a way of pressuring others into rewriting text you don't particularly like, or text that is simply guilty of being unchanged since the move, is another matter completely. If new or anonymous users do something like that, we undo their edit on sight, telling them to plunge in and improve rather than delete. We should keep ourselves to the same standards. I'll undo the deletion, for that reason. JuliasTravels (talk) 14:33, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
I agree. The old, now restored version is much better than what replaced it. I'm open to seeing what else people would suggest to replace it, but deleting it and then standing back and asking other people to write something new is a bad approach. If no-one does, then the article is worse than before. There are a lot of bad articles here. If we gut them all in the hope that someone else will write something new, we might not have much left. Ground Zero (talk) 15:53, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
I have now had a go at the lede, you are invited to expand on it or draw on some other themes. I have seen that getting rid of the duplicate penalty is particularly hard because the older a text is, the less likely it is to be changed. Hobbitschuster (talk) 02:44, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
That's a good start, Hobbitschuster. You've framed Europe as a travel destination better, rather than just listing facts that are going to be repeated in the body of the article. I'm going to have a little tinker, as there are some awkwardly phrased sentences, and there are a couple of things I can think of to add. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 14:45, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Europe#Other destinations[edit]

Correct me if I'm wrong, but attractions listed in City articles do not themselves qualify as Other destinations, right? If I'm right, we should expunge Alhambra and Schloss Neuschwanstein from the list. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 05:04, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

Neuschwanstein is physically located well outside of the town of Füssen. Does it have to be a seperate article to be listed in 'other destinations'? Andrewssi2 (talk) 06:10, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
Neuschwanstein probably can stay. Alhambra on the other hand is in Granada (Spain). So perhaps we need another destination to represent the Iberian peninsula in the Other destinations section. ϒpsilon (talk) 06:50, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
It really depends. If a city is mostly known only for a single world-famous sight, such as the Taj Mahal in Agra, it might be reasonable to list Taj Mahal in "Other destinations". It's a bit of a stretch, though, perhaps. Maybe the Alhambra is better listed in "See". Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:55, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
I would nominate Pompeii as a replacement. /Yvwv (talk) 12:46, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
I think that's fine, but I would link it something like this: The ruins of the ancient Roman city of Pompeii. Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:54, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
If Neuschwanstein is really that far outside Füssen and such a prominent attraction in its own right, then I can see the argument for giving it its own article, as Andrewssi2 seems to be suggesting. However, I still don't think it's ideal to include Neuschwanstein in Europe#Other destinations because of redundancy vis-à-vis Alps, which is also listed in that section. I think a better solution would be to pick a new one from a different geographic region. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 18:30, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
Mallorca or Canary Islands would be appropriate non-city destinations in Spain. /Yvwv (talk) 01:11, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
Hardanger would be a good replacement for Neuschwanstein. /Yvwv (talk) 22:42, 24 November 2016 (UTC)
Or something from the Baltic states or Caucasus; currently we have no Cities nor any Other destination from these two regions listed. Curonian Spit perhaps? ϒpsilon (talk) 07:04, 25 November 2016 (UTC)
Curonian Spit is a good suggestion. /Yvwv (talk) 02:21, 1 December 2016 (UTC)


There seems to be a bit of a disagreement going on here. Some people appear to think that we should mention that Indo-European languages include Asian languages such as Persian, Hindi and others, while some think that it is not relevant here. To put things in perspective, on one hand, it's true that a Hindi, Bengali, Persian or Marathi (or whatever other Indo-European language from Asia) speaker would not be able to just show up in Europe and understand someone speaking say, Russian or Spanish, although they might understand a group of Gypsies since the Romani language spoken by the Gypsies is from the same Indo-Aryan sub-family. But on the other hand, this information could be relevant to a small extent, since speaking a language from the same family will mean that you can recognise some cognates from your own language in the foreign language you are studying, and you would be familiar with the grammatical structure to a certain extent. As an example, I would think that it would be easier for an English speaker to learn Russian than say, Swahili, since English will have more shared fundamental vocabulary and grammatical features with Russian than with Swahili. The dog2 (talk) 04:14, 10 December 2016 (UTC)

