If it's Tuesday, this must be Belgium

It's the stereotype of American tourist seeing all of Europe in one week: the weekend in London, Monday for Amsterdam, Tuesday for Belgium and then on to Paris, Rome and Athens. One week and you've seen everything you needed to see. Hop on the plane back home.

And although most people see it as a wrong way of 'doing Europe,' it's an interesting concept. It got us thinking. The question we asked ourselves is: there must be destinations that are more popular for a weekend getaway, and destinations that get a lot of people during weekdays.

So we started collecting travel related social data you can find on the web, analyzing it, and running scripts – all to see what traveler visited which city on which day. We collected over eight million useful dates. And the answer is: if it's Tuesday it's probably not Belgium - Brussels (the capital of Belgium) is a real weekend hangout with most visitors on Sundays and Saturday as a good runner up, both significantly more than any other day of the week.

A few other notable results are:

  • Alkmaar has a 26% percent score on Fridays - when the weekly Cheese market is held.
  • Versailles scores really low on Mondays - when the main Palace is closed.
  • Sunny destinations like Maspalomas on the Canary Islands, Hamamet in Tunisia, Bodrum and Alanya in Turkey or Cancun in Mexico score well the whole week through - no real weekend peak here, which makes perfect sense. You go here for a whole week, not just for a weekend.
  • With a bit of imagination you can see some cultural patterns as well. Most cities in Europe in the US score highest on Saturdays and Sundays - have a look at the islamic world and you see high scores for Fridays - the most popular day in Dubai, Medina, Doha, Damascus, Alexandria, Abu Dhabi among others. Of course there are some exceptions both ways, but the pattern is clearly distinguishable.
  • And Tuesday? Ik took us a while the real winner in Europe. Nice in Southern France is popular on Tuesdays, but Capri, the lovely island just off the coast from Naples is the real place to be on a Tuesday.
It's a lot of fun to browse through the data so go and have a look at yourself on triposo.com So go explore and have fun!


Pradesh223 said...

It seems your hack, whatever the precise mechanism may be, has correctly identified that Anjuna in India is popular on Wednesdays when the weekly market is held.

marlinwang said...

You've really done great job but I guess it a matter of taste: some people would like to visit Brussels exactly on Tuesday when there are less people (it might be advantageous for taking amazing pictures when no one gets in shot). Next year I'll buy thesis here and I'll get time to become one of the American tourists in Europe. Are there any suggestions when it is better to visit Strasbourg?

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