Given that wifi is so widely available in most places, I don’t usually buy a sim card when I travel. However, this means that if I need to use maps on my phone, I’ve got no chance. While getting lost is fun, eventually you want to find your intended destination. This is one of the best things I learned about travelling so just follow these simple steps and learn how to download offline maps. All you need is wifi and 5 minutes!

Is Google Maps or MAPS.ME Better?

I would literally be lost without my two favourite map apps: Google Maps and MAPS.ME. Offline maps are super helpful in any country – even at home when you’re travelling to areas without phone reception (I’m looking at you, Western Australia).

The better app for travelling though is MAPS.ME. This is because you can download maps for an entire country quite easily and the map displays all landmarks, driving and walking routes.

The only limitation to MAPS.ME is you can’t search for a physical address. This is where Google Maps comes in handy. Google Maps allows you to search landmarks as well as specific addresses but only displays a driving route, not a walking one.

In general, I use MAPS.ME but will also have Google Maps handy in case I need to fidn a specific address that isn’t a popular landmark.

How To Download Offline MAPS.ME

Step 1: Open MAPS.ME

Once you have your MAPS.ME app open, to download offline maps you will need to select the bar in the bottom right-hand corner and choose ‘Download maps’.

Step 2: Select the country

The great thing about MAPS.ME is you can download maps for an entire country rather than having to search for custom areas like Google Maps. Type in the name of the country that you want to download a map for. Depending on the size of the country, you will often be given an option of downloading a single map for the country or multiple maps divided into areas.

For example, Australia has eleven maps to choose from whereas Laos only has one. The USA will have a map (and sometimes two) for each state.

Step 3:  Select the map or maps to download.

Just hit the download symbol on the left-hand side of the area name and your map will begin downloading.

Read more:
10 Must Knows If You're Travelling Alone For The First Time

Once the download is complete, you will have access to the map offline. You should also check in from time to time to delete maps you no longer need for space. To do this, hit ‘download maps’ again and you will have your list of downloaded maps.

How To Download Offline Google Maps

Step 1: Find area to download

Once you have your Google Maps app open, navigate to the area that you want to download. You can do this by searching the name of the country or city. Once you have found the area that you want to download a map for, click on the bar at the top. Select ‘Offline areas’.


Step 2: Choose ‘Custom area’.

Zoom in or out depending on the size of the area that you want to cover. You will be limited by size so you can’t zoom out too far. If you receive this error, just download a couple of various custom areas to make up for the size needed. Otherwise, go ahead and select the area that you need covered.


Step 4: Name the offline area and hit save.

Once you have the offline area, name it and click ‘save’.


VOILA! Map is downloading and accessible offline. To use the map, you can see any points within the offline area that you downloaded included addresses.

To test that all your maps are working, you should put your phone in aeroplane mode and confirm.

And that’s all there is to it!

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21 thoughts on “EASY To Follow Steps To Use Google Maps & MAPS.ME Offline

  1. Nisha says:

    What would I or infact anybody would without Google maps. I have also used the offline maps features and it has been a saviour more than once.

  2. Ami Bhat says:

    I have never tried the offline part of the map. Thanks for this easy tutorial. I might just experiment with it and see if I can save data and yet do the work.

  3. SindhuMurthy says:

    Awesome! I have always used the offline maps on google. They are quite handy in case the destination we visit does not have proper internet connection. However, Maps.Me is something new for me. I shall definitely try it.

  4. WorldGlimpses says:

    This is really handy, thanks for sharing. One should have posted something like this since we all need it when travelling, right?. So, good job, useful tips! 🙂

  5. emmaeatsandexplores says:

    This trick has saved me so many times! I don’t have internet abroad on my contract so downloading the maps is the main way I get around. Good of you to share this so more people can find out about it!

  6. Vicky @ A Backpack Full of Adventures says:

    Great tips! Like you, I always use Google Maps (and their offline maps) when I’m travelling – I’d literally be lost without it. Especially since I don’t usually have WiFi or use mobile data when I’m out and about, so the fact that I can see the map without them is great!

  7. valisesetgourmandises says:

    I agree, these maps are so helpful! We practically never have phone service whenever we travel and rely heavily on offline maps! It saves us a lot of arguing too! haha

  8. kidsandcompass says:

    Thank you for these helpful tips! Nothing worse than being totally lost and no wifi. I haven’t heard of Maps.Me so I will take a look – the walking routes sounds very helpful.

  9. Rashmi and Chalukya says:

    We completely agree with as much getting lost is fun we need to get to destination at some point of time. Google maps have been our best travel mate all through our travels. We hadn’t used Maps.Me until now. Would definitely check it out.

    • La Vida Viva Travel says:

      Absolutely. MAPS.ME is super useful for seeing viewpoints etc nearby too! I love it for when we’re just wondering aimlessly around and then look on the map to see if something awesome is nearby.

  10. Abby says:

    Google Maps was a lifesaver for me whenever I go traveling. But an offline map is even more convenient. This is great for exploring spots where there is no connection available!

  11. Only By Land says:

    I would be very lost without and google offline maps. Especially when taking the local buses, it can be difficult knowing when is your stop. The maps work even when the phone is in flight mode which means you can extend your battery life whilst exploring.

  12. Kcalpesh Ajugia says:

    Thanks for sharing the step by step guide of making use of the offline maps feature. I guess this could be really handy when going to a remote location where mobile networks fail to reach on many occasions.

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