In some ways, it was easier for me to learn Malay than German, because although Malay is unrelated to English, its grammar was a lot simpler and more intuitive to me. And my brother, who learned some Russian, said that it was very hard to learn because of its complex grammar. So I think the conclusions you're drawing are unwarranted. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:35, 10 December 2016 (UTC)
I think The dog2 is well meaning with the in-depth linguistic backgrounds in many 'Talk' sections, but these details do not serve the Traveler in any meaningful way. Wikipedia is full of interesting and in-depth discussions on languages and linguistics, and that is great as an academic exercise. It is emphatically not great as a guide to travel.
It is also wrong to vaguely assume that English speaker may learn Russian easier than Swahili, since actually this could be wrong on so many levels, especially given the complex nature of Russian grammar.
The traveler is best served with facts that help them, and it is misleading at best to suggest that knowledge of English is going to help you understand Danish, let alone Hindi, just because of some unintelligible shared linguistic ancestry which is not actually applicable to your travel in any way. Andrewssi2 (talk) 10:25, 10 December 2016 (UTC)
I think it is a matter of degrees. A traveller is better off knowing some background of the cultures being visited, even though that background is somewhat encyclopædic. We just should keep such explanations short enough. I did some trimming myself, but I think the information now being contested does not make the section overly long. I would be glad to read a similar section about Asia.
The fact that most European languages are related to some important Asian ones is an interesting fact, which I think is worth mentioning when it can be done in ten words, regardless of whether the relationship itself helps the traveller.
The closer relationships do help in understanding. Even Finnish is occasionally comprehensible (in signs, menus etc.) to some degree due to Latin or Germanic lonewords. Spanish helps tremendously in Italy, if you have some practice in cross-language decoding. Likewise, Dutch can be decoded to some degree based on (in my case) English, German and Swedish.
We should of course not overstate the usefulness of related languages: I suppose somebody who has studied Spanish but is unused to multi-language settings (such as probably the majority in, say, USA or Russia), would not be able to use the Spanish but in Spain.
--LPfi (talk) 11:37, 10 December 2016 (UTC)
I agree that providing context is fine. The problem was trying to suggest that someone speaking a language in the vast Indo-European linguistic family being able to easily pick up another within the same family is a fallacy.
Everyone has an opinion on 'how easy' is is to pick up languages. We should stick to the facts. Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:32, 11 December 2016 (UTC)
It's not so much that the shared history makes the languages "easy" to learn. It has more to do with vocabulary: the shared roots can make it possible to decipher, or at least guess at, words and brief phrases (such as those found on street signs or at the top of documents). Powers (talk) 02:45, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
The connection through vocabulary is not convincing. The the Malay language is not technically related to English but has a lot of loan words that I could understand when I visited. It is just misleading to suggest that anyone who speaks an indo-european language can practically leverage that knowledge in any other indo-european language. It can even do you a disservice, for example "I'm embarrassed" by saying "estoy embarazada" in Spanish. Andrewssi2 (talk) 06:21, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
I tried to clarify, but seemingly it was not appreciated. The edit comment "Indo-European languages do not share recognisable vocabulary unless they are very closely related" hints that I was misunderstood. Common vocabulary between e.g. Spanish and Russian is more likely a result of loans than ancestry, but in subfamilies I believe most vocabulary is shared (partly through common loans, but that is not important here), and if you are able to recognize cognates, you will be able to guess the meaning of many sentences. False friends are a problem, but somebody with enough practice to decode the other language will know that. It took me more than a year of Spanish studies to be able to use my knowledge of French (which has a very different spelling), but I can (sort of) read German newspapers without formal training and without extended visits to Germany. Suggesting it is possible will make visitors more observant on this, which opens a new nice aspect to travelling. --LPfi (talk) 13:18, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
Apologies for removing that without more consideration and I agree with your explanation. For example I also benefit from shared vocabulary. As an English/German speaker I could understand some basic vocabulary in Holland and Sweden. Also my basic Spanish/French helped me read Catalan and Italian when visiting those regions.
If we keep away from the suggestion that a Swedish speaker can go to Iran and get comfortable with Farsi, and explain that sub-families are somewhat mutually understandable then I am happy. I feel that talk of w:Cognates is somewhat too technical for what is after all general travel advise. Andrewssi2 (talk) 18:08, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

And with regards to the Celtic languages, I am fully aware that Brittany is located in France, but it also true that Brittany is close to England. I think the current wording may be misleading as it could suggest that Celtic languages are spoken in Spain and Portugal, which geographically occupy the westernmost parts of Europe. The whole point of using "in and around" instead of just "in" is to account for the fact that a Celtic language is spoken in a part of France, which would be near but not in the British Isles. The dog2 (talk) 02:46, 11 December 2016 (UTC)

'Technically' Ireland belongs in the British Isles, but you should understand that many people don't know this and others simply disagree with the categorization for political/cultural reasons. Also Gallicia has strong Celtic heritage, culture and language influences still very much observable today in Western Spain, if you wish to learn about it. In any case, the sentence you question doesn't even mention the Iberian peninsular, so really not sure why you would believe that anyone could be confused. Andrewssi2 (talk) 03:11, 11 December 2016 (UTC)

It does say "western reaches of Europe", and technically the Iberian peninsula is the westernmost part of Europe. The dog2 (talk) 16:54, 11 December 2016 (UTC)

I disagree that it is confusing, but have changed to text to make it at least clear that it is the British Isles and France. Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:34, 11 December 2016 (UTC)

I thought the paragraph on Russian got confused in the series of edits. I tried to make it readable, but now I see that it was quite clear, just not stating what I supposed it to be. I am not sure "Russian is widely studied in ... countries that were part of the former Soviet Union and have significant Russian speaking minorities." It is known by those minorities, but is it necessarily widely studied by others?

There once was some wording about Russian not necessarily being liked by those studying it during the Soviet era. I suppose the old wording was found unsuitable, but I think we should give some hint that using Russian in e.g. Estonia can give an impression you did not intend to.

--LPfi (talk) 19:20, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

Regional blurbs[edit]

I am not 100% convinced that the blurbs for Europe's regions are the best they can be and they are still largely the same as they were pre-migration. If you think you can do better, you probably can and have my encouragement to do so. Hobbitschuster (talk) 00:04, 13 December 2016 (UTC)

1492 for end of Middle Ages?[edit]

From the article:

"This period (with exact dates being given either in connection with the Reformation or the Voyages of Columbus) is usually considered to be the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Early Modern Era."

Is that so? I think 1492 is pretty late for the beginning of the Renaissance. In terms of music, Dufay (1397-1474) is pretty commonly considered to be among the first generation of Renaissance composers, unless you begin with the English Countenance represented by John Dunstaple (c. 1390-1453). That date, 1453, not so incidentally, is also when Constantinople fell to the Turks, with an accompanying wave of immigration of Greek Orthodox Christians to Venice, an early center of printing. Following their arrival, numerous Greek-language texts that they brought with them were published in movable type in both ancient Greek and translations, so 1453 is a good date for the beginning of the Renaissance — that is, if it hadn't already begun and we really have to do the somewhat simple-minded thing and give a fictional exact date for the beginning of a movement that gradually gathered steam over a long period and has a lot of continuity with features of Gothic style.

