The best travel apps for Europe have practically eliminated the need for thick guide books and folders stuffed with printouts.
Now everything from hotel recommendations to transportation options is conveniently available on your phone.
This is a positive for a few reasons.
Namely, you’ll blend in better if you’re not standing in the middle of Trafalgar Square or some other busy center trying to figure out north.
And, you’re not taking up valuable vacation time folding maps and flipping through dog-eared pages trying to find that cute creperie your friend told you about.
It’s all in your pocket sending pings to your watch and making you the most efficient tourist ever.
Remember that old, but brilliant ad for American Express? Membership has its privileges.
And one of those privileges is the use of their award-winning app. Monitor your account and track your spending from the app.
You can also set it to tell you when your card was used without your presence.
I also happen to know from personal experience that, unfortunately, if fraud is detected, Amex is on it with notifications, emails, calls, and texts BEGGING you to call them.
It’s honestly very dear.
Transcription of an actual call between American Express and me a few years ago…
Me: Hi. I got an app notification, an email, a text, and a phone call that you needed to speak with me immediately regarding strange activity on my account.
Amex: Did you buy a Burberry coat in New York City a couple of hours ago?
Me: (Sigh) No. Was it the Garbadine Trench? Dang. Thieves got good taste.
When you call Amex customer service from a number attached to your account, your call is answered immediately and they even answer with your name.
Even if you don’t call from your phone number, just entering your credit card number will get you through immediately.
The safest way to keep these numbers handy is to take photos of your passport and your credit cards and send them to a trusted person state-side.
At least if you’re left on the side of the road with nothing but the clothes on your back, someone who loves you has your passport and credit card numbers.
Another app you just need to download because you’ll use it all the time is the Award Wallet app.
Award Wallet allows you to track all your frequent flyer and other travel rewards in one app. It will also ping you when points are about to expire.
Use the built-in travel planner feature to create a shareable flight itinerary. The app can also track flight delays and help you find alternative flights.
All while making sure you’re using your points wisely and on time.
Take a look at the Miles app if you’re needing additional ways to earn points.
If you’re willing to share information about where you’re going and how you’re getting there, then you can earn points on Miles quickly.
With the Miles app, rack up points for all the ways you travel including by rideshare, driving your car, and riding public transportation.
You even get points for riding your bike or walking. And you’ll get offers based on your travel behavior.
These apps have benefits to them on an everyday basis. The others we’ll go over are particularly useful when traveling abroad.
So which travel apps for Europe are worth downloading?
Table of Contents
Best Travel Apps for Europe Accommodations
Apps are a great way to research and book hotels from your phone. You would be surprised at all the information you’ll find at your fingertips;
As far as good apps for Europe travel goes, Booking.com rates highly. It’s popular with hotel brands, inns, and guests alike.
For that reason, most properties are listed here and you’ll find lots of detailed reviews and photos even for remote locations.
You can also save your trip history and your current itinerary offline for access anytime. The address of the hotel is in the local language too.
That feature is useful when you need to show your cab driver where you need to end up.
All the fees are listed too so you know what you’re on the hook for. You can also see clearly what the cancellation policies are.
Sometimes you can even get a discount if you prepay. And Booking.com has its own loyalty program called Genius.
Earn points and perks every time you reserve a room through the app. Manage your Genius account status there too.
2. Marriott Bonvoy
The Marriott Bonvoy app is one of the must-have travel apps for Europe for Marriott fans. It’s easy to use for managing reservations and points.
By clicking on a property you can see all the amenities, suggested activities, and promotional rates available over your travel dates.
You can also see when your Bonvoy points will expire ensuring that none of them will go to waste.
There’s mobile check-in and mobile keys where available. And they use large fonts for the hotel name. Thank you very much.
Other super convenient app functions help you find any missing reservations and facilitate requests like extra towels or toiletries.
Not only can you book hotels with the Kayak app, it also one of the best travel guide apps for Europe because you can book your entire trip here.
