Wikivoyage talk:Small city article template

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Great idea! --(WT-en) Evan 01:06, 10 Apr 2004 (EDT)

This could be made into a message, so {{subst:smallcity}} is expanded into the template! Same for the other templates of course. What do you think? (WT-en) Guaka 19:21, 12 Apr 2004 (EDT)

I just created MediaWiki:smallcity and added a line in this article on how to use it. (WT-en) Guaka 09:14, 16 Apr 2004 (EDT)

It is an interesting solution, but you have to save the page first before you can use the template - as well as remember the correct message and what to type. New contributors won't know about it and old hands won't need it. Frankly, I think a copy and past between browser windows is a better solution, as it is just as quick and you do not need to save the page before editing. An even better idea would be an editing form where you fill in the blanks or click a few boxes to get the headings you want before going into the page for the first time. BTW: I remember when the Wikipedia Mediawiki software had a default text in the window that you had to delete before writing any articles. Perhaps that feature could be (re-)implemented here to throw template text into every new article! -- (WT-en) Huttite 09:56, 16 Apr 2004 (EDT)
A link to the article templates style underneat the edit window might be a simple and yet very effective solution to this. -- (WT-en) Nils 10:03, 16 Apr 2004 (EDT)
If the language definition parameter newarticletext was ammended, the template article links could be shown there. There is probably another parameter that allows an article to have a default text too (but I cannot see it). -- (WT-en) Huttite 10:19, 16 Apr 2004 (EDT)

Does anyone think that rather than having the buy section be about what to buy, shouldn't it tell where you should go for shopping? (WT-en) Rentastrawberry 20:11, 8 Dec 2005 (EST)

It should cover both. (WT-en) Jpatokal 22:27, 8 Dec 2005 (EST)


Is there any reason why this template doesn't have an Understand section? It seems like an inadvertent omission - this section has been manually added to several small city articles and seems to be very useful (see Concord and Walnut Creek for examples). Can anyone see any reason NOT to add this section to the template? -- (WT-en) Ryan 17:37, 16 Dec 2005 (EST)

I think the idea was that for a small article you would just put the "Understand" stuff up in the lede area. --(WT-en) Evan 17:44, 16 Dec 2005 (EST)
Would you be opposed to adding an Understand section to this template and to the Project:District article template? While the lede info is useful, it's seldom more detailed than a "this place is here, and it is visited for this reason". There is always a bit more background to give about even the smallest destination, and I can't think of any place I've ever visited where knowing a bit about the background/history/etc didn't enhance the experience. -- (WT-en) Ryan 19:02, 16 Dec 2005 (EST)
I would be in favor, I already usually end up adding the header in question myself. (WT-en) Jpatokal 03:35, 17 Dec 2005 (EST)
Evan, are you anti adding an Understand section? If not (and if no one else voices any opposition) I'd like to plunge forward and add it. -- (WT-en) Ryan 17:13, 17 Dec 2005 (EST)
I think for most small destinations it'd be too much. That's why it's not there. Is there a good reason to add it, rather than just having the "Understand" info be part of the first paragraph? I think for most small destinations, 1-2 paragraphs of introduction is probably plenty.
But, y'know, I'm not gonna cry if it's changed. I just think the "small" part of "small city template" makes sense, and adding more sections doesn't help that. --(WT-en) Evan 17:35, 17 Dec 2005 (EST)
I'll leave the templates alone then, and just manually add "Understand" to articles where I think it is needed. My feeling was that background info about a place is at least as basic and useful as the "Get in" and "Get around" info, and I've found myself adding a separate section for it (or thinking it should be added) to the vast majority of small city articles I create. I actually thought it had been left out of the Small City and District templates by accident, hence this discussion. -- (WT-en) Ryan 17:56, 17 Dec 2005 (EST)
I also have manually added an "Understand" section to all small city articles I've begun. In general, I feel if a place is deserving of having a page in the first place, then there must be at least enough background information to complete a few lines. I support Ryan's proposal. Anon 18 Dec 05.
I, too, count myself among those who have been manually adding Understand sections to many small city articles. If you check Project:Where you can stick it you'll see that a lot of stuff is supposed to be added to the Undestand section in spite of city size (tourist information centers being one constant), stuff that would kind of clutter the lead area. Whereas I don't have a problem adding that section manually, I also think that amending this template (and {{subst>smallcity}} too) in order to make it all automatic would do us no harm. (WT-en) Ricardo (Rmx) 10:32, 31 May 2006 (EDT)
Am I alone in thinking that "Understand" sounds pretentious? Surely a more guidebook-like term could be found? --(WT-en) Kingboyk 03:01, 10 December 2006 (EST)
Have a look at Project:Article templates, which is one among many places that the issue of header names has been discussed. Numerous people seem to take issue with one or another header name, but the consensus seems to be that it's more trouble than it is worth to change 10,000 articles, and it's unlikely that we would ever find headers that everyone agrees with. -- (WT-en) Ryan 03:19, 10 December 2006 (EST)

