When it comes to travel, Western Europe often gets all the attention. But those looking for a deeper and perhaps richer history, should consider going a little east to countries like Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary. And while those countries are old, they’re made even cooler thanks to modern apps that help make sure you make the most of your trip. Here are some top free picks for Eastern Europe travel.
“I don’t want to be a tourist.” That’s a pretty common view for lots of modern day travellers. Those looking to escape the popular tourist attra
ctions, should check out Unlike. Lonely Planet this travel guide is not. Unlike basically lets you travel around a city and be one of the cool kids, because those cool kids have curated travel guides that highlight their favourite parts of the city. Most of these suggestions are definitely places that you’d miss if you were “just a tourist.” Each guide has a description of the person who made it, so sort of like a dating profile, you can sort through the guides and find one that works for you. In Vienna, you can choose a 25 hour itinerary with Lukas, a provocative writer, or Cee, a DJ and producer, among others. Other sample guides include Jewish Vienna, Morbid Monuments or The Third Man, which allows you to follow in the footsteps of the Orson Welles 1949 masterpiece. Look for city guides in cities like Amsterdam, Berlin, Milan, Cape Town and even Ibiza.
There’s nothing worse than getting back from a city like Prague, seeing other people’s photos and realized that you missed countless Kodak moments. Even worse is when you find out that you were right around the corner from that unforgettable photo opportunity. Not unlike Instagram, Trover focuses on photography, but is tailored towards those who like to travel and share great tips while they’re at it. Thanks to thousands of users geotagging their photos, you can easily search the photo stream for photos taken near you. Before you leave your hotel for the day, take advantage of the wifi and download some of the photo opportunities you don’t want to miss. Most of the photos uploaded on Trover come with helpful descriptions, whether it’s about the angle of the photo, the time of the day or where you might find some free wifi nearby. Take advantage of the Featured Lists featured, which will help you come home with a beautiful collection of photos and you can sleep easy at night, knowing you didn’t miss a thing.
If some of your best travel stories come from that one time you just walked into a bar and asked a local what was the cool thing to do in the city, then Vamos is likely something you’re going to want to have on your phone. The app pulls event information from Facebook and uses your location to help make an itinerary of all the cool events happening all around you. Think of it like a social directory. Sure you could read the newspaper or ask the hotel concierge, but Vamos lets you know what the locals are up to, which is often way more fun than anything the hotel concierge was going to tell you about anyway. You can also see how many people are attending the event, so you’ll know if you’re about to walk into a quiet classical music concert or a house concert so packed the walls are dripping with sweat. To each their own.