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Free Garmin maps for your GPS: where and how to get them

Free Garmin maps for outdoor GPS navigators and for planning excursions on the desktop converted even those who previously relied on paper. OpenStreetMap has changed the world of online cartography, but the graphics and navigation of those maps are not always perfect. That's why several projects were born on its base and today there are several portals where you can download free Garmin maps for GPS devices: let's see together which are the most useful for our purpose.

9 websites where you can find free Garmin maps for your GPS

Do you want an easy solution? Download Google Maps free for your smartphone, open it, type in the destination and you're good to go! You can also edit a map with Google Maps, but if you're looking for something more advanced and detailed, this is the right place for you.

Don't get me wrong, Google Maps, especially since you can download offline maps, is a great tool and I myself often use it to integrate the cartography of my Garmin Montana 600, but when it comes to planning a trip or a hike, there are - from my personal point of view - more viable alternatives to download free Garmin maps. I have already told you about the best GPS apps for bicycle touring, here instead I want to focus on useful resources both for planning from desktop and free cartography to be installed on your GPS device.

Free Garmin Maps logo osm

The reference resource for free Garmin maps is definitely OpenStreetMap and in the site's wiki, you can also find information on free cartography for your Garmin GPS or other devices to download. Below I will try to make a personal but complete list of the resources that we generally use for our GPS device or smartphone GPS apps. Virtually all the sites that provide this free cartography are based on OpenStreetMap data, modifying the layers and their display according to the specific field of use.

Since my use is specific for cycling and mountain biking, these maps will be aimed mainly at those who practice cycle tourism, gravel, MTB or trekking, but they can also be fine for those with other purposes (road trips, other outdoor activities...). But no more chatter! Let's start discovering the best free Garmin maps that you can download on your GPS device.


This is one of the sites that we use the most, especially when it comes to planning a trip or an MTB excursion in our peninsula. The maps are specially designed, as the name implies, for mountain biking but in reality, they can also be used for cycling or any other outdoor activity. There are four types of visualization that differ only in the thickness of the lines, to adapt to the type of GPS device on which you want to install them, while the colours are always the same. From the site, it is possible to download the executable file for Windows for free with which to install the maps and then view them on a program such as Basecamp or Qmapshack. About Mac users: image files that can be copied directly to the satellite navigator are not free or can be obtained with some steps "transforming" the downloaded Windows files into files compatible with Mac, but this is a topic for another study. In this article, you can read our guide about OpenMTBmap.

Alternativas Libres website

Free Garmin Maps OpenMTBmaps

Alternativas Libres

We discovered this resource while planning our trip to Africa, looking for countries that were not covered by the free Garmin maps by OpenMTBmap. The visualization of the cartography, in this case, is more basic and clean than the OMTBmaps, therefore it has advantages and disadvantages. If you have to travel on asphalted or main roads there are no problems of any kind, but if you are looking for detailed information on paths and dirt roads, the Alternativas Libres cartography is less intuitive, albeit complete. In this case, both the image files and the executables for Windows and Mac can be downloaded for free.

OpenMTBMap website

Free Garmin Maps Garmin alternativas

Free Garmin maps on VeloMap

The same developer of OpenMTBmap has created free Garmin maps also for road cyclists and urban cyclists. The Velomap maps are cleansed of all the information that a mountain biker requires. The paths contain much less differentiation and information and also the calculation of the route is based on the type of road surface, favouring the asphalt. In this way, the map, much less "heavy" than that of the OpenMTBmap, is more usable by those who do not need too many frills and details on the offroad. The site is identical to OpenMTBmap as well as the principles for downloading free Garmin maps for your GPS.

Velomap website

Free Garmin Maps velomap


Another really useful German site with simple but effective cartography. The style is a modification of another type of OSM maps, that of Computerteddy. The contrast is much greater than that of the OpenMTBmaps, while the data are processed more spartanly so these free maps are recommended for those who do cycle tourism and gravel, a little less for those who try their hand at enduro or all-mountain. In this case, you only find image files, to be uploaded directly to the GPS, but in the "How to" page it is also explained how to use them on the desktop for planning with Basecamp or QmapShack.

