You might think that Google Maps is the one app to go to for all your navigation needs. After some research and trial and error, however, I discovered that there are some apps that are far superior for specific things.
The apps below will help you move around Barcelona with great ease. I’ve also written about other great apps to use in Barcelona and also about the best car, bike and scooter sharing systems in Barcelona.
This is a great app if you’re driving. It displays instructions in big and easy to read text so that you can just attach your phone to the car’s dashboard and drive away. Need parking? Waze will show you where the nearest one is. Running low on fuel? Waze will show you all the gas stations on the way to your destination.
Waze is definitely better than Google Maps when using your own car/motorbike in a city or using a rental car or car sharing service. As expected, Waze comes with voice instructions as well, just like Google Maps.
This is the app I use when I’m using alternative modes of transport such as public transport or my foldable bike. It can also combine public transport and bike, for example. Google maps will only give you directions and time estimates for, say, bus/metro + walking. CityMapper can combine bus/metro + bicycle. The difference can be pretty significant at times so with CityMapper I can plan my trips more accurately.
Another awesome feature is that CityMapper taps into the bikesharing system here in Barcelona, so it will calculate the time needed to walk to the nearest bike station, then from the last bike station walking to the final destination. Before you plan a route, you will need to select whether you will choose your personal bike or the bikesharing service, and CityMapper will calculate accordingly.
I find Sygic super useful when I am running low on mobile data or am in a foreign country without a data connection.
When driving at night, I find Sygic’s heads up display to be super cool. Basically, you put your phone flat on your dashboard and it will display directions, speed etc on the windscreen just in front of you. Don’t worry it’s not distracting at all and very easy on the eyes. At night I find it better than having to glance away from the road and into a bright phone screen to get navigational information.
Hope that was useful, if you have any other tips regarding using mobile apps to get around, let me know!