But before I digress too much, what should we do with this questionable statement? I would not date the beginning of the "Modern Era" to either the voyages of Columbus or the Protestant Reformation, but to the beginning of the Renaissance, whenever we reasonably decide that began (and a rough date of "early 15th century" would do, in my opinion; arguments could be made that perhaps we should move that date back to the fictional starting time of the Golden Age in the Islamic world, but while we're talking about Europe, that would extend only to Iberia, really). Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:14, 13 December 2016 (UTC)

I guess it depends on the country and it's of course hard to pinpoint a single "event" that would've ended the Middle Ages. In Scandinavia the Lutheran Reformation (and breakup of the w:Kalmar Union) is seen as the beginning of the Modern Era. ϒpsilon (talk) 11:14, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
Fair enough. But not, I daresay, in Italy, which is generally considered the wellspring of the Renaissance. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:38, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
Yes, Ikan Kekek.. but the cultural Renaissance you speak of now is not considered the beginning of Modern Times for all of Europe. It's much more complex than that. Complete books have been written about the end of the Middle Ages and the many opinions on the timeline. A travel guide is no place to get into those details. The large majority of historians don't even consider specific dates or events to be "the end" of that era, especially not for Europe as a whole. They consider them key events that set a change in motion. What we simply need here is the understanding that throughout Europe, a new era began to unfold roughly around the turn of the 16th century, when a range of developments and discoveries marked the first beginning of the Early Modern Age and saw the spread of Renaissance throughout most or Europe. Renaissance itself is just as hard to pinpoint too, as it was underway in Italian cities as much as a century earlier. In short- let's indeed stick to a general sense of timing and avoid too much detail. This is one of those cases where I thoroughly regret our ban on Wikipedia links :-) It would be perfect to link Renaissance, Middle Ages or Modern Age directly, for those interested. . JuliasTravels (talk) 12:01, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
Yes, indeed it is more complex than that, but my problem is with the idea of the end of the Middle Ages pinpointed too late for the beginning of the Renaissance, which began in Florence and Venice and spread from there. So how about some compromise language? "This period, which saw the invention of movable type, the voyages of Columbus and Vasco da Gama and the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, is usually considered the beginning of the Early Modern Era." How's that? No mention of the end of the Middle Ages or fictional exact dates for the beginning of an era, but the citation of a series of important events (though the fall of Constantinople in 1453 really could be one of them). Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:20, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
I'm fine with any less exact language. However, my point was rather that the beginning of Renaissance WAS well before the end of the European Middle Ages. The beginning of Renaissance in Florence and Venice is uncontroversially considered to fall in what was still the Late Medieval period for Europe as a whole. It's the spread of Renaissance ideas across Europe, where they influenced and were influenced by developments that had already been set in motion in Northern Europe, that is so widely considered to mark the beginning of Early Modern times for Europe as a whole. It's important to keep in mind that before the late 1490's, the Italian Renaissance ideas had little influence in the rest of Europe at all. So while your argument that 1492 is too late for the beginning of Renaissance and the early Modern Era is perfectly true for Italy, it's not correct for Europe. The northern Renaissance (which refers to anything north of the Alps) is widely considered to have started only around 1500. So the real problem lies in the first sentence of our paragraph, which reads that An intellectual movement called the Renaissance (rebirth) began in Italy and spread across Europe in the 15th century. It only spread in the century after. JuliasTravels (talk) 13:12, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
Well, in music, the situation seems more complicated than that, considering that the Renaissance in music at least very arguably indeed began considerably before 1500, and quite possibly before 1450 (I'd tend to think 1430s would be closer to the mark, but I've heard arguments that we shouldn't judge Dufay's music on stylistic traits we hear with our post-15th-century ears, so things can get even more complicated). Added to that is the fact that the French and Burgundians expressed debt to the English Countenance from even a bit earlier. Dunstaple and Leonel Power aren't usually considered Renaissance themselves, but they are indeed credited with inspiring the beginning of the Burgundian School, which is widely considered the first great Renaissance movement in music. Anyway, I surely do agree with your point that the beginning of the Renaissance in Italy did not suddenly cause the end of the Gothic period in other places, and I probably wasn't thinking that clearly earlier, now that I reread my previous remarks above. In fact, weren't there still Gothic cathedrals being started in the 16th century? Ikan Kekek (talk) 13:24, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
I'm no expert on Gothic architecture at all, but I could imagine so, considering that the Renaissance as a wider style and movement only started to spread through Europe in the 16th century. It took a while to reach everywhere and well - it never did penetrate the far north and Russia as it did the middle of Europe. We're probably moving away from the direct relevance for the article, and entering into a little detour out of interest - but that should be fine, occasionally ;-). What you describe is pretty much what I was referring to, and why I said it's problematic to use the concept of Renaissance as the end of the Middle Ages (which our article is implicating). The Burgundian School is a perfect and well-known example of the developments outside of Italy which later blended together with the Italian cultural and intellectual movement and other developments to become the almost all-encompassing trend we call "Renaissance" today. That's exactly why not all scholars will even agree with the statement that "the Renaissance" started in Italy and then spread, to start with. Yes, the Burgundian school became part of what we call Renaissance today. However, it influenced Italian music rather than the other way around and emerged in a time when the new Italian humanism and arts had no real influence yet. It's a perfect example of why it is problematic to use "the Renaissance" as the starting point for the Early Modern Period for the whole continent. The dissolution of the Kalmar Union, which Ypsilon mentioned above, is another of those northern developments which is widely considered a key moment in the shift from Middle Ages to Early Modern times for the Scandinavian region - but it had nothing to do with the Renaissance. (Of course there were exchanges between artists, architects and scholars of different European regions well before 1500, but one swallow does not a summer make.) JuliasTravels (talk) 15:38, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
I'm no expert in history, but it seems Ikan may be conflating the Renaissance with the Early Modern Era? It seems to me that the Renaissance might be best seen as the transition period spanning the end of the Middle Ages and beginning of the Modern Era, which means that a date after the start of the Renaissance could indeed be the line of demarcation between the two eras. Powers (talk) 20:02, 13 December 2016 (UTC)

