is hard enough. It’s only made harder by not knowing your destination. There is a trick to minimize the pain. If you make intelligent use of Google maps in your travel planning you can layout your walks around virtually any European city. The map will show you distance and give you an estimate of time required. On your computer it can also be used to layout a circular route. One that starts at your hotel and ends at your hotel.
List your sites of interest
Start by making a list of your sites of interest. The first place to find is your hotel. Input the name and address. Usually it’ll pop up. Make sure it’s really your hotel and you haven’t made a typing error. The next step is to star the location. Click on the hotel and you’ll see save on the left of the screen. Click on save and add it to starred places. Do the same thing for all your sites of interest. Pay attention to the locations. Note the ones closer together that you can group. Note any off on their own that may require a special trip.
Colosseum, Piazza del Colosseo, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome
St. Peter's Basilica
On the sample map above you will see the Pantheon,Trevi fountain,The Colosseum and St. Peter’s square. All in Rome of course. Your map will differ by sites and city. You should add your hotel on to the map.
To get directions select your starting point. Usually your hotel first thing in the morning. On the right you will see directions. Click on that. With your mouse grab your hotel which is likely the destination and move it up to the start of the list. Edit the line showing your location and put in your next site. Just start typing the name. Google is fairly good and finding things. Next step is click on the plus sign and add a new destination. Repeat the process until you’re done. If you want a path back to your hotel end the list with your hotel.
At this point make sure you’ve selected walking directions. The little stick man between the train and bicycle on the top of the screen. If you want to use transit select train. Just understand not all cities have their transit systems on Google maps.
You will see just below your list of sites a distance and a time. The time is based on a reasonable walking speed but it’s likely you’ll stop at each site . You’ll also likely get distracted or even lost occasionally along the route. To put it simply don’t expect to keep to the schedule Google estimates for you. It is certainly possible but few people travel to just power walk between sites.
Bonus tip time for your travel planning. If you look at the sample map above you’ll see a little guy hiding in the lower right corner. With your mouse grab him and drop him anyplace on the map. Enjoy the view. You can do the same thing with your own maps.
No internet? No problem!
If you won’t have a data connection on your phone during your trip you can download the maps before leaving home. In the past Google would expire these maps after thirty days but they’ve increased the life of downloaded maps to up to a full year. Google only provides driving directions if you’re offline but for short walks this is often good enough.