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Essentials & Unexpecteds: 25+ Of The Best Apps For Traveling In Europe

Planning to travel to Europe? Make sure to download these apps before you go!

Whether you’re a first-time traveler or a frequent visitor, travel in Europe can be an amazing experience. But having the right apps can make your trip so much easier…and even help you save a ton of money. Knowing which ones are the best apps for traveling in Europe can be overwhelming, so here’s a list of the apps I end up using nearly every time I travel to Europe.

About Jason Robinson // The Nomad Experiment

Having not seen his 3rd country until age 40, then diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 42, Jason encourages and empowers others with a fear of travel, or of traveling with major medical conditions, to push through and live an unconventional life.
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The beautiful blue azulejos tiles of the Chapel of Souls Capela das Almas – Porto, Portugal

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And get ready…there are apps on here you won’t see on other lists! Like an app perfect for finding local-led tours and adventures!

Whether you’re looking to speak the language, save money on accommodations, eat like a foodie, or just be a more conscious traveler, there’s an app on this list that can help. Enjoy!

Mapping Apps for Europe

three phone screenshots of the maps.me app
The Maps.me app is a great alternative to Google Maps and includes many travel guides to help you discover Europe

Maps.me

Maps.me can make navigating Europe a breeze and many travelers swear by it. It can be used offline, meaning you don’t need to worry about finding yourself in a remote area with no phone signal or wifi access.

The app uses OpenStreetMap data, updated daily by its community of contributors, to help you find your way around foreign cities or rural areas without relying on Google Maps or similar applications. 

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four phone screenshots of the citymapper app
The Citymapper app has won a ton of awards and is great for finding your way when you vacation in Europe

The Citymapper App

The Citymapper app has won both App Of The Year awards and Editor’s Choice awards on Apple and Android platforms. It provides an easy-to-use platform that allows users to plan their journey in advance, get real-time updates on route changes and find the best way to get to their destination. The app also tracks estimated arrival times and provides warnings of delays or congestion.

The Citymapper app is available across all major US cities and major cities in Europe including London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Barcelona and more.

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Up-to-date information – All businesses were rechecked before publication to ensure they are still open after the 2020’s COVID-19 outbreak…
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three phone screenshots of the Google Maps app
The Google maps app works great for travel in Europe, even in subways and metros

Google Maps

Google Maps is one of the most popular navigation apps out there. And Google has recently released some incredible updates that will make using Google Maps even easier.

Plus, there’s the option to save favorite places so you’ll never forget where you parked or what restaurant you had dinner in. And if you’re really OK with giving them all your data and details, you can even search for places you ate at months or years in the past.

Also, the Google Map app does a great job for the intricate subway/metro systems in major cities around Europe.

Just make sure you download offline maps to make sure you have access to navigation when you’re traveling where you might not have a cell signal!

READ NEXT: Step-By-Step: How To Fuel Your Wanderlust With Google Maps Saved Lists

Phone & Texting Apps for Europe

phone screenshots of the google fi app
The google fi app is great for wifi-calling when traveling in Europe

Google Fi Cellular

I’ve used Google fi for cellular both in the US and while traveling internationally since I went nomadic years ago. The biggest reason is that my bill throttles down if I don’t use data (but caps on the high end), so my monthly average bill is around $50 throughout the year.

But the bigger reason is that having a Google fi native phone means that I don’t have to deal with buying and using SIM cards when I go to a new country. That’s a huge pain in the ass that I get to avoid!

Add to that simple Wi-Fi calling (which saves on data) and Google Fi is a no brainer unless you have super deep pockets to pay for expensive, all-in international calling plans.

READ NEXT: UPDATED: 18 Safe Traveling Tips For Newbies—Stay Safe & Reduce Anxiety

phone screenshots of whatsapp messaging app
WhatsApp is the go-to messaging app in Europe

WhatsApp

WhatsApp has pretty much taken over the game sofar as texting while in Europe, and around the world, since it’s used by over 2 billion people in over 180 countries across the globe.