(Indent reset)I think it really does depend on the part of Europe you're looking at. For instance Dante could be considered part of the Renaissance and his choice to write in the vernacular was monumentally important. But at that same time, literature in the vernacular north of the Alps was hard to be found. All the Middle High German authors did not have much influence any more and only with Luther does German get a written standard language again. I would even go so far as to say that the German Renaissance with its centers in Nuremberg peaked (Behaim, Dürer, the guy who named a continent after Amerigo Vespucci and others) at a time when the Italian Renaissance was already beginning to end. The various invasions of Italy certainly ended something. And yes 1453 is an important date, if only for the parallelism with 476/480 which is often taken as the beginning of the middle ages. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:25, 13 December 2016 (UTC)

Yes, JuliasTravels, what I was referring to was pretty much what you mentioned above. You are all making good points. Powers, I think that what might make most sense to me would be to say that the beginning of the Modern Era started some time in the High Renaissance, not after the end of the Renaissance. In terms of when the Renaissance ended in Italy, that depends whether Mannerism is considered a post-Renaissance style or not. I think that many art historians do consider it post-Renaissance, but for whatever reason, musicologists tend not to. If we consider Mannerism to be late Renaissance, the beginnings of Italian opera at the very end of the 16th century could be argued to be the last great musical event of the Renaissance, though also, along with Monteverdi's operas starting in 1607, doing more than anything else to help define the emerging Baroque style (along with Giovanni Gabrieli's antiphonal works that used piano and forte markings and the early trio sonatas by people like Salamone Rossi). But actually, it could be very logically argued that Mannerism in music, which I'd say started no later than the mid 16th century, lasted about as long as the madrigal (till about the 1670s, if I'm remembering correctly, and now we're even further on a tangent). Anyway, if there's a main point, I think it's that it does seem best not to try to pinpoint when the Middle Ages ended for the entire continent, because it's too variable, and changes in style period very seldom happen all at once anywhere, anyway. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:07, 13 December 2016 (UTC)

Driving in Europe[edit]

As this article is very elaborate on driving, there is now a Driving in Europe article. The driving section is thought to be moved to driving in Europe, with a shortened version in this article. /Yvwv (talk) 03:58, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

A very good idea. Ground Zero (talk) 06:55, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
+1 Good Idea. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 08:24, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
I have cut down the section harshly. IMHO, the text which is now in Driving in Europe, still contains many redundancies, and has a strong American point of view. Please contribute. /Yvwv (talk) 09:04, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
I think the "Road rules" section is unnecessary in this article, aside from the comment about which side to drive on. The rest is detailed info that is covered in "Driving in..." Ground Zero (talk) 18:19, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
I think there is still too much detail in the main article. Remember that you cannot collapse subsections of "get around" on mobile and many people will mostly or only care about one mode of transportation. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:25, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

Which airports should be listed in "get in"?[edit]

I get that the busiest airports should be listed, but the other airports listed there seem to be a bit random. Or is that just me? Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:27, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

