Some people have a built in GPS and never get lost. The rest of us struggle from time to time. What do you do when you’re in a strange city and can’t find a north-facing tree to help you get your bearings? Bust out your smartphone. But disclaimer, there are some risks associated with taking your phone on an overseas trip. Watching your phone slip off your lap and crack in half on Roman cobblestones isn’t exactly what people daydream about when they plan a trip to Europe. And returning home to find a huge roaming bill isn’t very fun either. But it happens and it happens a lot. So don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Disclaimers aside, knowing where you are in an unfamiliar city might be worth the risk of damaging or losing your phone, especially if your sense of direction isn’t as sharp as it should be. There are so many things to see in every single European city on AESU’s tours. Knowing where you are and where you’re going will really help you maximize your time abroad and here are some apps to help you do just that.
Map Apps for Traveling to Europe
Ulmon– Never get lost in a foreign country again! Ulmon is like apple or google maps but better. Let’s be honest. It’s not all that hard to be better than apple maps… We love it because you can navigate using its maps 100% wirelessly. Free
Strayboots– Strayboots provides its users with not one, but two useful mapping features. Download Strayboots scavenger hunt maps to explore your city with some trivia. Or you can go to AESU’s Strayboots page and download our maps full that are of suggestions of where to go and what to see in each city on your tour. Both features can be used offline, so they’re perfect for your time abroad. Free to download app and free AESU point of interest maps. No network access needed but scavenger hunts cost around $10 each.
Like a Local– This app is perfect for people who want to see things off the well-beaten, tourist path. Just download the map for the city of your choosing then use the map’s real time location-streaming to see cool, non-touristy places close to you. And the best part? It works 100% offline. Once you download the map, there is no need for you to use internet or data. Free to download, no network access needed but maps cost $1.99
MetrO– Download the map for the city you’re visiting and then search all public transportation possibilities. The routes update themselves weekly so you’ll always have the most convenient route to see your favorite sites. And once you’ve downloaded the maps, turn off your data! This map works offline too! Free and no network access needed
Rick Steves’ Europe– Rick Steves isn’t exactly a household name for millennials but his knowledge of Europe is pretty darn impressive. Download this app and get access to the audio recordings of tons of walking tours. You can also view his maps and zoom in to attractions to see opening hours and reviews. Free and no network access needed
Findery– Findery allows its users to add notes to city maps that everyone on the app can see. You can search for interesting places near you, read other users’ stories about certain locations or just browse to see what other travelers recommend seeing. Free and no network access needed
Tripadvisor Offline City Guides– That is a very descriptive title…. Anyway, Tripadvisor lets you download an abbreviated version of their online information with this app. Restaurant descriptions with ratings, popular attractions, nightlife suggestions, it’s all available offline when you download this app. Free and no network access needed
Are you ready to travel and put these map apps to good use? Please contact AESU by calling 800-638-7640 or fill out the contact form found on our website. And don’t forget to check out all of our great Travel Tips, especially the Travel Tips for Europe, before you head overseas.