best apps for european travel

Ordering a coffee is simple enough, when you speak the language, know your way around, and understand the currency. Here are the free iPhone apps* I used while living in Roma and gallivanting around Europe, guaranteed to make ordering a coffee almost as easy as it is back home.

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1. Google Translate

Your pocket linguist. Translate forward, backward, use the microphone, read the pronunciation, or listen to it. Requires WiFi.

2. XE Currency

Dollars, Euros, Pounds, Forints (what?)… Whether you want to know how much that little black dress actually costs, or if you want to see if the exchange agency is giving you a fair exchange rate, this app will help. With internet, will give you the most up-to-date exchange rates. Offline, will give you rates as last time you used the app online.

3. Converter

We all know the metric system makes more sense than 12 inches in a foot, 5,280 feet in a mile, 3.1 miles in a 5k, etc. But that doesn’t change the fact we don’t know the metric system. Use this little guy, and walk 500 meters past the kiosk with confidence. Works offline.

4. City Maps 2Go

I know we all love unfolding ginormous paper maps and trying to find out where in the world we are, if we’re even still on the map. But we all know that’s not true. Use WiFi to download up to five free maps, that are available offline. Search by street name, area, monuments, and–my favorite–add pins to the locations you want to remember.

5. WhatsApp

It’s true–iMessage works on WiFi, even when your phone is on Airplane Mode. But this messaging app allows you to talk to Android users for free, too. Plus Europeans tend to prefer WhatsApp. Requires WiFi.


Un cappuccino s’il vous plaît!



*These are available for Droids, too!


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