Given the geographical scale the whole section is somewhat pointless, but I would agree that Vienna and Helsinki have just been randomly added and could be remove. No slight on those destinations at all, but they are not particularly special airports Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:43, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
Should others be added instead? Of so, which? Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:53, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
The main list I would say is correct and Vienna and Helsinki should be removed. I would add Istanbul Atatürk Airport as Turkish Airlines has a good network to other international airports and Keflavík (Reykjavik) as, although not the most direct route, Icelandair provides some good deals between North American and European hub airports. --Traveler100 (talk) 21:12, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
Dubai is actually one of the best connection airports to smaller European cities for travelers from Asia and Africa --Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:10, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
Yes, but It's not in Europe, whereas Keflavik arguably is, at the very least culturally. I'm not sure on which site of the mid-Atlantic ridge the airport lies geologically, though. Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:21, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
Dubai is a good idea, note this section is about Get in, coming in to Europe from Asia and Africa this is good information. --Traveler100 (talk) 23:39, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
Yes, does an airport have to actually be in Europe to feature here? Surely the usefulness of an airport in getting to your final European destination is more important.
Keflavík doesn't have many European connections though (unless you are predominately headed to Scandinavia. Which North American Airport has the most overall European connections? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:43, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
Germania has quite a handful of connections from KEF even to "joke airports" like DRS, that otherwise see little in the way of long distance connections. And the two Icelandic carries Icelandair and Wow Air are about equally present on both sides of the Atlantic with KEF as their hub in the center. Anyway, I don't know how people search for flights these days. I usually look at one or several airports that looks like it'd make sense and then put that into the common agregators. Then I fiddle around a bit, giving the machine different departure airports, because frankly the difference whether I fly out of TXL or PRG is not that huge to me and for 200€ less, I take the train to FRA no problem. But apparently not everybody has this approach. We might simply mention the overall busiest airports in Europe and wash our hands, or we might try to ascertain (how?) which airports are best connected to a particular region, or which airports are the "door" to certain countries (which would probably be MAD for Spain, LHR for Britain, CDG for France, AMS for the Benelux, FRA for Germany and so on). But maybe we should approach this a bit like a hypothetical Tourist Office question of "I want to fly to Europe" - what would we answer that person? Of course the ease with which distances in Europe can usually be covered make it easier for leisure travelers to fly into a wide range of airports and take Ryanair or the train from there, rather than in the olden days when people who wanted to go to West Berlin had to take one of a small handful of airlines because the overland transport option were atrocious and the air corridors were only open to the Allies. Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:56, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
As suggested earlier in the thread, the existing main destinations London (LON: LCY, LHR, Frankfurt (FRA), Paris (CDG, ORY), Madrid (MAD), and Amsterdam (AMS) are fine if somewhat Western European centric. Suggest swap Madrid with Istanbul (or just add Istanbul if you really feel for Madrid).
Remove London LGW, STN since they are important airports, but distractions at this high level.
Remove Vienna and Helsinki as also being too minor for this level. Andrewssi2 (talk) 01:13, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
Keep Madrid, route in from South America. --Traveler100 (talk) 01:23, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
Eh? Remove Gatwick, but keep City? Don't let its "important"-sounding name fool you; City is tiny, and with the exception of a single regular flight to NYC, offers flights to a limited number of western European financial centres. Gatwick is London's second airport, and has flights all over the world.
We should definitely keep Madrid, as it has by far the most comprehensive number of Latin America-Europe flights. I also support the inclusion of Istanbul, and even of Dubai, if it has as many connecting flights as we're led to believe.
Also, is there a good reason for overlooking one of Europe's largest cities (Moscow) that has multiple international airports like London? Presumably that's the way into Europe for most of central Asia and the former USSR. All in all, unless there's a really good reason not to, I say we take the "best airports" list to nine (either remove Gatwick and Orly, or count London and Paris as one entry), like we would for cities. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:12, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
None of the airports of Moscow has its own airport article. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:26, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
I just copied and pasted the list from the article ThunderingTyphoons! and the code for London City airport was left in by mistake after the edit. No need for a song and dance about it. Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:58, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
Ah, and here was me working on my one-man stage routine for simultaneous Broadway and West End releases :-) What do people think of the nine airports proposal? I'm fine with removing Vienna and Helsinki, by the way. Does Moscow's airports not having their own articles matter for this discussion, or are we limiting candidates only to airports with articles? The Wikipedia pages for each (Sheremetyevo, Domododedevo, Vnukovo) seem to confirm them as gateways to the ex-USSR, with a lot of lovely names you don't often see in western European airports. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 21:49, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
"Does Moscow's airports not having their own articles matter for this discussion"? No, it's irrelevant. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:35, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
A list of airports, even restricted to 9 in number, is completely pointless. It would just be a list for the sake of a list which is always a poor idea. Can't we just leave this at the major European airports and be done with it?
London LHR, Frankfurt (FRA), Paris (CDG), Madrid MAD, Amsterdam (AMS) and Istanbul Andrewssi2 (talk) 02:53, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
The IATA code for Istanbul Atatürk Airport is IST. Hobbitschuster (talk) 04:59, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
How do we settle on what constitutes a "major airport"? The list-of-nine (or up to nine) approach forces an editor who wants to add an airport to identify another airport to be removed and justify why one airport is more important than another. Ground Zero (talk) 05:51, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
I am biased about Helsinki, but I think the "Other, smaller airports can make sense for specific connections: for example X has a very good network of flights to Y" sentence is relevant. What examples to list is less important than making clear that the big ones are not always the best options. --LPfi (talk) 08:06, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

(starting at the left again) Not sure how this figures into this discussion, but the nine busiest airports in Europe as per (preliminary) 2016 figures are (in descending order) Heathrow Airport, Charles de Gaulle Airport, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Frankfurt Airport, Istanbul Atatürk Airport, Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport, Barcelona El Prat Airport, London-Gatwick Airport, and Munich Airport - if we count London only once, Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport is on the tenth place and if for geographical reasons only one Spanish airport is listed we get Sheremetyevo International Airport on the 11th place - the biggest of the Moscow airports and the busiest airport in Europe without an article. Paris Orly is immediately behind and ahead of Istanbul's secondary airport (though secondary airport have few if any intercontinental flights, so we might argue whether we should list them). The busiest "city airport systems" (though I disagree on some of their definitions, e.g. subsuming HHN under "Frankfurt" or GRO and REU under "Barcelona" makes no sense to me) includes the following nine European cities in descending order: London, Paris, Istanbul, (Dubai is below Istanbul but ahead of the following), Moscow, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Madrid, Rome, Barcelona also on the list of 90 busiest airport systems but not in the top 9 for Europe are (again, in descending order): Munich, Milan, Düsseldorf/Cologne/Bonn, Brussels, Berlin, Copenhagen/Malmö, Oslo, Zurich, Dublin, Vienna/Bratislava, Palma de Mallorca, Manchester, Lisbon.