Nearly 3 years since any discussion about this. When creating an article with the small city template I often find myself adding Understand manually. I can't really see why it is not part of the template. The only alternative is an unnecessarily long preamble (a fault of many existing small city articles due to the absence of understand). Could we please have this debate again and try to reach a concensus?--(WT-en) Burmesedays 09:51, 9 October 2009 (EDT)

I think the understand section is more often than not useful for small city and district articles. Why not add it to the template, but still allow it to be optional for those towns of very minor travel interest (which would most often be visited by business travelers or on family visits). There's never going to be much of importance to write about, say, Lake Station that couldn't be summed up nicely in two–three sentences right at the top. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 18:49, 9 October 2009 (EDT)
This thread is nearly four years old, but if consensus has changed then I'd definitely still like to see "Understand" added to the small city template. Even the smallest town has some background, and part of a good travel guide is to make that info available to those visiting. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 18:55, 9 October 2009 (EDT)
So is there anyone out there who objects to this? If not, let's go ahead. It makes a lot of sense.--(WT-en) Burmesedays 13:57, 13 October 2009 (EDT)
In the spirit of plunging forward and absent any dissention (yet), I have added Understand to the small city template.--(WT-en) Burmesedays 11:49, 20 October 2009 (EDT)

Template changes[edit]

To any users wanting to make significant changes to any of the templates, changes MUST be discussed on the talk page first as a change to these templates affects all articles on the site. Any non-discussed changes will almost certainly be rolled back. -- (WT-en) Ryan 00:07, 22 Feb 2006 (EST)

"Get out" description update[edit]

The current "Get out" description reads as follows:

How to move on from the small city. Give other nearby destination suggestions or day-trip ideas should go here. Don't replicate information that's up in "Get in", though. If there's really no more extra information than "Turn around and go back the way you came", just leave this section out entirely.

Since "Get out" is also supposed to be used for nearby destinations it should ALWAYS be included, so can we re-word this to read something like the following:

Nearby destinations and information about how to move on from the small city. Give brief descriptions of nearby destinations, neighboring towns, or day-trip ideas. When including information about how to move on from a destination don't replicate information that's already included under "Get in" - advice such as "Turn around and go back the way you came" isn't necessary!

Thoughts? -- (WT-en) Ryan 21:39, 24 October 2006 (EDT)