What makes WhatsApp so unique is its use of end-to-end encryption that ensures only authorized parties can view the content being sent. This feature provides users with a high level of security when it comes to their conversations and media exchanges, different than other providers.

You can add groups, make video calls and phone calls over Wi-Fi…and all for free. And they have a desktop app so you can jump seamlessly back and forth from your phone.

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Translation& Language Apps for Europe

three phone screenshots of the Google Translate app
The Google translate app even works offline if you set the preferences right

Google Translate

Google Translate is definitely “old reliable” as far as free apps for translating go. While English is often fairly easy to use in touristy cities when traveling in Europe, you’re just being a more friendly traveler when you try to use a little of the local language.

You can save favorite phrases and quickly switch from language to language, since the app supports 100+ languages, and that is expanding all the time.

One of the best features I use all the time is using the camera to capture text in Google Translate, which instantly translates it into whatever language I choose. Especially useful for understanding signs or menus!

three phone screenshots of the iTranslate translation app
The iTranslate translation app, which supports over 100 languages

iTranslate

Simply type what you want to say or copy and paste it into the iTranslate app, then select your target language. The iTranslate app will then automatically translate it for you. And if you don’t know how to pronounce something, it has an audio feature that reads out translations in different languages. Another great travel app alternative to the Google ecosphere.

Currency & Money Apps for Europe

three phone screenshots of the Currency Plus app
The Currency Plus app is a no-frills but highly functional currency translation app

Currency Plus

Did you know that there are 29 different currencies used throughout the 50 European countries? Yeah, if you think you’ll be able to get by with just one conversion, you’re sadly mistaken.

I would use GlobeConvert app (below), but I run an android phone, so I use Currency Plus. I love that I can actually see multiple conversations at once, since this can help in the now, but also help me decide where to go next when I see a great conversion rate for USD! 

READ NEXT: Gifts For Diabetic Travelers—Essential Travel Items & Unexpected Gifts

three phone screenshots of the globe currency app
The Globe Currency app is one of the prettiest and most functional currency apps available for iPhone

GlobeConvert Currency & Units (iOS only)

This beautiful app allows you to quickly convert between different currencies and units of measure from all around the world since it supports over 160 different currencies.

The user interface is incredibly simple and straightforward and it’s one of the most beautiful currency converter apps available. The app also works offline, meaning that you don’t need an internet connection to access its features! With GlobeConvert’s Currency & Units app, navigating through Europe has never been simpler!

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three phone screenshots of the Revolut financial app
The Revolut app is like Venmo, but for Europe

Revolut

Do you use apps like Venmo to transfer money between friends or family around the US? Well, you’re likely to be out of luck with doing the same thing with money in Europe, as they seem to be overwhelmingly using the Revolut app. That alone easily makes it one of the best travel apps for Europe.

You can transfer some good ol’ USD into your account, then convert and transfer to other people in different currencies while you travel through Europe.

Budgeting Apps for Europe

three phone screenshots of the Trail Wallet app
The OG trip budgeting app with attitude: The Trail Wallet App

Trail Wallet

This is one of the OG apps that I swore by back when I was just a baby nomad. Unfortunately, it’s only available on iOS. But if that’s you, I highly recommend checking it out. Trail Wallet helps travelers organize spending while they’re on the road while giving some fun, positive reinforcement.

The interface is lighthearted and easy to use, but the depth of details is solid so you can stay on budget or at least know where you went wrong and where you need to tighten up.

READ NEXT: Staying On Budget…Travel? You Need The “Trail Wallet” App!

four phone screenshots of the Trabee Pocket app
I’ve used the Trabee Pocket App for over 3 years of nomadic travel

Trabee Pocket

If you follow The Nomad Experiment on Instagram, you probably know that I currently use the Trabee Pocket app for budgeting literally every day of my life…going on 4 years now.

Setting up categories and creating budgets is simple, and adding an item when you spend literally takes less than 10 seconds, so it’s really easy to stay on top of spending. You can even track in multiple currencies that all iron out to your home currency in your final number overviews.

