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Use map apps as a travel guide when on vacation - this is how it works

Use map apps as a travel guide when on vacation – this is how it works

Map services can do more than just plan routes. From restaurant reviews to opening hours – they help holidaymakers with useful information. These are the features you need to know.

Where to get the best pizza? And how long is the front row of the museum? The smartphone would be a help. With the right tricks, Google Maps and Co. Such map applications can be turned into real travel guides while on vacation.

Using Map Applications on Vacation – Overview

Google Maps

The map app Google Maps has a comprehensive map material that can be used wisely on vacation. The alleys are also painted. For selected shopping centers or airports, there are indoor maps with zoom function that localize individual stores. Route planning shows routes for pedestrians, cyclists or riders, and alternatives with local public transportation.

Further practice: Tap “Research” to open recommendations for the area. Types range from restaurants and bars to museums or hiking areas. You can use the search bar to view scenes and their peak times. You can create your own list under “Saved”.

Also know the way back to the car Google Maps Of course, too: by clicking on the blue circle indicating your own status, the “Save as parking space” function will appear.

Google Maps is “new, clear, and fast,” says Eric Horster, a professor at the German Institute for Tourism Research (DITF). “But when I interact with the processor, I can learn by monitoring many of my behaviors. At Google, I’m always switching services for data. “

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Another minus point: individual areas can be downloaded as offline maps and used for route planning. However, if you want to use maps with all its functions, you need mobile access to the internet.

Apple cards

Apple’s Maps app has many functions for directions and interior maps, similar to Google Maps. However, there are restrictions – to some extent in favor of data security.

For example, users should limit real-time data: “Apple makes user information anonymous and strives for better data security, but does not provide as good information as Google,” says Sebastian Trepesch from Heise magazine “Mac & i”.

In Europe, bicycle navigation is currently only available at Apple in London. A service not available from the competition is hidden behind “explore travel guides”. You can view collections of footage compiled by Apple in partnership with partners such as “Lonely Planet” or the “Washington Post”. You can also create your own listings under the “New Travel Guide”.

Apple also offers a “flyover” mode: like a drone from a bird’s eye view, with better views and select major cities. The service receives additional information about attractions or restaurants from third-party providers such as Yelp or Trip Advisor.

Apple users – Map App does not work on Android devices – have always relied on the Internet to browse. “Apple does not have real offline functionality. Only data in cache can be viewed temporarily without an Internet connection,” said Sebastian Trepsch.

Use map apps offline while on vacation

Especially when abroad it makes sense to use offline maps from third party providers due to high roaming costs and data security concerns. “You can use many apps for free and give them a try,” says Jork Geiger from the specialty magazine “Chip”.

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WeGo here

Here WeGo is one of the most useful mapping apps for the holidays. Here, iOS and Android users can download maps of more than a hundred countries and maps of more than 1300 cities for free. “You can conveniently go offline through offline, without having to worry about data volume,” says Geiger. This service contains extensive content, such as Google, but location data is only recorded anonymously.

Searching for restaurants, shows and stores and their opening hours and contact details works offline. Additional information on services such as Tripadvisor is only available online.


Maps.Me. Provides significantly more viewing details. According to Sebastian Trepesch from “Mac & i”, this app is not only suitable for car, but also a city map for cyclists and pedestrians. Descriptions of the footage are taken from Wikipedia and are available offline.

If you want to plan routes without mobile internet, you need to download the maps in advance. The OpenStreetMap database is a resource for objects covering more than 300 islands and countries. These can be edited by each user. This means the maps are very detailed, but sometimes the locations are incorrectly drawn or the route planning goes awry.