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What is the Best GPS for Europe Travel?

By Alice Teacake

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What is the best GPS for Europe Travel? Maybe you’re going on an epic road trip and want to make sure you are completely covered in all of the countries you’re visiting. Or maybe you just want a new GPS navigation system for everyday use in your hometown! Regardless, we all want to get from A to B as safely, quickly and easily as possible.

Therefore, I’ve been checking out the best GPS tracking device options for Europe that you can buy on Amazon. In my opinion, these are the absolute best on the market right now.

What is the best GPS for Europe Travel?

Hands down, I believe the best GPS for car travel in Europe currently is the:

TomTom GO Premium

Out of all the TomTom devices on this list, the TomTom GO Premium is my favourite TomTom GPS for Europe. Do not underestimate TomTom. They have maps covering 165 countries with more than 555 million km of navigable roads.

Best GPS for Europe Travel

TomTom Go Premium GPS device

*Full disclosure: This post is sponsored by TomTom. Opinions completely remain my own = honest and straight to the point*

The best of the rest

Short on time and just want to know the best GPS map options? The top GPS brands for Europe are TomTom, Garmin and Magellan GPS. Here are my top 5.

TomTom GO Premium

The TomTom GO Premium is the best overall GPS.

Why you should love the TomTom GO Premium

You want it, the TomTom GO Premium has got it! You could say that this is the ultimate Sat Nav which goes way beyond navigation because the TomTom GO Premium is just as handy before and after your trip.

Star Rating

5/5

Pros

  • Last mile navigation / Find My Car capability
  • IFTTT (If This Then That) commands
  • Excellent Trip Statistics
  • Can share your location and ETA with friends and family
  • Pre-installed offline maps anywhere in the world
  • Awesome route planning capabilities

Cons

  • Not a cheap GPS option on this list (but in my opinion, well worth the GPS price tag)

Map and Direction Features

TomTom GO Premium’s route capabilities are ace. You can add ‘highlights’ to your route whilst you’re on your way, easily stitch 2 routes together if you stop for fuel or sightseeing and you can add pictures, tags and descriptons to your journeys on the MyDrive GSP app.

Maps on this device are worldwide and update via WiFi: no computer needed!

You can easily pre-plan your journey and next adventure with TomTom Road Trips. Now that’s fun! For example, you can find and book the best places to eat and stay with Tripadvisor reviews. Be inspired by finding attractions and scenic routes along the way.

Display

You can purchase the TomTom GO Premium with a 5 inch or 6 inch screen, depending on what you prefer. The larger screen does come with a more expensive price tag though! The display is crystal clear and very easy to understand.

Driver Alerts

You will receive lifetime traffic and speed cam warnings via SIM card with your TomTom GO Premium. Traffic information is highly accurate.

TomTom has 113+ million points of interests on its database and 330+ million address points. They allow free text search, parking information and much more!

Additional Features

The additional features on the TomTom GO Premium are ace; which is why this GPS in Europe and beyond is at the top of my list.

Last Mile Navigation / Find My Car

TomTom GO Premium’s Last Mile Navigation means that if you have to park your car a distance away from your destination, TomTom will still guide you as a pedestrian to your final point via the MyDrive Apple and Android app for GPS. And on your way back, you can use Find My Car!

IFTTT

This feature particular excites me. If you’re familiar with IFTTT, then you’ll know that you can make something happen, if another thing happens first. With the TomTom GO Premium, you can be really creative.

Want your heating and lights to turn on when you’re nearly home? You can tell your TomTom device, ‘If I am 15km from home, then turn on the central heating’.

Have an event on Facebook that you’re going to attend and drive to next week? Tell the TomTom GO Premium, ‘If I create an event with location in my calendar, then add place to My Favourites’. Cool huh?

Trip Statistics

If you want to geek out on trip statistics too, you can easily do that. The TomTom Go Premium will tell you the distance you’ve travelled, for how long and what your average/max speed was per trip, day, week, month, year or all time!