The graphs and breakdowns of categories are really where the Trabee Pocket app shines though, since you can deep dive each one for really granular understandings of your spending.

three phone screenshots of the Splitwise app
The Splitwise app is a game-changer for group trips

Splitwise

The Splitwise App is one of the best travel apps out there, period. It makes organizing and splitting expenses with friends so much easier. Splitwise allows users to record expenses from multiple trips, group them together by date or destination, and split them evenly or according to individual contributions.

It even allows for different percentages of splits. You can even use it for shared bills like rent or utilities.

We used the Splitwise app when I had 3 friends meet me for different stints in Portugal.

After everyone was done, we hit the “settle up” button and it automagically money transfer the right amounts to the right people. Super easy!

Transportation: Buses, Trains, & Flight Apps for Europe

four phone screenshots of the Rome2Rio app
The Rome2Rio app is a great starting (or ending place) for finding your way from place to place in Europe

Rome2Rio

The Rome2Rio app is almost always where I start my transportation searches, then I may jump over to some of the other apps listed below. Whether you’re looking for flights, trains, buses, or ferries, Rome2Rio has it all for pretty much any destination in Europe you could look for.

Enter your starting point and destination into the search bar and the Rome2Rio app will present you with a range of possible travel routes, from many different modes of transportation.

You can then compare fares and journey times so you can choose the option that fits your plans. In addition to offering great prices on travel tickets, Rome2Rio also provides detailed maps of each route.

This app is great for simply getting an idea of how to get from one place to the next and any and all modes of transportation you could take. When you’re ready, you can even click through to buy the actual tickets for your chosen route!

READ NEXT: What The Heck Is The Schengen Zone? How U.S. Passport Holders Travel Europe For Months On End

four bright green phone screenshots of the google fi app
The Flixbus app is one of the leading budget bus travel apps in Europe

Flixbus

Flixbus is one of the fastest-growing bus networks in Europe, and as of this writing, they operate in over two dozen countries. The Flixbus app makes it easy to find and book affordable bus rides, keeping your tickets digitally.

Most buses say that they come with free Wi-Fi so you can stay connected along the way.

Of course, this is almost always a crap shoot, and you should never depend on Wi-Fi actually being available on any budget bus line!

four phone screenshots of the BlaBlaCar app
The BlaBlaCar (and bus) app revolutionized a different form of ridesharing in Europe

BlaBlaCar (& Bus)

BlaBlaCar & Bus offers bus routes around over 20 countries across Europe—predominantly in western Europe—and the app allows you to compare prices, check timetables, and book tickets for bus travel throughout their many routes.

Travelers have access to thousands of destinations all accessible through the app. Keep reading to see how BlaBlaCar shook up the ride-sharing industry and became a great ride-sharing option for getting around major European cities.

four phone screenshots of the Omio transportation app
The Omio transportation app is great for finding trains and other routes when you travel in Europe

Omio

The Omio app is a one-stop shop for booking your European train tickets since it is an aggregator for the many different train operators throughout Europe.

Not only does the Omio app allow you to search for the best deals on trains in over 30 countries in Europe, but you can also book bus and flight tickets too. This means that you can easily compare prices across different modes of transport without having to open multiple apps or websites.

Plus, if you’re flexible with dates then there are often great discounts available through the Omio app – perfect if you’re trying to save some money on your next adventure!

three phone screenshots of the Trabee Pocket app
The Trainline app is a great train transportation aggregator for travel in Europe

Trainline

The Trainline app covers specifically train and bus journeys all over the United Kingdom and Europe. It features 270+ railway and bus companies for 45 countries and claims to be “Europe’s leading train and bus app.” Trainline even has a Loyalty Points system that rewards customers with points when they book trips or purchase upgrades.

