This weeks travel hack was to come up with a algorithm that ranks cities on how good they are for a mid winter trip.
Based on the algorithms we explained in the two previous posts (1,2) we have compiled a nice Christmas top 100.
So here it finally is, the christmas top 5.
1. London: The Brits invented christmas pudding and got away with it. With christmas lights all over town, shopping at Harrod's and a giant Christmas tree on Trafalgar square London deserves its first place.
2. New York: It's big and it's lit up like a huge Christmas tree - and is there any place that is better for Christmas shopping? We think not.
3. Berlin: the German capital combines traditional german Christmas markets with endless shopping, dining and nightlife possibilities.
4. Cologne: One of the best traditional Christmas markets in one of the prettiest german cities.
5. Nuremberg: the olderst Christmas market in the world makes Nuremberg one of the top places to go.
For the other 95 you can browse the map. If you want a few secret tips: Talinn, Strasbourg and Bratislava are off the beaten track, but they surely deserve their place in our top 100.
These are the results:
On the map red means that a large percentage of december photos are taken around christmas. As you see, Europe lights up brightly, especially Central Europe - not strange given the popularity of Christmas markets in Germany, the Czech republic and Austria.
Although it's hard to judge by looking at a world map on this scale, you can also conclude from the data that cities are popular around christmas - more so than the countryside.
Mexico also seems quite a popular place around Christmas.
The real christmas hack will come soon - so check back soon to see whether the results of that hack match with this map.
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.