You can even find out how long you spent in traffic if you want to (but you may want to avoid that).

TomTom GO 520

The TomTom GO 520 is the best budget Sat Nav.

Why you should love the TomTom GO 520

It is excellent value for money from the top-notch manufacturers TomTom. It includes lifetime maps which are included on the Sat Nav. They can also be downloaded at no extra cost.

Star rating

4.5/5

Pros

  • Budget friendly Sat Nav
  • Inclusive of excellent world wide maps
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • The battery life isn’t fantastic
  • You have to connect to a smartphone for live traffic alerts

Map and direction features

The pre-installed map region will depend on where you buy your TomTom from. If you are in the UK, it will come with the UK/Europe maps installed. Other regional maps are downloadable at no extra cost. To get live traffic alerts with TomTom Traffic you need to connect to your mobile phone via Bluetooth. The maps and navigation are clear. There’s also a destination prediction feature based on your navigation history!

Display

The screen is pretty bright and clear, even in sunnier conditions, with the main menu features found on the right hand side of the screen. This means you don’t have to scroll through endless menus to find the relevant functions. Zooming in and out of maps is pretty seamless too!

Driver Alerts

Your TomTom GO 520 will alert you to speed cameras and remind you of the speed limit of the area you are in.

Additional features

You’ll have Voice Control and Voice Assistant, which allow you to give instructions to your TomTom by using your voice so that you can focus on your driving. You’ll also be able to make hands free calls by connecting your smartphone via Bluetooth.

Garmin Drive 52

The Garmin Drive 52 is best for daily commuters.

Why you should love the Garmin Drive 52

Apart from being easy to use, this Garmin GPS navigation device is full of extra information, like endless points of interest via Foursquare and Tripadvisor.

Star rating

4/5

Pros

  • Simple and straightforward to use Garmin navigation
  • Contains many points of interest

Cons

  • Having to purchase extra maps can become costly

Maps and GPS directions features

You will receive preloaded maps on the Sat Nav based on where you purchase your device. Other maps are available at an extra cost. You also get alternate route suggestions which are very useful when upcoming traffic congestion is detected.

The navigator also comes with preloaded Foursquare data, making it easier to find points of interest such as restaurants and petrol stations. The spoken directions are clear and easy to follow and will use easy to spot landmarks and buildings when directing you, instead of just relying on possibly easy to miss street names. This is very useful when you’re driving around an unfamiliar city!

Display

It’s simple and very user friendly. The maps are bright and easy to see.

Driver alerts

This device is full of all the driver alerts you need, from zebra crossings to school zones, speed cameras to railroad crossings and sharp curves ahead. If you happen to go down a one way street the wrong way accidentally, the Garmin Drive 52 will have your back!

Additional features

It includes Garmin Traffic for free lifetime traffic alerts. If you do happen to buy this in the USA before using it in Europe, it also has the US National Park directory and sites from the History Network; alerting you to museums, historical landmarks and more.

TomTom GO 620

The TomTom GO 620 is the best for world travellers.

Why you should love the TomTom GO 620

It has built in WiFi, which makes it a breeze to update maps. That’s perfect for globetrotters. The device is also super fast!

Star rating

4.5/5

Pros

  • Super fast processor
  • Inbuilt Wi-Fi for convenient updates
  • Excellent access to maps

Cons

  • Battery life is not so good
  • Traffic updates are received by connecting to your smartphone (this might not be for you)

Maps and direction features

The TomTom GO 620 comes preloaded with maps of the zone you purchase the device in. All other map zones are free to download. The TomTom GO 620 has super fast destination prediction and voice activated navigation. Perfect!

Display

It’s easy to use and has a well designed interface. The screen size is good too!

Driver alerts

You can easily get Live Traffic alerts (by connecting via Bluetooth to your smartphone) and speed limit and speed camera alerts too.

Additional features

It’s compatible with Siri and Google Now. You also get Hands free calling by connecting your mobile phone to the Sat Nav. This also allows the TomTom to read out your text messages so that you can keep your focus on the road!

