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Pocket Travel Guides: Useful Apps For Visiting Europe

Apps have become a traveler’s best friend. While in the past it was necessary to go through a lot of planning before a trip, smartphone apps now make it possible to travel anywhere without weeks of preparation. There are apps to help with spending, traveling, communicating and everything in between. Below are a few of the apps you might find most useful if you plan on visiting Europe. Best of all, these apps are all free.

XE Currency (Android, iOS)

Spending money in a foreign country can be a nightmare. I’ll never forget ordering a drink in a Spanish restaurant, only to learn at the end that I’d spent $13.50 on a Coke! There’s enough to take in during a trip to a foreign land without constantly having to convert between currencies. That’s why there’s XE Currency, which lets you:

  • Calculate prices between different currencies.
  • View fluctuations in exchange rates.
  • Support for every world currency.

With these features and more, XE Currency is a must-have app for anyone traveling in Europe. You’ll never have to worry about overpaying for something because you didn’t understand how much the Euro was worth compared to the USD. Just load up XE Currency and you’re good to go.

Google Translate (Android, iOS)

Next to spending knowledgeably, communicating with locals might be the most difficult part of traveling in Europe or elsewhere. This obviously doesn’t apply in countries where English is spoken, and it’s also not as much of an issue if you stick to tourist-friendly areas. Travel beyond the ports on your cruise or the normal tourist destinations, though, and you might find communicating with the locals to be more difficult than you anticipated. That’s where Google Translate comes in. With Google Translate, you can:

  • Translate between 63 languages.
  • Use voice-to-text input for more than 15.
  • View dictionary entries for any word.

With all of these features and more, Google Translate is all you need. Instead of carrying a pocket dictionary or taking crash courses to learn a language before traveling, just take Google Translate with you. The app’s Conversation Mode even provides real-time translations for a conversation in two languages.

Google Maps (Android, iOS)

Another Google product, but just as essential. Maps are cumbersome and can be hard for some people to follow. They also lack detailed information beyond the names of roads and large landmarks. Google Maps removes these limitations and adds a number of features, including:

  • Uses your phone’s GPS to track your location.
  • Search for locations by address, name or description.
  • Contact a business by tapping it on the map and pressing the phone icon.

Google Maps also includes different layers, such as 3D cities and satellite imagery, so that you know exactly where you are. It doesn’t include every country in Europe, but it does have data for most of the more popular destinations. If Google Maps is available for the region you’re visiting, you won’t even need a physical map.

There’s no shortage of apps to help you with your travel in Europe. Other apps, such as Tube Map and NAVIGON Europe can help you plan trips on London’s public transport system or have GPS functionality in Europe. With these three, though, you’ll be covered in all the basic aspects. You won’t spend too much money, you won’t get lost, and you won’t find yourself unable to communicate. Download these free apps and enjoy your travels!

Written By

Francesca Santelli is a travel advisor who suggests, a site for great choices like cheap fuerteventura holidays in the Canary Islands.



  1. william

    November 10, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    wow! i stumbled on your website in google. It’s a good thing to travel into such wonderful place! I remember my old backpacking days. Enjoy life while your still young! I really love reading your articles! thanks for sharing this wonderful information.


  2. joe

    November 11, 2011 at 5:46 am

    These would be really useful, I’m sure anyone would be glad to have these apps when they travel to europe.

  3. Addy Miller

    November 11, 2011 at 6:10 am

    I totally agree ! Today with a swipe of hand you can get any information and this is how fast it has got. Travel assistance is great these days thankz to technology !!!!!!

  4. Nishadha

    November 11, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Sure needed those when I was in Sweden, especially the translate 🙂 . I would suggest a good picture app too, much easier to show a picture and get the things done

  5. Danny

    November 12, 2011 at 6:29 am

    Those apps might be free. But using your data plan over the border of your own country certainly is not.

    Having said that: I am Dutch but I live in Beijing now, and I use google translate all the time here. It is a real life saver.

  6. Jamal

    November 13, 2011 at 9:34 am

    During my visit to Spain I faced two problems,one language other currency but your article provided remedy of our problems.

  7. Jack

    November 15, 2011 at 4:10 am

    Soon guidebooks will be a thing of the past; instead most people will have a mini guidebook on their phone. I still don’t have a smartphone!

  8. briant

    November 15, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    This will be very useful! thanks!

  9. Gunny

    November 26, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Google translate would be a good tool if we travel abroad and the country language is not English

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