Four Apps for Traveling in Europe
Even though we did not have any cell service while we were in Europe and only had intermittent wifi access, I still relied heavily on mobile apps to help with our experience while were there. In this post I'll talk about some of the most useful ones.
Since internet at European hotels and hotspots is not always reliable it is best if you can download and prepare these apps before you leave home. Always open an app after you download it to make sure that any further downloads of maps or information is complete. This is also useful in making sure that the app actually works before you need it.
If there is only one app that you make sure you download and prepare before leaving make it this one. Unless you are fluent in the languages of all the countries you plan on visiting this will be an extremely useful app for you. You can of course put in a phrase and have it translated into the language of your choice, but since I have a very hard time with pronunciation I don't find this particularly useful. What I do find awesome about this app is the camera feature which allows you to point the camera at any text and have it translated, in the picture, to the language of your choice.
We highly suggest using Rick Steve's audio Europe in the places he has audio tours available. Make sure that you download all the guides for places you are going to visit before you go. Be aware that some places (like Notre Dame in Paris) don't have there own guides but are included in walking tour guides for an entire area.
Each city guide contains a map that will show your GPS location and points of interest in the city. You can filter these by different categories, and when you click on one you can find useful information about it. When Rick Steves guide wasn't available I often used this app to get a good English overview of site.
Simply go to the area you want to download on the map, zoom out to the appropriate level, tap on the menu icon and choose "Offline Areas". You can then tap the blue + icon to add download the area. While offline you won't be able to get turn by turn directions but you will be able to view the map and find you way.