How to Use MapQuest for Driving Directions

Hand on a driving wheel while the car is driving
Frank Rothe/Photodisc/Getty Images

Getting from Point A to Point B doesn't have to be a frustrating, laborious task, especially when websites as useful as MapQuest exist. MapQuest offers detailed driving directions that you can print out to take with you on your journey. There are several different options for these useful maps, including filters that show information for cars, buses, and walkers.

Getting Started With MapQuest

You can enter an address, business, or public landmark for both your starting point and your destination, with the option to add stopping points in between. In addition, you can choose to have MapQuest show you a round trip or even reverse route, so you know how to get back to where you came from.

Advanced filters include picking mileage or kilometers, optimizing your route for the shortest distance or shortest time, and avoiding highways, tolls, ferries, borders, seasonal roads, and any other timed restrictions.

Creating an Interactive Map 

Once you've chosen your route, click "Get Directions", and MapQuest will retrieve a map for you. You can choose to edit that map by dragging the route line with your mouse, search nearby, or add further filters (find lodging, restaurants, activities in the area, etc.).

Once you have your directions exactly how you want them, you can print them out, send them via email to mobile, to a website, to Facebook, to your car or GPS device, or simply link to them for further reference.

Getting the Most out of MapQuest

Need even more maps and MapQuest options? Here are a few useful links.

  • MapQuest Maps: Get a detailed map of a particular address in the US or Canada.
  • MapQuest World Maps: Maps and driving directions for Great Britain.
  • MapQuest Mobile: For those of us who would prefer to access MapQuest on our Web-enabled devices, MapQuest offers a free maps app with GPS-enabled directions and a wireless version of the MapQuest website, all compatible with several different mobile platforms.
  • MapQuest Features: Instant access to all the updated MapQuest features, including the toolbar, multi-stop directions, satellite and live traffic, and map controls.
  • MapQuest Airport Maps: A very useful feature that helps you plan your driving to and from the airport, monitor local traffic conditions and double-check directions.
  • MapQuest Local Cities: A list of the most popular destinations, state by state, with detailed maps and local attractions.
  • MapQuest Gas Prices: Need to fill up? Check the gas prices in your local area before venturing out. See the lowest and highest prices in your area, check a gas calculator that figures out your mileage and gas usage. You can also filter exactly what kind of gas prices you're looking for, from diesel to alternative fuels.

    Your maps can get as streamlined or as fancy as you would like them to. For example, you can view your maps results in a Live Traffic, Map, or Satellite view. Zoom in to get a better, more detailed view of local attractions, neighborhoods, or streets, or zoom out to get a big picture look at a suburb, a park, or a city.

    If you need to make detailed directions that include more than just a couple of stops, you can use the MapQuest Route Planner to do this (this especially comes in handy if you're going on a sight-seeing expedition). Add as many stops as you would like, and MapQuest will optimize your route so you spend less time driving.

    Search Anywhere in Europe

    Simply type a location (city, country, etc.) into the Mapquest search field, and you'll instantly get a detailed surface map of your geographical location. Click on the green icons at the top of your map to add local restaurants, coffee shops, bars, movie theaters, etc. You can add extra "layers" to your map by clicking on Satellite or 360; both of these add different imagery to the default map view.

    Switch Languages Easily

    You can easily switch the language that your map is presented in with the drop-down menu near the top of the page; a tiny flag will indicate what language you have selected.

    Zoom Out and Get a Larger View

    If you want to get a larger view of Europe, type in the name of a country, say, Spain. You'll get an atlas-like view of Europe that you can move around using your mouse; double-click on the area you'd like to explore more of.

    International Maps

    Mapquest offers international sites for specific countries: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and United Kingdom. Discover a fantastic atlas that lets Web searchers explore any country in the world via maps and interactive features with geographic-specific statistics.

    The Bottom Line

    Whether you're looking for driving directions, a world map, or simply want to see more of the world, MapQuest is a good choice.