Transportation: Car-Shares & Taxis Apps for Europe

four phone screenshots of the FreeNow app
The FreeNow ridesharing app is a great addition or alternative to Uber when you travel in Europe

Free Now & Uber

Travelers in Europe now have a choice between two major players: Free Now and Uber. Both offer passengers an easy way to get around in different cities; however, there are some distinct differences between the two companies. 

The most notable for the Free Now app is that prices are set by both the driver and the company itself, depending on factors such as distance traveled and time of day.

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three phone screenshots of the Uber app
Uber is alive and well in Europe, although it does have really good competition (which is a good thing!)

And the Free Now app also pools taxi drivers into the mix, which extends the offerings past what Uber can with only “company” drivers.

Rides through the Free Now app are now available in more than 100 European cities.

four phone screenshots of the BlaBlaCar app
The BlaBlaCar (and bus) app revolutionized a different form of ridesharing in Europe

BlaBlaCar

Unlike traditional rental car companies or bus tours, the BlaBlaCar app allows users to search for rides from people already planning trips in their own cars. 

Users create profiles with their preferred destinations and add certain details about themselves that other users will see before deciding whether or not to accept them as passengers.

The benefit of this BlaBlaCar approach is that travelers can often find rides faster and cheaper than they would elsewhere, all while getting to know locals along the way.

So it’s a great app for saving time and money in Europe while getting to know people and the culture a bit deeper. Plus, since drivers get extra money for having passengers on board, so it’s a win-win situation. 

Adventure, Tours & Excursion Apps for Europe

three phone screenshots of the Get Your Guide app
Get Your Guide is one of the go-to apps for finding local-led adventures when traveling in Europe

Get Your Guide

The Get Your Guide app and website are easily a couple of the most easily navigable and customer-friendly sources I’ve used for finding highly rated and unique, local adventures.

And Get Your Guide’s platform was founded on using local guides, so your travel experience is genuine and there’s more money put back into the local economy as opposed to into big businesses that may not have local roots.

READ NEXT: Prague Travel Guide — Travel Tips & The Best Things To Do In Old Town Prague And Beyond

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For travel in Europe—or anywhere really—you should really spend some time on Get Your Guide seeing all of the options they have!

Accommodation Apps for Europe

three phone screenshots of the Hostelworld App
The Hostelworld App is the go-to app for finding heavily reviewed hostels anywhere in the world

Hostelworld

My personal go-to for booking great hostel options with in-depth reviews. Keep in mind that hostels aren’t just for a dorm bed in a room with others, they’re also a place for private rooms and ensuite bathrooms, etc.

The Hostelworld app allows you to filter accommodation options on these specifics so you can choose what you’re most comfortable with. So any way you look at it, Hostelworld is one of those travel apps that will save you time and money if you like to travel on a budget.

You can also create hostel wish lists and add hostels from around the world to your favorites so you can plan to go visit them on future trips.

RELATED: The Best Hostels I’ve Stayed At…& More Importantly Why They Make The List
Hostel Guide 101 – Answers To The Questions You’re Asking

phone screenshots of the booking app
The booking app is great for finding accommodations when you travel in Europe

Booking

The Booking app and site offer an easy way to find and compare many kinds of accommodations, from homestays to hotels and everything in between. They have over 800,000 properties available across 35 languages, so there are a lot of options with great filtering options for your specific tastes.

The Booking app is a great app to use if you want to save money compared to some of the higher-priced accommodation options on platforms like Airbnb.

Food & Restaurant Apps for Europe

three phone screenshots of the Too Good To Go App
The Too Good To Go app is available in larger cities through Europe and is great for finding cheap eats and reducing food waste

Too Good To Go

The concept of the Too Good To Go app is simple: you search for nearby restaurants, purchase a discounted meal before closing time, then pick up your order using their contactless payment system. You never know what type of meal will be available; it could be anything from freshly prepared dishes or delicious bakery treats.

I used this app dozens of times while living in Portugal, both day and night, since many restaurants had meals available between their midday rushes.

Not only are these meals priced lower than usual, but they also help reduce the amount of food being wasted each year – so you get a guilt-free dinner and an environmental win.