I think there is an argument to be made to only list individual airports and ignore their lesser cousins in the same metro area, but there is also an argument to be made to count all airports in reasonable proximity to one another together. Depending on how this argument is made, Moscow is either a dubious case for inclusion in a list of nine or a very clear case. Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:48, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

  • Not wanting to change the subject... but... I've remarked on Istanbul's talk pagee, some two or three years ago, that Sabiha airport, on the Asian side, should be featured on the map. Nothing has ever been done towards this. Ibaman (talk) 17:54, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

This discussion - like many others - ultimately failed to change the article. What should be done? Hobbitschuster (talk) 03:28, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

Cyprus, Greece and Turkey[edit]

I think that we should group them as 'Southeast Europe'. I dunno whether this issue has discussed before but we could bundle them up since they have connected culturally and historically.KazekageTR (talk) 15:37, 15 March 2017 (UTC)

I think this has been discussed before, and the problem is that the "Southeast Europe" term includes anywhere south from Hungary, including this trio. At any rate, this discussion should take place at Talk:Europe/Hierarchy, which is the discussion page for subdividing Europe into regions for travel purposes. Vidimian (talk) 17:25, 15 March 2017 (UTC)

Branch off history text to European history?[edit]

The Europe#History section has become very lengthy and detailed. There is a European history article too, only consisting of links to other travel topic, without any prose. A suggestion is that we move the history section to European history, and shorten down the history section in this article to the bare essentials. What do you think? /Yvwv (talk) 14:15, 26 March 2017 (UTC)

What are "the bare essentials? Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:13, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
Here is a draft:
Among its numerous cultures, those of Ancient Greece are the earliest well-known ones that arose in Europe. The city of Rome, inhabited since at least 800 BC, became the center of the Roman Empire, which conquered much of Europe, as well as North Africa and the Middle East, and came to define a common European identity, through the Latin language and alphabet, as well as law and architecture. After two centuries of on and off persecution, Constantine officially tolerated Christianity. Under the rule of Constantine's son, Theodosius, Christianity would be declared the state religion of Rome.
The Migration Period began around AD 300, and saw especially Germanic tribes moving across the continent, bringing the Roman Empire to a fall. The millennium that followed the fall of Rome has by posterity been called the Middle Ages. The eastern half of the Roman Empire continued on as the Byzantine Empire for a thousand years, until its capital (Constantinople) was finally conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1453, who came to dominate southeastern Europe until the First World War. Roman scholarship survived in the Byzantine Empire, and later in the Muslim World.
The most notable Frankish ruler Charlemagne conquered much of Western Europe, and was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by the pope in 800 AD. The Carolingian empire largely disintegrated on Charlemagne's death in 814, and the last East-Frankish king of the Carolingian dynasty died in 911. The 9th and 10th centuries are also remembered for the Viking raids and expeditions from Scandinavia across most of Europe.
The 10th to 13th centuries are known as the High Middle Ages, and saw a wave of urbanisation especially in Western Europe, with the rise of cathedrals and universities, as well as the Crusades; a series of military campaigns launched by the Catholic church, many of them towards the Holy Land. Merchant-ruled city-states such as the Hanseatic League, Novgorod, Genoa and Venice, came to control much of commerce in Europe, while the Mongol Empire came to conquer most of the European plains in the 13th century. The Black Death killed one-third of Europe's population around 1350.
The Renaissance (rebirth) began in Italy and spread across Europe in the late 15th century, rediscovering Classical Graeco-Roman culture. The printing press made books affordable, leading to a broader alphabetization and the emergence of vernacular literature, enabling the Protestant Reformation.
Gunpowder weapons revolutionized warfare. A series of wars, especially the very destructive Thirty Years' War of the 17th century, replaced the political patchwork of nobles' fiefs and city-states with centralized empires, such as the Russian Empire, the Austrian Empire, and the Ottoman Empire.
From the late 15th century, European navigators found the way to Asia, the Americas (see voyages of Columbus) and Oceania. They paved the way for Spain, Portugal and later other countries to establish colonies and trading posts on other continents. The independence of the Americas at the turn of the 18th to the 19th century ended the first wave of colonialism. From the 1880s onward, most of Africa was colonised. Immigration from former colonies has shaped the face of Europe, and of countries such as France, Britain, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain in particular.
The Industrial Revolution began in Britain in the 18th century (see Industrial Britain), but took a century to spread to continental Europe.
The 1789 French Revolution was the beginning of the end of European aristocratic power and absolute monarchy, and led to a series of wars, including the Napoleonic Wars. The 19th century saw the rise of democracy, social reform and nationalism, with the unification of countries such as Germany and Italy.
World War I, at its time known as the Great War, saw unprecedented destruction, and made the end to the Russian, German, Austrian and Ottoman empires. The Soviet Union replaced the Russian Empire, and fascist movements rose to power in Italy, and later in Spain, Portugal and Germany. While Europeans were weary of war, the League of Nations failed to stop the second World War, which came to be the most destructive war ever in Europe, and included a mass murder campaign today known as the Holocaust.
After the war, the nations of western Europe saw the need of cooperation. Tthe European Coal and Steel Community was founded in 1951, and the Treaty of Rome was signed in in 1956, founding the European Economic Community. The end of the second World War gave rise to the Cold War, which was perhaps most visible in Europe. Most of Europe was either dominated by the Soviet Union or closely allied with the US. The remaining dictatorships in the west fell in the 1970s. While some revolts in eastern Europe were struck down, widespread protests began in the 1980s, starting a wave of revolutions from 1989, culminating in the dismantling of the Soviet Union in 1991. The European Community became the European Union in 1992, and introduced a common currency, the euro, in 2002. The union was expanded piece by piece, currently including 28 countries, as well as close association with several others.
Pardon me for not looking at the article in my current condition of near-sleeping, but in which section is Europe's brilliant prehistory mentioned? The fantastic art discovered in European cave paintings is a highlight, as is Stonehenge, and we understand a lot more about European Neanderthals and early Homo Sapiens Sapiens than we used to. I'd start the European prehistory of humanity at the time of the Homo Erectus migrations to Europe. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:54, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
Sorry to focus on this one side-point, but Theodosius was emphatically not the son of Constantine. The two weren't even related. Theodosius' father was a high ranking general whose military successes enabled his family to become one of the last stable dynasties of the Western Empire. Constantine's dynasty ended somewhere in the sands of Persia when Julian "the Apostate" died on a foolish war of choice. Incidentally, Julian was not only the last member of Constantine's family to don the purple but also the last non-Christian. I'll have a look at the rest of the text at some other point in time, but that was just glaring. Hobbitschuster (talk) 03:12, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