Why you should love the Garmin Camper 770LMT

It allows you to search for specific amenities for campgrounds and is set up with camper friendly GPS location points and areas of interest, like repair and service locations.

Star rating

4.5/5

Pros

  • Excellent for camper van trip planning as it incorporates specific routes and points of interest for your vehicle
  • Free Lifetime Map Updates for the UK, Ireland and Full Europe

Cons

  • Quite pricey, especially if you want to buy maps outside of Europe

Maps and direction features

The Garmin Camper 770LMT is preloaded with maps of the zone you purchase your device in. If you’re in Europe, it will come with European maps. Other maps can be purchased.

It will give you customized motorhome routing, bearing in mind bridge heights.  The device uses Garmin Real Directions, which uses easy to spot landmarks and buildings for easy to follow driving directions.

Display

The 7 inch screen is clear and easy to use and has smooth graphics, with the bonus of white back lights which help prevent glare.

Driver alerts

These include motor home specific ones such as high winds, tight curves and bridge heights.

Additional features

You’ll get voice activated navigation, real time traffic and weather alerts. Nice!

Things to consider when buying a GPS for Europe

I hope you have a better idea now of what the best GPS device is for you whilst you are driving in Europe. When shopping for the perfect one for you, make sure that you keep these things in mind.

  • Can you plan your route ahead of time?
  • Is it only a European GPS system or can it cover worldwide destinations?
  • Is the casing sturdy?
  • How quickly do the maps update? Are updates free?
  • Is the device easy to use, read and understand?
  • Are there additional alerts such as traffic / speed / red lights / school zones?
  • Is it an easily portable GPS?
  • Can you easily find and be told about points of interest along the way?
  • Is the volume good enough to hear in all conditions? Is it too loud or too low?

Need a little more help on whether you should invest in a GPS device whilst you’re travelling around Europe? These questions and answers should help.

What is a GPS?

GPS stands for Global Positioning System. It’s a satellite-based navigation system that allows you, as a driver, to know exactly where you are on the ground. This can help you to get to the destination you require, and know exactly where you are along your route.

What is the best TomTom GPS to buy?

It has to be the TomTom GO Premium.

How much does a GPS cost?

It naturally depends on what you buy! GPS systems can cost from as low as £30 / €35 but these will have the absolute minimum features and not be every reliable!

Is it worth buying a GPS?

Absolutely! This is why:

  • Know where you are and how long it is going to take to get to your destination
  • Follow speed limits and minimise your chance of getting a speeding ticket
  • Be able to visit amazing attractions, refuel easily, pop to the supermarket and find the best restaurants
  • Avoid traffic congestion
  • Inform friends and family of your whereabouts for peace of mind
  • Plan trips ahead of your departure to save time

Why should you travel with a GPS (and not a smartphone)?

You may be tempted to just use your smartphone in lieu with the Google Maps Europe has to get around, but this is why you should travel with a GPS:

  • Avoid smartphone roaming charges
  • Never be bothered by smartphone navigation interruptions – which can take up your screen and hide your route
  • Never risk having bad signal in remote areas and losing your way – GPS navigation offline is reliable
  • Don’t get caught out if you haven’t downloaded maps offline

What is your favourite GPS for Europe?

Do you have a favourite GPS system for car or camper van travel in Europe? Have these GPS reviews helped you come to a decision? What European Sat Nav is at the top of your list?

Comment Below

Help yourself and others prepare by asking questions and sharing your knowledge!

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About Alice Teacake

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I'm a feminist British kickass solo female traveller who believes in women facing their fears, pushing their boundaries and reaching their full potential through solo adventure travel! I have been featured in Nat Geo Traveller UK, Lonely Planet, the Daily Mail and Buzzfeed and spoken about solo female travel safety on BBC One, whilst working with a bunch of awesome brands. Follow me for travel advice and inspiration, so you can go forth and challenge yourself to reach your own personal goals!

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