Other than some odd grammar in the first full sentence, I don't see what problem needs solving here. Compare the Project:Large city article template language: How to move on from the city. Try and include as many options as you can think of -- land, air, sea. Other nearby destination suggestions or day-trip ideas should go here. Don't replicate information that's up in "Get in", though. If there's really no extra information, just leave this section out entirely. What's wrong with simply using that? Sometimes there really are no "get out" things to do from a town except to go back the way you came ... -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 22:13, 24 October 2006 (EDT)
My main concern was with the "just leave this section out entirely" line - there are very, very few destinations that are so remote that nothing fits under "Get out" - even Hawaii, located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, includes "Hawaii can be a stepping off point to explore Oceania" under "Get out". I'd also like to make it clearer that "Get out" is where neighboring destinations go, and that the section isn't just "what are the logistics for leaving this place", but that's (IMHO) less important than getting rid of the "just leave this section out entirely" language. -- (WT-en) Ryan 22:27, 24 October 2006 (EDT)
I repeat: why is this a problem? Yes, the number of dead-end destinations is small. However, it is not zero. To use your Hawaii example, if there was an article about the off-limits, privately held island of Niihau, the only thing that would make sense for a "Get out" section is "go back the way you came," because you would only have gone there by way of the nearest island -- Kauai -- and there are no further things to get out to in any other direction for literally thousands of miles. (Partial exception for the newly-created northwest islands preserve, but you can't get there from Niihau.) I don't see what harm that language (which, as I point out, is duplicated in the Large City template) does, as long as it's understood that the section should be populated with nearby attractions in the (large majority of) cases where there is something sensible to say. -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 00:33, 25 October 2006 (EDT)
BotH, you have got to get working on Hawaii. --(WT-en) Evan 00:41, 25 October 2006 (EDT)
I understand the need for a re-write -- there's some weird syntax in there. Your new text is good, and although I agree with Bill that there are some exceptional destinations where the only way to go is back, I don't know if it's worth sticking too hard on that point. --(WT-en) Evan 00:41, 25 October 2006 (EDT)
My two rupees is that even for dead-end destinations like Svalbard, Sado Island and the South Pole, I think it's better to explicitly state that there's only one way out, rather than just skipping the section entirely. (WT-en) Jpatokal 00:42, 25 October 2006 (EDT)
I guess I should have learned better than to propose changes involving the "Get out" section :-/ Bill, if you're vehemently opposed to any change then I'm OK with leaving things as they are. If you'd be OK with using the language from the large city template I'd be fine with that too, although I'd really like to remove the "leave this section out" language, and potentially slightly punch up the "nearby" language to also include neighboring towns, such as something like:
How to move on from the city, and descriptions of nearby destinations. Try and include as many options as you can think of -- land, air, sea. Provide a brief description of other nearby destination suggestions, neighboring towns or day-trip ideas. Don't replicate information that's up in "Get in", though.
My concern is based on the following:
  • I honestly think that (literally) 99.99% of Wikivoyage articles should have a "Get out" section, so including any language to the effect that the section can be left out is misleading. Niihau may be an example of an article that doesn't need a "Get out" section, but as Jani pointed out, since that's such an extreme example there may still be some value in stating that there is absolutely nowhere you can get to from the island, and no way to move on except for how you got there.
  • There is also confusion among contributors that "Get out" is meant to contain ONLY the logistics of how to physically leave a place - take a bus, get on the ferry, etc - so it would be nice to emphasize the fact that the section is also for suggestions of places to visit nearby; it would be good if the text made that clearer.
Again, I think this is a useful change, but I don't think it's something that threatens the future of mankind, the internet, and Wikivoyage, so I'm happy to let the issue drop if anyone is vehemently opposed. It would (IMHO) be a useful change, however, if we could clarify slightly. -- (WT-en) Ryan 13:50, 25 October 2006 (EDT)
I wouldn't describe myself as "vehemently" opposed; if the consensus is to change the thing, then change it and I'll live with my not-strongly-held objections. I do think, however, that some care should be taken to make the resulting language consistent with what's used in the large-city and huge-city templates. Ryan, would you at least make the change in a way that promotes that consistency? -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 20:55, 25 October 2006 (EDT)
Sorry, didn't mean to single you out - another failing of my left-brainedness. The "Get out" section of all of the templates should be updated, so how about the following, with "city" used for the city templates, and "region" used for the region template:
How to move on from the city/region, and descriptions of nearby destinations. Try and include as many options as you can think of -- land, air, sea. Provide a brief description of other nearby destination suggestions, neighboring towns/regions or day-trip ideas. Don't replicate information that's up in "Get in", though.
-- (WT-en) Ryan 22:24, 25 October 2006 (EDT)

(Semi?)Protect this and the other templates?[edit]

In view of the problems that have occurred with city templates getting clobbered by people who edit the templates directly rather than copying them into the new pages they want to make, I wonder if they should be protected at some level. Yes, I know about the social norm against protecting things here, but it's been many moons since substantive changes were made to the thing (other than the disclaimer banner that Ryan just added, which may solve the problem but may not), while screwups requiring redaction are distressingly common. I say let's give Ryan's banner a chance to work, but be prepared to consider protection if it doesn't. -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 15:00, 18 March 2007 (EDT)

My original thought was that protecting the page might be a good idea, but since the people who edit this template to add article info think that they're doing so to create a new article, giving them a message that the page has been protected might make them think that you need to have special permissions to contribute. Hopefully by just adding a banner that tells them that editing this template doesn't create a new article they'll get the idea to search around for the proper way to contribute. As a side note, Project:How to start a new page needs to be updated to provide a much simpler guide to editing a page / starting an article for someone who is unfamiliar with wikis and not technically savvy; in its present form it points you at the article templates with the text "you should start with the appropriate article template". -- (WT-en) Ryan (talk) 15:09, 18 March 2007 (EDT)

A couple of questions about live music[edit]

swept in from pub:

I have a couple of questions about how we should handle certain types of live music venues.