Can we have a discussion please?[edit]

Apparently a lot of content was now removed without discussion. Can we please debate this? Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:43, 9 September 2017 (UTC)

I thought that it was a preview. Page reverted. /Yvwv (talk) 23:50, 9 September 2017 (UTC)

How should we handle the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics?[edit]

I've started a discussion about how should we handle the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics (provinces of Ukraine that declared independence) at Talk:Eastern Ukraine. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 13:39, 31 August 2017 (UTC)

Hierarchy: Latin Europe region?[edit]

On Talk:Europe/Hierarchy, there is a suggestion to introduce a Latin Europe region. Please share your opinions. /Yvwv (talk) 17:50, 10 September 2017 (UTC)


I wonder if it's worth mentioning something about Israel. What is certain is that Israel is a member of many European regional bodies. For instance, for sports, Israel competes in European competitions, and Israel also participates in the Eurovision Song Contest. Not to mention that for UN security council purposes, Israel is classified under "Western Europe". And culturally, it's definitely more European than Asian. The dog2 (talk) 00:33, 2 March 2018 (UTC)

Wikivoyage:Geographic hierarchy is based on Wikivoyage:The traveller comes first. While Israel has much in common with Europe, and many other Middle Eastern countries do their best to mess up travel between themselves and Israel, it is for all practical reasons located in the Middle East. /Yvwv (talk) 00:38, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
Canada has entered into a free trade agreement with the EU, and it's part of NATO, the British Commonwealth and the Francophonie, so I guess it should be part of Europe too. Or maybe instead of trying the rearrange the globe into a counter-geographical order, we should just focus on travel stuff. Ground Zero (talk) 02:01, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
In the case of Canada being a member of NATO and signing the free trade agreement with the EU, they do not impact travellers at all for the most part. But in the case of Israel, Israeli football (soccer) clubs play in the UEFA Champions League, and the Israeli national team plays its World Cup qualification games in Europe (and of course, hosts European teams as well). And likewise, the Israeli basketball team participates in European competition. People do travel to Europe to watch sports, so for such travellers, Israel's membership in European sporting bodies is useful to know. Likewise, people do travel to watch the Eurovision Song Contest, and Israel takes part in that as well. And should Israel win that some day, the next edition would be hosted in Israel. While I'm not proposing revamping the geographic hierarchy, I thought it might be worth mentioning that Israel also participates in many European regional bodies. The dog2 (talk) 03:28, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
No, Israel should not be mentioned here. Oddities like Israel being included in some European sports leagues, or the song contest, or the Asiacrypt conference sometimes being held in Australia might be discussed where we cover the league, contest or conference, but that is it. Pashley (talk) 03:45, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
It could also be mentioned briefly in Israel#Understand. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:22, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
People travel for business, so free trade pacts matter, and for military purposes, so alliances matter, but we should keep our geographic hierarchy based on geography. It is what readers would expect. Readers know that despite Eurovision, etc., Israel is in the Middle East. Ground Zero (talk) 09:28, 2 March 2018 (UTC)

Debit and credit card cleanup[edit]

There are some odd phrasing in the Credit and Debit cards section. I am not sure whether it is just badly written or whether there are surprising problems:

  • You may be surprised to find out that your card inexplicably does not work at some points of sale in some locations, despite being otherwise fine. This is especially true with older-style credit cards without a chip, which may simply not get accepted.

Are there random problems or is the problem just that some types of cards are not accepted? In the latter case I'd think the "inexplicably" should not be there. Later on on the same theme:

  • Moreover, the card acceptance signs displayed may not mean what you may expect them to, as "fine print" may deem your particular type of VISA or Mastercard is not acceptable (e.g. because only chip-enabled cards are covered).

I think think this could be covered much more compactly. Is the problem just that chipless cards are often not accepted (or that you have to know the PIN, which seems to have surprised the editor), or are there other problems? --LPfi (talk) 07:43, 7 March 2018 (UTC)


Regarding this edit, These two sentences:

  • Currently, the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Caspian and Black Seas and the Bosporus Strait are considered its eastern frontier...


  • The Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Caspian and Black Seas and the Bosporus Strait are considered its eastern frontier...

mean the same thing. Exactly. Why not use this shorter one? Ground Zero (talk) 12:49, 11 June 2018 (UTC)

