Digital maps are extremely useful when you are traveling in the foreign lands. A good map is a must-have when you are traveling in the unfamiliar places. Of course, detailed paper map in a pocket and a piece of advice taken from the local can save the day, though digital versions of the maps can also come in handy.
For cities: usually you can find a map of the city in the guidebook, though it will be small and general, without useful and interesting details. A detailed map can save you a lot of nerves and time, and you can buy it at the local tourist office, for example). Take into consideration that you will spend most of the time in the historical center of the city so make sure that the chosen map is detailed enough.
For driving: Free maps from car-rental companies aren’t detailed enough, so it is better to choose the one from a bookshop or gas stations.
Of course, navigation apps that you use at home can come in handy when you are traveling Europe – you don’t have to learn something new, just arrange your data roaming. Also you can rent a GPS for the rental car, and due to this you will be able to spend less on data. Also it is possible to save a lot with help of saving the map for offline use when you have an access to free Wi-Fi and then you will be able to use it all day long without connection to the Internet.
City Maps 2Go, OffMaps and Navfree are free offline applications that offer zoomable offline maps for the most part of Europe. Some apps are better for driving purposes and some for navigating cities. TomTom, Garmin, CoPilot propose apps that have fully features GPS maps, though the maps for European cities can be expensive there.
GPS can come in handy when you have no possibility to use a smartphone for navigation. Though the cost for the rent can be around $10–30 per day. If you have your own GPS device at home, bring it with you, but don’t forget to download European maps there.