First, small clubs/bars that focus on music -- do they go under Drink (as nightlife) or under Do (as music venues)?

Second, orchestras and concert halls -- is the activity "going to the concert hall" (at which the orchestra is the main tenant, but there are other events throughout the year), or is the activity "going to see the orchestra" (which is usually at the concert hall but sometimes at other venues around the city)? Or should we list both?

-- (WT-en) LtPowers 20:03, 22 April 2010 (EDT)

If a small club or bar has a focus on music, I think that is perfect for a listing under Nightlife. --(WT-en) inas 20:25, 22 April 2010 (EDT)
If a city has a theatre group or orchestra linked to the destination that regularly puts on significant performances at that destination, I think it is always worthwhile mentioning it by name in its own listing, rather than including it in the listing for the performance venue. --(WT-en) inas 20:25, 22 April 2010 (EDT)

Buy/Drink/Around the region[edit]


What would be good to buy in this city? Local crafts or other specialties? Souvenirs of the region? Is this a centre of fashion or electronics shopping? Good place to buy travel equipment, general goods or anything else?

This needs to be expanded to add:

Are there unique commercial venues in the area such as local farmer's markets, craft fairs or downtown "high street" or "main street" historic districts with items for sale? Is it possible to visit or tour areas in the surrounding countryside where artwork, food, wine or other commodities are being produced or harvest your own farm-fresh fruits, berries or produce?

Many small cities boast of a thriving farmer's market a few steps from the historic town hall where on certain scheduled days local produce and local producers arrive from miles around. These tend to be tourist attractions in their own right.


For bars, clubs, and other nightlife. Yes, many people go out to clubs and don't drink; the name of the section is still Drink. Mention any local specialties or oddities, and give a general idea of good areas of the destination to try. Good things to mention: dress code, entrance fees, safety concerns, solo-woman friendly or pick-up bar, good/bad nights).

De-facto, this has already split into two sub-sections in many articles:

Coffee shops, cafés, tea rooms, small local establishments which primarily serve beverages (not necessarily alcohol) possibly alongside snack foods such as doughnuts, ice creams or dessert foods. Cafés as coffee shops not listed (under "eat") as purveyors of full-course meals. If there's a unique, notable local alternative to huge chains such as Starbucks, list it here.
Bars and pubs
For bars, clubs, and other nightlife... (as above)

Also note that wineries will appear as tourist attractions in many regions, as may microbreweries.

Around the region

Proposed section, does not already exist but would apply only to small-city articles. Most small towns (if they're actual freestanding communities and not merely a suburb of some other place) are surrounded by other, even tinier towns which are far enough not to be part of the same community. At some point, these are not large enough to fill a page of their own; a village of a thousand people may have one or two listings at most. These would be placed after all local do/see, buy/sleep, eat/drink listings, before get out/go next.

Format would be:

Nearby or Around the region
Small village
  • Token one thing to see in small village
Even smaller village
  • Token one thing to see in smaller village

This would allow [[small village]] to be a section redirect, #REDIRECT [[small city article#small village]] - something which would not work if the small villages were broken up and their listings dumped into the main body of the closest city. If a village ever gets more than a handful of listings, it could then be more easily broken out into its own page; conversely, if there actually is not enough for even one listing for a place, perhaps that place should not be created even as a redirect as there is no valid target article that has anything pertinent to say. K7L (talk) 15:42, 28 October 2012 (CET)

