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10 Essential Apps for Europe Travel

Planning or daydreaming about a trip to Europe? Download these apps for a smooth vacation!

Rick Steves' Europe

It's like having a miniature travel guru in your pocket! Available guides for Europe are as broad as Ancient Rome to as detailed as an Orsay Museum tour. Zoom in on interactive maps, tap restaurants/sights to see hours and cost, or even listen to an audio tour from Rick Steves. Best of all, once downloaded, you don't need to connect to Internet or your phone's network, so you won't rack up international roaming charges. Price: $3.99, Available on Apple

Measures

How much does this souvenir cost in US dollars? And what's that temperature in Fahrenheit? You'll have all the answers at your fingertips with the Measures unit and currency conversion app. Use the calculators or fun spinning wheel to easily convert hundreds of world currencies and units into what you're used to. Price: $0.99, Available on Apple

VisitEurope

The official travel apps of Europe are all in one place at Europe's National Tourism Organizations. Download free apps for Holland, Hungary, Ireland, Monaco, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, UK, and Austria. All the free apps are worth a download, but Austria's wins for the best name—Pistes in Your Pocket! We also love Holland's Layer App, an augmented reality app that uses your camera feed to display information about what's around you. Price: Free, Platform availability varies by country

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Rail Europe

This app puts the spontaneity back in train travel—look up train schedules between most stations in Europe, buy tickets (on certain routes), and select a seat, all within minutes on your phone. Our favorite touch: It even gives information on lockers and luggage storage at train stations. Price: Free, Available on Apple

MetrO

Don't stand around studying a subway map like a tourist. Download the MetrO app to your phone and you can get subway directions in more than 400 cities worldwide. And once you've downloaded the app, you don't need to be connected to a network. (Make sure to refresh the app before you leave, as MetrO is updated weekly.) Price: Free, Available on Apple

Wi-Fi Finder

Whether you want to check your e-mail, look up a good restaurant, or update your Facebook with smug travel shots, this app will help you find nearby free or paid Wi-Fi in 144 countries worldwide. Price: Free, Available on Apple

Michelin Travel Guide

Get all the benefits of renowned Michelin travel guides without lugging around a giant book. Now the company has apps for London, Monaco, Paris, Prague, Rome, Venice, Andalusia, Spain, the French Riviera, Chateaux de la Loire, and Brittany. Plus, you can create your own personalized travel book! Price: Varies by destination, but most are $5.99, Available on Apple

Spotted by Locals

Trust locals more than guidebooks? Download this app, which features tips from locals so you can end up at a restaurant with people who actually live in the city you're visiting, rather than other backpackers clutching the same guidebook as you. Spotted by Locals currently has 41 cities in Europe, and all the maps and tips are offline once you download. Price: Free, Available on Apple (Android coming soon)

Word Lens

Does that ambiguous sign mean fun times ahead or do not enter? Snap a picture of it (or a restaurant menu, bill, etc.), and Word Lens will translate if for you. Note that while the app is free to download, you'll need to pay to download language packs. Price: Inital download free, languages additional. Available on Apple

Lonely Planet phrasebook

For people who butcher the phonetic pronunciations in traditional translation books, this app will do all the talking for you. Type in a phrase like "Can you recommend a restaurant?" and the app will translate the phrase and speak it for you. Price: Varies by language, average is around $8, Available on Apple

Readers, which app sounds most helpful to you? Did we miss any must-haves for Europe travel? Share your thoughts in the comments area below!

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