Userbeam website

Free Garmin Maps userbeam


In reality, my use of these maps, for now, is limited to the two GPS applications that I use most on my smartphone: Oruxmaps and LocusMap but from the official website you can also download the image files. I find the graphics of these maps really nice. While for free Garmin maps there are layers from all over the world, only certain regions and countries are available to apps use: luckily for me, the Central Alps and the trails are covered. To find out if these free hiking maps are also available in your area, all you have to do is access the official website. Among other things, if your region is not present, it is possible to create the map with the style of 4Umaps following the procedure described.

4Umaps website

Free Garmin Maps 4umaps

The most used site to download free Garmin maps: Garmin.openstreetmap.nl

Dedicated mainly to Garmin devices (yes, I know, now you are wondering whether there are other GPS for outdoors activities... yes, many and valid. If you don't believe us, here is a non-exhaustive but valid list), actually this site allows you to download the free Garmin maps of OpenStreetMap in different styles (one that "imitates" the OSM on the official site and one customized with "more data") and different formats (one that can be installed to use on the PC, for example with Basecamp; one for Mac; an image file to upload directly to Garmin GPS navigators; a useful zip file with all the selected areas useful for Linux users). The use is intuitive and the maps are updated very frequently. A good alternative for more demanding users. Very intuitive, fast and detailed.

Openstreetmap.nl website

mappe gratis per Garmin NL


Another useful site for us cyclists with GPS devices on which it is necessary to install free Gramin maps. In this case, too, Garmin navigators are those mainly considered by the developer, but I do not exclude that the navigable maps can also work on other GPS devices... If you are among them, you just have to try (and maybe let us know in the comments below). The maps are very biker-friendly and contain 5m level lines, tracks and cycle paths, while they are not suitable for motorcyclists or motorists.

Openfietsmap Website

mappe gratis openfietsmap


Perhaps one of the best alternatives to free Gramin maps for GPS devices from OpenMTBmap for those who want to plan a bike trip or an MTB excursion. In addition to online maps, on the subdomain Garmin.OpenTopoMap.org it is possible to download offline maps for Garmin GPS for free both in executable format (for Basecamp or Qmapshack, for example), and in image format to be uploaded directly to the device. Contour lines are available as an optional layer, then relief shading, and a good level of detail of paths and roads. Also in this case I imagine that the image files can also be used on devices other than Garmin, even if I don't have any, I can't be sure.

OpenTopoMap website

mappe gratis per Garmin opentopo


This Norwegian site offers many different layers. Both outdoor and street navigation maps have been created. The "Topo" cartography is present in winter and summer versions with level lines, trails marked and two designs (I prefer the second). There are free Garmin maps of all of Europe in image formats (ready for GPS) and in executable formats to be installed on your PC or Mac. A great alternative with differently designed maps all in the same place.

Frikart website

mappe gratis per Garmin frikert

As often happens, this list of sites where to download free Garmin maps for GPS devices is certainly incomplete and I hope to be able to keep it updated as much as possible, so if you have better suggestions than the previous ones, do not hesitate to write it in the comments below, or contact us to let us know.

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Leo · 5 months ago
    @Junior I'm sure there are tons of maps for cars but we're not expert in that area 😊
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Junior · 5 months ago
    What about maps for travelling by car?

  • This commment is unpublished.
    Lee · 11 months ago
    700-day wait for OSM maps at the moment (says their email). Yes, 2 years. "This request is #1........ in the queue. The delay is approximately 705.5 days."
Francesco G

ITA - Ho 33 anni e sono piemontese, anche se da qualche anno vivo e lavoro in Lombardia. Dopo un inizio da totale inesperto in questo campo, mi sono avvicinato al mondo dei cicloviaggi e della bicicletta sempre più. Oggi posso definirmi "cicloviaggiatore", e assieme all'altra mia passione - il videomaking - non mi fermerei mai! Cyclo ergo sum, pedalo quindi sono, per cercare di capire perché andare in bici sia così bello, terapeutico, ricco... E ogni volta che provo a capirlo, non ce la faccio, e sono costretto a ripartire sui pedali!

ENG - I'm from Piedmont and I'm 33 years old, I have been living and working in Lombardy for a few years. After a start without any competence in this field, I then approached the bicycle world more and more. Today I can call myself a bicycle traveller and videomaker who would never ever stop. Cyclo ergo sum, I cycle therefore I am. I ride my bike trying to understand why it is so beautiful, rich, therapeutic. And every time I try, I do not understand it. So I must leave again...

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