5 Audio Guide Apps To Download For Your Next Europe Trip

Love exploring new places on foot? These audio guide apps allow you to wander around on your own schedule while listening to historical insight, fun tidbits, and local knowledge. Even better, many of them don’t cost a thing!

POCKETGUIDE

Local tour guides reveal the best stories, insider hangouts, and must-see sights based upon your phone’s GPS. Voice recordings lead you through the city so you don’t have to fiddle with reading off your phone. Just put on your headphones and listen. Best of all, the app works offline so once you have the tour downloaded you don’t have to worry about roaming charges. PocketGuide also includes an offline map and suggestions and reviews on where to eat, drink, and shop locally.

Tours are available in more than 150 cities worldwide, mainly in Europe. Also, if you’re looking for more of an off the beaten path look at your destination they offer themed tours such as finding the best tapas in Barcelona or following the trail of a 19th century serial killer in London. Did anyone say Jack the Ripper?

Cost: Free; available on iTunes and Android.

RICK STEVES AUDIO EUROPE

I’m a big fan of Rick Steves’ guidebooks for his city walking tours and the audio tour app combines information from the popular guidebooks as well as PDF maps to help you explore more than 50 European destinations. The self-guided tours range from general city overviews to in-depth walking tours of popular museums and sights such as Pompeii or The Louvre. Tours can also be downloaded before your trip and then played back later so you don’t have to use up pricey data.

Cost: Free; available on iTunes and Android.

CITIES TALKING

This app takes advantage of your phone’s GPS and as you follow the on-screen map, audio plays automatically as you approach each point of interest. Tours include historical background about an area as well as a few insider tips. Cities Talking currently offers tours for several dozen major European cities. As with the others, you can download all content prior to the trip but make sure your phone’s GPS is enabled!

Cost: The app itself is free to download, tours are $4.99 each; available on iTunes and Android.

FIELD TRIP

This Google-designed app uses your phone’s location services to notify you about nearby attractions, great restaurants/shops, and historic sites for almost any location in the world. You can also use the app’s “Feeling Lucky” setting to minimize data-roaming charges. If you’re exploring by car there’s even a “speaking” mode you can enable for a hands-free experience.

Cost: Free; available on iTunes and Android.

STRAY BOOTS

Think walking tour turned scavenger hunt. Stray Boots has four different self-guided jaunts available around London.

While you wander, the app suggests scavenger hunt-style challenges to complete along the way, such as asking you to find things, solve riddles, take crazy photos, and answer trivia. After completing each challenge, you’ll get fun facts about the area so you’re learning as you go!

Cost: The app itself is free to download, tours are $12 each; available on iTunes and Android.

ALSO …

Some museums and other attractions offer apps you can download for sometimes free audio tours of the museum collections such as the Hague’s Mauritshuis in the Netherlands or London’s British Museum.

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