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Ribota May 22nd, 2010 05:32 PM

Which GPS with Europe Maps?
I live in the US and unfortunately my iPhone will not be very useful in
Europe unless I find a Wifi connections. So I am ISO a GPS.
We are traveling to Spain (20 days driving & walking) and Paris (10 days
walking) in July and really want to avoid wasting time getting lost,
unless we want to.

The problem is determining which GPS to purchase.

I contacted Garmin they recommend three
that come with European maps:
nüvi 775T $450 OR nüvi 275T. $260 OR nüvi 765T $260

For $15 more you can purchase the cityXplore for
Paris and Madrid which either provide more details
as you walk the city or/and provide metro/bus info
not sure. PLUS for $74 you have a translation program.

But Consumer Reports did not review these
models and I read about Garmin bad GPS experiences
on their forum which really stopped me in my tracks
as far as the Garmin purchase.

I also contacted TomTom. They recommended XXL540
which came out 6 months ago, (CR rating = 68 $200)
It has Europe Maps and walkingmode $240

If you have used a GPS in Europe (walking /driving) I would
be grateful to learn of your experience and what you
used and recommend (brand/model).

Thank you kindly,

Robert2533 May 22nd, 2010 07:12 PM

Forget the GPS and buy a few good maps.

AZKathy May 22nd, 2010 08:05 PM

We just came back 2+ weeks in France and we bought the Nuvi 275 for the trip. I had used Tom Toms previously (came with the rental) and do prefer them slightly for Europe but 1. they cost more than my 275 did and 2. I have heard that the Garmins are better for the US so we bought the 275 and were very pleased. We NEVER got lost, could decide on the spur of the moment to go to some town and did not have to spend time searching the map for the best route and could just "center" the mayor's office, or parking, etc, and get to the center of town easily. We also used it to find gas stations and grocery stores. My husband and I are both convinced it saved us hours of time and frustration. Also, it told us where the speed cameras are and the speed on the highway if we missed the sign. It was not infallible, just a very good guide.

The things I preferred with the Tom Tom--it has a better system for finding the town you are typing in and the place in town you want to visit (like town center). I could do it on the Garmin but it was not as easy. I think the different routes are easier to use on the Tom Tom as well, like scenic for example. But for the price I was more than satisfied with the Garmin.

For me, the exact model/make is not that important (we went for cheap). We also bought good maps and used them as well.

We used it occasionally for walking around towns and found it somewhat irritating, usually went back to the maps. However, I did enter some recommended restaurants in it before I left the US and that was somewhat helpful in town.

I recommend you do a search on the boards here for more advice, there are lots of opinions. My experience is that for the limited time I have to visit Europe, I don't want to spend it getting lost in a car. (Being lost on foot in Venice it totally different. :-) )

travelgourmet May 22nd, 2010 10:20 PM

I have a TomTom (not sure of the model, but it has both Europe and US maps) and have found that it works very well in Europe. Never used it while walking, though.

<i>Forget the GPS and buy a few good maps.</i>

Yawn. Aside from the fact that a GPS is simply better and easier than a map, buying enough maps to give you the same level of detail, even for just the OP's needs, would likely end up costing nearly as much as a GPS.

Elizabeth_S May 23rd, 2010 04:56 AM

I did a lot of research before buying a TomTom for our Europe/Africa travels - the consensus was the maps for Africa were equal for Garmin and TomTom, but that TomTom was superior for Europe, particularly recognizing short form street addresses. Was very happy with our TomTom in South Africa and Namibia and will use it this winter in France,Italy and Croatia.

Also - the consensus did support that Garmin is better for North America but our new vehicle will come with a built in GPS.

Otzi May 23rd, 2010 06:02 AM

I got the Garmin 775T with Europe and North America pre-installed for $350.00. Worth every penny as far as I'm concerned. Best feature is the ability to hook it up to my PC at home and program in all my upcoming hotels, restaurants, sights and shops all in advance of the trip. Huge timesaver. The traffic reports are a godsend.

And no GPS anywhere is 100% accurate, Nor is any map. New roads, new signage, repairs and detours, and traffic change constantly. Part of the fun of travel is dealing with the unexpected.

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