20 Travel Apps You Should Download for a Trip to Europe

Laura Lopuch

Planning a trip to Europe and want to know which of the must-have travel apps for Europe you should pop in your carry on backpack?

Wait, don’t start Googling yet.

Rest assured. Here are 31 of the best travel apps for Europe, just for you.

Transportation Apps

Train Apps

Eurail

This Euro rail app that lets you look up train info.

The best part: it works offline, so you can use it to plan trips in advance, or when you’re in a train station hunting for your connecting train at the last minute. If you have wifi, you can make an e-ticket reservation.

Rail Europe 

A free app that lets you find a train, plan a trip, and navigate unknown stations. You can’t buy a train ticket using this app. But if you have an existing reservation, this app pulls it up for you.

Discount Flight Apps

SkyScanner 

View search results on a bar chart to help determine the cheapest day to book a flight.  Don’t know when you want to fly? Find best times to fly, without a specific date in mind.

“The only drawback I see is that not all airlines show up on their searches” says Geeky Explorer.  

Kiwi

Choose your origin and destination airports with the click of a button. Use the map to click on a specific city, or type in your airport name. Search results are sorted by cheapest, recommended, or shortest flights. And yes, even budget airlines, like Rynair, are included.

Ride-sharing & Taxi Apps

Ridefinder

This ridesharing and carpooling app looks like Craigslist. Select your origin and destination points with your itinerary dates. Or, opt for choose-your-own-adventure style of carpooling by selecting a listed route on the right.

If you’ve ever browsed private flight itineraries, this set-up looks familiar.

BlaBla Car

This company’s slogan is “connecting people who need to travel with drivers who have empty seats.”

Easy enough, right? This ride-sharing service is available in 22 countries including Germany, the Netherlands, UK, and Romania.

MyTaxi

Self-described as “Europe’s largest taxi app,” MyTaxi has 100,000 registered taxi drivers in 50+ cities across nine countries. You order and pay for a taxi like you’d order an Uber.

One drawback is that London is the only city serviced in the UK.

 

Gett

Hate the surge pricing that Uber has? You’ll like Gett. Why? It has completely flat pricing.

Unlike MyTaxi (available only in London), hail a Gett taxi in many UK cities, like Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Oxford, Newcastle, and others.

Lyft

Meet Lyft: the anti-Uber offering nearly identical services. (Hard to hate your enemy when you look an awful lot like him.)

Lyft announced in January that they would expand to Europe within the year. In September the company was in quiet talks with London. Stay tuned and be the first to get a Lyft in Europe!

Uber

Uber has been in headlines lately for nefarious business dealings, but I’ve only had good experiences with this ridesharing and car driving company.

Downside: some cities haven’t allowed Uber and others have weird rules for exactly where (and how) an Uber driver can pick you up from an airport. London has refused to renew their permit in 2018.

RATP

This app helps navigate the Parisian transit system. Get step-by-step directions for easy travel, order an Uber within the app, or use the route planner to get from Louvre to Musee d’Orsay quickly.

The bus, metro, and REF (suburban train) lines are included; so, you can get out to Versailles without losing your mind. Available on Google Play and iTunes.

Culture Trip

Picking the tourist attraction you’re in the mood for can be like playing Russian roulette. Especially when it comes to filtering through TripAdvisor’s forums and recommendations. The Culture Trip app solves that problem. Select your location, choose from the “I want” menu to select art, music, history, food, film, and more. You’re there.

Heetch

A French taxi app for you night owls stumbling home in the dark. Only available between 8pm and 6am, prices aren’t inflated, and you get to avoid navigating the complex Parisian transport system to get to your Airbnb’s front door. Available on iTunes or Google Play.

Paris Guide Monument Tracker

Every monument is detailed with its concise, easy-to-remember history within this app. Be sure to turn off location tracking, so you don’t end up with a dead battery. Available on iTunes or Google Play.

Yandex

The best 3 things about this app: 1) Functions offline. 2) Translates from image. 3) Translates from sound recording. Available on iTunes or Google Play.