Kayak offers Europe vacation packages where you can add flights, hotels, rental cars and sightseeing in a one-stop-shop app.
You can set filters to search for hotels by amenities, property type, style, and free stuff.
Then find tours, restaurants, classes, and other experiences based on your interests. You might think guided tours are only for elderly folks.
But you’d be surprised at how much more you can see on one. For example, going to Paris?
You can book a private guide through Kayak to take you through the Louvre.
The treasures of the Louvre aren’t all in one cluster in a room for you to see without breaking a sweat. No, no.
They are spread out. So if you do it on your own, you’re going to waste hours trying to find them. Do yourself a favor. Book the tour.
Your guide will take you to exactly what you want to see and will give you interesting facts too.
Then find a nice cafe for lunch because you have time. You. Are. Welcome.
You’ll save money booking packages too. And more money in Europe is always a good idea–just like Paris.
Best Travel Apps for Europe Food
Look, we all know that Europe is the cradle of civilization when it comes to food (as are Asia, Africa, Australia, South America, and maybe Antarctica).
So you need an app to find all the best places in Europe wherein you can stuff your face.
One of the best travel apps for Europe food tours is the GetYourGuide app. Book tours and classes from your phone.
You’ll be able to access your tour vouchers offline.
Search the app’s thousands of tour options with the name of your destination. You can read real reviews from travelers too.
It’s a great app for booking tours even as you’re traveling. Here’s a couple of examples of the great tours you can access through GetYourGuide:
Rome Street Food Tour–follow a local guide as you eat and drink your way through the streets of Rome.
Pizza, suppli, cured meats, wine, and gelato are on your personal menu as you learn about Roman culture and history.
You can choose to do a private tour or join as a small group. Either way, you’ll have an unforgettable experience.
Or choose the Rome Pasta Making Class with a professional chef showing you the tricks to making your own Italian pasta while enjoying a glass of wine.
You get to eat your pasta masterpiece too!
Expedia is on our list of good apps for Europe travel because it’s another one-stop-shop for flights, hotels, and food tours.
Pick your destination and dates. Secure your flights and hotels or all-in-one vacation packages.
Then search the Things to Do tab for experiences in dining, food tours, wine tasting, pub tours, and more to build an unforgettable European itinerary.
Zurich, for instance, offers chocolate factory tours and tastings in their fantastic candy shops.
You can also sample the region’s world-famous cheeses on a tour of shops led by local guides.
There are tons of options you can research, purchase and download vouchers for so you can keep everything in one worry-free place.
Best Travel Apps for Europe Activities
Europe has more than great food, of course. Get your fill on art, history, music, culture, and their jaw-dropping natural spaces.
These best travel apps for Europe activities will help you plan and organize.
The allure of the Airbnb app is the opportunity to stay in neighborhoods in flats, homes, or guesthouses that will truly immerse you in local flavor.
Lately, Airbnb has become known as an app to book Experiences that take the immersion a step further.
Local verified guides, teachers, chefs, and other folks who want to share what they love about their town are now hosts of their own experiences.
Take a walk through centuries-old European cities with an architect as they tell stories of the ancient buildings.
City squares that have seen the rise and fall of great civilizations will come to life where you stand.
You’ll develop a deeper appreciation of the minds, creators, and backs of the people behind their construction.
If funky neighborhoods are what you’re after, Airbnb Experiences can help you there as well. Skip the tourist traps and check out the real Europe.
Find out where the young people who work and play in these dynamic cities hang out.
Book a tour with an Airbnb Experience guide who knows where to shop, eat, and drink without bumping against other tourists.
One of the best Europe travel apps for iPad, Viator has a comprehensive catalog of more than 200,000 quality tours.
The app used on an iPad is an excellent way to research, prebook, and guarantee tours. And it’s backed by travel giant TripAdvisor.
Since there are so many tour options listed, you should also read the reviews for any pitfalls or tips.
Because Viator has been around for a while and they have so many tours, the reviews are a good way to determine if the experience is right for you.
And even though you have booked a tour, you can still enjoy flexibility.
