These would all work best if you have a SIM card or a wifi box which you can rent or buy online. I’m currently using the OneSimCard and I have mixed feelings over it. But if you’re going less than a month or you don’t use your phone very often, then it may be perfect for you! I’ll do a review over it later.
1. Google Maps
I have said this throughout numerous posts that I swear on Google Maps while traveling. If you’re from Kansas City, you know that it is only useful while driving, but to get around with public (and good) transportation, it is a Godsend. Google Maps informs you on the tram/bus/subway/train number, time, and even approximates the location. Without Google Maps, I would be lost as hell.
Besides using Google Maps for public transportation, it shows you the shortest routes and time it takes for walking around the city or to your location.
CityMapper is also a really great app to figure out the public transportation system. It gives you accurate time-departures, transit maps, and any delays/disruptions to the line. However, this app is limited to certain countries/cities. Here’s a list from iTunes App Store (as of 01/13/2018)
USA/CANADA: New York City, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Baltimore, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal.
ASIA: Singapore, Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo.
AUSTRALIA: Sydney, Melbourne.
EUROPE: London, Manchester, Birmingham, Paris, Lyon, Berlin, Hamburg, Brussels / Belgium, Amsterdam / Randstad, Madrid, Barcelona, Milan, Rome, Lisbon, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Moscow, St Petersburg.
LATIN AMERICA: Mexico City, São Paulo.
FourSquare is a great app for finding the best and closest restaurants that match your needs. You can filter out the type, cost, and more to match what you feel like eating. I used this app to find restaurants rather than eating at those awful tourist food stalls. Not all food stalls are created equal, some are really good but typically the ones by the tourist areas are mediocre or just awful.
Something to note, restaurants don’t update their days of closing/opening. I went to 2 restaurants in Brussels and FourSquare said they were open, but they were not. Granted it was a couple of days after Christmas and a few days before New Years. So be mindful around the holiday seasons.
4. Google Trips
I haven’t had the chance to use this app very often, but my roommates in the hostels highly recommended it! It tells you where the best tourist locations or festivals like Winter Wonderland are and the distance of it.
5. Translate App
Any translate app would due, but most Europeans do speak English, unless you meet a person who can’t speak English. Then either use the app or just ask someone else.
6. WhatsApp/Line/Facebook Messenger
These apps are really useful to call/text/FaceTime with family and friends for free when connected to wifi. I use these to contact family and friends to let them know about my whereabouts and I never have to worry about my iMessage accidentally going through as a text message. Nobody likes that green little text bubble, especially abroad.
This is a great app to use when you are looking for a hostel, especially at the last minute. It lists a number of hostels within where you are ranging from cheap to pricey, close or far, shitty or amazing. I used this app more before I arrived since I am not guaranteed a room or bed if I buy it at the last minute. But this app allows you to see ratings, reviews, pictures, hostel information, and more in an efficient app. Instead of having multiple tabs open on your laptop.
If you have any other suggestions of apps that you can’t live without while traveling, leave a comment down below!
Any photos used does not belong to me.