If London’s spacious, leafy parks, craft-beer serving hostelries, palaces and museums have inspired you to take a trip in the city then you will need a few essential apps to help you on your way.
Whether you want to take in the breath-taking beauty of Tate Modern’s amazing turbine hall, sample some brunch at a quaint local café or want to climb to the summit of St Paul’s Cathedral and marvel at the wonderful views which stretch out for miles, there is so much to see and do. You can walk along the world’s most famous zebra crossing on Abbey Road and replicate the legendary cover of the Beatles’ album or stroll along Shoreditch and get a true taste of local life-it is entirely up to you.
Here are seven handy apps to have at your immediate disposal which will help you find your way around, and get used to the hustle and bustle of one of the busiest places in the UK:
The majority of individuals are likely to have Google Maps installed on their phone, but Citymapper has everything you require in order to get the hang of London’s comprehensive, confusing and complicated public transport network. Once you type in an address the app then gives you an estimated time for cycling, walking, taxi or public transport. Using the overground rail, bus and Tube, Citymapper provides multiple routes and frequently gives a ‘rain safe’ alternative-which can be extremely useful in a city which sees a great deal of showers.
The app also takes in the latest up-to-the-minute information when it comes to any disruptions, and then takes these delays into account. Travel suggestions will then alter, so you can find an easier route . You can even tell a bus when you are about to reach your stop, so it can notify you as to where to get off.
2. Santander Cycles
Known to Londoners are ‘Boris Bikes’ because of the city’s mayor, Boris Johnson, you can use the Santander Cycles app to help you find the nearest docking station with available bicycles to hire. Until very recently, the self-service cycle scheme was officially named Barclays Cycle Hire, but was rebranded as Santander Cycles. When you have completed your journey, Santander Cycles will inform you as to where the nearest bay is located in order to ditch your wheels. The app does not let you reserve a bike unfortunately, but you can do that at the docking station, with prices starting from around £2.
Yplan is one of the simplest ways in which to get a bird’s-eye view of what is happening around the city. Whether you are looking for a West End musical, comedy club, a secret supper club or late-night museum opening, Yplan will tell you what’s on. You can filter results by event type or price, and view in a list or alternatively use the map function. In addition, this app can host hotel ‘flash sales’, which makes it an incredibly easy place to pick up discounted tickets.
4. The National Trust
If you wish to take spend a day close to nature and get away from it all then the National Trust app is ideal. It will help you find the perfect garden in which to kick back, relax and unwind for a few hours, visit a stunning Tudor house in East London and see some rare and beautiful wildlife. This is a far cry from the noise and liveliness of city life, which can get a little too much from time to time.
The National Trust conserves places of natural beauty or historic interest in the United Kingdom. The app features a total of 400 locations and properties, as well as an up-to-the-minute calendar of current events, which you can search by location, and is a fantastic way in which to discover a hidden gem which you may not find in a regular tourist guide.
Formerly known as TopTable, OpenTable does exactly the same thing as its American counterpart. You can utilise the online reservation service to book a table at hundreds of local eateries-in fact, the app has over 4,300 bookable restaurants across the United Kingdom.
Search for a table using the map or in a detailed list and, once you select something which catches your eye, any available sittings will appear immediately. Results can also be filtered by rating, destination and price. Other food app options for the capital include Urbanspoon and Yelp, as well as the just-released paid app Where to Eat in London, which is curated by the renowned food blogger Chris Pople. He reviews 100 of the city’s finest restaurants, taking in budget diners, high-end gourmet establishments and everything in-between.
Uber has an estimated 15,000 drivers signed up in London. It offers a cheaper alternative to black cabs, and can end up saving you a fortune in fares. You can also use Hailo to book and pay for black cabs if needs be. If you wish to share a black cab with other people then try Maaxi, the newest app on the block.
7. London’s Best Coffee
If you are searching for the finest café or coffee shop and want to avoid the huge chains which dominate many parts of London then this app is for you. The London’s Best Coffee app details the machines used in each place, rates establishments out of five, and gives up-to-the-minute news on tastings and special offers.
And, for the best luxury hotel app on the market then look no further than the Montcalm App. It is simple to navigate, and will tell you of any available bookings there are, even if you are searching for a last-minute bargain.
This luxury hotel app is the only thing you need if you are searching for the perfect guesthouse in order to make your stay that little bit extra special and memorable. And it comes completely free of charge, so you can save money and procure a quality product for your iPhone in the process.