Tours are fully refundable if canceled 24-hours in advance, although it may take some time to see the refund.
But once you start looking at the variety of activities offered, you may want to plan your vacation around them.
For example, if you’re a fan of British TV and movies, you’ll find Viator to have the best walking tours showing you the locations you’ve come to love.
Sherlock and Doctor Who fans can see the streets and alleys where their favorite episodes were filmed.
You can learn interesting facts about the stars and get photo opportunities at the film sites.
Viator has a tour for Potter heads too. Take a trip to London’s Warner Bros. Studio and see original sets, costumes, and stage props from the Harry Potter movies.
Best Travel Apps for Europe Transport
Most travelers to Europe want to see as many cities and countries as possible. Here are the best apps to use if you want to get around.
Easily the best app for train travel in Europe, the Eurail app gives you access to train schedules on the go.
It also works offline, so it’s no problem if you can’t find a signal in the train station and you’re looking for the next train to Madrid.
Find the wifi and you can book your ticket.
If you’re a pretty savvy flier, give Skiplagged a try. They show you hidden city-city flights, as well as other deeply discounted fares.
You have to read the fine print, particularly regarding baggage policies and hidden-city fares.
Hidden-city fares are when you book a flight with the layover city being your real destination. Often this results in a cheaper flight.
Skiplagged claims this is perfectly legal, and it is, but it’s also not the way the airlines want to operate.
So, if you run into an issue with a canceled or delayed flight and you’ve booked through Skiplagged, or the airline rep figures out what you’re doing by using a hidden-city fare, you won’t get much sympathy or help from them.
You obviously can’t check luggage and you definitely don’t want to use your frequent flyer miles or even give it to collect miles.
In fact, you may want to dye your hair and wear fake glasses with a rubber nose attached to avoid bringing shame onto your house in case you are outed.
Still, the ridiculously deep discounts are worth it to many travelers who swear by Skiplagged.
It can be a lifesaver too if you’ve exhausted all other methods and you need to get somewhere cheap and fast.
Otherwise, Skiplagged is legit, legal, and they also show you normal fares and decent hotel rates.
Skyscanner is widely regarded as one of the best Android travel apps for Europe due to its ease of use on the device for finding the best flight deals.
It’s ideal to use if your dates are flexible as it shows you alternate cheaper days to fly.
It’s so flexible, you can also search if you don’t know your destination or departure date at all.
Also, use Skyscanner to find the best Europe car rental rates available.
Best Travel Apps for Europe Recommendations
The problem (not problem) with Europe is there is so much to see and do, you have to be brutally focused.
Otherwise, you may miss some great stuff and spend too much time at overrated places–like standing in line. Blah.
But these apps will help you make difficult decisions about where to spend your time and your money.
TripAdvisor may have its controversies, but the forums and the reviews are a good way to get the truth about attractions, museums, restaurants, and more.
I rely on TripAdvisor often. The forums are helpful and you can filter the reviews by keywords and star ratings.
The only time I’ve ever had a problem with TripAdvisor is posting my own reviews. Their posting terms and conditions tend to favor the vendors.
Big surprise since that’s who buys the sponsored listings and ads. So if I write about Panera’s cold coffee and Panera is buying ads?
Suddenly my review about how the coffee can be cold goes against the community guidelines. I’m sorry. I like my coffee hot.
For other places that don’t buy TripAdvisor’s ads, the nuggets of information left by former guests and visitors are golden.
The hotels, restaurants, and attractions are linked to the websites so you can easily find more information.
And if you’re bored waiting for your train or flight, read TripAdvisor one-star reviews of famous European attractions. They can be funny.
12. Google Maps
Just about every square inch of the world can be located using Google Maps.
This easy-to-use and free tool is the best map app for travel in Europe and ideal for route planning.
It has tools for exploring shops, banks, hospitals, restaurants, gas stations, and more.
You can also see what traffic is like and review detours. Save places important to you for use later.
And you can share your location with your travel buddies so you can get to your Venetian water taxi on time.