Is there anything more exciting than discovering something unknown and special when travelling? Perhaps a quality restaurant popular with locals, a culturally significant monument tucked away on a back street, or a natural wonder, those hidden gems can make a trip extra special.
But how do you find the best places to see? Although Google Maps will show you monuments, eateries, and attractions, you have to find them yourself. Instead of that, you can remove the burden and download these dedicated apps that will help you find hidden treasures both in the city and in the country.
GuidePal city guides
Platforms: Android/iOS, Cost: Free
GuidePal is an extremely useful application that puts important locations at your fingertips. The Android and iOS service provides detailed city guides that you can also use offline: perfect for when you’re in an area without data coverage, or you don’t want to use your often-expensive mobile data. GuidePal features 57 cities, including 26 in Europe, so you can pull up your app on your next visit to Athens, Rome, Paris, and many more.
While users can see city locations on other mapping services, GuidePal has some tricks up its sleeve. The city guides aim to be more informative and dynamic than a normal mapping service. Guides are curated from local sources, including professional journalists, tourist experts, and members of the public.
The result is an app that delivers authentic guides to major cities. Each location is carefully researched and presented in clear detail, helping you find great things to do. The information is complemented by images showing you exactly what you can expect to see at each destination.
One of the best features of GuidePal is its ability to show you locations that might not be a first port of call for tourists. The app is excellent at finding hidden gems, whether it’s a neighbourhood coffee shop or a local art gallery.
As you would expect, the app also delivers concise information on world-famous locations.
Platforms: Android/iOS, Cost: Free (premium version available £14.99)
Europe’s most visited and beautiful cities are located on the doorstep of some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the world. After exploring city treats with GuidePal, why not head out to the countryside with ViewRanger as your guide?
ViewRanger is an application that supplies mapping for topographic maps, trails, and hiking routes. Perfect for the adventurous spirit, the app supports offline mapping through GPS and offers detailed information about nearest locations.
Depending on your level of activity, you can customize ViewRanger to meet your needs. Whether you want a leisurely trail through a forest or to find the nearest peak to ascend, ViewRanger is the app to get you there.
An exciting feature of this app is its integration with a smartphone camera. When in ViewRanger, you can hold your camera up to the scenery, such as mountains, rivers, or other landscapes. The app scans the area and interactively names locations seen on the camera! This feature is called Skyline, and uses augmented reality to name natural wonders you capture on your device.
Whether in the city or exploring the countryside, GuidePal and ViewRanger provide a personalised experience. Both apps give you the tools to find the places you want to see, and maybe even discover some hidden gems.