Ulmon

An offline city map with planning features and travel content, like historical sites and restaurants, nearby. I love Ulmon’s apps because they make me look like a navigation goddess when it comes to getting where I want to go in a new city.

Looking for a killer guidebook app? Ulmon’s city map already includes one.

Santander Cycles (“Boris Bikes”)

Snag one of London’s countless self-service bikes and see the city in a new way: bicycling. This app tells you where the nearest docking station with available bikes is located. Later, it will point you towards an empty bay to return your bike.

Journey Planner App

Get info on train, bus, tram, ferry, and taxi services. Plan your route using their door-to-door route planning.

This app covers all of Ireland, including those rural out-of-the-way locations that you’re dying to visit (but not sure how to navigate). Available on iTunes or Google Play. 

Republic of Ireland Travel Guide

An interactive map with nearby attractions, monuments, and restaurants listed. This app includes a currency conversion calculator, Irish phrasebook, and helpful directions for public transport. Bonus: the city guides work offline, so no need to drain your data plan. Available on iTunes or Google Play. 

Scooterino

Zip around Rome like a fearless local: on a scooter. Think of this app as Uber for scooters.

Pick your driver, check prices, request and book a scooter within app. See Rome like Audrey Hepburn did: hanging onto a handsome man, zooming around on the back of a scooter. Available on iTunes and Google Play.

Romebus

Get accurate info on Rome’s complex transit system. All the basics of a transit app (insight into metro and bus stops, real-time locations, time tables) are included.

Plus, it has an “around me” feature for discovering what’s nearby, like an espresso bar to beat back the morning blues.

Rick Steves Audio Europe Travel App

A personal tour guide in your pocket, Rick delivers a concise, interesting history on each monument. He even directs you around the monument or attraction, like a regular tour guide would.

Thanks to him, my visits to the Coliseum and Pantheon were enriched and more memorable. Download and store the app locally on your smartphone.

 

Jízdní Rády (iDNES Journey Planner)

An all-in-one transit app with bus, tram, metro, and train time tables. A winner on three fronts: it’s free and easy to search, with beautifully laid out UX design. Guaranteed to be your new best friend in Prague. Available on iTunes and Google Play.

Minos

An offline GPS-based app with 800+ points of interest, 15 bespoke tours, and 1500 photographs. In other words, this is the app you’ve been looking for to show you around Prague. Available on iTunes and Google Play.  

Mapy.cz

“Mapy is a sort of local version of Google Maps – only much better,” says Diana Bocco.

Input any address and Mapy shows you how to walk there. Even hiking and mountain biking trails are included.

DIC-o Czech

This offline dictionary has you covered when it comes to understanding Czech.

 Not everything is included, but “it covers more than 90% of what I need,” says Jason of Living Prague. It scores 4.5 out of 5 stars based on 22,000+ reviews on Google Play. Not too shabby. Available on iTunes and Google Play.

Barcelona Metro

An offline metro map detailing all the stops and other info you need to plan your adventures around Barcelona. Get step-by-step directions on the map.

Includes an integration with TripAdvisor, to help find the best places to eat and explore. Available on iTunes and Google Play.

Bicing

Biking is big in Barcelona. Try saying that five times fast.

Use this bicycle-sharing app to cover the small (and medium) distances in Barcelona. Beware: the only available languages are Spanish and Catalan, but the interface is easy for non-Spanish speakers to understand.

Rick Steves Audio Europe Travel App

Grab Rick’s audio tour for Barcelona and uncover a tour guide in your pocket. Download the audio file before leaving wifi as it’s quite large.

Bonus: check out the numbered city walk map to correspond to your audio tour.

TL;DR

When you’re looking for great travel apps for Europe, load up your smartphone with:

  • Ulmon: offline transit maps and tourist info
  • Uber or Lyft: for global taxi and car service
  • MyTaxi: an alternative to Uber or Lyft
  • Kiwi or Skyscanner: for comprehensive flights
  • Eurail: to travel Europe via scenic train travel