And these aren’t scraps or waste; the meals or offerings are often as top-notch as if you would have ordered them at regular menu prices during the peak food rush!

RELATED: 2 Months in Queretaro, Mexico: My Favorite Centro Restaurants & Food…for $2-20USD/meal!

four phone screenshots of the Happy Cow app
The Happy Cow App is great for finding veggie or vegan restaurants throughout the world

Happy Cow

The Happy Cow app is a must-have for any vegetarian or vegan going on a Europe trip. It’s easy to use and allows users to search for nearby restaurants that specialize in plant-based meals.

You can also filter your search by price range or type of cuisine so that you’ll know exactly what kind of food you’re getting before you choose.

The Happy Cow app currently has over 86,000 listings for vegetarian and vegan restaurants just in European countries!

Other Helpful Apps Apps for Travel in Europe

four phone screenshots of the Austrian postcard studio app
The Austrian postcard studio app for sending customized postcards when traveling through Europe

Austrian Post CardStudio

This app allows you to use your own photos and personalized messages to create and send postcards for around €2…all digitally & on the go.

The fact that you can use your own photos, choose the layout, and even have a customized stamp (with your picture on it) is just really neat. Guess this is a sign of the times!

And you can do it from anywhere in Europe. While I’m a big fan of handwritten notes or postcards, I’m terrible at actually sitting down and writing them…and then getting them in the mail. I mean, simply going to a post office in another country with other languages and currencies just adds to the nausea.

Thanks to Leah Michelsen for suggesting the Austrian Post and Treecard Apps!

Leah Michelsen // Guest Contributor

Squashbuckler // Lover of People & the Earth // World-Traveler // Leah is a WWOOFing travel addict and helps others learn how to be more eco-conscious while traveling.
Check out Leah’s website
three phone screenshots of the Treecard app
The Treecard app plants a tree for every 10k steps you track in the app

Treecard App

The simplest win for this app is that for every 10,000 steps you track while you’re walking…

…they’ll “fund the planting of a real tree in one of 35+ biodiversity hotspots” worldwide.

That alone is worth opening the app and tracking steps. But the Treecard App also encourages users to switch to green energy providers or invest in renewable energy projects when possible, allowing them to contribute even more towards reducing climate change. They even have a wooden debit card that plants a tree for every $50 spent from it.

four phone screenshots of the Meetup app
The Meetup App is great for meeting locals when traveling in major cities throughout Europe

Meetup

You’ve probably heard of the Meetup App, but maybe you never thought about using it in your travels. I use the Meetup app all the time since I travel solo and usually want to meet people living in the places I travel.

I pop open the app, scan hundreds of events, and soon enough I’m surrounded by other locals and world travelers.

Game nights, bar crawls, free tours. You name it, there’s a meetup for it, whether you’re at home or all the way over exploring big cities throughout Europe.


No matter where you are headed when you travel in Europe, having access to these apps will definitely make your trip easier, and potentially cheaper. Let me know in the comments if there are apps that should be added to the list and I’ll check them out!

And please share this article with your Europe travel crew!

Safe Travels!
— Jason

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Travel Planning Tips

Figure out where you are going & how are you getting there…
I suggest using at least 2 to 3 different travel search sites. Start with Skyscanner or Orbitz or Booking …or whatever aggregator site you prefer. Then when you see what airlines to use, check their respective sites for better deals or rewards flights.

Figure out where you’re going to stay…
If you’re interested in hostels, search Hostelworld or Hostelling International. For longer-term or more private digs, look at Airbnb, VRBO, or you can look for hotel rooms in the links from the search engines listed above. 

Get comprehensive travel insurance, or in the least, travel medical insurance if internationally…
Especially with Covid not going anywhere, get covered. Start with an insurance aggregator like Insure My Trip, or with SafetyWing, World Nomads, or another. Then decide what is important to you; trip cancellation, baggage coverage, medical, or all of the above. And get a yearly evacuation plan, since you’ll have to get home after your emergency! 

Need more resources? Click here!

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