There are a few issues you have raised here. I think Cafes are only sensible in Drink if they are nightlife. In Australia, and other western countries, a cafe is no different to the italian restaurant next door. Both serve coffee and similar food. To put a Cafe in Drink, and the restaurant in Eat makes no sense to me. Drink is nightlife, not a place to eat that happens to serve coffee. --Inas (talk) 01:51, 2 November 2012 (CET)
The "coffee shop" venues which belong here are cafés which serve primarily coffee or tea with no full-course meals offered. I can't imagine an Italian restaurant which serves nothing but coffee. In Kingston (Ontario) "Coffee and Company" sells coffee ("drink") but the "Sleepless Goat" sells both fair-trade coffees and a full breakfast ("eat"). That's the distinction.
If these places had even the food menu offered at a typical "pub" or "bar and grill" (which are in 'Drink', often as sports bars) they'd qualify as "eat"... but they don't. At most, these may carry a few desserts or snack foods such as muffins, and maybe provide wi-fi hotspots, but one can't get a full meal there.
Sometimes a business does fit multiple categories, leading to weirdness like the golf course ("do") with a restaurant ("eat") and a bar ("drink") at the clubhouse, a campground ("sleep") with a marina and boat launch ("get around" if this is in a group of islands where boats are transportation, not toys) or a farm offering hayrides ("do"), a restaurant ("eat") and a bed-and-breakfast inn ("sleep"). These as a matter of policy only get listed once, Inclusion under "eat" would remove a listing from "drink" (or vice-versa) even if it's a bar and grill. K7L (talk) 03:59, 2 November 2012 (CET)
Putting cafes in that section is just another consequence of poorly thought through section headers. The obvious intention was to have a nightlife section, like every other travel guide that puts the nightlife in a separate section. Linking our nightlife section with a coffee shop section just because both involve imbibing liquids is wrong. In some places, and Australia is one, you won't find a cafe that won't serve you breakfast and lunch - with the only possible exception being the American styled chains, which I wouldn't really expect in a travel guide anyway. --Inas (talk) 06:01, 2 November 2012 (CET)
The idea is to cover the whole world, not just Australia, and in some places there are "tea rooms" or places which sell plenty of coffee but not a full meal. Even within an alcoholic-centred frame of reference, I wouldn't call a vineyard tour "nightlife" as these are normally conducted in broad daylight. Nonetheless, that doesn't fit under "eat" as no meal is served. K7L (talk) 06:08, 2 November 2012 (CET)
Coffee shops often serve as nightlife hot spots in D.C. too—usually with lots of live music, poetry slams, art shows, (radical) political talks, etc. Café is a trickier name (it usually refers to a food-serving establishment here too), but I understand the desire to be inclusive of tea houses and the like. --Peter Talk 18:07, 2 November 2012 (CET)


"Go next" section says In rare cases, day trips to adjacent villages too small to have their own page could be accommodated by splitting this section into two, "nearby" and "go next", as:

There're some attractions in Sindh which do not merit an article nor I can insert them under "See" section of destination articles because they're far. Currently, I'm listing them in low-level region article but I think I can move them to destination articles but under "nearby" sub-section in "Go next" section but I would like to look at some examples first if this way has been approached before so please provide links to articles if you knew of some. --Saqib (talk) 13:19, 19 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

Cobourg (pop 18000) and Napanee (pop 15000) are two examples - small towns surrounded by farmland, into which are interspersed a few rural villages with one or two attractions each. The individual villages are too far into the cow pasture to be suburbs, but too small to be city-level destinations with their own articles. The other alternative is to create a large rural area as the city-level destination, à la Prince Edward County or Rural Montgomery County, if there's no clear centre point to use as the city. K7L (talk) 14:50, 19 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
The two examples you gave me do not comply with MoS because this page says Go next section can be split into two, "nearby" and "go next", whereas both in your examples "Nearby" is a section itself. Anyway, thanks for help. --Saqib (talk) 08:21, 20 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
Those were split the way they were as "nearby" contained individual listings while "go next" listed the next place to actually have its own article. MoS is poorly worded in this respect, as "nearby" is rarely used in city articles. A split with "go next" as a section and "nearby", "further afield" as subsections is possible - Yangshuo#Nearby and Skopje#Nearby do this - but "Nearby" as section makes it easier to use individual place names (villages) as subsections. Only the common, main sections (Understand, Get in, Get around, See, Do, Buy, Eat, Drink, Sleep, Connect, Stay safe, Stay healthy, Cope, Go next) are standardised; editors are afforded a wide amount of flexibility to insert additional sections and subsections as needed. Often, an individual section (like "See") will be split geographically ("In town", "Nearby") if that makes sense for that destination.[1] The {{airport skeleton}} has "Nearby" as a standard section, but for city pages it's usually only useful only for small cities surrounded by even tinier villages. For anything Toronto or NYC sized, all of the adjacent points predictably already have their own articles so "Nearby" with individual listings would serve no purpose. K7L (talk) 18:14, 20 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

Subdivision by price[edit]

I added this sentence to the "Eat" and "Sleep" sections, because it was missing, and it's a lot easier to point here in cases in which new users try to customize these subheadings, rather than to point to Wikivoyage:Large city article template and explain that the subheadings mentioned there also apply when needed in this template:

Listings can be subdivided by price (Budget, Mid-range and Splurge) if there are more than a few.

I don't expect this to be controversial. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:53, 29 May 2022 (UTC)Reply