Is WV:Words to avoid Holy Scripture from which no deviation or change can be made and does "to avoid" mean "to never use even if there may be reasons to do so"? I mean you consider search and replace copy-editing a good thing. I am not sure I consider it a worthwhile thing to spend time on. But having debates over even legitimate uses of words on that list. Eh. I think we have bigger marine vertebrates awaiting pans. Hobbitschuster (talk) 14:36, 11 June 2018 (UTC)
I didn't argue on the basis of the style manual. I argued on the basis of improving the writing. Using words that don't add meaning does not do any favours for the readers. If you're going to misrepresent my argument, it would be fair turnabout for me to say that you're arguing in favour of bad writing, but I don't think that style of discussion is necessary or helpful in Wikivoyage. Instead of accusing me of citing Words to Avoid as Holy Scripture, you could have explained what the difference is between the longer sentence and the shorter sentence.
I continue to believe that improving our writing in Wikivoyage makes it more attractive and useful for readers, and is worth doing.
Finally, my copyediting is not "search and replace". I usually end up cleaning up formatting, de-tout and updating as I go. I don't care what you think about my contributions, but I encourage you not to belittle the contributions of other editors who make take offence and as a result spend less time on the project. Ground Zero (talk) 19:09, 11 June 2018 (UTC)
The word is needed here because of the preceding sentence: "Europe's eastern borders are ill-defined, and have been moving eastwards throughout history." You have to contrast your next sentence to that in some way, and the "currently" does it nicely. If you find a better wording, by all means, but just removing the word makes the paragraph read oddly. --LPfi (talk) 19:42, 11 June 2018 (UTC)
I don't know that the contrast is needed here, but using "now", i.e., "The Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Caspian and Black Seas and Bosporus Strait are now considered its eastern frontier...", would avoid the implication that the situation is going to change that "currently" carries. It could change, but we have no reason to believe that it will. Ground Zero (talk) 09:14, 12 June 2018 (UTC)
"Now" is fine, but for the record, I don't find it to have any different implications than "currently". Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:20, 12 June 2018 (UTC)
This is similar to the discussion we had about the word "sadly" not that long ago. It seems to me that the two sentences have roughly the same factual content, but the one with "currently" is better writing in context. I'm also fine with "now" as a compromise. —Granger (talk · contribs) 13:40, 12 June 2018 (UTC)
I'm actually okay with leaving this one alone. I just got annoyed at Hobbitschuster misrepresenting my argument and belittling my copyediting. I'm done now. Ground Zero (talk) 14:12, 12 June 2018 (UTC)

@Mx. Granger: Whoops -- sorry about that. I had forgotten about this conversation. Ground Zero (talk) 02:59, 9 July 2018 (UTC)

No worries. —Granger (talk · contribs) 05:19, 9 July 2018 (UTC)

Traditional alcohol belts in Europe[edit]

There is an image in the drink section depicting the "traditional alcohol belts in Europe". I am not quite sure what exactly it is trying to convey – a generalisation of prejudice? For instance, Germany has strong traditions within winemaking and drinking, and they also fathered the word Schnaps for destilled drinks. And why is whisky not represented? I do not think this image brings any meaning to the subject at hand. Philaweb (talk) 11:05, 23 November 2018 (UTC)

I sort of agree. The map is trying to show the differences in drinking culture throughout the continent, which is of interest. It does however ignore the important cultural relevance of (for example) beer in France or wine in Germany. All things considered I would be OK to see it removed. Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:42, 23 November 2018 (UTC)
I think as a rule of thumb, wine is traditionally drunk wherever it grows whereas beer/spirits are drunk elsewhere... Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:58, 24 November 2018 (UTC)
True, true... and another rule of thumb, whatever is less taxed is more consumed. Ukraine used to have excellent wine, since it grew there as well. Vodka was very cheap in the Soviet Union. So, traditionally, the southernmost parts of Ukraine is wine country. In Sweden, Norway and Finland, moonshine was common since it was the cheapest and less humiliating way to procure alcohol. The state monopolies on alcohol made it expensive and difficult to get anything else, and the shops were like pharmacies were you needed to file forms to receive the goods on a later date. There is also the social destinction where beer/ale is the drink of the working class and wine is the drink of the upper class. This all gets lost in the map. Philaweb (talk) 16:24, 24 November 2018 (UTC)
"wine is traditionally drunk wherever it grows whereas beer/spirits are drunk elsewhere" - umm... ok, thanks for that. So... consensus is that we can remove the map as confusing? Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:48, 24 November 2018 (UTC)

Hot chocolate "for kids" or not?[edit]

Given that an IP address seems to disagree with the pre-existing text calling (certain kinds of) hot chocolate a "drink for kids", I think we should have this debate here. imho the more sweet ones made with pre-mixed "kaba" powder are considered for kids whereas more bitter ones are not. Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:27, 11 January 2019 (UTC)

Sorry for posting a similar thread below without seeing this first. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:08, 11 January 2019 (UTC)

Milk chocolate in Europe[edit]

It's called "kinder Schokolade" in Germany and is to my understanding really considered to be for children who find the full taste of real dark chocolate as yet too strong. Similarly, in Italy, I recall the chocolate in hot cocoa being dark, though maybe not as bitter as in Germany. I don't really understand this edit, which states that "hot chocolate is popular with both adults and children", a fact not under dispute. Is milk chocolate generally eaten by adults in Europe? Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:27, 11 January 2019 (UTC)

Ikan, I started a very similar topic above. Mind if we combine the two? Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:50, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) In Britain, Ireland and France it is eaten by adults. And Belgian / Swiss chocolate boxes available everywhere and aimed at adults usually have a mix of milk and dark flavours. For other countries I'm not so sure, but I know there are popular *dark* chocolate wafer biscuits aimed at children in countries like Poland and Slovakia. So milk=children, dark=adults is certainly a false binary for the continent as a whole. But if it's true in certain countries, I wouldn't know. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 17:00, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
In Finland and elsewhere in the Nordic countries milk chocolate is (for eating) regarded as normal chocolate, and dark chocolate with proportionally more cocoa regarded as something more exclusive/more expensive. Hot chocolate is in general drunk with milk and sugar, and I'd say it's more of a children's beverage — adults do drink it but generally prefer coffee or tea as their hot drink of choice. ϒψιλον (talk) 21:42, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
OK, so that section should be edited accordingly, to take into account Europe's diversity. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:11, 12 January 2019 (UTC)