As you know, I’m planning two big trips right now. The first is a week-long trip from New York to Paris and the Amalfi coast. The second is a move from New York to Dallas, which we are driving ourselves because I have to relocate all the inventory for my online store as quickly as possible. I’ve done a lot of research for each trip and I thought some of you might benefit from what I’ve learned!

I’ll talk about how to plan a road trip in a separate post but today I’m going to show you how to create your own city map, which I’ve found immensely useful in planning our itinerary for four days in Paris. If you’ve ever wanted to create a map where you can input unlimited destinations (restaurants, train stops, shopping, friends’ addresses, etc.) and find the shortest distances between each destination, I know you’re going to love this as much as I do!


1. Go to and select “create a new map.”

how to create your own city map google my maps

2. Type in the city (or country!) you’d like to map.

google my maps

3. Type in the places you’d like to see, including monuments, parks, restaurants, and stores. Don’t forget to mark your home address! Once the green pin is dropped, click on it and select “add to map.”

google my maps paris

4. Once you’ve typed in all your addresses, click the paint bucket to the right of each place and color code by the type of destination. I chose a little yellow house for the apartment we’re renting, blue for monuments and gardens, and red for boutiques and restaurants, but you could get as detailed and color-coordinated as you like!

google my maps color coded

5. By now, you can see which places were closest to where you’re staying and which destinations it makes sense to see on the same day. If you want directions from one pin to another, hold down the shift key, click on two points, and click the “add directions” icon (second from the right) to map out your route.

google my maps directions

Now just bookmark your map for easy access throughout your trip so you can look up directions on the go! Apologies that this isn’t the prettiest post I’ve ever published on Design Darling but hopefully it helps you create your own city map next time you’re planning a trip! I can actually see this being useful in a ton of different ways: sharing your favorite local spots with a house guest, mapping travel for work, or even posting on your wedding website for guests visiting from out of town. Any other websites you’ve found useful for planning travel or sharing your recommendations? I’d love to hear!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Just seeing this now… but definitely one of the more helpful blog posts I’ve come across lately. I’ll be going to Singapore in June and I will definitely be making one of these.

  2. I like to consider myself a very DIY kind of guy, but this was something I could never figure out…and I’m a hardcore traveler! Thank you for showing us this! We’ll definitely be using it!

    PS: We came from Victoria McGinley’s blog!

  3. i do the exact same thing when i travel! that way, you can really get the most out of visiting certain neighborhoods. it really helped me plan our days out.

  4. Most useful post ever! I am planning a few upcoming trips this spring and this could not have come at a better time. Takes google mapping to the next level!

  5. Oh my gosh, this is awesome! I’ve used some of the functionality in the past, but this is the best. It would be so much easier to plan a trip. I really like the ability to categorize different spots. Have a great time in Paris and the Amalfi Coast!! Thanks for sharing!

  6. This is so cool! Thanks for sharing, Mackenzie. I always use google maps on my phone as my GPS but I love how detailed (and color coordinated) this can be.

  7. This could not be more perfect! Seriously this is literally exactly what I need right now! Thank you thank you! I’m also planning a trip to Paris this summer as well as Santorini and I have been trying to find the best way to track places I want to go and things I want to see. I never even thought to create my own Google map. I would love to see more of the places you have on your list so I can add to my own (: Bookmarking this post ASAP.

    – Kelsey

  8. I vistied Paris last Spring with my mom and sister and we stayed at the K&K Hotel Cayre (4 Boulevard Raspail, 75007 Paris, France). It was beautiful and I would defintely reccomend it to friends that are looking for a hotel to stay at. We all said, though, that our next trip to Paris we will be renting an apartment. So excited that you are also renting an apartment. Cannot wait to hopefully read about the company you rented through and your experience. Have an amazing trip!

  9. This is such a useful thing to know how to do!! When I was studying abroad in Dublin our teachers actually required us to learn this, then map out some of our favorite spots in the city so we could give a walking tour for a final project.

  10. You can also download a portion of Google maps to your phone for easy access when offline! If you zoom in to the portion of the map you want to save, type “Ok maps” in the search bar and the map will be cached for offline access. I find this particularly helpful when traveling abroad as I turn off my cellular signal and only use wifi.

  11. This post may not be the prettiest one you’ve ever posted but it was definitely one of the helpful ones! Never thought to do anything like this before (normally I’ll just make of list of the go-to places) and I know it will help when I’m planning my next trip, so thank you for this!!