Navigating New Places: The Best GPS and Mapping Apps for Travelers

As travel becomes more accessible and affordable, more people are venturing into new and unfamiliar destinations. While this can be an exciting adventure, it can also be daunting to navigate unfamiliar streets, public transportation, and landmarks. Luckily, there are a variety of GPS and mapping apps available that can help travelers find their way and explore with confidence. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best GPS and mapping apps for travelers.

Google Maps

Google Maps is one of the most popular and widely used mapping apps in the world. It offers detailed maps, satellite imagery, and street views for locations all around the globe. Google Maps also offers real-time traffic updates and turn-by-turn navigation, making it a great tool for navigating unfamiliar cities or finding your way to specific landmarks or attractions.

In addition to its basic features, Google Maps also has a number of useful add-ons. For example, it can provide information on public transportation routes and schedules, which can be helpful when traveling in cities with extensive transit systems. Google Maps can also offer suggestions for nearby restaurants, attractions, and events based on your location and search history.

One of the most impressive features of Google Maps is its ability to work offline. By downloading maps and directions ahead of time, travelers can use Google Maps even without an internet connection. This can be especially useful when traveling in areas with limited or no cellular data coverage.


Waze is another popular GPS app that offers real-time traffic updates and navigation. It was originally designed to help drivers avoid traffic jams and accidents, but it has since expanded to offer navigation for other modes of transportation, such as biking and walking.

One of the unique features of Waze is its community-based approach to mapping. Users can report accidents, road closures, and other hazards in real time, which can help other travelers avoid delays and stay safe on the road. Waze also has a social element, allowing users to connect with friends and share their location and ETA.

While Waze may not offer as many features as Google Maps, it excels in providing accurate, up-to-date traffic information. This can be especially helpful when traveling in congested urban areas, where traffic can quickly turn a short trip into a frustrating and time-consuming journey.


Citymapper is a mapping app that focuses specifically on urban transit. It provides detailed information on public transportation options, including buses, trains, subways, and even bike-share systems. Citymapper also offers real-time data on arrival times, delays, and service disruptions, making it a valuable tool for commuters and travelers alike.

One of the standout features of Citymapper is its ability to suggest the best route based on a variety of factors, including cost, time, and even calories burned. It can also provide detailed walking directions and estimated arrival times, taking into account factors such as traffic and pedestrian crossings.

Citymapper is currently available in over 40 cities worldwide, including New York, London, Paris, and Tokyo. While it may not be as comprehensive as other mapping apps, its focus on urban transit makes it a must-have for anyone traveling in a major city.


Maps.me is a mapping app that offers detailed, offline maps for locations all around the world. By downloading maps and directions ahead of time, users can access detailed information even without an internet connection.

Maps.me also offers turn-by-turn navigation, real-time traffic updates, and information on local landmarks and attractions. One of the standout features of Maps.me is its focus on hiking and outdoor activities, providing detailed maps and trails for a variety of outdoor adventures.

While Maps.me may not offer as many features as other mapping apps, its offline capabilities make it an essential tool for travelers who may not have access to reliable internet service. It is also a great option for outdoor enthusiasts and hikers who want to explore new trails and terrain in unfamiliar areas.


Sygic is a GPS app that offers turn-by-turn navigation and real-time traffic updates, along with features such as voice guidance and lane guidance. It also includes offline maps, allowing travelers to navigate without an internet connection.

One of the standout features of Sygic is its ability to provide information on speed limits and speed camera locations, helping drivers to avoid speeding tickets and fines. It also includes a database of points of interest, including restaurants, hotels, and attractions.

Sygic is available in over 200 countries and territories, making it a great option for travelers who are exploring multiple destinations on their trip.


MapMyRun is a mapping app that focuses specifically on fitness and outdoor activities. It allows users to track their runs, walks, and bike rides, providing detailed information on distance, speed, and elevation.

MapMyRun also includes a variety of training plans and personalized coaching features, making it a valuable tool for runners who are training for a race or trying to improve their performance.

While MapMyRun may not offer the comprehensive navigation features of other apps on this list, its focus on fitness and outdoor activities makes it an excellent tool for travelers who want to explore new destinations while staying active.

As travel becomes more accessible and affordable, it’s important for travelers to have the right tools to navigate unfamiliar destinations and explore with confidence. Whether you’re traveling by car, bike, or foot, there are a variety of GPS and mapping apps available to help you find your way and discover new adventures.

From the comprehensive features of Google Maps to the community-based approach of Waze, to the focused tools of Citymapper, Maps.me, Sygic, and MapMyRun, there’s a GPS app out there for every type of traveler. So the next time you’re planning a trip, be sure to download one of these top-rated apps to help you navigate new places with ease.

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